Tie Your Camel and Trust in Allah | SoundVision.com

Tie Your Camel and Trust in Allah

As residents of California for 30-plus years, I have never seen my family members so affected by the earthquakes that recently shook Turkiye. Mind you that California is an earthquake country. The earthquakes in Turkiye feel different and so close to home. The shaking has not subsided, and we are bombarded with images of fearful people running in the streets for shelter, tens of thousands of dead, and children being rescued from the rubble amongst the shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is Great!). 

Muslims around the world have been facing many natural calamities for a few decades or so, besides wars and political unrest. Muslims in the West always rise to help their brethren in need and the rest of the Muslim world, dutifully. Muslims in North America are not exempt from such happenings. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and earthquakes have become common news in our own backyards. Sometimes we silently contemplate the reasons for these disasters affecting us as our weaknesses and lack of faith. And at other times, we hear our imams in Friday sermons providing us with comforting thoughts while reflecting on our communal anxiety and concern. As we ponder on Allah’s will and His wisdom for these trials, we also need to discuss the issue of preparedness. 

A Muslim by nature submits to the will of Allah and finds comfort in Him when going through trials. It is a sign of great and strong faith. The strength of faith in destiny and accepting death at its appointed hour should not lead us to a complacency toward preparedness in dealing with the fallout of natural disasters. 

The hadith (sayings of the Prophet) below neatly ties the essential concept of tawakul (reliance on Allah) and preparedness. Tawakul is sweet when coupled with readiness. In a hadith narrated by Ibn Malik, a Bedouin man was walking away, leaving his camel untied, and said:

"O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie it and rely (upon Allah), or leave it loose and rely (upon Allah)?" He said: "Tie it and rely (upon Allah)."

(Jami` at-Tirmidhi #2517)

At family dinners in California, we have been sharing our thoughts on what is required of a Muslim in terms of preparedness for a natural calamity such as an earthquake. Would it even help to be prepared if the disaster that strikes is as big as the one in Turkiye? How do we have our children open up about their feelings and anxiety, knowing that an earthquake can come anytime where we live? How much planning is needed for survival to become a reality? 

To understand the significance of emergency preparedness, we must think beyond the possibility of death. What if we survive, then what? Lack of preparedness will only cause tremendous difficulties for the survivors, physically and spiritually. Then, why wait to test ourselves and place our loved ones in difficult situations when they may already be overwhelmed? Plus, we may be able to help more people if we have equipped ourselves.  

Emergency Preparedness

As parents, don’t we already prepare for life, in general? We save money to buy a house, invest in IRA for retirement, put aside funds for our children’s education, etc. Taking safety measures for emergency preparedness is not too far off a concept if we understand its significance. 

Therefore, to tie the camel, consider the following:

  • Explore possible scenarios that may ensue after a natural disaster strikes.
  • For the most probable scenarios, gather relevant materials and make plans. Think of shortages that may occur such as food, water, electricity, and medicine. 
  • Make a communication and evacuation plan. 
  • Consult emergency preparedness plans by local and state authorities.
  • Discuss the plans with the elderly and children in the family. 
  • Share the safety plan with extended family in the greater residential area. Convince them with facts and figures if they are not on board about disaster preparedness.
  • Learn and teach the appropriate Islamic mannerism during the calamity. For example, recite supplications during the earthquake. 
  • Finally, practice, practice, and practice. Until taking safety measures becomes second nature.

While we continue to work on our inner selves and pray for Allah’s forgiveness at a personal and communal level, we must also take appropriate measures to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster once it has transpired. Thus, tying our spiritual preparedness with physical action, and completing our faith. 

Trusting in Allah

And once adequately prepared, then accepting however you may fare if and when you face a disastrous situation like an earthquake, is the ultimate show of trust. Life, death, and provisions are all pre-determined by divine decree. And no one can acquire more or less by worldly means. Allah is the best of the planners and he knows what is good for us more than what we can fathom on our own. As I advise my family on how to prepare for a disaster like the earthquake in Turkiye, and have patience and trust in Allah during such a situation, I am reminded of the verse in Quran:

“...Perhaps you dislike something which is good for you and like something which is bad for you.” 

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:216)

Allah is All-Knowing and All-Aware.

Tayaabah Qazi has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, an AdminI/II Certification from the State of Maryland Education Department, and a Secondary Teaching Certification in Chemistry as well as a CPP certificate. She has served in the education field as a teacher and an administrator of schools. Recently, she served at Community College of Baltimore County as a Coordinator of Adult Basic Education program. Currently, Tayaabah is the Program Manager at the Office of Workforce Development at the Maryland Department of Labor. She has been a long-time resident of Maryland for 17 years, with her family, but hails from Southern California. She is also a staunch believer of the 4 Cs: Compassion. Commitment. Conversation. Cultivation. 

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