by Murshid F. A. Ali ElSenossi

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

Compared to other species human beings are unique in every way. Biologically humans are more complex than any other life form, but when our metaphysical essence, spiritual and psychological sides are taken into consideration, we may be the most mysterious of all beings in the universe. In comparison to the size of the universe, we are like an atom. However, spiritually we are larger than the universe. The thoughts of a single, conscious human being could affect a powerful impact on the whole universe.
When satisfaction or the pleasure of life is the matter being considered, unfortunately we are no match even to a sparrow. Compared to humans, this little bird receives many times more satisfaction out of life. For example, it does not need to work, buy a house, get married, pay bills, save or worry about its future. Finally, the most important of them all is that the animal has no concept of death. Human beings on the other hand, constantly struggle throughout life, not only physically but also spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. They are under continuous pressure. We regularly make plans that result in disappointment. We are always concerned about our loved ones, relatives, society and, to a certain degree the rest of humanity. According to research, the average human life span is 70 years. When sleep, work (including approximately 182days and 12 hours spent 'on hold'), illness, problems, old age and childhood are taken out of the equation, we are left with about 2 years of contentment. Is this what life is all about? Why is it that we are not content - even with wealth, fame or good fortune? Could it be that our makeup is designed in such a way we can never be satisfied by anything on earth? In most cases, we cling onto transitory things that will eventually disappear from our lives.
The reality is that we are no different to the cattle in a slaughter house, waiting for our turn to go. It is sad to think that even under these circumstances, some people, under the influence of false pride and fake intelligence, think that there is nothing else to life but this life, and they have forgotten that the Supreme Creator of this Universe created this human being with an aim and a purpose.

"Blessed is He in Whose hands is the Dominion; and He has Power over all things; He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving" (Holy Qur'an 67:1-2).

The Merciful states the reason for our existence on planet Earth in the verse of the Holy Qur'an quoted above. The trials and tribulations that we experience are a part of the examination of man's life. As we said, He is 'The Merciful'; everything is provided for the creations of the Earth through His Love, Generosity and Mercy.

"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much" (Holy Qur'an 42:30).

"Whatever of good reaches you is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you is from yourself" (Holy Qur'an 4:79).

The idea that human sufferings are caused by moral degradation is nothing new. It is, however, a concept that those who have a purely materialistic approach, bordering on criminality and blinded to the true realities, will find difficult to accept. The Holy Qur'an (and other Revelations of the Beloved and Merciful God) lead us to the realisation that national catastrophes are generally initiated by the moral degradation of the nation in question. This is why that when a society becomes degraded and decays to such a degree that is loses its utility for a moral civilisation, its destruction is hastened on it. Ultimately, it gets wiped out from the physical framework of life.
This process happens in phases. As a nation degrades morally, in the first instance, they are served with minor warnings so that they may understand and mend their ways. In the end, when they reach the point of no return, the process of accountability is accelerated and they bring their own destruction upon themselves .
This destruction can be accomplished through catastrophic natural disasters such as large scale epidemics, national unrest, social disorder, war, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, tidal waves, meteorite showers and other natural agents of destruction. The history of the world is witness of such happenings, but historians and materialists analyse them differently. Every day of every week we are witness to such events occurring worldwide, but most refuse to acknowledge the causes behind these things - continuing blindly along the path to destruction - the criminal path of 'modernisation' without any guidance or awareness of the Day of Judgement.
In the time of 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab (the second successor to the Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophet), the luminous city of Madina was struck by an earth tremor. His spiritual awareness was so acute that he immediately understood the significance of such an occurrence. He gathered the people together right away and said to them: "This is because of your bad actions. Mend your ways and make peace with your Creator, otherwise, I swear by Allah, if this happens again, I will leave you".

The Relationship between suffering and Morals
Knowledge of the relationship between suffering and moral values should be of immense importance to the leaders of reformation and those who care about humanity and the condition of Planet Earth. If they believe in the Supreme Creator and His Emissaries, then it is easy for them to realise that it is the spiritual and moral degradation of a society which actually becomes the final cause of its misfortune, because it is so given in the final Revelation to mankind, the Holy Qur'an. The history of mankind is full of examples of the downfall and destruction of civilisations. For its leaders, the first step towards improving the lot of a nation is to strive to improve the moral standards of the individuals comprising that nation.
The message of Holy Qur'an on this issue is of great importance for social scientists as well. The domain of cause and effect needs to be further analysed in order to understand the relationship between natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, meteor showers, wars, epidemics, etc., and the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of a society.
In the current scientific approach, reasons for the occurrence of events are attributed solely to physical laws. But with reference to the Divine Book, we see a new dimension in the study of human suffering. From here, we can say that all 'events' are governed by two causes - spiritual causes and physical causes.
The Holy Qur'an also leads us to the idea that spiritual causes precede physical causes. In other words we are saying that physics cannot be separated from metaphysics. In the domain of the social life of nations, metaphysics governs the physics. To everything there is an inward and an outward dimension. According to this understanding, the occurrence of events may be represented as follows:

Metaphysical causes + Physical causes lead to 'Consequences'
Moral Causes + Physical causes lead to 'Consequences'
Meta Physics + Physics leads to 'Consequences'

This is to say that the causes for 'events' first form in the minds of people; filthy minds give birth to filthy events, healthy minds give birth to healthy events.

