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Muslims worldwide observe last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan as Masjid Al Aqsa Day. This year the Global Day of Al Quds will be observed on 22 Friday 2020.

Latheef Farook

In 1979 late Iranian leader Imam Khomeini asked Muslims worldwide to observe last Friday of the Holy Ramadan as a day of solidarity with the Palestinians and their legal rights.

Arab tyrants, including Saudi Arabia, the so called guardian of the two holy mosques in Makka and Madina, depending for its survival on US which helped Israel annex Jerusalem, do not attach much importance. However people throughout the Middle East and worldwide observe the occasion with great affection and enthusiasm.

Masjid Al Aqsa, the first qibla of Muslims, second oldest masjid after Makkah and the third most important holy place in Islam after Makka and Madina, is located in the city of Jerusalem known to Muslims worldwide as Al Quds (The Holy) or Baitul Muqaddis (The House of Holiness).

The historic significance of the Masjid Al-Aqsa in Islam lies in the fact that the early Muslims turned towards it in prayer for a period of around seventeen months after Prophet Muhammad’s( pbuh) hijra or migration to Medina in 624 AC. Thus it became the qibla (direction) that Muslims faced for prayer.

According to Allame Tabatabayee, Allah prepared Muslims for the change of the qibla, first by revealing the story of Ibrahim and his son Ishmael, and their prayers for Makkah, their construction of the House of Allah (Ka’aba) and the order to cleanse it of idols for the worship of the One True God-Allah. Then Quranic verses were revealed which ordered Muslims to turn towards Masjid al-Haram, the Holy Mosque in Makkah in their prayers. [Qur’an 2:142–151]

Masjid Al Aqsa is the place where Prophet Ibrahim, the patriarch of all the three great monotheistic faiths Judaism, Christianity and Islam prayed. It was in this very same Masjid that Allah resurrected and assembled all the prophets for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to lead the prayer with them during his divine night journey, Mihraj, to the heavens. Allah chose the Masjid of Jerusalem for this greatest prayer, for the first time in history, because of its purity, nobility, distinction and highest standing.


The spacious complex of Masjid Al Aqsa.Masjid Al Aqsa is in the right and the Dome of the Rock in the left.

The ascension of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), from the rock beneath the Qubbat Al Sakhra Mosque known as Dome of the Rock to heaven remains the loftiest spiritual event in the history of Islam and highlights the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims. The direct ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Makkah to heaven would have been possible for Allah, but He wanted it to take place from Jerusalem. That miraculous journey drew attention of Muslims to the specificity of Jerusalem and its extraordinary divine claim.

However, despite all this religious significance of Jerusalem for Muslims, the Zionist Jews who occupied East Jerusalem in their war of aggression in June 1967 have been repeatedly conspiring to destroy Masjid Al Aqsa and build in its place a new Solomon’s Temple, the older temple having been destroyed by the Romans in 70 AC, the remnants of which are only seen today as a wall known to Jews as the Wailing Wall. As part of this conspiracy they commenced a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing the Palestinians who had been living there for generations.

The question is what has around 1.9 billion Muslims worldwide done to save Masjid Al Aqsa from the designs of Zionist Jews and their supporters in the US led West.

During World War 1 Jerusalem was under Turkey’s Ottoman rule. However following Turkey’s defeat in the war, Jerusalem was brought under British control on December 9, 1917.

Over the years the Arab rulers, installed in power by Britain and France, abandoned the Palestinians, Jerusalem and even Masjid Al Aqsa. Their only concern was to preserve their seats of power and comforts and, to ensure this they even started having open and secret relations with the very same Zionists despite all their conspiracies against Islam and Muslims.

The Zionist Jews have been desecrating Masjid Al Aqsa from the time of the British mandatory rule which facilitated the creation of the state of Israel. A group of Jewish extremists, with the help of the British army, broke into the Al-Aqsa complex on 20 August 1929 and took control of the western area, including Al-Buraq Wall (now referred to as the Wailing Wall by the Jews). Within 15 days, 338 Palestinians died in their effort to thwart the Zionists’ plan. In June 1967 the Zionists entered Haram As-Sharif in tanks, seized the key of Al-Magharibah Gate and took control of the city’s eastern side, including Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On August 21st 1969, a Jewish terrorist Dennis Michael Rohan (Jewish name: Mikhail Rohan) set Al-Aqsa on fire. The fire destroyed most of the mosque, including the historical minbar (pulpit), used by Salahuddin al-Ayyubi after he liberated Al-Aqsa from the Christian Crusaders. The Palestinians succeeded in extinguishing the fire, but Rohan was freed from all charges on grounds of insanity

israel aqsa

In 1970, the Israelis commenced intensive excavations directly beneath Masjid Al Aqsa on the southern and western sides. In 1977 digging continued and a large tunnel was opened below the women’s prayer area and a new tunnel was dug under the mosque, going east to west in 1979.

In the 1980s, the Israelis started their so called archaeological project in the Masjid Al-Aqsa premises claiming that they were searching for the Temple of King Solomon. They dug another tunnel near the western portion of the masjid in 1984.

