"NO AUTHENTIC THEOLOGICAL REASON WHY MOSLEMS SHOULD NOT RECOGNIZE THE STATE OF ISRAEL!"
by Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi
JERUSALEM, July 2, 1998, Root & Branch:
From an Islamic point of view, is there any fundamental reason that prohibits Moslems from recognizing Israel as a friendly State?
I realize that a negative answer to the above question is taken for granted by popular opinion. My approach, however, is not based on popular opinion or the current political situation, but on a theological analysis of authentic Islamic sources.
Viewing the Jewish return to Israel as a Western invasion and Zionists as recent colonizers is new. It has no basis in authentic Islamic faith. According to the Koran, no person, people or religious community can claim a permanent right of possession over any territory. The Earth belongs exclusively to G-d, and He is free to entrust sovereignty over land to whomever He likes for whatever time period that He chooses.
"Say: 'O God, King of the kingdom (1), Thou givest the kingdom to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest off the kingdom from whom Thou pleasest; Thou endowest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: all the best is in Thy hand. Verily, Thou hast power over all things.'"(2) (Koran 3:26)
From the above Koranic verse we deduce a basic principle of the Monotheistic philosophy of history: G-d chooses as He likes in the relationship between peoples and countries. Sometimes He gives a land to a people, and sometimes He takes His possession back and gives it to another people. In general, we can say that He gives as a reward for faithfulness and takes back as a punishment for wickedness, but this rule does not permit us to say that God's ways are always plain and clear to our eyes, since His secrets are inaccessible to the human intellect.
Using Islam as a basis for preventing Arabs from recognizing any sovereign right of Jews over the Land of Israel is new. Such beliefs are not found in classical Islamic sources. Concluding that anti-Zionism is the logical outgrowth of Islamic faith is wrong. This conclusion represents the false transformation of Islam from a religion into a secularized ideology.
Such a false transformation of Islam was in fact made by the late Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini. He is the one person most responsible, both morally and materially, for the repeated Arab defeats in their conflict with the Jews in Israel. Husseni not only incited Arabs against Jews. He also encouraged the torture and murder of all Arabs who correctly understood that Arab cooperation with Jews was a precious opportunity for the development of the Land of Israel. Husseini ended his woeful life by putting his perverted religious teachings at the service of the evil and pagan Nazis.
After Husseini came Jamal al-Din 'Abd al-Nasser. Nasser based his policy on Pan-Arabism, hatred and contempt for Jews, and an alliance with the atheistic Soviet Union. Nasser's terrible choices were critical factors in maintaining Arab backwardness. Fortunately, most of Nasser's mistakes were afterward corrected by the martyr Anwar Sadat.
After the defeat of Nasserianism, Islamic fundamentalist movements made anti-Zionism the primary feature of their propaganda. They presented the negation of any Jewish rights to the Land of Israel as rooted in authentic Islam and derived from authentic Islamic religious principles.
THE LAND OF ISRAEL IN KORANIC EXEGESIS
The fundamentalist Moslem program to use Islam as an instrument for political warfare against Jews finds a major obstacle in the Koran itself. Both the Bible and the Koran state quite clearly that the right of the Israelites to the Land of Israel does not depend on conquest and colonization. This right flows from the will of almighty G-d Himself.
Both the Jewish and Islamic Scriptures teach that G-d, through His chosen servant Moses, decided to free the offspring of Jacob from slavery in Egypt and to constitute them as heirs of the Promised Land. Whoever claims that Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel is something new and rooted in human politics denies divine revelation and divine prophecy as explicitly expressed in our Holy Books (the Bible and Koran).
The Koran relates the words by which Moses ordered the Israelites to conquer the Land:
"And [remember] when Moses said to his people: 'O my people, call in remembrance the favour of G-d unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people, enter the Holy Land which G-d has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.'" (4) (Koran 5:20-21)
Moreover - and those who try to use Islam as a weapon against Israel always conveniently ignore this point - the Holy Koran explicitly refers to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel before the Last Judgment - where it says:
"And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: 'Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.” (Koran 17:104) Therefore, from an Islamic point of view, there is NO fundamental reason which prohibits Moslems from recognizing Israel as a friendly State.
Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi of Rome, Italy, is Moslem Co-Chairman of the Root & Branch Association's Islam-Israel Fellowship, which encourages a positive Moslem attitude towards Jews and Israel based on the authentic teachings of Mohammed as revealed by the Koran and Hadith (Islamic oral tradition). Dr. Asher Eder of Jerusalem, Israel, is the Jewish Co-Chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship. Prof. Palazzi is also Secretary General of the Italian Muslim Association and an Imam (spiritual teacher) of the Italian Islamic Community. He holds a Ph.D in Islamic Sciences by decreee of the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Koran says Israel belongs to the Jews!
Khaleel Mohammed: "The Qur'an in Chapter 5: 20-21 states quite clearly: Moses said to his people: O my people! Remember the bounty of God upon you when He bestowed prophets upon you, and made you kings and gave you that which had not been given to anyone before you amongst the nations...Enter the Holy Land which God has written for you...The Quran goes on to say why the Israelites were not allowed to enter the land for forty years... but the thrust of my analysis is where Moses says that the Holy Land is that which God has "written" for the Israelites. In both Jewish and Islamic understandings of the term "written", there is the meaning of finality, decisiveness and immutability... If God has "written" Israel for the people of Moses, who can change this?..."
"....God will keep the divine promise to them. We may argue that the present state of Israel was not created in the most peaceful means, and that many were displaced--for me, this is not the issue. The issue is that when the Muslims entered that land in the seventh century, they were well aware of its rightful owners, and when they failed to act according to divine mandate (at least as perceived by followers of all Abrahamic faiths), they aided and abetted in a crime. And the present situation shows the fruits of that action--wherein innocent Palestinians and Israelis are being killed on a daily basis...The idea that Israel does not belong to the Jews is a modern one, probably based on the Mideast rejection of European colonialism etc, but certainly not having anything to do with the Qur'an. The unfortunate fact is that most Muslims do NOT read the Qur’an and interpret it on the basis of its own words; rather they let imams and preachers do that for them."
To finish the interview, FrontPageMagazine asks, "why don’t you briefly sum up for our readers -- and for many Muslims who will hopefully read this interview – how Islam actually teaches that Israel belongs to the Jews and that Muslims are obligated, by the Qur’an itself, to accept its existence."
Khaleel Mohammed: "The Qur'an states at the very beginning of the second chapter "this is a book wherein there is no doubt, a guide for the God-conscious." Its contents are therefore to be seen by every Muslim as being divinely ordained, and to be followed. The verses on Israel as in 5:20-21 are not there just to be read; they are there to be followed. In Islam also, there is the elemental maxim "Calamity must be removed" (al darar yuzal). Muslms must face up to reality--in the years since Israel has been established, the focus of the region has been to seek to have it removed. And they have been unsuccessful, and there seems to be no hope for success. The pragmatic, proactive thing to do would be to come to grips with reality: Israel is there to stay, and it can exist in a state of peaceful coexistence, or in a stage of bellicosity. The Qur'an tells Muslims that God will not change their position until they change it themselves--and this is a classic example for putting that edict into effect. Only when MUSLIMS themselves accept Israel will they be following their Qur'an. Israel will negotiate from a position of guaranteed security, and while there may be tension from time to time, at least peace will be the norm."
Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University in an article from FrontPageMagazine.com
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