Masjid al-Aqsa is at the heart of the modern struggle for liberation
By: Haroon Aziz
He (General Soleimani) evolved from one finite form of life into another infinite form of life and remains, deathless; nor does his wife suffer widowhood.
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The following is a press release of note by Haroon Aziz submitted to the webinar on first martyrdom anniversary of Iran's top counter-terrorism figure and IRGC commander of Quds Force.
The premise of this tribute is based on:
Surah al-Isra:1: ‘Limitless in His glory is He who transported His servant by night from the Inviolable House of Worship (at Makkah) to the Remote House of Worship (Al-Aqsa Masjid) –the environs(Al-Quds) of which We had blessed – so that We might show him some of Our symbols…’ (17:1)
Historically, the chain of logic from this primary source of evidence is as follows:
Masjid al-Aqsa is central to the struggle for al-Quds.
Al-Quds is central to the struggle for Palestine.
Palestine is central to the struggle for Bilad as-Shams.
Bilad as-Shams is central to the struggle for West Asia (Middle East).
West Asia is central to the struggle against Zionism, imperialism, and colonialism.
This chain forges linkages with the modern worldwide struggles from Latin America to Africa to Asia (together with the peoples of the USA, Canada, and Europe).
Historical Bilad as-Shams is constituted of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, Syria, Golan Heights, Jordan, Lebanon (partly), and Iraq (partly). It means the Land of the Sun (which is a metaphor for purification). It is also the birthplace and burial place of many prophets, who functioned solely as the agents of historical change, which included the struggle against Roman colonialism. It is sacred ground.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (‘s) referred to Masjid al-Aqsa as Bayt al-Muqaddas, which means the House of Purification. This reference is derived from Surah ash-Shams (91: 7-9), which defines success in life as the purification of the soul. 91:9 states, ‘Truly he succeeds that purifies it (Soul). Success is defined in spiritual and not materialist terms. The purification takes place as two interpenetrated chemical molecules:
Jihad-e-Akhbar, which is an internal striving to master the skillful management and control of faith, belief, emotions, feelings, thoughts, intention, and speech towards ethical conduct.
Ethical conduct, even before fiqh (law), leads to Jihad-e-Asghar, which is the external struggle for historical, political, economic, and social justice.
The Prophet (‘s) had the intention to lead an army to liberate Bilad as-Shams from Roman colonialism. In our times it falls upon our will to fulfill his intention to liberate it from modern colonizers.
It was in fulfillment of this intention that the youth of Palestine began the Third Intifada on September 28, 2015, centered on Masjid al-Aqsa. Every night about two hundred courageous Palestinians encamped in the Masjid to resist its attempted capture by the Israeli Defence Force. The resistance together with international solidarity support broke the 13-day military siege. The deeper beauty of the Third Intifada was that it spread to all the 1967 and 1948 territories through the medium of sumud, which is the chemistry of perseverance that flows in the blood of all Palestinians. Had the Zionist forces succeeded in the capture it would have resulted in the Zionization of al-Quds.
The historical continuity of the struggle for Palestine needs the threefold unity of humanity, people of the book, and Muslims from all around the world.
Shaheed (General) Soleimani, as an ethical and politico-military strategic thinker-soldier inspires the continuity of this struggle because he demonstrated the following traits of excellent character from his inner to his outer being:
He fought for truth, freedom, & justice.
He shed his ego and selfishness.
Fought in the cause of God and the oppressed.
He dissolved his life in historical and spiritual processes.
His spiritual life transcended the material necessities of life.
He lived by the Quranic motto 'Allah is sufficient for us' (3:173).
He yielded his personal finite physical space for infinite time, which is the true mark of a guerrilla and soldier.
He had no thought of personal political power and glory or economic power and fame.
He endured suffering, persecution, and pain with joy in his heart when he chose not to turn his heels on martyrdom.
His great spirit lightened his hardships and liberated his mind from the material burdens of life.
He demonstrated that incorrigible faith is the most important factor of revolution in confronting and changing oppressive realities.
He also demonstrated that devotion to duty, high morale, fighting spirit, mental courage, physical bravery, gracious manners, self-sacrifice, and lovingkindness have to be endured with patience.
He evolved from one finite form of life into another infinite form of life and remains, deathless; nor does his wife suffer widowhood. We need to remember the Quranic instructions on martyrs:
'And think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead; they are alive.' (3:169)
'And why should you not fight in the cause of God and of those who being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?' (4:75)
'Whoever submits his whole being to God...his reward is with the Lord; and no fear shall be on them...' (2:112)
His sacred blood will continue to flow in the veins of liberation history. His martyrdom inspired the Iranian Parliament to adopt a 16-point Action Plan to expel the imperialist and Zionist forces from West Asia, to counter USA economic terrorism, and to pursue a dignified foreign policy. This is a just and rational way to avenge his death. It calls for regional cooperation and unity in the fields of military, culture, science, education, intelligence, justice and law, energy, economics, monetary and trade, internationalization of struggle, non-negotiability of Iran’s military defence, severe punishment for crime and corruption, adherence to JCPOA (Borjami), right to the use of peaceful nuclear power, greater ideological alignment between parliament and the Supreme Leader, full support to Palestine and the Resistance Front, humanitarian aid to Yemen, special cooperation with Iraq, and greater role of Rayhan Noor technology, Path of Light HQ, the Foundation for the Preservation of Sacred Defense Relic.
The Parliament has set itself tight timeframes within which to translate the sixteen points into legislation. This indicates the seriousness of the purpose of the Action Plan to avenge Lt. General Soleimani’s assassination so that the peoples of the region can benefit materially and spiritually from his martyrdom. The Arbaeen pilgrimage will be enhanced through infrastructure development.
Article 14 states, ‘The Basij Organization of the Oppressed in accordance with the hierarchy is obliged to pursue proper communication between popular movements around the world against the USA.’
Article 15 states, ‘Regarding the institutions under the supervision of the Supreme Leader, the relevant law shall be implemented after their consent.’
What more beautiful tribute to a worthy martyr of excellent character!
Let us conclude the premise of our tribute, enriched by the Quranic verses on unity and martyrdom, and reinforced by:
Surah al-Nisa:74 “Let those, who would prefer the Hereafter to the present life, fight in the cause of Allah. And whoso fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or conquers, We shall soon grant him a great reward.’
Surah al-Nisa:75 ‘What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allah and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, ‘Our Lord take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by You.’”
Is that defender, General Soleimani?
Haroon Aziz is a South African. His primary discipline is quantum physics and secondary discipline is history and biography. He is the author of more than twenty books. He is a member of a leadership collective that struggles for transitional justice from apartheid to democracy and for the institutionalization of the memories of martyrs who fell in the struggle against apartheid.