Despite enjoying full financial, political and moral backing of the US and its allies, there has never been any state as desperate for its recognition as is Israel. The latest drive in this obsession is to prove that recognizing Israel is not a religious issue.
Apparently, Israel’s seeking legitimacy from Muslim countries seems something new. But it has long been on the Zionist agenda fully supported by the warlords in the American media. Write ups of Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, for example, are an indication of how the Zionists have been trying to drive a wedge between Arabs and the rest of the Muslim world. Instead of writing Muslims, they would mention Arabs and Muslims, as if Arabs are not Muslims or some kind of lesser Muslims.
There is a clear reason for this, which is linked to the latest Israeli drive for seeking legitimacy from those Muslim countries particularly whose dictatorial leadership is under Washington’s thumb.
The reason for de-linking Arabs from the rest of the Muslims is that Arabs are just 15 percent of the total Muslim population. Arabs are not only in minority, but also politically inactive and segregated in different fiefdoms. United Nations Human Development report is enough to show their miserable status despite the oil wealth in some Arab countries.
In the rest of the 85 percent Muslim world, economies are strong. Have a look at Malaysia and Iran for example. Wealth is abounded: see Brunei for example. Military strength is there. One can cite Pakistan and Iran as examples.
For Israel with just 6 million populations and ever-dependent on the US like a parasite, there is no option but to seek legitimacy from 85 percent of the 1.6 billion Muslim population. This would make Arab claims to the occupied land totally irrelevant. Even within the US, it has to rely on dolling out billions of dollars on lobbying to keep its cause afloat and sell the mantra that it is not a religious issue.
This approach flies in the face of the daily assertions that the US and its allies want to protect a Jewish state and its identity from being destroyed by Arabs. The whole world knows that Muslims are not standing with Palestinians on the basis of ethnic or political nationalism. They have been taking a stand only because to them it is a religious issue just as it is a religious issue to Christian Zionists and Evangelists. The very existence of Israel is based on the basis of religious claims.
Minus those claims and the edifice of a Jewish state would collapse right away. Even if we keep everything else aside, what pretext or justification would Israel have for continued occupation of Jerusalem. How can Israel displace and dispossess millions of Muslims on the basis of religion, and deprived generations from their basic human right, but then turn around and tell the world that it is not a religious issue.
It is not an Israeli Palestinian conflict, nor was this a justification for imposing Balfour declaration and Israel on a helpless population. For understanding if the ongoing conflict in the Middle East is a religious issue or not, one has to refer to the Qur’an for guidance.
Jerusalem is the key to understanding the historical process of the Middle East and the world at large. Zionists have been claiming that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur’an. They attempt to dismiss the Islamic claim to Jerusalem. They go to the extent of claiming that it is not once mentioned in the Qur’an.
To the contrary, the Qur’an not only explains these strange events but it also goes on to reveal the final destiny of Jerusalem. The Qur’an reveals a destiny that exposes the falsehood of that Jewish claim to Truth (above) and confirms the Truth that came with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
At the very heart of the Qur’anic view of the destiny of Jerusalem, and of the Holy Land, is the declaration that when the final count-down in the Last Age arrives, Jews would be gathered from the Diaspora in which they were broken up and dispersed, and to which they had been consigned, and would be brought back to the Holy Land as a ‘mingled crowd’ (17:104). That Divine promise has already been fulfilled. Jews have already returned to the Holy Land and reclaimed it. Their success has led such Jews to believe in the religious legitimacy of the State of Israel that they created.
Contrary to the claims of recently converted “Muslim moderates,” Islam explains that Israel possesses no religious legitimacy. Rather, those Jews were deceived in the greatest act of deception history has ever witnessed, and the stage is now set for them to receive the Divine punishment.
The US and its allies want an Islam to be adopted that will, among other things, accommodate the Jewish State of Israel and pave the way for Muslims to embrace it and make peace with it. This is part of the so-propagated “moderate Islam” and General Musharraf’s mantra of “enlightened moderation.” Recognizing Israel is the core of this American version of Islam.
The most important of all subjects dealt with in the Qur’an that must be taught in Islamic educational institutions today is the subject of ‘Jerusalem in the Qur’an’. It is with this subject more than any other that Muslims can successfully respond to the present attack of the godless world which forces upon them such modification of the faith as would accommodate Israeli oppression and racism.
