Gaza – Fence that fell…

31 01 2008

You don’t feel safe anywhere in the Gaza Strip. It’s dangerous everywhere; Israeli helicopters and F-16s overhead all the time.

The hardest thing is going in the streets of Gaza to find body parts scattered everywhere. So many people have been killed here over the past few days.

We are living under occupation. I’ve been applying to Israel to go to the West Bank – which is part of my country – and I’m not allowed.

MOHAMMED OMER, 23, RAFAH, GAZA STRIP

The Kaa’ba (Qibla) has an over whelming spiritual aspect attached to it, for a Muslim, there is no place more sacred than the holy lands situated in Arabia. Every year millions of Muslims gather and circumambulate (tawaaf) around the holy Kaa’ba or Qibla during the month of Dhul Hijjah and all year around for the ‘Umrah. The Muslims turn towards the same marvelous Qiblah five times a day when performing their daily salah, decorating their living rooms and places of trade with pictures of it, on walls, in miniature design, on calenders, on prayer mats, and the whole of Muslim cola market has thrived upon its name.

But what does the marvelous Ka’ba, its spiritual or historical significance have anything to do with the giant concentration camp which Gaza has been turned into? Consider this:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is quoted to have said, when beholding Ka`ba: “How sanctified you are to Allah, however, the blood of a Muslim is more sanctified to Allah than thee!”

The noble Ka’ba symbolises a deep rooted concept, a concept far beyond the psychological and emotional spiritual aspect we long to feel in its presence. Despite the unceasing dictum, most Muslims including myself have not been able to truly conceptualise what the bond of unity based upon a common view of life (Islam) means. I attempted at experiencing this unity and being over whelmed by it rather than the spiritual aspect which comes from being around the ka’ba. ‘It is only made of stones, you will circumumbulate this one and throw stones at the other ones in Jamaraat’, I said to myself during hajj. The spiritual aspect which comes from witnessing thousands of people of different colour, race, height, size… gave me the ‘buzz’, the same kind of buzz experienced by the dancing dervishes which they interpret to be spiritual elevation, though there is no similarity between the two. But the persistent question remains: Is Muslim unity a fanciful concept? an emotional weak bond? or something real and perceivable?

An-Nu`maan Ibn Basheer, may Allah be pleased with him, quotes the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him as saying: “You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind to themselves, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body aches then the whole body shares the pain with sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

This body as described by the Prophet of Islam (saw) exists today as we witness the Muslims stand in solidarity across the Muslim world with their brethren in Gaza. Despite the brutal clampdown by the despotic Egyption regime, the Muslims gathered at the Tahrir Sq chanting, “Gaza residents, we are with you night and day”. Muslims also gathered in Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Mauritania to call their rulers to aid the Muslims of Gaza and to end their links with the Zionist State.

GAZA (CNN) — There is something almost indescribably exhilarating about suddenly evaporating borders, an almost palpable electricity that pulses through the air.
It was breathtaking to watch as tens of thousands of people poured over what once was a towering Israeli-built iron wall, a seemingly insurmountable barrier between Gaza and the world, now a walkway through which Palestinians strolled into Egypt.

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, there were no borders and no walls across much of what is now the Middle East. You could travel from Baghdad to Jerusalem to Cairo to Tunis without a question asked. Then came the era of the nation state, when Arabs became Egyptian or Iraqi or Tunisian.

But the depth of desire for unity, for freedom of movement in the Arab world remains profound. And you only need cross a border in this region to understand why.  Source

Contemplating upon some of these realities makes me wonder that ‘artificial borders disuniting the Muslims’ theory may not be so far-fetched after all. The moment of unity shared by the two nations separated by an artificial border which once never existed, however brief, it looks incredible. The CNN video shows the barrier being physically removed liberating and uniting the people… imagine if this was to occur throughout the Muslim world.