In the latest news, Iran and Iraq were hit by an earthquake of 7.3 magnitude on Sunday, 12 November at 9.18pm local time. According to seismologists, it is the biggest earthquake to have hit the region. The tremors are said to have been felt as far as Turkey and Pakistan. The impact of the earthquake has proved to be devastating for the areas hit, basically the whole northern region of Iran and Iraq.

The casualties recorded are high, surpassing thousands and still increasing, while the death toll has been recorded at more than 400. More than 70,000 people are in need of emergency shelter as their houses have been demolished to rubble, displacing them overnight! Many people are still believed to be trapped in the rubble with rescue teams on duty trying to save them. People have abandoned their homes and are out on the streets in fear of aftershocks.

Even though the areas affected the most were in the northern region, tremors were felt in other areas as well, including both capitals of Iran and Iraq, Tehran, and Baghdad respectively. Kermanshah, Iran was the worst hit area. Nearby villages have been completely destroyed. Moreover, the main hospital in the area has also been badly damaged, making it all the more difficult to treat the thousands who have been injured in the natural calamity. Adding to the issue is the cold weather due to which it is even more challenging to provide shelter to the displaced people. There is a dire need of food, clothing, and shelter!

Such natural disasters make one speculate about life and its unpredictability. Even in the 21st century, man does not know for sure when or where the next earthquake can strike. Only Allah knows! This realization makes us think how insignificant we, as humans, are. Earthquakes remind us of the final earthquake, near the Day of Judgment referred to in the Quran:

When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake. And the earth discharges its burdens. And man says, "What is [wrong] with it?" -That Day, it will report its news. Because your Lord has commanded it. That Day, the people will depart separated [into categories] to be shown [the result of] their deeds. So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it. (Quran 99)

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we improve ourselves as humans and strive to be good Muslims because life can be very uncertain and death may be nearer than we think.