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Friday, January 9, 2009

Qunoot prayers reflect Saudi anger over aggression

By Khaled Al-Awadh

BURAIDAH: With Israeli warplanes, warships and ground troops pounding unarmed civilians in Gaza for the second consecutive week, Muslims in Saudi Arabia expressed their anger and dissatisfaction over the unacceptable situation in Gaza by performing Qunoot prayers almost daily in all mosques of the Kingdom.

“Oh God! Support our Muslim brothers in Gaza. Make their hearts and feet firm. Support them over those who show animosity to them. Destroy their enemies and shake the earth beneath their feet” are the words of this special prayer.

This kind of prayer is a prophetic tradition, or Sunnah, performed at times of hardship, difficulties and wars such as the one taking place against Muslim civilians in Gaza.

Today, the second Friday since the start of the Israeli aggression against Gaza, has been declared as Gaza Day of Anger by the League of Muslim Scholars. Friday sermons and Qunoot prayers are expected to focus on the calamity of the Palestinians in Gaza. The League of Muslim Scholars includes prominent Islamic intellectuals like Shaikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Shaikh Salman bin Fahad Al-Odah.

There is a big difference between demonstrations, as it is known in the world, and the Islamic concept of protest known as Qunoot, said Abdulkareem Saji Al-Harbi, an educational supervisor from Qassim.

“This Islamic concept of protest, which is unknown yet to the world, is a spiritual support to Muslim Gazans facing oppression and calamities,” said Al-Harbi adding that it is by far better than public protests. “It is the most civilized and organized kind of protest where you cannot find anarchy or destruction of public properties as you may see in various demonstrations and protests around the world,” Saad Abdulmajeed Al-Ghamdi, a Saudi writer from Jubail, told Arab News yesterday.

Al-Ghamdi added that this Islamic kind of protest shares some of the objectives of demonstrations known to the world such as showing solidarity, support and unity.

Islam leaves it open to Muslims to choose the best possible kind of protest against their enemies as long as the rules of Islam are observed, said the well-known religious scholar Shaikh Salman Fahad Al-Odah.

“It is okay for Muslims to demonstrate and protest in a peaceful manner to show solidarity with their brothers in Gaza as per the rules of every country,” he said.

Al-Odah, however, said that demonstrations should be prevented if they inflict damage, anarchy or wrongdoing. Qunoot is a kind of silent protest, said Fahad Al-Roomi, another Saudi citizen from Riyadh.

Source : Arab News

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