“If the Ummah had a heartbeat I would say it is in Gaza where the most beautiful, humble and courageous human beings leave me humbled and in awe by the strength of their faith. The whole world now knows this tiny little place on earth suffers hardships beyond imagination and yet these people are exemplary Muslims. Whenever I go to Gaza I feel spiritually re-born.” -Yvonne Ridley-
I’ve never personally been to Gaza but I have been to Jerusalem, a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, about 48 miles from the Gaza border. Twice. Like Yvonne Ridley, I too feel spiritually re-born whenever I visit the holy land. Any believer of the 3 big monotheistic religion would feel the same way too.
It’s the holy land of Mosques, Chapels, Churches & Synagogues.
It is here at the heart of Jerusalem is the Al-Aqsa mosque or Al-Haram Ash-Shareef (The Noble Sanctuary). It is the third most sacred mosque in the world (after Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid Nabawi in Madina).
It is also known as the land of prophets. Many prophets were born or died here, including Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham), Lut (Lot), Daud (David), Suleiman (Solomon), Musa (Moses), and Isa (Jesus), alayhimu-salam. Our journey last year, took us to tracking the footsteps of the mentioned prophets.
Unfortunately, Jerusalem which had been previously thought off-limits to rocket attacks by militant Palestinians and others who reject Israel’s claim to the city as its capital, has now not been spared. Nonetheless, Faith is known to have always been stronger than any bombs.
Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says: “So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers. If a wound should touch you – there has already touched the [opposing] people a wound similar to it. And these days [of varying conditions] We alternate among the people so that Allah may make evident those who believe and [may] take to Himself from among you martyrs – and Allah does not like the wrongdoers – And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers.” [Al Qur’an 3:139-141].
The effects are sadly on display: In the past few days alone, Israel has dropped more than 250 bombs on this densely populated land. These attacks are supplemented by naval and tank shelling. Among the 22 Palestinian victims are two school children playing soccer, an 11-month-old infant, a pregnant mother and three other children. I pray and look to the day when the Palestinians are no longer being oppressed. I believe that day will come. Insya’allah. Amen.