On September 29th, 2023, Jerusalem’s Islamic Waqf said that nearly 40,000 worshippers performed the Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its courtyards in a wonderful scene showing the unity of Palestinians.
Despite Israel’s hard restrictions on movement, Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, 1948-occupied lands, and occupied Jerusalem have managed to cross military checkpoints and far distances to come and attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa a day following Islamic World’s celebration of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
Israeli forces tried, as usual, to obstruct the worshippers’ movement by deploying at the gates of the holy site and in its vicinity ahead of prayer time, stopping, searching, and preventing many from entering the place.
Israel’s restrictions have escalated these days against Palestinians as colonial Israeli settlers are celebrating a series of Jewish holidays, under which the settlers gather in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and perform their Talmudic rituals en masse, crossing the red lines by dancing and singing over Muslim graves and attacking the worshippers.
In a video that swept social media, an Israeli settler was seen touring Bab as-Silsila, one of the gates of occupied Jerusalem, and throwing anti-Arab slogans as well as unashamedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
In addition, the settlers in many places appeared blowing the trumpet, which is considered in Jewish doctrine as a means to lay the groundwork for the transition from the Islamic era to the Jewish one and marks the approach of the redemption date. This Talmudic ritual implies that the mosque should become a specific place for Jewish worship only.
Blowing the trumpet, in the eyes of the Temple groups, separates two eras: the era of Al-Aqsa Islamic identity, which they imagine has ended, and the era of its Judaization, which they believe has begun.
In defiance of such a blatant breach of the Islamic sanctities and amidst aggressive Israeli attacks, Palestinian officials and Islamic Waqf have been calling upon Palestinians to intensify their presence at Al-Aqsa, attend prayers, and hold Quranic activities to thwart the Israeli Judaization attempts to divide the holy site spatially and temporally between Muslims and Jews and later to erase the Islamic feature from the holy site.
In response to loud calls for protecting Al-Aqsa, large numbers of Palestinian worshipers also attended Friday dawn prayer in support of the “Great Fajr” campaign, which was set off in 2020 to pledge protection of the holy site from Israeli occupation violations.
The worshipers then gathered in the prayer halls of the mosque, and recited parts of the holy Quran, showing their spiritual link to the holy site and rejecting the Israeli systematic Judaization policy.
A day ago, Palestinian activists took the initiative to mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday in Al-Aqsa. They printed stamps carrying the picture of Al-Aqsa with the name of Prophet Mohammed and disseminated them among children and youths, spreading awareness about the significance of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its connection to the Prophet Mohammad, from which he ascended heaven in Israa’ and Miraj occasion.
Besides, many Palestinians distributed candies and decorated the holy place with Quranic verses and colourful balloons and religious competitions were held spotting lights on the Prophet’s history of reaching out Islam to all people. Other Palestinians had their breakfast meal in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque sharing food and talks.
A scout march also roamed occupied Jerusalem, singing for the prophet Mohammad and cherishing his legacy, in commemoration of his honourable birthday.