Hurricane Sandy – What does it mean?
Whenever we see a disaster such as the recent Hurricane Sandy that caused dozens of deaths and massive amounts of damage when it slammed into the East Coast it naturally raises questions “Why did it happen?” and “What does it mean?”, especially when it hits so close to home. Many may wonder if this is a punishment from Allah or if it is simply a natural phenomenon. The Holy Qur’an is full of examples of those who have been punished by natural disasters for their wickedness. Indeed, the Promised Messiah foretold the coming of many disasters which would strike the people of this age due to their wickedness and denial of Allah and his Messengers. However, he also acknowledges that not all natural disasters are punishments from Allah and that some are simply natural phenomenon. Only Allah knows whether or not a disaster is a punishment from Him, so it is best not to go about proclaiming it to be so. It may very well be a trial for us to see how we respond to the situation.
Regardless of whether we feel this is divine punishment or if it is simply a trial that we face in our lives, our response should be the same; we should observe our obligations to Allah and to humanity. We should remember those who have been affected by this disaster in our prayers and we should do whatever we can to help those in need. We should not look upon those who have been affected by this tragedy with harsh judgment, rather we should turn to them with compassion and reach out to them. Also, we should use this as an opportunity to self-reflect on whether or not our actions are pleasing to Allah. Engaging in Istighfar and self-reflection with the intention of bringing about pure changes within ourselves, so that our own shortcomings don’t incur Allah’s displeasure is the appropriate response.