Tuesday, 7 February 2023 | 16 Rajab 1444 AH
The British Board of Scholars & Imams is deeply saddened by the recent earthquake that struck Turkey & Syria and left many injured and homeless. Over 5,000 people are estimated to have died in this devastating disaster. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy, and we pray for their swift recovery and return to normalcy.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The believers, in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy, are just like one body.” “When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain.” (Sahih Bukhari)
In times of crisis, it is our duty to help those in need and support those suffering. This can be done in various ways, including donating to reputable charities and organisations providing aid to the earthquake victims, volunteering our time and resources, and offering prayers for those affected.
Additionally, it is essential to remember that natural disasters are a reminder of the power of Allah and our vulnerability in this world. The Quran states, “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (Quran 2:155). This verse reminds us to remain patient, steadfast, and grateful in times of hardship and to turn to Allah for guidance and support.
The British Board of Scholars & Imams urges the Muslim community to respond to the earthquake in Turkey & Syria with kindness, compassion, and generosity. We also encourage everyone to offer their prayers and support to the victims and their families and to remember that disasters like this serve as a reminder of the power of Allah and our mortality.
The Quran states: “And do good to others as Allah has done good to you.” (Quran 28:77). This verse encourages Muslims to follow the example of Allah’s kindness and compassion by helping others and showing love and kindness towards those in need.
In addition, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught that helping others and relieving their suffering is a form of worship that brings a person closer to Allah. He said, “The best of people are those who benefit others.” (Tirmidhi)
In times of disaster, Muslims are encouraged to provide financial assistance, volunteer their time and resources, and offer their prayers for those affected. They should also be patient, steadfast, and grateful in times of hardship and turn to Allah for guidance and support.
Natural disasters demonstrate Allah’s enormous power and humble us in the face of the almighty divine power. The teachings of the Quran encourage Muslims to respond to such events with compassion, kindness, generosity, and mutual assistance. Remembering that helping others is a cause of receiving divine help in times of need and that alleviating people’s suffering will be a cause of being relieved from the calamities of the hereafter.
One of the key ways in which Muslims can respond to people facing difficulties is by listening to them and offering emotional support. This can involve simply being present, offering a shoulder to cry on, or offering comfort and encouragement. A narration mentions, “Allah helps a servant as long as he helps his brother.” And, “One who removes suffering from a Muslim, Allah will alleviate for him a calamity among the calamities of the day of judgment. “
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also taught that it is important to be patient and steadfast in times of hardship and to turn to Allah for support and guidance. The Quran states, “And whoever is patient and forgiving, those are the ones whose reward is with Allah – they shall have forgiveness and a great reward” (Quran 42:43).
The Muslim community has asked the BBSI whether they can pay their Zakat in advance.
Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is a mandatory form of giving for Muslims who meet the wealth criteria. Although our Zakat due date may not be today (it differs for everyone), Muslims can pay Zakat in advance to help the earthquake victims in Turkey & Syria.
It is vital to calculate Zakat correctly and accurately. These are the simple steps you may follow:
- You may pay the Zakat amount you usually pay on your Zakat date.
- When you arrive at your Zakat date, you should calculate your actual Zakat liability.
- You should pay the remaining Zakat on your Zakat date if there is a deficit.
- You may carry it on your next Zakat date if it is surplus.
- Ideally, Zakat should be paid in cash to the recipients.
To learn more about Zakat and Zakat standards, please visit ZakatPedia, UK Zakat Council, a project of The BBSI: www.zakatpedia.org
It is important to note that Zakat should only be paid to eligible recipients.
These are some of the essential points to keep in mind when donating your sadaqah or paying your Zakat:
- Will the funds raised be used immediately for the victims and families of the disaster?
- Are the people working in Turkey & Syria meeting the immediate needs of those affected?
- Do the people working on the ground have good links in Turkey & Syria? Do they have a track record of being diligent in using your donations?
- Are the people raising funds doing it via a reputable channel?
- When it comes to Zakat, are the people using it correctly?
Zakat is an act of worship (ibadah) and should be collected and distributed correctly, according to the safest and most correct approach. The BBSI’s UK Zakat Council will work with organisations to ensure this act of worship is practised correctly.
In conclusion, Muslims should help our brothers and sisters in Turkey & Syria by praying, making donations and any other way possible.
We ask Allah to help those affected, alleviate their difficulties, and keep them steadfast.