Last week, Shaykh Khaled could not deliver the khutbah because he was busy with the end of the semester. This week, he has been suffering from health challenges and complications, which is quite unfortunate. I would assume that his stress level is very high, especially given the current circumstances that we are witnessing in Palestine. The stress of being a professor, with all that that entails, the challenge of dealing with regular health problems, and the great grief that burdens us all in this current moment unfortunately all combined so that, this week, he fell ill and is not able to give this khutbah. Thus, I will do my best to fill the space. If I offer something of value, alhamdulillah, and if I misspeak, it is my own fault and not the fault of my teacher.
In the khutbah today, I want to expand and move on to a different nexus point that continues our discussion from last week. Before we begin, I want to quickly summarize some of the main points of last week's khutbah so that we can transition to what I think is worth mentioning this week.
Last week, we discussed the weaponization of morality for the sake of personal gain, as well as discussing its opposite: a commitment to moral thinking and its prioritization over personal gain. We did so by examining the historical example of the tribe of Banu Nadir during the time of the Muslims, and by analyzing the allegory of the palm trees planted in front of their fortress. We said that these palm trees perhaps represented moral values, a veneer, if you will, behind which Banu Nadir attempted to mask the rot of their treachery and deceit. From behind this veneer, they waged their war against the Muslims.
One of the reasons that I said this last week, and I did not mention this in last week’s khutbah, is because of a verse that comes later in the surah. The verse about the palm trees comes in the first six verses, and the chapter goes on, after the palm trees, to talk about the splitting of the war booty and the moral challenge that it presented for Muslims at the time, given their extreme financial destitution. That is a whole topic of its own. It was another moral success by the Muslims. The surah returns to the moral failure of Banu Nadir and those who stand against the Muslims of that time. It says of them:
They will not fight you all together, save in fortified towns or from behind walls. Their might is fierce among themselves. You suppose that they are together; yet their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who do not understand (Q 59:14).
I translate this to mean: “They will not fight you or oppose you collectively, save in fortified strongholds or from behind walls. Their discord or their conflict between themselves is fierce. You suppose that they are together, yet their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who lack moral sense.”
This is the verse that made me think the palm trees were yet another allegory, because I also read this verse as an allegory. Yes, technically, Banu Nadir had a fortress that protected them from the siege of the Muslims, and they could not meet out in open battle. This is correct, but is God making a comment here on the lack of courage coming from Banu Nadir for fighting from behind walls? Think back to Surah al-Saff, which we mentioned in the previous khutbah. In the tafsir, Shaykh Abou El Fadl mentioned that in modern warfare, in comparison to medieval warfare, being in solid ranks in close proximity is not necessarily helpful or useful. In that case, the enemy knows exactly where everyone is, and they enemy could cause a blast that would cause significant damage.
There is a more metaphorical understanding of what the saff or “the ranks" mean, and that is a moral unanimity and solidarity. Here, when God says “they will not fight you collectively, save for in a fortified stronghold or from behind a wall,” what immediately came to my mind was not only the stone from behind which they opposed the Muslims, but the palm trees. Banu Nadir did not take opposition with Muslims shooting towards their stone walls, but they did take opposition with a few of their palm trees being cut down. They took opposition with the palm trees because palm trees were a unified symbol of something beautiful, and valued by Arabs in the Peninsula. It was something that anyone and everyone could feel the impact of if they were to be lost. Banu Nadir accused the Muslims of being immoral, militarily expedient, and throwing aside an ethical standard. They questioned, "If you Muslims are so ethical and moral, why would you cut down the palm trees that are beloved to us all?"
Last week, we said that the metaphor of the palm trees has changed in our current age. Today, they stand as the United Nations as a whole, the United States of America, the ideals of democracy, the ideals of international law, and the ideals of free press and free speech. All of these are weaponized, almost like a tank. They protect the aggressor when anyone levels any accusation in their direction. From within the tank, they can also shoot and accuse other parties of a lack of moral sophistication and an inability to abide by international standards, which they very summarily divide into “terrorism” and “non-terrorism.”
