Hurricane-Sandy: The Storm that took us all by surprise:

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For an entire week, New York City was hit with the effects of a hurricane, that knocked it clear off of its feet. Hurricane Sandy, not only rocked NYC, but the entire Eastern-Seaboard of the United States to its very core. Thousands of people without water, heat, or electricity, hundreds who have no place to call home, in the (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) tri-state area alone. This event, which took place over the last weekend in October, has really brought a brand-new sense of both realty & vulnerability, that none of us could’ve ever anticipated, nor were willing to accept, prior to it.

I mean, even I, myself, who has suffered very little, other than missing a whole week of work, couldn’t have possibly imagined that things would’ve turned out this bad, mainly because the effects of last-year’s Hurricane-Irene was nothing, in comparison to the damage witnessed by this-year’s Hurricane-Sandy-The entire city of New York was at a complete stand-still, the subway-system was completely non-functioning, due to immense underground-flooding, in Lower-Manhattan, South-Brooklyn, and in the Rockaways, Queens, and this has not only been the 1st time in my own lifetime, but the 1st time in the entire century-long history of the New York City subway-system, that it was forced to shut-down completely, as a result of a disaster-Whole blocks & sections of NYC, as well as other parts of the Eastern-Seaboard, look just like war-zones, in war-torn, 3rd-World nations, like Breezy Point, Queens, for example: No exaggeration…it looks as though 20 Hellfire-Missiles descended upon this neighborhood. It’s really sad, how damaging this storm has really become. There are people, whom I even know personally, from NYC itself, who have to re-build their lives, all the way from scratch, literally starting from nothing…from zero.

Now, not to down-play the severity of this natural-disaster, but, there are some serious questions, which must & should be on everyone’s minds, regardless to the severity of how, or if, at all, we were affected by this hurricane:

1. Are we, generally, grateful to Allah, our creator, for our lives & possessions?

2. Are we grateful for surviving the effects of this natural-disaster?

3. Are we of among those whom have been affected, by this natural-disaster, yet, are grateful for things not being worse?

4. Are we empathetic and/or sympathetic towards those who may have either lost life and/or possession?

5. Have we done, or are we going to do anything to offer some type of help to those whom we no who have been affected by this natural-disaster?

If the answer to any of the above questions are no, then, we as individuals, as well as a society at large, have some serious problems-There should not be any one of us whom is not grateful to our creator, for everything that we’ve ever acquired or anything which has been denied us-There should never be any of us whom are not grateful for surviving any mishap or tragedy that befalls us-There should not be anyone among us whom are not reflecting upon the plight of either persons whom we know or don’t know, whom have become victims of this natural-disaster-There should not be any of us whom are not willing & able, or whom have not already stared to, help anyone, whom we know or don’t know love, or despise, in need of any form of assistance.

There are actually several things which this natural-disaster should’ve have taught us all:

1. The recognition & acceptance that Allah, the Creator & Lord of the Universe, is, in all reality, in control of everything & we, as created-things, in all reality, are in control of nothing, we merely have the illusion of control.

2. The recognition & acceptance that just because Allah has chosen to spare us, this year from any form of death or destruction, is absolutely no guarantee that we will continue to be spared, from death or destruction in the next years to come, from becoming a victim to this type & magnitude of a natural-disaster.

3. The dire need to be concerned about, how the “other-half” lives, the condition of the other.

4. The recognition of the severity of what has happened & the need to enact action, in regards to volunteer ourselves for the other, in the path of public-service, during this most tumultuous time, during the aftermath & rebuilding of the regions of America hit by this hurricane.

In closing, this is just a simple advice, primarily to myself & then, to others, that we, as Human beings are obligated by Allah, to be of sincere help to others, in any & every way that we can. So, let us truly do that, starting helping those directly within our midsts, wherever we may be in this world-Just be a person of conscience & positive-action for others.

Thanks for reading,

Gareth Bryant/2012

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10 responses »

  1. Does a Muslim’s recognition of the power of allah mean that he or she will be a global warming denier like many on the Christian right?

