Liberating Al-Aqsa – No More Pleading with Tyrants!
As we have all been busy in another blessed Ramadan, keeping up with our fast, striving to get in our night prayers and trying to increase our worship, the people of Palestine are again under attack. Tensions were already high in Al-Aqsa Masjid. This year Ramadan coincided with the Jewish festival Passover, which prompted the Zionist entity’s government to remind the Jewish population that while they are allowed on the Temple Mount, they are not allowed to pray there. But many of the settlers have become increasingly brazen about violating these directives, feeling emboldened by the xenophobic government the Zionist entity.
In response to this Zionist aggression, Muslims decided to stay in the masjid to protect it. The response of the occupiers was to unleash their security forces into the masjid, arresting and injuring scores of worshippers.
The attack on Al-Aqsa has prompted a now familiar response from the different players. Hamas in Gaza launched rocket attacks in response to the attack on the masjid. The Zionist entity responded by using its airplanes to bomb a refugee camp, claiming this was a military target.
The so-called international community has reacted as well, with the UN Secretary general saying he was appalled by the violence demonstrated by the Zionists. The US and Canada have mentioned that they are concerned about the violence but have not directly accused the Zionist entity of being the aggressor.
Muslim countries such as Turkey, Morocco Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and the Arab League made verbal condemnation of the attacks, with Turkey’s Erdogan claiming that attacking al-Aqsa was a “red line”. The UAE, which has been leading the effort to normalize ties with the Zionist entity, also condemned the attack, but was careful to also condemn the Muslim youth who “barricaded themselves” in the masjid.
As for the common Muslims, we have seen again the deep desire to stand with those who are defending Masjid Al-Aqsa with their bodies and very lives. As we stand in prayer this Ramadan, the people of Palestine are never far from our hearts, our duas, our khutbahs, and our conversations.
But is this enough? What is required of us to truly aid our brothers and sisters under occupation in Palestine?
Struggle vs Liberation
The people of Palestine have time and time again proven their courage, steadfastness, and belief in Allah (swt) through fearless resistance to one of the best equipped armies in the world. And it is a sign of iman that the rest of us, even though many of us have never even seen Palestine, are willing to align ourselves with their struggle.
Within the Ummah there are those who protest embassies, write letters to MP’s, support boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) campaigns, and explicitly making Palestine as an issue on the political agenda.
But we should not be struggling just for the sake of struggling. We should not become part of a movement or resistance to feel good about ourselves, or because we are seeking to assert our identity. We should not glorify act of resistance that are not related to a broader plan of liberation.
Rather, as we witness another Ramadan in which the illegitimate Zionist state continues its oppression and domination over our first qiblah, we should be serious about finding an enduring solution for the people of Palestine. This means we have to go beyond emotional rhetoric, conspiracy theories and fantastical thinking. We should understand what a solution for Palestine would look like, and what the obstacles are.
An Enduring Solution
What binds us to the people of Palestine is not a shared language, similar ethnicity, or a common cultural background. Rather, our bond is one of the kalimah, a commitment to submit to the Creator alone, and to rely on His guidance in all of our affairs. Indeed, Allah (swt) tells us:
“And if you differ in any matter amongst yourselves, then refer it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [TMQ 4:59]
Consequently, we cannot be haphazard when approaching the issue of Palestine. Doing this or that will not lead to results. Instead, we must turn to the Quran and Sunnah when devising a strategy to liberate Palestine.
The Quran and the example of the Messenger (saw) equip and guide us to deal with all situations. And they are clear on how to deal with Muslims being oppressed. Allah (swt) has informed us of our purpose to enjoin good and forbid evil:
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [TMQ 3:110]
He (swt) also instructs to help those who seek our aid in the religion:
“And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help…” [TMQ 8:72]
And He informs us that we must unite in our struggle against the oppressors:
“Allah truly loves those who fight in solid lines for His cause, like a well-compacted wall.” [TMQ 61:4]
It is clear from these verses that we as an Ummah have an obligation to unite and resist the oppressors. Our Beloved Messenger (saw) further clarifies this for us by informing us:
“The Imam is but a shield (protection) behind whom you fight and you protect yourself with…” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Imam Nawawi, when commenting on this hadith, spoke of how the imam is necessary in defending ourselves against, “the evil of the enemy, the corrupt people, and the unjust people.”
