Please, Let’s Continue Praying For Our Brothers And Sisters In Turkey And Syria!
By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
All praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam and the Sunnah. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiʿuun: Indeed, to Allah we belong, and to Him we are returning!
Dear brothers and sisters! Yesterday Wednesday, 06/02/2023, in the span of 12 hours, a 7.8 magnitude and 7.7 magnitude earthquakes have ripped through major cities in Turkey and Syria, causing widespread damage. It was reported, 2,300+ dead and 3,000+ injured in the twin earthquakes.
At about 04:17am, many were asleep when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck; estimates as of 02:41pm suggest that at least 2,300 people have lost their lives, while further thousands have sustained injuries according to the report by The Guardian Newspaper.
The powerful initial earthquake struck in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. Many more areas that have high numbers of Syrian refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) have been affected. A number of impacted areas are in the middle of a bitter winter according to the report by Washington post Newspaper.
The earthquake has been followed by in excess of 40 aftershocks. One expert told The Washington Post that today’s initial event is tied with that of the 1939 Erzincan quake – which was also of the same magnitude and the most powerful ever recorded in Turkey.
In addition to the initial quake, an aftershock of 7.7 magnitude – at 10:24am – has also struck central Turkey. This second event has impacted various other countries in the region, with Cyprus, Syria, and Lebanon all experiencing tremors, as reported by Telegraph Newspaper.
Turkey’s geographical position in relation to tectonic plates and fault lines means that it is particularly prone to earthquakes.
With large northern expanses spread across the Anatolian fault line, the country regularly experiences such events.
Yesterday’s event has reignited calls for stricter building regulations in various parts of Turkey and Syria, with many buildings that are often built outside of regulations.
Many high-rise structures have been levelled in this instance, with scores of people being trapped in the rubble.
Rescue workers co-ordinated by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) continue to search for survivors.
Respected brothers and sisters! Following such a terrifying occurrence, with the loss of life, destruction of homes and businesses, and the monumental effort required to rebuild, we should take a moment to remember that earthquakes and other “natural disasters” occur by the will of Allah Almighty.
There is divine wisdom behind these events. We should take every opportunity to return to Allah, before we return to Allah – meaning that we should try our best to repent, to pray, and seek His forgiveness, as often as possible. In this light, the great Islamic scholar, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah), once stated:
“Allah sometimes gives the Earth permission to breathe, which is when major earthquakes happen; this makes people feel scared, so they repent, give up sins, pray to Allah, and feel regret [for their sins]. When there had been an earthquake, some of the pious predecessors (Salaf) said: ‘Your Lord is warning you.’ When Madinah was struck by an earthquake, Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) addressed the people and said, ‘If there is another earthquake, I will not stay here with you.’” [See Miftahu Daris Sa’adah, vol. 1, page 221]
In addition, in a treatise explaining the way in which we, as believers, should view good and bad times, Shaikh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad states that:
“This … includes changes in nature: the weather such as the wind, rain, waves in the sea; natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes and floods; and the majority of illnesses and epidemics that man did not initiate. And likewise, rainfall and an abundance of goodness and bounty. As for this category, Allah Almighty causes it to occur with perceivable or metaphysical means, and in most cases, both simultaneously. What is meant by ‘perceivable means’ includes the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology. For example, water boils at a particular temperature and pressure; certain illnesses are caused by certain epidemics; good health is attained by healthy food and certain medicines; and likewise, solar and lunar eclipses are brought about by certain physical means. As mentioned above, as a general rule, Allah (Glorified is He) causes perceivable means to occur concomitantly with metaphysical means.”
The respected jurist (Faqih) at the Islamic Council of Europe also adds:
“Metaphysical means are what Allah made as causes for (the bestowal of) His bounties or His wrath. Thus, the greatest of causes to acquire His bounties is tawhid itself (monotheism) of Allah and His worship, reliance on Him, supplicating to Him, turning to Him in repentance, seeking His forgiveness, doing good, and showing kindness to the creation of Allah. He, the Exalted, said: “And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.’” [Qur’an, 7:96]]
May Allah forgive us of our sins and allow us to return to Him in the best of states, ameen.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
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