Social media platforms are filled with images and videos of the catastrophe in Türkiye and Syria, and often, content like this can leave us feeling worse than ever. Whilst we may feel the urge or need to stay up to date, constant viewing of such content can eventually desensitise us to the horrors of earthquakes.
For that reason, from time to time, it’s a good idea to step away from the screen and ask what you can be doing for the victims – and yourself – right now. With the death count now well over 20,000, it’s time we as Muslims stood up and made some real changes for those impacted by the disaster. Here are five things you can start doing right now:
Muslims can often be very practical when it comes to earthquakes, yet we often fail when it comes to inner reflections. Remind yourself to hold back slightly, enough to ponder over such a tragedy. Take a few moments throughout the day to think deeply about the victims and how we are fortunate to be safe and sound. Instead of thanking Allah verbally, internalise the gratitude and let it permeate your body as you realise how Allah has kept us in great comfort and safety. Reflect and ponder about how those that passed away are our brothers and sisters, and how it would have felt if it were our own siblings. Ultimately, the point of this is to develop some sort of consciousness of Allah and return to him through our hearts and our actions.
“And We have already sent to nations before you; then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves .”Holy Qur’an 6:42
Donate Your Time and Money
There is no doubt that victims of earthquakes are constantly in need of food, shelter, medical equipment and so much more. It has been related by Ibn Abi Dunya that ‘When there was an earthquake, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rahimahullah would write to his governors telling them to give in charity.’ If you can donate your time, call around to see if any help is required in your community with anything. As the Türkiye-Syria earthquake occurred in extremely cold circumstances, donate warm clothing and any toiletries that may be of use. There is still a lot that can be sent to Türkiye and Syria, and many charities such as Islamic Relief and Ummah Welfare Trust are still accepting donations of clothing and money.
Educate The Kids
Take this opportunity to sit down and discuss pertinent matters related to earthquakes. Making it interactive, tell the kids about how to stay safe during earthquakes and how earthquakes should remind us of a supreme being. With many kids eager to understand such matters, this could be your perfect opportunity to connect them with Allah by instilling within them good thoughts about Him. Reassure them and make them feel comfortable, whilst ensuring that you answer any questions they may have by keeping things positive.
Use this moment to ask Allah for everything and anything. After all, the intention should be to connect with Allah in times of catastrophes and difficulties. There are several Du’as one can make in these times, with one listed below. The aim of Du’a should be to seek out Allah’s help and assistance in these times and to ask Allah to help those affected by the earthquake. What’s more, ask Allah to grant the deceased Jannah and to prevent any further deaths.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِهَا وَخَيْرِ مَا فِيهَا وَخَيْرِ مَا أُرْسِلَتْ بِهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَشَرِّ مَا فِيهَا وَشَرِّ مَا أُرْسِلَتْ بِهِ
“O Allah, I ask You for its good and the good of what is in it and the good of what it is sent with, and I seek refuge in You from its evil and the evil of what is in it and the evil of what it is sent with.”
One of the best things to do in times of earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes is to repent to Allah. An earthquake is one of the greatest signs for a believer that he/she should return and reconnect with his ultimate caretaker. Remember Allah often and make it a point to ask him for forgiveness for all the wrong you have done. This is a great opportunity to refresh your faith in Allah and to start from scratch after relieving yourself of any burden you may have. According to one Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ mentions why solar eclipses occur: “These signs which Allah sends do not occur because of the life or death of somebody, but Allah makes His worshipers afraid by them. So when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allah, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness.” (Sahih Bukhari) If that is the case with a solar eclipse, then what of the case of earthquakes?
Main Image Credit: ERDEM SAHIN (EFE) EL PAIS