This research aims to examine the extent to which eruptions and earthquakes are explained using religious terms of reference within Islamic countries, and those where Muslims constitute a significant minority. Is the notion that disasters represent divine punishment so pervasive that the only reaction for the devout believer is passive acceptance of suffering or, alternatively, is the innovation of policies of disaster reduction acceptable theologically?
Information is derived from: bibliographic sources; archives; questionnaires; and interviews.
There is a distinctive theological perception of natural disasters within Islamic thought. Although the inhabitants of Islamic countries may explain earthquake and eruption losses in religious terms, there is little evidence to suggest that this inhibits the introduction of programmes of planned loss reduction. Relief is a generally acceptable response for both aid donors and recipients.
The impact of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes is not as well researched as those occurring in countries with a Christian ethos. Generalizations have had to be made from a more limited set of examples. More detailed research is required both within the countries affected and in the languages used in hazard‐exposed Islamic states (e.g. Arabic, Urdu and Farsi).
Introduction of programmes of hazard reduction is generally possible in Islamic countries, but requires theological justification.
In comparison with the study of earthquake and eruption impacts in countries with a Christian ethos, little has been published on disasters and Islam.
Chester, D.K., Duncan, A.M. and Al Ghasyah Dhanhani, H. (2013), "Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and Islam", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 278-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2013-0079Download as .RIS
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