Science tells us that plate tectonics is crucial to the survival of life. The carbon cycle requires the crust to sink to the inner earth as it does in earthquakes. Then lava must come back up through volcanoes. No carbon cycle would mean an unreliable supply of the building blocks of life.
Is this comforting when you’ve lost your family? Definitely not. And what about the idea that this is part of a Divine plan? It may be comforting to some, but to many it will be unsatisfying.
What do we lose when we lose a human? We lose a universe in miniature. We lose a masterpiece that never existed before and will not exist again until the Resurrection. We lose a node in the interconnected web of life. We lose a source of ideas, solutions, and passions. We lose a being that God loves with the love of a thousand mothers.
As hard as it is to reconcile God’s love with God’s capacity for destruction, we must try. I cannot accept that God ravaged Haiti out of hatred. How can anyone love Haiti more than the One who created them, who gave them eternal souls, who formed them in the womb, who sustained them in life and who will resurrect them after death?
Some will say that God is dying in Haiti. I cannot say that Allah is dying and dead because I believe He is Al- Hayy, the Living, and As-Samad, the Eternal. And yet I also think that He feels the loss of the Haitians far more acutely than any mortal ever could. In one sense, they are not lost to Him because they have returned to Him. But He knows more than anyone that the living are different from the dead. He knows that they have lost the capacity to earn reward in His Paradise (except for continuous charity and the like).
As for the Haitians that He chose to live, they have received a gift and a test. The gift is the chance to live with the certainty that life is finite and precious. The test is the combination of poverty and fear that they are experiencing now. The aid that is coming from around the world is also a test. Will Haiti’s citizens show gratitude or will they be ungrateful? Will they allow foreigners to repossess their country or will they fight for independence?
I know you, my readers, don’t agree with a lot of this. I hope this doesn’t make you angry. But this is what I believe. This is who I am. And this inspires me to first, pray to Allah that He protects the Haitians. And second, it inspires me to give what I can to uplift Haiti as well as to encourage my friends to do the same. I know your heart will lead you to do likewise, even if your reasons are entirely different.