One day, our local media announced a very bad earthquake would hit our city between midnight and dawn of the coming day. News spread throughout the city. Some people didn’t believe the report, while others worried about how to escape from this natural disaster that would come that night. This was the hot issue of the day among everyone.

We went to bed as normal but at midnight, we heard people shouting: “Wake up, wake up! Come out of your homes. Come out of your homes. An earthquake is going to happen in a few seconds.”

Our neighbors shouted and knocked on our front gate. I was very afraid. We feared the earthquake was going to happen soon. So our family went outside into the yard. My mom took our Holy Book, the Quran Sharif, and started reading it, and asked all of us to come with her and read it also.

My two sisters, my brother and I were sitting together with our blankets wrapped around us. We were scared but also sleepy. We began to fall asleep on the ground, which was very cold and hard. My mom kept calling out to us and asking us not to sleep but instead to pray to God to keep all of our people safe and fine. I saw fear in our neighbors’ faces but everyone sat on the ground, calm and cold.

The weather was cloudy and cool. The moon hid behind the clouds and the sky was dark. The environment was hushed. Among our neighbors, everyone was busy with praying and sometimes falling asleep. All that night, we waited for the earthquake.

But nothing happened.

Later the next day, it was announced that the news was just a rumor. People were very angry and many prayed for ill to befall the person who started such a rumor and made their lives miserable for that night. Some people gathered and demonstrated against the media and our provincial governor. The media then apologized for what had happened.

This story shows that if we do bad things, neither God nor man will like us. Let’s live in peace and let others also live in peace.

By Yalda