In the name of Allah Who 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 ……” Q57:26
May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon his chosen servant, our master Muhammad (S) and his purified progeny.
Irrespective of racial, geographical and religious differences, the world humanly sympathises with the Palestinians on the untold atrocities meted by the usurper occupiers for over 70 years. Every now and then, tens especially women and children were killed in cold blood with world watching without any effort to stop. Given the magnitude of present atrocities, one may think a machinery would be set by the international community immediately to stop but as usual nothing was done.
Unarguably, justice is the key to peace and stability of all nations. A popular adage says, “Justice delayed is justice denied, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The seven lettered word is the central philosophy behind the establishment of all authorities. To buttress the point, we can cite the principle (Chapter 1, Article 1) evident in the creation of league of nations which transformed into United Nations; to maintain international peace and security, and to that end to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of peace. The widespread bloodshed and infringement on people’s honours across the world are obviously borne of injustice making the world a difficult place to live in. The world ought to ensure justice for all and the Muslim Ummah should protect its interest if they are really working on the creed.
The word intifada literally means shivering. From the technical point of view, however, it refers to resistance and up rise against oppression meted against the weak. In his recent article in the electronic intifada, why I must oppose smears against Israel’s critics in Germany, Adri Nieuwhof said: “I have to speak out against the smear campaign waged in Germany against Farid Esack, a professor of Islamic studies from South Africa.” The world could remember the level of hatred demonstrated against his personality when offered a teaching opportunity at the University of Hamburg on baseless allegations. The Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the right-wing populist party, the Green Party’s Volker Beck, Katharina Fegebank and Israeli diplomats spread the said anti-Semitic rumour.
He was also credited with the statement: “I have to speak out because my parents suffered under the German occupation of the Netherlands. One lesson I learned from their past is that I should never remain silent when the rights of others are trampled upon. That is why I supported the South African people in their fight against apartheid and that is why I defend the rights of the Palestinians today. I am deeply disturbed about how academics such as Eleonora Roldan Mendivil, Farid Esack and Noman Finkelstein have come under attack in Germany because they criticize Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.
The pro-Israel lobby is waging smear campaigns against defenders of Palestinian rights with a view to excluding them from German universities. “I have known Farid Esack since the 1980’s when I worked with the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Our committee organised boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against South Africa and provided political and material support to the liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC). Esack fought apartheid as a leading member of the call of Islam organization and the United Democratic Front (UDF) founded in the 1980s – at a time the ANC was banned by the apartheid regime. It brought together trade unions with various grass root organisations, including the Call of Islam. The aim of these organizations was to make South Africa ungovernable by mobilizing people in campaigns to defy the apartheid regime. For example, Esack was among the organizer’s of 1989 peace march in Cape Town. Around 30,000 people took part in that protest, defying the state of emergency,” he added.
A similar development in support of justice to quote from the Jerusalem Post “Esack has helped raise funds for the popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine”. At the end of the sixth international conference in support of the uprising, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamne’i said: “Muslim countries have a responsibility to support Palestinian resistance which should be a source of unity in the Islamic world. The issue of Palestine can and should be the pivot of unity for all Islamic countries. The top priority of the Islamic world and all those fighting for freedom across the world is the Palestinian cause and unity to support that cause.”
One of the significant achievements of the conference was the placement of the issue of Palestine and creation of an atmosphere of harmony, and unanimity as the first priority in the world of Islam and freedom fighters across the world to ascertain justice. Unity is an unavoidable tool for the attainment of all organizational goals. Then why should Muslims divide? No doubt, all persecution, humiliations, disgrace and extreme poverty befalling the Ummah are nothing but effects of its division. A good example is the most disturbing problem that Imam Khomeini repeatedly pointed out; invasion of Palestinian land and creation of Israel in its place, subjecting its defenceless and rightful citizens especially women and children in untold persecution for seven decades! However, the greatest challenge before the Ummah is the Takfiri movement which outclasses Muslims from their religion. They are no doubt, working in the interest of the enemies of Islam. We pray to Allah to bring an end to their devilish acts! Unity as the central focus of maulud gives greater emphasis on unity and need to disregard trivial issues. Allah states “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” Q3:103. In the light of the above verse, Imam Suyuty in Durrul Manthur quoted a prominent hadith from Musnad Ahmad “O people, I leave amongst you two things which if you follow you will never go astray. They are the book of Allah and my Ahlul-bait -family,” it said.
It is pertinent at this point to express the Islamic principle for the protection of the Ummah as a whole. Allah states “Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs; for them is a clear chastisement” Q3:105 The prophet (S) said “the believers are like one man; if his eyes suffer his whole body suffers; and if his head suffers his whole body suffers” Lamentably, the Ummah is besieged with increasing problems unconnected with the way it ignores the honourable message of the holy prophet. This no doubt is the root cause of all humiliations experienced especially in Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central African Republic among others. So, also the unfortunate situation in Nigeria where poverty, fear, confusion, general insecurity, killings, and various forms of persecution increases especially in the North. With the unity week, the Ummah analyses itself vis a vis the prophetic guidance. As such it emphasises the need for strict obedience to the message and utmost need for cooperation under the common testimony of faith. The enemies of Islam use division to destroy the Ummah with the help of misguided Muslims. That is why those committed to the true cause of Islam are committed to unity. On the need for the Ummah to remain unconditionally united, Allah warned “Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs; for them is a clear chastisement” Q3:105.
The prophet (S) said in a hadith narrated by Muslim on the authority of Nu’man bn Bashir: “The believers are like one man; if his eyes suffer his whole body suffers; and if his head suffers his whole body suffers.”
Beside Imam Khomeini’s legacy on unity, Sheikh Ahmad Shaltut’s historic fatwa as quoted in Risalatul Islam, Dar Al-Mazahibul Islamiyyah, Cairo; Second edition is still enlightening “Islam does not oblige any of its followers to obey a certain religious school. Every Muslim can follow any of the religious schools, which have been handed down without distortion and the ordinances of which have been recorded in their unique texts. Any follower of any of the four common Sunni schools can convert to any other school. The Ja’fari school, also as the Twelver school, is one of the schools the following of which is permitted in religious laws just like following of the Sunni schools. All Muslims are, therefore, advised to admit this truth and to refrain from undue fanaticism and from unjustified prejudices about other religious schools. This is because the Shari’ah and the religion of Allah are neither dependent on nor unique to any specific school”
In line with this, Dr. Muhammad al-Dusuqi, a professor in Qatari University said: “Approximation in the schools of thought is, in principle an attempt to break the vehemence of party spirit and unite the word of the Ummah on the principles of its doctrine and the basic of its religion.” Issues of transfer from one school of thought or jurisprudence to another are easily traced in our history books like the famous “Irshadul Ummah Ila Tayseeril Millah” by Shaikh Bn Fodio. On the other hand, the holy Qur’an advises Muslim to approach the people of the book in a cordial discuss with a view to drawing them towards Islam. “Do not argue with the people of the book except in a most kindly manner.” Q29:46.
While emphasizing the utmost need for the world to support the oppressed Palestinians on the unabated atrocities of Israel over the decades to dislodge injustice, I call for the unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky (H) and his disciples.