It’s Palestine Awareness Week at Radio Islam, an endeavor on our part to take the struggle beyond the recent flood of slogans & platitudes. In light of our campaign this week, guest contributor, Saajida Malvina reminds us to keep up the physical and spiritual momentum, even though a ceasefire has been reached in Gaza.
A ceasefire against the onslaught on Gaza wherein Israel used excessive force and bombed Gaza for 50 days was reached on Tuesday, 26 August. The peace deal brokered by Egypt was in light of wanton brutality against the people of Gaza, which left more than 2100 people dead, including more than 540 children. People of all nations and religious backgrounds were anxious following the latest developments, watching helplessly, unable to do anything. Hereunder, are few ways which one can assist our oppressed brethren.
Supplication - "Dua is the core essence of ibaadah"
The smallest action is to daily raise hands in dua, begging Allah for the difficulties of the Palestinian people to be removed, and for them to be enshrouded in Allah’s mercy. A person doesn’t have to read any particular prayer in any language, just raise your hands and beg Allah.
There are various forms of protest actions without resorting to violence that can be used to assist in ending this campaign Operation Edge. On that day when we will be asked by our Creator, we can respond by saying that we did attempt to assist our brethren by taking part in a protest action
Demonstration action or street protests in the form of marches, rallies, sit-ins, picketing etc. have been used formore than a century and is seen as a very effective way for people to give their opinions. The greater the attendance of people, the more effective the campaign would be seen and more likely to succeed. An example of this is during Operation Cast Lead in 2007, 500 000 people gathered outside U.N. offices refusing to move until strong action would be taken by the U.N. That night the U.N released a strong statement and it was one of the reasons, due to international pressure, the heavy bombardment on the enclave ended.
BDS – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
This movement was initiated by civil societies and Palestinian groups in July 2005 as a non violent and effective way to oppose Israel’s brutal apartheid. This was similar to the boycott movement against South Africa during apartheid. It is taking on momentum especially in the European countries. Norway, Sweden and Holland have pulled their retirement funds from Israeli companies. In early 2014, Arutz Sheva reported that boycotts have cost Israel’s agriculture sector 100 million Shekels ($30 million).
In South Africa, one Israeli company that sold Dead Sea products, left our shores due to BDS. Some people have complained that boycotting is too difficult. A suggestion would be to choose 5 companies or products, and look for alternates before boycotting the company in totality.
The power of social media should never be underestimated. The Arab spring began by people being frustrated and forms of action were planned as well as announced on the various social media platforms.
Use relevant hashtags and join discussions informing people of the reality of what's happening on the ground.
This supplication should be recited in the Maghrib or Fajr prayer daily when people are undergoing immense trials and challenges.
Surah Yaseen and Surah Fatah
People are encouraged to recite both the chapters daily and we pray that through the barkat of the recitation peace will be restored insha'Allah. It is mentioned that Surah Yaseen is named in the Torah as Mun'amah (giver of good things) because it contains benefits for its readers in this life as well as the hereafter. It removes from him the affliction of this world and the next, and takes away the dread of the next life. Surah Fatah means the chapter on victory.
Salaah in congregation
It is reported that a question was posed to the Imaam of Musjid-Aqsa regarding the end of this aggression? His response was that when the mosques are full during the Esha and Fajr prayers. To the men reading this, I urge you to please attend the mosque and perform your prayers, whilst I encourage and urge the women to encourage the menfolk to attend the daily prayers.
The above are just some methods that could be effective, and could be a means of salvation. Tomorrow, when our Lord questions us about what we did to assist our brethren in need, the least we can say is we took an active role in a campaign to end this aggression and carnage.
Image Credit: Palestinian workers line up at an Israeli checkpoint near Bethlehem. (Najeh Hashlamoun / APA images)
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