The Toronto al-Quds Day virtual rally was held on May 17, 2020. The list of speakers at the event included:
Farman Ali – virtual rally host, UFCW Canada Local 175 Organizer.
Ken Stone – Executive Member, Syria Solidarity Movement; Treasurer, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War; founding member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV Canada).
Tim Anderson – Australian academic and activist; former senior lecturer at the University of Sydney.
Rabbi Dovid Feldman – spokesman for Neturei Karta International and organizer of anti-Zionist events.
Suzanne Weiss – pro Palestinian Jewish activist and a member of Independent Jewish Voices Canada.
Sheikh Shafiq Hudda – director of the Islamic Humanitarian Service (IHS) in Kitchener, Ontario:
Bahman Azad – Iranian-American activist.
Sid Ryan – Canadian labour union leader and politician. Ryan is the former president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.
Paul Larudee – Iranian-born American political activist who is a major figure in the pro-Palestinian movement.
The event began with the recitation of verses 1-8 from the Quran, Chapter Al-Isra/ Bani Israil (The Night Journey/ The Israelites):
1.Glory be to Him Who took his servant by night from Masjid-ul-Haram to Masjid-ul-‘Aqsa the precincts of which We have blessed that We show him (some) of Our signs. Verily, He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing
2.And We gave Moses the Book, and made him a Guide for the Children of Israel, (saying): ‘Do not take other than Me a guardian’.
3.(O’ you!) the offspring of those whom We embarked along with Noah (on the Ark). Verily, he was a grateful servant.
4.And We declared unto the Children of Israel in the BOOK (the Torah, saying): “Certainly you will make mischief on the earth twice, and certainly you will seek self-superiority with great arrogance’.
5.So when the promise for the first of the two came to pass, We raised against you some of powerful servants of Ours, given to terrible warfare, so it was they searched inside the houses thoroughly; and a promise to be fulfilled.
6.Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them, and We assisted you with wealth and children and We made you a numerous host.
7.If you do good, you do it for your selves; and if you commit evil. it is (il like manner) for your own selves. Hence, when the promise of the second came to pass, (We permitted the mighty fighters) to disfigure your (military) faces, and that they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and to destroy extensively whatever they conquered.
8.It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you, but if you revert (to your sins), we shall (also) revert (to Our punishment), and We have made Hell a prison for the unbelievers.
Quran Exegesis (Chapter 17, verse 7) – Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faqih Imani
In his book “An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy Qur’an” vol. 8, Ayatullah Sayyid Kamal Faqih Imani wrote (translated by Sayyid Abbas Sadr-‘ameli):
[Verse] 7. “If you do good, you do it for your own selves; and if you commit evil, it is (in like manner) for your own selves. Hence, when the promise of the second came to pass, (We permitted the mighty fighters) to disfigure your (military) faces, and that they may enter the Mosque as they entered it the first time, and to destroy extensively whatever they conquered.”
Such Divine favours will cover you. Maybe, you will once discover your own selves and try to reform yourselves, thus distancing yourselves from all evil acts, you may turn to good ones, for when one does good, he has done it to his own self and if he commits evil, it will eventually turn to him, too.
The verse says:
“If you do good, you do it for your own selves; and if you commit evil, it is (in like manner) for your own selves…”
This is a general and everlasting rule that all good and evil will eventually return to one’s own self.
However, it is with deep regret that neither that punishment of Allah may awaken you, nor this favour and renewed Divine grace, for you turn to rebellion once again, following the path of tyranny, oppression and violation, inciting a grave corruption on the earth and exceeding the limits in arrogance and self superiority.
Then, there comes the second Divine promise, and when it arrives, some warriors and combatants overcome you in such a way that the pains and calamities inflicted upon you by them make you grieve to the extent that signs of sorrow and despair appear on your faces.
The verse says:
“…Hence, when the promise of the second came to pass, (We permitted the mighty fighters) to disfigure your (military) faces…”
They even capture your great temple of Bayt-ul-Muqaddas (Jerusalem), then they enter Masjid-ul-’Aqsa in much the same way that they did in the first instance.
The verse says:
“…and that they may enter the Mosque as they entered it the first time…”
They do not even suffice to this matter and they devastate whatever they dominate and capture.
The verse continues saying:
“…and to destroy extensively whatever they conquered.”
