By Mohammad Mazhari
May 14, 2021 – TEHRAN TIMES
TEHRAN – A Lebanese Islamic preacher says Israel is the enemy of Islamic nations due to its occupation of the Palestinian land and not just because of Judaism.
“The Zionist regime is the enemy of the Islamic Ummah and the enemy of all the justice seekers all around the world, not because of its Judaism, but because of its occupation, aggression and criminality,” Sheikh Mohammad el-Zo’bi tells the Tehran Times.
Preacher of al-Kholafa el-Rashedoun mosque in Tripoli in the north of Lebanon emphasizes, “We will continue to fight it with all forms of resistance until we liberate our occupied land and restore our rights.”
Some Israeli lobbies spare no effort to portray the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as anti-Semitism, while many Muslim nations consider Israel as an enemy because of its occupation and aggression, not its religion.
“Everyone who fought people for the sake of their belief, and everyone who drove an oppressed people out of their land, and everyone who helped the displacement or prevented the return of refugees, and obstructed the restoration of stolen rights is our enemy, and the text of the Quran is clear and explicit in this regard,” Zoibi argues.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: What is the importance and place of Ramadan in Islam?
A: Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard to distinguish between right and wrong. So whoever is present this month let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then let them fast an equal number of days after Ramadan. Allah seeks ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful (Al-Baqarah- Verse: 185).
This blessed verse defines the importance and status of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is originally a month like all other months, linked to the regular orbit of the moon around the earth, but it acquired this high status from the Holy Qur’an.
Ramadan is the month of celebrating the Quran, the month of correcting the relationship with the Quran, not as a hymn book or recitation in shape resembling a priestly liturgy, but rather as a book of guidance to humanity.
This is what Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei succeeded to embody in framing a humane Quranic discourse, confronting global arrogance as an approach that distorts the human reality, and at the same time, it advocates oppressed people regardless of their religion, attitude, and perceptions.
The guidance of the Qur’an is not guidance based on stirring up emotions and public preaching; rather, it is based on evidence from God and enhances distinction (between wrong and right). Therefore, emphasis must be placed on the month of the Qur’an (Ramadan) on Quranic facts and divine evidence.
We should not allow axis of arrogance to make the peoples of our region live a bleak vision, in which no distinction is made between the enemy and a friend.
The correct reading of the Qur’an and the true connection with the Qur’an gives the human being and the Ummah a vision to and immunity against the colonial exploitation practiced by the United States today.
America seeks through monarchies and regimes subjugated to it and through their media and their religious and cultural platforms to promote normalization of ties with the Zionist enemy in order to desecrate the Ummah’s sanctities and rights,
American colonialism also seeks to convert these countries’ enmity to the Islamic Republic of Iran, denying all the sacrifices Iran has made for the cause of Palestine and all just causes in the region.
U.S. goal is to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to change its pro-Palestine position and to push Iranians towards betrayal and normalization of ties with Israel.
Rather, the U.S. is ready to give Iran full concessions at the expense of its Arab client states, under the condition that Tehran not oppose the American hegemony and its proxy (Israel) over the region.
Despite the failure of the United States to buy or influence Iran’s position and its regional role, and although the future belongs to the axis of resistance, some Arab regimes that lack the Qur’anic vision of Ramadan still live in the illusion of Israeli hegemony and the American security umbrella.
The example of those who take allies other than Allah is like that of the spider who takes [i.e., constructs] a home. And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew (Al-Ankabut – Verse: 14).
Q: What is the logic behind fasting in Islam and the Abrahamic religions?
A: The philosophy of fasting in Islam and in the other religions that preceded it is based on achieving piety, as God says in the Quran: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Al-Baqarah- verse: 183).
Piety in the Quranic concept is not, as some fancy it, a form of worship or morals. Rather, piety is a resistance, revolutionary, cultural project. Among the forms of piety in the Noble Qur’an are:
– Resistance to aggression, occupation and colonization: Almighty God says, “The sacred month is for (aggression committed to) the sacred month, and for (all) violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him (Al-Baqarah- verse: 194).
He also adds in Quran, “Fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous who fear Him) (At-tawbah- verse: 36).
If the function of fasting is to achieve piety, and if one of the most important manifestations of Quranic piety is to respond to aggression and fight the tyrants, how can some Muslims fast and pray while they are plotting against the resistance and the countries support the Palestine cause?
