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Palestine: Reflecting, Responding, and Moving Forward


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
When Israel, a nuclear state with the 18th most powerful army globally, kills civilians under its occupation, it’s termed ‘retaliatory’ by Western media. But when the Palestinian resistance, essentially held captive in what’s known as the world’s largest open-air prison, reportedly kill civilians, it’s labeled as ‘terrorism’.
Islam unambiguously prohibits targeting civilians, and this tenet remains unchanging. Yet, Muslims, and indeed all informed individuals with a sense of justice, should always recognize the inherent righteousness of the Palestinian cause and the clear moral superiority of its narrative.
Here is what you should remember:
  1. Supporting the Palestinian cause doesn’t necessitate blanket agreement with every action or strategy of the resistance. Wars have always had their horrors. History is a testament to this. With that context, it’s crucial to note the prevalent bias in Western media. I just watched an Israeli woman on a local Israeli channel recounting how Palestinian fighters entering her home reassured her by stating, “We are Muslims; we will not harm you.”
  2. While current events draw attention, they need to be contextualized within the past 75 years. In brief: A group of Jews from Europe forcefully misappropriated a land that was inhabited by people who had been there since before the birth of Abraham (pbuh). This has been followed by 75 years of systematic oppression against the Palestinians: continuous settlement expansion, frequent killing of civilians, practices of collective punishment, forced evictions from homes, seizures of properties, and annexation of land. Beyond the recent acts, one must never forget that the root issue is the unlawful occupation that strips a people of their freedom and subjects them to perpetual hardship and degradation.
Here is what you should do.

Immediate Steps:

  • Maintain your trust in Allah without wavering.
  • Act prudently, steering clear of impulsiveness and rash reactions.
  • Seek support within your community, especially from masajid, and collaborate with your brethren.
  • Dedicate yourself to prayers, fasting, and acts of charity, always raising your supplications to Allah.
  • Donate generously through secure, legitimate channels.
  • Join informed civil protests and discussions, when possible, armed with verified information.

For the Future

This is a call for introspection. Our challenges stem from internal shortcomings, wickedness, and apathy. To truly rejuvenate the Ummah, a sincere, informed return to Allah and His Deen is essential.
The first hadith often relayed by scholars of hadith is:
(الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ)
This translates to: “The Compassionate One shows compassion to those who are compassionate. Show compassion to those on earth, and the One in the heavens will show compassion to you.”
Our essence is rooted in this principle.
Historically, Islam and Muslim lands have often been a refuge for Jews. After all, with the possible exception of a hypothetical unitarian Christian group that adheres to the Mosaic law, there is no religion on the face of the planet that is closer to Islam than Judaism.
The majority of Muslims earnestly hope for a day when a peaceful resolution to the conflict can be reached, ensuring the rights and dignity of all involved.
وصلى الله على محمد والحمد لله رب العالمين

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Dr. Hatem Al-Haj has a PhD in Comparative Fiqh from al-Jinan University. He is a pediatrician, former Dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Mishkah University, and a member of the permanent Fatwa Committee of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. AshaqHussain

    October 17, 2023 at 1:02 PM

    As-Salaam Alaykum

    I think most of our muslim many people are too young to remember the first Gulf War in 1990. And the 300 babies killed in incubators hoax.

    The propaganda at that time, was rabid and relentless. And too get people to go along with the war they fabricated a story of Iraqi soldiers killing 300 babies in incubators . It was repeated by George Bush sr,and other politicians relentlessly, multiple and countless headlines about this in the media.

    A 15 year old girl was brought in to give fabricated tear filled eye witness testimony. Infront of American congress. The propaganda was so effective, that even Amnesty International got tricked into accepting it.

    2 years later in 1992 A New York Times investigation exposed the whole thing as a hoax. The eye witness Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwaits Ambassador and had been given a script and acting lessons. There is a video on this on the Democracy Now youtube channel.

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