The key question which reverberates across the minbars, social media outlets, and conversations between friends and family is,
“What can we do for Gaza?”
Without a doubt, this question needs to remain an important part of Muslim discourse but perhaps the real question — which we are neglecting — is,
“What has Gaza done for us?”
The Zionist regime has bombed every bakery. The people of Gaza struggle to kindle a fire. There has been no clean water for over 50 days. There is nothing to eat or drink. 
In spite of all the above challenges, the people of Gaza have shown a level of steadfastness in faith, resilience to unparalleled savagery, and an optimism that the world can only marvel at.
It is clear that the people of Gaza do not follow the news.
The people of Gaza are the news! 
Gaza has taught us the real meaning of victory
We live in a materialistic society, where success is always measured by tangible results.
The people of Gaza have taught us the real meaning of victory — a lesson so important that it predates our beloved Prophet ﷺ and has been immortalised in Surat al-Burūj. 
People of the Ditch | أصحاب الأخدود
Allah states in the Qur’ān, that the People of the Ditch were a group of believers who were persecuted for their faith.
They were incinerated in a pit of fire with women, children, and even babies not spared.
When Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) spoke about these martyrs in faith, He declared,
ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْكَبِيرُ
“That is the supreme success.” 
By any conventional metric, this was a genocide of epic proportions, a complete annihilation, but Allah wants all peoples to understand that the real victory is success in the Hereafter.
The real victory is where your faith is stronger than the cruelty of your oppressor. The real victory is the victory of thabāt (steadfastness in faith), when you maintain the integrity of your values and principles until your final breath.
Prophetic lesson delivered to Khabbāb ibn al-Arāt
The above is the exact same lesson given to Khabbāb ibn al-Arāt by the Messenger ﷺ, when the Companion came complaining about their torture, and beseeching him to make du’ā for them.
The Prophet ﷺ sensed his impatience and reassured him that the outcome of their struggle was in the Hands of Allah, and that Allah had promised to make this religion reign supreme.
The believers need to preoccupy themselves with maintaining thabāt and leave the outcome to Allah.
The people of Gaza have taught us this lesson through actions… whilst we had become accustomed to merely hearing it in lectures and sermons!
Gaza has taught us there is no victory and success without sacrifice
Allah promised that the believers will be filtered through tribulation. There is no success and no victory without extraordinary levels of sacrifice.
Allah says in the Qur’ān,
أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوٓا۟ أَن يَقُولُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
“Do people think that once they say ‘We believe’, they will be left without being put to the test?” 
A lofty price for victory
The people of Gaza have taught us that the price of victory is very high indeed.
Martyrs will pass from us, from amongst the children, the elderly, and the innocent. Homes will be destroyed, hospitals will be annihilated, and schools will be turned into graveyards.
This is the price of victory and it is only paid by those with the highest level of faith.
The Prophet ﷺ paid this price when he witnessed the death of six out of his seven children, when he saw his beloved uncle Hamza mutilated, and when he saw his most beloved companions lose their lives out of loyalty to him (ﷺ).
Gaza has taught us the meaning of being from the People of the Qur’ān
Gaza has one of the highest concentrations of huffādh (memorisers) of the Qur’ān.
The mosques play a central role in the lives of the region’s residents, and it was for this reason that one of the earliest targets of the Israeli occupation forces was the aerial bombardment of mosques. 
The huffādh of Gaza have demonstrated the true meaning of being connected to the Qur’ān. Their lives have been an illustration of Surat al-Anfāl. They have shown contentment with the decree of Allah; they have never wavered in their duty.
Gaza has exposed the hypocrisy within this Ummah
The hypocrites in the aftermath of the Battle of Uhud gloated to the believers that if only they had stayed with them and taken their precautions, they would have preserved their lives.
The Qur’ān exposes their innermost thoughts and seditious discourse as a warning,
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَكُونُوا۟ كَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَقَالُوا۟ لِإِخْوَٰنِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُوا۟ غُزًّۭى لَّوْ كَانُوا۟ عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُوا۟ وَمَا قُتِلُوا۟ لِيَجْعَلَ ٱللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسْرَةًۭ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌۭ
“O believers! Do not be like the unfaithful who say about their brothers who travel throughout the land or engage in battle,
‘If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed.’
“Allah makes such thinking a cause of agony in their hearts. It is Allah who gives life and causes death. And Allah is All-Seeing of what you do.” 
Poisonous discourse spread by our own people
Today, we have seen people from within our community echo the same sentiments.
From the comfort of their homes, they criticise every effort of resistance from the people of Gaza, and every effort of solidarity with the Palestinians. Their discourse is poisonous, as it sows the seeds of doubt and dissension while they contribute nothing positive to the cause.
Allah has given them the sternest of warnings in the Qur’ān and all those who join them in rumour-mongering,
لَّئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌۭ وَٱلْمُرْجِفُونَ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَآ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا
“If the hypocrites, and those with sickness in their hearts, and rumour-mongers in Medina, do not desist, We will certainly incite you, O Prophet, against them, and then they will not be your neighbours there any longer.” 