Changing your circumstances
If you want to change the course of events, you first need a method to purify the minds of the people in order to raise them to a higher state of consciousness and awareness. The law given in the Holy Qur'an is that you cannot change your state unless you change what is hidden within your self. This is revealed in the following verse:

"Truly, Allah changes not the condition of a people, until they first change that which is in their selves" (Holy Qur'an 13.11).

This is the most important social law for change, applicable equally to the individuals, to the societies, to the nations, and to the world as a whole. If you want to change your circumstances you must first change your own self. This is also a reminder to science and the scientist, which relies solely upon the materialistic approach to life, isolated from the moral consequences of the "quest for scientific knowledge". They need to learn that there is also a force beyond the physics, which actually governs and controls the physical laws. This force is controlled by what we call the 'Universal Mind' of the cosmos. On the microscopic level there is mind of an individual, and on the macroscopic level there is also the collective Mind of the Society, of a nation and of the world as a whole. We may equate these as follows:

Mind of the Individuals = Mind of the Society
Mind of the Societies = Mind of the Nations
Mind of the Nations = Mind of the World

As the Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophetsaid "Your actions are your servants". The collective mindset of the societies and of the nations determines their future and decides their rise and fall on the scene of the world. Thus cumulative thought (whether positive or negative) will determine success or failure. If the cumulative "Mind Force" of a particular nation is greater than the "Mind Force" of the rest of the world, it can change the course of history in its favour. A man whose individual "mind force" is greater than the cumulative mind force of the society, can dominate and take the society along with him for better or worse (as demonstrated by many events in the history of the last 100years - the First and Second World Wars, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Middle East and Africa Wars, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia and the deranged philosophy of Apartheid).
The Divine Judgment for tyrants will be demonstrated openly before those who are oppressed on this Earth by such individuals. According to Cosmic law, tyrants are punished in this life, generally publicly (as seen with the downfall of Hitler, Mussolini, Ceausescu and others).
It is possible for the strength of just one man to bend the physical laws in his favour as there is a mysterious relationship between the physical and spiritual laws, i.e. between the Matter and the Mind.

How does it work?
When the mind desires something, matter begins to react. For example, when a person makes up his mind, first of all the matter in his body receives the command of the mind. Then the matter around and in the way of his desire begins to adapt itself according to the mindset of the individual. On a larger scale, the mind of the society shapes matter also. The mind of the world is the sum total of the minds of the nations and collectively it can modify the world's affairs.
"Allah says: I am the Creator of kings and the Owner and Master of kings (and rulers). Their hearts are in My hands. When My servants serve and obey Me, I turn the ruler's hearts towards kindness and compassion. But when My servants disobey Me, I turn the ruler's hearts towards anger and tyranny and they punish them terribly" (Abu Na'eem). Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya says in his book Miftaah Daarus-Sa'aadah (The Key to the Door of Felicity):
"Ponder upon the Wisdom of Allah where He has made people's kings, leaders, and those of authority over them, of the same kind as their own deeds. It is as if the people's deeds appeared in the forms of their kings and leaders. If the people are upright, then their kings and rulers will be upright, and if they turn away (from uprightness), then their leaders will turn against them. And if they oppress and tyrannize, then their kings and rulers will tyrannize and oppress. And if deception and treachery becomes manifest amongst them, then the same will appear in their rulers.
If the people refrain from fulfilling the rights of Allah upon them and become niggardly (regarding their execution), then their kings and rulers will refuse to give them their rights and will become niggardly (withhold their rights from them). And if they take away from those whom they oppress that which they deserve not to take, then the rulers will take away from the people that which they deserve not to take and will levy taxes and impose tasks upon them. And whatever the people unjustly take from the oppressed, their rulers take the same by force from them. So those in charge of the people appear in the forms of their (the ruled) deeds.
And it befits not the Divine Wisdom that the evil and wicked be ruled except by those of the same kind. And since the early [Muslims] were the best and most righteous of generations, their rulers were of the same standing. But when the people turned weak, their rulers turned to be of their own rank". "The Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophetsaid 'When any gain is shared out only among the rich, with no benefit to the poor; when a trust becomes a means of making a profit; when paying the poor tax becomes a burden; when a man obeys his wife and disobeys his mother; and treats his friend kindly while shunning his father; when voices are raised in the places of worship; when the leader of a people is the worst of them; when people treat a man with respect because they fear some evil he may do to them; when consumption of alcohol is widespread; when men wear silk (extravagant clothing); when female singers and musical instruments become popular; when the last ones of this community curse the first ones - then let them expect a red wind, or the earth to swallow them, or to be transformed into animals"[At-Tirmidhi].
Thus, the relationship between meta-physics and physics relative to affairs is like the master-slave relationship. In this case Physics is the slave of the Metaphysics - what manifests in the physical realm is the direct result of the thoughts and actions of the inhabitants of that realm.
The rationale for this view is that the Holy Qur'an guides us that the mind is not 'intelligence' but a characteristic of the human soul. Immoral thoughts and deeds corrupt the soul and degrade the consciousness, which ultimately, to escape further frustration, tension and immorality, may trigger the physical law to its own destruction. In this regard it may choose a well planned suicide, or an un-planned accident, which are very serious matters. The materialists then sit down to investigate the cause of the catastrophe in terms of physical laws, and assign the causes to such and such material reasons; ignoring what actually triggered these physical conditions. Perhaps it was due to the sick soul of the individual or of the society as a whole which influenced the physical forces to obey them and caused whatever had happened.
"Consider the human self, and how it is formed in accordance with what it is meant to be, and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as with consciousness of God! Truly he succeeds that purifies it, and truly lost is he who buries it [in darkness]. The Thamud (people) rejected (their prophet) through their inordinate wrong-doing, Behold, the most wicked man among them was made their leader . . . (and when they hamstrung the She Camel) their Sustainer visited them with utter destruction for this their sin, destroying them all alike" (Holy Qur'an 91:7-12 and 91:14).

