The Ramadan spirit was abruptly impacted from breaking of brotherly ties with Gulf neighbour, Qatar, by a Saudi-led alliance including UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
They cut transport links, applied economic sanctions, barred Qatar flights from entering their airspace, and criminalised the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas resistance.
This action is seen as against Islamic teachings and has negative repercussions for the Muslim world.
The four states have been urged to re-establish normal relations.
There is no good in disunity, which is severely condemned (al-Qur’an 3:103): “Hold fast, all together, by the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves … you were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and he saved you from it.”
Firstly, the naming of individuals and groups in Qatar as ‘terrorists’ without evidence is unacceptable.
It is bullying a country that supported Egypt’s attempt towards representative governance when the Muslim Brotherhood party won 2011-12 elections there.
Although once militant, it had long eschewed violence.
Gulf monarchies (except Qatar) call the Brotherhood ‘terrorist’ because its encouragement towards democracy is perceived to threaten monarchical rule.
The majority of Muslims globally see the benefits of choosing political representatives to serve them, providing greater accountability and freedom of expression.
Caliphs Abu Bakar, Umar, and ‘Ali (may God be pleased with them) encouraged criticism if they made mistakes.
Instead, the UAE government is criminalising citizens who support Qatar in this dispute.
Relations of Egypt, Saudi and UAE with Israel have warmed while Israel increasingly ignores UN resolutions.
Now Saudi and allies are leaving Gazan Palestinians in the lurch by criminalising their elected government.
The majority of Muslims globally will insha’Allah stand against this ruinous measure and support their Palestinian brethren heeding Qur’anic admonition (4:75) to support “the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are oppressed?”
After the Iranian revolution in 1979 reasonable unity existed in the Muslim world between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.
After 9/11, close relations developed between Saudi Ambassador to the US, Sultan Bandar, and George Bush, and the Sunni-Shi’a divide was then acerbated by Saudi rhetoric.
This was a great coup for the CIA since it weakened Muslim unity, increased Arab enmity with Iran, and facilitated excessive American arms purchases.
Saudi Arabia has been world’s largest arms buyer and just announced plans to purchase $110 billion more.
Allah informs believers (4:144) not to take protectors from disbelievers in preference to Muslims. “Do you wish to offer Allah open proof against yourselves?”
Following Trump’s recent visit, Saudi and UAE sought enhanced US support, even against their Muslim neighbour.
A new US Bill threatens sanctions against Qatar for supporting Hamas. Al-Jazeera states the bill is supported by 10 lawmakers who received over $1 million from lobbyists linked to Israel, Saudi and UAE.
A hadith reminds us of certain Muslim nations today, “You will certainly follow the ways of predecessors … to the extent that if they entered a lizard’s hole you will enter too”. We said “O Messenger of Allah (s) (do you mean) Jews and the Christians?” He said “Who else?”
Four countries are standing on the brink leaning into the abyss.
We call for them to reverse their unbrotherly actions, step back, and join hands with Qatar to promote a united Ummah and improved state of well-being.