Thursday, January 15

Muslim Scholars on Gaza - 2

From dated December 31st, 2008

International Union for Muslim Scholars
Statement on the Horrific Massacre Against the People of Gaza

Praise be to Almighty Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, Companions, and all those who follow his guidance. Almighty Allah says,

(Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is Well Able to give them victory.) (Al-Hajj 22:39)

The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) — with its chairmanship, executive office, board of trustees, and large number of affiliated scholars (whether individuals or bodies or groups in the entire Muslim World) — is observing with all concern, sorrow, and sense of responsibility the horrid massacre and horrible holocaust being committed by the Zionist enemy against our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip.

As of the writing of this statement, the number of martyrs has risen to more than 680, in addition to 3,075 wounded. The victims are innocent civilians who committed no guilt. They were only holding onto their right to freedom and dignity. They have the right to defend their land, honor, and life. They have the right to reject all forms of Zionist humiliation and blackmail.
Since the first day of the aggression, Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, IUMS chairman, has been issuing lengthy statements on the Israeli atrocities and the union has been observing the situation and making contacts with different parties to emphasize the following facts:

First, the union has explained the religious ruling prescribed by the Islamic Shari`ah — with its different schools of thought — regarding this case: The whole Muslim Ummah is obligated to stand in solidarity with the attacked people, if these people are unable to repel the aggression by themselves.

All Muslims belong to one Ummah. They resemble a structure in which each brick lends support to the whole structure. They resemble one body; when any limb of that body aches, the whole body aches.

Hence, any aggression against part of the Muslim body is an act of aggression against the whole body, so repelling this aggression is the duty of all Muslims, especially those neighboring the people being attacked. A Muslim is the brother of a another Muslim; he or she should neither oppress him or her nor forsake him or her. Truly, Islam has made it incumbent upon its adherents to fight for the sake of those oppressed, as revealed in the Noble Qur'an. Almighty Allah says,

(And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the oppressed among the men and the women and the children who are crying, "Our Lord, cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from You a guardian, and give us from You a helper"!)(An-Nisaa' 4:75)

This is the duty of all governments and peoples: Everyone should extend their aid as much and as fast as possible for the sake of self-defense. This includes medical aid, food aid, other vital aids, and even military aid. Also, governments' hindering of their peoples from providing the people ofGaza with different forms of aid or from expressing outrage at this aggression is categorically abominated and prohibited.

Also, it is not allowed for any government under any pretense to merely stand watching what is happening, let alone to close the door of mercy in the face of our brothers and sisters in Gaza. The crossings leading to Gaza are considered the lifeblood of the people living in the strip, especially the Rafah crossing, whose opening and closing is controlled by the government of Egypt. In fact, closing this crossing at this time means putting a rope around the neck of the people of Gaza so as to strangle them. This is an outrageous violation of the values of Arabism, Islam, and Christianity.

Second, The IUMS views what is being committed against Gaza and its people as a blatant, brutal crime and serious challenge to all human values and rules of the international law. It is a war crime and a genocide in which warplanes and sophisticated weapons are used against a defenseless people who are attacked in their homes, mosques, and roads. As a consequence, limbs are shattered, blood is spilled, and dead bodies are charred.

What further worsens the situation and makes it more serious is the fact that the strip has been under an ongoing unjust siege for more than a year and a half. As a result, in that terribly cold winter, the strip is suffering from a severe lack of basic necessities of life, such as food, electricity, medicines, fuels, etc. This tragic situation requires immediate intervention and intense pressure to break this brutal siege so that food, electricity, medicines, and fuels can reach this oppressed and wounded people, just as all other peoples.

Third, we call upon the Arab and Muslim leaders (kings, presidents, and emirs) to take a brave stance and say to the Zionist oppressors, "Desist, O savage people." Muslim and Arab heads of states should actively work together and collectively address the international community headed by the UN Security Council and the West in an attempt to stop this barbaric assault, which is indiscriminately killing old people, women, and children.

In addition, all those who have ties with the Zionist entity (a matter which has no excuse in the Islamic Shari`ah) should break up these ties, if the crimes and vicious attacks of this entity do not cease.

