A Lesson From History: The Titanic!
History abounds with cases of people relying on technological break throughs and totally disregarding the might of Allah. That is exactly why many disasters have gone down in history as painful lessons for everyone. Each one of these events is important in the sense that it reminds man that neither wealth, power, science nor technology has any power to resist the will of Allah.
Numerous examples of such incidents can be given. The best known is the famous Titanic, a huge ocean liner 55 meters in height and 275 meters in length, which sank nearly ninety years ago. The Titanic, intended to be an "assault on nature", was a grand project that employed a team of engineers and as many as five thousand people. Almost everybody was absolutely convinced that this ship would never sink. The ocean liner was a masterpiece of technology with many engineering advances that pushed back the limits of its day. Yet those who relied on the technical prowess of the ship did not take into consideration one important fact stated in the verse "The command of Allah is a decree that is made absolute" (Surat al-Ahzab 38) and that everyone will sooner or later meet his fate. Eventually, a minor failure led to the sinking of the ship and advanced technology could not save the Titanic from her bitter end.
From what the survivors of Titanic related, the majority of her passengers gathered on the deck to pray when they realized the ship was about to sink. In many sections of the Qur'an, this tendency of human behavior is repeated. In times of serious trouble and danger, man sincerely prays and seeks the help of his Creator. However, when delivered from danger, they immediately turn away in ungratefulness:
Your Lord is He that made the ship go smoothly for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of his bounty. For He is unto you most Merciful. When distress seizes you at sea, those that you call upon – beside Him – leave you in the lurch! But when He brings you back safe to land, you turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man! Do you then feel secure that He will not cause you to be swallowed up beneath the earth when you are on land, or that He will not send against you a violent tornado (with showers of stones) so that you shall find no-one to carry out your affairs for you? Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a heavy gale to drown you because of your ingratitude, so that you find no helper therein against Us? (Surat al-Isra: 66- 69)
One might never have experienced such a disaster, yet one should always remember that, at any time, one may find life strippedd to its fundamentals. Accordingly, man should always occupy himself with the remembrance of Allah since "the power is wholly Allah's." (Surat al-Baqarah: 165) On the other hand, once a catastrophe strikes, one might not have the opportunity to change his ungrateful attitude towards Allah and seek to repent to Him. Death may be very sudden:
Do they see nothing in the government of the heavens and the earth and all that Allah has created? (Do they not see) that it may well be that their terms are nigh drawing to an end? In what message after this will they then believe? (Surat al-A'raf: 185)