Two earthquakes in northwest Iran on Saturday, August 11, 2012, have killed 300 people and injured 2,600 more, according to reports from Reuters and other news agencies.

The first quake registered at a 6.4 magnitude. It struck 60 kilometers northeast of the city of Tabriz, a trading hub and the home centuries ago of Shams of Tabriz, the spiritual teacher of Rumi. The second quake measured 6.3. More than 1000 villages were affected; 130 villages suffered more than 70 percent damage, and 20 were completely destroyed. About 16,000 people in the areas hit by the quakes have been given emergency shelter by the Red Crescent.

And so we pray this news . . .

Bismillaah ar Rahman ar Rahim
In the name of God,
the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.

Ya Rahim,
the embodiment of divine mercy,
our hearts and prayers go out
to the victims and the survivors
of the two earthquakes in Iran.
May they feel the healing activity
of divine love.

Ya Halim,
the gentle and kind loving one,
with your tenderness
wipe away the tears of those
who have lost their loved ones
and give them the courage
to carry on as they rebuild their lives.

Ya Hafiz,
we invoke your protection
for those who are homeless
and living in shelters,
and for those suffering from
fear, despair, and hopelessness.
May they and we always remember
that, as it says in the Qur'an,
"Allah's protection extends over
everything that is in the heavens
and the earth."

Ya Wasi,
we are thankful for those
who have been your faithful
servants after the earthquakes,
becoming your face to the
survivors: neighbors who came
together to dig people out of
the rubble and transport the
injured to the hospitals;
relief workers and medical
personnel tending to the
many needs of the victims.

Ya Wali,
you who are our protecting friend,
even though many of us
praying this news are far
from Iran, we feel connected
with the Iranian people through
our shared friendship with you.
In the days ahead, may
the people of Iran be aware
of the world's love and
caring regard for we are all
members of one family.

___________________________________________________________________________ * The names of Allah and interpretations used in this prayer have been taken from Physicians of the Heart: A Sufi View of the 99 Names of Allah by Wali Ali Meyer, Bilal Hyde, Faisal Muqaddam, and Shabda Kahn

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