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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hamas-Israel war: The enigma surrounding the holy land saga

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By Ali Fatty

It’s more than two months since the war between Hamas and Israel commenced in the occupied Gaza strip of Palestine. Since then, the world has seen an unprecedented shelling of buildings and lifesaving facilities in Palestine by Israeli authorities leading to the unimaginable skyrocketing death toll of innocent civilians in the name of self-defence, yet the world is silent.

According to the Palestinian health authorities, more than 23,210 people have been killed and more than 58,416 reportedly injured since Israel commenced its bombardment of the enclave Gaza city.

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In this week the media office of Gaza Government has said that 9,600 children and 6,750 women are among the innocent civilians killed.

It is unequivocal that the silence of the world is burying the voices and obliterating the lives of women and children in Palestine.  Martin Luther King Junior said this better “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”

Moreover, the past few months have revealed to the entire world, the true faces of the charlatan western leaders in global institutions like UN, EU who continuously support Israel’s indiscriminate and heartless butchering of innocent women, children and the older people, yet in the real world, these charlatan leaders claim custodianship of how democracy is administered around the world and how human rights are defended.

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How can Muslims end the suffering of Palestinians?

Nevertheless, the Muslim clergies and intellectuals need to fathom the mechanisms of solving conflicts by the conduit of diplomacy, dialogue and tactfulness; as taught to us by the Holy Qur’an and exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) in his life time rather than proliferating the sufferings of Palestinians through provocative and inciteful speeches.

There is plethora of historical accounts in the life time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) which exhibit his modus operandi of solving conflicts through dialogue, tactfulness and diplomacy.

By he (saw) exploring these mechanisms he was able to come to terms with enemies who left no stone unturned in their opposition of the message of Islam and were indeed day to day bloodthirsty of the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw).

An exemplary incident that showcases the Holy Prophet’s (saw) approach to conflict resolution, which Muslims of all generations take pride in, is the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

This incident ultimately led to the triumph of Muslims in Mecca. Despite the peace terms and conditions presented by the Meccans seemingly not favouring the Muslims, the Holy Prophet (saw) agreed to all of them in order to establish peace. This act of accepting the peace agreements, even when they appeared disadvantageous, exemplify the Prophet’s commitment to fostering harmony.

Since the start of the war, the voice of the fifth Caliph and World-Wide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), is constantly heard echoing in the world, addressing the leaders and citizens of Hamas and Israel to come to terms and allow peace to rain in their countries, rather than pursuing their self-centred desires. This has always been the way of His Holiness, not just in relation to the present conflict or Muslim countries.

His Holiness in his Friday sermon of 13th October 2023, made an appeal to the congregants at the Islamabad Mubarak Mosque in the UK and to all Ahmadi Muslims around the world to pray for the war between Hamas and Israel to come to a halt and also for Allah the Almighty to establish peace in the world, He said:

“At this time, I would like to make an appeal for prayers, relating to the conditions of the world today. Over the past few days, the war between Hamas and Israel has been ongoing, due to which civilians on both sides, including women, children, and the elderly, are being killed or have already been killed without distinction.

Even in times of war, Islam does not permit the killing of women, children, or anyone who is not engaged in the fighting. This is something that the Holy Prophet(sa) has given strict guidance on. (Abu Daud, Kitab-ul-Jihad, Hadith 2614)

“The world is saying, and there is some truth to it, that Hamas initiated this war and is guilty of killing Israeli civilians indiscriminately. Despite the fact that the Israeli army has previously killed many innocent Palestinians in this manner, Muslims, however, must still act according to the teachings of Islam. The Israeli army is responsible for its own actions, and other methods could have been adopted to resolve this issue. If a war is warranted, then it can be fought between armies, not with women, children or the innocent.

Thus, the actions of Hamas were wrong; they have caused far greater harm than any benefit.  Nonetheless, the response to all that has happened and the war should have remained limited to Hamas, and that, in reality, is what would constitute true bravery and courage. 

However, now the actions being taken by the Israeli government are also very dangerous. It seems as if there is no end to this situation. The potential loss of innumerable innocent lives, including those of women and children, is unfathomable. The Israeli government claimed that they would completely erase Gaza to the ground, and for this, they have dropped many bombs. They have reduced the city to rubble.

The latest circumstances are that they have said more than a million people should leave Gaza, and some have indeed started leaving.”

His Holiness continued to call the Muslim world to persuade the people of the book to come to peace based on the Qur’anic injunction that ‘Muslim should call the people of the book to that which they share in common’, he said:

“In such circumstances, Muslim nations, at the very least, should come to their senses. They should set aside their differences and establish unity. In order to better their relationships with the People of the Book, if Allah has given the commandment to the Muslims:                                              

تَعَالَوۡا اِلٰي کَلِمَةٍ سَوَآءٍۢ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَکُمۡ

“Come to a word equal between us and you,” [3:65] i.e., by uniting over the Unity of God…”

These days many people whilst defending their scriptural beliefs are caught up in the heated debate regarding who are to be the true inheritors of the Holy Land in Israel.

Both the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible unanimously agree to the fact that only the righteous people are promised to be the true inheritors of the Holy Land.

In addition, the Holy Qur’an stresses righteousness as the sole condition for reclaiming the Holy Land.

Thus, Muslims aspiring to reclaim it must prioritize embodying these qualities to meet the conditions stated.

Ali Fatty is a student at the Ahmadiyya International University of Theology and Scholastic Sciences, Ghana

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