Yasir Qadhi – Should Muslims Visit Al-Quds & Al-Aqsa

Yasir Qadhi
AI: Summary © The speakers emphasize the importance of protecting Muslims from the majority's stance of allowing people to pray there, but also acknowledge that it is not their job to say they cannot go to the church. They also discuss the emotional and political consequences of visiting Philistine and the challenges of being single or young by family. The conversation also touches on the impact of the pandemic on their business, including the need for more testing and the need for more cautious behavior in the market. The speakers express caution about the potential impact on their customers and the need for more testing.
AI: Transcript ©
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Bismillah al Rahman al Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salatu salam ala Sayyidina Muhammad. And while early he was a big man in my bag. So I want to begin by stating that this is a very sensitive topic, and I'm fully aware of its sensitivity. And the issue of whether Muslims should visit oxide or not, there's two things to discuss. The first is a 50, or legal issue. And the second is the emotional issue. Now, with regards to the first the 50 issue, inshallah we can all discuss, and I will discuss it with regards to the second the emotional issue, I don't feel qualified to make any judgment because that is a very subjective and a very personal position. It's not something you

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can argue with anybody, if their emotions are in a particular inclination, they have the right to feel that way. And we can't really cannot say anything about this. And I began this because I know many of our brothers and sisters from that region, are not pleased with the fact that some of us are going in visiting. And I myself have been very strongly rebuked by some of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, and others support it. And I do not wish to get involved in the emotional argument, I can only pretend to understand I can only say that, I see where you're coming from. When somebody says to me that that is our land, we can't even go there. And what right do you have to go visit

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under occupation? Would you like it if somebody stole your house, and then people are going to see your house and you cannot go see it? Somebody asked me this point blank. And I could not say anything in response, because this is a emotional issue. And it is an emotional argument. And you cannot argue with an emotional argument, the person who feels this way I want to be very clear, has every right to feel that way. And I have no right to diminish from that person's anger. And that person's frustration against me or against anybody who chooses to visit. Therefore, I do not even attempt to, to argue because there's no argument. So valid point. So valid perspective. And I

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understand that perspective. So I'm not going to argue that issue of the emotional issue of should I or should not visit, that's a valid perspective. What I can argue, is from the filthy or legal issue, and then say, from the emotional issue, that My dear brother who feels this way, please understand that there are millions of other Palestinians who also live in that land, and who feel differently than you do. I as a non Palestinian cannot get involved in the emotional issue. It's not my right. It's not my perspective to do that. But to those people who feel very strongly against, at least acknowledge that amongst your own people who have the same attachment to the land, there are

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the opposite sentiment as well. That's all that I asked for the emotional. As for the filthy issue, this is something that shall we can all discuss academically, we can argue we can debate. Understand, my dear brothers and sisters that from a legal perspective, from a filthy perspective in our times, there are obviously as you can expect two opinions on the issue. There's hardly anything except that we here there are two opinions on the issue. And there are many, many odema who have given fatawa on the issue of visiting Philistine. One group of them say that it is legally speaking haram to visit forget the emotional decision elec legal, they say it is not allowed for Muslims to

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visit philosophy. And another group says that it is allowed for Muslims to visit philosophy. Now, what are the evidences of both sides very briefly. And again, this is very detailed discussion, just FYI, though, as well. I was at the American Muslim jurist Association Amager. This is last year, which is the largest group of Allama, who come together annually in America. And in their last year's meeting, this issue was discussed. And I don't want to tell you this, but it's the fact shouting matches erupted amongst the Allama

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shouting matches, because one of them said it is allowed to visit and another was very angry at this and stood up and this began, you know, in a gathering of knowledge, which should not have taken place was a bit of an embarrassment, but the emotions were so much and understandably so. Like literally, these are all people, some of them, many of them PhDs as HUD or Medina or whatnot, these are the AMA, but the most I cannot, I can only say I understand it's not my right to say I understand, but I can only pretend to understand that it touched such a raw nerve that when one of the Buddha said it

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was permitted to visit Aqua with these conditions, and many agreed with him in the gathering, somebody stood up and began shouting and screaming and saying this is not allowed. And this is helping Zionism and this and that, and it was a back and forth and the people that had to be calmed down, this is the gathering of aroma. What then do you think of people, you know who they're not supposed to have that any enemy background still is gonna get even more emotional? Nonetheless, let me stay to that. Let's try to keep emotions out of this and speak it from a legal perspective, the main issue that the fuqaha who say that it is haram to visit Al Aqsa right now, they say, Muslims

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visiting Al Aqsa is a tacit approval of the occupation. This is the main argument that is given. Okay, in order for us to get to OXA. Even if our visa is not stamped, we are given a visa, the issuing authority that gives us that visa, in the eyes of many people isn't occupying authority, you understand what I'm saying here? What right do they have to give us a visa, the fact that we take the visa, even if it's not stamped in our passports, it is there we have it. It's in our passports physically, even if it's not stamped, this is an Arabic Accra. It is a tacit approval, that you have accepted status quo, you have acquiesced and agreed that the occupier has occupied and has now given

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you permission to visit. This is the first point they say. And this is the main point that they bring it up, then they say that you visiting as well, will show the world that the perception they want to give is that we allow Muslims to pray there. The occupier wants to say this, but the reality is the majority of Muslims cannot pray there. And in fact, the local Palestinian peoples themselves cannot pray there, except after meeting a long list of conditions, which is why the daily Salawat are empty. And sadly, at any given Salah there are probably just as many foreigners as there are local fellows thenI Can you imagine in any Masjid in America, if the majority of people praying