The self-proclaimed “moderates” are telling us that Israel is not a religious issue. Whereas Jews believe in a destiny of Jerusalem that will witness the advent of the Messiah. When the Messiah comes he will restore the golden age of Judaism and he will rule the world from Jerusalem. That will validate the Jewish claim to Truth and invalidate the claims of rivals. Christians have the same belief. When Jesus, the Messiah returns, he will reign over the world from Jerusalem and he will validate the Christian dogmas of Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement, etc. Thus will the Christian claim to Truth be validated and all others invalidated. The Muslims also believe that Jerusalem has a destiny that will validate Islam’s claim to Truth and invalidate the current Christian and Jewish claims.
The true Qur’anic story about Jerusalem and the Holy Land begins with Prophet Abraham. He broke up the idols in the temple of his people (in Ur – modern Iraq) but left the biggest idol standing to impress upon the idolatrous people the falsehood of the worship of idols (21:57-63).
If Abraham were to return today and repeat such an act it would be denounced by the “moderates” and their promoters in the West as an act of terrorism and destruction of the cultural heritage of Babylon. The UN would impose sanctions on any government that harbored him. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would be treated no differently were he to return and repeat his destruction of the idols in the Ka’aba.
These are the very basic truths, which Muslims are denying with their embrace of the neo-cons and Zionist agenda at every level, for “moderate” Islam to considering Israel a non-religious issue. Prophet Abraham was also thrown into the fire by the idol worshipers of his time. Allah saved him and declared “But We delivered him (Abraham) and (his nephew) Lot (and directed them) to the land in which We had placed blessings for all of mankind.” (21:71)
It was with this verse that the concept of a Holy Land, or a Blessed Land, was introduced in the Qur’an for the first time. What is its significance? Why should Allah, Most Wise, choose one land in all the earth and make of it a Holy Blessed Land, not for one people but “for all mankind”? And why should He guide Abraham and Lot to migrate to that Holy Land? There can be only one answer to these questions.
Of all of mankind Allah, chose Abraham as His ‘friend’ or ‘dearly beloved’ (4:125). He tested him with the greatest of tests and trials that Abraham passed. Allah Most High then appointed him as the religious head (Imam) of all of mankind (2:124). It followed therefrom that there could be only ‘one’ Truth, and from it would emerge ‘one’ religion for all of mankind -” the religion of Abraham.
When Allah chose one land and made of it a Holy Blessed Land and then guided Abraham to migrate to that Land, the Divine purpose or plan was that the Holy Land should function as the ‘litmus test’ of Truth. Only the religion of Abraham could survive in the Holy Land. All others would be expelled. In other words, herein, Truth would always visibly triumph over falsehood and history could not end before the final triumph of Truth over falsehood in that Land. Is Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, Truth? Jerusalem is already answering that question! It is the destiny of Jerusalem to validate Truth.
The invitation to reside in the Holy Land was not unconditional. Would the invitation still be valid if their progeny were to abandon the religion of Abraham and become atheists, or were to engage in prostitution or oppression? Would it still be valid if the Jews were to establish in the Holy Land a secular State that declared that ‘supreme authority’ belonged to the State rather than the God of Abraham, and that the highest law was the law of the State rather than Allah’s Law? Would it still be valid if that State were to declare to be Halal (i.e., legal) that which Allah had declared to be Haram (prohibited)?
We should note that the God of Abraham prohibited the borrowing and lending of money on interest (Riba). The Jews changed the Torah to legalize the lending of money on interest to those who were not Jews. Not only is Riba legal in the Holy Land today, but so are also many other things that were prohibited by Allah.
To the secularist turned “moderate” Muslims Palestine and Israeli conflict is not a religious issue because they also consider Halal as Haram and declare Haram as Halal. Musharraf’s going to the Supreme Court to make Riba permissible is a prime example in this regard.
Secondly, and importantly, is the question: If Allah Most High blessed that Land for all of mankind, would it not imply that any and all of mankind who faithfully follow the religion of Abraham would also have access to those blessings? Is this not a universal statement? Whence then, comes the claim of the Jews to exclusive title to the Holy Land?
