January February 2007Leading Posts

Filasteen

Abdul Rahman Hilmi

Historical Homeland of the Jews

The claim that is being made is that Palestine has always been homeland of the Jewish people and thus they have an ancient claim to the land. Several of these people would tend to go as far as to say that it was their land until the Muslim invaders conquered it and threw them out.

Before I refute this claim, I would just like to state that the simple fact that a Zionist would actually use this as an excuse shows clear and obvious signs of desperation. It is absolutely pathetic for a group of people to lay claim to a land on the sole excuse that several thousands of generations ago, their ancestors used to live there. However, putting that aside, the claim is still inaccurate.

Firstly the people who lived in the land of Palestine were initially the Canaanites who weren't Jewish. They were invaded by the 12 Hebrew tribes who conquered the land and established the Kingdom of Israel. This Kingdom was later divided into two kingdoms; Judah and the Kingdom of Israel, both of which were soon afterwards destroyed by the Babylonians and Assyrians respectively (around 500 BC). By then, the Jews were exiled and Jerusalem destroyed. The Persians later conquered the land and permitted the Jews to return. Persian rule was then replaced by Greek rule and Greek rule was later replaced by Roman rule. It was not until around 600 AD that the Muslims took over the land from the Romans.

Land Promised to the Jews by God

I only need to say one point about this. Before the creation of Israel (and it is
 arguable that even to this very day) Jews are a minority in the region. So with all due respect, the majority of the population (Muslims) cannot even pretend to care what a God worshipped by a minority promised them.

The Jews Bought the Land

According to the official website of the Jewish National Fund the Jews purchased about 7% of the land of Palestine. The truth is, however, even this 7% is technically not "purchased" in its true meaning of the word since some of these lands were concessions made by the British during their mandate of Palestine in the 1930s.

And even, for the sake of argument, if we take the Zionists for their word and their claims that they purchased alot more lands from the Arabs, that still gives no one the right to establish a state. I own a house in a foreign country, do I have the right to establish my own state with laws and elections within that is completely independent of anyone else? Certainly not! But then they argue that the land was under the British mandate (which supported the creation of a Zionist state) and not under Arab or Turkish rule, thus technically no laws were broken. Well, this leads us to the next point.

The British Mandate

There once was a snake called Thomas Edward Lawrence and this snake spoke to
 the desert Arabs and made them lust for the forbidden fruit of Nationalism. The First World War was fought between the Allies (mainly UK, France, US and Russia) against the Axis (mainly Germany, Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottomans). The British employed their agent Lawrence to harvest a discomfort the Arabs were already feeling towards the Ottomans and make it erupt into a full scale war against the Ottomans to aid the British. This however only came at a promise made by the British very well known to the Arabs. The promise of an independent and united “Arab” Islamic state – as compared to the current “Turkish” state. This promise, which was made to the gullible, foolish and arrogant Sherif Hussein and later his son Faisal, was in return for an “Arab revolt” against the “Turks”. In reality what the British, together with the French, had in the form of reward towards the Arabs for their blood was nothing more than the division of the Arab states into more than a dozen states each colonized by a European mandate. What was also in store was the loss of Palestine and the ironic, yet fitting, coronation of Faisal as king of Iraq (after he was slapped out of Syria by the French) under the British national anthem!

So not only was the British mandate the result of back stabbing the Arabs after they helped the Allies win the First World War, but a second point could be seen. Resistance to the British mandate and later the Zionist state has not stopped since the Arabs realized that the Europeans betrayed them. It was ongoing and remains ongoing with the same determination, if not more, until this very day. We never stopped claiming for the land and kept on fighting for it. This alone symbolizes that the land is under occupation. The Red Indians of the New World fought for the Americas but failed and gradually gave up after they were almost completely annihilated. For a Red Indian to come today to reclaim his land is absurd. However if the Red Indians never stopped fighting for their land, then certainly they would still have a claim to this day and it would never sound so absurd as it does in today’s reality.

The Problem

So that was a very quick overview to give anyone a simple understanding as to why the very creation of the state of Israel was not only a mistake and a crime, but was also based on lies, betrayals and blood. Blood, mainly blood – a lot of blood and since the Arab revolt of 1916 until this very day the cost in blood for that mistake by the Muslims did not cease. The mistake that triggered all our woes of today, the very reason why we are currently in the lowly state that we are. The mistake of siding with a non-believer against our Caliph, however much the Caliph might be an oppressor. Never was a day under the Ottomans as horrible as we are today. Never were we in a lower state than we are today. Umar (ra) once said: “We are tribe whom Allah has given honour through Islam and the day we search for honour elsewhere, Allah will humiliate us.” And by Allah Umar spoke the truth.

So now back to the main topic of this essay; what is the solution? All of what I said was history and long gone. The important question is what is required of us at the present to correct our forefathers’ mistakes? Well, if we understand that the Israeli state has no right to exist under any law and most importantly, under Islamic Shariah law, then we understand that we cannot accept its existence on our soil. If the US wishes to give a state of its fifty states to the Zionists and let them establish Israel there, then hey, they have my blessings. But to come to a foreign country and give land away, or as someone once said; “one nation giving the land of another nation to a third nation”, is simply not acceptable. What is more this state is openly aggressive against the original inhabitants and without any shame continues to prosecute the Palestinians. For how long will there be stateless people on the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan? When will their homes and lands return to them?