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we're not Americans, they were foreign or something would be wrong with what is this is an American messenger. They're what? In federal Slean in Masjid Al Aqsa, perhaps 50% if not more, or a little bit less are foreigners. You go around you have people from Malaysia, people from America, people from South Africa, people from England from Canada, these are the Muslims coming and praying because they have the visas obviously, by the way, many of you should know me, all of you should know this. The majority of Muslim countries do not allow their citizens to go and pray there is less law, they don't allow them. So if you're from Pakistan, okay, if you're from any Arab country, college or

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whatnot, Aslan, you cannot go anyway, your country is not going to the there is no diplomatic relation. So which Muslims can go small segments of the Muslim world primarily from the Western world, which is why like us, we are the Muslims, the American Muslims are Canadian Muslims are British, Muslim, South African Muslims. Mauritius, we saw group from Mauritius this year as well. Where else do we see Muslims from Portugal as well Australia, we had Australia so these are the types of Muslims that come okay. Now you do the math, what percentage of the OMA is that? So, the claim is by you going there, it will become a Kodak moment for the occupying authorities. Look,

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we're free look, we allow people to come and pray. So, you will be helping the occupiers in a spiritual sense in a PR sense, is that clear? Okay. And then they say that you will be helping the occupier in a financial sense. How so? Because you're going to go there and do what

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spend money

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and when you spend money then the economy will be boosted. Okay. So these are the three main reasons that are given

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when they say that it is not allowed to visit aka sock. And there are many councils around the world and many famous or Agama who have given this position. And they say that until a boxer is liberated Muslim should not visit as principle. J it. I respect that position. From a legal perspective. I'm not speaking about the emotional at all. From a legal perspective. It's a valid fatwa. With my utmost respect, I strongly, vehemently disagree. And I'm not the only one hamdulillah there are many ulama across the globe, who have given the fatwa that it is allowed to visit with some conditions and they have some very, very strong evidences that

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clearly demonstrate that it is allowed. The first evidence is that an axon is not like any other land. It is intrinsically holy regardless of who controls it politically or not. You cannot make pay us upon your house or my house that has been confiscated. Because this is the house of Allah subhanho wa Taala that has been made blessing regardless of who controls the keys to go in and out. This is a unique situation and scenario that Alok Sol remains bless hid. And we all agree it remains bless it, regardless of the political people or the entity in charge of an oxide. So it shall remain bless it and if we as Muslims can get that baraka and here we get to all the Quran and all the

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Hadith about the praise of Baraka, Allah subhanaw taala calls Al Aqsa, the outwell mocha does, and Allah azza wa jal says that this is the old Baraka fie hab and Baraka Hola. Like there's so many adjectives we have blessed it, we have blessed around it, it is the blessed Atlantis it is the Holy Land and our Prophet sallallahu Sallam explicitly said that there are only three places you should visit and the third as much oxygen. And he said this when Masjid Al Aqsa was under Roman pagan control. It was under Roman control. And he said this at that point of time you should be visited. It wasn't under Muslim control when the Hadith was said. So this is the first point that Al Aqsa is

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bless hid regardless of who is in charge, and it is incorrect to make a chaos or an analogy. If your house was stolen, then you're not allowed to go would you like if your friend goes, it's not your house or my house it is the house of Allah subhanho wa Taala and regardless of who has political control, it shall remain bless it and we will get baraka and blessings to go to the first point. The second point from a physically and Syrah perspective, it is incorrect to say that visiting an occupied land is tacit support of the occupier. This is incorrect from this era. And we can prove this from multiple incidents. The most significant is her de BIA and the next year ombre Tolaga.

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Okay, her de BIA and I'm gonna talk about who they be took place in which year, Sierra? Guys everybody should know Come on. In this Masjid. You guys should do the zero. Which year?

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Eight is the conquest of Makkah.

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sixth year of hedger are they BIA took place

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in the sixth year of the hijra, who had the political control of Makkah, the Quraysh. What had the Qureshi done, what had they not done against the Muslims? The list of atrocities against the Muslims go on and on and on and on. In fact, and here is a very, very key point. Maccha at that point in time, was the center or the villa of idolatry.

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The harem was the center of idolatry. We don't like to think about that. How many idols were around the caliber guys?

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360. Now we don't like to think about that we don't we just want to just gloss over and read. But I really ask you now to visualize or the biller or the biller to visualize in your mind doing the laugh and seeing symbols of paganism everywhere

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seeing false gods worshipped besides Allah fra to mulata whoosah You would have seen a lot and a loser at these representatives because the original that is elsewhere but still they had the photocopy they had their many icons as well. Right Rosa huben was over there in front of the Capitol was the main idol and for the car was open. A lot was of course in thought if and there was there was other but the point is they add the treasure 60 gods and the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam did not say Oh, Maca is under enemy control. Oh, there are 360 false gods there if we do throw off this is tacit approval are with the villa of those gods, at least an Al Aqsa in the Muslim part of

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it. Alhamdulillah there's nothing but Islam. There is no symbol of Cofer over there. There is no cross there's no nothing there that is against our religion, even if there were by the way it would be allowed to go based on this this issue, even if there were why because the cabin is blessing regardless of what the color is do or don't do. The caravan is sacred, independent of what the McCanns and the courage to if there's filth around the cabin, the cabin remains pure and for him, the net just does not affect the horror of the cab and the sanctity and the blessedness of the cab. So the same applies to a boxer as well. In fact that boxer there is no as I said, I can't have it

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For within the Muslim complex, so the Prophet system went to Makkah wanting to perform the umbra, as you know who they be it took place. They told them to go back and come back the next year. He did come back the next year, and amaretto cobalt took place in the seventh year of the Hijra. And in the seventh year, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam and the Muslims 1400 of them, they entered the home and they performed Dotto off and the sorry, even as the idols were around, even as the Quraysh controlled Makkah, they had to negotiate a treaty, this was the equivalent of the visa. This is exactly what a visa is. It's a license to enter, and the Treaty of her de Bo was a visa, and the

