Why Do We Resist? (1)...Understanding Resistance as a Goal and Purpose Featured

By Sari Orabi April 14, 2024 2038




Zionist colonialism, falsehood, human degradation, righteousness, betrayal, witnessing for truth, weakness, justice, clear victory, corruption on Earth, foreign colonization, resistance, Palestinian resistance, victory, emerging topics, Palestine, balance of power

Introduction to the Series

This series, "Why Do We Resist?", aims to elucidate the foundational principles of Palestinian resistance within its Islamic framework. Despite the inherent human impulse to defend oneself and the clear motivations for engaging in resistance, particularly against foreign colonization, the act of resistance remains constantly subject to disruption, whether by hostile forces or by entanglement with issues of feasibility and cost. These factors can contribute to a confusion of the concept of resistance in the minds of many, without malicious intent, but rather as questions arising from observing the stark power differentials between the conflicting parties.

All of this is influenced by historical circumstances, which may at times bolster support for and belief in resistance and its necessity, while at other times, due to shifts in political hegemony globally and within the Arab region, lead to changes in attitude towards resistance as a concept and practice. The stance on resistance changes with the perception of the actor, as hostility towards Islamists, whether from dominant powers or opposing intellectual and social currents, often involves deliberate efforts to discredit the resistance itself, given that Islamists are currently at the forefront of it in this moment of history.

For these reasons and others, this series seeks to elucidate the principles that make resistance a necessity, as it is inherent in human instinct and essential for universal human balance, regardless of the widening power gap between the conflicting parties. While this series draws its insight from the Quran, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his biography, it also looks to history and its memory, as well as to humanity, its society, and its conditions.

On Human Vulnerability to Degeneration and Deviation

The Quran reveals the inherent predisposition of humans towards degeneration and deviation, stemming from the foundational weakness inherent in human creation suitable for the test of life. "Mankind was created weak" (Quran, 4:28), which includes an intrinsic weakness in determination and a tendency towards forgetfulness. "And indeed, We once made a covenant with Adam, but he forgot, and (so) We did not find determination in him." (Quran, 20:115). This necessitates continual personal self-struggle, as the test of defending against this inherent human weakness is present at all times. "As for those who struggle in Our cause, We will surely guide them along Our Way. And Allah is certainly with the good-doers." (Quran, 29:69).

Furthermore, this weakness is inevitably reflected in human society, perpetuating worldly trials within this society. "We have made some of you a trial for others. Will you (not then) be patient? And your Lord is All-Seeing." (Quran, 25:20). Due to the inherent disparity among humans in terms of creation and sustenance, "He is the One Who has placed you as successors on earth and elevated some of you in rank over others, so He may test you with what He has given you. Surely your Lord is swift in punishment, but He is certainly All-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Quran, 6:165), corruption inevitably occurs as some humans dominate others and exploit and subjugate them.

The rapid inclination towards forgetfulness and neglect of human dignity by submitting to other than Allah is evident in the story of the people of Noah, who said, "Do not abandon your deities; do not abandon Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Yauq, nor Nasr." (Quran, 71:23). Some narrations and interpretations suggest that they were a righteous people between Adam and Noah, and they had followers who emulated them. When they died, their followers said, "If we were to make images (of them), we would have a reminder of them." So, they made images of them. When they died and others came after them, Satan insinuated to them, "Indeed, they used to worship them and through them they would be given rain."

Corruption deepens, and the exploitation of human dignity intensifies further when the enslavement of people takes on a political character, as in the case of Pharaoh, who is frequently mentioned in the Quran as an exemplar of corruptive dominance. Pharaoh manipulated human weakness and their susceptibility to shaping public consciousness to serve his dominance. "And so he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. They were truly a rebellious people." (Quran, 43:54). He exerted utmost control over them, saying, "Pharaoh assured )his people(, I am telling you only what I believe, and I am leading you only to the way of guidance’’." (Quran, 40:29). He also exploited societal divisions to facilitate control over it. "Indeed, Pharaoh (arrogantly) elevated himself in the land and divided its people into (subservient) groups, one of which he persecuted, slaughtering their sons and keeping their women. He was truly one of the corruptors." (Quran, 28:4). In any case, the extent to which injustice, enslavement, and exploitation of creation can reach is known. The Quran narrates glimpses of it through the story of Pharaoh and the man who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, as well as through historical observations of past and present events.

