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Eid ul Adha and Gaza. Haj, Hussein and Abraham

It’s the day of Eid ul Adha. The day of sacrifice rooted in Abrahamic consciousness. Prophet Abraham (A.S) was willing to lay down his own life and remained defiant as the imperial monarch Nimrod threw him into the fire to kill him for resisting the injustice of Nimrods monarchical rule. Abraham (A.S) had no fear of death and willingly faced death in the eye. But what was more sacred to Abraham than his own life? Giving your own life for a cause is generally considered the ultimate sacrifice. Can there be a greater sacrifice than sacrificing your own life? What is more difficult for Abraham (A.S) than to sacrifice his own life? It was to sacrifice the life of his son Ismail because Abraham loved his son Ismail more than he loved his own life. Ismail is what brought light and joy to the heart of Abraham, made him tender and made him look forward to every day. So when God presents him with this ultimate test, Abraham (A.S) is shaken to the core but willingly surrenders to God and offers to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail (A.S). Abraham (A.S) is titled Hanif, the worshipper of the monotheistic God, one most advanced in loving and worshipping God.  (Abraham A.S) and Ismail (A.S) both surrendered to the will of God. This is the meaning of Islam, surrendering to the will of God. Thus any person who surrenders to the will of God and struggles in pursuit of justice is a Muslim.

Every day, in every obligatory prayer five times a day, Muslims remember and recite the name of Abraham(A.S) and the family of Abraham(A.S) together with Muhammad(p.b.u.h) and the family of Muhammad (p.b.u.h). For Muslims, the Muhammadi consciousness is inextricably linked with the Abrahamic consciousness. This link is not merely spiritual and ideological, it is at the core of believing in the oneness of God. Many Muslim parents actualize this Abrahamic consciousness and name their sons Muhammad Hanif, thus combining the name of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and “Hanif “Prophet Abraham (A.S). By doing this they advance the Islamic Universalism by celebrating all of God’s holy Prophets from Adam (A.S) to Muhammad (p.b.u.h). Muhammad (p.b.u.h) named his own son Abraham. The brother of Hussein was named Muhammad Hannafiya. So why is it then that God wants the believer before the end of any prayer to remember Abraham (A.S) and his family together with Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and his family ? There must be a reason and purpose to this but surprisingly it is an area of thought that seems not be delved into by the scholars.

Abraham (A.S) was willing to sacrifice his son Ismail (A.S). Every Eid, when animals are slaughtered to remember the school of sacrifice and resistance, committed Muslims picture the epic scene. A doting father Abraham (A.S), about to sacrifice his son in an awe inspiring expression of surrender to God. And while on this day of Eid Ul Adha, everyone is familiar with the practice of sacrificing sheep and distributing the meat to the poor, each person should be conscientized in the school of Abrahamic consciousness.

Muhammad (p.b.u.h) was not only willing to sacrifice his sons like Abraham p.b.u.h) but in fact did sacrifice his sons. The family of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) have always been at the forefront in the fight for justice and the first to sacrifice their blood.  After the martyrdom of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) most of the imams from the family of Muhammad(p.b.u.h) were also martyred in the struggle for justice. In military operations, Muhammad (p.b.u.h) would lead from the front.

Hussein. The one who is dearest to Muhammad (p.b.u.h). The little one whom the Messenger would enthusiastically seek out and ask “Where is the little beauty”. The little beauty who would jump on the back of the Prophet whilst he was prostrating in prayer and whom the Prophet did not want to inconvenience so much so that he would remain in prostration until Hussein had jumped off his back and would not fall or get hurt.  The Messenger could not bear any hurt to come to Hussein. Muhammad (p.b.u.h) loved Hussein and Hassan more than he loved himself but he socialised them into the revolutionary school of Islam that made them leaders in the fight for justice and martyrs who gave their lives for freedom in the Abrahamic tradition. Hussein and the family of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) are the ones who were sacrificed on the fields of Karbala. There is thus a direct link between Karbala and Haj, between Abraham and Muhammad, between Ismail and Hussein. Eid ul Adha is about the day of sacrifice and sacrifice is spelt with the name of Imam Hussein. Eid Ul Adha is the culmination of Haj, the spiritual exertion and effort that brings the human soul to the realization that he is nothing and God is everything. Eid is a day of sacrifice, a red day, the redness rooted in the blood of Hussein and all the sons and daughters from the family of the Prophet (p.b.u.h). It is a day to remember all the martyrs who gave their lives in pursuit of justice.

