Morgen, dinsdag 7 Juli, breken met zonsondergang de laatste tien nachten van de Ramadan aan, want morgen is de twintigste dag van de maand Ramadan en na zonsondergang breekt de 21e nacht aan. De 21e nacht is de eerste nacht van de laatste tien nachten.
Deze tien nachten hebben een grote verdienste bij Allah de meest Verhevene. Het zijn de beste nachten van het jaar!
Het was de gewoonte van onze nobele profeet vrede zij met hem om de laatste tien dagen, en met name de nachten, van deze gezegende maand extra goed te benutten.
‘Aicha radia Allaho ‘anhaa overlevert dat de profeet vrede zij met hem zich in de laatste tien dagen van de Ramadan meer inspande voor de aanbidding dan in de overige dagen. [Sahih Moslim]
Hij was gewoon om op te blijven voor de aanbidding wanneer de laatste tien nachten aanbraken en maakte zijn vrouwen wakker zodat ook zij deze gezegende nachten in aanbidding doorbrachten.
In deze laatste tien dagen bevindt zich een nacht die beter is dan duizend maanden! Deze nacht is Lailatoelqadr. Allah zegt:
Voorwaar, Wij hebben hem (de Koran) neergezonden in de Waardevolle nacht (Lailatoelqadr). En wat doet jullie weten wat de Waardevolle Nacht is? De Waardevolle nacht is beter dan duizend maanden. [97:1-3]
Het is niet bekend op welke dag deze gezegende nacht valt. Dit motiveert de moslim om iedere nacht van de laatste tien dagen goed te benutten. Wel is de kans groter in de oneven nachten en het grootst in de 27e nacht. Maar dat is niet zeker, zoals sommigen dat denken.
De nacht breekt islamitisch gezien aan met zonsondergang en niet, zoals we dat gewend zijn, na twaalven.
De profeet vrede zij met hem zei: “Wie Lailatoelqadr staat (in gebed), diens voorgaande zonden worden vergeven.” [Bukhari]
Ontneem jezelf deze grote beloning niet door een Taraweeh-gebed te missen in deze laatste tien nachten.
Gedenken van Allah
‘Aicha radia Allaho ‘anhaa vroeg de profeet vrede zij met hem: “Als ik wist welke nacht Lailatoelqadr zou zijn, wat dien ik dan te zeggen?” De profeet antwoordde: Zeg: “O Allah U bent Vergevensgezind en houdt van vergeven, vergeef mij.” [Ibn Maajah]
De smeekbede in het Arabisch:
Wij dienen deze smeekbede vaak te herhalen in deze gezegende nachten in navolging van het advies van onze nobele profeet vrede zij met hem en hopend op de vergiffenis van Allah.
Deze gezegende dagen en nachten brengen we door met het vermijden van zondes en nutteloos tijdverdrijf om vervolgens dichter tot Allah te komen met allerlei vrome daden, zoals de vijf gebeden op haar voorgeschreven tijden, vrijwillige gebeden, Taraweeh, Koran-recitatie, liefdadigheid en het veelvuldig gedenken van Allah. Ibn al-Qayyim zei:
“De beste vastenden zijn degenen die Allah het meest gedenken tijdens hun vasten.”
Andere smeekbeden waarmee de moslim Allah kan gedenken:
Deze smeekbedes kan je herhalen zoveel als je wil en je hoeft daarvoor niet in staat van (rituele) reinheid te zijn. Ook de menstruerende vrouw kan dus haar tijd hiermee goed benutten.
Zo mag de menstruerende vrouw ook de Koran reciteren vanuit haar memorisatie of vanuit de moshaf, maar wel zonder direct contact te hebben met de moshaf. Ze kan de moshaf aanraken met de tussenkomst van een handschoen, doekje e.d. Of in plaats daarvan reciteert zij de Koran vanaf een scherm, zoals de smartphone, waarbij direct contact wel is toegestaan.