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visa was valid from the next year. That's exactly what it is. So with my utmost respect to any alum who says that going to that land endorses that land? No, the prophet system did not endorse the legitimacy of the status quo of Maccha. But it is a practical reality. You have to go to the haram to perform the toe off and say, What are you going to do if the Quraysh and the pagans are in charge? You have to go the whoever is in charge does not affect the sanctity of the haram. And if you have to negotiate your treaty or your visa to get in, so be it. You don't agree with the legitimacy. This is simply the formalities to enter the haram. And that's exactly what our Prophet

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salallahu Alaihe Salam did and in fact in the Sierra as well, we learned of another incident in which somebody can say oh, but this is the prophet system. We say firstly, the Prophet sallallahu Sallam is a pushover as a role model for us and everything unless an exception comes otherwise. Secondly, he explicitly allowed and commanded another new convert to go perform when other Muslims were banned from doing so. Remember, the treaty prohibited the Muslims of Medina from coming except for that one interim in Ramadan Okada, otherwise they couldn't come. Okay. Look at the Sierra in the seventh year of the Hijra. One of the chieftains of nudged and nudged was not under Muslim rule or

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McEnroe's independent nudged, was independent, one of the chieftains of the nudged samama Even Atholl, he was captured in a raid and he was a pagan, and we should have he did not believe in Islam, and he was an enemy of Allah and His Messenger at that time. And I mentioned the story in a lot of detail in our seated lectures, which of course all of you have memorized and taken good notes of. So he was brought to the Haram The not the Haram, the prophets has a masjid, he was brought to Medina to mama even a third. And the story is very famous that the prophets of salaam said what do you think? Oh, to mama, what do you think what you what do you think we should do? So So Mama said

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that, yeah, Mohamed, of course, he's not a Muslim, that if you free, then you're going to free somebody who knows the meaning of generosity.

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And if you want to money, then ask as you please, and I will give you and if you kill, then you kill somebody whose blood is heavy. I mean, he spoke like a leader spoke like a leader. And he was the leader of the tribe of of minich. He was a very famous, very powerful leader, right? If you forgive you forgive somebody who's going to be generous back to you, if you want money, I will give you what you want. And if you want to kill me, well, you go ahead and kill me, but you're gonna kill somebody whose blood is very heavy, talk to them, you're gonna kill somebody, you're gonna get into a lot of political issues. So the prophesy ism said, Keep him the masjid for three days. So he was tied to

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the masjid fed, taken care of, but he was basically there was no prison. So the messy they came a prison for him for three days, he observed the Muslims, I'm going into my theater lecture here, but very briefly, for three days he observed the Muslims and the process of everyday would ask the same question every day, he would ask the same question after refrigerador he would call them so what do you think and the same three Yeah, Mohammed if you do this, this if you do this, this if you do this, this, then it put him back in. So tie him to the to the you know, things will be tied up gently, not any. There's no torture, he just kept from fleeing. Then on the third day, the same

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thing he said. So the prophets have said, Let him go.

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Call us he's not going to convert Subhanallah he did not force him to convert. He did not threaten him. He did not ask for a ransom. So call us let him go. Right then and there. Through mama went perform listen, he had already learned how to do all of this because he's in the machine three days and he came back and in front of everybody he said hello Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Where shadow Anika rasool Allah, Allah He ya rasool Allah from Muhammad this witches students will Allah will La Jolla rasool Allah La Quinta, enter abogado Nasi. They used to be the most despised person to me, but now you are the most beloved person to me. And he goes on the beautiful story I mentioned in the Sierra.

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Then he said, the rasool Allah you caught me and I was intending to do the Umrah. He has not entered a haram yet. Okay, a haram is going to take place where

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The Anatomy of Gods right the labor. He is not in Iran right now. He could have gone back. He said the auto pseudo law your people caught me and I was intending to do Omaha. Okay. What season? Is this the boycott season? What era? Is this the arratia in charge? Should I go and do O'Meara or now go back now that I'm a Muslim explicit scenario here? And the prophets have said go because he was not obliged by the treaty. And with my utmost respect to the other groups who say haram, we are like Houma even within our country America, which is our citizenship or Canada Australia is not under the treaties that other Muslim countries have. I understand the person from Pakistan from Saudi Arabia

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Okay, I understand there's no question your countries don't have the tools the the issues or their house okay, don't go and no problem that's what there is. No, but for us, we don't have those treaties. We are at the mama Ibn without we have that that neutrality that we can go because to mama was allowed to go. So when through mama came by the way,

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they realized something is wrong. Something is not right here. You're not the same thermometer. So they asked him that also Botha have you and your Saba they said they would make they would they would use the term Saba to say Islam that have you converted to that faith. And when they found out that he did, they manhandled him, they surrounded him, they raised their voices. And he said wala he because of this, not to single grain that my people would send to you of wheat or barley is going to reach you ever. And he went back angry, and he boycotted the people of Quraysh. This is the you can call the BDS movement here if you want to get a little bit. So he said, we're not going to

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economically support you guys, until the people of courage had to beg the prophets of Saddam to write a letter to the mama to allow the wheat to come back. And they said, Please, we are your relatives, we need the food. You know, remember us that when they needed Him, they called the provinces of point B. So Mama was allowed to perform O'Meara, despite the fact that Muslims in Medina could not perform Ramallah. And despite the fact that Morocco was under occupation of the Quraysh. And it was ruled by pagans, but the sanctity of Makkah still remain. So I say to those who are not me, but other Allama as well, we say that look, emotions aside, visiting Al Aqsa does not