Indeed, in this situation, the silence of some governments can only be interpreted as treachery to the Ummah and participation in the crime, for the silent on truth is a speechless devil. This being the case, outcries and statements of condemnation should follow in succession. In a noble hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

"If you see my Ummah afraid of telling the oppressor "You are an oppressor," then it is farewell to the Ummah." (Ahmad)

We also call upon the Arab countries to gather for an urgent summit to tackle the situation the way it should be tackled. We call upon all Arab leaders to accept Qatar's call for a summit on its soil. This is the request of the Arab public throughout the entire Arab World. These governments will lose their legitimacy if they refuse to listen to their peoples' voice of dignity and honor, which are prescribed by Allah for the believers.

Fourth, we call upon the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference to quickly take necessary action aimed at consulting with the concerned leaders and presidents and with the European Union and the concerned international organizations. Also, they should get in touch with the masses in the Muslim World and the Arab World, seeking to bring the unaware back to their consciousness, alert the heedless, and reconcile the divided.

According to the immutable laws set by Almighty Allah, a billion and a half Muslims, of whom more than one third are Arabs, cannot be defeated by only several millions of Jews around the world. However, the myriads of Muslims can be defeated if their enemies are united whereas they are separated; if their enemies lend support to one another, whereas they forsake one another; and if their enemies are active, whereas they are idle.

Verily, it is the unchanging law of Allah that those who are united defeat those who are separated; those who support one another defeat those who forsake one another; and those who are active defeat those who are idle.

Fifth, we call upon our brothers among the scholars, jurists, imams, and preachers to endeavor to alert the Ummah and make it united in the face of the enemy. We call upon them to perform qunoot an-nawazel [supplication at times of tribulation], especially during jahri Prayers [where the imam reads aloud; i.e., Fajr, Maghrib, and `Isha' Prayers].

Also, we call upon them to keep the Ummah attached to Allah, for He is the One with Whom people should seek refuge at times of difficulty and He is the One Who grants victory to the Ummah over its enemy. In the Qur'an, Almighty Allah says,
(If Allah assists you, then there is none that can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there then that can assist you after Him? And in Allah let the believers put their trust.)(Aal `Imran 3:160)

Sixth, the IUMS is working on forming a global Muslim delegation consisting of senior scholars and prominent and influential figures. This delegation will make a tour to a number of influential Arab countries and meet their leaders to discuss the proper way of dealing with this situation with the positive spirit, true solidarity, and strong unity required to confront this ferocious aggression. Almighty Allah says,

(Verily Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact structure.)(As-Saff 61:4)

Seventh, the IUMS calls for reviving the economic boycott of US and Israeli products; this is a weapon that leads to good outcomes. Indeed, each dirham or dinar earned by these people turns into a bullet in the chests of our brothers.

Eighth, we extend our greetings to the patient and steadfast people of Gaza. They have remained firm despite the long-standing siege. They have defied the attempts of humiliation, normalization, and subjugation. They have stood up to the aggression with their chests and have shown tremendous determination and unbreakable will.

We call upon our brothers in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to stand up for their brothers and sisters in Gaza. Whatever the differences that may exist, one should not stand up for the enemy against his or her brothers and sisters. One should not support the oppressor against the oppressed.

We also call upon the PNA leaders to wash their hands of the negotiations out of which they gained nothing but a mirage. Moreover, we invite the Palestinian factions to remember the values they have long been upholding: unification in adversity and adherence to the established principles of the Palestinian cause.

Both parties, Fateh and Hamas, should meet, talk, and reconcile. They represent the same people, and they have one cause and one fate. Reconciliation is for the good of all Palestinian factions. If people cannot reconcile at times of difficulty and tribulation, when will they possibly reconcile? Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "Afflictions unite the afflicted."

In this respect, the Arab League should play its role with the support of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Indeed, ajourney of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Almighty Allah says,

(If they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them.)(An-Nisaa' 4:35)
In conclusion, we say to our Ummah, "Indeed, the favorable outcome will be ours, because truth is with us, and the word of truth is destined to prevail, whereas falsehood is destined to vanish." Almighty Allah says,

(And say, "Truth has come, and falsehood has perished. Verily, falsehood is [by its nature] ever bound to perish.")(Al-Israa' 17:81)

And we say to our brothers and sisters in Gaza and in entire Palestine,

(Endure, outdo all others in endurance, be ready, and observe your duty to Allah, in order that you may prosper.)(Aal `Imran 3:200)

(And neither lose heart nor grieve, and you shall have the upper hand if you are believers.)(Aal `Imran 3:139)

(And slacken not in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they [too] suffer pain as you suffer pain, but you hope from Allah that for which they cannot hope, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.)(An-Nisaa' 4:104)

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
IUMS Chairman