The answer to these questions is evident in the Qur’an (2:124) whereby there is a conversation between Abraham and His Lord: “And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He (the Lord) said: “I hereby appoint you as the Imam (religious and spiritual leader) of all mankind.” He (Abraham) enquired: “And also from my offspring?” (Will they also share of this status?) He answered: “My Covenant (or Promise) will not reach (i.e., include) those who commit acts of Dhulm (i.e., injustice, oppression, tyranny, repression, suppression).” (2:124)
Among those acts which the Qur’an recognizes as acts of Dhulm would be “driving a people out of their homes and out of the land in which they lived” and doing so “for no just cause (indeed for no cause other than) their belief in Allah, Most High” (22:39-40)
This was precisely the way that the Jewish State of Israel was established. The Qur’an reserved its greatest condemnation, however, for that act of Dhulm which occurs when the Word of Allah is changed and a lie is told against Allah. That was exactly what the Jews did when they rewrote the Torah and corrupted it by changing the Word of Allah (6:21).
The subsequent reference to the Holy Land in the Qur’an confirmed that implied messages in the references. For example when he tells Banu Israel, “O my people, enter the Holy Land,” (5:21) it confirms what was implicit in 21:71. The Israelites were still following the religion of Abraham under the guidance of the Prophet of Allah, Moses, thus they were entitled to live in the Holy Land. It was their land! Then there are numerous references to the Holy Land, each confirming one or another points mentioned above.
Later on, the Roman army under General Titus destroyed Masjid al-Aqsa (the Temple/Masjid built by Prophet Solomon in 70 AC. It was still lying in ruins when the Muslim army conquered Jerusalem during the rule of Caliph Umar. It was he who ordered that the present Masjid al-Aqsa be built on the site of the ruins of the original Temple (Masjid) built by Prophet Solomon.
It would surprise many that despite the Qur’an’s clear declarations that the Holy Land was given to Jews, the Jewish and Zionist scholarship studiously avoid quoting these plain statements in their favor. The Qur’an also has the answer to the Zionists reluctance in quoting the Qur’an in their favor. The answer resides in their reluctance to reveal the corruption of the divine conditions in the Torah which Allah Most High had ordained for inheritance of the Holy Land. The fraud in the rewritten Torah is exposed in the Qur’an:
“And We declared in the Zabur (i.e., the Psalms) which followed (Our declaration in) the Zikr (i.e., the Torah) that it is (only) those servants of Mine who are righteous in their conduct who would inherit the (Holy) Land” (21:105).
The reason Zionists don’t argue that what right do Muslims have to the Holy Land which the Qur’an declares that Allah had given to Jews, is that they do not want to direct attention to the Qur’an, particularly as it deals with Jews and the Holy Land. Secondly, the answer to that question is located in verse 21:105 of the Qur’an in which Allah Most High recalled that the Jewish right to Jerusalem and the Holy Land was ‘conditional’ on faith and righteous conduct. Faith, of course, meant faithful observance of the religion of Abraham.
The Qur’an also warned that the Israelites would commit Fasad (oppression and wickedness) on two occasions and twice would they be punished (17:04). Someone rewrote the Torah, however, to remove this condition. He wrote: “Know therefore that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord, your God, has given you this good land to possess it; for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy, 9:6).
The Zionists may not find it convenient to defend this monstrous lie perpetrated against Allah, but it does not take much, in terms of common sense, ethical wisdom, and spiritual insight, to discern the above statement to be false. It is incompatible with that perfect standard of justice that must come from a perfect Divine Being. It is, in fact, a forgery! And it was designed to nullify the divine condition imposed upon the Jews for them to inherit the Holy Land. If this particular land was chosen by Allah Most High and was specially blessed by Him, why then would He give it unconditionally to a “stiff-necked people” regardless of whether they acted righteously, or stubbornly resisted conforming to the ethical standard of righteous conduct?
Secondly, the historical record confirms that the Jews were expelled time and again, by divine decree, from Jerusalem and the Holy Land. This took place whenever they violated the condition of faith and righteous conduct. The Qur’an made mention of these expulsions and then, after the last expulsion, Allah Most High declared His intention to keep on expelling them whenever they returned to the Holy Land with conduct which violated the divinely stipulated conditions. (21:105).
Some six hundred years after the last expulsion of the Jews from the Holy Land, Allah Most High caused the Muslims to inherit that Land when the Muslim army conquered it and the Caliph Umar was requested to come personally to Jerusalem to receive the keys to the city. On that day the prophecy to that effect in the Qur’an was fulfilled:
“It is He Who has made you inheritors of the (Holy) Land: He has raised some of you by degrees above others that He might test you through that which He bestowed upon you (Banu Israel got more than any other people): for thy Lord is swift in punishment: yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (6:165)
Allah Most High ordained that the Muslims would inherit the Holy Land. Thus did the Truth triumph over Falsehood. When they did take control over the Holy Land they continued to rule over it (apart for a brief period) for more than twelve hundred years. That was a clear Sign from the heavens of Divine approval of Muslim rule over the Holy Land! Jewish scholarship should offer an explanation for this uninterrupted Muslim rule over the Holy Land for this long period of time – a Muslim rule both just and God-fearing! Muslims lost it because of their corruption and deviation from the straight path.