There was a very interesting bit of language in last week's khutbah that caught my attention and I subsequently detailed. That was the nexus between the language of cutting down the palm tree standing on its roots, and another verse in the Musabbihat, which are the five surahs that start with, “Sabbaha lillaahi,” in Surah al-Jumu'a, when the Prophet is left standing at the pulpit as Muslims ran to make purchases, because merchants did not come to Medina often. There was a very close similarity between the language used in both instances, and I have delved into this in the previous khutbah.
What I find interesting about these five surahs is that they tend to have a verse or two that use a very obscure style of language that is not all that common in the Qur'an, that almost seem to serve as a connection point, a node, to another surah. One such case is that Surah al-Hashr has a node with Surah al-Hadid. In Surah al-Hadid, the verse that I quoted at the very beginning, translates to:
We have indeed sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and We sent down the Book and the Balance with them, that the people would uphold justice. And We sent down iron, wherein are great might and benefits for mankind, and so that God may know those who will help Him and His messengers unseen. Truly God is Strong, Mighty (Q 57:25).
There is this very interesting language. The “b’ass shadid” that we read about in Surah al-Hashr was this conflict, the seeming projection of a unanimous front that projected strength to the Muslims and made them feel surprised or perhaps even doubtful as to whether their military campaign against Banu Nadir would be successful. There was this projection from Banu Nadir that they were strong and had strong allies. “We are behind stone walls and palm trees, and we have the language of morality that we can wage upon you as a weapon in this psychological warfare.” That was how the phrase was used. But that same type of language also appears in Surah al-Hadid, in the verse that we just said, “And We sent down iron wherein there is great conflict or difficult and benefits or goodness for mankind” (Q 57:25).
So, again, b’ass shadid arises. There are several other instances in the Qur'an where this term refers to military might, but those are quite separate and obviously not linked to something here that could be read very metaphorically.
I quickly want to refer to a few verses before, to understand the impact of what I believe to be the main verse. I think perhaps the tafsir might agree, as it highlights this verse as the dhikr, the very special verse in Surah al-Hadid. But there is something to consider here. There is a verse, just a few verses before, that says:
No misfortune befalls the earth nor yourselves, save that it is in a Book before We bring it forth—truly that is easy for God— (Q 57:22).
The point here that I want us to emphasize is the challenge of calamity, trauma, and conflict. Immediately after that verse, God gives more context to understand the verse before it. Why would God decree the reality, not the specifics, but the possibility for trauma and difficulty?
Know this: this is so that you do not despair over what good has escaped you, or exult unduly over what good has come to you. God likes not the self-centered or the self-absorbed (Q 57:23).
I have taken some liberty with that translation, but this is how I understand the verse. What is the contrast? The contrast comes a mere two verses later, which we already discussed: “We have sent Our messengers. We have sent the book. We have sent the proof. We have sent with them the balance, the mizan, so that people will rise, uphold and establish justice” (Q 57:25).
What is the connection between the great teachers that are trauma, conflict, difficulty, pain, and the concept of balance? If we look into the tafsir, it talks about how Surah al-Hadid is a metaphorical example for the soul of a believing, just person who undergoes the fire of transformation through pain and difficulty, and who re-emerges out of that like a solid piece of iron—strong, principled, unshakable, and undeterrable—in order to uphold what the messengers have sent with the clear proofs, which is establishing the balance.
I know that the first khutbah was a heavy lift, but perhaps if we go through a few examples, we can think about how to make sense of it. There is a recent article from CNN published a day or so ago about the change in language that the White House is now using with regards to Israel's military operation in Gaza. Some of it reads: “Joe Biden held Israel closer than any American president ever has in the horrific days after the Hamas attacks on October 7. But more than two months later, following days upon end of Israeli strikes in Gaza that have killed thousands of civilians, unprecedented tensions over the war are widening between the White House and the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden accused Israel, for example, of carrying out ‘indiscriminate’ bombing in an off-camera political event this week. He used exceedingly blunt language, which typically causes pushback from Israel’s leaders, who insist they try to spare civilians but accuse Hamas of using innocent Palestinians as cover. Diplomatic rifts are deepening as a new US intelligence assessment, exclusively reported by CNN on Thursday, shows that nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions used by Israel in Gaza have been unguided so-called ‘dumb bombs.’”
