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Disasters happen everywhere now. The Tsunami in Japan, lately; the flood in Wasior, Papua; the tsunami in Mentawai islands, and the eruption of MountMerapi in Yogyakarta.
The one that is still imprinted in my mind and will never be forgotten is the disaster on Wednesday, September 30, 2009, precisely at 17:16 in Western Indonesia time, coinciding with 12 Shawwal 1430 - eleven days after Muslims worldwide celebrate Iedul Fitr, the time when the devastating earthquake in Padang (Sumatera Barat, Indonesia) and surrounding areas with the power of 8.5 on the Richter scale. Because of the severity of the earthquake happened, to be easier to remember, many people give the name for the disaster that have pulled off thousands of lives and destroyed many buildings in Padang town and surrounding areas as well as create millions of tears flowing with the 30S-2009 EQ (30 September 2009 Earth Quake).
I still remember well the atmosphere in an earthquake that happened, at that time I was in Payakumbuh – in my house; suddenly the land like swinging for several minutes, all of us who were on the houses scrambled out. I never thought at that time, if what I had just undergone at that time came from the sea near Mentawai islands, and suffered the most severe impact was the city of Padang. And then the unrest arise in my mind when the evening news about the earthquake facts aired by TV One (one of Indonesian News Television Station) that one of my nieces (whose age was 13 at that time) came to be the victim, serious injury, and after being treated at the ICU room of Siti Rahmah Hospital in Padang for two and a half months, finally Allah Subhanahu Wata 'ala took her to Him on 17 December in the same year, 2009, on Friday night, coinciding with evening of 1 Muharam 1431 Hijriyah; she had her last breath at the time I tried to raise a number of people who cared to become the blood donors for her at the branch office of Indonesian Red Cross, Padang.
Still clear in my memory, when she was alive, when we were chatting with her, joking, assumed her suppose in her adult time - married, had children, grandchildren and so forth ... she replied that she did not want to be an adult; wanted to be kid forever and after. At the end, the disaster had turned out that this is the meaning of all what she expressed; as a matter of fact, she had told us that far before the disaster occurred, she had got such some signs that she would not live longer and passed away before she grew to be an adult and….and….and…!
Tears were still not dry by any previous disasters, and now in another streak came other disaster befall this world.
Who is to blame for all these tears pourer ? No one in this world who want things like the 30S-2009EQ, the great flood in Wasior, Tsunami in Mentawai, the eruption of Merapi mount in Yogyakarta, or the tsunami in Japan lately happen in their environment; occur in the family - relatives - or their friends; happen to all that they love. But here, Allah wants to show His power – His Superiority that He is the one who has everything in the entire universe, not a single creature in the world capable of dealing with His power.
We can not deny the truth of a number of opinions which mention the causes of the collapse of the traditional market in Padang, Ambacang hotel, Hotel Mariani, LBA Padang, Primagama, and hundreds of buildings and other people's houses and everthing inside them, or all of the destroyed property from the disaster in Wasior, Mentawai, and Yogyakarta and Japan as disaster or doom, punishment, exam, and there is also a call as a reprimand or warning. However, in fact, besides the four bad lucks that befell their victims, there is another term that needs to be mounted by all those who believe - even tend to blaspheme about the x-factor is behind the turmoil 30S, namely Bala. The fifth thing is that I quickly became B-PRED; Bala, Punishment, Reprimand, Exam, and Disaster.
In my previous writing on Flood and How to overcome it, I have mentioned this term and discussed it in a glance, now I will try to explore more on this one. For more details, let us discuss one by one on all of natures that stand behind all the disaster or the catastrophe.
Bala, is a bad incident that befell the innocent people, or have never committed a sinful act as done by those who invited the occurrence of a disaster, but they were in the environment or with people who do the sins. If we take this condition into parables, they were not the ones whose live wallowing in garbage and filth, but, owing to the condition that they lived in the location of waste and dung - eventually they too joined the taxable smell. Or like saying, someone else ate jackfruit, the were exposed to the sap; being subjected to the torture actually were those who have a lot of sins, but due to the codition that the innocents did not want to migrate or move from that place, what can make - they are forced to participate in the disaster that had been targeted to those who had become the targets for torture by Allah . As a concrete example, you have already known that the shop where you hang out every day is the headquarters of the drunkard and gambler, but you still sit there and hang out with them. If at any time there is between those who rages and tantrums hit the target, or they were herded by police because of gambling and you went along was thrown into a cell, that is the reinforcements for you.
Punishment is the penalty imposed on those who commit sin and are not too conscious or repent of the mistakes they made. For example: those who do not carry a lot of fasting will be overwritten by the disease that originated from the stomach and psychological (emotional); a son who are rebellious to their mother, then his wife would have difficulty in giving birth, or a daughter who rebel against his father (when still single), then she will never get true love from a man (her husband) in the future or in other words - she will never feel the happiness in married life; or if only the God still predestine her to get a soul mate, the woman which is rebellious to her husband will get a variety of diseases both in her life and her body - both in the world and the hereafter. Still an example, for the points on this one; officials who rob people’s money (corrupt), many of which were hit by various kinds of diseases such as stroke; their children can not be regulated and many are mired in criminal cases, such as the abuse of drugs; many of their children are wrong with their brain because of being fed with stolen money --- a result of all the money that he has robbed are forced to undertake all problems they face.