Begunstigd is degene die van elk mogelijk moment gebruikmaakt om zijn Heer te gedenken. Lopend over straat, wachtend op het openbaar vervoer, liggend op de bank enz
Een sunnah en een aanbevolen daad in de laatste tien van Ramadan is de I’tikaaf. Deze houdt in dat de moslim verblijft in de moskee om Allah de meest Verhevene te aanbidden met het gebed, Koran-recitatie, smeekbeden, gedenken van Allah e.d.
Dit was de gewoonte van onze profeet vrede zij met hem en de gewoonten van zijn vrouwen na zijn overlijden.
De aanvang van de I’tikaaf voor wie de gehele tien in de moskee wil doorbrengen is vanaf zonsondergang van de twintigste dag, oftewel de 21e nacht, en eindigt met zonsondergang van de laatste dag van Ramadan, oftewel de nacht van ‘Ied.
Het is ook toegestaan om minder dan tien dagen door te brengen in I’tikaaf, al is het een dag of een aantal uur. Met de intentie van de I’tikaaf gaat deze dan in en met het verbreken van de intentie of het verlaten van de moskee wordt deze beëindigd. Wel wordt er een uitzondering gemaakt voor degene die de moskee verlaat voor een noodzakelijke zaak, zoals naar het wc-gaan of om te eten als dit niet wordt verzorgd door de moskee en ook niet kan worden bezorgd door iemand. Het bezoeken van een zieke valt bij sommige geleerden ook onder de uitzonderingen voor het verlaten van de moskee.
De menstruerende vrouw mag, zoals dat de mening is van de meeste geleerden, niet in de moskee verblijven. Dit betekent dat ze daarom niet kan deelnemen aan de I’tikaaf.
Beste broeders en zusters:
Wellicht dat velen, dan wel niet de meesten, van ons het gevoel hebben dat ze de voorgaande dagen van de Ramadan niet hebben doorgebracht zoals het hoort en zoals Allah daar tevreden mee is. Misschien dat we fanatiek zijn begonnen en langzamerhand zijn afgezwakt …
Misschien dat we niet veel verandering tot stand hebben kunnen brengen en dat we vele goede voornemens niet waar hebben kunnen maken …
Dan is de kans om daar verandering in te brengen nu binnen handbereik. Maak een voor jezelf haalbaar programma voor deze laatste tien en wees verheugd op een mooi einde van deze gezegende maand!
Moge Allah ons allen bijstaan bij het goed benutten van deze gezegende nachten.
Student aan de Universiteit van Medina, Saudi Arabië.
19 Ramadan 1436 / 6 juli 2015
Screenshot from YouTube user Dror Feiler
Pro-Palestinian activists from Freedom Flotilla have published a video showing the moment Israeli troops boarded the ship ‘Marianne av Göteborg’ on Monday last week.
The video shows an Israeli coast guard boat sailing next to the Swedish-flagged activist vessel, which trying to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
One of the soldiers is heard demanding in English that all ‘Marianne’ passengers go to the move to the front of the boat and reduce their speed so that she could be boarded safely.
A flotilla activist is heard replying, “No. I ask you soldier to move from our boat. Don’t threaten us. Go away. You move to the front of the boat. You are not allowed to come on our boat.”
The two parties quarrel for some time about which of them is endangering civilians in this stand-off, after which IDF soldiers board the activists’ boat.
The boarding of ‘Marianne’ was largely peaceful, although the activists complained about the IDF using Taser stunners against them. The episode of violence was caught on camera and published last week.
‘Marianne’ was intercepted in international waters some 85 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, activists reported. It was towed to the port of Ashdod for inspection, while the rest of the flotilla turned back.
It was not the first attempt by pro-Gaza activists to break through the blockade. The first one in 2010 led to an international scandal, as Israeli commandos raided the flotilla, killing eight Turkish nationals and a Turkish-American citizen.
Israel has been maintaining a blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, saying it is needed to prevent arms from being delivered to the Hamas militant movement. Critics say Israel is harassing the Palestinian population by not allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and preventing any sort of sea trade.
