The earth rattled fiercely and the mountains split up. Sudden and gradual deaths struck. News started to pour; some glued themselves to the TV praying earnestly, while others leapt forward to extend whatever help they could. Debates aside, something this earthquake has proven is that a Muslim is a fighter and he rises to the occasion in the hour of need. Countless youth flocked to the mountains to give and find hope in the rubbles. The same youth, who are called ‘reckless’ and considered ‘a risky investment’ of the future, proved everyone wrong. Only Allah proved them right!

Faysal Subhani, a teenage volunteer from Karachi, reports about Balakot:

The week I spent with the Kashmiri earthquake victims changed the way I looked at life. Sure, my mom had been telling me things all my life but for the first time, it actually hit me! Kids wrapped up in their own superficial little worlds fail to look around and understand that there is more to life than cell phones, girls, concerts and cars. There are people out there, who need us. You can be a millionaire one moment and live in a tent the next.

When I saw the aggrieved relatives sobbing for their lost ones, I realized that family is an amazing gift from Allah (swt).

The tragedy took the lives of many young people – I realized that I can die any time. We don’t know the time of our death, so we should be prepared for meeting Allah (swt).

Many think Islam is a religion with no capacity for fun. The people I traveled with, the so-called Mullahs, were continuously cracking Halal jokes, yet became serious, when it came to work. I had more fun with them, than I sometimes do with my friends.

The trip had its ups and downs. The low points were: seeing Balakot flattened (I’ve been there before and was quite attached to its hustle and bustle) and reading Janaza for two girls. The highs were getting a traumatized child, Jawwad, to lighten up. Also, there’s nothing like performing the Eid prayers and listening to a mind blowing Khutbah in the open mountains beside a river. This was an Eid to remember!

Sehr Rasmir Nawaz, an 18 years old student from R.L.A.K. College of Home Economics, reports about Muzzafarabad:

This was the first time in life, when I planned to go for a mission that I wanted to accomplish. All what we could see was a devastating destruction and injured people with broken families.

The stories we heard were heart fretting. Alarmingly, even after experiencing what could be Allah`s (swt) anger, some people still didn’t learn the lesson. For example, a box was found with chopped, women`s hands which were filled with bangles.

My heart broke, and I could not stop crying seeing a dead body of a little girl, which was found after 28 days. There are no words to express my feelings – nothing could be seen except bones, hair, and a rotting face. May Allah (swt) have His Mercy on all, Ameen.

Signs before the Hour strikes!

In less than a year the world has witnessed unimaginable devastation. South Asian tsunamis, American hurricane Katrina, and recently the most gruesome earthquake that struck Pakistan. Whether it is global warming, substandard infrastructure or poor disaster management plans, Allah’s anger cannot be ruled out as an obvious reason to these catastrophes. Especially since we know the rapid speed of evil engulfing everyone, everywhere.

Narrated Abu Hurairah (rta) the Prophet, (sa) said: “The Hour will not happen until knowledge is taken out, time passes quickly, earthquakes increase in number, tribulations (Fitan) appear, and Al-Harj increases in number.” It was asked: “What is Al-Harj, O Rasoolullah (sa)?” He said: “Al-Qatl, Al-Qatl (Killing).” (Ahmed)

It is evident that all the above signs are appearing consistently. Now is the time to turn to Allah (swt) and submit to Him. Allah never lets down a sincere believer, Insha’Allah!