For a believer, all conditions present an opportunity. The opportunity to pray, seek guidance, forgiveness, reward, salvation, betterment, reformation and the good of this world and the hereafter. The case of inclement and extreme weather patterns unfolding both locally and globally are a sign of the Power and Presence of Almighty Allah. The adverse conditions being experienced in South Africa at present of high winds, drought, storms, tornadoes, heavy rainfall, and scorching heat are glaring reminders of our Creator. These conditions are imploring humanity to reflect and repent and should invoke within us a deep sense of concern in terms of our behaviour and deeds.
The Qur’an implores its reader, “And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiant ones.” (59:19)
Adverse weather conditions and damage resulting from it should not just serve as a means of news and information. Know the details and take precautions, but ensure that we do not lose the purpose and take home message. Avoid criticising the weather, by labelling the weather as bad. All weather, favourable or not is from Allah. Refer to it as inclement or unfavourable. Avoid referring to weather as ‘bad’, awful, or ‘terrible’, etc.
Hazrat Ata bin Abi Raba reported that he heard A'ishah (RA), the wife of Rasulullah ﷺ, saying: “When there was a windstorm or dark cloud, concern could be witnessed on the face of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and he would move about (in a state of anxiety); and then if it rained, he was delighted and it (the state of restlessness) disappeared. 'A'ishah (RA) said: I asked him the reason for this anxiety and He ﷺ replied: I was afraid that it may be a calamity that could fall upon my Ummah, and when he saw rainfall he said: It is the mercy (of Allah).” (Sahih Muslim)
In another Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ explained his anxiety by explaining that when clouds would gather, it may be as the people of 'Aad said: When they saw a cloud formation coming to their valley they said: "It is a cloud which would give us rain" However, instead of rain, it was a wind which brought forth a painful punishment (Surah Ahqaf - 24).
In such times, Muslims are called upon to engage in Taubah Salah, Dua, Istighfar and reciting the prescribed Duas, seek goodness, protection and safety from calamity. It is also our humanitarian duty to show our support, concern and empathy for those affected by the weather.
May Allah ﷻ keep us safe, with Aafiyah and goodness during these stormy times.