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mean we endorse the occupation. Not at all, because if that were the case, then somebody better than us visited a land that was worse occupied than what this is because of the filth of the idols. But that does not at all endorse, it simply is the logistics of getting there. And the acknowledgement that okay, these are the people in charge doesn't mean we agree that they're in charge, there's a difference between acknowledging versus legitimizing and acknowledging is not the same as legitimizing play, as for the third point, which is that you going there will help the occupiers, economically or PR wise or whatnot, we say and especially I say to anybody who says this, and I say

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this without trying to be mean or nasty, you speak on ignorance and without knowledge, you have not visited like all of us have visited, you have not spoken to the people don't bring in emotions, bring in hard and cold facts. And I have gone brother up, then others have gone multiple times, speak to those that are going regularly, I swear to you, not a single Palestinian that we have met in those lands, and we have met hundreds and 1000s except that they were happy and pleased to see us, the Palestinians who don't want us to go, or those who themselves cannot go and I understand that's all I can say, I have nothing more to say to them. I understand. You have been exiled and

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it's painful for you. I have no right to say anything to you. You have every right to feel that anger and rage. And some of it is directed towards me because I get to go to the land that is yours. And you're not allowed to go. I can only say that I understand. That's all I can do. Not an argument. But don't say that this is the unanimous position of all for the Salini people. On the contrary, those Palestinians that are under the occupied lands in the occupied lands, those Palestinians that are living there, go speak to them.

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I swear to you the first year that I went, I was

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four I had not gone for many years because I felt maybe it's gonna be difficult for me to go see the negatives what not the first year that I went, the Palestinians when they hugged us, they cried. They gave us this they said and we had a guide with us. This year. He was not on our group. We had a guide. He lived in New York for 15 years or so. He came back fluent English and whatnot. And he recorded a video and I put

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During my Facebook, he recorded a video. And he said, All Muslims of America, if you're going to abandon us who's going to then, you know, come and support us in this world. If you're not going to come and you are have American citizenship, then who else is going to come? If you're not going to stay at our hotels, if you're not going to go to our tourist agencies pause here realize that land, it is worse in its sectarianism than the 1960s. America was. Because sectarianism there is not based on skin color, it's based on religion, and everything is depending on your religion. If you're Muslim, if you're this, if you're that everything where you stay where you eat, who you associate

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with, all of it is based on your religion. That's why when you enter the AXA complex, they will look at you and make an assessment. If you're brown skin bearded, you can go if you don't look, arabesque or Islamic or whatever, they will stop you and they will ask you are you muslim?

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And they will quiz you we had converts they were quizzed. If you muslim recite Surah Fatiha, these are the Israeli guards. recite Surah Fatiha if you're Muslim or not. Okay, and in one case, I know what one person is like recite a pseudo from the Quran. So the guy recited last the Israeli guard the idea of said everybody knows that floss, recite another Surah.

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So he recited Fatiha said okay, you can go forth is okay. Okay, it's what are you gonna do? Point is that everything is based on on your religion there. So our Palestinian brothers and sisters who own establishments, restaurants, travel agencies, hotels, they do not get business, from the majority of clientele from the people who visit you understand what I mean here, okay? They do not get business. So the claim that we going there supports the occupiers, I'm sorry, you're speaking out of ignorance, you don't know the reality. And this is a theoretical issue that you feel you have not been there to see. We make it a point and I have met dozens of groups from England, Canada,

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South South Africa, Mauritius, they all come. And they make it a point everyone, I don't know of a single group of the Muslims, other than the ones that had the MLM type of folks or whatever. Now, not the real people that Muslims that go. But by this, I mean, the practicing people that go, I don't know, if a single group of Muslims that goes that stays at the hotels of people other than the Palestinians, every Muslim group that goes makes it a point. Now, by the way, this means we have to sacrifice because the best hotels are not owned by the Palestinians, you understand. The best companies are not owned by the Palestinians. Our hotel is a two and a half star hotel. If even that,

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and I tell the people look in Morocco, we're in the five stars in Medina and the five stars is look, we are not going to stay in the five stars. Because you know what it means to send the five stars of Jerusalem. Do you know what it means? This would mean supporting for no reason.

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And there's no reason to do that. So every Muslim group that goes without exception, they make it a point that they're going to employ Palestinian travel agencies, people that need the economic boost that we can bring them. And as well, the the the PR that they're talking about quite the contrary, this perception that we will benefit the PR of the occupiers nothing could be further from the truth, us abandoning, Alok saw is beneficial for the PR why? We were told this by the locals. Ask anybody who went with our group the previous years as well. The local Palestinian said that one of the things that is now being said is that Muslims don't care about Oxford, because it's empty,

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because it's abandoned. So many Muslims can come but they're not coming. And you know that that piece of land is the most highly contested piece of land in human history. There it is the most prime religious real estate in the world. The holiest religious sites of Christianity, and Judaism and Islam are within a stone's throw of each other. So, if you go to the Jewish side, packed, packed, you go to the Christian side packed, you go to the Muslim side, dead empty. When I say dead empty, I mean, dead empty. Ask anybody here, the five daily Salawat Masjid Al Aqsa is a massive complex, massive complex is not just one message within it are small massages at least 20 or 30 of

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the larger system is much to deliberately and Masjid the Dome of the Rock right? So much to the upside you should all know is a big clump

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flexes a large area. It's not just one mosque, it's a large area. And perhaps up to half a million people can pray easily in the complex. The complex not the masjid itself, right? When it's okay, don't get confused here. The complex is a flat area of land.

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And within it, you have the Dome of the Rock, and you have the Mestizo. kibali. And you have other small massages. It's a massive area of land. The whole area is Al Masjid. rocksalt. Technically, that whole area is in Masjid Laakso. And that area, if everybody were to be praying there as people used to once upon a time, you could get maybe half a million people. It's like the harem of Makkah that big a little bit smaller than that, but that, but in that area, you walk in, and I have a video on my Facebook, look it up from last week. Okay, and I prayed Fajr and I walked out and it was absolutely dead empty. Three soft.

