QUDS DAY: THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE OPPRESSED!
By Yusuf Abdullahi
In the name of Allah who states "Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing" Q17:1
Peace and blessings be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
Congratulations to Muslim - Ummah on the successful completion of Ramadhan fast. The great month was obviously a unique favour for the Ummah to attain high level of moral and spiritual excellence. The night of majesty - Laylatul Qadr - is greater than a thousand month, equivalent to 83 years and three months! With regard to numerous lessons of the month, I will like to emphasize the following points:
Firstly; Salat is the greatest form of worship - Aazamul Ibaadat. More attention was focused on compulsory and superogatory prayers in the month especially the Taraweeh and a thousand - raka'ats popular prayer narrated by Imam Jaafar al - Sadiq (as) among others. So we should not relent the least in discharging our responsibility in this direction. We must keep up the night prayers seeking Allah’s forgiveness and mercy.
Secondly; The significance of fasting in the attainment of moral and spiritual excellence cannot be overemphasized. As the Ramadhan fast is over, fasting as a special form of worship is open for those in need of Allah's pleasure. Imperatively, we should not forget about the popular Sittatu Shawwal or the six - day fasting of the subsequent month. Generally speaking, the prophetic tradition is well known in this direction.
Thirdly; Qur'anic recitation was no doubt a very significant practice in Ramadhan. Believers should do their best in befriending the noble Qur'an after the month. I use this medium to urge brothers and sisters on the need to master the demonstrable book as the level of ignorance is disheartening. It is very clear that our attention is more on secular aspects. Many of us have acquired their first degree, second and PhD but are lagging behind regarding the noble Qur'an. We must wake up and do the right thing for our goodness. We should try to recite the whole Qur'an as many times as possible and sacrifice such rewards to parents and loved ones dead or alive.
Fourthly; Generous approach in the month has become traditional especially in Arab countries where Mawa'id al - Rahmaan are organised as community Iftar. Generosity was therefore an obvious lesson. The prophet (s) encouraged the Ummah especially the rich to do their best in this regard. The reward of kind gestures in the month is incomparable with that of other times. This is why group and community Iftar was encouraged to help the needy. Zakatul fitrah at the eve of Sallah celebration was also for the same purpose. And;
Fifthly; More than any other time, believers were encouraged to put in more efforts in prayers in Ramadhan. Allah said “When My servants Ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed Close (to them); I respond To the prayer of every supplicant when he calleth on Me; Let them also, with a will listen to My call, And believe in Me; That they may walk in the right way” Q2: 186. We should always pray to Allah to grant our wishes and protect the Ummah from the conspiracies of its enemies. Inthis regard, we should befriend the books of supplication like Mafaateehul Jinaan and Dhiyaa'us Saaliheen among others. In addition to that, various forms of remembrance like Istigfaar and Salatun Nabiy among others should be maintained.
In our self and general assessment, we should never forget that fasting is a special act of worship enjoined on Muslims with a clearly stated objective designed to have positive multiplier - effects in our socio - economic lives.
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE OPPRESSED
While giving an open invitation to Muslims and the world on August 7th, 1979 to acknowledge the day, Imam Khomeini of blessed memory said "I invite Muslims all over the glove to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, which is a day of fate and which could also become the day on which the fate of Palestinian people might be determined as Quds day and to proclaim the legitimate right of the Muslim people of Palestine"
The Grand Imam declared the day to express solidarity and global support to Palestinians and indeed all other oppressed. Ever since, the day was observed through processions, conferences and rallies by nations, human rights activists and civil liberties organisations across the world. Evidently, the idea of the insightful Imam was blessed and received borderless acceptance. This year's event was observed in United Kingdom, America, Europe and other parts of the world by people agitating for peace to reign and justice to prevail all over the glove. The colourful nature of the event observed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria was very encouraging despite the over six months incarceration of its leader Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H).
CREATION OF ISRAEL
Israel was established after the second world war that ended in 1945. The Zionist state was promulgated and recognised by the Western powers in 1948. Zionism is a movement developed in late 1800's that united Jews and saw the forceful creation of the illegal state in place of Palestine then occupied by only 5% Jewish inhabitants. To quote from Zariani Abdul Rahman's book - HITLER AND THE WANDERING JEW, 1994. Just a few days ago the diplomacy of the dignified and handsome Semitic Prince Faisal Abdul - Aziz al - Saud was lost on the hysterical crowd of New York Jews who were bent on literally spitting HRH. Nine centuries ago, while Christian Crusaders were burning Jerusalem's Jews alive in their synagogue, it was the Muslim Saladin who kindly brought back Jews to Jerusalem, along with his Muslim followers. And 800 years later, within the UN headquarters in flushing Meadow, New York, this was how the Muslims were paid back for their past kindness to the Jews.
THE PLIGHT OF PALESTINE
America was the apparent negotiator and chief architect of all road maps regarding the domination of Palestinians by Israel or what others ignorantly refer as incessant middle - east conflict. The questions arising; was any tangible achievement made in the over six decades of peace talks? Any optimism in the future? To what extent is the negotiator accused of double standard? Then, in whose interest does America work in the whole process? The other side of the conflict reveals the gainful arms trade to the American and other European manufacturers.
As regards the ambitious liberation of Palestine, many thought the Arab league formed in 1945, with the aim of strengthening ties among member states, could coordinate their policies and protect their common interests. But what were the achievements of the league? To what extent did the league and its sister Palestinian liberation organisation (PLO) achieve their stated objectives? The question is how could the Arab league and PLO, established on the basis of Arabism or Nationalism lead to emancipation of Palestine while the same Nationalism was used to destabilize the old Ottoman empire and establish Israel in its place? No doubt, the Quds day is a very significant and only measure towards liberation of al - Quds, the third holiest mosque and the first direction of Muslims. Unity is the force behind the call of this great Islamic personality and ultimate hope for the liberation of Palestine and other world oppressed indeed. Allah states “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” Q3:103.
George Curzon, the British Secretary of state for foreign affairs, 1911 - 1921 said "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" That is why the spiritual leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamne'i maintains that the ISIS clearly serves the American interest in the middle - east accusing any cooperation with the US to resolve the Iraqi or Syrian situation of sowing discord and divisions within the region. Why should not the countries of the region resolve their problems? Must they need American intervention not to talk of leadership for that? In contrast, the Imam emphasized that solution to the predicament of the Ummah lies in solid unity and strict adherence to the teachings of the noble Qur’an and the messenger, hence the rationale behind the declaration of the day.
THE BORDERLESS SYMPATHY
The day was meant to sympathiese with all oppressed irrespective of all differences, and to fight oppression and injustice as common enemies. The Imam bitterly debunked Apartheid and helped Nelson Mandela in the fight against it. 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 appreciated the fatherly role of the Imam and the Iran in that direction. Late Hugo Shahvez was very active in the observance the annual Quds day where he would be seen in the forefront of the events among other protesters in his country.
While sympathiezing with the Palestinians, more than any other time the world witnesses unending bloodshed especially in the Muslim world covering Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Algeria, Sudan and Nigeria among others. We will use the same medium at the right time to express the urgent need for the unconditional release of Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his disciples.