In the name of Allah, the Most High. Peace and salutations be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوا۟ قَوَّٰمِينَ بِٱلْقِسْطِ شُهَدَآءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ ٱلْوَٰلِدَيْنِ وَٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” 
As the Israeli occupation launches yet another genocidal military offensive against the 2.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip, Muslims in the UK will be showing their solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine through prayers.
In recent times, we have observed growing efforts to influence and control the content of such prayers, specifically the qunūt and du’ā, within our mosques.
As a result, some Imams have stopped performing qunūt and making du’ā for the Palestinians. It is important that we voice our protest in a way that is measured, responsible, and most importantly, serves to support, rather than undermine, the cause of Palestine.
As Imams, mosques, and scholars, it is imperative that we address this matter with wisdom, courage, and a commitment to truth.
Leadership and guidance
In times of increased scrutiny, it becomes an obligation upon Imams and scholars to lead and guide our community with unwavering commitment to truth and justice.
We must fearlessly advocate for the principles of justice, compassion, and solidarity, even when faced with external pressures.
Allah says in the Qur’ān,
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَـٰقَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُۥ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكْتُمُونَهُۥ
“When Allah took a pledge from those who were given the Book: ‘You shall make it known to people, and you shall not conceal it’.” 
Condemnation without animosity
It is crucial to emphasise that condemnation of the Israeli occupiers’ actions is a valid expression of concern for justice and humanity.
However, it is equally important to distinguish between condemnation of actions and harbouring animosity towards any religious or ethnic group.
It is worth noting that many Jewish people vehemently disagree with the policies of the Israeli government and its occupation.
Safeguarding legitimate criticism
We recognise the increasing attempts to stifle debate and legitimate criticism of the Israeli occupation. We must stand firm against any efforts to suppress discussions within our community. Open dialogue is a fundamental aspect of a healthy society and should not be curtailed.
It should be noted that the right to freedom of speech is provided for under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 
For the avoidance of doubt, we are not encouraging anyone to be offensive, but rather making clear that the right to speak freely is enshrined in our law and is to be interpreted widely.
Validity of du’ā in Sunnah
It is essential to reiterate that making du’ā, including qunūt, is rooted in the Sunnah.
The Messenger ﷺ said,
“Du’ā is the essence of worship”. 
Our prayers do not target or harm any particular group and remain within the bounds of Islamic principles.
Upholding the righteousness of du’ā
Mosques and Imams are facing mounting pressure, especially concerning qunūt and du’ā for the plight of the Palestinian people. Targeting Imams in an attempt to criminalise them is a dangerous tactic.
We assert that praying for justice and a fair resolution is a legitimate expression of our compassion and concern for humanity. Such prayers should not be censured, and the obligation to speak out against injustice remains paramount.
It is an infringement upon our right to practise our religion and a violation of our right to freedom of religion enshrined in the international and regional human rights treaties, including:
- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 18 and 19);
- the European Convention on Human Rights (Articles 9 and 10);
- and the Equality Act 2010 (Section 10).
All of these make clear that the right to freedom of conscience includes the right to manifest one’s religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice, and observance. The concept of worship extends to rituals.
They also make clear that observance and practice of religion or belief may include the use of a particular language customarily spoken by a group.
As such, the words being uttered in the du’ā should be considered in light of their meanings in Arabic and how they are understood by Muslims, and not how they may be interpreted by others, particularly those who harbour hatred towards Islam and Muslims.
Support your Imams
We call upon the Muslim community, and in particular masjid management, to show support for their Imams and encourage them to be courageous.
In conclusion, let us stand united in upholding the sanctity of our prayers and maintaining the integrity of our mosques as spaces for open dialogue, justice, and compassion.
May our collective efforts contribute to a world guided by principles of fairness, understanding, and peace.
|Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad
|Dr. Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera
|Shaykh Zahir Mahmood
|Shaykh Muhammad Yasir al-Hanafi
|Mufti Yusuf Shabbir
|Shaykh Asrar Rashid
|Imam Shakeel Begg
|Shaykh Suliman Gani
|Moulana Tahir Talati
|Shaykh Hanif Dudhwala
|Shaykh Ahmad Sidat
|Imam Abdul Mateen
|Moulana Sajid Irshad
|Moulana Mohammed Farook Kazi
|Shaykh Ali Hammuda
|Shaykh Fuad Abdo
|Moulana Abid Akram
|Imam Sufyan Bora
|Moulana Mushtaq Patel
|Moulana Zakir Munshi
|Dr. Abu Salam
|Moulana Adil Patel
|Moulana Imran Thawa
|Moulana Anas Auditor
|Imam Ebrahim Noor
|Moulana Bodrul Hussain
|Moulana Mohmad Zuber Shaikh
|Moulana Iqbal Gangat
|Imam Ashraf Osmani
|Shaykh Ammar al-Madani
|Imam Nazir Khalifa
|Imam Yousaf Baig
|Moulana Fadhil Ahmad Choudhury
|Imam Abdul Wahhab Bhikhi
|Ustadh Muhammad Nadat
 al-Qur’ān, 4:135
 al-Qur’ān, 3:187
 The matter of Harry Miller v The College of Policing  EWCA Civ 1926 emphasises the vital importance of free speech in a democracy and provides a reminder as set out in the judgment of the case that,
“Free speech includes not only the inoffensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, and that the freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”
 https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:3371; Jāmi` al-Tirmidhi, 3,371