    Furthermore if we are not in control of anything, does that mean we are not in control of our free will or destiny?

    • We all, as Muslims have to remember that even our free-will, as you’ve mentioned, are still under the umbrella of the Decree of Allah. And, you cannot be in true, complete control over something that has been granted to you, with no effort on your part. Our free-will is, in all-reality, no different than our souls, our bodies, our intellect, our physical/mental faculties, our emotions: all of these things have been granted to us by Allah. Now, bringing it back, full-circle: Yes, the Jinn & Human being have been granted, by Allah, the power of choice. However, there are still limitations to our power of choice. For example: none of us choice whom our parents were going to be, or which families we were going to be a part of, or what ethnic clans/tribes that we were to hail from, or which languages we were to grow-up speaking first, or which lands we were to be born in, or which lands that we will end up dying in: all of these choices are divinely decided for us, by Allah.

      Now, on to your first question: No, as Muslims, we do recognize the seriousness & severe damage that Humans have caused the planet, Earth, which has now become “Global-Warming/Climate-Change”, but even this has been divinely decided by Allah to happen, and even if Humans treated the Earth perfectly, this was bound to happen, anyway, there’s absolutely no way that we could’ve ever avoided something like “Global-Warnming/Climate-Change”. And, we know this because many of the both major & minor-signs leading up to the Day of Standing, deal directly to the changing of typical, normal, geographic/earthly/planetary, environmental dynamics.

      • But is there anything humans do that is not divine decree? For example, if a woman is horribly beaten and raped, did Allah will this to happen? If so why did Allah do this? It makes no sense. Why must a woman accept that she was singled out to be raped through Allah’s will, when billions of other women do not face such problems?

      • Well, in the case of something like atrocities, which Humans inflict upon one another, Allah specifically says, in the Qur’an, that, “Verily, Allah does not oppress the Humans. However, the Humans do oppress themselves.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.10, V.44)…what this means is very simple: If/when Allah decrees something, it always falls under one of two categories: Kawniyyah & Shar`iyyah. Kawniyyah, meaning universal/neutral, is the type of decree in which Allah allows things to occur, within the general Universe as well as/or the planet Earth, even if/when those things occurring, which He has chosen to decree, are completely opposite what Allah is pleased with, like rape, for example, something that Allah clearly hates, yet for reasons beyond our limited, Human, comprehension, He allows to occur, in spite of His immense hatred for that thing. Shar`iyyah, meaning legislative, is the type of decree in which Allows things to occur, as a result of what He is pleased with, as well as what He wants to be done & is done in several ways, but not limited to the following: revelation, reward for those whom are obedient to Him & punishment of those whom are disobedient to Him, safety for those whom are obedient to Him & destruction for those whom are disobedient to Him, granting those whom are obedient to Him the bliss of the Paradise & condemning those whom are disobedient to Him to the punishment of the Fire, in the Hereafter, etc.(Arkan-ul-Iman/Tenets of Faith, Muhammad ibn-Salih al-`Uthaymin)

        I’ve said all of this to say the following: Allah does not oppress people, people oppress one another. There are many things, which are not within our control, which occur that are in some instances very violent, tragic, degrading, etc. However, it is not the fault of Allah that these things have occurred, because those whom have oppressed one another were given free-will, which grants them the choice to either do one thing or another. The way decree happens referring to things happening to us, but not limited to this, is the following: anything that happens to you is absolutely meant to happen, simply because Allah allows it to happen. But, we, as Human beings are given choices, as to how to react to things which happen to us, just Allah says, “It is He who created both death & life, testing which of you will react best.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.67, V.2)

  2. Salam Brother Gareth

    I hope life is getting back to normal in New York. I had a written a similar piece about our possessions in a recent blogpost (www.workfunction.blogspot.com)

    Do you mind if I link your article into my post?

    SubhanAllah it is amazing how we value things that can be eliminated in a matter of minutes and forget about the life that will never terminate

    May Allah make us of those who remember Him SWT and protect us from trials in this world and next

    Wassalam

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