Press Shia – The head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran emphasized upon the importance of the active participation of clerics in the earthquake-stricken areas of Iran, sympathy with the victims of the disaster and the fulfillment of divine religious duties.

Press Shia Agency – Ayatollah Alireza Arafi, the head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran and the head of al-Mustafa International University, expressed his sympathy with the victims of the earthquake which hit the western part of Iran on Sunday, November 12. 

A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the border region between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, November 12.

The epicentre of the quake, which occurred at around 09:18 pm local time was 32 kilometres south of the Iraqi city of Halabjah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, and just across the border from Iran but the highest casualties occurred in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, in Iran’s Kermanshah Province.

According to the latest figures, nearly 445 people have lost their lives and over 7,156 others sustained injuries in the tremor. Some 12,000 homes have also been completely destroyed in the incident.

Today, Ayatollah Arafi travelled to the earthquake-stricken areas of the country to observe the situation and offer his assistance.

The text of Ayatollah Arafi’s message is as follows:

“… Those who, when an affliction visits them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to God and to Him do we indeed return’” [The Holy Quran: 2:156]

The unfortunate news of the earthquake in the West of the country, in Kermanshah and the neighbouring provinces, and the loss of a large number of lives of our fellow citizens in the days following the Arba’in of Imam al-Husayn [pilgrimage] caused me great sorrow and regret. The earthquake occurred when the hospitable people of this area were welcoming and receiving thousands of returning Arba’in pilgrims.

It is expected that, along with all military and civilian relief forces, the Islamic Seminaries, scholars and clerics of the country and certain provinces will be actively involved in the reduction of the suffering and pain of these people and will provide security in any event.

Undoubtedly, the active participation of clerics in the earthquake-stricken areas and sympathy and empathy with those struck by the tragedy and the fulfillment of their divine religious duties can take away the burden of the tragic tribulations from the shoulders of those struck by the disaster as well as the dear people, Muslims and faithful of the Islamic Republic of Iran and can create the colour of a good life in their hearts and lessen a little bit of their material distress and pain as well as their spiritual stress and pain.

In conclusion, I convey my condolences to the dear people of Iran and all the distressed families in regard to this bitter incident and I ask God, the Benefactor, to grant forgiveness to those who have lost their lives and to grant beautiful patience and abundant rewards to the survivors.

Alireza Arafi
14 November, 2017