The Day of Quds
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent the most Merciful
Never will you attain the righteousness (or the good reward) until you spend [in the way of Allah ] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it – The Holy Qur’an 3:92.
Imam Khomeini (RA)
Imam Khomeini (RA), the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution called upon the Muslims of the world to mark the last Friday of Ramadhan in their calendars as the day of Quds, an annual anti-Zionist day of protest commemorated in several Muslim countries. His call was clear and firm:
I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan – which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people’s fate – and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people.
The last Friday of the month of Ramadhan, very likely in the week which contains the night of Qadr is a determining period. Our destinies are sealed in this week and our prayers, answered. The reason this day was selected by the supreme leader is because the day carries considerable weight in the eyes of the Almighty. If all Muslims stand in unison against the oppression faced by Palestine, and join in their struggle, coupled with the blessed week of Qadr, in the greatest month of the Islamic calendar and the best day of the week, who’s to say what could happen. The Almighty destroyed an army of elephants with birds a thousand times smaller – Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the people of the Elephant? Surely it is not a task for Him to bring the oppressors of today to justice.
Of course, we need not exist if Allah (SWT) were to solve all our problems without any struggle and any effort on our part. The aforementioned verse from the third chapter in the Qur’an gives us an accurate guideline on how to deal with the current situation of the world, be it the military oppression in Palestine & Syria, or the economic oppression in Africa. As we explore our lives to determine our purpose, many have come to realize the importance of humanity towards others in this world. The contentment one obtains from actively helping out their community or their society exceeds any satisfaction obtained from worldly riches. Maybe this is one of the purposes of our existence – that we learn to be selfless, that we learn to share our blessings with the less fortunate. And when we do share, when we do help, when we do serve, there is a feeling that can only be described as ‘right’. It feels humanely right to give charity, it feels right to help out our neighbors, it feels right to protect the orphans and the oppressed. Never will you attain righteousness until you spend [in the way of Allah] that which you love.
To achieve one of the purposes in our life, to attain that righteousness, we have to spend from what we love. To evaluate this verse, we have to first identify what we really love and hold dear in our lives. What do we value to a great extent? Is it our wealth, health, family, time, education or our youth? To give charity out of something you do not value is easy. For instance, if one earns a salary of a million dollars a year, out of which a thousand is dedicated to charity. Despite the great amount of reward he/she may get for the given charity, it is not something that will attain you righteousness. Surely a thousand from a million is not a significant amount, it is not something you hold dear, not something you love. If you’re unemployed and have plenty of free time and you decide to spend an hour a day at your local orphanage, again that one hour is not something you hold so dear and once again, one may obtain the reward but will they attain righteousness?
As we stand with the people of Palestine this last Friday of Ramadhan, think of what you love and what you value and let us be honest with ourselves, are we truly giving what we dearly value in the cause of Allah(SWT)? Surely protecting the oppressed is the cause of Allah. If it is your time that you hold dear, sacrifice more of your time for the cause of Palestine – run, or participate in an anti-Zionist rally. If it is your wealth that you value the most, contribute towards the various charitable organizations that support the oppressed people of Palestine. If it is your family, sacrifice your and their time towards this cause, educate them, mobilize them, and support them to stand up in this fight against oppression. Seek out what you love, and spend that in the way of Allah(SWT). Yes, at first there may be that hesitance, because you’re sacrificing something that you hold dear, but the satisfaction, the reward, the righteousness you will attain from it is incomparable.
And whatever you spend – indeed Allah is knowing. Know that whatever you spend in his cause is not a forgone blessing. Be certain that your reward lies with Allah(SWT). Anything you spend in the way of Allah, you will be rewarded its multiple. Lend unto God a goodly loan. Whatever good you shall forward on your behalf you shall find it with God, as better and richer in reward.
Lastly, do remember NOT to stay silent about the injustices that occur in the world – Palestine being one of them. In Ziarat Waritha, we send curses on a select group of people involved in Kerbala – So, Allah curse those who killed you And Allah curse those who wronged you And Allah curse those who heard the event and rested satisfied. We curse the people who killed and wronged our third Imam, but we also curse the people who did not speak up against his martyrdom. We always question what the saying Everyday is A’shura and every land is Kerbala means. Well, it is more relevant than anything today. The Palestine, Syria and Yemen of today is the Kerbala of over a thousand years ago. Al-Hussain’s call for help echoes till today, this time for the oppressed people of the contemporary world. Who will answer his call? And how will we answer his call? Let us give serious thought to the verse from chapter 3, and sacrifice what we love for the sake of the Almighty.
And what happens if we stay silent? And Allah curse those who heard the event and rested satisfied. It is our moral responsibility, no, it is our obligation as Muslims to stand against oppression anywhere we see it. If we do not speak up, we are as accountable as the people who saw or heard about the slaughtering of the grandson of the Prophet, but did not utter a word against it.