There is something that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) says about Hussein which he has not said about any other person. “I am of Hussein and Hussein is of me”. Why? Because Hussein has a unique place in history. He says no to injustice and hereditary monarchy, no to capitalism, no to tyranny. At a time when the common people are afraid to rise up and resist because resistance means death. When no one is prepared to speak truth to power because power is brutal and ruthless.

Hussein has approximately 72 comrades. The enemy six thousand soldiers. There is no chance of victory. There is only one outcome, death and martyrdom. Earthly logic says run away, build your movement and fight when you are stronger and have a chance of victory. This is what others are thinking. But not Hussein. Hussein sees things differently. Hussein is the heir to Abraham (A.S) and Muhammad (p.b.u.h). He cannot surrender to earthly tyrants. He knows that there will not be an immediate military victory but that his martyrdom and resistance is a catalyst for the Islamic revolutionary victory and freedom for all the people. He knows with certainty that his defiance and resistance means death and there is no possibility of coming out alive.  Hussein choses death and martyrdom. It is both a historical and eternal choice because Hussein is to inspire revolutionaries throughout history. Were it not for Hussein’s legacy many battles would not have been fought and many tyrants would not have been toppled. Martyrdom is a conscious choice. The human being who is born free and is devoted to his Creator cannot be a slave to tyrants and thugs. He cannot accept injustice.

The Abrahamic Accords which is an alliance among Nimrods and Pharaoh’s which advances Israeli Zionism and American Imperialism should be called out for what it is, the Satanic Accords that has the purpose of sustaining the colonizing status quo and Occupation. The Accords is an alliance among elites whereas on the ground, there is an Abrahamic universalism that unites people of all Abrahamic faiths, Muslims, Christians and Jews who are resisting Zionism and Imperialism by saying no to Genocide, seeking to implement a just world with a democratized economy where all people can live with equal rights.

The spiritual effort in the days of Haj, culminating in the day of Arafat and Eid is a prelude to the purpose of life which is resistance to injustice best expressed after the month of Zil Hijja. In the first ten days of Muharram and the day of Ashura upon the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. Is Haj not the spiritual training required for the activist struggle that is required for the New Year in the month of Muharram? Isn’t this the evolutionary process of Haj that results in revolution? Walk in the footsteps of Abraham (A.S) and then Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and then in the footsteps of Hussein. The journey from earthly life to eternal life. From the month of Zil Hijja to the month of Muharram and to truth in eternity? How can you go to Haj and thereafter not take a stand against injustice, Capitalism and Genocide?

“ Indeed Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah”.Quran 2:158.

 When Hagar saw her infant child Ismail (A.S) thirsty and there was no water, she pleads with her Creator and runs between the pillars of Safa and Marwa whereupon God instructs Gabriel to use his wing to clip the ground and water from the well of Zamzam flowed and flows to this day. God commands the believers to remember Hagar and emulate her running between Safa and Marwa. As millions of Muslims performing the Haj and re-enact the actions of Hagar, how can we not think of the thousands of Palestinian children who are deprived of water by the cruel Zionists? Think about thee dehydrated people in Gaza desperately using their bare hands to dig up the ground in search of water.  How can we not remember the 12 year old child Mustafa Hijazi who died of dehydration and malnutrition a couple of days ago on the 14th June? How can we be blind to the famine that was deliberately created by the Zionists to persecute the people of Gaza?

 The hero of Haj, Hagar, the mother of Ismail (A.S) and wife of Abraham (A.S). A woman, a black woman, a refugee. The representation of the most oppressed person on earth both then and now. The black female refugee. The world rejected her but God choses her. And it is from her bloodline that the Prophet of the people Muhammad (p.b.u.h) descends. When she is alone and helpless, hungry and a mother of a baby in the desert. Her Creator hears her call. And when my obliging subjects ask you about Me, behold, I am near, I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls upon me, let them then respond to me and commit themselves to Me, so that they might maturely follow the right way” Quran 2-185. As the descendants of Hagar and Ismail call upon their Creator while they are being persecuted by Israeli Zionists, there is no doubt that he hears the cries of his oppressed servants and that he will come to their aid.

