سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آَيَاتِنَا إِنَّه هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
On Friday 14th July, following a shooting attack that resulted in the deaths of 3 Palestinians and 2 Israeli police, Al-Aqsa Mosque was closed for the first time since 1969. Our brothers and sisters were prevented from praying the Jumu’ah prayers inside the Mosque, and instead were forced to pray on the streets. The Mosque remained closed and the adhaan was banned for two days until Sunday. Since it has been reopened, new security measures, namely CCTV cameras and metal detectors, have been put in place to control the entrance to the Holy site. This has sparked protests in Jerusalem and across the country, where Muslims staged a sit-in outside the mosque refusing to allow the recent control and dominance over the area. Hundreds have been injured over the course of the week, and Wednesday witnessed mass demonstrations in Palestinian territories, refusing further control by Israeli occupying forces.
The Islamic Waqf authority that controls the mosque and representatives from Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas called for Friday to a “Day of Rage” to condemn the Israeli violations of the holy sanctuary, as worshippers gathered to pray in the streets surrounding Al-Aqsa in protest. Thousands gathered in the streets, many journeying from other towns and cities. Muslims in Jordan, Turkey, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia also protested in solidarity with those in Palestine.
Their resistance came at a high cost. Hundreds were injured in clashes yesterday, as Israeli occupying forces opened fire on protestors with rubber bullets and live ammunition, as well as targeting crowds with suffocating tear gas. The Israeli army also targeted Al-Makassed hospital in Jerusalem, evacuating doctors and patients and refusing to admit the injured.
The bodies of the dead were buried within hours, smuggled in and out of hospitals, for fear that Israeli forces would kidnap the bodies and hold them as an insult to their families.
The three martyrs reported to have been killed yesterday
The recent occurrences at Al-Aqsa have caused such anger because they have violated the “status quo”; and this is not a unique occurrence. Palestinians already face restrictions when visiting the Mosque; men under the age of 45 have to apply for permits to enter and have to withstand the regular clashes between visitors and Israeli security forces, who can arrest at will and restrict those who they deem a security threat.
Palestinians are living under occupation, with houses demolished at will, regular raids and attacks, from Israeli forces and settlers. There are thousands of Palestinian prisoners, including the current 6,500 political prisoners and 300 child prisoners. Four hundred prisoners were arrested in June alone.
“Overall, an estimated 40% of Palestinian men have been detained at least once in their lives.”
Under the Israeli occupation, the Ummah has suffered inhumane treatment with their basic rights being dishonoured and disregarded; this includes countless examples in the previous 69 years of occupation. Earlier this month, Nour Mustafa, a 14 year old boy was been hit in the eye with a rubber bullet by Israeli forces while he was standing on his balcony at home. Despite receiving treatment in hospital, he lost his eye permanently.
In addition, Muslims in Gaza have continuous 20-hour black-outs a day, which has only increased since the closure of the Strip’s only power plant last week. With little food, water and access to medication, Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison, deemed to be uninhabitable by the UN by 2020; some experts say 2020 is already here.
Another common occurrence in the occupied territories is the prevention of building permits for Palestinians which restricts them from developing basic necessities, such as, houses, medical clinics, schools and the illegalisation of connecting power grids and water pipes to the mainland power system. These blatant examples of the occupation are countless.
The occupation of Palestine should not be tolerated, especially given its place as our third holiest site of Al-Aqsa, the first qibla in Islam. Neither should we have to endure the oppression and inhumane treatment of our brothers and sisters. The so-called “two state solution” cannot and will not solve our problem for the Ummah in Palestine, as seen with the failure of the “status quo” which does not provide protection for the Muslims.
This protection should be provided by the leaders of the Ummah, the Muslim rulers. However the reality is they have abandoned this responsibility, betrayed Islam and exposed their own treachery towards the Muslim Ummah, turning their armies against those they should protect. Such secular Muslim presidents, prime ministers and their flawed laws, clearly cannot protect the Ummah in Palestine from harm, or protect their dignity.
As mandated from Islam, the Ummah is in dire need of the removal of the tyrant rulers and oppressive states in our lands. The Ummah is in dire need of a ruler who calls for the full implementation of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the example of Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) and Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (rahimahullah), true historical liberators of Jerusalem.
As we look back in history, we are amazed and honoured by the justice of Islam, which protected and respected the rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims under its shade. When Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) liberated Jerusalem in the year 636 (16 A.H.) he signed a treaty which stated: “The inhabitants of Jerusalem are granted security of life and property. Their churches and crosses shall be secure. This treaty applies to all people of the city…People shall be quite free to follow their religion…” This treaty thus opened the doors to the Jews who were denied access for thousands of years under the Christian rulers. They even used the holy site of the Temple Mount as a garbage dump. Umar (RA) reacted to this by cleaning the area and fencing it off.
The re-conquest of Jerusalem took place in July 1187 (Ramadhan, 582 A.H.) by Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (rahimahullah) in the great Battle of Hittin against the Crusaders. Prior to the start of the battle, Salahuddin’s advisors urged him to wait until after the Holy month, to which he replied: “Man’s lifetime is short, death gives no appointment and leaving the occupiers in the Muslim lands for more than a single day despite the ability to drive them out is an abominable act that I could not bear.”
Such are the words of sincere rulers and slaves of Allah (swt). May the likes of these great rulers of Islam return, and may they conquer back our lands and rid them of injustice. May the Ummah be united under the shade of Islam once again. Ameen.
ومَا لَكُمْ لاَ تُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَآءِ وَالْوِلْدَنِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّـلِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ وَلِيّاً وَاجْعَلْ لَّنَا مِن لَّدُنْكَ نَصِيراً
“And what is (the matter) with you that you do not fight in the way of Allah, and (for) the one who are weak among the men and the women and the children who say, ‘Our Lord take us out of this town whose people are oppressors and appoint for us from Yourself a protector and a helper.”