postponed to the Last Judgement, while the punishment for the believers’ faults is in part given in this world.1
Third Question: What is the reason for this disaster, which arises from the wrongdoing of a few individuals, occurring to a degree generally throughout the country?
The Answer: The general disaster results from the wrongdoing of the majority: most people in effect participate in the actions of those tyrannical individuals by supporting them either actively or morally or in some connection.
Fourth Question: Since this disaster of an earthquake results from wrongdoing and is atonement for sins, why are the innocent and those not at fault struck by it? How does Divine justice permit this?
The Answer, again in regard to its meaning: Since this matter concerns the mystery of Divine Determining, we refer you to the Risale-i Nur and here only say this:
And fear tumult or oppression, which affects not in particular [only] those of you who do wrong.2
That is, beware of the calamity or disaster which when it occurs is not restricted to wrongdoers but strikes the innocent as well.
The meaning of the above verse is as follows: this world is a field of trial and examination, and a place of striving where man is accountable for his actions. Accountability and examination require that reality remains veiled so that through competition and striving the Abu Bakr’s may rise to the highest of the high and the Abu Jahl’s may enter among the lowest of the low. If the innocent remained untouched by such disasters, the Abu Jahl’s would submit just like the Abu Bakr’s, and the door of spiritual and moral progress through striving would be closed and the mystery of accountability spoiled.
Since Divine wisdom requires that oppressed and oppressor are together afflicted by disaster, what then is the share of the wretched oppressed of Divine mercy and justice?
It was said in reply to this question: for them there is a manifestation of mercy within the wrath and anger in the disaster. For just as the transient pro
perty of the innocent becomes like alms and gains permanence, the relatively little and temporary difficulty and torment is a form of martyrdom for them
Furthermore, in abandoning an abrogated and corrupted religion, people like the Russians do not incur Divine wrath to the extent of those who betray a true and eternal religion which may not be abrogated. Thus, the earth leaves them at present, and displays its anger towards those here.