Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Al Quds Day: Hundreds join Delhi conference in solidarity with Palestine

Syed Muskan and Kulsoom Faiz

Al-Quds Day is an annual event observed globally on the last Friday of Ramadan, “Jummat-ul-Vida”, in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. In India, the event took on heightened significance this year as the death toll in the region has surpassed a staggering 33,000 lives lost. 

On April 5, an International Quds Day conference was organized in Delhi’s Awam-e-Ghalib auditorium by the All India Shia Council, Al Quds Committee, and Ahlebait (AS) Council of India in which scholars and intellectuals across communities participated to raise their voices against the ongoing war in Gaza. 

Quds Day, which was initiated shortly after the Iranian revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, serves as a platform to denounce the ongoing occupation of Jerusalem and express support for the Palestinian people. 

Quds this year was marked by huge participation throughout the world as for the past six months, the devastating impact of Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

The conference this year was attended by scholars across communities throughout the nation. A large number of believers of different faiths had also gathered in support of the people of Palestine and expressed their anger by raising slogans against the Israeli aggression.

Sardar Daya Sankhji, the President of Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, while addressing the gathering said that “all human beings should always stand against oppression and injustice, it is a demand of humanity.”

Speaking at the event Saranji Maharaj, the President of the World Peace Foundation, “We stand with the oppressed people of the whole world for peace and tranquillity. We can never tolerate any insult to humanity and the great leaders of humanity.” 

Padma Shri Professor Akhtarul-Wasey highlighted the need to accept the Gandhian principle while addressing the gathering. “He said that the world will have to accept this principle which Mahatma Gandhi has described, that just as England belongs to the British, France belongs to the French, so Palestine belongs to the Palestinians.” 

Naib Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Engineer Muhammad Saleem said that the unprecedented sacrifices being made in Palestine will not go in vain.

In solidarity with fallen Palestinians

Mohammad Jaun, 27, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia and the organiser of the International Quds Day Conference, told Maktoob that it is the responsibility of everyone to speak against oppression. He said that people think it is only the responsibility of the Shia community but the conference welcomes all in the fight towards liberation.

“Palestine holds historical and religious importance for Muslims, we have our first qibla, “Bait ul Muqadas”  under the occupation of Israel,” Jaun said. 

Bait-ul-Muqaddas, or the “Holy House,” holds significance for Muslims as the location of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Masjid al-Aqsa, the “Farthest Mosque,” is the third holiest site in Islam. It’s revered as the place where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens during the Night Journey.

Mirza Imdad Ali, 29-years-old from East Delhi, has been attending Quds Day for 8 years now. For Ali, this year was different as people across communities attended the session in large participation. 

“This year, every religion and sect of Islam attended the conference and participated with a full heart. It is started by the Shia community indeed but is open to all religions and sects of Islam.” Ali said. 

He feels that the reason for such great participation this year was because of the intensity of violence that has increased in Palestine.

“The war has crossed all limits of brutality and on the day of Judgment, we will be answerable to Allah if we do not stand for the cause,” he added. 

He said earlier the conference was held in Jantar Mantar in an informal setting but after the pandemic, the permission was declined. 

Samana Zaidi, 55 years old, annually tries to attend Al-Quds, but this year was different for her. She especially made her way from Meerut to Delhi for the call of the emancipation of Palestine.

“If anyone knows what ache is, they’ll attend Al-Quds,” Zaidi said.

Syed Muskan and Kulsoom Faiz are freelance journalists. They are currently pursuing Masters in Convergent Journalism from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

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