At the beginning of this conflict, there was almost a 100% tacit green light approval from Biden's administration. Israel could do no wrong, and Palestinians could not even be bothered to be mentioned. In fact, Biden stood at a lectern and openly lied about seeing images of decapitated Israeli babies. He never apologized, and he never walked his claim back. There was a half sentence from a White House spokesperson who eventually admitted that the President and his officials never actually saw evidence of the beheaded babies, and were simply going off of claims made by Israel's government and media. It was a very quiet walk back, not a public one, and was not even done by Joe Biden himself.
Nonetheless, that was the language that Biden and his administration chose to was employ, knowing well that it would result in genocide. I do wonder whether this language has begun to change, given the recent NBC News poll that seem to suggest upwards of 70% of young Democrats fully oppose Joe Biden's response to the military operation in Gaza, as well as the overwhelming international pressure from demonstrators and the recent near-unanimous UN declaration that opposed the war in Gaza and called for a ceasefire.
It seems that the White House is starting to realize that the Israeli government has become much like a rabid dog whom they thought had a strong leash on, but in reality, they clearly have little to no control over, and the consequences are starting to burst at the seams. The conflict is starting to show, and it seems that the U.S. is concerned about its regional partners and its other goals in other regions, and Israel is once again proving to be a weak Achilles heel for the United States.
Let us look at another few news items. This is from an NBC News article published in early December. In it, they speak about a video filmed about two weeks after a hospital in Gaza was forcibly evacuated after Israeli forces came in. If you remember, when Israeli forces took over the hospitals in Gaza during the ground assault, there were alarm bells being rang by the international community, including organizations like Doctors Without Borders, that the natal care units would be shut down, and the children and the babies would not be able to be cared for. They told Israeli forces, "Leave the hospitals alone," to which Israel replied, "No, we must go into the hospital because it has Hamas controlled tunnels underneath."
They showed this purported base with what they claimed to be evidence of Hamas activity. An Israeli military official made the comment, “There is a list,” referring to a supposed list of Hamas members who took shifts guarding hostages. In reality, the list was a regular calendar. This resulted in a viral video that then got mocked for another month, but of course, the intent of the video was an attempt to beef up the Israeli propaganda as to why they can flatten any and every structure, including universities, mosques, churches, and hospitals. In any case, Israeli forces evacuated this hospital, despite the international outcry about what would amount to a general palm tree: the lives of newborns, infants and children.
The article reads, “Filmed about two weeks after the hospital was evacuated, the footage appears to show at least three of the five dead infants, with their bodies putrefying, in close proximity to catheters and ventilators…One baby is seen decomposing while lying alone, appearing to still be connected to an oximeter with a green oxygen tank nearby, as insects appear to crawl on its chest. A bedsheet is used as a soft pillow, and an empty bottle and a medical glove box are shown closer to the bed’s edge.”
Just this week, Al Jazeera published eyewitness accounts from the individuals who gave this testimony: "Civilians sheltering inside a Gaza school killed execution style.” Family members searching for missing loved ones say they found their dead bodies inside classrooms, killed execution style. The dead included men, elderly people, women, children, and even newborn babies.
What does Israel and the United States have to say about this? We saw images of flipped cribs immediately after October 7th, yet there were no reports, nor did any international bodies come to verify exactly what happened. There was no investigation. Immediately, everyone was ready to take the hearsay of the Israeli government, who were known to be open liars at this point. If you take anything that the Israeli government says at face value, I do not hesitate in calling you an absolute idiot. You are an idiot if you accept what they say. If Joe Biden can stand at a press conference and cast doubt on the figures that come from the Gaza Health Ministry, this is going to be a “he said, she said” hearsay until the last moment.
As far as I am concerned, anything Israel says is a lie until proven absolutely true. Unless it is them admitting to their own crimes, which they are doing on a consistent basis, then I will believe them.
Yet another report has come out from their own news channel that seems, yet again, to suggest that the vast majority of the death and the destruction that came from the Nova Festival had to do with Israeli helicopters opening fire on its own people, exercising the Hannibal Doctrine because they were terrified. They did not know how to respond, so they just shot at everybody Go review the footage of the kibbutz. There were tank marks all over the grass and rooms were blown apart. What kind of weaponry do we think Hamas has? Who blew that place up? Their own survivors say that their family members were killed in crossfire, and Israel has been shutting them up.