Our last caliph, Abdul Hamid II, replied to the Zionist movement when they attempted to contact him with the aim of purchasing land in Palestine saying what follows.

"Advise Dr. Herzl not to take any further steps in his project. I can not give away a handful of the soil of this land for it is not my own, it is for all the Islamic Nation. The Islamic Nation that fought Jihad for the sake of this land and they have watered it with their blood. The Jews may keep their money and millions. If the Islamic Khalifah State is one day destroyed then they will be able to take Palestine without a price! But while I am alive, I would rather push a sword into my body than see the land of Palestine cut and given away from the Islamic State. This is something that will not be, I will not start cutting our bodies while we are alive."

Thus the solution cannot be simpler. It certainly is not a two state solution whether on the current borders or the borders of any point in history. The solution is a one state solution where the rightful owner returns to his land. Now by no means am I attacking Jews or saying we should butcher them or throw them out of the country by force. My attack is not on Jews, but on Zionists. Zionism which aims to establish a non-Islamic state on Muslim soil is what is being attacked and it is this which should be eradicated. If non-Zionist Jews wishes to stay then they are welcomed to stay just like the Christians are. Zionist, be they Jews, Christians or even so-called Muslims, certainly have no home amongst us.

The Solution

So now we know what the correct solution is to the Palestinian problem, the next question would now be; how do we get there? Any sane man would agree that any nation under occupation has a right to resistance. This rule has been almost literally experienced by all major countries in the world. The simple fact is; civilians (people like you and me, with jobs, education, families, etc.) will only resist an occupation if they were prosecuted. Some nations welcome invaders, others fight but after a short while calm down due to the benefits they see coming of the change. Both examples are not new to Muslims who know the history of Islamic conquests. Those who resist an occupation for almost 80 years (like the Palestinians) are without doubt under severe oppression. And still yet all this weighs to nothing when compared with the hadith that says “he who gives away a hands-span of Muslim land will have its like in hell fire.” Therefore as Muslims, speaking of a two state solution or of any compromise less than returning the whole land to the rule of Islam is a grave error which should be corrected.

But is the solution for Palestine an armed resistance? My answer is no. Resistance to occupation is indeed a duty, however in the current state the Muslims are in it is not a solution. Muslims only need to look at their history to find the solution. The only time we were honoured as a people was under Islamic rule. The only time we were respected as a people was under Islamic rule. The only time we had security and freedom to worship Allah in the correct manner was under Islamic rule. Even in times when the Ottomans were extremely weak, they never stopped defending Islam. How can we forget their warning to attack France when a theater in Paris threatened to show a play that insulted the prophet (pbuh)? And today when they insult him what happens? What do our rulers do? A boycott done by the Muslims and a few violent demonstrations that led to the deaths of more than a dozen Muslims in several different Muslim countries? And what, by Allah, what came out of it? Several other newspapers published the cartoons in defiance! Respect us? Certainly not. Not today, not in the state we are in. Remember what Umar (raa) said; without Islam we will never have any honour. Islam here is not meant to be simply your five daily prayers, no. In another quote, Umar (raa) said; “there is no Islam without unity, no unity without leadership and no leadership without obedience.”

It is obvious that no group of people can be united without leadership. We are humans and we have different opinions in different matters according to our understanding. Take Muslims today for example, is there unity? We cannot even agree on when Ramadaan starts when it is just a matter of seeing a physical object in the sky. You would think that something so material and requires almost no personal judgments would be easy to reach an agreement on, yet subhaan Allah, it is as if this matter is a sign from Allah to show us how divided we are as a nation. Thus leadership is vital for there to be unity. The importance of leadership in Islam is further stressed by the prophet (pbuh) when he said “when three or more people travel they should elect one of them to be their amir (leader)” and leadership in Islam is clearly defined. Leadership of a group means that the group should obey their leader which thus implies that the leader gives orders. Therefore the duty of a leader is to give orders to his people in order to guide them to what is best for them. Now if we are talking about leadership in Islam, then we are talking about a leader that gives orders according to Islam. Now if leadership is meant to bring unity, then it is unsensical to have more than one leader for the Muslims since that only brings division. This again is further stressed by the prophet (pbuh) when he said “If the people begin giving baya (pledge of allegiance) to two people then kill the second one of them.” Therefore as far as the ummah as a whole is concerned, it can only have one amir and this amir should rule by Islam. This description fits only one title and we call it khaleefah (caliph).

Returning more directly to the issue of Palestine; what will solve the problem is nothing less than a caliph. A caliph not only implies a united Muslim world, but also implies the implementation of Allah’s deen on Muslim lands; leadership, unity and obedience. The prophet (pbuh) said: “Your leader is but a shield from behind whom the people fight and by whom they protect themselves.” Thus without this leader not only are we divided, but we have no shield to neither fight behind nor protect ourselves.

I will complete this article by a surah from the Quraan may it serve as a reminder to us all;

“And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful.”
[The Holy Quran 3:104]  

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