Author: Sheikh Dr. Sajid Umar
All praise belongs to Allah and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His messenger, his family, companions and followers until the last day.
The Islamic Council of Europe extends our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey & Syria. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered loss, injury, and displacement.
At the time of writing, the death toll from the two earthquakes, which took place within a time span of nine hours, is above 11,719, with many still missing and critically injured. Turkey’s disaster management agency has said it has received reports of 11,342 collapsed buildings, of which 5,775 had been confirmed, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 of the country’s provinces.
Despite rescue efforts continuing – with Turkey’s government having deployed nearly 25,000 search and rescue personnel – emergency workers in both Turkey and Syria say they are completely overwhelmed.
As Muslims, we are called upon, to support and care for those affected physically, financially, and spiritually, and we encourage our communities to respond to this disaster with supplication, compassion, and generosity.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said,
أَحَبُّ النَّاسِ إِلَى اللَّهِ أَنْفَعُهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ وَأَحَبُّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَى اللَّهِ سُرُورٌ تُدْخِلُهُ عَلَى مُسْلِمٍ أَوْ تَكْشِفُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً أَوْ تَقْضِي عَنْهُ دِينًا أَوْ تَطْرُدُ عَنْهُ جُوعًا وَلَأَنْ أَمْشِيَ مَعَ أَخِيهِ فِي حَاجَةٍ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنْ أَنْ أَعْتَكِفَ فِي هَذَا الْمَسْجِدِ يَعْنِي مَسْجِدَ الْمَدِينَةِ شَهْرًا وَمَنْ كَفَّ غَضَبَهُ سَتَرَ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ كَظَمَ غَيْظَهُ وَلَوْ شَاءَ أَنْ يُمْضِيَهُ أَمْضَاهُ مَلأَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَلْبَهُ أَمْنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ مَشَى مَعَ أَخِيهِ فِي حَاجَةٍ حَتَّى أَثْبَتَهَا لَهُ أَثْبَتَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَدَمَهُ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأَقْدَام
“The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people. The most beloved deed to Allah is to make a Muslim happy, or to remove one of his troubles, or to settle his debt, or to repel his hunger. That I walk with a brother regarding a need is more beloved to me than that I seclude myself in this mosque in Medina for a month.
“Whoever swallows his anger, then Allah will conceal his faults. Whoever suppresses his rage, even though he could exact vengeance if he wished, then Allah will fill his heart with tranquility on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah Almighty will make his footing firm across the bridge, on the day when feet are shaken.” (Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 6/139)
Islam also teaches us that whatever Allah does is most-Wise and only to bring about good. This life, in its entirety, is a test, and Allah Almighty tests those whom He loves, and through these tests, He forgives and raises ranks, making manifest which one of His servants are best in deeds. (See: Surat al-Mulk 67:2)
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
إِنَّ عِظَمَ الْجَزَاءِ مَعَ عِظَمِ الْبَلَاءِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ إِذَا أَحَبَّ قَوْمًا ابْتَلَاهُمْ فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرِّضَا وَمَنْ سَخِطَ فَلَهُ السَّخَط
“Verily, with greater rewards come greater trials. Verily, when Allah loves a people, He will test them. Whoever is pleased will earn Allah’s pleasure, and whoever is displeased will have indignation and (Allah’s) wrath.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2396)
And he (ﷺ) also said:
مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُصِبْ مِنْه
“If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5321)
The Islamic Council also reminds everyone at this difficult time of the importance of reflecting on our purpose and turning back to Allah in repentance. We should take this opportunity to mend our relationship with Allah by fulfilling our obligations and refraining from sins, especially those that involve injustice and causing harm to Muslims. Let us ask Allah for forgiveness and make istighfar, so that we may come closer to Him.
Furthermore, we call upon doctors and healthcare workers to be on standby and ready to mobilize themselves if needed. Your skills and expertise can make an enormous difference in saving lives and easing the suffering of those affected by the disaster.
We also remind everyone to only donate via trustworthy and reputable organizations and individuals. There may be some who seek to take advantage of this tragedy, so it is important to be cautious and to give only to those who are known to be trustworthy.
Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to the rescue and relief teams working tirelessly on the ground to provide aid and support. May Allah grant them strength and success in their efforts.
May Allah shower His mercy upon the deceased, and may He bless those tested by this event with a beautiful patience, and may Allah grant them a quick and full recovery.