This week brings with it memories of a great natural calamity. On 18 April 1906, the San Francisco Earthquake struck at 5:13am followed by a massive fire from overturned wood stoves and broken gas pipes.
The fire raged uncontrollably for three days resulting in the destruction of over 10,000 acres of property and a loss of 4,000 lives.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, had foretold that earthquakes would soon envelope many parts of the earth. This he wrote on 15 April 1905 and the San Francisco Earthquake struck the region exactly a year after on 18 April 1906. The prophecy can be read in part five of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya – a work of magnificence by the Promised Messiahas.
Some people ask as to why earthquakes should occur in places where there has been no significant opposition of Islam. There was no known opposition in San Francisco at that time, then why should it come under the “Wrath of God”?
What needs to be kept in mind is that the world, in the time of the Promised Messiahas, was speedily drifting away from religion and the concept of God. Atheism was becoming more and more common and mockery of God and His Attributes had become fashionable. It was in this scenario that Allah the Almighty, through His Messiah and Mahdi, decided to show the world that howsoever mankind may progress in science and technology, the Omnipotent God would always remain the centre of all powers.
Even today, more than a hundred years on since the prophecy of earthquakes was made public by the Promised Messiahas, even the most intelligent of technologies are unable to predict natural calamities; and even if meteorologists are able to give a forecast of climatic effects for the near future, they are unable to control them.
Tsunamis, landslides, floods, earthquakes, storms and hurricanes all seem to be on the rise. Environment scientists have been suggesting various ways to save Planet Earth from a disastrous catastrophe which they believe is destined to emerge from human failure to comply with what environmentalists have been preaching. They are quite right in calling human beings to pay heed but the actual question is: Pay heed to what?
Although the global environment needs to be protected by “going green” as environmental scientists like to say, but to listen to the cry of the one sent by God is of even more importance. We now know that environmental factors may be assessed but cannot be harnessed. We have learnt, or should have learnt, that there is a Power that controls all these forces and will continue to demonstrate its Omnipotence until we accept our helplessness.
It must not be mistakenly thought that the Omnipotent God needs to prove His strength by bringing destruction to the earth and its inhabitants. It is only when the inhabitants wrong themselves and their large following by drifting the human soul away from its Creator that the Creator shows that He alone is the One with all power. This exhibit of power is, again, only to keep mankind on a path that leads to true prosperity.