Throughout this month of tragedy and death, we must remember that Allah always brings good (Khair) out of every test and for that we must always be thankful. So although the anger may still linger and all the tears haven't quite dried, I want to pause for a moment to say thank you to Gaza for reminding us that people can still die for an honorable cause. At a time when we were used to hearing about people dying of old age, illness or even the stock market going down; men and women, old and young, were dying in Gaza because they chose to live free from occupation, because they refused to live under siege, and because they have the right to live in peace in their homeland.
Thank you, Gaza, for reminding us once again about the sometimes forgotten Holy Land in Palestine. People marched in demonstrations throughout the five continents because Gaza is part of the Sacred Land to them. Baytul Maqdis, or the House of Sacredness is the first Qiblah for Muslims, the land of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the second place of worship established on earth, and the land of the third holiest mosque in the world for Muslims. Palestine is the land which was referenced in the text of the Holy Quran more than 25 times. It is the land which is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of only three mosques in the world Muslims are urged to visit, for each prayer is rewarded 500 times. Palestine is a land where prophets lived and revelation came down, and our beloved Mohammad (PBUH) visited in the miraculous trip of Isra wal Miraj.
Thank you, Gaza, for bringing people together at a time we could never have imagined in our farthest dreams! Our reluctance to embrace our differences of races, issues, colors, and cultures have made us a divided Ummah in a way never seen before in history. When we thought we would never be able to agree on anything, it was you, Gaza, which brought us back together and united again.
Thank you, Gaza, for you have reminded us about what it means to have safety, security, jobs, and the ability to take our loved ones to the hospital anytime they need! Day after day, we have seen fear in the eyes of children because of what they have witnessed from the brutality of the Israeli army. Day after day, we have witnessed hospitals bombed, ambulances burned and people bleeding to death, crushed under the rubble of destruction by the Israeli war machines. We thank you for reminding us so maybe we will appreciate what we have and never take our blessings for granted.
Thank you, Gaza, for exposing the true mentality of the Israeli government when they speak of democracy, peace and human rights! The sounds of their ships, planes and tanks were loud enough to muffle all the insincere and superficial sounds of their rhetoric about democracy and peace! Thank you for showing us how completely crippled the UN is when Palestinians are the victims. Thank you for showing us the harsh reality of how the whole world can watch these atrocities happening live in front of their eyes, yet keep quiet and do nothing to stop them, including our government here in the U.S., and many Muslim and Arab countries.
Thank you, Gaza, for showing us a true definition of Patience and Sabr. Here, we think we are practicing Sabr if we can live in a three bedroom house instead of a mansion. We think we are practicing Sabr if we drive a 1998 Corolla instead of a brand new Lexus. We think we are practicing Sabr if we manage to survive without a vacation every year in Orlando or Universal Studios. Dear Brothers and Sisters of Gaza, you have shown us real Sabr as your children saw their mothers dying in front of their own eyes but still insisted to live! You have shown us Sabr as your women lost all their family members but still held firmly to their faith and dignity. You have shown us Sabr as your elderly watched their houses being demolished in front of their eyes but still carried the will to rebuild.
Thank you, Gaza, for you have built for us bridges of brotherhood with people from all different countries, religions, colors and cultures. We all came together under the universal banner of dignity, justice, and rights for humanity.
Thank you, Gaza, thank you.
Sh. Kifah Mustapha