 The dominant dialect in the world today is the language of double speak and hypocrisy. When those in power with a forked tongue verbalize human rights, freedom and democracy but do everything within their power to stem the tide of freedom, democracy and self-determination. It is the redness in the blood of Hussein that liberates the human eye to see clearly who the freedom fighter is and who the oppressor is. The killers of Hussein claimed to be “Muslim” and the “heirs” to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) but the blood of Hussein exposes every tyrant in this world and is the life pulse of freedom loving people.  The Husseinic tongue asks how can you claim to love Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and then shed the blood of Muhammad’s (p.b.u.h) sons and daughters? How do you claim to be following the way of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) when you live a life of luxury and opulence and extricate yourself from the people but the noble Messenger lived a life of simplicity and frugality and always lived among the people?  How do you call yourself a Muslim monarch when the Prophet of the people said “there is no monarchy in Islam””?  Why is wealth not shared amongst all the people but is rather concentrated among the elite, the 1%?  Thus the Husseinic and Abrahamic eye converge  in a human universalism to expose oppressors. Whether the oppressor is a Hendrik Verwoerd, Adolf Hitler, Nimrod, Yazid, Netanyahu or Biden.  Whether the oppressor calls himself a Muslim, Christian or Jew he must be confronted, resisted and made to fall. Whether the oppressor adorns the masks of faith, rituals, fasting, prayer, pilgrimage, democracy, the rule of law…, the Abrahamic-Husseinic eye rips the mask off. Thus the revolutionary refrain of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) “I am of Hussein and Hussein is of me”. Isn’t this the reason your beloved Creator wants you to remember the family of Abraham(A.S) and the family of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) simultaneously in every salah (prayer)?

This is Eid ul Adha in the year 2024. It coincides with Father’s day in South Africa on the 17th June. As you think of Abraham, think about the father in Gaza who has to watch his children starve and then killed while they are hungry and starving. Remember the Abrahamic faith of the Palestinian father. Imagine how it was for the more than fifteen thousand Palestinian children slaughtered by Israeli Zionists. The warm blood of these fifteen thousand children flowing on the grey rubble that is Gaza.  When you think about Hagar, think about the Palestinian mother, who has to watch her child drink water from the sewer and then is burnt to death by Israeli Zionists. Think about the tender cries of a mother who has to watch her child slaughtered and is even deprived of the dignity of a burial. When you think about Hagar’s helpless cries, tears and screams, think about the women in Palestine who hear the starving cries of their babies and have to pick up their scattered limbs in the rubble in Gaza. Acknowledge and honour the strength and patience of the women of Gaza. As you picture Hagar running helplessly calling out to her Creator, think about the two million refugees of Gaza who are forcibly displaced month after month by the Occupying Israeli regime. When you think about how Abraham (A.S) was forced to enter Nimrods fire, think about the people in Gaza forced to die in Netanyahu’s fire when he bombed the tent camp in Rafah. Think about their screams as they were deliberately burnt alive by Israeli Zionists and how they suffered an atrocious death. Picture the little baby without a head, carried by the Palestinian father. Do you see the Nimrodic arrogance in Netanyahu after you have been following in the footsteps of Abraham in your Haj? You who love Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and the family of Muhammad (p.b.u.h), when you think about the spear piercing the throat of Ali Asghar and the fresh blood flowing out of the innocent child, remember the tears of the noble Fatima, the mother of Hussein.   Think about the bombs blowing the bits of every little child Muhammad in Gaza. Think about the orphaned Zaynul Abideen and what his eyes witnessed when he saw his father, brothers and uncles slaughtered in front of him. Then think about the tens of thousands of children in Gaza, who see the innocent eyes of a child their parents killed in front of them, limbs shattered to bits. These children of Palestine who are deliberately orphaned by the Israeli Zionists and who have to hear the sounds of guns and bombs for twenty four hours every day and for eight months consecutively. How can any human survive this psychological damage? Imagine the mental horror and torture that these children of Gaza are experiencing?  And you who are the follower of Muhammad (p.b.u.h) who loved orphans and fought for their rights more than anyone else, how can you be silent? How can you not act? How can you not call out the hypocrisy that you can clearly see? As you are remembering the brave youth of Azania, and participating in the progressive activities of youth day, the revolutionary students of 16 June 1976 , the Soweto uprising, who sacrificed their lives for freedom in South Africa, think about the students in Gaza who have no schools to go to because all of their schools have been reduced to rubble by the Israeli Zionists. Remember too that when all the governments of the world abandoned Gaza in its darkest hour, the South African government stood out and exposed the Israeli genocide to the world by bringing the matter before the International Criminal Court. Youth day is an apt day to remember that all the oppressed people are united, that the blood of the freedom fighters from Karbala joins the blood of freedom fighters in Sharpeville and Soweto, Sabra and Shatila, the Bekaa and Gaza.

