Ra’d is the Arabic term for thunder. Allah the Almighty created the Malaa’ika (Angels) for whom He designated specific tasks. Brother Ra’d is the angel whose task is to control the clouds. Just like one uses voice and a whip to drive cattle, Ra’d uses thunder (voice) and lightning (whip) to drive the clouds. Hence, thunder and lightning are the tools employed by the Angel Ra’d to serve mankind by moving the water- laden clouds along so that rain reaches fields, gardens and crops, which in turn flourish and grow.
Whereas, thunder and lightening can result in a fruitful harvest and lush growth, it can also wreak havoc and destruction. Such is the case with the horrific hurricanes that have recently battered the U.S. and the Caribbean.
When the Almighty’s laws are transgressed, when sin, immorality and perversion take hold and grip a people, when those who know better neglect to uphold truth and combat evil, and when innocents are oppressed, the Almighty Himself holds the people to account and imposes His wrath by returning bad deeds in the form of unjust rulers and destruction in the form of earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, drought and floods. In Islam, this concept is known as the ‘return of deeds’. No one is immune from the immutable law of the Almighty Creator.
In Suratul Ra’d: Chapter 13 Line 11, mankind is warned, “But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it and they will find besides Him no protector.”
Holy Qur’an contains warnings, solutions, protections and promises of rewards. This divine scripture lays forth a clear path to redemption for all of mankind. True believers, who follow and practice Deen ul Islam, are protected from this type of wrath. Such was the case in Khanaspur, Pakistan more than a decade ago when his Eminence El Sheikh Mubarak Ali Shah Gillani was delivering a discourse in his Zavia while a lightning storm was taking place outside. El Sheikh Gillani had previously placed a du’a (supplication) from Holy Qur’an on the wall in the Zavia, which provides protection from lightning. He assured those gathered that they should not worry because the lightning was serving them. Suddenly a lightning bolt struck with great force outside the Zavia. It traveled around in a circle and then rolled inside. Everyone present witnessed the rolling ball of lightning move around. After leaving the Zavia the ball eventually went up and down, melting electrical cables. No one was injured. His Eminence told those present that the Angel Ra’d had come and it was paying respect and acknowledging the superiority of the ones doing dhikr and remembering their Almighty Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala.
Tafsir Suratul Ra’d Part I
Barely two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hovered over southeast Texas for days, dumping upwards of 52 inches of rainfall and causing extreme flooding and over 70 fatalities through Texas, parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, Irma barreled through the Caribbean killing 36, razing entire islands to the ground, and produced unprecedented damage in the U.S., after making landfall in the Florida Keys. The sheer scale and force of Irma led President Trump to refer to the record-breaking storm, as “Some big monster”. A September 11 article in the Miami Herald observed that an RV park with dozens of mobile homes flipped over “looked as though a giant hand had knocked them over with one slap.”
A lesson must be learned from the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Those in the U.S. are not immune from the wrath of Almighty God! Many nations throughout history were obliterated because of their rejection of God Almighty, His Oneness, and the breaching of His Divine Commandments. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked catastrophic destruction and shattered records while leaving behind a trail of unprecedented devastation in the U.S. Although concrete figures are not yet available, rough estimates place the resulting economic damage in the U.S. at over 100 billion dollars. However, these billions do not capture the humanitarian crises expected to ensue from the astronomical impact of the hurricanes’ destruction
More storms are expected to form during the remaining three months of the hurricane season, yet pundits are gripped in a heated debate regarding the cause of these extraordinary hurricanes rather than acknowledge the truth. As those nations affected by Almighty Allah’s might engage in a massive cleanup and recovery mission, they must not hesitate in seizing the opportunity to leave behind immorality and polytheism.
Thunder and lightening are reminders for mankind of the Day of Judgment. And these natural disasters are Divine wrath of the Almighty Creator.