Friday, January 23, 2009

What Gaza Changed

I have spent the last few days looking for a good opine on the conclusion of the Gaza War - declaring it to be over and the Palestinian resistance to be victorious. I didn't find anything. Maybe its because it's too early to declare victory yet. Plus, who feels like celebrating when thousands are lying in the hospitals of Gaza waiting for their wounds and burns to heal, not knowing what lies ahead.

Below are a few interesting remarks from Kolko's article on CounterPunch:

How will history describe the Israeli war against the Palestinians in Gaza? Another Holocaust, this time perpetrated by the descendants of the victims? An election ploy by ambitious Israeli politicians to win votes in the February 10 elections? A test range for new American weapons? Or an effort to lock in the new Obama Administration into an anti-Iranian position? An attempt to establish its military “credibility” after its disastrous defeat in the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? Perhaps all of these…and more.

But one thing is certain. Israel has killed at least 100 Palestinians for each of its own claimed losses, a vast disproportion that has produced horror in much of the world, creating a new cause which has mobilized countless numbers of people—possibly as strong as the Vietnam war movement. It has made itself a pariah nation—save in the United States and a few other countries. Above all, it has enflamed the entire Muslim world.

I hope it did...I really hope it did...

Over the past weeks, I have gone from desperation to euphoria and everything in between, many times. One thing that finally brought me to my senses were the words of a wise teacher in one of her halaqas.

She's not a politician, simply someone looking at the big picture and explaining things in terms of Quranic promises. The words she kept repeating were that the people of Gaza are being tested under severely unjust situations because of the sins and the weak state of the entire Muslim ummah. InshaAllah the people of Gaza will have dignity and honor in this world and the next. They are truely living Islam and are willing to sacrifice this world for the next. They will get their promised reward for their patience and courage inshaAllah.

As for the rest of us, our jihad is over simpler things and we are still failing. How hard have we been trying to stop our nafs from back biting, over eating, over spending, over sleeping...? In fact, it is only a few of the Muslim ummah that are struggling against their nafs; many have either given up or never tried.

The most important thing for the Muslim ummah to do at this time is to repent from our sins, change our ways, return to the book of Allah and the teachings of His Messenger. Of course, making dua, raising awareness, contacting political leaders all helps alleviate injustice, but at the end of the day it's all down to the spiritual status of the ummah and how close our lifestyles are to the teachings of Islam.

The bombing in Gaza might be over, at least for now, but our work has just begun. The war should be a wake up call for each of us to take a deep look at our lives and make the long overdue changes. Time to get serious about our worship, our Islamic knowledge, our relationship with the Quran, and our responsibilities to our families and community.

"...Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)..." [Holy Quran, ar-Raad, 13:11]

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