Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad
It can be said with high confidence that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass in the last two decades and that Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent. · There is high confidence that the sea level rise since the middle of the 19th century has been larger than the mean sea level rise of the prior two millennia. · Concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased to levels unprecedented on earth in 800,000 years. · Total radiative forcing of the earth system, relative to 1750, is positive and the most significant driver is the increase in CO2’s atmospheric concentration.
Now there may be many reasons for the natural disorders caused by man: · Emissions of gases from the industries and vehicles, the reason being well known; · Irregular distribution of population: This has not been studied in details it demands. The economic growth has not been uniform on the earth, and the type of the model of the economic growth the economic fundamentalists adopted necessitated population control. But the population control resulted in a great gulf between the population densities of the different parts of the world. The Northern Block saw the thinning of not only the human population but also the animal population in general. The Southern Block witnessed the rise in human population. This has also resulted in a huge gulf between average weights in different populations. The world now has high weight, normal weight and low weight people in significant percentages. In fact the majority of human population is either overweight or underweight.
These differences in the density of population of human beings and animals and the differences in weight would surely cause natural disturbances, and the nature will try to correct this by killing humans and animals where the population is large. If this threat is to be avoided, the North Block must start efforts to restore the animal weight it must share according to an equitable distribution. If it fails to do that death will keep visiting the South Block in one form or the other. Ultimately, death or destruction will not spare North Black either. If the South also follows an extensive population control programme, it will not solve the problem. The bio-mass of animal kingdom has to remain the same, and if human population decreases, it will have three effects: (1) rise of average weight of human beings, (2) the longevity of human life with an increase in the population of the elderly and (2) rise in the population and weight of animals.
It has been argued by many that even the disasters categorised as natural affect humans only where they are vulnerable. So their vulnerability contributes to their sufferings. A natural disaster hitting an uninhabited area may cause no losses to human beings. The loss depends on the density of populations, the type of buildings and several other factors. It has been further argued that human beings are also responsible because their lack of knowledge fails to predict and they fail to take preventive measures even when there are impending threats. According to Qur’an, natural disasters do not only come on account of man’s violations of environmental poise but also due to widespread moral degradation. The most notable example is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah on account of the indulgence of almost the whole population of the twin cities in homosexuality:
(He said); “Do you really have relations with men disconnecting the (natural) path (of relationship) and indulge in the prohibited practice even openly in your gatherings?*” (29: 29) *This is clear that almost the entire community had indulged in homosexuality, and they were the first in the world to engage in this perversion. Further, they indulged in this even publicly. His community had no answer except that they said (to one another in a hateful sarcasm): “Banish them from your city. They are the people who want to remain pure!” (7: 82). At this, his community had no answer except that they (challenged him) saying: “Bring on us the Wrath of God if you (claim) to be right!” (29: 29) He said: “I hate your practices. My Lord! Rescue me and my family from their activities!” (26: 168-169). When Our command arrived, We turned the city upside down and rained on them brimstones as hard as baked clay, spread in layers over one another, marked from your Lord. (God’s punishments) are never far from offenders! (11: 82-83)
This can generate a lot of opposition in the scientific community but the truth remains that according to Qur’an the natural catastrophes can be the result of depraving beliefs and practices. Degradation of morality if it becomes widespread can attract natural punishments. Obviously the current international sciences will find it hard to accept, but this must be noted down as a prediction that the future scientific developments will prove the relationship between natural disasters and degradation of morals and beliefs. Many medical disasters like the various epidemics and HIV/AIDS have direct relationship with morality. Of course, God can intervene in a special way to punish a community if it indulges in widespread mischief. If the disturbances of physical environment at a larger scale bring disasters, disturbances of social and spiritual environment at a large scale may also herald disasters. How this relationship works is not clear at the moment; but as the time marches ahead it is surely likely that this relationship will be unveiled. Environmental equipoise requires a separate full-scale discussion. Here it will suffice to say that:
1.Quran describes all the major players in the ecological balance – animals (birds, insects, mammals, fishes and “invisible” living beings), plants, air, water, mountains, water, canals, rivers, oceans, soil, land, fields, forests, orchards, gardens etc. – as the indicators of God’s creative powers. Their repeated mention in Qur’an is the proof of the importance to preserve the role of each of these players. 2. Qur’an gives the human beings control over the products of the universe, especially the ones on the Planet Earth. It allows them to avail the products of Nature. But at the same time it clarifies that they should be used judiciously and for the general welfare of the people. 3. Qur’an permits human intervention but warns against negative intervention for personal gains. The provisions of God can be remodelled, cleansed and purified for specific purposes, but only the methods and procedures that do not harm the equilibrium and balance are permitted. Those that can seriously hamper this balance are forbidden. 4. Qur’an categorically states that the whole universe submits to the Laws of God and also directs the human beings to serve Him by following His System. God warns that the failure in submitting to His System and the negation of His commands can lead to various forms of natural disasters and afflictions like diseases, famines, floods, huge rains, earthquakes, fall of meteors, destruction of corps by locusts and heavy rains, etc.
Covid-19 outbreak is directly related to the mankind not following the divine commands in choosing their eatables. In China, the meat of many wild animals, not approved by the religion, is eaten. The Corona, according to the emerging evidences, started from bats. Why it has caused more morbidity and mortality in the advanced European countries and America is also yet to be analysed. Future investigations may lead to a link with alcohol and certain other practices. The HIV, HPV, Hepatitis B and other Sex Transmitted diseases have occurred in clear violation of the Divine injunctions regarding sex and Swine Flu has direct relation with the ban on pork. All these have killed the human beings in tens of millions. Hopefully, the Corona outbreak will teach certain lessons to the mankind and will in the longer run prove to be a boon. Hopefully, the world and its governing organisations including the WHO will take more positive steps in implementing what I call Dynamic Paradigm of Health, which necessitates an effective ban on the items and practices that have dangerous impact on health.— Concluded.
—The writer is former Federal Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.