Punishment that befell a person is not a disaster, because the punishment inflicted upon the people cursed usually comes in sudden, and they may not be evasive or never thought it would be endured; eg. the traders who like cheating their buyers by rigging the scales or hoard items that actually are needed by public; one point, all the merchandise will be destroyed by a disaster - such as fire, earthquake, flood, stolen by other people, riots, diseases and so forth – even though they applied a thousand and one ways to protect the wealth, but Allah always has a way to make it out without rest. And no one thought the greedy traders will experience it.
Reprimand, is a way used by Allah to guide the beloved servant who get tried, either consciously or not to commit a sin. For example, someone who is usually always on time doing sholat in congregation, and because of getting a sudden fortune, he lost himself in holding a party for her friends, he is still busy partying at the time of Azan call. Half an hour after the call to Sholat echoed, the roof of the building where the party done collapsed, all his friends were seriously wounded, while he only suffered minor injuries. That is a warning or reprimand for him.
Exam or in other terms referred to a trial is something that seems bad, happen to the believers --- the people who believe in Allah Subhanahuwata'ala. The God never want to torture him with all that befell: Allah just want to see, to which the levels of belief in His servant to Him. Nabiyullah the best known story in this instance the story of Prophet Ayyub 'alaihissalaam which was tested by the God with skin disease for 7 years; all the children died, his wife left him. Someone who is considered good-hearted, helpful, like charity, always on time and do sholat in congregation, diligent at doing fasting, hobby of reading the Qur'an, happy to do ar say dzikrullah, always happy to tithe and give alms, doing hajj continued with Umrah, worship each month, but still struck a painful or sad things, such as illness or get stolen; it is a test for his faith.
Disaster, is a catastrophe that befell a person or more who basically deserved to have occurred or will occur. The most obvious in this case is the death that afflicts every creature, whether human, jinn (genie), devil, animal and plant life. One thing to clarify is, jinn and Satan also is dying, they will also die after reaching a certain age limit - just the age they are much longer than humans in general - they can reach hundreds of years old even said to have reached thousands of years ; which will lengthen its age until the coming of Judgement is the devil, the devil king. That is, if in a single day there are hundreds of people who are deprived of his life by the angel Azrael; on the same day, also there are hundreds genies and satans thrown their live. In other words, the disaster is a catastrophe that occurs because it is time worth to happen, because it was up to the age or death. For example, you have a bike, no brakes, but you are also desperate to ride; if one day you met suddenly with something in front ... and you are not able to dodge ... no need to continue what will happen. Another example: you know if a snake is a dangerous animal, but you play the hand-play in front of his mouth; if you are pecked, it is sensible to happen.
Many of our society who can not distinguish between bala, disaster, penalty, doom, exams and reprimand, one another. There's also a mention of an accident that befell a deceiver as misfortune or trial for him, even though it is actually a punishment to the fraudster. That unfortunately, there is also a perfunctory mention of a misfortune that befall a person as a punishment - which he calls overwritten when the punishment is those who believe pious and innocent or did not deserve to suffer the consequences of the catastrophe that they have undergone. One thing that is clear is that, when Allah tested His servants, and the servants are able to go through all these tests with patience and put their trust in Him --- then after that time, the God will replace all the losses that he got during the examination period with a double replacement . Just as the Prophet Ayyub ‘Alaihi Salam; had children and more wealth by the God after he got recovered. Or the believers who are sick, after the recovering – the God would immunize him from more diseases, while the believer who got stolen, after the incident usually God will give him a way to get money that tens times more than what he had left, even a replacement is not uncommon later became the livelihood that will sustain his economy and the family in the future time. Subhanallah.
From the description of my writing above, it is clear already, sorrow, tears, cuts, or any suffering due to an incident that happened to one or many creatures in this world, can be singular in nature: as a bala, disaster, doom, exams, or a warning (one of the five- single); can be also in compound, for example a combination of reinforcements, disaster, and warning - this is usually given to those who actually do not become the target of God to be punished, they can still be saved, and the God told them to move away from that environment.
Thus, do not be too obvious to assess a disaster as a punishment. Remember, those ones who are the victims of a natural disaster or tragic events are not always the people who in their lives smeared with sins, who died in his world with suul khatimah (bad end), but not the least among them are those innocent people including children, they all die a martyr and get Husnul khatimah make end their lives. May God put all the servants who are suffering from a disaster a decent place, and hopefully we are still alive can take as many lessons from all that had happened. Amien, ya Rabbal 'Aalamien .... !
Payakumbuh, 13 April 2011