We saw the images of the flipped cribs, and were told that it was the big bad wolf Hamas with sharp claws and big, bushy tails that came to cut off body parts and bake children alive. Of course, there is no corroboration. We do not even have on record the people who have said this, nor do we have the eyewitness testimony. Here, we have a great number of civilians who are all reporting the exact same thing: They had to evacuate the school, they came back days later looking for their children, and they found dead bodies with bullet holes in the back of their heads.
There is an international outcry at the suggestion of any harm towards an Israeli newborn child. They made an absolute stink about any doubt of Israeli claims against Hamas, saying, "Oh, it is ‘believe all women’ until an Israeli woman claims to be sexually assaulted.” Yet again, they weaponize and place veneers on the rotting teeth of the lies that they are perpetuating, and they spray mouthwash in an attempt to hold back the stink of their moral decrepitness. They accuse the entire world of doing something, and then they do the exact same themselves.
I think many of us have been re-following Norman Finkelstein in the last 60 days. Of course, Professor Norman Finkelstein is a celebrated political scientist who has dedicated the vast majority of his scholarship to Palestine and Gaza, and he is an expert in the field. He is also an expert in understanding international law. He has spoken at great length about how, for the last few years, he felt that the world had given up on Gaza in particular, because he himself had also given up and thought that there was no recourse. All of the work that he had put in, the hours upon hours, amounted to nothing in his mind.
He then woke up to the news that the modern-day concentration camp of Gaza had been broken out of by those who were imprisoned inside of it. He wrote a long post celebrating, full of joy that he got to see this day. As he puts it, “they broke out of the prison.” He was elated.
As time went on, it became more clear to him that perhaps some atrocities occurred on October 7th, and he then immediately found himself in a moral quandary. He has admitted this is a difficult position for him, because he would often rely on his mother or his mentor, Professor Noam Chomsky, when in a moral quandary. However, in this situation, for one reason or another, Chomsky was unable to provide him with the moral clarity that he seeked.
So Finkelstein resorted to reading old records from Black abolitionists and came across the well-known narrative of Nat Turner, whom he deems a very educated man. Turner was a man who was very literate with the Bible. Turner organized and led an attack, akin to a slave revolt, where it is reported that he killed indiscriminately. He and his co-conspirators went into bedrooms, killed babies, and did other horrible things. Now, this was not a precedent for which Finkelstein jumped at to say, "This was agreeable." Ultimately, what Nat Turner did put pressure on the American government, the American people, and the American culture to say, "Let these people breathe and free them from slavery, or else they will kill us all." That was not his point, Finkelstein was not celebrating Nat Turner. But he was looking for something to understand. He was looking for something to humanize an already dehumanized population, who were then able to rehabilitate over time. Although, that is not to be reductive towards the plight of Black Americans in this country and around the world.
Nonetheless, with respect to the Professor, I do wonder at times if he had been a Muslim, would he have had the tools he needed to be able to evaluate moral quandaries in a better fashion? I am not criticizing him, but it seems that for his entire life, may God forgive me if I am wrong, he constantly saw the Holocaust in his mind's eye, and saw the terrors and the horrors of it. He would often hear of it, as his parents were Holocaust survivors, and watched his mother deal with a great amount of hatred towards Germans as a result. Finkelstein has told the story of when he brought home a German friend but did not disclose to his parents that he was German. Ultimately, the best that his mother could do was to not speak to the person. That was the best she could do.
Professor Finkelstein, and I appreciate him for it, is trying to explain something that we have to understand where violence and this sort of conflict and trauma comes from. What could push somebody to kill another human being, let alone engage in killing a youth? Norman Finkelstein's answer, while trying to appeal to an American western public who already see Palestinians and Muslims as barely human beings, is to say, “Well, they are human beings after all, and if you push somebody hard enough, they may have no other choice but to let out the steam, and that causes violence.” Where he is correct is that the mistake and the crime originally and ultimately belongs to the oppressor.
A final point to round out the difference between those who are stuck in a moral quandary and those who commit themselves to an ideology and a set of principles, and how they react to trauma and to calamity. We all know the celebrated journalist, Wael Al-Dahdouh. The Al Jazeera journalist who, some weeks ago, lost most of family in an Israeli airstrike. The following day, he went right back to work. He gave himself no time to grieve.