Metaphysical causes trigger the physical causes. There is a time delay between them as events are first born in the metaphysical world and after some time they appear in the physical world. In this chain, the human consciousness is the prime mover of the individual, society and the world as a whole. This power of consciousness can overtake the physical forces. In this process things first take shape in the minds of people - thoughts shape the behaviour, behaviour shapes the consequences. Thus spiritual causes precede the physical causes.
Events trigger as the metaphysical causes exceed a critical dimension. The nature of the events depends upon the condition of the individual or the collective (un)consciousness. Change for the good needs good minds. Evil thoughts and deeds will only breed destruction.

Spiritual causes lead to Physical Causes
Physical causes lead to Events
Events lead to Consequences

This is as we have said many times before - you should think, and what you think you should say; and what you say you should do, and what you do should bring success, love, harmony, knowledge, illumination, gentleness, kindness, humbleness, generosity and a well-adjusted self and balance to yourself and to all creations.
Concerning purity of deeds, the Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophet related a story to his companions: "While three persons were walking, rain began to fall and they had to shelter in a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They were unable to shift the rock at all and they said to each other, 'Supplicate to Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)'. So, one of them said, "O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). I never provided my family with milk before them. One day, by chance I was delayed, and I came late while they had slept. I milked the sheep for them and took the milk to them, but I found them sleeping. I disliked providing my family with the milk before them, even though my children were crying from hunger. I waited for them with the bowl of milk in my hand and I kept on waiting for them to get up till the day dawned. Then they got up and drank the milk. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from our critical situation caused by this rock". So, the rock shifted a little but they could not get out. The Prophet added, "The second man said, 'O Allah! I had a cousin who was the dearest of all people to me and I wanted to have sexual relations with her but she refused. Later she had a hard time in a famine year and came to me. I gave her one-hundred-and-twenty Dinars on the condition that she would not resist my desire, and she agreed. When I was about to fulfil my desire, she said: 'fear Allah and do not break the seal (of chastity) but by lawful means' So, I thought it a sin to have sexual intercourse with her and left her though she was the dearest of all the people to me, and also I left the gold I had given her. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present calamity'". So the rock shifted a little more but still they could not get out from there. The Prophet added, "Then the third man said, 'O Allah! I employed a few labourers and I paid them their wages with the exception of one man who did not take his wages and went away. I invested his wages and I got much property as a result. (Then after some time) he came and said to me: O Allah's slave! Pay me my wages. I said to him: All the camels, cows, sheep and slaves you see, are yours. He said: O Allah's slave! Don't mock me. I said: I am not mocking you. So, he took the entire herd and drove them away and left nothing. O Allah! If I did that for Your Sake only, please relieve us from the present suffering'". So with that, the rock shifted completely and they got out walking" (Sahih Bukhari 36.472).
Sincerity and good actions and connection with the Higher Power could transform our circumstances and help us in our earthly lives.
The relationship between metaphysical causes and physical causes is such that on reaching a critical limit, the collective thoughts and misdeeds of the people tips the balance irreparably and triggers the consequences. We get a clue from Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophetabout this relationship who foretold that near the end of the cycle, moral degradation would be at its climax and afflictions would also be at their climax. That is, afflictions are a direct result of moral degradation.
The Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophet also said, "By Him Who sent me with the Truth, this earth will not pass away until people are afflicted with landslides, are pelted with stones, and are transformed into animals" The people asked, "When will that be, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "When you see women riding in the saddle (acting as men), when singers are common, when bearing false witness becomes widespread, and when men lie with men and women lie with women". Due to the evil deeds of the people, their inner natures will be transformed into such things as snakes, wolves, monkeys and swine. To some extent, this will be also be visible on them externally.
"Before the Hour comes, there will be a special greeting for the people of distinction; trade will become so widespread that a woman will help her husband in business; family ties will be cut; the giving of false witness will be common, while truthful witness will be rare; and writing will be widespread."(Ahmad). And near the establishment of the Hour there will be days during which religious ignorance will spread, knowledge will be taken away (vanish) and there will be much large scale killing.
The Holy Prophet

