On Anniversary of His Martyrdom.. Hassan Al-Banna and the Palestinian Cause and Al-Aqsa Flood
These days mark the anniversary of the martyrdom of the renewalist Imam Hassan al-Banna on the night of 12 February 1949. His assassination was not an aggression against his person as much as it was an attempt to kill the project he carried, and to which he devoted his life; namely, restoration of the glory of Islam, its state and its culture.
Hassan Al-Banna, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, is one of those leaders of change who have left an indelible mark on history. He framed thought and raised men who took it upon themselves to restore the glory of Islam, no matter what it would cost them, and no matter how much it detracted from their worldly enjoyments and personal comfort. So, they sold themselves to Allah and sacrificed a lot for the sake of Islam – from the early time when Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, up to now, and from now on, Allah willing. For this reason, they experienced the scourge of prisons and detention centres, were displaced from their country, leaving behind their children, their money, and their jobs, as their only concern was achievement of the glory of Islam and its manifestation over all religion, ﴾…to proclaim it over all religion…﴿ (Al-Tawbah: 33) and leading the nation to regain its position that Allah intended for it by making it ﴾…the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind...﴿ (Al-Imram: 110).
As we live through the glorious events of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, we should remind our readers of Hassan Al-Banna’s positions toward the Palestinian cause, the issue that preoccupied him and made him so anxious, as he knew that the liberation of the Islamic nation starts with the liberation of Palestine from the occupying Zionists.
The martyr Imam early sensed the beginnings of the Zionist project targeting Palestine, as he did not conceive or consider the British occupation of Palestine as any occupation of an Islamic homeland. He started writing and alerting people about this severe danger in 1929, warning of the escalation of the Jewish danger in Palestine and pointing out that the Jews’ ambitions were alert in the face of the heedlessness of the Muslims. He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the response of Muslims in the face of this challenge, as it was nothing more than organization of protests, while the Jews’ plan was based on taking over Palestine by force and expelling its people from it.
What did Al-Banna do in the face of this challenge?
He began to develop a long-term vision for the movement and confront this threat within an integrated project.
The martyr Imam defined the vision, the starting point, and the constants regarding this cause, where in tackling the Palestinian cause, the Muslim Brotherhood start from a fundamental truth, the essence of which is the fact that: the land of Palestine is an Arab and Islamic land, an endowment for all Muslims until Doomsday comes. It is totally forbidden to give up a single inch of its soil, whatever were the pressures. Therefore, it is a trust in the hands of Muslim generations, generation after generation; until Allah, glory be to Him, inherits the earth and whatsoever is thereon. (Muslim Brotherhood Magazine, 25 October 1947). The cause of Palestine is the cause of the entire Islamic world; and it is not limited to its Palestinian people. In this regard, the resistance, in all its dimensions and axes, is the only path to recovering the land of Palestine, given the fact that he Jews only understand the language of force.
Accepting the challenge and preparing for confrontation:
Although the martyr Imam was well aware of the danger of the Zionist project, the major powers behind it, and the huge potentials harnessed to it, yet he decided to accept the challenge, in reliance on Allah only. He also had, thanks to Allah, the ability to transform the vision and goals into fruitful practical steps, and to change reality based on specific phases to mobilize the nation.
Thanks to Allah Almighty, Al-Banna was able to bring about a major transformation in the Egyptian street during the period from 1932 to 1942; then this transformation was developed into a means of pressure, and into practical paths of support and assistance that culminated in a strong, mobilizing interaction of the nation in the years 1947-1948 under the guidance and leadership of the Brotherhood.
Quotations from his addresses:
- “O Muslims around the world, Palestine is the first line of defence, and the first strike is half the battle. The mujahideen there are defending the future of your countries, yourselves, and your descendants, just as they are defending themselves, their country, and their descendants.”
- “The Palestinian cause is not the issue of a country in the Arab Levant, nor the issue of the Arab nation alone, but it is the cause of Islam and all Muslims.”
- “Protest on every occasion and in every street. Boycott the opponents of the Islamic cause, regardless of their nationality or religions. Donate money to poor families, afflicted households, and brave mujahideen. Volunteer if you can. There is no excuse for an apologizer, for there is nothing that may prevent one from acting except weakness of faith.”( Al-Nazir Magazine, 1938).
- “Zionism is not a political movement limited to the national homeland of the Jews or the alleged state by the debilitating division, but it is the outcome of the procedures and efforts of global Judaism that aim to harness the entire world to the rule of the Jews, the interests of the Jews, and the leadership of the Messiah of Zion. Their imaginary state that they express in their famous phrase ‘From the Euphrates to the Nile’ in their conception is only a fulcrum from which international Judaism would attack the Arab nation, state by state, and then on the Islamic nation, one country after the other. (From his address to the nation in 1947).
- “The blood that stained the land of Palestine, the thousands of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the highest Islamic ideal...and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, whose sanctity was violated... all these call upon you, O Muslim brother, to sacrifice for the sake of Allah the soul and money He gave you, so that you may be worthy of your name, the banner you raise, and the leader (Prophet) in whom you believe.” (Hassan Al-Banna, 1939).
- “O Brotherhood: your Palestinian brothers are now in the field, hungry and exhausted; they resist, where some are killed, and others are imprisoned for the sake of Allah, and for the sake of the holy country. To this day, they are in the most honourable positions, performing the most glorious deeds, showing forms of valour that are beyond endurance and capacity. They have done their duty before Allah and history. If this movement is weakened, then you are responsible for this weakness, and a fault for which Allah will apply the severest punishment, and which history will record in its darkest pages, so seize the opportunity and do your duty alongside your brothers, and Allah is with you and will never deprive you of the reward of your deeds. (The Muslim Brotherhood Weekly Newspaper, Issue 6, Fourth Year, 28 Safar 1355 AH / 19 May 1936).