I saw a clip that perhaps many of you have also seen, in which he is comforting a fourteen-year-old girl whose legs were amputated after Israeli forces struck her home. In the video, he is consoling her, telling her, "We believe in God. We believe that God chooses for us to undergo and experience calamities, and our response is what matters. If God wishes to take your legs, then that is His business. We submit to His will, and we continue our resistance. What I hope for you is that you continue your education, to become the beautiful human being that you can be, and to realize all of your potential, despite what has happened to you. That it not be a barrier for your success, your upholding of truth and balance. But in fact, that it be the pathway for you to uphold the beauty and the balance that God expects of us as human beings, but also specifically as Muslims."
Let us now return to the conceptually dense material that I presented in the first khutbah. The big question that a lot of people have in their lives, but in particular in moments of war or other severe calamities, is, “If God exists, why can He not just make it all go away? Is that not then God's fault? Evil exists because God allows it to.”
So, why does God not just make it go away? If God is so all-powerful, and God asks you to pray to Him and pray at His altar, in His church, His synagogue, His mosque or wherever else, why does He not just make it go away? Everyone is begging in Gaza, Yemen, and all over the place, "Please, God, will You spare my children?" Yet some children are spared , some children are slaughtered, and some children are maimed. The same goes for men, women, elderly, and all people.
This often becomes a point where people break. They really struggle, and it produces a number of different types of human beings. One example is Norman Finkelstein, someone who has inherited the trauma of one of the worst events in human history, the Holocaust. I could imagine, if I was Professor Finkelstein, hearing the stories of my parents and of my grandparents, I would almost wish that I was there to try to do something different. I would wish that I was a part of the Warsaw Ghetto uprisings so that I could do something.
What is the thing that we always hear with regards to the Holocaust? It is almost a principle dogma, “Never again.” Professor Norman Finkelstein, being the contrarian that he was, thought critically about this and said, "Yes, ‘never again’ is a fantastic moral principle that I would like to uphold." He had the courage to try to commit himself to finding out the full truth about what “never again” really meant, and he challenged himself. But did he have all of the tools that were available to him? Did he have the concept of purification that comes at the beginning of Surah al-Jumu'a? Did he understand the value of Revelation and its integral connection with wisdom?
Professor Finkelstein is an incredibly wise individual, but if we coupled that wisdom with what purifies one in our religion and what gives moral precedent when one finds themselves in a moral quandary, that is when one's wisdom and rationality truly shines. We see the example of that in someone like the journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh, who seems to be a social worker, a journalist, a religious figure, a civilian, a resistance hero and a role model all at once. He simultaneously plays all of these roles, and it comes from the value that this very beautiful verse presents in Surah al-Hadid.
He was met with trauma and unimaginable calamity. If anyone were in his position, it would be completely understood that they would fall apart. In fact, it might even be understood if he were to pick up a gun, walk into a kibbutz, and shoot everybody, according to Professor Finkelstein's standards. Of course, not excusing it, but understanding it. But Wael Al-Dahdouh says is, "No, what I am here to do is to reset the balance." The balance is in imbalance. Someone has set it off, they have put the wazn in an unbalanced position. They have done it through spreading darkness in the form of murder, occupation, land theft, and cultural theft. Al-Dahdouh is trying to set it straight again. How? By going into Israel and carrying out murder?
What does Israel think about this? How do we make sense of the grand failure? In the previous khutbah, we said that the palm trees were but a veneer covering the rot. What is the main origin of this rot? The argument that Israelis have made for the last 75 years is anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. “There is no safe place for Jews. There is a safe place for everybody else, it seems, but not for Jews.”
To quote someone that once wrote a letter to our Institute, "Israel needed to be a grain of rice in a sea of sand." It is an extremely racist trope that she seemed to have created herself, because I tried to search for this phrase elsewhere and could find it nowhere. She invented it, which is amazing. This grain of rice that is Israel decided that “never again” really means, “never again by any means necessary.” "Jews will not be killed on our watch,” is what Israel says. They will never be killed for any reason other than natural causes, perhaps. The way that Israel secures this reality is to “mow the lawn in Gaza,” as Professor Finkelstein very brilliantly puts. Or at least he quoted it, because that phrase is an actual phrase commonly used by the Israeli military. Israeli forces enact operations in Gaza every few years that they call “mowings of the lawn.”