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Any we get three soft at MIT here in Memphis. Do you think Mr. OXA deserves three so forth. For a foreign salah. We had just come from Makkah and Medina and our group, we do the three city tour. And Makkah and Medina were so packed that if you leave a few minutes before the event, even then you will pray outside in the in the Sahaba in the in the you know, outside complex, you wouldn't be able to get inside. Now we're a bit irritated of soul crowd. But at the same time hamdulillah it's a sign of Islam that Makkah Medina is packed, hamdulillah Muslims from around the world are praying there. Now the contrast straight from that packed to capacity, then you go and you go to the third holiest,

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and it is absolutely empty.

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What is that show. So the position that I respectfully follow from a filthy perspective is that it is followed the key fire for the Muslims of the West to visit a lochsa followed by a fire, we have to demonstrate to the occupied authorities that this is our land, it is our masjid, it is our symbol, and it doesn't matter who controls it, we are going to come and pray there. And we have to demonstrate that this place will not be abandoned. And Allah has blessed us or tested us with a nationality that allows us to do that. For those nationalities that don't we understand call us you have that treaty that cannot do it, we understand nothing to do. So from a filthy perspective. Any

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evidence that is raised to say that it is haram, with my utmost respect is extremely weak. And I don't say this, you know, lightly Wallahi it is very weak from a filtering perspective, the emotional perspective I fully understand and I'm quiet about. That's not I can debate that's a valid perspective. And I can only say to my Palestinian brothers who feel this way that you need to get angry at the other Palestinians not at me how I'm not going to get involved between this issue, I understand to the best of my ability, but it's not my position to take aside for or against in this issue. One final point that I'll open the floor for some question and discussion, and Inshallah, in

00:33:16 --> 00:33:25

my next next holdable I will mention this in more detail. Because it's some amazing stories. This was the first time in my

00:33:26 --> 00:33:29

three time visits that I actually met

00:33:31 --> 00:33:34

Israeli converts to Islam.

00:33:35 --> 00:34:27

And this was the most bizarre set of Converse I have ever met in my life. And I have met them that many I just could not believe their stories. And I will share with you in more detail Inshallah, in the next code but that I give at MRC, I will share with you some of them because they're very, very emotional stories, truly mind boggling how groups of people living on the other side, and never interacting with Muslims. Every one of these converts discovered Islam on his or her own, because you don't give Dawa in that land. There's no pamphlets being distributed, you know that people are going to come and do. Every one of them discovered Islam on his or her own. And they had to go out

00:34:27 --> 00:34:56

of their way to find a Muslim. Many of them had to leave their physical places, their parents or their siblings or what not. Many of them went incognito, they had to cut off everything. And it's just a very interesting demographics. And I was told that perhaps up to 1000 have actually converted but the majority of them are underground. They're anonymous, because they are stuck between

00:34:58 --> 00:34:59

two sides. Both

00:35:00 --> 00:35:13

To whom don't want them. And that was the most painful to me, we understand why the original side does not want them. And as for the other side, they're always viewed as potential spice.

00:35:14 --> 00:35:35

And this was the issue that they faced, that this was a very difficult issue that conversion in that land is not just religion, you are changing sides, like one of them said to me, when you convert your family and friends think you have chosen the enemy over them.

00:35:36 --> 00:36:21

It's not just a different religion, a different rituals and different fibula. When you convert, You are a traitor. So you're cut off from that. Then the other Muslim side is like, whoa, hold on a sec. We don't know what to make of you. Are you this Are you that and so it is something that you know, subhanAllah it's something that very, very painful. I have to mention Subhanallah I'm just getting a text message and one of the converts is actually listening online to me right now live. I will mention her story in sha Allah Tada. Later on, she just messaged me now. And I gave her the name. Aisha Her name was something else I cannot mention her name because it would not be she did not want

00:36:21 --> 00:37:02

to be mentioned. She just texted me now that she is going to be watching. I'll just mention the story briefly. Inshallah. So this is a sister, she had emailed my account, my public account, I don't check message that often, but I just checked this one. And she had mentioned that she's an Israeli Jew interested in Islam. Now, when somebody emails you like that, I don't answer most of my emails, you know, I mean, so I'm just telling you, when someone emails you like that, you can't not go back and forth. So back and forth, back and forth. And so Subhanallah It was many months ago. So okay, I'm coming in January. Let's, you know, meet up and hear your story directly. She's from

00:37:03 --> 00:37:06

Western Land. She left that Western Land

00:37:07 --> 00:37:53

to perform what is called Alia, which is Hijra. Okay, so the Jews perform Alia, which is hijra, they leave the western land or they go to settle religiously in Israel as an act of God. And she stayed there for 15 years or so, until she became disillusioned with the faith of Judaism. And she became agnostic, but there's an emptiness in her life religiously. So she begins reading, everything Buddhism, Christianity, obviously the last on the list is going to be what? As always the last on the list, okay. And then she starts reading the Quran. And she said that I was taught that the Quran is a book of violence and hatred. I was taught that the Quran tells people to kill the Jews. And

00:37:53 --> 00:38:20

that was the only perspective that we had. And when I read it, I began to see its peace. And I really started falling in love with the Quran. Then she logged online, started listening to lectures and then she came across yours truly online. Then she emailed me that I listened to your lectures, Michelle, that at this very place, mashallah listen to your lectures and Subhanallah you know what lecture moved to the most Subhanallah her digital Robbie Aloha now,

