The rise of the Muslim nation during the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan is a potent symbol of their support for the Palestinian cause. These massive rallies, which take place all across the world, are a protest against the crimes of the Israeli regime. There is no question that this massive protest movement has significant effects all across the world. Let us look in to some of these effects through the viewpoint of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi:
The Historical Background of Naming the Last Friday of the Month of Ramadan as the ‘Day of Quds’
Before delving in to anything else, we should first take a look at the history behind the name of this massive protest movement. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has said the following in regards to the history of this issue: ‘All praise is due to Allah that after the Islamic Revolution, the name of Islam spread all throughout the Middle East, as well as throughout the entire world. Imam Khumayni, the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, named the last Friday of the blessed month of Ramadan as the Day of Quds. This was an opportunity for the Muslims to gather together and remind the enemy that we are still thinking of Quds and we have not forgotten about it.
Whenever the Muslims collectively feel this sense of power and unity which comes from these protests, we will be able to take back our lost heritage, and God willing, we will do so. During the meantime, this protest movement will be a reminder to us, as well as our enemies. We pray that we will witness the coming of a ‘New Dawn’ soon enough and that we will domi-nate over our enemies and the enemies of all of mankind.
Truly, if we were to die out of sorrow for what has been done to Islam and to the Muslims, we would not deserve to be blamed for it. There is a part of a sermon by Imam Ali (‘a) which has been narrated in the Nahj al-Balāghah , where he states: If a Muslim man were to die out of grief and sorrow from hearing about this (that the wealth of the Muslims was being plundered), he would not be blamed for it. In my view, his dying would be a worthy matter.’ The Imam (‘a) then continued: ‘Your enemies shoot arrows toward you, but you, due to your differences and conflicts, make your chests the targets of these arrows [i.e. you do not act to defend your county]. They take your wealth as plunder but you take nothing from them. They fight against you but you do not fight against them. They rebel and sin against Allah but you are unconcerned by it.
These are truly beautiful words from Imam Ali (‘a). When we examine these words, it is as if he is speaking about us, 1300 or 1400 some years after his death. Some of the Muslims have lost so much of their sense of manliness, honor, and courage that they are definitely the referents of some of the Imam’s (‘a) later words in this same sermon. In any case, the Interna-tional Day of Quds is an important and destiny changing initiative in Islamic history. We must take hold of it and consider it as one of the most important legacies of Imam Khumayni.
The Necessity of Holding Rallies on the International Day of Quds
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has further explained the necessity of participating in these Quds day rallies. He has stated that: ‘Enhancing the importance of the Day of Quds is an im-portant issue in and of itself. The more this issue is enhanced from an international perspective, the more influence and effect it will have. Due to this reason, we must hold this day as a day of massive protest against the oppressive Zionist regime. This must be a movement amongst Mus-lims, as well as free-spirited non Muslims.’
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has also censured some of the people who look at this issue from a negative light. He has stated that: ‘You should not say that these protests are a simple matter and they are without effect. The reality is that when countries such as Israel and its supporters see these protests, they quiver with fear.’ God willing, all you, both men and women, young and old, will be able to participate in these protests as part of your religious duties.
You should know that actions such as these will be included in your scroll of deeds as something very positive and indeed, illustrious. Such actions will definitely be recorded and they will become a means of honor and greatness for Islam and for the Muslims. The Day of Quds is in reality a day of victory for the Muslim world. It is a symbol for the Palestinian cause, and we hope that God willing, the day of victory for Palestine is not far off for us.
The Day of Quds: A Symbol of Unity for the Muslim Community
There is no doubt that the protests which take place during the Day of Quds and the issue of Palestine must be seen as a key to the formation of greater unity amongst the Muslim community worldwide. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has viewed this key precept of unity as one of the most significant aspects of this protest movement. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has stated in this regard that: ‘If the various separate Muslim nations abide by this essential precept, and they take hold of one another’s hands, acting in unity, then the unfortu-nate issue of Palestine will never be repeated again and the innocent Muslims will not be slaughtered in full view of the world’s eyes.’
Without any doubt, the Day of Quds will bring about a greater sense of unity amongst the Muslim nation. All of the Muslims know that the Day of Quds is a means of unity between the Muslims and on this day, all the people shout ‘Death to Israel’ and they shout that ‘Quds belongs to us’. Quds was the first Qibla (focal point of prayer) for the Muslims and we should never forget this important reality. We should never forget that one of the most important effects of this massive protest movement is that it brings about greater unity amongst the Muslims all around the world. Through this day, all of the various nations and peoples come to understand the reality that Quds must be liberated.