After punishing the Jews for a second time by expelling them from the Holy Land, Allah declared His intention to keep on punishing them (and expelling them) if they kept on desecrating the Holy Land with violations of the condition of faith and righteous conduct: “-¦.but if ye revert (to your violation of the condition imposed for inheritance of the Holy Land) We shall revert (to Our punishments. i.e., you will be expelled again and again)-¦.” (17:8)
The destiny of Jerusalem is plainly written in the above warning and firm declaration in the Qur’an. This remains so regardless of any, or all, or the following: a) agreements negotiated in Camp David or elsewhere between the secular nationalist representatives of the Palestinian people and the secular nationalist European Jewry who presume to represent Banu Israel, or b) resolutions of the US Senate and House of Representatives which have replaced the British Parliament as the Ultimate Patron and Protector of the Jewish State, or c) resolutions of the UN Security Council or General Assembly which assume the status of world government, or d) recognition of Israel by every single Muslim country.
Despite the candid message of the Qur’an, if Muslims still believe that the Israeli occupation of Muslim lands and oppression of their co-religionist Palestinian is not a religious issue, let them think so. But it is hardly enough to change the outcome of the continued turmoil.
The most important point is that Muslims will remain deprived of the Holy Land and Zionist will continue oppression and mischief until Muslims start following the straight path and start living by Islam the way they are supposed to live as Muslims. As mentioned above, when Allah chose one land and made of it a Holy Blessed Land and then guided Abraham to migrate to that Land, the Divine purpose or plan was that the Holy Land should function as the ‘litmus test’ of Truth. Only the religion of Abraham could survive in the Holy Land. All others would be expelled. Any people’s claim to the Holy Land would remain unvalid unless they fulfill the condition set forth in the Qur’an.
Like Jews, Muslims have abandoned the religion of Abraham and become atheists, secularists and “moderates. They are engaged in prostitution and oppression just like any other people. There is hardly any difference in the secular states established by non-Muslims and Muslims who have declared tat that ‘supreme authority’ belonged to the State rather than the God of Abraham, and that the highest law is the law of the State rather than Allah’s Law. Just like Zionists and Christians, Muslims are neck deep in Riba-based financial systems and have declared Halal (i.e., legal) that which Allah has declared to be Haram (prohibited)? The Jews changed the Torah and Muslims feel ashamed of quoting verses from the Holy Qur’an. They have thrown Qur’anic verses out of the school curriculum in Pakistan, for example.
That’s how Muslims fail the litmus test. Due to Israeli oppression, Palestinians are, undoubtedly, suffering. But Allah has reward for them. Appeals and protests, recognition of Israel or rejection of it, relations with Israel of boycott of it, are irrelevant. They can never relieve the Muslim brothers and sisters from Israeli oppression and enter the Holy Land unless they develop a character of true believers, like Caliph Umar and his companion.
Today’s Muslims realize their shortcomings but they have assumed that they cannot attain the required level of submission to Allah. Answering to a question at BBC, General Musharraf admitted that when “people talk of going back to Khilafat they’re talking of that Khilafat or the first four caliphs of Islam. They’re not talking of the Khilafat of the Ottoman Empire.” The problem, however, in Musharraf’s words is: there’s no chance of going back to Khilafat really. Khilafat requires certain environment in a country. It demands a lot from the nation, from the government. It demands that everyone, the entire country – its masses, its people – should have social justice. They must have at least the minimum requirements that are required of life.” The crux is: since truly following Islam “demands a lot,” we cannot do so.
With this attitude, Palestinians would keep on suffering. The rest of the Muslims would remain a cursed and humiliated people, saying this is not an issue of Islam. Israeli state has the opportunity to prove the Qur’an wrong by ending the mischief and oppression in Holy Land but, unfortunately, it cannot. On the other hand, there will definitely rise a people to stand for justice, for whom living by Islam would not be too demanding. This is the verdict of history, it is the universal law. Tyranny can prolong, it can not endure.