00:38:21 --> 00:38:52

listening to the story of Khadija Okay, so hamdulillah Al Hamdulillah. She converted in Masjid Al Aqsa gave the shahada to her in Masjid Al Aqsa in front of the group. You were you were there. We were all there at that time. So she actually converted and said the shahada in Masjid Al Aqsa, and we, we gave her a ceremony and privately which we cannot mention her name or pictures or anything because obviously it is something that it would cause great difference

00:38:56 --> 00:39:33

find out or else it would be problematic. Now in her case, it might not be physically problematically emotionally but in other Converse that I met her the next day, so I met with her and then Emma to another group of conference as well Subhanallah some of them they are worried for their safety, and they are living in belief that I'm Allah had this is as if I went back to the time of the Sierra. They're living in, like Donald Arkham type of houses, there are Palestinians there, they have with great danger to themselves, volunteered their houses to be safe houses, we will lie I literally felt as if I'm in the time of the zero the process now hearing their stories. There are

00:39:33 --> 00:39:59

houses that are now taking in these Jewish converts. And there's no monetary gain. There's nothing What are you going to spy on these Bedouin Muslims or these? There's nothing there's no spying going on here. These aren't like you know, political entities, a very low level. You know, you find a Muslim family, you live with them. And we met some of these people And subhanAllah it was a very, for me, it was some of the most amazing stories I have heard of conversion in my life.

00:40:00 --> 00:40:39

I mentioned some of them Inshallah, in the next clip, but I'll give you a little bit about this topic. So for me, this is yet another reason as well, why it's so important for us as Muslims to go to Masjid OXA. And to see the reality of how our Palestinian brothers and sisters and then also the other side as well, because the one who sees is not like the one who reads or hears, the one who experiences is not like the one who just hears about it from secondhand sources. So going there and seeing firsthand, it makes all of us feel a connection. And we feel the importance our iman goes higher, we see what is going on in that land. And then we'll be compassionate advocates, we become

00:40:39 --> 00:41:24

advocates based on knowledge, we come back and we can speak I saw with my own eyes, I witnessed the disparity between this and that I saw the oppression and this so it comes a whole different level of the one who goes there. And how many of my Christian, you know, brethren, how many of my Christian friends they went there, and they came back completely converted on the Israeli Palestinian conflict 180 degrees. Some of the most passionate Christian advocates for the Palestinians, including the famous website www.if, Americans knew I keep on telling you to walk without she is a Christian lady, religious Christian. And she went there and then she converted over it not to Islam, but over the

00:41:24 --> 00:41:28

Palestinian Israeli issue, once you see it with your own eyes. So bottom line

00:41:29 --> 00:42:13

50 wise, there is no strong argument to be made with my utmost respect to the other side is more emotional. As for the emotional argument, I shrug my shoulders and I say, May Allah forgive us for irritating those brothers. But that's not our intention, because it is Wallahi it is understandable. That's not our intention, that they feel a type of betrayal that's what they feel, they feel a type of betrayal that how come you guys are going and we cannot go and we have to those of us who decide to go we have to accept that anger is legitimate anger. And we say May Allah make it such that all of us can go in sha Allah Huhtala when situation changes with that any questions or any comments or

00:42:13 --> 00:42:15

whatnot inshallah Bismillah Yes, go ahead. Yes.

00:42:16 --> 00:42:17

Some of the

00:42:20 --> 00:42:20


00:42:23 --> 00:43:08

so, the question is do some of the legal verdicts that apply in McCann Medina final goods No. Goods. A Masjid Al Aqsa is not a haram. It is incorrect. You know, it's common to hear the word thought it will have domain okay 33rd Haramain the third of the two homes okay. Is an oxymoron because how many homes are there Haramain two, AXA is not a harem. AXA is a lot of the market this AXA is a blessing land, it is a holy land, it is not a haram therefore, the legal prohibitions that apply to Mecca and Medina do not apply in alcohol. Okay, other questions issues concerns comment?

00:43:10 --> 00:43:48

Yes, we ate kunafa from what is it Jaffa sweets that ha ha hallelujah Jaffa yes we ate corner from how do we add Jaffa directly? MashAllah Tabata Cola, and we had shawarma as well from the other place. So yes, we went. Obviously, that's one of the things you go and you do all of the Palestinian so, you know, upsides divided into quarters. You have the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter of all these quarters there. And each of them is basically completely The ambience is completely so when you're in the Muslim Quarter, you're in the Muslim Quarter all Muslims all Muslim shops. So obviously when you're there any martial arts of Agricola

00:43:48 --> 00:43:54

the food, the people everything, it's it's a very beautiful experience from the law. Yes, we definitely had kunafa.

00:44:01 --> 00:44:06

are you restricted to different areas or not? So the responses it depends on the guards.

00:44:07 --> 00:44:49

When you as a Muslim want to go to the Jewish side, you will be stopped again. You will be asked your identity your your visa your passport, you will be you will be interrogated, you will be patted down and go through the machine and seeing you as a Muslim. They will give you the special treatment. Then it's up to them. Should they allow you or not. We had in our group, a sister who wore the niqab and she was a convert white. I Will not she wasn't a convert. She was Caucasian. She looked Caucasian from her eyes and her passport name everything there. And she was an kabhi. And she wanted to go to the Wailing Wall. And they stopped her interrogated her gave her the quiz and

00:44:49 --> 00:44:54

whatnot kept her for, I don't know, 20 minutes or so. And then at the end they said sorry, no.

00:44:55 --> 00:44:57

So she was not allowed to go.

00:44:58 --> 00:44:59

And the excuse they gave to her

00:45:00 --> 00:45:05

her was, we cannot guarantee your safety. There are some crazy people over there.