Salutations on The Prophet said, "Near the end of the cycle time will pass rapidly because of indulgence in the pleasures of the world and the forgetting of one's duties towards Allah. Good deeds will decrease, selfishness and miserliness will be the order of the day, then afflictions will appear and there will be much killing. These are sufferings caused by the man upon his fellow man, due to their bad deeds and intentions" (Bukhari). Part of these afflictions include new diseases and strains of diseases that have never been seen before.
A further explanation of why the physical causes are triggered by metaphysical causes may be illustrated by the fact that each atom is not only a stable particle of matter but also the basic living unit of existence; which has an elementary mind of its own. Thus an atom is not a lifeless building block of matter, but an integration of 'life, mass and mind'. Through the faculty of the mind of its atoms, the matter follows and obeys the nature imprinted in its internal memories. Since human beings possess the most developed intelligence, they can, therefore, interact with matter directly through metaphysics via the consciousness of things. Vice-versa, things are affected by the spiritual inclinations of human beings either for good or bad. In other words, metaphysics in the environment affects the physics of the world around it.
The Holy Qur'an summarizes this plainly and clearly in its revelation again and again, warning mankind to mend their ways to save themselves from the consequences of their actions and deeds in this world and the world Hereafter:

"And there befell them the evils of that which they had earned. And [the same will happen to] people of the present time who are bent on wrongdoing, the evil that they earn will fall upon them. They cannot escape the consequences" (Holy Qur'an 39:51).

"Certain it is that the wrong- doers will not prosper" (Holy Qur'an 6.135).
"And [in the end,] the last remnant of those folk who had been bent on evildoing was wiped out. For all praise is due to God, the Sustainer of all the worlds" (Holy Qur'an 6.45).

The world is not in good shape at this moment in time. All of the resources and the capabilities of humanity are being used against one another in order to oppress and control under the guise of human rights, democracy and justice and 'free speech' (which causes great upheaval in the community) when in reality, it is only for greed, more greed and catastrophic greed. The right of free speech is a good thing as long as it does not cause or contribute to harm or evil disorder in the arena of life.
"And when they are told, "Do not make mischief on earth," they answer, "We are but improving things!" Are not they indeed the mischief makers? But they perceive not" (Holy Qur'an 2:11-2:12).
We always say and we ask our Beloved Allah to change the condition of humanity and to unite them in peace and harmony and the helping of one another. But, as we said earlier, the situation is reaching critical mass. My advice to you dear brothers and sisters, to avoid the inevitable consequences, is to 'pull yourselves up by your bootstraps' and be responsible every day and every minute of every day, spiritualise your time, and get the maximum benefit through the Grace of our Beloved Allah. At the end of the day, it is only your self and your actions that you will be responsible for
As Allah has said: "O you who have attained to faith! It is [but] for your own selves that you are responsible: those who go astray can do you no harm if you [yourselves] are on the right path. Unto God you all must return: and then He will make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life]" (Holy Qur'an 5:105).

Salutations and Peace be upon the Seal of all those who came before. And the last of our sayings is All Praise to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And Allah speaks the Truth and He guides to the Straight Path.

References and for further reading:
The Holy Qur'an translations by Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammad Asad
Hadith - Sahih Bukhari, Sunan Abu Dawud, Muwatta Imam Malik
My Universe by Omer Atila Ergi
Doomsday and Life after Death by S. Bashir ud Din Mahmood
Taw'il al Ahadith by Shah Waliyullah.
Betrayal of Tradition Edited by Harry Oldmeadow
Conversations about the end of Time by Umbert Eco and Stephen J. Gould