As the sun rises and the call to prayer echoes, a wave of unity is emerging across the globe. Imams from every corner of the world are raising their voices in defence of al-Aqsa, the sacred sanctuary with profound historical and spiritual significance.
This movement is arguably not just about protecting a physical structure, but about safeguarding the religious freedom and heritage that al-Aqsa represents for Muslims everywhere.
A comprehensive guide for imams
In recent times, the sacred site of al-Aqsa has witnessed increased tensions, prompting an outpouring of concern and outcry within the Ummah and beyond.
In response to this, an initiative has been set in motion, led by leading UK non-profit Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA). 
As imams and other community leaders around the world are harnessing the power of the pulpit to defend Islam’s third holiest site — not through violence or political agitation, but through peaceful means such as education, dialogue, and solidarity — a broad document is required to bolster these efforts.
It is evident that from the minarets of Indonesia to the mosques in the heart of Europe and America, imams are taking a stand. They’re delivering sermons that shed light on the importance of al-Aqsa, explaining its history besieged by conflict, and underscoring the principles of Islam in defending religious sites.
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Leaders are fostering a constructive dialogue among communities of different faiths.
They’re reaching out to their non-Muslim counterparts, explaining why al-Aqsa is so dear to us, and how its peace and sanctity affect not just followers of the Islamic tradition, but also advocates of religious freedom everywhere.
However, the challenge is immense, and not everyone is equipped with the historical and contextual knowledge to address such an issue.
Recognising this potential area of fragility, scholars and experts have come together to compile a comprehensive guide.
This guide — as available here — aims to support imams across the world by providing accurate, insightful information about al-Aqsa, and recent Palestinian history, in addition to offering advice on how to conduct effective communication.
Included in the document are the following:
- Khutbah outline
- Key action points
- Direction for imams
- Summary of recent events
- Resources for further reading and understanding.
Five days on from the initial resistance operation launched by Palestinian fighters, and with the tragic deaths of 1,537 in Gaza and in excess of 1,200 in Israel — amidst all of the reporting — it is easy to lose sight of our beloved al-Aqsa and the perilous situation ahead.
As the third holiest site in Islam, al-Aqsa has a rich history. We should remember that it was the first qibla, as well as the site of the miraculous Isrāʾ wa-l Miʿrāj (Journey to Allah's Throne) by the Messenger ﷺ.
In producing this guide for imams and community leaders, Friends of al-Aqsa have done a great service to the global Muslim community, as the document includes key points including requests for Qunūt al-Nāzila (supplication during times of calamity), a number of facts and figures pertaining to the dire situation in al-Aqsa, Gaza, and Palestine, as well as an accompanying khutbah template.
We pray for justice and a swift end to the ongoing violence, and for a fair portrayal of the events by mainstream media, as narratives are what shape people's perceptions, and perceptions drive action.
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