The word "tsunami," meaning harbour wave in Japanese,
became part of the languages of the world in the aftermath of the 15 June, 1896, Great Meiji Tsunami that hit Japan and in
which 21,000 people lost their lives.
In order to understand the tsunami, it is most important to distinguish the
tsunami from tides and waves formed by the wind. Winds blowing over the surface of the ocean set up a current limited to the
upper layer of the sea by raising relatively small waves.
For example; divers with air-bottles can easily dive down and reach still
water. There may be waves of 30 metres or more in violent storms, but these do not set the deep waters in motion. In addition,
the speed of a normal wind wave is up to 20 km/hour, while one feature of the tsunami wave is that it travels at 750-800 km/hour.
The tides move over the Earth twice in the course of a day and, just like tsunamis, can produce currents that reach down to
the sea bed. In contrast to genuine tidal waves, however, the source of tsunamis is not the gravitational force of the Moon
The tsunami represents a long-period sea wave that forms due to energy passing into the sea because of earthquakes,
volcanic explosions and strata collapses connected to these in the ocean or sea bed, tectonic events such as underwater plate
slides, or meteor effects. When the ocean floor changes place at high speed, the whole mass of water above it is affected.
What happens in the sea floor is reflected on the surface of the water, and the whole mass of water, down to a depth of 5,000-6,000
metres, joins in the wave motion. Consecutive swelling and falling may cover an area of up to 10,000 square kilometres.
Tsunamis Have No Effect in Open Seas
In the open
ocean, tsunamis are not the enormous walls of water that most people would imagine; they are generally less than 1 metre high,
with a wave length of around 1,000 kilometres. As can be seen from this, the wave surface is very slightly inclined (1 cm
in 1 km). In deep and open ocean regions, these waves go unperceived, despite moving at the high speed of 500 to 800 km/hour,
since they are masked by normal surface waves. In order to better comprehend the speed of the wave, we may say that it could
compete with that of a Boeing 747 jet. A tsunami that takes place in the open sea will not even be felt by any vessels.
Signs of the End Times
Natural disasters, which cannot be prevented even with technological
means or precautionary measures, show just how helpless mankind truly is.
From the 20th century, characterised
as the "century of disasters," up to the present, there have been catastrophes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornados,
storms, typhoons, whirlwinds and floods, in addition to tsunamis, and these have inflicted terrible damage and cost the lives
of millions of people. When one thinks about these extraordinary phenomena, it can clearly be seen that they bear a close
similarity to the natural phenomena revealed as indicating the first period of the End Times.
According to what is
revealed in the hadiths, the End Times is a period that will come about close to doomsday, and when the moral values of the
Qur'an will be widespread among people. The first period of the End Times will be one when people will draw away from religious
moral values, when wars will increase, and extraordinary natural phenomena will be experienced.
Indeed, in the hadiths
eradicated cities and peoples wiped from the pages of history are reported as signs of the End Times. In those hadiths dealing
with the matter, our Prophet states:
"The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until
... earthquakes will be very frequent." (Bukhari)
will happen in his time." (Ibn Hajar Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 27)
There are two great hadiths before the day of Judgment ... and then years of earthquakes. (Narrated
by Umm Salama (r.a.))
"So many appalling incidents will occur in his time." (Imam Rabbani,
Letters of Rabbani, 2/258)
In the second period of the End Times, God will free people from degeneration and war by means
of the Mahdi. At this time, known as the Golden Age, war and conflict will come to an end, the world will be filled with plenty,
abundance and justice, and Islamic moral values will prevail on Earth and will be widely practiced. No such period has ever
taken place before but, by God's leave, one will be experienced before doomsday. It is now awaiting the time appointed by
Everything is under the control of God. Believers who know this truth and who have sincere faith in God submit
to our Lord in the knowledge that they are following their destiny. God has flawlessly arranged everything, down to the very
finest detail, from the creation of the Earth up to the Day of Judgment. Everything is recorded in the book "Lawh-i Mahfuz."
Everything has already taken place in a single instant in the sight of God, Who is not bound by time or space, and the time
and place of every event has been determined. This fact is expressed thus in a verse:
"Every communication has its time, and you will certainly come to know."