There Are No Atheists On A Sinking Ship


“There are no atheists on a sinking ship” — this is an old and well-known saying. It is natural for a troubled human being to call out to Allah, and even the strongest of atheists turn to Allah when they are faced with adversity.

As Allah says in The Quran 31:32,

And when waves come over them like canopies, they invoke Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, there are (some) of them who are moderate (in faith). And none rejects Our signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful.

This recent video by Think Islam captures the essence of the above idea really well. When faced with turbulence in an aeroplane, the atheist calls out to Allah, but the minute everything gets back to normal, the state of denial kicks in.

Also, the plane’s number too bears reference to a Quranic ayah.


1 comment

  1. I would like to provide some background to what Brother Sufyan has told us.To start with,I must emphasize that the Arabs were accomplished seafarers since time immemorial .In 14 Surahs the Quran lauds this as one of the bounties which Allah has bestowed on man.By contrast,the camel as a means of travel is mentioned in only 3 Surahs and always in conjunction with ships.It is mentioned one more time in the Quran ,in this respect ,and that as an animal of burden.This suffices to show that the ship was the mainstay of the trade of Quraysh .Then there is Surah 106 ,the Surah of Quraysh,which was the second Surah to be revealed in the Quran. It marvels at the seafaring skills of Quraysh and at their organizational talents which made possible for them to master what the Surah calls:<>This is the annual trade journey which took the ships of Quraysh to India and China and the rest of the lands of Asia which lay in between.The ships of Quraysh,laden with the produce of the Maditeranean lands and of Africa would sail from Jidda in the summer driven by the northerly wind in the RedSea and then taking advantage of the South Westerly Summer Monsoon to sail all the way to India.They return in the winter in order to take advantage of the North Easterly Winter Monsoon which propel them all the way to Jidda.The Quran refers to this crucial role of the Monsoons in making the trade journey possible in this Ayah17.66:<>I now come to the theme of people calling only on Allah when faced by danger at sea.This is mentioned in the three Surahs:29,31,10.These were revealed consecutively in a period extending from late in December,620CE to early in April,621CE.It was then first revealed in the middle of winter when the ships of Quraysh would already be in the Red Sea.Following Arab literary idiom,the Quran would be referring ,then, to a concrete event in which the ships of Quraysh had to sail through a violent winter storm in the treacherous Red Sea.There would then be many survivors who would attest to what the Quran is saying.

Comments are closed.