By Yusuf M. Abdullahi
In the name of Allah who states "Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the sacred Mosque to the Distant Mosque, the environs of Which We have blessed, That We might show him some of Our signs. Surely, He alone is the Hearing, the Seeing". Q17:2
May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon the noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
The International Quds was declared by Imam Ruhullah Khomeini (may Allah have mercy on him) in 1979. The day is meant to express solidarity and unflinching support to the oppressed Palestinians and indeed all other oppressed people of the world. Ever since, it was observed, not only by the Muslims who answered the call of this great Islamic personality, but human rights activists and civil liberties organizations including the anti-Zionist Jews! The event traditionally precedes last Friday of Ramadan, the actual day set aside by the Imam as Protesters usually storm the streets of central London in UK, some parts of Europe and the United states protesting the ill-treatment of defenseless Palestinians mostly women and children for over seven decades by the merciless Israeli government. It is imperative to acknowledge this effort by the people wishing peace to reign and justice to prevail all over the world. As emphasized by the Imam “the Quds Day is a universal day. It is not an exclusive day for Quds itself. It is a day for the oppressed to rise and stand up against the arrogant.”
Popularly referred as the day of the oppressed, the International Quds day was meant to sympathiese with all oppressed irrespective of all differences, and to fight oppression and injustice as common enemies. On this principle, the Imam debunked apartheid and helped Mandela in the fight against it. In appreciation on the other hand, Mandela said "the independence of South Africa was incomplete without the freedom of Palestine", and on his first visit to Tehran after release from long incarceration, he acknowledged the fatherly role of the Imam and the Iran in that direction. Late Hugo Shahvez was very active in observing the annual Quds day where he would be seen in the forefront of the events among other protesters in his country.
Apparently, America was the consistent negotiator and chief architect of the road maps in the Israeli / Palestinian issue. However, whoever wishes may visit the peace talks and accords over the decades. Was any tangible achievement made? Why was there no progress? Unfortunately, the America’s double standard is known to all as it depends Israel even at extremity with its veto power. Simultaneously, arms deal is a very gainful trade to its manufacturers in particular and the West in general. Through such consistent bloody crisis they trade arms to all warring parties. In fact, the conflicting parties compete in the trade on arms capacity and sophistication. The available statistics displayed 60% of the arms used in the middle east are purchased from US and Saudi-Arabia alone purchases up to 13%! In addition to this, the artificial crises provides gainful engagement to their security personnel on huge amount of allowances in the name of training and consultancy. These facts are very obvious in the recent arms deal by the US and Saudi-Arabia running into hundreds of billion dollars!
Generally speaking, as the Imam maintained, unity is the unavoidable tool for the attainment of all organizational goals. So Muslims must be solidly united. Then why do Muslims divide? Undoubtedly, all persecution, humiliations, disgrace and extreme poverty befalling the Ummah are nothing but effects of its division which is escalated by the enemies. George Curzon, the British Secretary of state for foreign affairs, 1911 – 1921 was quoted saying "we must put an end to anything which brings about Islamic unity between the sons of the Muslims. As we have already succeeded in finishing off the caliphate, so we must ensure that there will never arise again unity for the Muslims, whether it be intellectual or cultural unity"
As a day for brotherhood and solidarity with the oppressed, we therefore emphasize the utmost need for unity of the Ummah. “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” Q3:103. History is a living witness on the commendable role played by late Imam Khomeini and Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut (may Allah have mercy on them) in this direction. Ruhullah always maintained, those sowing discord along the Sunnah/Shi’a divide are neither Ahlus Sunnah nor Shiites!
For quite sometimes, the Middle-east has always suffered from one problem or another. That is why the global Muslim awakening conference is carefully organized and convened by the Islamic republic to enlighten the world and not be hijacked and used as a weapon against Muslims. With the deepening of the crises in the region we can see the increasing level of bloodshed of Muslims with multifaceted support given to the terrorist groups by the enemies. That is why Iran seems to have a different stand compared with most of its neighbours. The leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamne’i (may Allah lengthen his life) always maintained that the terrorist groups in the region clearly serves the American interest accusing any cooperation with the US to resolve the Iraqi or Syrian situation as sowing discord and divisions within the region. Why should not the countries of the region resolve their problems? Must they need foreign intervention not to talk of leadership in that? The countries in the region should analyse their situation and strategically deliver themselves being the victims of all foreign maneuvers.
Creation of public awareness on the issue is part of the reasons behind the event considering the spiritual relevance of Quds to the Muslim-umma in general. With the American decision to recognise al-Quds as the capital of Israel and redeployment of its embassy urging others to do the same, the world has witnessed great atrocities against the Palestinians where over 120 were massacred on cold blood beside thousands that sustained various degrees of injuries. It is imperative to emphasize the expected role of Muslim scholars in this campaign. As part of the Imam’s compendium delivered at Najaf in 1970 reads; "A clergyman should be such that when the people see him, they should remember the messenger of Allah (S). You have accepted this heavy responsibility and it is you that should guide this people to the end". His well known concept of Wilayatul faqih -governance of the jurist- was built on this basis.
Justice is the key to peace and stability of all nations. Therefore, a threat to it anywhere is considered everywhere. It is the central philosophy behind the establishment of all authorities including the United Nations. The widespread bloodshed and infringement on people’s honors on global scale are directly borne of injustice which makes the world difficult to live. In the Quds day peaceful procession observed by the Islamic Movement in Zaria in 2014, the world could recall the cold blooded murder of Shaikh el-Zakzaky’s three undergraduate sons. Later came the Zaria massacre of 2015 and his subsequent detention and hundreds of his disciples. In an unrelenting effort to secure his freedom and justice on the oppression meted against him and other peaceful citizens, interestingly Nigerians unanimously struggle irrespective of tribal, religious and geographical differences. At this juncture, it is imperative to commend all those sympathizing with the oppressed across the world, and putting hands for justice to prevail, especially the Concerned Nigerians Group. That was the rationale behind all prophetic mission. Allah states "Verily, We sent Our Messengers with manifest signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance that people may act with justice ……" Q2:247. In an oft repeated quote, Shaikh Usman Bn Fodio said "a kingdom can endure with unbelief, but it cannot endure with injustice.
While earnestly praying for Allah’s destruction of the wicked responsible for the incessant bloodshed and suppression of the weak across the world, I wish Muslims a happy Eid/Sallah in advance.