I have recently picked up a book recommended by a tutor of mine "Maisharati Bigar Ka Sad-e-bab" by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhanwi (Shaheed) (trans: Reasons of Societal Decay)
The book has some very strange and some equally haunting essays. Particularly eerie is the report on Ebola/Hog Virus that struck large parts of South America, Phillpines and Africa. The Ebola virus has proved more deadlier then AIDS and has a spookier side; the faces of victims are greatly altered, their skin becomes extremely thick and prickly etc... Even in AIDS the face is altered greatly and victims can hardly be recognized in a years time. But in Ebola things are much worse and patients are often abandoned by families in distress.
Maulana Sahib ties these viruses with the wrath of Allah on how Allah punished past nations with the curse of changing of faces. In Quran we find the story of a group of Bani Israel (Jews) who did not listen to Hazrat Daud (PBUH) and consequentaly Allah transformed them into monkeys and they perished after 3 days. He summarizes that Allah changed the faces of people whose sins can be categorized as follows:
1. Doing things prohibited by Allah
2. Making unlawful things lawful by way of words or corruption
3. Mocking and ignoring those who try to reform society
4. Lastly even ignoring the warnings and teaching of the Prophet.
He writes that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) warned people that in the future this wrath of changing faces may fall upon people again. He listed things which people would make lawful like illicit sex, alcohol, silk, instruments of music. The companions asked that how will they make the unlawful lawful to which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied "by giving it new names!"
This is the point where I shuddered thinking of all the things which we Muslims are making lawful by giving it new names i.e
1. Its not gambling its Insurance
2. Its not interest its bank profit
3. Its not wine its vodka.
We must all pray hard and fast that Allah guides us in such troubled times and keep us well away from the unlawful and give us the strength and the intelligence to rightly distinguish between good and bad.
22 Safar, 1430 A.H