Islam is a universal call for mercy towards all human beings. It urges Muslims to rush to the help of their fellow afflicted humans especially at times of distress.
It goes without saying that helping Muslims who are in need of our help is one of the most virtuous deeds. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever meets the need of his brother, Allah will meet his need.” And he (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever relieves a believer of some of the distress of this world, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever eases an insolvent’s loan, Allah will make things easier for him in this world and in the Hereafter. Whoever conceals a Muslim’s faults, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help a person so long as he helps his brother.”
Here, we’d like to start with the words of the prominent Muslim scholar, the late Saudi scholar in which he states the following:
When there is an earthquake or some other sign such as an eclipse, strong winds, or floods, we should hasten to repent to Allah and pray to Him for safety, and to remember Him much and to seek His forgiveness, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reported to have said when there was an eclipse: “If you see anything like that, hasten to remember Him, call on Him, and seek His forgiveness.”
It is also mustahab (recommended) to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said : “Show mercy, so that you will be shown mercy.” The Prophet also said: “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, and the One Who is in Heaven will show mercy to you.”
Almighty Allah also says: “. . . Verily Allah will help those who help His (cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Almighty. Those (Muslim rulers)who, if We give them power in the land, (they) enjoin Iqamat-as-Salat [i.e. to perform five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers), to pay Zakat and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf and forbid Al-Munkar. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).” (15: 40-41)
Allah is the One Whom we ask to remedy the affairs of all the Muslims and to bless them with proper understanding of Islam and help them to adhere steadfastly to it and repent to Allah of all their sins.
Moreover, Sheikh Abdul-Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, a prominent Muslim scholar and da’i sheds light on this issue and states:
Such earthquakes are surely among the natural disasters that affect large numbers of people. It is surely permissible for rich Muslims to pay a part of their zakah to help alleviate the pains and the sufferings of those afflicted by the earthquakes. If the relevant governments in the quake-stricken areas open an account to receive donations for helping the victims and their families, then it is permissible for Muslims to pay a sum of their zakah to such accounts. Likewise, if there is any other trustworthy Islamic charitable organization that takes the responsibility of delivering such funds to the victims and their families, then there is nothing wrong in paying part of the zakah to them for this purpose.
It is noteworthy that Muslims in such afflicted areas are permitted to receive assistance and financial aid through organizations that help distribute aid to the victims while abiding by the humanitarian relief accords and agreements governing such issues. If any place in the world is afflicted with natural disasters like earthquakes or floods, all countries should rush to help its people according to international agreements.