IMAM KHOMEINI’S VISION WAS A UNITED UMMAH FOR A UNITED CAUSE
Quds Day Khutbah delivered by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery, Cape Town on 1 July 2016
In this final jumuah of Ramadaan we pray that Almighty Allah accepts our efforts and grants us forgiveness and freedom from the fire of jahannam.
We also pray that the time we spent in making duah and ibadat during this month has resulted in us further developing and strengthening our souls
When we speak about taqwa (which is also a compulsory reminder in every weeks jumuah khutbah) it is not the version confined to individualism. In Islam spirituality cannot be complete without it including your concern for your responsibilities towards others.
Worship has an individual aspect for personal development, but it also has a communal aspect for the development of society.
For example, Salaah is purely between you and Allah, but when it is in the form of jamaah, it has a different impact.
Similarly fasting is a form a worship which is purely between the individual and Allah, but at the time of breaking one’s fast we are recommended to share our iftaar with others too. And more than that, the climax of sharing in Ramadaan is to give zakatul fitra so that we ensure that everyone has a joyous Eid.
When taqwa is limited to personal development to the exclusion of social responsibility, then it is considered to be deficient Taqwa!
Thus since today is the last jumuah of this Holy Month of Ramadaan and we reflect on our spiritual development during this month, it is certainly also a time to reflect on what we did for the Ummah of Islam.
In a famous hadith of the Prophet (sawa) he is reported to have said:
“Whoever awakes in the morning and is not concerned about the matters affecting the Muslims, is not considered to be from among the Muslims”!
How can we consider ourselves as Muslim when we have no concern for our own society locally and in different parts of the world and the challenges we face?
This last jumuah of Ramadaan which brings the entire ummah together is an opportune time to reflect globally on the social political level to realise who our enemies are and how they are to a great extent managing to divide us and diverting our attention from the real issues affecting the ummah and leave us to retrogress instead of progress?
With this in mind, almost 37 years ago, our beloved Imam Khomeini introduced a concept to revive the Ummah of Muslims by making the last Friday of Ramadaan a time wherein all Muslims, regardless of school of thought come together as one ummah and express our feelings about our common challenges.
We are supposed to be an Ummah that are “shaahid” or witness over others. How can we be a witness if we cannot come together to voice of feelings for the most critical challenges that affect the ummah today.
And this institution of Quds Day has grown into an international success wherein programs are held in virtually every country for this purpose. And today we are encouraged to once again uphold Quds day to show our support for the Ummah internationally – especially for the first Qibla of Islam – Baitul Maqdas.
SECOND KHUTBAH – THERE’S TOO MUCH TO DISCUSS
1. ISSUE OF PALESTINE REMAINS THE CENTRAL PROBLEM
This year our attention to the issue of Palestine is more important as our enemies have been very successful in diverting our attention from the real issue.
The introduction of the Takfiri phenomenon has completely transferred our attention from the most important issue of the liberation of Palestine to various side issues.
Look at Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Pakistan and other places and you will see how they committed atrocities and managed to keep us occupied therein.
Whatever political analysis you come up with, the world will never change for the better until the Palestinian issue is resolved.
2. BEST OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMON GROUND
Since the last Friday in Ramadaan is holy to every Muslim as Ramadaan is holy to all of us and jumuah is holy to all of us and the last 10 days of Ramadaan is holy to all of us, this provides the best common ground of spirituality for all Muslims across the globe to come together.
And furthermore, they come together on an issue wherein they do not differ – the issue of Palestine. We might dispute the details of how to resolve the Palestinian issue, but in principle we are united on the issue of Palestine!
So in the vision of Imam Khomeini, by combining these 2 powerful elements of common spirituality and common purpose relating to Palestine, he saw the best opportunity for Muslims to Unite and progress.
3. ANTI-QUDS DAY CAMPAIGN
But how does shaytaan not come in between?
While shaytaan is tied in this month, there is a bigger shaytaan inside ourself.
We are witnessing a campaign on different levels which is saying “don’t support Quds Day!” They say yes we support the Palestinian cause, BUT don’t commemorate Quds Day!
Because Quds Day is a Shia event! Or an Iranian event wherein the Iranian government want political mileage out of it.
While Imam Khomeini NEVER made this a sectarian affair!
Recently our beloved leader, Ayatullah Khamenei said “In Palestine there are no Shia, and if there are, they are extremely small in number. But we supported them from day one and spent MORE of our resources on the Palestinian cause than ANY OTHER project”!
Look at the building of our mosque project – we receive minuscule our support from Iran as their efforts go into supporting Palestine and related courses first.
But lies has no limits!
Shias supported the Palestinian cause LONG BEFORE the Iranian Revolution.
