Are the misfortunes and disasters that hit nations according to the type of the crime that is committed?

The Details of the Question

- Will you explain what misfortune is sent for what crime according to the law of our Lord, who creates everything with wisdom?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There are many verses and hadiths confirming the trueness of the famous rule, “The penalty/reward is from the kind of deed.” Some of the verses of the Quran regarding the issue are as follows:

“Yea, to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: so that He rewards those who do evil, according to their deeds, and He rewards those who do good, with what is best.” (an-Najm, 53/31).

“To those who do right is a goodly (reward)- Yea, more (than in measure)!...” (Yunus, 10/26)

“In the long run evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil…” (ar-Rum, 30/10).

“Is there any Reward for Good - other than Good?” (ar-Rahman, 55/60).

“(Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink, Save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark, murky, intensely cold, A fitting recompense (for them).” (an-Naba, 78/24-26)

Some hadiths regarding the issue are as follows:

“If a person conceals the fault of his Muslim brother in the world, Allah will conceal his fault on the Day of Judgment.” (Ajluni, 2/252)

“If a person meets a need of his brother in the world, Allah will meet his need on the Day of Judgment.” (Ajluni, 2/283)

“Allah shows mercy to His slaves who show mercy to others.” (Ajluni, 1/216)

“Do whatever you wish; you will definitely be rewarded or punished for it.” (Majmauz-Zawaid, 10/219)

“Protect Allah (His commands) so that Allah will protect you.” (Majmauz-Zawaid, 7/189)

The penalty/reward being from the kind of deed means in the first place in general that the return for a good deed is a good deed and the return for a bad deed is a bad deed. In addition, the reward or penalty that is given being appropriate for the deeds done can be thought as its second meaning.

- It is possible to see the reflections of the second meaning in some incidents:

a. The crime that the nation of the Prophet Lut (Lot) committed was a kind of fornication; therefore, they were virtually stoned from the sky.

b. The most distinguished characteristic of the tribe Ad, which was the Prophet Hud’s nation, was boasting of their power. They were strong and well-built; therefore, they persecuted and stormed people. In return for their persecution, they were destroyed by a storm.

This fact is indicated in the verses below:

Now the ´Ad behaved arrogantly through the land, against (all) truth and reason, and said: ‘Who is superior to us in strength?’ What! did they not see that Allah, Who created them, was superior to them in strength? But they continued to reject Our Signs! So We sent against them a furious Wind through days of disaster, that We might give them a taste of a Penalty of humiliation in this life; but the Penalty of a Hereafter will be more humiliating still: and they will find no help.” (Fussilat, 41/15-16)

c. The tribe of Thamud, which was the Prophet Salih’s nation, slaughtered and eliminated the camel sent to them as a miracle. In return, Allah eliminated them.

“The (mighty) Blast overtook the wrong-doers, and they lay prostrate in their homes before the morning,- As if they had never dwelt and flourished there…” (Hud, 11/67-68)

We see the relationship between the deed and its penalty in the verse above. A mighty/terrible sound overtook them in return for the sound produced by the poor camel when it was slaughtered. They knelt down in their houses in return for making the camel kneel down. They were eradicated as they eradicated the camel.

The Prophet (pbuh) attracts attention to the following five things in a hadith:

1. When fornication is committed openly in a community, plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them.

2. When they cheat in weights and measures, they will be stricken with famine, undergo bad straits and be ruled by oppressors.

3. When they do not give zakah of their wealth, they will be deprived of rain from the sky; and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.

4. When they break their covenant with Allah and His Messenger, Allah will send them some enemies from outside to overpower them and to take some of what is in their hands.

5. When they do not rule according to the Book of Allah and do not choose what Allah send, Allah will send them an inner mischief and conflict.” (Ibn Majah Fitan, Hadith No: 4259)

The Prophet (pbuh) attracts attention to fifteen bad characteristics in another hadith as follows:

"When fifteen characteristics appear in my ummah, misfortunes will hit them:

1. When the treasure of the state is regarded as booty and is owned by a certain group.

2. When trust is usurped.

3. When people find it difficult to give zakah.

4. 5. When a man fulfils the requests his wife and disobeys his mother.

6. 7. When a person treats to his friends and is rude to his father.

8. When voices are raised in mosques.

9. When the leader of a nation is the most despicable one among them.

10. When a person is treated well because people are afraid of him.

11. When intoxicants are drunk.

12. When silk is worn (by males).

13. When singers and musical instruments become widespread.

14. When the members of the ummah that come later curse the previous members of the ummah.

15. When irreligious education is given.

Wait for a red wind or a slight hasf or mash then. (Tirmidhi, Fitan, 38)

The following three results of the fifteen bad characteristics above are mentioned in the hadith:

- A red wind. Yes, such a wind blew from the north to all parts of the world. It affected half of Europe, an important part of Turkish people, China and many other countries.    

- Hasf means collapsing. A community with such characteristics will definitely collapse. The material and spiritual collapsing seen in the society, families, ethics, honor and self-sacrifice in our country can be regarded from this point of view.   

- Mash means a person’s being transformed into an animal. It is stated in the Quran that some communities were transformed into monkeys and pigs. It is possible for this transformation to take place materially and spiritually. For instance, a monkey is an animal that imitates. A pig is the only animal that is not jealous of its spouse. From this point of view, many imitators of sins with the characteristics of a monkey and many unchaste people with the characteristics of a pig will be seen.

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