(Source / 06.07.2015)
The report noted that the Israeli occupation forces killed at least 42 Palestinians in the same period of 2014
Days of Palestine, West Bank –Israeli occupation forces have killed 23 Palestinians since start of 2015, report released on Sunday said.
At least 23 Palestinians have been killed and another 2,156 arrested by the Israeli occupation forces since January 1, 2015, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) said in a report.
In its report, the PLO added that 131 Palestinian homes had been destroyed in armed operations carried out by the Israeli army in the first half of this year alone.
The report noted that the Israeli occupation forces killed at least 42 Palestinians in the same period of 2014.
In July and August of last year, more than 2,260 Palestinians were killed and 11,000 injured – mostly women and children – during a 51-day Israeli military onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip.
(Source / 06.07.2015)
Syrian refugees living in a Saddam-era prison in Iraq are painting the walls that once held political dissidents.
The art project has encouraged the children in the camp to paint together
Akre, Iraq – In a dimly lit room with high ceilings and no furniture, the brightly coloured paints, spattered onto Soleen Smael’s T-shirt and jeans, look out of place. She is describing the murals that she and other children have painted onto the walls of the refugee camp they live in since they fled Syria with their families two years ago.
“Some of the pictures are about children who are orphans, some are about [ISIL] in Syria,” says 14-year-old Soleen, adding, “For any picture we paint, there is meaning behind it. And we want people to come and ask us about the meaning of our pictures and why we’ve painted them.”
The room that Soleen lives in with her family used to be a prison cell that, under former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, was part of a complex that held political dissidents. Soleen fled ISIL fighters’ advances with her family and 14,000 other Syrians from Qamishli in northern Syria, to Akre in Iraqi Kurdistan.
They have found a temporary home in the town’s former prison, nestled beneath the mountains between Erbil and Dohuk. Iraqi Kurdistan is home to more than 2 million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees, according to UNHCR.
|The project aims to improve the atmosphere of the camp and support the children’s artistic expression|
Every Friday, Soleen and at least a dozen other children who live in the old prison, now known as Akre refugee camp, gather in the midday sun to paint bright murals onto the drab walls of the former prison where more than 240 Syrian families share the cells.
Lucy Tyndell, from New Zealand, is the programme manager of Castle Art, an Erbil-based NGO that began supporting the children’s artwork at the camp in April 2014.
Tyndell says the project’s goals are twofold: To improve the atmosphere of the camp and support the children’s artistic expression. “At our very first session, the students brought drawings they had already done. Two-thirds of their pictures were of death and destruction, people being shot, just horrendous scenes,” recounts Tyndell.
“But after meetings with the community, we decided to focus on positive imagery. So when Nadrine, one of the children involved in the project, shows us a sketch of a bird in a cage that she wants to paint as a mural, for instance, I’ll suggest painting the door of the cage open and the bird flying out.”
|The designs on the camp walls are a testament to the children’s experiences as refugees and their shared memories of Syria|
Volunteer Valeria Bembry says Castle Art children are encouraged to bring original designs each week to paint on the camp’s walls. “They are sort of given homework, so they produce some drawing and then when we show up on Friday, they show the drawings to us, then we pick a wall, find the paint, and say ‘get to it’.”
In the year that the children have been painting their designs, swaths of the camp’s walls have been covered. “I wanted to see how big we could go, how big the kids could express their ideas. And when you say to one of the kids, ‘You know this is actually your sketch,’ taking up an entire wall, they’re really taken aback,” Tyndell says.
|Some of the most recent murals to appear on the camp’s walls show the influence of street artist Banksy|
Castle Art does not identify as an art therapy project, but the designs on the camp walls are a testament to the children’s experiences as refugees and their shared memories of Syria. Even before the ancient Syrian city Palmyra fell to ISIL in May, the project had begun designing a huge rendering of the city, which would showcase the city’s tall columns and the surrounding scenery as the children remembered it.
The project sets out to improve the children’s technique. In the case of the Palmyra mural, Tyndell says the children’s design will encourage them to think of depth and perspective, “creating distance in a painting, shading and light”.