Ayatullah Hakim in Najaf was from the early scholars who supported the Palestinian cause and made it a waajib obligation to do so and even passed fatwahs that khums money could be used for that purpose. Why did he do this? For what political gain?
And from his stance, various other grand Shia spiritual authorities followed suit and passed the same fatwas. This included Ayatullah Baqir Sadr, Ayaullah Muhammad Sadr and others.
And what about Ayatullah Sistani who from Day one also supported Palestine. When Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen was martyred, Ayatullah Sistani declared him to be a Shaheed (martyr) even though in sectarian he was a Sunni sheikh who represented a school of thought which was not very friendly to Shia at all.
In Saddam’s time, thousands of Palestinians migrated to Iraq, and some local Iraqis started behaving in a xenophobic manner towards them, and Ayatullah Sistani issued fatwas that its haram to interfere with Palestinian refugees.
The United Nations statistics show that after this fatwa of Ayatullah Sistani, there was not one recorded case of forced removal of Palestinians from Iraq.
4. REALITY INSIDE PALESTINE
And then what about the support of Hizbullah for Palestine for over 3 decades we should ask??
In today’s news in the Israeli media, they say that although 10 years have passed since the second war between Israel and Hizbullah, and even though Hizbullah has been branded a Shia organisation that is supposedly anti-Sunni and Anti-Arab and eventhough all the Arab states have jointly declared Hizbullah to be a terrorist organisation, TODAY 65% of Palestinians inside Palestine still support and believe in Hizbullah!
Our Ummah needs a reality check.
Who are you to come tell us that Hizbullah has nothing to do with the Palestinian issue? And that Quds Day should be boycotted?!
People who have done nothing for Palestine and you will never go to do anything meaningful either suddenly want to be authorities on Palestine?
You have the Turkish regime who supported DAESH and the chickens have come back home to roost. Suddenly Turkey is ready to please others and settle their differences with Israel. Is that your solution?
Or is Saudi Arabia your solution who say very soon we will have full ties with Israel?
Or is UAE your solution?
Or is Egypt your solution?
What is your solution? What is your alternative?
People shamefully write that Al-Quds will not be freed by Quds Day. Shame on those who speak like that.
They have done NOTHING for Palestine. The only thing they have done is to divide the Ummah, support takfirism and give a negative, distorted image of Islam to the world.
And with this background of nothingness you have crowned yourself with the right to call Quds Day a Shia issue?!
How more low can you go?
And you woke up now after 37 years?
A couple of years ago the United Ulama Council issued a statement to support Quds Day and this year they have withdrawn this letter. What happened? Were we not all Muslim all this time or did they only now become Muslim to imagine that they made a grave mistake??
How long will we still be victims of this self-imposed ignorance and wilful arrogance and sectarian hatred?
5. OUR INTERNAL DIVISIONS
It is also so sad for me to acknowledge and say that even those who always believed in Quds Day and were always in the camp of Imam Khomeini and are happy to raise the flags of Hizbullah and Islamic Resistance are unfortunately not ready to see the issue of Quds and Palestinian through the lenses that Imam Khomeini saw it.
His vision was a united ummah for a common/united cause.
But for them, their own inside politics is more important than the cause of Quds Day. And they thus also do not mind to cause division in the process by calling those who don’t agree with them to be Zionists and sell outs, while they call themselves the pioneers of unity. This is extremely painful to observe.
Are we sellouts to Zionists? Why must they buy us? Nay, we are sell outs to shaytaan for free!
6. OTHER PRO-PALESTINIAN MOVEMENTS
And while we decry our internal divisions within the Pro-Quds Day camp, we also witness how other Pro-Palestinian movements in South Africa like the Palestinian Solidarity Committee or BDS (Boycott Divest Sanctions) and so on very conveniently shy away and do not support International Quds Day.
We don’t deny the work of BDS, but why don’t they support Quds Day?
It’s because we are all stuck in our little boxes and can’t seem to come out of it.
CONCLUSION – RISE ABOVE OUR DIFFERENCES
If we are genuinely interested in the liberation of Palestine, then we must take ALL the support we can get from all corners and have big hearts to overlook all our differences for this cause.
Even if people we consider to be sell outs are prepared to support Palestine, let’s join hands with them.
This year, in our continent we also commemorate the anniversary of Shia support for Palestine, when we remember how Ayatullah Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky sacrificed the lives of his children in last year’s Quds Day march.
While he is still in prison and 1000 people were killed due to being Shia.
He is the voice of support of Africa for Palestine and represents 10 million Shia followers in Nigeria which is one of the most strategic countries and econmies in Africa.
And not one Pro-Palestinian organisation in South Africa is prepared to support the greatest African supporter of Palestine. Why? Because our sectarian hate does not allow us.
I finally prayer that Almighty Allah gives us vision to rise from this low state to first show concern for the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (sawa) before being concerned about our Schools of Thought.