People Drowned in Disaster: Dishonorable Death?

Earthquakes are signs from Allah Most High. A Muslim has to reflect on Allah’s creation and always be mindful of His signs.
In such times, we should hasten to repent to Allah and pray to Him for safety, to remember Him much, and to seek His forgiveness, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said when there was an eclipse: “If you see anything like that, hasten to remember Him, call on Him, and seek His forgiveness.”

Dr. Rif`at Fawzi, former professor of Shari`ah at Cairo University, states: In times of devastating disasters such as the recent South Asian tsunami, a large number of people are expected to die. In Shari`ah, people who die in such disasters are considered martyrs. Their account is left to Allah who alone knows their intentions and deeds. So, we should make du`a’ for their forgiveness and pardon.
Muslims in such times should hasten to Allah by repenting and should feel compassion towards the victims of this calamity, which is a sign from Allah. They should not gloat over others’ grief. They should also hasten to help the survivors by all possible means.

Moreover, the eminent scholar and renowned da`iyah, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef states: Earthquakes are natural disasters and signs from Allah, the All-Powerful. It is reported that some Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) drowned in the sea and their bodies were not recovered. Houses of other Companions were destroyed over their heads. So it should be stressed that honor and dishonor in death depend on one’s relationship with Allah. Almighty Allah says: [Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware] (Al-Hujurat 49:13).