Indeed, Allah defends those who believe.
Surely Allah does not like whoever is deceitful, ungrateful.
Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been wronged- God has the power to help them.
˹They are˺ those who have been expelled from their homes for no reason other than proclaiming: “Our Lord is Allah.” Had Allah not repelled ˹the aggression of˺ some people by means of others, destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.
Were Allah not to check people by means of others, there would have been demolished the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is often mentioned. [Surat Al-Hajj 22:38-40]
As we see Israel’s military launch air and ground forces on Gaza and the night sky lit up by explosions from Israeli artillery, tank shelling, gunboats and air strikes, the number of injured rises to 830 overnight, according to the Gaza health ministry. The death toll stands at 119, including 27 children. The UN has reported that more than 200 homes and 24 schools had been destroyed or severely damaged in the Gaza Strip in Israeli air raids in the past five days. It also warned that residents’ access to fresh water could be limited because of power cuts and damage to pipe networks. The Guardian highlights the case of Rafat Tanani, in northern Gaza, whose pregnant wife and four children were killed after an Israeli warplane reduced a building to rubble.
The situation has escalated rapidly from evictions of families in the Sheikh Jarrah area and attacks on worshippers in Masjid al Aqsa during Ramadan.
From these aayaat from Surah al-Hajj we learn:
- Allah (SWT) will defend those who believe
- Those who have been expelled from their homes and attacked, just because they are Muslims, should defend themselves
- Imam al Qurtubi mentions that included in this verse is the prohibition of demolishing the churches of non-Muslim citizens, their temples, and their houses of worship. [Tafseer Al-Qurtubi 22:40]
The scholars of Islam explain that Muslims of Makkah were expelled form their homes. Suhaib ar-Rumi (RA) was deprived of everything, when he was about to migrate to Al-Madinah. He arrived as a refugee with nothing except the clothes he was wearing.
When Abu Salmah was about to leave Makkah with his wife and a suckling child, his in laws forcibly separated his wife from him, and then the people of his own family took away the child from them. Thus the poor woman had to pass one whole year in sorrow and grief. After a year, she secured the child somehow and journeyed from Makkah to Al-Madinah with it all alone on a dangerous route.
Ayyash bin Rabiah was a half brother of Abu Jahl. When he migrated to Al-Madinah, he was followed by Abu Jahl and another brother of his, and they lied to him saying “Your mother has taken the oath that she will not move from the sun to the shade nor comb her hair until she should see you, therefore go back with us to Makkah, show her your face and then come back.” On their return journey they made him a prisoner, took him to Makkah with his hands and feet tied, and proclaimed: O people of Makkah, this is how these people should be treated and set right. He remained in that state for a long time and was at last rescued by a brave Muslim.
The supplications of three are never turned back:
- a fasting person until he breaks his fast
- a just leader
- and the supplication of the oppressed is raised above the clouds by Allah, the gates of heaven open for it and the Lord says: By My might, I will surely help you in due time.
[Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3598, hasan].
On this point, it was Umar(RA) who guaranteed the sanctity of faith communities in al Quds in his famous agreement on being handed the keys to the city by the religious leaders in 637, 15AH.
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. This is what is granted of security by the servant of Allah, Umar, the commander of the faithful, to the people of Jerusalem. He grants them safety for their lives, their property, their churches, and their crucifixes, for their ill, their healthy, and their entire community. Their churches will not be occupied, demolished, or reduced in number. Their churches and crucifixes will not be desecrated and neither anything else of their property. They will not be coerced to abandon their religion and none of them will be harmed. Source: Tareekh At-Tabari 2/449
The Prophet(SAW) informed us to “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is nothing to veil it.” [Musnad Aḥmad 12549, hasan]
Abdullah ibn Umar reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, circling the Ka’bah and saying, “How pure you are and how pure is your fragrance! How great you are and how great is your sanctity! By the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of the believer is greater to Allah than your sanctity, in his wealth, his life, and to assume nothing of him but good.” [Sunan Ibn Mājah 3932]
Allah(SWT) reminds us “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them, and provide for them from sources they could never imagine. And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ˹alone˺ is sufficient for them. Certainly Allah achieves His Will. Allah has already set a destiny for everything.” [Surat At-Talaq 65:2-3]
Allah(SWT) reminds us of a similar situation with the attack on the Ka’bah which is recorded in the 105th surah of the Qur’an – Surah al Feel.
