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A lived experience – Earthquakes Idlib Syria – Maseeha Saloojee

Muhammad Bham|
23 February 2023 | 10:15 AM CAT
3 min read

Photo Credit: Al Jazeera – Earthquake Destruction Idlib Syria

Eleven days after the twin earthquakes brought destruction and devastation to Syria, another two earthquakes shook the war-ravaged country again, sowing fear among the people.

Maseeha Saloojee, a South African living in Idlib, Syria, spoke to Radio Islam International and provided an update on the situation as she experienced the quakes first-hand.

She recounted the earthquake and how she, her three children and her neighbours huddled under a tent in her backyard as they felt the earth tremble beneath them.

She shared how the people, having suffered 12 years of civil war, many displaced and living in abject poverty at the mercy of aid, were afraid that the wrath of Allah Almighty was upon them. Many had begun to introspect, whilst others who were estranged from family members and friends were united in their shared grief and fear.

After the second set of quakes caused further damage to the cities in the already war-ravaged country, most people were sleeping in their cars, tents, and even buses as they feared the buildings, already destroyed by shelling and bombing, would come down on them.

Her emotions were palpable as she spoke of her oldest child, asking what would happen if the earth cracked and swallowed them all and how she had to allay his fears whilst using the opportunity to teach him the might and power of Allah and that, as Muslims, we are obligated to believe in Qadr or fate.

On the issue of whether further aid and assistance was reaching the people in Syria, she mentioned that with the borders being re-opened between Türkiye and Syria, organisations could provide food and other essentials.

Saloojee also shared some of the incidents that warmed her heart, especially as she witnessed the people unite to help each other through their challenges, sharing the little they owned.

She shared a message of hope from an Afghan who reminded her of Allah’s infinite mercy. He wrote: “Glad tidings to the people of Shaam.”

The message reminded her of Allah’s mercy and warning to the people of Shaam, as she provided a translation of the verse from the Noble Qur’an: “Do you think you will enter Paradise when that has not touched you which has touched those before you, they were afflicted with poverty and hardship, and they were shaken to the core until they and the messenger said: “Where is the help of Allah?” Verily the help of Allah is near.”

She further explained the relevance of the verse for the people of Shaam, saying that they have been tested by poverty and hardship and now earthquakes. And all they need to do is ask Allah for help and know His help is near.

Saloojee concluded by saying that many people had lost family and friends, but they felt some comfort in knowing that those who died in the quakes were martyrs.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with guest Maseeha Saloojee and host Annisa Essack.





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