For more than six decades, the Holy Land has been a place of blood, tears and suffering. Palestinians have been under siege since the illegal creation of the State of Israel on their land in 1947. Lives of innocent people, mostly children, young and aged men and women have so far been lost with lots of heinous crimes committed to jeopardize the quest for justice and liberation of Palestine from the shackles of oppression of the Zionist-led Jewish government.
The world, particularly the Arab League and the United Nations (UN) looked on as Israeli troops maimed and massacred defenseless people to retain its dominance and expand settlements in the region. It has also succeeded in destabilizing the peace of the Middle East, becoming a threat to other neigbhouring arab nations, who till today have failed to openly declare their support for the Palestinians struggle.
Peradventure the Arabs are unaware of the significance of Palestine, or they did but pretended as if they didn't. Or because of their supercilious lives of extreme decadence, plus how they lavish the ill-gotten oil money on Yachts on 'the French Rivera', homes in Cannes, endless nights in London clubs and brothels, and shopping trips to Paris.
Or do you think a Saudi prince who receives 100,000 dollars every year since birth and who by 18 years would be 2 million-dollar-rich will be ready to abandon the luxury and be tagged terrorist, whose death is imminent for supporting Palestine? What of people that castigate you for showing solidarity for Palestine in your deeds and actions? Such people would ignorantly ask, why would you take the Palestinians cause so serious when we have our own peculiar problem Nigerians?
SIGNIFICANCE OF PALESTINE
There is no controversy amongst the scholars over the significance of Palestine to the Muslims. They all hold the same view that Palestine is a sacred land, not only to Islam but other Abrahamic faiths (Judaism and Christianity). The greatest significance of Palestine for the Muslims is that it contains Baitul-Maqdis (the noble sanctuary), the holiest place in Islam outside of the Hijaz. Both Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock are built in the area of the Baitul-Maqdis.
Baitul-Maqdis in Palestine was the center of Isra’ and Mi`raj of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
In the Qur'an Allah says: (Glory be to the One who took his servant on a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa whose precincts We have blessed...) (Al-Israa' 17: 1)
It was the second Mosque established on earth after Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. In the Hadith, Abu Dharr said: "Once I asked Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) what was the first mosque established on the earth; he said “Al-Masjid Al-Haram.” Then I asked him: then, which mosque? He replied: “Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.” I then asked him what was the time period between the establishment of the two mosques; and he said: “forty years." (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
Baitul-Maqdis in Palestine was the first Qibla (direction in which Muslims face when praying). The Muslims faced towards Baitul-Maqdis when praying during the entire Makkah period of Prophet Muhammad's (peace and blessings be upon him) life and for the first 16 months of the Madinah period, after which Allah ordered the direction of the Qibla be changed towards the Ka`bah in Makkah. Prayers in Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa are equivalent to 500 times the Prayers in any other mosque except for Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah and Al-Masjid An-Nabawi (the Mosque of the Prophet) in Madinah. In the Hadith Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Prayers in Al-Masjid Al-Haram are equivalent to 100,000 Prayers, and Prayers in my Masjid (in Madinah) are equivalent to 1000 Prayers, and Prayers in Baitul-Maqdis are equivalent to 500 Prayers." (Reported by at-Tabarani)
The Coordinator of the Muslim Awareness International (MAI), Alhaji Luqmon Yusuf said the Muslim Nation, irrespective of their languages, regions, tribes and cultures, is one, stressing that, "Our Qur'an is one, our Lord, Allah is One, our Qibla is one, and the fact the our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said a Muslim that is not concerned about the affairs of his fellow Muslim is not part of us. That's why we should all show serious concerned about the plights and sufferings of the Palestinians.
AL-NAKB – THE CATASTROPHE
The Palestinian suffering got to the climax in 1948 following the creation of Israeli by the British in their Land. In the last sixty years, they violated laws of wars and committed war crimes against humanity. They killed thousands of Palestinian kids, aged, male and female, and rendered them homeless. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, also referred to Al-Nakb - the Catastrophe, over 5000 combatant deaths were recorded, including 800 civilians. Similar number of casualties was recorded during the 1949-1967 Fedayeen war. The 1970-1971 Jordanian Civil War otherwise known as Black September had the largest casualties of war. Over 20, 000 Palestinians were massacred by the Israel Defence Forces that entered the village of Karameh.
The War of Attrition, war of the camps, the first and second intifada to 2008-9 Gaza-Israel war where over 6000 people were killed. The December 2012 Gaza offensive that led to the death of HAMAS leader, Ahmed Jabbarri and hundreds of other Palestinians is still fresh on people's memory. Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with artillery shells and about 20 airstrikes on the first day of the offensive. The Israeli atrocities are endless.
The attacks on Gaza received wide condemnation from across the World. There were different 'Free Palestine Protest' across Europe, New York City, Francisco and other major city cities in the US. It's the same message, but with different captions of their placards. Some read, 'End the Gaza Siege', 'Free Palestine', 'Say No to Israel Aggression', and, 'Say No to Injustice', amongst others. For instance, approximately 16,000 protesters came together from across the UK to make a stand against the way Palestinians are being treated by the Israelis.
The protesters also called for the boycott of Israeli products and the companies that have a track record of supporting them. South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) recently voted in favour of full boycott and divestment sanction policies against Israel, an unprecedented move that could bring significant economic pressure to stop the blockade of Gaza and illegal settlement activity on the West Bank.
BOYCOTT ISRAEL AND ITS ALLIES CAMPAIGN
Scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed that boycott is a MUST for Muslims, a means of showing brotherhood and solidarity for their brethren. Among such scholars were Qatari based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, Irananian spiritual leader, Ali Khumaini, and Sheikh Dhikrullahi Shafi'I from Nigeria.
Luqmon Yusuf opined that the weapon of oppressors is economy, stressing that the only way to stop them from committing their oppression is boycott. He noted that if Muslims are aware and would boycott Israel products all over the world, it will go a long way in curbing the aggression against innocent Palestinians.