Therefore, all of the Muslims, irregardless of group or sect, must participate in this protest and they must voice their protest against the oppression which is taking place in Palestine. The Muslim community must make use of this opportunity and they must unite and work together. Even if some of the Muslim governments fall short of their duties, the Muslim nation as a whole must rise up. Through this rising up, we hope that the heinous crimes of the Zionist regime and its allies will be recognized by the people of the entire world and they will see the true reality of this illegal state.
Combatting the Oppressive Superpowers, the Prerequisite for the Realization of the Complete Obliteration of Israel
The protest which take place on the Day of Quds play a powerful role in fighting against the oppressive superpowers and the illegal state of Israel; this is something which cannot be denied. From this angle, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has delved in to this issue and he has explained the various facets of how these protests help to fight against the oppression of the superpowers and how they shake the foundations of these regimes. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has mentioned in this regard: ‘The protests which take place on the Day of Quds have shaken the foundations of the Zionist regime. The protests held in Iran and the rest of the Muslimworld on this day are a means through which the foundations of this malign regime are shaken and through which it can be destroyed.’
The fact of the matter is that this is a movement by the people which has caused this enemy to shake. The state of Israel has become isolated throughout the world today and the senti-ments of the people have turned against it. God willing, the participation of the people in this movement during the Quds Day will be a prerequisite for the complete obliteration of Israel. The reality of these protests has caused Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi to consider it as a day of sorrow for the Israelis, as well as their supporters. From the perspective of the Ayatollah, participating in these protests is the easiest and cheapest, yet most effective way of combatting Israel and its expansive policies.
Similarly, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has considered the Quds Day protests as a means of forcing the oppressive powers to retreat. The Ayatollah has stated: ‘The Day of Quds must be considered as a day of protest. All of the people must stand united against the usurpers and occupiers. The Day of Quds is not only related to the Muslims, but it is related to everyone who cares about the fate of Palestine and who considers Israel to be an occupying and oppressive power. Participating in this day of protest holds many important consequences for the Muslim world. In reality, any day of protest which is performed with strength and resolve will cause the oppressive superpowers to retreat.’
All of the various strategies which are being utilized today take root from the protest movement of the Day of Quds and this will ultimately resulte in the shaking of the foundations of the oppressive regimes; Quds will be freed from the criminal hands of the Zionist regime. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has explained this issue further by stating: The rallies of the Day of Quds are a practical and effective tool; everyone should participate in them, for they will undermine the foundations of the enemy. Similarly, the Muslims must magnify the Day of Quds and prepare themselves to take back the usurped Muslim lands and the first Qibla of the Muslim world from Israel.
The Quds Day Protests as a Divine Obligation
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has mentioned that one of the important elements in regards to the Quds Day rallies (which are held on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan) is as follows: ‘Participating in the Qud’s Day protests is a divine duty and this action will be recorded in one’s scroll of good deeds.’ Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has furthermore stated: ‘I invite everyone to participate in the Quds Day rallies and I believe that it is one of the deeds which can bring one closer to Allah during the blessed month of Ramadan. Everyone is able to gain from the blessings which can come about from such actions.’
It is necessary that everyone participates in the Quds Day protests and it is one of the good deeds which are sent forth for the Day of Judgment. In a meeting with the members of the Intifada and Quds group, Grad Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi considered these protests to be an obligatory part of religious law. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has stated in this regard that: ‘Sometimes, some women tell me that their husbands do not give them permission to participate in the Qud’s Day protest and they ask me what they should do? I tell them that today, with the conditions which exist, participation in the Qud’s Day protests is religiously obligatory and that their husbands cannot prevent them from participating in the rallies. This is due to the fact that this action constitutes an effective fight against Israel!’
According to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, participating in the rallies of the Day of Quds is indeed a good deed through which one can gain further proximity towards their Lord. The Ayatollah has stated that: ‘This act (being present at the Quds Day protests) is counted as a good deed in one’s scroll of deeds.’ He has also stated that: ‘All of the people are invited to participate in the protests of the Day of Quds and it is my belief that this issue is one of the things which can bring one closer in proximity with Allah during the blessed month of Ramadan. The door is open for everyone to gain these blessings by participating.’
The protests of the Day of Quds are, in effect, a full realization of the commandment of forbidding that which is evil. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has highlighted the great importance of this issue and he has stated: ‘The protests of the Day of Quds are the biggest manifestation of forbidding that which is evil. If this protest movement is not held, then the usurpation of Palestine by the Israelis will soon be forgotten.’ The first Qiblah (direction of prayer) for the Muslims was in Palestine and it was there that the Prophet (s) traveled to during his Miʿrāj (the Prophet’s night journey to the heaven). For many years, the Muslims would pray in the direction of Quds and so it is necessary that this Qiblah of the Muslims be taken back and protected. Therefore, it is necessary that during the last Friday of the blessed month of Ramadan, when the hearts of the Muslims have been softened and purified by a month of fasting, they j o i n together in unity and protest against the Israeli occupation. There is no doubt that, by participating in Quds Day protests (particularly while in a state of fasting), you will have performed a great act of worship.
