Reference - The Ill-Effects of Sins by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah). (It was a khutbah given by him on the 12th of Muharram 1411AH which was published in Arabic and translated to English.)
All praise is for Allaah, in whose Hand is the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Sovereignty is His, all praise is for Him, and He is a witness of everything. All His prescribed laws and what He has decreed are from His Wisdom. He does whatever He wills and commands whatever He wishes. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, having no partner, the Guardian, the One Worthy of all Praise. I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, the last of the prophets and their leader and the best of worshippers; may Allaah extol and send complete peace upon his family, his Companions and those who follow them in goodness till the Day of Judgement.
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, explaining His complete Power, and perfect Wisdom, that what He alone orders is what happens, and that He is the one governing and controlling His servants - granting security, fear, ease, hardship, facility, difficulty, straightened circumstances and prosperity... Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:
Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him. Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some etc)!"
(Soorah ar-Rahmaan (55): 29)
So Allaah, the Most High, controls the affairs of His creation enforcing His rulings sometimes according to His Wisdom and Beneficience, and sometimes according to His Wisdom and Justice, and your Lord never treats anyone unjustly:
"We wronged them not, but they were wrong-doers."
(Soorah az-Zukhruf (42): 76)
Indeed we believe in Allaah and His predecree (Qadr), and belief in Allaah's predecree is one of the pillars of eemaan.
(Eemaan is belief in the heart, saying of the tongue and action of the limbs.)
We believe that whatever good or state of ease and security comes upon us then it is from Allaah's blessings upon us and it is an obligation upon us that we give praise and tahnks to the One who granted and provided that for us. This is done by returning to obedience to Him, avoiding whatever He forbade and doing whatever He ordered. If we carry out our duty of obedience to Allaah then we will be giving thanks for His blessings and would then deserve the increase in these blessings which Allaah has promised us from His bounty.
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says:
"And whatever of the blessings and good things you have, it is from Allaah."
(Soorah an-Nahl (16):53)
and He, the Most High says:
"And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: 'If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My blessings), but if you are thankless, verily My punishment is indeed severe.'"
(Soorah Ibraaheem (14):7)
Alhamdu'Lillaah (All Praise and thanks are for Allaah), we live in this land in a state of security and ease, but this state of security and ease cannot continue except through obedience to Allaah. As long as we order good and forbid evil, as long as we cooperate in ordering good and forbidding evil, since those who order good and forbid evil are at the forefront of the Ummah (Nation, the Muslims as a group), and they repel the causes of punishment and chastisement, so we should assist them and be with them. If they err we should inform them of their mistake and warn them about it and lead them to the guidance and not let their mistake become a reason to remove and distance them from this responsibility - that is not the correct way...
Whatever harm and hardship has befallen the people in their wealth or security, individuals or societies is due to their sins and their having neglected the commands of Allaah and his prescribed laws, and their seeking judgement amongst the people by other than the prescribed laws of Allaah - who created all of creation and was more merciful to them than their mothers and fathers, and He is the One who knows better than themselves what is most beneficial for them.
I repeat this sentence because of its importance and because many of the people turn away from it:
I say (meaning the Shaykh): whatever harm and hardship has befallen the people in their wealth or security, individuals or societies is due to their sins and their having neglected the commands of Allaah and his prescribed laws, and their seeking judgement amongst the people by other than the prescribed laws of Allaah - who created all of creation and was more merciful to them than their mothers and fathers, and He is the One who knows better than themselves what is most beneficial for them.
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, explaining that in His Book, so that we may realise and take warning.
He, the Majestic and Most High, says:
"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much."
(Soorah ash-Shoora (42):30)
"Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allaah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself."
(Soorah an-Nisaa' (4):79)
Whatever good comes upon us - blessings or security - it is from Allaah, it is He who provided that, its beginning and end, from His beneficience. It is He who granted us from His bounty that we should carry out what which would lead to it, and it is He who granted us His blessings and completed that for us...
As for whatever evil has befallen us, whether famine or fear, or whatever else causes harm, then it is due to our ownselves, we are the ones who have wronged ourselves and led ourselves to destruction.
Many people today attribute the misfortunes which befall them, whether relating to wealth and economics, or security and political affairs to purely materialistic causes, to political causes, economic reasons, or problems due to borders. There is no doubt that this is due to their limited understanding and weakness of their eemaan and their failure to reflect upon the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger .
O Muslims, Believers in Allaah and His Messenger
Behind these reasons are causes prescribed as such by Allaah, reasons and causes for these misfortunes which are stronger, greater and produce a more severe effect than the material reasons. However the material reasons may be a means of bringing about what is due to the causes prescribed by Allaah which necessitates the misfortune and punishment.
Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic says:
"Evil (sins and disobedience of Allaah etc.) has appeared on the land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds etc.), that Allaah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allaah)."
Soorah ar-Room (30):41
O people, O Muslims, O nation of Muhammad :
Give thanks for the blessings of Allaah upon you which you are about to hear of. O nation of Muhammd you are the best and most noble of the nations of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Allaah does not punish this nation for its disobedience and sins in the way that He punished the previous nations. He will not cause its destruction with a single overwhelming punishment as happened to 'Aad (See Soorah al-Haaqqah (69):6-7), when they were destroyed by the violent wind which He unleashed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession so that they were left lying like the hollow trunks of palm trees - do you see any remnants of them? He will not destroy it with the like of the punishment of Thamood (See Soorah al-Haaqqah (69):5) who were seized by the terrible shout and the earthquake so that they lay prostrate corpses in their homes. And He will not destroy it with the like of the punishment of the people of Loot (See Soorah al-A'raaf (7):80-84), against whom Allaah sent a violent wind and stones from the sky and turned their homes upside down.
