Sosyal Medya


Earthquake: The Muslim in Times of Crisis and Disaster

Mudasir Musa*

The history of disasters is as old as the history of humanity, and these disasters and calamities are in the nature of life. So crises and disasters are inevitable. It is up to man to accept this situation and to try to take measures according to his own capacity. Throughout life, human beings face many situations, such as hunger and satiety, health and disease, and happiness and sadness. These dual life situations (happy and sad, happy and unhappy) are from the sunnatullah. If there was only happiness and joy in life, perhaps the children of Adam would get tired of this kind of life and still want something else. Almighty Allah confirms this fact and this natural state of man in the Qur’an as follows: “Man is (self-)destroyed: how ungrateful!”

An Arab poet says:

When a person is in summer, he wants winter.

Winter comes, rejects.

Not satisfied with the terms

Damn human man, how ungrateful

As we delve into the pages of history, we see that humanity has been plagued by natural disasters from the beginning of time to the present day. Floods, earthquakes, and other calamities have struck throughout history and continue to do so even now. These disasters inflict a heavy toll on human life and property, leaving devastating effects on those affected by them.

Imagine waking up one morning to find that everything you held dear - your loved ones and possessions - have been snatched away. Despite such great loss, Allah has granted humans remarkable resilience and an innate ability to rebuild, even in the aftermath of colossal disasters. These disasters are not meant to bring about the end of mankind. Throughout history, a plethora of methods and resources have been discovered to aid in such times of crisis. The establishment of counselling centres and psychological clinics, which offer various methodologies, stands as a testament to this fact. It is widely recognized that the most severe consequence of disasters is the long-term psychological discomfort that they inflict. As such, the focus must be on supporting the mental health of those affected rather than mere financial or physical losses. In these trying times, we should ask ourselves: what is the best course of action for rebuilding one’s mental health and resuming their life with renewed vigour?

Various methods have been developed to help people affected by earthquakes and natural disasters. One of them is private consultancy programs. However, the impact of these programs is limited as people avoid applying for psychological support. This is where our beliefs play an important role, and Islam offers advice for dealing with such calamities. A believer tries to regain his strength from where he left off. Belief in Allah and the Hereafter can be a source of hope and inspiration. On the contrary, in non-Muslim communities or among people far away from the faith, disasters can result in suicide. For such individuals, life is meaningless, losing everything.

Two Historical Examples of Dealing with Crisis and Disaster

Since Muslims believe that Allah is the giver or the taker, alive and immortal, it is easier for them to deal with disasters. Because we came from God and to Him, we will return. We can take as an example those who have dealt with calamities in our history:

Sumayra bint Qays:

Sumayra is one of the Ansars of Medina and is honoured with Islam. Her father, brother and husband were martyred in the Battle of Uhud. The first thing she said when she heard the news was: “What did the Messenger of Allah do? Is he still alive?” One said, “Yes, he is alive.” She wanted to see him, though. When she saw him, she said, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! since you are alive, every other things can happen to me.”


Who could not have heard of the honourable lady whose patience and perseverance filled the horizon in the midst of disasters? Hansa is from the Salim tribe. After living in Jahiliya and experiencing many things, she turned to Islam. Hansa had two brothers named Sakhr and Muawiya. Two brothers died in a tribal war during the time of  Jahiliya. Hansa was so saddened by this event that she always cried for them. There are many elegies about them in Arabic literature.

 In 630 CE, Hansa and her clan converted to Islam. This woman who had spent all her life lamenting, with the taste of faith, became strong and patient. Then what happened?

There were four sons of Hansa among the Muslim soldiers in the Battle of Qadisiya, which was fought between the Muslims and the Persian Empire in 636 CE. Hansa advised her sons to fight until martyrdom and to be patient and steadfast in their march. In the war, the sons, following the mother’s instruction, fought heroically until they were martyred. When the news of their death reached Hansa, she said the following immortal sentence with his heart full of faith and sincerity: “Praise be to Allah who has honoured me with their martyrdom, I also ask Allah to meet them in Paradise, and I hope I will.”

It happens either way…

Looking closely at the examples above, we see that war and natural disasters have similar results. Either way, we lose our loved ones. Therefore, the situation of Muslims under such difficult conditions should be like Hansa and Sumayra.

The most valuable thing for a Muslim is Islam. Let’s think and answer by asking ourselves the following question: Sumayra asked about the Messenger of Allah in the battle of Uhud, but why did she not focus on the agony of the loss of her family members who were martyred in the war? Because she was a real Muslim woman. She believed that life and death were a test of Allah and that these situations were in Allah’s hands, and that He could give or take as He wished. She was concerned about the Messenger of Allah, who needed to convey Islam. Sumayra saw it as the way of salvation in this world and in the hereafter and knew that if something happened to her Prophet, the whole existence of Islam would be in danger.


Conclusively, we need to express what we need to do to combat disasters:

Taking Precautions: Anyone who claims to trust in Allah without taking precautions against the problems that a disaster may bring is considered helpless, and this act is not according to the Shari’a. Thus, tawakkul combines two things: belief in Allah and belief in Him as the cause of all causes. According to a narration, a man came to the Prophet and asked, “Should I tie my camel or put my trust in Allah?” The Prophet said to him, “Tie your camel, then put your trust.”

Taking a lesson from history: Allah says, “O people of insight, learn a lesson!” (Surah Hashr 59:2). Our Prophet also emphasized that as Muslims, we should try to prevent bad situations by saying, “A believer cannot be bitten through the same hole twice.” All kinds of negligence that cause loss of life and property during disasters such as earthquakes can also be evaluated in this context.

While understanding that “Allah likes that when someone among you does something and perfects it”, we should strive to complete our work with utmost care and diligence, we must do it right and aim for the best outcome possible.

*This article was translated from Turkish by Zekiyenur Gök

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