00:45:06 --> 00:45:33

This is what the Israeli guard guard said to her. We cannot guarantee your safety. We have some religious fanatics there. Okay. I have been to the Wailing Wall. I confess, I know a lot of people will find that irritating this year, I did not go. But I have been just to see what it was going on there. And they gave me the whatsover. They they asked you questions, whatnot, but in the end, it's up to them, they have the right to prevent you. And they have the right to let you through.

00:45:37 --> 00:46:26

There were people who stared at me very harshly, intently. But, so when you get to the Wailing Wall, there are two zones, there is the public zone, that you can see the Wailing Wall from like 3040 feet, then that's one safety, you have to go through the security and whatnot. Then to get to the actual wall, there's yet a much more intense security. And that's where the guards are standing, completely lined up. To get to the Outer Rim. There's just four or five guards on the security post and interrogation. Okay, so you stand in line, like 20 minutes line, and they interview you one by one if you look like whatever they let you go if you look like me or you they'll stop you so it's so

00:46:26 --> 00:46:59

it's very legal there to do a judgment call. It's completely normal seats very different than America if they did that. You're like, Hey, why are you doing that to me? No, in that land, it is the norm. If you look a certain way you're going to be treated differently and if you look a different way you're treated differently so depending exactly on how you look you will be assessed immediately on your looks. If you look Arabic or Muslim or whatnot Colosse you're gonna get pulled aside right then and there. Even in the Tel Aviv airport. We forgot to mention some of us that our group essentially 1/3 of it even though we walked up to the windows all separately because there's

00:46:59 --> 00:47:13

many windows in the customs right 1/3 of our group pulled the site and take into the special room for around 35 minutes. Okay 35 minutes. Nobody was there Right? Mashallah, me and Abdi were always together Michelle, okay.

00:47:14 --> 00:47:16

You he went through Mashallah.

00:47:17 --> 00:47:57

Mashallah, mashallah elderly Allah so they let him through humbly. Mashallah. So we got for 35 minutes stopped, but we were like, when they kept on sending people, the guards didn't know there was an ad group coming, they kept on sending all the Muslims in right or whatnot. So my fellow 35 people in a small room, all of us from that Islam group from my group, all of us. So the guards looked at us they know, we're all one group together, then they only stopped the Palestinians. SubhanAllah. We had two sisters, both of them early 20s. Both of them like third generation, you know, I mean, they haven't been ever. And I don't know how, but they're, they figured out their

00:47:57 --> 00:48:01

Palestinian. And those two sisters, five and a half hours.

00:48:03 --> 00:48:41

Your names every one of your grandparents, every one of your eight grand grade grade parents, they have to know the names of this, by the way, they quiz you on everything. Your Kabila your tribe where you were born, your grandfather born this and that everything they give you the whatsover. And we don't know whether they're going to make or they're not going to make it after five and a half hours. So how that they were allowed to go. But we were genuinely worried because that's really the one group that they are the most antagonistic towards are obviously people from Palestine agency that my computer's not working. Yeah, they give you. Yeah, they give you excuses and whatnot. I

00:48:41 --> 00:49:09

mean, they asked sometimes the most stupid questions last time we went, I mean, one of the saddest things cell phone was funny, but it's sad. Last year, when we went we had a Canadian convert. So he was the one Caucasian in the whole group. This is last year's group. I had a smaller group this year had at last year had was it 40 or so? So there was one, you know, complete blonde, Caucasian with us. And he's like with our group. And so the agents pulled him to the rooms go, where are you with these guys?

00:49:10 --> 00:49:48

So he said, I'm a Muslim. Like, why your name is Christina, whatever it goes, Yeah, I converted to Islam. So this 19 year old girl idea of like, because you know, and over there, you have to go through the two years training. Every single citizen has to go through two years of military training. So the people that are doing it are basically 1920 21 that age group. So this girl is like interviewing him. It's like, why did you convert to Islam? Like she's demanding to know why you converted to Islam. So our brother says, Because I found peace in Islam. You know what the lady said to her? Why couldn't you find peace in Buddhism?

00:49:50 --> 00:50:00

Like, this is the interrogation officer. Why do you have to find peace in Islam? Could you write it in Buddhism? So this is what you have to like, how do you answer that? By

00:50:00 --> 00:50:37

Okay, I made the choice, you know, another of our brothers last year, he was wearing a job. When he went through this customs and his American passport. He was pulled aside. It's like, why are you wearing a job? Because it's comfortable? Yeah, but why a job? Because I want to wear a job. You were from New York, right? Yeah. Do you wear a job in New York? No, not all the time. Do you worry, though, when you go to sleep? No. So why are you wearing it now? It's like, it's just harassment. That's all it is, you know, they just want to irritate you. And if you lose your temper, how much it's gonna send you back. So we tell our group and every group. So it's like, Look, you just have to

00:50:37 --> 00:50:42

keep your cool, just stay calm. And this is just a fraction of what happens to the actual

00:50:44 --> 00:51:26

people. This is what a fraction, And subhanAllah I have to say we saw, with their own eyes, a very sad case in front of us when one day we're walking back from dinner, and in a boxer. And we heard the screaming of a Palestinian lady, elderly lady, maybe 5060 years old. And she was surrounded by guards. And she kept on saying, Why are you harassing me? Why are you doing and I mean stuff for a lot, but they were holding on to her carrying or whatnot. And she's screaming out, one of our brothers wanted to intervene. And I said, bro, if you go this isn't America, if you walk towards those guards with submachine guns, this is not America. And I reminded him of the Prophet saw some

00:51:26 --> 00:52:04

and Ahmad had been the acid and the acid and some AI said we can't do anything here. His the young brother with us, like young meaning in college is boiling. How can I not help as like, what are you going to do, you can walk there and call us, we're not going to come back with you and the story, because they're surrounded and showed they would she was taken. Now later on, the people said that she said something against the guards in her anger. And the guards then started surrounding her. And that shouting match went higher and higher until finally she gets arrested and thrown away. So we see this with our own eyes. And yes, it's very painful, very painful. And I can understand those