They will mow the lawn in Gaza, and before that, they displaced 700,000 Palestinians. They murdered and burnt down dozens of villages. 50, 60, God knows how many. There is, of course, the occupation that takes place in Gaza and the West Bank. Everyone knows, and they have no problem with it because “never again.” Before the Palestinians ever had a chance to put up a fight, they were already waging the war of “never again.” They were preemptively striking and killing, and they thought that they had the license because they suffered.
As we looked at earlier, God says in the Qur’an, "The trauma, the conflict and the calamity that comes upon you, know that it is so that you learn the concept of not despairing what good has escaped you, nor unduly exalting over what good has come to you" (Q 57:22). Then God says, "He likes not the self-centered and the self-absorbed" (Q 57:23).
Wael Al-Dahdouh showed up to work the next day to serve his community. He is a human being, he is in grief, and we are in grief with him. But he also recognizes that he needs to try to set the balance right. He teaches this to us by showing up the next day, brave as hell, counseling this injured child on his two minutes off. Today, he is suffering from shrapnel wounds, and his cameraman was shot and eventually died from his injuries. Yet another assassination attempt. This is a man who understands this surah, this Qur'an, this religion, this God, this Prophet. He has no moral quandary.
Vengeance is darkness. Hate is darkness. Anger is human. But if it is not regulated with principles, purification, healing and godliness, it will be your undoing. It will be the bacteria and the virus that rots your breath, to the point that your teeth turn black and your breath stinks, and you have to go to a specialist to put on a veneer, to lie, and wage your war from behind a new set of palm trees.
The palm trees were but a manifestation. The rot comes from an uncontrolled, unthoughtful, immoral, ungodly response to what God promises us will come our way. It is the nature of our existence. We do not exist to never experience calamity. We experience beautiful good times and safety, and we experience death. We experience old age. We experience financial loss. We experience disease. We experience car crashes and murder. All of the things that happen to other people, but should not happen to us, God forbid.
Yes, God forbid, but ultimately, everyone's time comes in one way or another. Everyone is challenged in one way or another. The people of Gaza are in a very clear challenge: Survive. Try not to become hateful people. Take care of your family. Do not resort to robbery.
It is worth noting, I have not heard a single report of any crime coming out of Gaza. There is no food, no water, no supplies, and yet somehow, it is still running. The entire world has always told us, "Oh, we cannot give money to the unhoused. We cannot give money to people who struggle with drug addiction, that would just encourage them to continue being lazy bums." There is no economy. All human structures have come apart in Gaza, and yet somehow, it is still running. It is not a result of Hamas, it is not a result of Israel, it is the people themselves. Take a lesson from these people. See how they respond.
Till today, the accusations that are leveled at any pro-Palestinian are, "You just want to kill us, you just want to destroy the Jews. You are not even telling the truth.” “That is an anti-Semitic sweatshirt.” “That is an anti-Semitic chant." Anything they can use to accuse, but I really do not see the level of anti-Semitism that they are claiming is out there.
Norman Finkelstein is trying to rehabilitate the reality of, if anti-Semitism did come out of the mouth of someone who suffered from Israeli aggression, it would be understood. Thank you, but I do not see this high level of anti-Semitism or racism that is claimed to be coming from the pro-Palestinian movement. In fact, I see chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), I see chapters of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), I see Palestinians, and I see Muslim leaders even say, "We are not anti-Semitic." For God's sake, the Hamas charter in 2017 even says, "This is not about Jews. We have no problem with them. This is about the Israeli occupation."
We will not be bullied any more by the rancid rhetoric of the veneer, and I believe that the world has now woken up in the form of the declaration of the United Nations. Enough is enough. You want to support Israel? You will be a pariah state. That is what is going to happen to you. These fake stone structures that you have built and the palm trees that you have planted, that you are hiding behind and waging war from, are going to get cut down. They are being found out. Your homes will collapse on top of you, and it will not be the result of a single bomb or a single bullet from the other side, it will come by your own damn hands.
Wael Al-Dahdouh is an inspiration. The people of Gaza are an inspiration. They are my inspiration, and I hope they have taught us all the lesson of resetting the balance and learning about calamity. Calamity, which is the great moral criterion.