About the Necessity of Resistance for the Well-being of the World

Therefore, if human degradation persists unchecked over time and finds no defenders, it will spread across time and place to engulf all humanity. This is evident in the narration about the period before the mission of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "Allah looked towards the people of the world and He showed hatred for the Arabs and the non-Arabs, but with the exception of some remnants from the People of the Book." because Allah does not tolerate injustice. He named associationism (shirk) as the worst form of evil and sin, as it entails worshiping other than Allah, whereas Allah honoured humans by creating them dignified.

This state of imbalance necessarily entails disparities in power between the parties, between the oppressors and the oppressed, between the arrogant and the vulnerable. This imbalance, which ensures the perpetuation and stability of the powerful, guarantees the maintenance of interests and the ability to subdue others. However, this perpetuity is not about the individuals of darkness and tyranny, as they are bound to perish with death, but it pertains to the structures and institutions, as is the case with modern states and Western colonization of the world, especially Muslim countries, in modern and contemporary times. What remains of this directly is the Zionist colonization of Palestine.

The immense disparity in power, which overwhelmingly tilts in favour of the oppressor and the colonizer in most cases, renders the issue not about cost-benefit analysis, but about fulfilling the duty from two aspects. Firstly, the duty to testify to the truth in word and deed, regardless of the immediate desired outcome of this testimony. This is a fundamental individual duty that extends to the second aspect, which is that complete abstention from defending falsehood is tantamount to its endorsement. Falsehood cannot be repelled except by defending it, from the least of what conscience allows to the highest with the means available. Therefore, the Quran narrates the story of the believers who were burned in the trench, describing their fate as a great triumph, and it reveals the story of the man in Surah Yasin who rose to fulfil the duty of supporting the messengers and came from the farthest part of the city, and the man in Surah Al-Qasas who similarly came from the farthest part of the city to warn Moses of Pharaoh's scheme and his people.

Resistance, from this perspective, is a duty because fundamentally it is a testimony to the truth and a testimony against falsehood. Its ultimate goal is to repel falsehood and establish justice and truth. While the primary motive is an ethical one, stemming from a profound sense of responsibility, believers also respond to the divine command directed at the individual to overcome obstacles collectively. "So fight in the cause of Allah (O Prophet). You are accountable for none but yourself. And motivate the believers (to fight), so perhaps Allah will curb the disbelievers might. And Allah is far superior in might and in punishment." (Quran, 4:84). Therefore, failure, passivity, and general weakness, as well as the uncertainty of immediate outcomes, are not reasons to refrain from individually fulfilling this duty. However, the worldly goal remains an objective for the resistors, fighters against falsehood. "(He will also give you) another favour that you long for: help from Allah and an imminent victory. (So) give good news (O Prophet) to the believers." (Quran, 61:13). This necessitates sincerity, seriousness, good planning, and preparation in striving for victory and triumph. However, the delay in victory and conquest does not negate the necessity of resistance, nor does the inability to guarantee victory and triumph. Because the duty lies in the act of resistance itself and in its execution within one's capabilities, not in ensuring its results. The primary goal is achieved simply by engaging in resistance as a rejection of falsehood.

Thus it becomes clear that resistance is a duty from the individual to the collective, and the intended obligation here is not merely the religious duty, but rather the understanding that resistance in itself is a goal and an objective, for the sake of upholding human society, pushing corruption away from the world, and responding to the moral motives rooted within humans. Otherwise, the world would drown in falsehood, where no one recognizes what is good and what is evil. The essence of the resistor's stance is that it is an ethical position not weakened by the world's corruption through demoralization and despair, but rather by motivation and effectiveness. " (O Prophet!) If you were to obey most of those on earth, they would lead you away from Allahs Way. They follow nothing but assumptions and do nothing but lie. " (Quran, Al-An'am: 116). Therefore, the resistor, steadfast in their duty, fully acknowledges the prevalence of corruption in the world. Hence, the abundance of falsehood or the scarcity of allies does not exempt them from standing against corruption, nor does it weaken their determination in doing so.

 These meanings are profoundly present and significant in the Palestinian situation, making Palestinian resistance a necessity not just for Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims alone, but for the entire world. This is what upcoming discussions will address, God willing.

Read the Article in Arabic.