Strengthening the Resistance Front and Repressing the Expansionist Policies of Israel
One of the practical effects of the International Quds Day protests is the strengthening of the anti Israeli resistance front. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has further explained this issue by stating: ‘Before the victory of the Islamic revolution and the creation of the Day of Quds, the resistance fronts in Palestine were composed primarily of leftists. After a period of time, this front failed and various ethnocentric movements took over. Neither of these groups was able to achieve victory against Israel. During this time period, the actions of Israel against the Islamic world were quite destructive in nature, one example of which is the Six Day War of Israel against a number of Arab nations.
After a while, the resistance fronts became more religious in nature and they became organized on the principles of religion, rather than socialism or ethnicity. During this time, we saw how the balance of power began to change against Israel and in favor of the resistance front, including the Palestinian resistance. Obviously, had this dramatic change in orientation not happened within the reistance front the Lebanese Resistance would have never been able to stand against the well equipped Israeli Army.’ Thus, if these protests are canceled, the Israelis (who are expansionist by their very nature), will continue to expand their territories and take more pieces of the Muslim world. Due to this reason, it is easy to understand that if the Palestinian Resistance had not turned towards Islam, today the Lebanese Resistance would not have been able to stand against the Israelis and deal them a decisive blow.
The Day of Quds as a Symbol of How the Muslim Community Supports the Oppressed
Participating in the Quds Day protests brings about many positive consequences. One of these positive consequences involves an enhanced level of support and care towards the oppressed people of this world, particularly the Muslims. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has stated the following in this: ‘The Muslim nations must consider the issue of Palestine to be their duty and responsibility.The Muslim people must unanimously voice their objection against the expansionist oppressors of the Palestinian people and, at the same time, voice their support for the innocent people of Palestine.’
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has also stated that: ‘We believe that all of the Muslim nations, in whatever way possible, should help the oppressed Palestinians. They must cut the field short for Israel, which has not stopped short in the commission of its numerous oppressive actions and crimes, thus ridding the world of this evil regime. If the Muslims fail in this regard and remain quiet, then there is no doubt that they will fail to fulfill a heavy responsibility given to them by Allah. This is a type of confrontation which any logical mind can accept... To adopt this type of a stance is a sign of mercy and affection towards those who are oppressed. ’
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has considered the salvation of Palestine to be possible with the support and aid of the Muslim community altogether. He has stated in this regard: ‘The issue of Palestine is a very serious issue… The conditions which we see within the international arena and amongst the Muslim nations have changed greatly from past times… It is for this reason that we must prepare to take a more serious stance and engage in various initiatives in this regard. At the same time, since individual and independent actions are not very effective, particularly during our time period, we must engage in a collective action based on a well thought out plan of action. This can be done through the presence of various representatives from across the Muslim world. Following this period of planning, various actions can begin to be taken in support of the Palestinian cause.’
The Day of Quds: The Revival of the Palestinian Cause, and the Restoration of the Honor and Dignity of Islam
One of the essential aspects of the protests which take place during the International Day of Quds is the incomparable role that it plays in strengthening the cause of the oppressed Palestinians and in restoring the honor and dignity of the Muslim nation worldwide. This is an essential aspect of the protests which has been spoken about and emphasized by Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi in his various lectures. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has mentioned in this regard: ‘The sound of the Quran still resonates loudly and it calls us to defend ourselves with pure sincerity; the result of this will be victory and honor for the Muslim world. We can still hear the call of our master, Imam Ali (‘a), when he said: “Be the enemy of the oppressor and the helper of the oppressed.”’
‘Therefore, the Palestinian revolution must be strengthened. This must be a revolution which is a continuation of the fight of Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn Ayūbī and ʿĪzz al-Dīn Qassām. The fact that the Palestinians continue to fight despite their heavy losses is a sign that the Islamic spirit has not died within them. This is a sign that they do not see themselves as dishonored and disgraced. This is in contrast to the leaders and kings of some of the Arab nations, who have accepted their disgrace wholeheartedly. These leaders may appear to be alive and they act like the living, but the reality is that they are dead and nothing remains of them.’
