An age where civilisation had reached its pinnacle. A world which had isolated itself from faith, an earth which had become devoid of pure light, an era which encompassed nothing but utter darkness, a stage where the world was crying out in need of assistance, as an ointment to the world condition, the Ever Merciful God, through His Grace sent down a blessing to reform humankind. This very arbitrator was the Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", whose descent in the latter days had been scribed in earlier books thousands of years ago. However, when the treatment came into manifestation, many rejected him and failed to realise the blessing which God Almighty had bestowed upon the world; resulting in the demonstration of the revelation
دنیا میں ایک نذیر آیا پر دنیا نے اس کو قبول نہ کیا لیکن خدا اسے قبول کرے گا اور بڑے زور آور حملوں سے اس کی سچائی ظاہر کردے گا۔
‘A Warner came unto the world, but the world accepted him not; yet God shall accept him and demonstrate his truthfulness with mighty assaults.’(Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Pg. 125 English Edition)
Thus, due to humanity’s inclination towards materialistic desires and its continued denial of the reformer of the age, God Almighty, after warning mankind several times through His prophet, decided to punish the disbelievers through disastrous trials and tribulations. Allah has decreed that,
وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولًا
‘We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’The Holy Qur’an (17:15)
This evidently shows that the divine law of God Almighty of showering punishments upon the world is based purely on the acceptance or rejection of His messenger, who is sent to illuminate the world with His message. After being given free will, it is one’s own actions that result in divine punishment. Thus, whoever chooses to turn a blind eye to the admonitions of the messenger of the age shall force disaster upon himself. The Promised Messiahas states regarding this verse, that
‘Allah, the Exalted, does not send down punishment upon the world unless and until He first sends a Messenger. This alone is the practice of Allah. It is quite clear that [these days] no divine Messenger has appeared in Europe and America. Thus, the chastisement that befell them occurred only after my claim [to be Warner of this age].’
Now, if we scavenge through decades of history we find an exponential increase in the number of natural disasters in the world, especially in the past 50 years. According to a database called CATDAT, designed by Dr James Daniell, there have been over 8 million deaths and more than 7 trillion US dollars of economic damage caused by natural disasters since the start of the 20th century. Dr James also states that
‘the amount of deaths due to earthquakes between 1900 and 2015 from the database stands at around 2.32 million. Since 1960, earthquakes have caused the highest death percentage with around 40% of disasters deaths. In addition to this, volcanic eruptions in the same time period have killed around 98,000 people.’
However, the event with the highest death toll to date is the Great Floods of 1931 in China with a mean estimate of around ‘ 2.5 million deaths.’ Furthermore, according to AccuWeather, since 1990, natural disasters have affected 217 million people every single year. To put into perspective, this is the equivalent of the total population of Brazil, which is not an insignificant number and just goes to show how painful the effects of divine punishment have been. Other research shows that in 1970, the average of natural disasters that were reported was 78 and in 2004, this number jumped aggressively to 348, which verifies the statement that there has been a significant increase in natural disasters across the years. These figures also go in accordance with the well-known notion of inflation in natural disasters in the latter days, which has been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, the Bible, and many other religious books.
Unequivocally, the facts presented show that the effects of these disasters have been immense and resulted in the disruption of thousands of families, homes, and societies. With an unbelievable cost of 7 trillion US dollars; there has been an evident blow to the world economy. Many cities such as L’Aquila (Italy), Bhuj (India), and Minimasaku (Japan) are still struggling to emerge from the rubble. The effects have been so vast that even the structure of the earth was not left unaltered. For example, the March 2011 earthquake in Japan shifted the earth’s axis, shortening the length of the day. Judging by the statistics presented, there seems to be a strong, positive correlation between the age of the universe and natural disasters. Day by day, year by year, decade by decade, century by century, the world’s condition is aggravating. Mankind’s detrimental blunder of not recognising the divine reformer of the age has left the world in a drought of God Almighty’s Grace and bereft of His Mercy and Blessings.