In the end, whatever is of importance in historical events, which leads to development, can be their didactic lessons derived from them, and not the details of the incidents.
The adventures of the wandering of the oppressive Jews, which were brought about by the godly believing people, and which have been dealt with in the last two verses, are meant to demonstrate the fact that oppression and paganism will not be left unanswered.
Since this very general and educative fact has been targeted, therefore, the verse has not dealt with the issues of the details of the entanglement, number, and weaponry.
The case is just in the same way that in the biography of Hadrat-i-Yusuf (as), details of the story and even the name of Zulaykh a has not been even mentioned because of the educational nature of the objectives and instructions with regard to the matters of chastity.
In the meantime, some commentaries have pointed out the corruption of the Jews and their eradication on two occasions by individuals in distant past or recent past, and Masjid-ul-Aqsa has born witness to many bitter memories during several thousand years, yet, according to some verses and Islamic quotations, perhaps we must be expecting further violations and oppressions from the side of the Israelis and their eventual extermination by the righteous servants of Allah.
As it is understood from the apparent of verses 5 and 6, there has not come yet such a widespread corruption on the earth to be brought about by the Children of Israel and such an important devastation and extermination has not been fulfilled by men of Allah.
Nowadays, we are witnessing, on the one hand, the widespread violation by Israel and its plot for the conquest of the lands from the Nile to the Euphrates as well as the expulsion of the Muslims from their homeland, the bringing of espionage networks into existence in the world, taking over of the propaganda machinery, assembling of manpower from the east and the west, and other measures which are conducive to corruption.
On the other hand, we are also watching the emergence of the Islamic Revolution and the appearance of the godly sincere youths in Palestine who invade Israel and try to recapture and repossess Masjid-ul-’Aqsa, in which case, maybe the noble verse alludes to these aspects. Only Allah is the Most Aware.
Incidentally, according to the numerous Islamic quotations, which are recorded under this verse in various commentaries, some consider the occurrence of the extermination of the violating Jews by the faithful revolutionaries before the uprising of Hadrat-i-Mahdi (as), those who take up their swords (arms) and who go forth as far as their martyrdom.
They will in turn pave the way for the universal government of Hadrat-e-Mahdi (a.j.). Some regard this occurrence to take place within the period of the reappearance of Imam-i-Zaman, in which case the invading Jews will be exterminated.
Concluding this statement, we must keep in mind that the Mosques have constantly been the bases for the force of the religions and as a symbol of power. Hence, liberating the mosques from the domination of pagans has constantly been the duty of the believers.
To combat the violating Jews, men of Allah will enter Bayt-ul-Muqaddas in the same way that the Muslims did in entering Masjid-ul-Har am at the time of the conquest of Mecca.
Al-Quds Day speaker: “The awaited Mahdi will establish justice throughout the world”
All oppressors, all tyrants, all rulers with unjust policies, that day will come when you will see your Pharaoh. The day will come when you will see as the Meccans had seen their Mohammad coming, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. And that day is not far away inshallah [Allah Willing] and with the permission of Allah. وَسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنْقَلَبٍ يَنْقَلِبُونَ [Quran 26:227] A time will come, a day will come very soon when the oppressors will realize what they had done and they will face the reckoning for that. And we pray for Allah to send Imam Mahdi [redeemer of Islam], make us amongst the companions of the awaited messiah, the awaited Mahdi and inshallah [Allah Willing] along with Jesus Christ to establish justice, equality and truth throughout the world. At the same time we have a responsibility to lay the foundation for justice, for the Imam Mahdi to come inshallah [Allah Willing].
Here is an excerpt from Sheikh Shafiq Hudda’s speech at Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto June 9, 2018:
“I am praying for a day to come in our lifetime, where we won’t need the Al-Quds rally because Palestine will be free. Oppression will be eradicated, injustice will end, that’s the day we pray for. So we don’t have to meet every Saturday in the holy month of Ramadan. This is our prayer to the almighty creator, whether you call him God or Allah. You call him Jehovah or whatever name you want to call him. We pray to the creator and to the almighty, a day will come when we see justice throughout the world. The eradication of the unjust powers such as the American empire, such as the Israeli Zionists. And the same way that we saw the British Empire wither away, the sun never set on it… the sun sets on it. We will see a day coming inshallah, God willing in our lifetime, where this empire, the Zionist empire, the American empire will be down in the dustbins of history inshallah God willing.”