00:52:04 --> 00:52:15

that say, how can you see that and go there and that's a valid point. So valid point, but us not going there will not help the Palestinian lady as well

00:52:16 --> 00:52:47

as going there might help her relative that's running the shop might help the Palestinians to see the Muslims come us boycotting, it is not going to help her from getting arrested. It's all that I can say. So very difficult situation. We're trying to make the lesser of two evils and Allah knows best. Any final points because I want anything from the sisters, by the way, because the sisters are always make sure that you have their questions, anything from the sisters Going once, going twice. Mumfie and sisters don't really have usually. One final point, though. I want to stand up for a second. Yes.

00:52:50 --> 00:52:55

A man was our leader where he he helped us all along for

00:52:56 --> 00:52:57

a month.

00:53:01 --> 00:53:07

He really was a very, very big help man. He went he went as a group leader this year.

00:53:12 --> 00:53:16

And hamdulillah eventually we hope one day he'll give you the heart that as well. That's the goal.

00:53:17 --> 00:53:21

Checking the list off is good. But eventually he needs to do a great job.

00:53:23 --> 00:53:24

And Hamdulillah.

00:53:28 --> 00:53:33

In our groups, no. It has not happened in other groups. Yes, I know it has happened.

00:53:35 --> 00:53:42

Yeah, any westerner who goes, the worst they can do to you is keep you in the airport for 510 hours and send you back.

00:53:43 --> 00:54:18

You're not gonna go to jail. Because you tried to enter Israel on a Western passport. That's not a crime. They cannot arrest you for anything. Unless you're Palestinian who has a track record back in the 60s or 70s. That's not our business. You don't I'm saying that's a separate group of people. But any westerner who goes and wants to visit Israel, the land of Israel or Palestine, it's up to them if they denied them, the max they can do and I've had plenty of friends who are denied. And Allah knows best perhaps maybe one year may Allah protect me, I will also be denied. But that's just the reality. They'll literally judge you. And based on that interview, they'll make a decision right

00:54:18 --> 00:54:56

then and there. Now, one thing we have found is that generally their safety in numbers. So when you tell the guard, we are going in a group, and that's what we did every year we have this whole group. So they understand, okay, this is a group coming here. So it kind of makes it a little bit easier for them to understand. Whereas if you're all by yourself, and especially if you're single or young by single I don't mean not married, I mean coming singly right, one person, generally speaking, who they put aside in the room, it's people that are single or young, generally, elderly or with families and children with medical, generally speaking, so they want to just interrogate hassle, you

00:54:56 --> 00:54:59

know, inconvenience you just see your response and

00:55:00 --> 00:55:07

This was the first time we went through the airport of Tel Aviv last year as we have gone through the King Hussein bridge out of Jordan. And

00:55:08 --> 00:55:21

there are pros and cons of each one. But I think overall landing in the airport was easier simply because the King Hussein bridge, the dynamics of it are very different. Those of you that have gone from the King Hussein bridge,

00:55:22 --> 00:56:00

you have to pass three borders than the the facilities are much worse, the interrogation is much more negative. If you land in Tel Aviv, it's like JFK, literally, like JFK, like an airport. So they can't be that mean to you in public. Whereas in King Hussein bridge, all Muslims and the Israeli guard, so it's a very different dynamics, whereas in Tel Aviv airport, you're the only Muslim and there's 50 non Muslims, you know, so like, they can't be that rude to you publicly. Like it's a protocol that has to be followed. And so we found my experiences that landing at the airport seems to make it easier to get the group through less waiting time and less hassle. Even the interrogation

00:56:00 --> 00:56:10

was softer at the airport. But this is all anecdotal. You never know one year they can flip it around, make it worse. Show love. And in case I don't want to delay or show too much any final thing before we conclude

00:56:12 --> 00:56:53

Taurus. Taurus course in the alcohol complex, there's a one hour or is it 730 to 830 for one hour. Israelis and non Muslims can enter and they're under guard. So they come and there's protected by guards. You can see them, they don't interact with you. So there's one hour or two hours where they come in, and they go around the complex, but they're with the guards. Okay, so they go in and out and they come out otherwise, no non Muslim can enter the complex, which is why the guards will ask you if they suspect are you muslim or not. And the guards are Israeli. So there's two sets of guards. There's Israeli guards outside Palestinian guards inside. So there's two sets of guards. So

00:56:53 --> 00:57:27

when you walk into the complex, firstly, the Palestinians, the Israel the Palestinians, by the way, don't have any weapons as the Israelis other weapons. So the Israelis are going to assess you. They're worried about especially a Jewish fundamentalist doing something crazy. So they want to make sure that no person comes for their PR. Okay, and then the Palestinian is obviously worried about the exact same thing from a different perspective. So the Palestinians simply going to say a Salam Why do you say why they call Muslim automatically who know unless there's something very, you know, off so there's two sets of guards is the older one that has the machines and the equipment if need

00:57:27 --> 00:57:29

be. And

00:57:32 --> 00:58:02

the policies don't have guns. The Palestinians do not have guns just sitting there with in the booth, they don't have any weapons with them. Okay. Shala. With that, we conclude we pray that Allah subhana wa Taala blesses each and every one of us to do deeds that are closest to him. We pray that Allah subhanaw taala accepts our good deeds and forgives our evil deeds. We pray that Allah azza wa jal blesses us to see the truth its truth and to act upon it and to see falsehood as falsehood and to abstain from it, which is more long said on a Samadhi can go to law he wabarakatuh

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