Allah (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) continues in His warning,
مَّلْعُونِينَ ۖ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوٓا۟ أُخِذُوا۟ وَقُتِّلُوا۟ تَقْتِيلًۭا
“They deserve to be condemned. If they were to persist, they would get themselves seized and killed relentlessly wherever they are found!” 
Gaza has taught us the importance of media
Zionists have had a stranglehold on mainstream media for decades. And since they controlled the narrative, through this they managed to justify genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other war crimes.
However, the advent of the age of social media and the democratisation of information has enabled the people of Gaza to project the reality of Israeli aggression in real time.
New technologies, networks, and the power of information
Images of unparalleled Israeli brutality have reached our smartphones in seconds and been shared across informal networks that have been impossible to control. With this, there has been a real shift in public opinion with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in the world’s capitals in support of the people of Gaza.
There has been a spike in interest amongst non-Muslims wanting to read the Qur’ān and understand the source of the resilience of the people of Gaza.
All of this with just a handful of people active on social media. So consider what could be achieved if mainstream media infrastructure were to give Palestinians a voice, and if there was full-scale exposure of Israeli war crimes?
Gaza has taught us the subjectivity of Western liberal values
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) was signed in the same year as the Nakba (Catastrophe) and the creation of Israel.
While the world marvelled at the ushering in of a new era based on human dignity, the ethnic cleansing and epic suffering of indigenous Palestinians was conveniently ignored.
More illiberal than liberal
We are often told about the sanctity of a child’s life and the right of every child to be protected from emotional and physical abuse, except, of course, when the child is one of the 6,000+ children of Gaza who have lost their lives in the latest Israeli offensive. 
We are told about the need to liberate women across the world, except, of course, if that woman is one of thousands of civilians killed in the bombardment of hospitals, schools, and residential tower blocks.
The sanctity of life seems to be maintained when the victim fits a racial and religious profile, but if the victim is an African in the transatlantic slave trade, or an Indian in the British Raj, or an Algerian in the French internment camps, or a Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then the moral absolutes become far more relative.
Gaza has taught us the importance of unity
The savagery of the Israeli occupation forces in Palestine has only been matched by the attacks of Zionists across the world targeting any Muslim who expresses solidarity with the Palestinians.
Zionists have not differentiated between different sects, schools of thought, cultures, or ethnicities. They have attacked us as a single body.
Gaza has brought together the Ummah in a wave of unity we have not seen for generations.
Protests in Jakarta have been mirrored by protests in London. Sectarian divisions have been put aside and Muslims have once again begun to speak with a unified voice. This is the power of Palestine and the power of al-Aqsa.
We are more in need of Gaza today than Gaza is in need of us. We are in need of Gaza to rekindle that spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.
Gaza has taught us that strength comes with resistance
There are around two billion Muslims across the world and around 50 Muslim countries. The only entity able to face the aggression of the Israeli occupation and negotiate with them on an equal standing is the resistance of Gaza.
No other Muslims even have a seat at the negotiating table. No other Muslims’ voices are considered relevant. This is the power that comes with resistance.
When the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank chose to become, in effect, an extension of the Israeli security apparatus, they lost credibility and importance.
When Muslim countries sought to normalise relations with Israel, they became mere spectators in geopolitical events shaping the world.
Importance of unified political mobilisation
Now that we have looked at a number of key lessons taught to us by Gaza, we should also think about the future, and how we can be a part of that.
Ask the questions,
- At what point were the Palestinians negotiated with, on prisoner exchanges?
- Why and how is that two British Muslim MPs voted against the Gaza ceasefire and another four abstained? 
As for the MPs who did not show their support for a ceasefire, part of the underlying issue is that the Muslim vote is disregarded by the political establishment. And due to our lack of unity and inability to mobilise, politicians ignore us.
Politicians see us as one, while we are divided amongst ourselves
What happened in Gaza could happen here and, again, there will be apathy towards Muslims. We need to be proactive and plan ahead as a community.
Politicians need to be concerned about the Muslim vote. They don’t look at the colour of your skin, your culture, your heritage. They see us as one, while we are divided amongst us.
Remember, we are up against people who justify the bombing of schools and hospitals, and the Zionist prisons that seek to destroy a human being from within.
We need to be one in our voice, and in our actions.
Gaza has encapsulated universal lessons which the Muslim Ummah must ponder over and reflect upon.
These are lessons which, if embodied, can shift the trajectory of this Ummah.
No other cause can mobilise Muslims like Palestine. And no other cause will teach us more about the essence of our religion than Palestine.
We need to rebuild Gaza. We need to sacrifice our comfort and money. They never ask for our help. These are the people of the Qur’ān. Allah has brought from the believers their lives and their wealth.
Let us continue to learn from our Gazan brothers and sisters.
- It is important to follow the latest updates in Gaza, but we must learn from them and improve ourselves.
- As Muslims, we need to act in a united manner so that our views cannot be disregarded.
- Keep doing what you can for the people of Gaza, through prayer, donations, and awareness campaigns.
 al-Qur’ān, 85
 al-Qur’ān, 85:11
 al-Qur’ān, 29:2
 al-Qur’ān, 3:156
 al-Qur’ān, 33:60
 al-Qur’ān, 33:61