The Ummah in Distress | Libya Flood Disaster

“We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. Give good news to those who patiently endure— who, when faced with a disaster, say: “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will (all) return. They are the ones who will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy. And it is they who are (rightly) guided.” (2:155-7)


The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (JUSA) expresses deep sadness at the unfolding tragedy in eastern Libya where at least 5300 people have been confirmed dead and 10000 more, have been reported as missing in flood-hit Derna, just days after the earthquake catastrophe had befallen Morocco.


Derna lies about 250km to the east of Benghazi and the deluge resulting from a Mediterranean storm has extensively devastated infrastructure, homes and roads. Broken dams are reported to have caused flash-flooding, swamping neighbourhoods with mud and water. Wreckage is everywhere with fears that many people have been washed away to sea.


Libya’s decade-long conflict has left the country with two rival seats of power. We however have been encouraged by reports that authorities in Tripoli have risen to the occasion, by rushing aid to the disaster-stricken eastern region. This is a welcome gesture as in the days to come, more aid will be required in order to mitigate the suffering of survivors, and the potential threat of an outbreak of waterborne diseases.


Our hearts go out to families and individuals that have suffered loss and injury. We pray to Allah to ease their plight and grant them fortitude in these moments of anguish and great need. We pray to Allah to forgive the souls of those who have perished and protect those who are missing, so that they can get to safety and be reunited with their families.


“You see the believers … resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it.” (Bukhari)


As Muslims from these shores, we feel the pain of the Ummah, in Libya and in quake-hit Morocco. JUSA Relief is therefore putting out an appeal for contributions towards aid to eastern Libya where there is an acute shortage of medical supplies, food and other essential non-food supplies. The community’s usual generosity will go a long way in taking the much-needed help to the disaster region, around Derna and other affected cities.


Meanwhile, JUSA appeals to all Muslims to turn to Allah. We call upon each one of us to engage in istighfār, Salat al-Tawbah [Prayer of Repentance] and commit to deeds of virtue, with the utmost level of humility, so that the Almighty grants the Ummah relief from distress, anxiety and suffering.


Executive Committee
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa


27 Safar 1445 / 13 Sep 2023