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Palestine: Building a Just Ummah

NYM Academy Insight

On Sunday, October 15, 2023 Ustadh Adnan Rashid (historian and author) joined the NYM Academy Ilm Circle students for a special live ilm session on the history of Palestine.

The full video on the history of Palestine can be viewed here on Ust Adnan’s channel:

Read a firsthand reflection from a sister student in the NYM Academy Ilm Circle from Ustadh Adnan’s session. She shares her thoughts on applying a justice-based lens from an Islamic perspective and reflecting on our own state as an Ummah when seeking justice.

Ustadh Adnan Rashid’s lecture on the history of Palestine reminded me of the importance of appreciating our deen, the legacy we inherit as Muslims, and the richness of Islamic history.

We often revel in the stories of the anbiya and the sahaba, yet overlook our Islamic history.

It seems the colonization of our lands somehow extended to the colonization of our minds, leading to an erasure of our deen, our values, our families, and our history. Our aspirations gradually become materialistic and dunya-oriented rather than being focused on the akhirah. Our sight has narrowed to the short-term, at the expense of long-term vision.

The successful Muslims of the past thought long-term. Their concern extended beyond their immediate selves to the deen and wellbeing of the upcoming generations. They fortified it through learning with the Quran, studying the deen, refining their akhlaq, and prioritizing teaching the deen to their children.

As we yearn for the Salahuddin Ayubi of our times, we must reflect  – are we emulating the tarbiyah provided by the mother of Salahuddin Ayubi? Are we raising our kids like the parents of these great Muslim leaders? And are we living our life the way he did?

Do we embody justice? Do we actively enjoin good and forbid evil? And do we navigate our daily life choices through the lens of our deen? 

The triumphs of our Muslim leaders and caliphates were rooted in their adherence to the deen of Allah swt. It is only through holding tight to the deen of Allah  can we be granted victory, enabling us to uphold justice, undeterred by the whispers of our nafs, our emotions, or the whisperings of Shaitan.

For instance, Bait ul Maqdis (or Jerusalem) was rightfully captured by Muslims on two occasions in a manner unparalleled by other armies – with minimal bloodshed and whilst upholding the dignity of the enemies.

The liberations of Jerusalem from the kuffar by Omar ibn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) and Salahuddin Ayubbi were indeed embodiments of mercy and justice for all religious people.

It was under Islamic reign that Jews could freely practice their faith after previously facing persecution at the hands of the Byzantines and the Crusaders.

And that is what Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) are – mercy and justice for all people.

This is the blueprint for liberating Muslims from the shackles of oppression and for fostering a just society.

How can we bring this concept of justice into Muslim lands – many of which are plagued by corruption – when we were once known to be a land of justice?

It starts within ourselves, at our homes, our workplaces, our schools, and our neighborhoods.

Are we just when we are by ourselves?

Are we just in our familial dealings?

Are we just within our communities?

Are we just in our interactions, ensuring the rights of others are fulfilled?

Does witnessing injustice – any form of injustice – stir our conscience?

To what extent are we prepared to right a wrong?

Salahuddin Ayubi could have easily reciprocated the harsh treatment by the Crusaders and Christians residing in Jerusalem, given the bloodshed they caused. Yet, Salahuddin Ayyubi was just because he was a man who grounded in the deen. He was just as a Muslim should be.

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