As touched on before, the knowledge of these disasters had been revealed to the world thousands of years ago, informing of the future world condition and divine punishment. The Holy Qur’an talking about the latter days states:
‘this will happen on the day when the quaking earth will quake’The Holy Qur’an (79:8)
and in the following verse it states:
‘a second quaking shall follow it’ (Surah An-Nazi’at 79:8)The Holy Qur’an (79:8)
These very words testify to the notion of divine punishment descending from the skies in the latter days and imply the intensity of the Wrath of God as it would visit the earth twice as implied by the phrase ‘a second quaking.’ We can also conclude that this would not be any normal punishment, as stated earlier that the divine law of punishment is imminent only when a messenger is sent to the world, hence this punishment shall be the result of mankind’s own blunder. There is also an implication of two great earthquakes in these verses, which suggest God Almighty’s Practice of punishing through natural disasters.
These verses go hand in hand with the prophecy made by our beloved master Hazrat Muhammad saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" 1400 years ago. The Holy Prophetsa, when talking about the latter days stated,
‘The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, afflictions will appear, murders will increase and money will overflow amongst you.’ Sahih Al-Bukhari Book of Istisqaa Hadith 32
In this Hadith, there has been a significant mention of earthquakes, which implies that this may be the most frequent form of natural disaster which will descend on the people of the blue planet. It also highlights that the frequency of divine punishment will increase in the latter days, indicating the descent of a divine reformer and humanity’s declination of this heavenly man. The condition of the world has also been prophesied by Jesus asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" as well. The Bible states,
‘For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places,’Matther 24:7
which again connotes the future position of humanity and how natural disasters will visit them due to their worldly inclination and rejection of the reviver of faith and latter-day Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" of Qadian.
If we take a glance at this subject from a scientific perspective, we find the movement of tectonic plates which occurs due to convection currents in the mantle. When the plates move, they either collide side by side or push into each other or pull away. Earthquakes occur at conservative plate boundaries where plates rub past each other at different speeds. Due to plates constantly moving, there has been an increase in collisions between plates and hence an increase in disasters such as earthquakes. However, as mentioned before, many disasters were destined for the world and the news of these occurrences was given to prophets thousands of years ago. Therefore, for one to understand such verities he must open his eyes and look at the proof before him. For the Holy Qur’an states: ۡ
وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي هَذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلًا
‘But whoso is blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter, and even more astray from the way.’The Holy Qur’an (17:73)
This suggests the need to refrain from turning a blind eye and looking at truths with a clear mind and thought.
The reasoning for all these disasters is very clear, but hidden for those who have a covering over their eyes; mankind’s inability to recognize and comprehend the Imam of the age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". God Almighty addressing His Prophet states,
‘You are a warner on My behalf. I have sent you so that the guilty ones be separated from the righteous,’ Al-Wasiyyat (Page 4, English Edition)
which implies the state of the world’s condition and the need for a guide. It also assures the notion of disasters descending from the skies in order to show excellence between those who reject and those who are firm in their belief. Now, after establishing the fact that in the latter days, the world would be visited by earthquakes and divine punishment would descend upon the world, and that we are indeed living amongst those latter days; let us ponder over the beautiful divine words of God Almighty, revealed upon His Prophet and Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". The revelation is as follows:
زلزلہ کا دھکا
‘Jolt of earthquake’
These words were revealed in December 1903 and gave a clear indication of a future punishment from Allah the Almighty, i.e an earthquake. As discussed earlier the practice of Allah the Almighty is that of only punishing after sending a messenger, as mentioned in the following verse, ‘We never punish until we have sent a Messenger.’ Hence, it is only in the ignorant actions of the people which result in divine punishment. The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" states the revelation,
‘He will clear him of all the charges that will be leveled against him. He has a high standing in the estimation of God,’ Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya (Page 117, English)
which testifies to the actions of the people of this era, as they would raise allegations against the divine reformer and reject his claims, which would eventually prove worthless.
The straightforward revelation ‘jolt of an earthquake,’ suggested that the time had come for humanity to be punished and acted as a warning for those who had not yet brought faith. This very revelation was published in Al-Hakam, 24th December 1903, as proof so that the sceptics would not have the chance to say that we were never warned. The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" further states,
“God knew that some ignorant people, who have naivety and prejudice ingrained in their nature, would raise objections, he has also clearly mentioned the word earthquake,” Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya Volume 5 (Page 225, English)
which shows how clearly God Almighty had expressed His attitude to mankind’s actions.