Allaah, from His Wisdom and His Mercy, punishes this nation for its sins and disobedience by setting some part of it upon the others so that they destroy one another and take each other prisoner. Allaah, the Might and Majestic, says:
"Say: 'He was power to send torment on you from above you or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.' See how variously We explain the Ayaat, (Aayaat, sing. aayaah: proofs; signs; evidences; lessons; 'verses'), so that they may understand.
But your people (O Muhammad ) have denied it (the Qur'aan) though it is the Truth. Say: 'I am not responsible for your affairs.' For every news there is a fact (i.e. for everything there is an appointed term and you will come to know)."
(Soorah al-An'aam (6):65-66)
Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer quotes a number of ahaadeeth - (ahaadeeth, sing. hadeeth: Sayings narrated from the Prophet, regarding his words, actions or attributes - in his Tafseer of the first aayah. From these is that reported by al-Bukhaaree from Jaabir ibn 'Adbullaah (radhiyAllaahu 'anhumaa) who said:
"When the (following) aayah was revelaed:
"Say: 'He has power to send torment on you from above you..."
The Prophet said:
'I seek refuge with Your Face.'
"...or from under your feet..."
The Prophet said:
'I seek refuge with Your Face.'
'or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another."
The Prophet said:
'This is lighter' or '...easier.'"
(Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (Eng. trans. vol 6, p.120-121 no. 152)
It is reported by Muslim from Sa'd bin Abee Waqqaas (radhiyAllaahu 'anhu) who said:
"We went along with Allaah's Messenger until we came to the mosque of Banoo Mu'aawiyah, so Allaah's Messenger entered and prayed two rak'ahs so we prayed along with him. So he called upon his Lord for a long time, then he said:
'I asked my Lord for three things: I asked Him that He should not destroy my nation with a deluge so He granted me that: I asked him that He should not destroy my nation with famine - as happened to the people of Fir'awn so He granted me that: and I asked Him that they should not fight amongst themselves - but He refused me that."
From Khabbaab ibn al-Aratt, (radhiyAllaahu 'anhu), who said:
"I came to Allaah's Messenger on a night in which he spent the whole of it in prayer until it was fajr, so Allaah's Messenger concluded his prayer with tasleem. I said: 'O Messneger of Allaah: You have prayed a prayer this night the like of which I have not seen you pray.'
Allaah's Messenger said:
'Indeed it was a prayer of hope and fear. In it I asked my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, for three things. He granted me two and refused me one. I asked my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, that He should not destroy us with that which He destroyed the nations before us - and He granted it to me; I asked my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, that He should not overwhelm us with an enemy from other than us - so He granted it to me; and I asked my Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, that He should not cause us to divide into separate groups each attacking the others, but He refused me that.'"
Reported by Imaam Ahmad, an-Nasaa'ee and at-Tirmidhee.
You believe in these Aayaat and you believe in the narrations which are authentic from Allaah's Messenger so why will you not reflect upon them? Why will you not reflect upon them?
Why will you not attribute these misfortunes which occur to deficiency in your own practice of the Deen so that you turn back to your Lord and save yourselves from the causes of overwhelming destruction?
So fear Allaah O servant of Allaah and look to your affairs and repent before your Lord and correct your way towards Him. Know O nation that these punishments which have come upon you and these trials that have been inflicted upon you are your own doing and due to your sins. So for each chastisement repent and turn to Allaah and seek the refuge of Allaah, the Most High, from the trials; the material trials relating to the person: killing, injury and being forced from ones home; trails relating to wealth: decrease and loss: and trails relating to the Deen (the way of life prescribed by Allaah) - the doubts and desires which assail the hearts and keep the Ummah away from the Deen of Allaah, and keep it away from the way of our Pious Predecessors (Salaf) and which lead it to destruction. The trials of the heart are the worst and the most severe of all the trials in this world since worldly misfortunes when they occur can only cause loss in this world, which will pass away anyway, whether sooner or later but trials relating to the Deen cause loss of this world and the Hereafter:
"Say (O Muhammad ) : The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!"
(Soorah az-Zumar (39):15)
O Allaah, we ask you whilst awaiting fulfilment of one of the duties You have made obligatory upon us - that You make us of those who take heed of Your Signs and receive admonition when Your punishment descends.
O Allaah, grant that the Islamic Ummah and its leaders truly turn back to You in open and in secret, in their sayings and their actions so that the Ummah is rectified, since rectitude of the rulers is a cause of the rectitude of the Ummah.
O Allaah, we ask you that You rectify those in charge of the affairs of the Muslims and that You grant that they are able to take heed from events and that You direct them to that which You love and is pleasing to You - O Lord of the worlds.
O Allaah, we ask You that you keep away from them every evil adviser - indeed You have full power over everything.
O Allaah, guide them through good advisers to that which is good - those who will advise them and encourage them in good - O Lord of all the worlds.
O Allaah, whoever amongst the advisers of those in authority over the Muslims is not a sincere adviser to them, and is not sincere to the people them remove them and replace them with those who are better than them - O Lord of all the worlds. O Possessor of Majesty and Nobility.
All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all the worlds, and may He extol and send peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, upon his family, true followers and all his Companions.