Finding Wisdoms and Lessons Behind Calamities

Finding Wisdoms and Lessons Behind Calamities

ACTNews, PALU – Living in a disaster-prone country, Indonesians have been very familiar with various kinds if natural disasters. Records and stories of massive natural disasters have been written in various media as well as oral records narrated by our parents and grandparents.

Our people have been used to the stages they have to go through every time disaster happens. From the horror and sorrow of the emergency phase, the post-disaster recovery phase which requires immense patients and fortitude, until the reconstruction phase where victims have to work hand in hand to rebuild everything that has been devastated by the disasters.

One thing that distinguish one event of disaster from another is the wisdoms that the victims learn. Unfortunately, although the post-disaster recovery has passed, some are still coping with the sadness.

With teary eyes, Yunita (38) told her account of the devastating natural disasters which she witnessed.

Among those struggling to let go and take the lessons behind the natural disasters was Yunita (38), a mother of two boys who used to live on Jalan Sungai Manonda in Duyu Village, Palu City.  Her house was located close to Balaroa Housing Complex who was utterly destroyed by soil liquefaction.

More than two months ago, earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction had reduced Palu, Sigi and Donggala to ruins. Ita, as she is commonly called, was trying to learn the lessons that Allah is giving her behind the massive disasters.

Aerial view of the devastated Balaroa Housing Complex in Palu.

A few weeks ago, ACTNews took time to talk with Ita inside her stuffy tarpaulin tent in Duyu evacuation site. She told us that what had happened was a strong warning from The Almighty.

“It was a strong warning. What else could it be? Everything that happened on that unfortunate Friday (9/28) was a warning from Allah,” said Ita softly.

A girl named Ninang, an evacuee living also in Duyu evacuation site, Palu.

She also said that she was still struggling to heal her trauma and sorrow. She was sad not only for her family, but also for other victims of the disasters whose family members were still missing. She was sad for her friends who lost many things due to earthquakes, tsunami and soil liquefaction in Central Sulawesi.

“My friends have lost homes and family members, all swallowed by the soil liquefaction. Their houses are no longer inhabitable. Balaroa was flattened to the ground. Those who were swallowed by the ground were also impossible to find,” said Ita.

Living as a father of an infant is not easy after the earthquake and soil liquefaction

From these harrowing and saddening experiences she experienced and witnessed in Balaroa, Ita was trying to find the lessons and wisdoms that Allah is trying to teach her. One of Ita’s ways to recover is simply by reviving religious activities in the makeshift mosque in her evacuation site. She teaches Quranic lessons for the evacuee children.

“Why religious activities? Because it will constantly remind them, who have lost their homes, of Allah. They must know that, despite the disasters, they must keep upholding Quranic teachings strongly. If they stop learning the Quran due to disasters, what will they be when they grow up? Do they want to be like their parents who can’t recite Quran?” asked Ita rhetorically with watery eyes.

A simple thing Ita does to deal with sadness: reviving religious activities for the children in the evacuation site.

Through teaching Quranic lessons, Ita was finally able to let go and cope with her sadness. Two months after the disasters, when sadness and sorrow came, Ita immerse herself in constant remembrance of Allah.

“When we feel sad again, supplicate as much as we can and try to strengthen our patience. Remember Allah a lot. Insha Allah, disasters can be repelled by remembrance of Allah. The wisdom is clear that Allah will not test us beyond what we can endure. Remember Allah. When the azan is called, stand up to pray. Is the strong warning from Allah not enough?” she concluded. []

 

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