The thought of Imam Hassan Al-Banna expressed an early and advanced state of maturity in the concept that the relationship between the Islamic renaissance project and the liberation of Palestine is inseparable, as he realized that the solution to the Palestinian cause would be in integration of unity and jihad.
The liberation of Palestine requires serious action for the renaissance of the nation to complete achievement of its strength, unity and preparation, so that it would be qualified for challenging liberation (of Palestine) and defeating the Zionist project. That is why jihad against the occupier was the intellectual line adopted by the Palestinian resistance, particularly Hamas.
What happened last October 7th. in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is an extension of the thought put forward by Al-Banna in his vision of the Palestinian cause and jihad against the aggressing Zionists over ninety years ago.
Likewise, Imam Al-Banna, very early, differentiated between the Jews in general, as ‘People of the Book’, to whom Islam’s general guidelines and provisions apply, given the fact that their rights are known in Islamic jurisprudence; and the aggressor Zionist Jews who must be fought because of usurpation of the Muslims’ land and rights. He rejected the injustice to which Jews were subjected in Europe, but he also refused achievement of justice for them by oppressing the Palestinians and Arabs. He said: “Undoubtedly, we are deeply hurt by the plight of the Jews, but this does not mean that they should be treated justly through the injustice against the Arabs, and that you should not remove the injustice they had been exposed to by destroying others and aggression against them.”
The practical aspects:
The practical aspects undertaken by Imam Al-Banna are so many, and hereunder we will suffice with referring to some of them:
a- In 1936, Imam Al-Banna called for holding a meeting of national forces, scholars, and thinkers in Egypt to discuss this issue. During the meeting, a higher committee emerged to support Palestine, headed by Imam Al-Banna and members of senior scholars and thinkers, where they sent telegrams of support to Sheikh Amin Al-Husseini.
b- In October 1938, following the success of the Arab Conference, a popular parliamentary conference was held at the level of the Islamic world.
c- Sending advocates to Southeast Asian countries to explain the issue and communicate with political forces.
d- Addressing the national and Christian forces to support the Palestinian cause, including Bishop Youannes, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox, and in more than one statement he used to address them. For example, the title of one of his statements was: “An appeal to all Brotherhood ‘sho’ab’ (branches) in the Egyptian country, and to our dear Christian citizens for the sake of struggling Palestine.”
e- In 1947, the so called ‘Nile Valley Authority’ was formed to rescue and support Jerusalem, in response to the Muslim Brotherhood’s call.
f- In 1947, the Muslim Brotherhood organized the ‘Popular Conference in Support of Palestine’ at Al-Azhar Mosque, in which Major General Saleh Harb and Ahmed Hussein (Young Egypt Party) spoke, in addition to the martyr Imam, who read out the MB statement declaring holy jihad to liberate Palestine, including: “We had had a remnant hope in the global conscience, but now we are heartbroken by all these hopes, and we disbelieve in this faith, and in these ungrateful and misleading governments, the governments and countries of the West...”
g- Establishing an Islamic global fund or company to buy lands in Palestine from landlords who wish to sell them, so that they would not leak to the Jews.
We can say that Imam Al-Banna was martyred in sacrifice for Palestine and the glory of Islam. After the ambassadors of the colonial countries met in Fayed in November 1948 to make a decision to seek to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood, the colonial agents, the subservient politicians, did not delay in putting it into force. The decision to dissolve the MB, confiscate its institutions and property, and ban all its activities, was issued on 8 December 1948.
When the appointed day came, at eight-thirty in the evening on Saturday, 12 February 1949 / 14 Rabi’ al-Thani 1368 AH, Hassan Al-Banna was assassinated. In fact, his injury resulting from the bullets fired at his body, was not fatal, but they left him to bleed, until his good soul overflowed to its creator, and he became a martyr.
Prince Abdel Karim Al-Khattabi, the known Moroccan leader, mourned him, saying: “Woe to Egypt and my brothers, the people of Egypt, for the consequencies they will face as a result of what they have committed. They have shed the blood of one of the Awliya' (allies) of Allah!! You see, who would the Awliya' be if he is not one of them? Rather, Hassan Al-Banna, who had no counterpart among the Muslims, was in the forefront of them...!".
This amazing end of the life of Hassan Al-Banna will continue for generations, igniting light and brilliance in the souls of men of thought, and sending into the hearts of those who believed with him what Allah sent into the souls of his beloved ones, so that they would empower his thought after his death.
Robert Jackson asks in his book: ‘Hassan Al-Banna, The Qur’anic Man’: “Was there a connection between Islam as Al-Banna comprehended and called for and his own end?” Then he adds: “Because I do not know the correct answer, I will leave that to history.”
The Muslim Brotherhood Da’wa will, Allah Almighty willing, continue to exert all efforts for the sake of beloved Palestine, and for the sake of holding up the banner of Islam flapping high, and striving to empower it, until Islam returns to its glory and eminence, no matter how many sacrifices it may cost them, and no matter how much worldly pleasures they may miss; because they hope for what Allah has of satisfaction and enjoyment, and he Hereafter is the appointment, the final judgment, and the reward.
There is an eternal difference between those who deceived history, and those who were sincere to Allah and His Messenger, peace be upon him.
Allah Is the Greatest, and Praise Be to Allah,,
Dr. Salah Abdel Haq
Acting Muslim Brotherhood General Guide
(Sunday, 1 Shaaban 1445 AH / 11 February 2024 AD)