Similarly, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has explained another aspect in relation to the importance of the Day of Quds: ‘With the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the creation of the International Day of Quds, and the turn towards Islam of the resistance movements, it can be said that the Zionist regime is positioned in a much weaker stance. Likewise, the Palestinians are continuing their fight against those who oppress them.’ Therefore, the first purpose of the Day of Quds is that just as people are forgetting about the Palestinian cause, the Day of Quds arrives and it brings the issue back in to focus. This is particularly important, because the enemy seeks to pass the Palestinian cause inot oblivion. Thus, they rely upon the passing of time in order to slowly take these important issues out of focus and thus dominate through such means.
In this way, the Day of Quds is transformed in to an important day of history in Islam; it is a day which has become a thorn in the side of the Israeli regime. The Day of Quds has caused the Muslims to remember the issue of the ‘first Qiblah of Islam’ which has been occupied for more than sixty years now. On this day, the issue is remembered once again and brought back in to focus; without the Day of Quds, it is not improbable that we would have forgotten this im-portant issue through the passing of so much time. Every new generation is now able to remember that ‘Quds is Ours’ and we must take back this land from the claws of the Israeli re-gime.
All of the Muslims, including the Arabs, the Iranians, the Turks, without any exceptions, know that Quds is the first Qiblah of the Muslim world and it is an important piece of our history. Everyone considers this to be a part of the Muslim world and so, on the Day of Quds, everyone shouts out that Israel must be obliterated and the land must be given back to its rightful owners.
The Role of the Day of Quds in Exposing the Lies of Israel and its Allies in regards to the Issue of Human Rights
Another function served by the International Day of Quds is that it is a media victory against the disgraceful behavior and claims of Israel and its allies. The Western world is always busy speaking about human rights but it is clear for everyone that these claims are nothing more than hypocritical lies. These lies are easily exposed on the basis of the reality which we see on the ground in Israel, as well as in the countries which are allied with it. Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has mentioned in this regard that: ‘When we look at the Western world of today, with its deafening and continuously repeating calls for human rights, we see that none of these countries actually believe in their own claims in the field of war. In the war between Israel and Palestine, these issues of human rights are not abided by at all.
Not only are these issues not abided by, but these merciless and cold hearted criminals busy themselves in demolishing the homes of the Palestinians, bombing hospitals while the sick are still in them, and setting ablaze their agricultural fields. They cut down age old trees and they show no mercy to anyone, neither the young, nor the old. They kill men, women, and children without a second thought. In spite of these horrendous and heart rending crimes, they continue to speak about human rights and the irony is that they condemn nations such as Iran for being severe and lacking in human rights!’
If the so-called supporters of human rights were honest in their claims, then the world would indeed be very different today. The fact of the matter is that these nations care only about their own interests, and they commit the most heinous of crimes in pursuit of these self interests. It is interesting to note that if an Israeli spy is convicted of his crimes in some part of the world, the Western media will rise up and raise their voices in objection, convicting that country in absentia of not abiding by human rights. Yet, if thousands of Palestinians are killed in the worst of ways, not a single word will be heard from these same media outlets nor will they protest the issue in light of human rights. These same powers will in fact come to the aid of the Israelis so that they can commit even more crimes and they can kill even more innocent people!
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has then further spoken in regards to the ever increasing disgrace of Israel and its Western allies and how this is one of the most important outcomes of the protest movement of the Day of Quds. It will not be long that Palestine will return in to the fold of the Muslim community as an independent nation. The Day of Quds is a day of rising up for the entire Muslim world and it is an opportunity to further disgrace the usurping Zionist regime. Today, Israel’s name is dishonored amongst the people of this world and the nation is more isolated than ever; the citizens of the world have truly turned against it and its many crimes.
A Final Word
Today, the enemy is in a state of decline and moving towards collapse. Therefore, we must increase pressure of them in whatever way possible. The Western supporters of Israel, such as America, France, and England are caught up in their own economic and domestic crises and they are not able to help Israel like in times past. How foolish are those who are aiding Israel in the matter of Syria and Iraq… These Muslim nations do not know that the war being imposed on Syria and Iraq is a prerequisite for pressure being applied on themselves in the future.
Some of the leaders of these so called Islamic countries who are behaving in this fashion are in reality digging their own graves. In light of this issue, the Muslim nations and in fact, all of the free-spirited people of the world, must not listen to those who seek to prevent the Day of Qud’s protests from taking place; they must participate in these marches and protests, for they are highly effective in enhancing the pressure which Israel and its allies are feeling. The Day of Quds is a day of defeat for Israel; without any doubt, Quds is a part of the Muslim world and it must be returned to its rightful owners as soon as possible. All of the people, who are able to, must attend these protests on the Day of Quds. The Muslim nations, through their participation in these simple protests, will be able to announce their aversion and disgust at the Zionist Regime, and this is something which the entire world will be able to see and understand.
. Surah Hūd, Verse 1.