As is stated in the verse, all people, believers and disbelievers, are tested in many ways: sometimes by natural disaster, at other times by something happening in our daily lives, a disease or an accident that befalls us. Another lesson one draws from disasters is that man, assuming himself to be mighty on earth, realises that he is simply weak and actually does not have the strength to cope with disasters, which happen in a moment by the will of Allah. In this chapter, a comprehensive account of types of disasters affecting the earth will be given. Today's advanced level of science and technology inspires man with the feeling that he has control over nature. Typhoons, hurricanes, and tornadoes are natural disasters that people frequently experience. As well as the vibration or shaking of the ground caused by sudden movement or rupture of large masses of rock within the earth's crust or upper mantle, volcanic eruptions are another spectacular form of natural disaster. One of history's worst disasters occurred in 1883 when Krakatau, in the East Indies, erupted explosively, generating a sound-wave heard 3,000 miles away and creating tsunamis up to 125 feet high.
Allah demonstrates how suddenly man can meet his death by means of such disasters and thereby calls on him to ponder the purpose of his existence on earth. One might never have experienced such a disaster, yet one should always remember that, at any time, one may find life stripped to its fundamentals. Yet, a disaster always affects only a particular region of the earth, thanks to nature's delicate balance which is a creation of Allah.
Furthermore, none of these natural phenomena occur randomly; all have a scientific explanation.

No doubt, Allah does not create anything without a purpose; each disaster is a reminder for human beings whose purpose is to save humans from the perversity they are in.
An earthquake may still occur even when the natural conditions for an earthquake do not exist. Yet, after the disaster which reduced Kobe to heaps of rubble, it became apparent that no technology had been available to alert people to the danger. City-dwellers, used to leading comfortable lives, were suddenly confronted with many hardships after the disaster. The same rationale discussed in the section on earthquakes is also true for typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes: if Allah willed it so, man would very frequently be confronted by such natural disasters.
That is exactly why many disasters have gone down in history as painful lessons for everyone. They assume, during the course of their lives, that no misfortune whatsoever will befall them, never thinking that they too are vulnerable to any of those devastating disasters. Allah demonstrates the true nature of this world and encourages man to be prepared for the next life. Certainly, those people who were exposed to various disasters did not know that a natural hazard would throw their life into complete disarray.
What is common to all these disasters is that in just moments they can reduce a city, with all its inhabitants, to ruin. The possibility of a devastating natural disaster always lurks in spite of this protection.

However, by His mercy, Allah protects man and with such disasters reminds him, now and then, that he has no control whatsoever over his life. With disasters, in only a matter of seconds Allah may take back whatever He has granted man. News about disasters, accidents or epidemics surely makes us feel sympathy for the sufferers. We indeed share their sorrow; however, as disasters recede into memory, we become less concerned and such an attitude proves to be a passing interest for us. These outbursts of nature are reminders to all mankind that we have no control whatsoever over the planet. Once we immerse ourselves in the flow of daily life or face personal problems, we quickly develop a sense of apathy and remain indifferent to those who have been through disaster. This event was the worst volcanic disaster since Mount Pelee annihilated St Pierre in 1902.

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