The last Friday of Ramadhan each year (Friday Oct 20th) is marked around the world as Yaum Al-Quds. Imam Khomeini began this tradition shortly after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, as an annual affirmation of the Ummah’s solidarity with Muslims of Palestine in their struggle for the liberation of Al-Quds.
Al-Quds Day “Silence is crime to Humanity” Ramadhan is the month of struggle (Jehad) and it was in Ramadhan that Muslims fought their first battle, Badr, culminating in a resounding victory. It was also in Ramadhan that Mecca was liberated from the clutches of idol worshipers (Mushrikeen). It was therefore highly appropriate that Imam Khomeini should place the symbol of the struggle for liberation of Palestine and Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Imam Khomeini did not appeal to the Palestinians to rise up on the basis of Arab or Palestinian nationalism; nor did he call the regimes in the Muslim world to liberate al-Quds.
Imam Khomeini located the struggle of Muslim masses in the very roots of Islam, in the month of Ramadhan when Muslims worldwide fast together from sunrise to sunset.
Ramadhan is also significant as the month of the Quran. It was in this month that the first verses of Quran were revealed to the noble messenger of God (Allah) in the Hira Cave .
Wake up oh! Muslim Ummah.
We as Muslims cannot afford to be unaware of the continuing threat to the city of al-Quds and the Mosque itself. The major strategy of Christian Zionist and Zionist State against the Mosque has been to undermine it by opening tunnels running below it in the name of archaeology and science. Opening tunnels is having the effect of weakening the structure of the Mosque. There is now serious concern about the Mosque’s structural integrity. The tunnels could be used to plant bombs which could destroy the Mosque, and which the Zionist state could blame on individual zealot.
Al-Quds (Jerusalem) lies at the heart of Islam and Islamic movement. Al-Aqsa mosque was the first direction of prayers (Qibla) before changed to Mecca during the first year of the Hijra (migration). It is also significant because it was from al-Aqsa mosque that the Prophet went on to heaven (Mi’raj).
Hence, by observing the day of Al-Quds, Muslims not only begin to fulfill a political obligation, they also acknowledge a religious obligation. The protection of Islam’s third holiest place is a duty that is incumbent upon Muslims. As long as Al-Quds remain occupied, his duty remains unfulfilled, and mobilizing the Muslim Ummah towards this objective becomes a religious obligation. However, Ben Gurion once referred to the Arab states as “Israel’s first line of defense”. The implication is clear; the Arab states are not enemies of Zionist state, they will not fight for the sake of Lebanon, nor Gaza or west Bank not even for the sake of Al-Quds.
They will not use oil and their foreign exchange as weapon. They won’t allow people to demonstrate in the streets or during Hajj. They want even allow resistance group in Palestine to arm or provide funds. To reach Palestine we must first reclaim the holy land surrounding Palestine. The Arab States, Israel’s first line of defense must be claimed before Al- Quds could be liberated.
There is no power anywhere in the world capable of extinguishing the aspirations of the Palestinians – or indeed those of the Muslims of the world as whole – to achieve freedom for Palestine. Peace can never be achieved on the basis of the subjugation of the entire people.
The question of Jerusalem is the core issue of a peace settlement. A lasting settlement in Palestine has to include a complete withdrawal from all occupied territories including Jerusalem (Al-Quds), the acknowledgement of the right of return for the Palestinians who were forced to leave their land since 1948, adequate compensation for the losses of the land and property. Building of settlements and confiscation of Palestinian land has to be stopped immediately and all existing settlements have to be evacuated. These are not unjustified or unreasonable demand but necessary requirement for peace that is clearly derived from United Nations resolutions and general principles of international law.
The message of Al-Quds day should be loud, clear and eloquent with well-chosen slogan such as below:
• “Zionist spokesmen do not represent world Jewry”
• “Stop the Zionist massacre and persecution of Palestinians”
• “Give back to the Palestinians their land, homes and property”
• “End of Zionism = End of War of Terror”
• “Al-Quds day is the day for the weak and oppressed people”
• “Yamul Al-Quds – the day for restoring peace and justice to Palestine”
• “Jews true to their faith will never recognize Zionist occupation in Holly Land”