A year later on the 31st May 1904, God Almighty revealed again upon His prophet, some frightening news regarding divine punishment. The revelation is as follows,
“Temporary residences and permanent ones will be wiped out,”
“a part of this country will be wiped out; those of its buildings that are used as temporary dwellings and those buildings meant as places of permanent residence, would both disappear; no trace of them would be left.”
An explanation to this revelation cannot be put better than the recipient himself, hence I present in the Promised Messiah’s asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" own words. He states regarding the revelation,
‘The definite article [al] of the word Ad-Diyar—‘this country’ makes the reference specific that there are places in the knowledge of God Almighty that will be visited by this devastation, and the buildings of those places will be razed to the ground. How extraordinary is this prophecy, and how strongly it refers to the coming event of which there is no parallel in the last 1,600 years in this country.’
Speaking about the effects of the earthquake, Nicholas Ambraseys and Roger Bilham write in their science journal; A note on the Kangra Ms = 7.8 earthquake of 4 April 1905 state,
‘The Kangra earthquake of 4th April, 1905 in the Himalaya was the first of several devastating 20th century earthquakes to occur in northern India. The Punjab government estimated that more than 20,000 of its 375,000 epicentral population were killed and that 100,000 buildings were destroyed. Farming was disrupted by the loss of 53,000 domestic animals and extensive damage to a network of hillside aqueducts that had been constructed over many generations. The economic costs of recovering from the earthquake were estimated at 2.9 million (1905) rupees. The estimated magnitude of the Kangra earthquake has also influenced seismological thinking on the largest credible earthquake that might occur in the western Himalaya.’
Judging by the account above, the earthquake seems to have caused immense damage, and the reason for this as mentioned before is the rejection of the reformer of the age, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Allah decided to “clear his apostle of all charges” and exhibit the guardianship of His prophet in front of the world, by bearing witness to his claim and showing a sign of excellence.
Elsewhere, regarding this very earthquake, an author writes
‘Early in the morning of 4th April 1905 an earthquake occurred at Kangra that completely flattened the entire township and spread destruction far and wide. Munshi Muhamad Abdul Qadir Sahib Ta’ib Baduwi, proprietor of the Army press of Mount Shimla in 1905 describes the earth quaking a few minutes after six in the morning on the 4th of April 1905. He noted that in the valley of Kangra the magnificent buildings built by the British people fell flat on the earth. In only three minutes, all of Kangra valley was destroyed.’
Regarding the town of Dharamshala, which was also affected by the divine punishment, The Secretary of State at the time informed the British Parliament that in the Gurkha regiments based at Dharamsala 140 had been killed, 186 were injured and 71 were missing. In Lahore, a total of 25 Indians were killed and considerable damage was caused to private and public property. In Amritsar, the Golden Temple had been damaged. In Taran Taran nine were killed and seven injured. At Dalhousie extensive damage had been caused to property but no deaths were reported. Palampur town in Kangra district, the Secretary of State informed the House of Commons was totally destroyed. Every building without exception, in Kangra and Bhawan is in ruins, including houses and mission buildings. The Kangra treasure has collapsed and treasure boxes lying under debris.
From the accounts and articles presented before you, one can comprehend the amount of destruction which visited the province of Punjab, and the devastation the earthquake brought along with it. Families were disrupted and many lives were lost. However, this was the Plan of God Almighty. After consistent warnings from the divine, mankind constantly turned a blind eye and failed to realise the truth. Allegations were raised carelessly without thought and people laughed at the Imam of the age. Until the day came, 4th April 1905, when God Almighty showered upon the world His Punishment and left His Mark on the Earth, unequivocally showing His Omnipotence. A beautiful revelation which must be mentioned here, which showed the Omni-benevolence of Allah towards His apostle is,
“Tell them that I have testimony from my Lord, which is superior to the testimony of human beings’,is the same testimony, which God foretold about these baseless accusations a long time earlier.” Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya (Page 124, English)
The Promised Messiah asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" had divine testimony on his side, hence prevailed in every trial and tribulation. One should understand that to challenge God is a grave sin and will never end in a pretty way. As can be seen through the disasters that visited the world, the prophecies coming into manifestation are truly a sign of excellence for Allah and his Prophet, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Surely one must bring faith upon this divine man after being shown such signs?