This means it is the obligation of a sincere Islamic leadership to unify the Muslims, and fight against the evil that is taking place in Palestine, and across the Muslim lands.
The people of Palestine will not be helped through more international attention; what would motivate any of these other nations to damage their relationship with the global superpower, America, in defense of Palestine. The answer is also not partial boycotts of the Zionist entity’s products, the Zionist entity will still receive billions in military aid from the world richest and most powerful nations. The solution is also not more charity, whatever schools or hospitals are built in the occupied lands will just be blown apart by the Zionist military.
And while no action should be initiated without a sincere dua to Allah (swt) for His assistance and guidance, dua alone is not a sufficient response. We are still obligated to make an effort.
The only solutions is a state, committed to following Divine guidance, that can unite the Ummah, and mobilize the resources, technology, and human capital of the Muslim lands to defeat the occupiers and oppressors.
This solution is not merely theoretical or idealistic, it is the lived experience of this Ummah for over 1300 years. After the passing of our beloved Messenger (saw), this Ummah was quick to appoint a Khalifah, a just Islamic leader, to handle the collective affairs of the Muslims. The Khilafah state, in one form or another, has been protecting the Muslims, establishing Islam, and spreading it message for over a millennium. In its most weakened state, the Ottoman Khilafah refused to give Palestine to the Zionists, even when it desperately needed the money, they were offering to pay off its debts.
The answer seems simple, so what is preventing this from taking place?
Now that we have laid out the solution, it is crucial for us to determine what is preventing us from reaching it. The reality is that the biggest obstacle for the people of Palestine is not a lack of resources, media coverage, or international attention. It is not even the occupier itself. The biggest obstacle is an Ummah that is divided into useless, unstable, and despotic nation states, whose governments are more interested in stealing from and terrorizing their own people as opposed to fighting the enemies of Islam.
The Zionist entity exists because the Muslim regimes allow it to. The very same Erdogan who calls Aqsa a red line provides the Zionist entity with the majority of its construction materials and energy resources. The same Morocco and Jordan that expressed concerns about the Zionist aggression have accepted and normalized ties with the entity. The very Egypt that condemned that Masjid Al-Aqsa attack shares a border with the Zionist entity and plays its part in sealing off the Gaza Strip, so that the Muslims there cannot get proper food, medicine, or arms.
If we are serious about liberating Palestine, about reclaiming Al-Quds and the third holiest masjid in our deen, our real work needs to be generating genuine Islamic political change in the Muslim lands. Without this, we are missing our shield, defenseless in the face of our enemies.
Palestine has been occupied for as long as any of us can remember. Year after year, we have seen gruesome images, of the Muslims being bombed, shelled, and further dispossessed in their own land. Is it not time for us to get focused on finding a solution.
Focus means ignoring the calls to boycott this product or write to this MP. None of these actions will replace that shield that RasulAllah (saw) ordered us to put in place in order to protect Palestine and the Ummah more broadly. Instead, we must become advocates for the rise of a genuine Islamic leadership in the Muslim lands, for the revival of the socio-political system of Islam, the Khilafah state. This would involve organizing collectively to learn about the systems of Islam, and then using the relative ease and security we have in Canada to popularize these ideas in the Muslim lands. It is being part of this effort that will allow us to face our Creator when He asks us what we were doing when the Muslims were being oppressed, and His sacred house was being defiled. May Allah (swt) protect us on that day!
“[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might!” [TMQ 22:40]