Kids & Palestine - Answering the tough questions - Part Two
Why should we learn about this?
When we think of holy lands as Muslims, the Kabaah (Masjid Al-Haram) and Madinah (Masjid-Al Nabawi) are what come to mind. However, the third most holy land is Masjid Al-Aqsa, which is located in Palestine, and it is important our children know this.
Note: It is also important to teach them that the Dome of the Rock is part of Masjid Al-Aqsa.
Dome of the Rock
Masjid Al-Aqsa is the entire compound including the Dome of the Rock, and Al-Qibly Mosque.
The main reason Palestine, including Masjid Al Aqsa is important to Muslims is because Allah SWT has mentioned it several times in the Quran. For instance, verse 17:1 in surah Al Isra reads:
“Glory be to Him who carried His servant by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa; the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs. Indeed He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
This verse relates to Isra wal Miraj, the journey our Prophet (s.a.w.) took from Makkah (where he was born), to the city of Jerusalem (where Al-Aqsa is).
Another reason, is before the Kabaah was built, this is the mosque where our Qiblah used to be! This is the land where Prophets Ibrahim, Ismail, Suleiman, Dawud, Musa, Isa (may Allah be pleased with them) all walked around and lived. This land contains the history of our religion, and it is on this land that the stories of all these Prophets unfolded!
Isra wal Miraj (the Night Journey & Ascension)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) journeyed from Al-Masijd Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. It is a miracle that was sent during a time of hardship for the Prophet (p.b.u.h). He was facing intense hardship and oppression from the Quraysh right after the Year of Sorrow (Aam al-Huzn), where he was grieving the loss of his beloved uncle Abu Talib (ra), and his wife Khadijah (ra).
The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was taken to Al-Quds, a city in Jerusalem, where he was taken to Masjid Al-Aqsa. Here, our beloved prophet was met with all the Prophets in Islam (may Allah be pleased with them), and he led them in prayer in this mosque.
In narrations, the mosque is called ‘Bait al-Maqdis’, which directly translates to the ‘Holy house’. This shows us how blessed this land is, and why it is so important for us to protect it.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said, ’The Prophets were presented to me, and Musa (as) was a thin man, it was as if he was from the men of Shanu’ah [a Yemeni tribe]. And I saw ’Isa ibn Maryam (as), and the closest of the people in resemblance to him from those I have seen, is ‘Urwah ibn Mas‘†d (ra). And I saw Ibrahim (as), and the closest of the people in resemblance to him, from those I have seen, is your companion [meaning himself]. And I saw Jibril [as], and the closest of the people in resemblance to him, from those I have seen, is Dihyah (ra)’
The miracle of Isra wal miraj took place on the holy land of Palestine; and because it is a night of such importance, we should instil this importance into our future generations.
What is the history behind the current events in Palestine?
After covering why Palestine is so important, we should move on to explaining the history behind the current situation. This is a deeply complex history intertwined with issues such as land rights, poorly enforced international declarations, and many more. This is why it is important to choose key moments and dissect them clearly.
Since young minds are still learning, we should be greedy with explaining graphic details of these historic events. Only cover enough ground that will shape an understanding of the current situation.
For example, a good timeline to follow begins post World War 2, where talks about the control over Palestine were arising, leading to the Balfour Declaration, which claims a national home for Jewish people. This led to tension, and after the Nakba, a tragic event causing a devastating loss of land and family for Palestinians, the ongoing effects of war persist even today.
This article is a more detailed version of the history of Palestine, and moments that shaped their current situation. You may navigate which key moments to discuss about history based on what will be best for your child’s understanding.
Dua to make things easy (Say before starting any task):
اللّهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلا ما جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلا وَأنتَ تَجْعَلُ الحَزْنَ إذا شِئْتَ سَهْلا
Allahumma la sahla illa maa ja’altahu sahlan, wa Anta taj’alu l-hazna idha shi’ta sahla.
“O Allah! There is no ease except that which You make easy, and indeed You, when You want, make difficulties easy.” - (Sahih Ibn Hibban)
If we embed Islam into our discussion, starting off with one of the greatest miracles given to us, the blessings of it will help the conversation flow with ease. Part 3 of this series will discuss what we can teach our children to do.
Related Posts: Kids & Palestine - Answering the tough questions (Part One), Gaza: Cry for Help, Palestine Emergency Appeal,