It is said that disasters are atonements for sins. However, innocent and pious people may also suffer from disasters. How do you explain this?

We have stated that disasters and troubles are atonements for the believers for the mistakes they make in this world. However, innocent and pious people also suffer from these disasters and their lives and properties may be harmed. At this point, the first one of the questions that come to our minds is Shouldnt it be right if the sinful only suffered from these disasters and not the innocent?

It is stated in the verse, And beware and guard yourselves against a trial that will surely not smite exclusively those among you who are engaged in wrongdoing. (Anfal Surah, 8:25) There are some lessons we have to take from this verse; but the first thing that intrigues us is why disasters do not exclusively befall the cruel but also affect the innocent. In other words, when a disaster occurs, the innocent suffer along with the guilty; and the innocent may lose their lives and properties.

The answer to that question is that this world is the place of test and question. In other words, if the cruel and guilty were to suffer when a disaster comes, and if the innocent and pious are protected from it, then a situation contrary to the purpose of test would emerge.

an earthquake happens and only the sinful are dragged out of the debris as dead; the others are well. A flood comes, the cruel are drowned, and the innocent are saved by a mysterious hand. The sinful, who have heard of this, begin to repent, because they think that if they do not repent and perform their worship, they will immediately suffer calamities

As a pre-requisite of the test, when a disaster comes, it covers both the good and the evil together. Thus, the essence of the test is not damaged. If the evil only suffered in calamities and cruelties and the innocent were saved, then the essence of the test would be spoilt. The evil also would have to be good. Hence, people with souls like that of Abu Bakr and people with souls like that of Abu Jahl would be in the same rank. For this reason, sometimes innocent people with no sins face with cruelties; but they receive great rewards for these disasters and cruelties. Disasters are atonements for their sins and cause them to rise in rank. If the victims of disasters are children who were not yet to be taken accountable for their deeds, it is hoped from the mercy of God, who does not leave the least good deed and the least evil deed without a result, that He bestows upon them bliss much bigger than other children receive in the Hereafter.

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