Abraha, was a Christian ruler over Saba’ in Yemen, who had constructed a marble cathedral in Sanaa to rival the Ka’ba as a centre of pilgrimage. After it was desecrated by some nomads, he led a military expedition towards the north against Makkah to destroy Ka’ba with his army so that his magnificent cathedral would turn into the sole source of religious attraction for all.
Abraha sent a dispatch requesting a meeting with the leader of Makkah, Abdul Muttalib, the paternal grandfather of the Prophet(SAW). Abdul Muttalib was the key holder of the Ka’ba and took responsibility for taking care of all pilgrims to the Sacred House. On arrival, he was shown full respect by Abraha sitting him besides himself expecting a plea for mercy. Instead, Abdul Muttalib’s only request is to demand 200 of his camels which had been taken by Abraha’s army. Abraha is surprised and disgusted at this trivial request, saying, ‘I have come to destroy your esteemed house of worship, yet you request your personal possessions back.’
To which, Abdul-Muṭṭalib replies, “I can only talk about that which belongs to me. This house too has an owner. The Owner of this House is its Defender, and I am sure He will save it from the attack of the adversaries.”
There are many lessons from Surah al Feel including:
- Those who plot against Allāh never meet a good ending: Abraha tried his best to destroy the Kaaba. While people fled thinking they would never be able to defeat him, Allah sent His army to shatter him and his people and made them an example till the Last Day. However, note that Abraha was not finished off in the beginning. No, he planned, he came from Yemen, he did all he did along the way. Only in the last stop just outside the Kaaba, Allah(SWT) responded to further infuriate those who think they have a plan.
- None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He (Surah Mudathir 74:31). Allah here uses birds smaller than sparrows with rolled up bits of clay, not even stones, as His soldiers to destroy the enemy.During the Battle of Khandaq Allah used the winds against the disbelievers of Makkah and their Jewish allies. During the Battle of Badr, Allah sent down angels to fight the mushrikeen. Like each of these examples, use all the resources at your disposal – make your dua, raise your voice to lobby those with power, boycott trade from illegal settlements and be patient with the oppression, it is going to end. More importantly, save YOURSELF from the soldiers of Allah, they may take you anytime as well.
- Don’t lose yourselves to your ego. If you disagree with someone else who is also making their best effort to support the cause, don’t let envy or a power trip divert you from your cause. Abraha wanted attention for his cathedral and saw others as competition, losing focus on sincerity and humility before the Creator. This is not the time to be undermining efforts which are unified in this purpose.
- See where you can add value and if you have nothing good to say, then remain silent and support with your persons, financially and socially. Note, also the consequences of immature actions – someone went to the cathedral of Abraha, urinated and defecated in it. In the heat of the moment, don’t be immature and undertake actions which cause more harm to the community than good – consult with those who are more experienced and have been working on the ground over the years.
- “The house has it’s own Lord and He will protect it” Similar is the case of Al Aqsa, one of the most holiest of places on Earth. Even if none were to be alive to defend it, Allah will defend His House just like He defended Al Masjid Al Haram. The real question is are we going to be the ones who switch the channel now claiming to be desensitised or are we going to make effort to have an evidence before Allah(SWT)?
- No matter how powerful, cunning and skillful the non-believing people, God has shown in different verses of the Quran that His power exceeds all. The plots of those who plot against Allāh are always weak in comparison to His Plotting.
Every week we hear this ayah in Jumuah khutba – Verily, Allah orders justice, good conduct, and giving to relatives and He forbids immorality, bad conduct, and transgression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. [Surat al-Nahl 16:90]
We have a personal responsibility to do something today. Act together – Friends of al Aqsa stated 50,000 letters were sent to MPs and representatives to push sanctions for breaking international law. Raise awareness about the situation with Muslims and non-Muslims you know. Raise your voice – it gives hope to our brothers and sisters in al Aqsa and is our answer to Allah(SWT) about what we did.