Islamic commentary on the Mahdi – Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi wrote in his book “Day of Judgement”:
It does not require great intelligence to realize that the stage is being set for the appearance of Dajjal in Middle East, claiming to be the promised Messiah of the Jews. If such a leader comes forward, then Allah will send the real Messiah to fight against him. It was Isa bin Maryam, who two thousand years ago, was rejected by the Jews, whom they, according to their thinking, had crucified and destroyed. The place of the fighting will be Syria where the imposter will have entered with an army 70,000 strong. When Hadhrat Isa (A) comes down, leading Muslims to fight against him, he will flee, and will be killed near the entrance of the present day Lod. The Jews will be killed, and Judaism will perish at the hands of the true Messiah [Imam Mahdi].
Islamic commentary on the Mahdi – Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini
Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini, an eminent scholar and jurisprudent is a professor at the Religious Learning Center at Qum, wrote in his book “Al-Imam al-Mahdi, The Just Leader of Humanity”:
The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and the Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed. Thus, for example, the following tradition in which Ibn Bukayr asks Imam Rida the interpretation of the verse: “To Him submits everything that is in the heavens and the earth, in obedience and in aversion.” The Imam relates:
The particular verse is revealed in reference to the Qa’im. When he appears he will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews, Christians, Sabians, and the disbelievers in the east and the west. Any one who willingly accepts Islam will be asked to pray, give alms, and perform all the obligatory acts; and any one who refuses to do so will be killed. This will continue until there remains none but a believer in and worshipper of One God everywhere on the earth.
Ibn Bukayr said to the Imam that in that case there would be far too many people who would be killed. The Imam said: “Whenever God desires something to increase or decrease He can do so.”
Islamic commentary on the Mahdi – Ayatolah Najmuddin Tabasi
Ayatolah Najmuddin Tabasi wrote in his book “An Overview of The Mahdi’s (‘atfs) Government”:
2. The People of the Book (ahl al-kitab)
‘Abdullah ibn Bakir asked Imam al-Kazim (a) regarding the interpretation of this noble verse:
وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا
“While to Him submit whosoever there is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly.”
The Imam (‘a) replied: “This verse has been revealed about al-Qa’im (‘atfs); it is when he rises up against the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, materialists, those who turned back from Islam, and the infidels of the east and west while offering Islam to them. He will command anyone who accepts it out of his own volition to perform the prayers, pay the zakat and do whatever a Muslim ought to do. He will behead anyone who refuses to become Muslim so much so that not a single infidel will remain in both the east and west of the globe.”
‘Abdullah ibn Bakir asked: “May I be your ransom! There are a lot of people on earth. How could the Imam (‘atfs) make them Muslims or behead them?”
Imam al-Kazim (‘a) replied: “If God wills something, that which is few will become plenty and something plenty will become few.”
Shahr ibn Hawshab said: “Hajjaj said to me: ‘O Shahr! There is a verse in the Qur’an that has exhausted me (and I do not understand its meaning).’ I asked: ‘Which verse?’ He replied: ‘It is when God says:
وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ
“There is none among the People of the Book but will surely believe in him before his death.”
And it has always happened that they would bring to me a Christian or a Jew and I would behead him, and then I would stare at his lips but they do not move (to utter the formula of faith) until his breath expires.’
Shahr ibn Hawshab said: “I said to him: ‘The meaning of the verse is not what you imagine; the meaning, instead, is that before the Day of Resurrection ‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary) (‘a) will come down from heaven and follow Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs). At that time no Jew and Christian will be left except those who would believe in him before his death.’
“Hajjaj inquired: ‘From where have you learned this interpretation and who taught it to you?’ I answered: ‘Imam al-Baqir (‘a) taught this interpretation.’ Hajjaj said: ‘You have obtained it from the pure fountain’.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The Day of Resurrection will not happen until you wage war against the Jews. Then, the (defeated) Jews will flee and hide behind rocks, but the rocks will cry: ‘O Muslims! O servants of God! These Jews are hiding behind us.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: “…The Jews who are with ad-Dajjal with flee and conceal themselves, but the trees and stones will cry: ‘O Spirit of Allah (Jesus)! Here are the Jews.’ He will also kill them and no one will be left.”