In February 2007 Israelis started excavating a site, 60 meters away from the mosque, to rebuild a collapsed pedestrian bridge. As part of this conspiracy the Zionist Jews also trained Temple guards, sewed special Kohannim robes for the rabbis, and even built a model of the temple near Masjid Al-Aqsa. War criminal Ehud Olmert, former Prime Minister who slaughtered starving Palestinians in Gaza, officiated the opening of the Jewish Museum, built underneath Masjid Al-Aqsa.

aqsa map

On October 15th 1989, the “Guardians of the Temple” group laid the foundation for the Solomon’s Temple. The tunnel underneath the mosque reached the length of 400 meters (half the length of Al-Aqsa), and damaged the structure. Sheikh Raed Solah, the leader of the Islamic movement in Jerusalem who exposed these activities was imprisoned.

Almost thirty years later today the situation is worse as Israel annexed East Jerusalem with the complete support of US, Europe and the discreet support of treacherous Saudi tyrants while other tyrants in the region turned a blind eye. Ends 17th May 2020.

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Read more: Sri Lanka pioneers bamboo crafts training with UNIDO

 

Here’s How To Make The Most out Of Staying and Working from Home 

 

As the country goes into the third week of the Work From Home order, some might start to miss how we connect with each other freely.  Feelings of isolation and pressures of juggling between working from home while taking care of children, pets and/or parents may have started to surface as our daily routines start to evolve within the confines of our homes.

 

The practice of social distancing has now changed the way we socialise with loved ones and friends, host office meetings, and even the way we spend time on hobbies and sports we like. Thankfully, our increasingly wired world allows us to stay connected even if we can’t be there in real life. Here’s a few hacks to inject some more fun while virtually connecting with your colleagues, friends and family members:

  1. Working Remotely: How We Make it Work?

Working from home requires extra structure, intention and care. In person, there are continuous opportunities to gather context, clarify intentions and adapt to each other’s needs. When a team is dispersed, it’s important to invest energy in planning ahead, documenting decisions, and communicating proactively. Here’s a toolkit on some tips and resources to help you do your best work, wherever you’re working.

  1. More fun with your video chat   

Video Chat in Messenger makes it simple and seamless for us to have face-to-face conversations no matter where you are, perfect for those spontaneous moments when a text just isn’t enough. You can see up to eight people at a time but don’t worry if your group is a little larger because up to 50 friends can join in and choose to just listen in and join via voice, or be on camera.

For tighter security, designate a Group Admin, or a few, so you can approve and remove members if needed, and promote or demote admin access. This is especially helpful in large group chats with people you may not yet be connected to, like when you’re planning a teammate’s surprise birthday party with different groups of coworkers.

You can liven up those mundane meetings with cool features like animated reactions, filters, masks and effects.

  1. Take A Break, Tune In For A Workout 

Sitting around for hours all day may leave you sluggish and lethargic so remember to take a break every now and then – stretch your legs, whip up a Dalgona coffee or challenge your friends to a quick game on Facebook Messenger like Space Invader or Words With Friends.

Don’t forget to also maintain your fitness during this period. If you’re looking for inspiration, some of our fitness communities have taken to social media to host free and and live workout sessions on Facebook and Instagram including the likes of FHIIT.lk,   and Tarja along with personal online fitness coaches such as Gaia, Yohan and Alpha Lee Fitness who aim at keeping people fit and healthy at home.

  1. Have A Watch Party With Your Friends 

While we aren’t able to catch our favourite movies at the cinema with friends, there are some other fun ways of co-viewing at the comfort of your couch at home.

On Facebook, host your very own Watch Party anytime, anywhere! On your News Feed or timeline, click ‘Make Post’, select ‘Watch Party’ and ‘Add Video’ to search for a video or category. To add video to your watch list, click ‘Add to Queue’. Once you’ve added a description to your Watch Party, click ‘Post’. You’ll see a message that says ‘Your Watch Party Is About To Begin’. Time to add your friends in and enjoy.

Co-watching on Instagram launched in March 2020 and is available globally. It is similar to Watch Party – the feature lets you view Instagram posts with your friends on video chat.

Tap the video chat icon in your Direct inbox or existing Direct thread to start a video chat. You then can view Saved, Liked, and Suggested photos or videos by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner in an ongoing video chat. This will allow your friends in the video chat to be able to view the photo or video in real time too.

  1. Go Live for Different Occasions

If you run your own business from home, interact with your customers in real-time with Facebook Live. You can answer burning questions, ask what’s on their minds and see their live reactions during your broadcast.

As religious groups and institutions navigate through restrictions on physical get together during times of social distancing, reaching to their members virtually is an alternative. We listened to what faith institutions need to help them optimize on our platform to stream their services and connect their communities outside of formal worship. We are happy to pass along the Facebook Faith Toolkit, to equip you with the tools to help you continue the faith conversations you have during the week on our platform.

Also catch your favourite local artists on platforms like Pettah Effect and Hungama music Sri Lanka where they partnered with local musicians like Umaria, Yohani, Romaine and many other local artists to bring the full musical experience to you while you’re staying safe indoors.

Further, artists such as Minesh and so many more bring the full musical experience to you as they go live often.

  1. Ramp Up COVID-19 Awareness Using Stickers on Instagram

You can now spread awareness and accurate COVID-19 information with friends and family with our new stickers in Stories. These new features include healthy reminders to wash your hands, distance yourself from others and more that was developed in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Staying in touch with friends and loved ones has never been more important than it is now, and we hope Facebook will make it easier to keep the people most important to you close during this time. So, wash your hands, keep calm, and let’s play our part. Together we can #stayathome.

 

Thanks: Newswire

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