“Some Israeli lobbies spare no effort to portray the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as anti-Semitism, while many Muslim nations consider Israel as an enemy because of its occupation and aggression.”– Refusal to submit to the oppressors; God says, “The wrongdoers are allies of one another; but Allah is the protector of the righteous.” (Al-Jathiah – verse: 19) .
Nobody can be pious if he is pleased or endorses injustice or arrogance in real life. Almighty God says in Quran, “O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Indeed, Allah is ever knowing and Wise.” (Al-Ahzab- verse: 1)
He is neither a faster nor pious who obeys global atheism or Arab hypocrisy.
– Belief in the unity of the Ummah, as Almighty God says, “The believers are brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.” (Al-Hujurat – verse: 10)
So anyone who works to tear the Ummah apart and divide it over sectarian concepts, in fact, opposes the Quranic piety, which is the goal of fasting.
Q: How do you see the implications of Quds Day (the last Friday of Ramadan) as a political symbol in the Muslim world?
A: The Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his family) said: “Whoever establishes a good Sunnah in Islam, he will be entitled to a reward (thawab) for it, and the rewards achieved by someone who works after.”
The initiative of International Quds Day is a great achievement indicating that Imam Khomeini was always thinking about how to support humanitarian causes, at the top of them is Palestine and Jerusalem.
We can almost say Imam Khomeini spared no effort to support the Quds cause. This International Quds Day, with all its sublime symbolic contents, has a great, practical and effective role in keeping the Quds cause alive in the conscience of the Ummah and all justice seekers, and at the same time, it questions the world conscience and their slogans about justice and freedom permanently.
This mobilization that we witness annually in expressing solidarity with this sacred day is the main goal of fasting as well as its effective impact on our lives during the year.
Here we should ask what the link between fasting and resistance to arrogance is? What makes a person or an Ummah subject to falsehood is the fear of hunger.
Starvation or the threat of starvation is one of the most important tools of the axis of aggression. Therefore, when a Muslim is hungry during his fasting and sees his children hungry, he has been trained to endure hunger. Arrogant powers can no longer control him through starvation.
We should read the history of Islam to know how Quraysh, as a mercantile Arab tribe that historically inhabited and controlled the city of Mecca and its Ka’ba, imposed a siege with a starvation campaign against the Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his family).
Bani Hashem, one of Quraysh’s clan, to which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad belonged were banished to an area called Shib Abi Talib in order to be surrounded and succumb at the end, but the Muslim believers fasted and endured hunger and did not kneel before Quraysh.
Today, America and its Arab Allies with the Zionist regime are trying to make the resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, and the Islamic Republic of Iran kneel and succumb to their demand through the blockade and starvation.
But the forces of the resistance axis, who are fasting truly, never kneel in front of falsehood. Their fasting has given them true piety, faith, will and determination to resist arrogance and occupation until the region is liberated from oppression and aggression.
With patience and determination, they are close to victory.
Q: What is the truth about the disagreement between the Islamic world and the Zionist regime?
A: Islam has not defined the relationship between people based on faith and belief, but it talks about justice versus injustice, and therefore the Islamic Ummah does not oppose anyone on the basis of his religion.
So, we do not have a problem with the Jews, or with the Christians, or with the Buddhists, or with any sect or religion.
Almighty God says in the Quran, “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of your religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Al-Mumtahanah – Verse: 8)
Our problem is with the aggressor who expels a people from their land, regardless of the religion of the aggressor, even if he is a Muslim.
Therefore, we see that the Jewish groups who do not recognize the Zionist regime and are hostile to Zionism, support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people; they are allies with the resistance axis. They are our friends and partners in the face of the Israeli occupation.
In the meantime, we see that the Muslims who normalized their ties with the Zionist enemy or promote reconciliation with the occupiers, cannot be trusted as long as they participate in plotting against the Palestinian cause and contribute to preventing the return of the Palestinians to their homes.
“Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Al-Mumtahanah – Verse: 9)
Everyone who fought people for the sake of their belief, and everyone who drove an oppressed people out of their land, and everyone who helped in the displacement or prevented the return of refugees, and obstructed the restoration of stolen rights is our enemy, and the text of the Quran is clear and explicit in this regard.
Therefore, the Zionist regime is the enemy of the Islamic Ummah and the enemy of all the justice seekers all around the world, not because of Judaism, but because of its occupation, aggression and criminality, and we will continue to fight it with all forms resistance until we liberate our occupied land and restore our rights.