To Allāh belongs all praise and He grants victory to whom He wills, when He wills.
“…and victory comes from no one but Allāh, the Almighty, the All-Wise.”
Reports from the blessed Land of Palestine have confirmed that before Fajr Salāh today, Occupation Forces removed the security measures imposed on the entrances of al-Masjid al-Aqsa including the metal detectors and the infrared cameras. The Ministry of Awqaaf have today reconvened and sanctioned the re-entry of Muslims into al-Masjid al-Aqsa. It is with a warm and content heart that we thank the granter of victory to His believing slaves, the Almighty, jalla fī ‘Ulā.
Protests have been ongoing for the last fortnight since the illegal occupation placed intimidating, and unprecedented security measures at all of the Masjid’s entrances. At least six Palestinian youth were killed alongside hundreds injured in the struggle for al-Aqsa. The illicit encroachment on the sanctity of one of Islām’s greatest Masājid, coupled with continued killing and brutality from the illegal occupiers, may have revived the cause for al-Aqsa enough to yield the tyrants into submission.
In short, the demands of the resolute Muslims stationed at al-Aqsa’s entrances, refusing entry into the courtyard and preferring to offer Salāh in its precincts, the du’ā and support of Muslims around the world and the sustained activism and political pressure has come to fruition. To this we say in one resounding voice,
Allāhu akbar walilāhil ḥamd!
And we repeat the words of the beloved at the mounts Safa and Marwa, overlooking the Sacred House; looking directly towards the Ka’bah after years of banishment and prevention:
“None has the right to be worshipped except Allāh alone Who has no partners. To Him belongs the Kingdom, all praises are for Him, and He is able to do all things. We are returning with repentance (to Allāh) worshipping, prostrating, and praising our Lord. Allāh has fulfilled His Promise, made His Slave victorious, and He (Alone) defeated the clans.”
Victory comes through Patience and Sacrifice
For two weeks the rallies filled the tight walkways of Jerusalem’s Old City with the sweet scents of al-Aqsa separating its cherished attendees. All they needed to do was accept the new status quo, to walk under the electronic gates or in front of intrusive scanners, but their cause was mightier, and their will to sacrifice was stronger. They were resolute in their refusal to surrender, although countered by live gunfire, tear gas, sporadic arrests and batons. Half a dozen were killed, others were injured but it did not phase their demands or render them hopeless. It is Allāh who asks us in His Holy Book:
“Or did you suppose that you would enter the Garden without facing the same as those who came before you? Poverty and illness afflicted them and they were shaken to the point that the Messenger and those who had belief with him said, ‘When is Allāh’s help coming?’ Be assured that Allāh’s help is very near.”
Victory comes through Unity
Since the imposed measures on July 14th, and following the scholarly instructions issued by the Ministry of Islamic Endowments, worshippers collectively and decisively refused to pray within the Holy Masjid. Gathered in their thousands, and accompanied by other Palestinians of the Christian faith, united by the sole desire to end this brutal and despotic regime of occupation, Jerusalemites rallied in a singular voice: “we will remain here… until the pain goes away, we will live here, and our cries shall sound sweet”. No victory is possible without a united stance, a singular voice and a clear authority. Al-Aqsa belongs to all Muslims inseparably. Every Muslim’s heart should yearn for al-Aqsa, for it is a cause of Islām and an inherent part of our Muslim identity. No occupier can stage a fight in the face of this unity, does Allāh not tell us:
“Obey Allāh and His Messenger and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. Allāh is with the steadfast.”?
Victory comes through Hard Work and Distinguishes the Proactive from the Lazy or Complicit
Although the Masjid’s three-day closure was the first of its kind in 48 years, the Masjid and the believers living in its precincts have faced trials and tribulations for decades, the frequency of which has only intensified since the beginning of the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem in 1967. This episode has somewhat reinvigorated the love, interest and yearning of the Muslim Ummah towards al-Masjid al-Aqsa and has in some ways been a great blessing, reminding us of the importance of this seemingly forgotten treasure.
As Muslims, success for us is not solely defined by whether the Masjid is free or not, because we have firm faith that it will be one day. But these last two weeks prove that victory and honour will come to the dīn of Islām, incumbently.
