Eastern Aleppo was about to fall. It had been under opposition control since 2012, but heavy bombardment by the Russians had allowed the tide to turn in Bashar Al Assad’s favour.
Syrian government forces had surrounded Eastern Aleppo, and they were moving in, supported by Iranian-backed militia and Russian special forces.
Meanwhile, activists and civilians trapped in the besieged city were posting their ‘last’ messages on social media; they feared capture or death.
Bana Alabed, a 7 year old Syrian girl posted this plea on Twitter:
Syrian activist Lina Shamy posted the following video from Eastern Aleppo:
Journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem posted the following video:
Many were fearing the worst, could a massacre like Srebrenica take place in 2016 while the international community sat idle?
The news of the impending fall of East Aleppo and the uncertain fate awaiting its inhabitants spread across the world, and Muslims around the world felt helpless.
However, there was only one thing they could do, and that is turn to Allah and raise their hands asking for His divine help. Many shed tears for people they had never met and probably will never meet – the only thing uniting them was the bond of faith – a brotherhood so strong that it transcends nationalities and borders.
Many awoke at night, praying the Tahajjud prayers, Imams in Mosques recited the Qunut An Nazila at dawn prayers – a Du’a recited by the Prophet ﷺ during times of affliction.
Meanwhile, Turkish diplomats hastily arranged meetings with their Russian counterparts. Behind the scenes phone calls were taking place with the Turks urging the Russians and the rebels to agree to a ceasefire and for the Assad regime to allow civilians to evacuate.
There was no guarantee that the Russians would accept or if the rebels would accept giving up the city without fighting till the end.
Finally, an agreement was made where there would be a ceasefire and the Russians and the Syrian regime would allow civilians and rebels to leave eastern Aleppo and go to rebel-held Idlib. The agreement also stated that the rebels allow pro-Assad civilians to leave Fua and Kefraya.
This was a surprising move by the Russians who had the upper hand and simply did not have to accept the proposal, but Turkish diplomacy and a personal call from President Erdoğan to Vladimir Putin encouraged Russia to agree.
Though this situation is not ideal, thousands have now been evacuated to relative safety with many of the injured taken to Turkish hospitals.
Among the evacuees was Lina Shamy who posted the following video on Twitter:
And journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem who posted the following:
7 year old Bana and her family were taken to Turkey to meet the Turkish president where she thanked him for his efforts:
I truly believe that it was the power of Du’a which helped thousands escape an unknown fate. There were many factors which could have derailed the ceasefire but Alhamdulillah that did not happen.
Never underestimate the power of Du’a, even if there is no clear solution in sight as Allah is al-Qadir, the All-Able. Never lose hope as none loses hope except the disbelievers.
“…Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people.” 12:87
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