By Fatemah Meghji
“وَالَّذينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ “
[8:73] The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief.
In the above quoted verse of the Qur’an, Allah (swt) has warned us in the Holy Qur’an that if we do not stand with our brothers and sisters, there will be oppression in the world. This can be applied to Palestine, where we have abandoned our brothers and sisters, claiming that we do not wish to get involved in ‘politics’.
But who should we fear?
Allah’s (swt) wrath for abandoning his oppressed? Or the current world order that has and will continue to dismiss our plight and oppress our people?
Alhamdulilah by the grace of Allah (swt), there is a growing international movement against the aggressions of Israel, as even according to International Law, the occupation of Palestine is illegal. Various activists and academics have taken the initiative of organizing a non-violent march across the so-called borders of Gaza into the Erez crossing, “Israel” on December 31st, 2009. This is the one year anniversary from the massacre on Gaza in which 500 children were murdered and over 1000 civilians. While Israel does not shy away from killing thousands of Palestinians, it may shy away from killing 500 people with foreign passports.
The Gaza Freedom March (For more information: www.gazafreedommarch.org) is to show the world that together, united, we will not let the occupation and inhumane blockade on the people of Gaza continue. In fact, we will break the siege, and get food, aid, and building materials to our brothers and sisters. This is indeed a great initiative of resistance, but in order for it to be a success that will truly end the blockade and occupation, we, as Muslims, must stand with them. This historic non-violent march is an actual feat of resistance, an action to end the occupation. In order for our duas to be fulfilled in regards to abolishing oppression, we must act: “Verily Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition!” (13:11)
It is of grave concern that our ummah has become desensitized to the suffering and countless massacres of the Palestinian people. There are many things that can be done for this march:
1. We need to SPREAD THE WORD. The march in its nature needs to have hundreds of thousands of international people aware and in support for it in order for it to succeed.
2. We need to DONATE. This is very simple. All it requires is going to the www.gazafreedommarch.org website, and donating money on their secure server. Further, we need to spread the word about donating, put links up on our websites and get people to donate as much as possible so that this movement is a success.
3. ORGANIZE solidarity events from December 27th- January 1st in your city! In order to become an organizer for your local city, organize something and then register your event on the main website by clicking on the link on the left-hand side titled “Solidarity Actions”.
The Gaza Freedom March is not something we should shy away from, even international law is on our side. This entire delegation has not been planned by Muslims, yet it is a courageous act of resistance that we should at the very least, donate to, join and endorse- if not lead. We need to ask ourselves what we are going to tell Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgment when he asks how we defended the oppressed.
We live in a time of desperation, and we make continuous supplications for the reappearance of our beloved Master, the Hujjah of our time, Imam Mahdi (ajf). But what has caused us to think that preparing for his advent is limited to words coming out of our mouth? If we are not joining these marches to justice now, what makes us think that we will do so when our beloved Imam returns? If we are too scared of the repercussions of our governments now, what are we going to do when faced with the Dajjal? We constantly speak of being ready and preparing, but when is the last time we have actually done something about it? The timing of the Gaza Freedom March is only a few days after the day of Ashura, in which we commemorate the tragic massacre of the Ahlul Bayt (as). I quote an epic speech given by Ayatullah Muttahari on Ashura. Though given 55 years ago, it speaks to us today:
“I swear to Allah (swt) I truly swear to Allah (swt), we are held responsible for these affairs! I swear to God we have a responsibility! I swear to God we are not fulfilling it! I swear to Allah that the issue that hurts the Prophet (pbuh) the most today is this one! The one that hurts Husayn ibn Ali (as) the most is this one. If we truly want to make ourselves valuable, if we want to make this commemoration of Imam Husayn (as) valuable, we must think that if Imam Husayn (as) were here today, and he himself were to come and ask us to commemorate his sacrifice, what would he tell us to chant?… If he was here, he would have said, “If you want to commemorate my sacrifice, if you want to beat your chest for me, hit yourself with chains for me, then your chant today should be, “PALESTINE!” The Shimr that existed 1300 years ago was one man, but you need to identify the Shimr of today. Today the entire Muslim nations should be shaking this world with their chants of PALESTINE!”
May Allah (swt) help us in our plight to serve Him and end oppression, and return the world to a place of worship of obedience to Him, the way it was meant to be!