“Our Word was given before to Our slaves, the Messengers, that they would certainly be helped. It is Our army which will be victorious.”
And Allāh furthermore promises a pertinent promise in light of the racist Occupation’s ethnically misplaced claim for Jerusalem. A promise that refutes the very core of their ethnic claim to the land, and declares that one’s deservedness of land is subject to one’s righteousness and piety. For whatever ethnic association they forge to justify their Occupation, their maliciousness and sinfulness is the crux of why Palestine will never belong to them. Allāh says:
“Mūsā said to his people, ‘Seek help in Allāh and be steadfast. The earth belongs to Allāh. He inherits it to any of His slaves He wills. The successful outcome is for those who have Taqwa.’”
With this predestined outcome in mind, the question is not if Jerusalem will be liberated, but what we have done to contribute to this victory. Many stood at night and prayed, protested across the world in various cities, wrote to their members of parliament, or delivered sermons to reignite the love of this Holy Masjid in the hearts of the believers. Many went to al-Aqsa, knowing very well that they would join the congregations outside, but their solidarity was priceless and exceptionally strengthened the resolve of the Jerusalemites. Their efforts will not be forgotten nor will they be wasted by Allāh, and each and every one of them will be counted among those who helped the struggle to eventually liberate al-Masjid al-Aqsa one day.
Likewise, the passive or lazy will simply be forgotten and no struggle to this end will be written for them on the Day of Judgement, and yet others were complicit, either by occupying the Masjid illegally, spilling blood unsparingly, or ratified ‘under the table’ deals and agreements – however this is not the focus of this celebratory article. Others dictated their objection and frustration with the Palestinians and their resistance, opining that ‘they will not give victory to al-Aqsa’ live on air, so long as such and such groups exist or are linked to the struggle. Other such ‘scholars’ held that the Jerusalemites threw themselves into their own destruction. Such have only joined the queues of life’s ineffectual let-downs, for whom we have no time because it is about them the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) is reported to have said:
“A group of people amongst my followers will remain obedient to Allāh’s orders and they will not be harmed by anyone who will let them down or who will oppose them, until Allāh’s Order (the Last Day) comes upon them while they are still on the right path.”
Mu’awiyyah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said: “this is Mālik, claiming that he heard Mu’āth (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) say: ‘they are in al-Shām (Palestine and precincts).’”
Such stark contrasts between the active, the lazy and the complicit is one of the most consistent outcomes in every trial that inflicts the Ummah:
“Allāh will only leave the believers in the position you now are in so that He can sift out the rotten from the good.”
Whilst celebrating and thanking Allāh for this temporary victory of sorts, we must appreciate it within the context of the current situation of al-Masjid al-Aqsa. Yes, these late restrictions have been lifted, but such is a measure that returns al-Aqsa to a pre-14th of July state, specifically one of continual, illegal occupation. So there is no electronic surveillance, but there remain armed guards on every gate of al-Aqsa, restrictions on young men entering, a complete embargo on non-Jews from the West Bank entering, and continued intrusions on the part of extremist, coward settlers surrounded by armed Occupation Forces to protect them.
This is how daily life is in Islām’s first Qiblah. There are some who live merely 10 miles away from al-Aqsa, able to view the Masjid from their rooftops, but have been banned from entering it for over 20 years because they are the “wrong race”.
Our fight to liberate al-Aqsa thus continues unabated, and today we are stronger than ever inshāAllāh. As holders of citizenship, you, in the United Kingdom, the US or Europe have more access than those within a 10-mile radius. It is incumbent upon us to maximise this privilege, visit, support our brothers and sisters in their daily struggle, perpetuate our campaigning, speaking and political pressure, as well as our du’ā until it is entirely liberated. With our lives, efforts, and blood will we serve Masjid al-Aqsa, Islām and our Ummah.
May Allāh allow our Ummah to be reawakened and guided towards His sincere worship and unite our hearts. Amīn.
 Qur’an 3:126
 Sahih al Bukhari
 Qur’an 2:214
 Qur’an 8:46
 Qur’an 37:171-173
 Qur’an 7:128
 Bukhari on the authority of Mu’awiyyah RA
 Qur’an 3:179
Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom’s Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari’ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.