How interesting, the leader of the resistance in Palestine, goes by the name of Ismail. He has actualized the resistance of his predecessors Abraham, Ismail, Muhammad and Hussein. Like Imam Hussein, his sons and grandsons are sacrificed in Gaza in one day. Like Hussein, he sees them martyred but is not broken, he keeps on resisting the enemy, keeps on fighting. How is it possible to see your children and grandchildren slaughtered in one day and not lose faith in God and keep on fighting?   Three of Haniyehs sons, Hazem, Amir and Muhammad and four of his grandchildren were all killed on the 11 April 2024, the day of Eid Ul Fitr.  He remembers his hero Hussein who lost two sons Ali Akbar and Ali Asghar, seven brothers and six nephews at the battle of Karbala but even this pain could not stop the Imam from fighting his oppressors. Like Hussein, he sees them martyred but is not broken, he keeps on resisting the enemy, keeps on fighting.  Haniyeh demonstrates this Muhammadi courage after the loss of his family and says “The blood of my children is not more valuable than the blood of the Palestinian children of the Palestinian people. On the other hand, the leader of the Israeli Occupation who is leading the Genocide does it from the safety of his room and his own son Yair Netanyahu plays around in America while the fighting rages and Gaza is on fire. Haniyeh and the people of Gaza have demonstrated that they are the heirs of Abraham (A.S), Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and Hussein. Abrahams (A.S) arch enemy Nimrod was a monarchical absolutist as was Hussein’s enemy Yazid. Netanyahu like Nimrod has systematically pursued a policy of genocidal infanticide. Nimrod is reported to have pursued the same genocidal infanticide and killed seven thousand male infants in a period of 40 years. The Israeli Zionist Netanyahu has slaughtered more than fifteen thousand Palestinian children in eight months, thus exceeding even the Nimrodic barbarism. Like Nimrod, Netanyahu believes that he and the Israeli Zionists are a superior people and a law unto themselves.  Netanyahu who is blind to scripture, deaf to the words of the International Court and the advice of his allies is behaving as though he thinks he is God on earth totally oblivious to international law and eternal law (scripture). Instead of stopping the genocide after the ruling of the International Criminal Court, the Israeli Zionists went on a killing rampage to demonstrate their earthly arrogance and opposition to God, the Almighty, the Just and Majestic. It is but a matter of time before God’s corrective justice takes its course. And the people who see with an Abrahamic eye, ask, how can the U.S empire and most European countries profess freedom and democracy but are so vehemently opposed to the freedom and democracy for the people of Palestine? How do you claim to care about Palestinian lives but at the same time finance the Genocide and enable the starvation of more than two million Palestinians? And the Abrahamic tongue asks the Governments in the Arab and Muslim world, on this day of Eid when God choses the oppressed and the refugees, why are you not on the side of the oppressed and the refugees? Surely you cannot be a follower of Abraham (A.S), Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and Hussein and at the same time not take a stand against Genocide and Occupation? Has God not confirmed in the final scripture that he has not made any human being with two hearts? Surely you must know that the God of Abraham (A.S) is always on the side of justice and the oppressed peoples of the world. How will you answer when you return to the God of all Humankind about your complicity in the genocide?

Iqbal Suleman

Research Associate: Media Review Network