x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Respond to Gaza crisis with charity and wisdom, Muslims are urged

Worshippers were told to respond to Israel's attacks on Gaza with charity and wisdom at the midday sermon at mosques across the country on Friday.

ABU DHABI // Worshippers were told to respond to Israel's attacks on Gaza with charity and wisdom at the midday sermon at mosques across the country on Friday. "It is the duty of each one of us to become involved in this drive in accordance with our position and nature of work, as God does not ask a soul to deliver more than it is able," the Government-issued sermon said. "Our actions must be within the limits of sharia law so as to achieve benefit and bring no harm unto anyone. Our experience has taught us that in times like these we can expect a rise in new interpretations of Islamic law, and of calls and speeches that sometimes lead to actions that bring neither benefit to the troubled nations nor good service to their cause.

"It is that which we must avoid, and our duty is to work with wisdom and deliberation. And wisdom means to pull together our efforts to stand by and support the Palestinian people, not least of which providing them with necessary goods and services like food and medicine through charity organisations in our country, especially the Red Crescent." The sermon said Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE, has ordered emergency aid to Gaza.

The UAE prides itself on spreading what it calls a moderate, middle way of Islam. The Government issues the Friday sermon every week and expects mosques to adhere to the topic, although imams can make it cater to the specific needs of their congregation. The UAE has joined Arab nations in condemning the Israeli offensive and has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The sermon also stressed Muslim unity in times of adversity: "Muslims are like one body. If one of its organs is suffering, then the entire body ... commiserates and lays awake with fever.

"If one suffers, then all the rest feel the pain and therefore come forward to relieve the ailment. When tyranny befalls one of them, it is as if it has befallen all. "In these days Muslims feel the pain of the Palestinian people in Gaza and their suffering from oppression and injustice, and all the attacks and hostility they are enduring, which have caused the death of hundreds ... Even mosques have not been spared."

relass@thenational.ae