Soleen, who began painting before she fled Syria says Castle Art has introduced her to new artistic ideas too. “In Syria I was already learning how to draw, but what we learned there was different. In Syria, we drew nature and trees, but here what we draw is different, we are learning new things.”
|Adults in the camp say they are relieved their children are engaged in any project that gives them something to look forward to|
Some of the most recent murals to appear on the camp’s walls, staircases and corridors show the influence of street artists Banksy, Thierry Noir, and Stick, since Castle Art Street began leading workshops in street art. “Street art sets out to ridicule structures of oppression,” says Tyndell, “and the children are incorporating these techniques to transform the walls of Saddam-era oppression into something more positive.
“What’s happening here is reminiscent of what happened with the Berlin wall,” says Tyndell. “In East Germany there was a population that wanted to get to the other side of the wall, and that’s exactly what Akre is at the same time. You have a whole group of people here who want a better life and who want to leave, to go home.”
Banky’s artwork on the separation barrier near Bethlehem between Israel and the West Bank has also acted as a template to inspire the children’s artistic expression in Akre and give them hope for life beyond the walls of the former prison.
|‘For any picture we paint, there is meaning behind it,’ says Soleen|
Castle Art volunteers asked the children to paint their dreams and hopes for the future in the cracks in the former prison walls. One child painted a map of Syria.
Adults in the camp say they are relieved their children are engaged in any long-term project that gives them something to look forward to. “When they paint pictures, they forget their problems. It’s important that the project has encouraged the children in the camp to paint together,” one parent told Al Jazeera. “It keeps them busy and so it helps them to forget about the situation here, about what happened to them before.”
Soleen says the project has been important for solidifying community within the camp and helping her find friends. “In the beginning, I didn’t know anyone from the project. But we’ve grown into a family. We take care of each other. Because we paint together, we respect each other.” She hopes the children from the camp will one day be able to exhibit their artwork for visitors. “We want to make a big show and to make more work for this show.”
“Hopefully, one day,” says Bembry, “when everyone is in their own homes, or somewhere else, this facility will remain as a testament to the dark history of the Saddam era, and this change of what these kids did over time. I can see this becoming a museum of sorts, with people coming to learn about who lived here and how they managed to transform this space.”
(Source / 06.07.2015)
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition Hisham Marwa said that “the United States, friends of the Syrian people, even Russia, and all those who support a political solution in Syria, all need to take tangible steps if they are to prove they are serious about reaching a political solution. “It is pointless to repeat calls for resuming peace talks at a time when Assad is relentlessly raining barrel bombs on the Syrian civilians-of which over 300 were dropped on Aleppo Dara’a and Zabadani in just one week, Marwa added.
“We urge the countries that express support for a political solution in Syria to take action and rein in Assad’s bombing of civilians, children and women and the targeting of houses, mosques, churches and hospitals.”
“While Russia has been one of Assad’s most important allies as it supply him with weapons and shield him with its veto power, it today tries to push towards resuming negotiations. We therefore call upon the Russian leadership to today put pressure on Assad to stop dropping his notorious barrel bombs on children women to prove its credibility in finding a political solution in Syria.”
Marwa praised the heroic fight being put up by rebel fighters in Zabadani which is coming under attacks by regime forces and the Hezbollah militia. Over 170 barrel bombs were dropped on the town and its surroundings during the past three days, while rebel fighters, though outgunned and outnumbered, have managed to inflict losses on the attackers.
(Source: Syrian Coalition / 06.07.2015)
Israeli police apprehend a Palestinian man during a protest in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on June 3, 2015
Israeli forces have reportedly arrested six Palestinian men, among them four teachers.
The Palestinians were detained in the village of Hurah on Monday after Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic spy agency, accused them of holding secret meetings and disseminating ISIL ideology among relatives, close friends as well as acquaintances, Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.
This as Israel has itself been accused of helping the Takfiri militants fighting in Syria. According to the documents from Israeli hospitals, until last September, Israel’s military had paid USD 10 million from its budget for the treatment of the terrorists injured during clashes with Syrian government forces.
The documents further revealed that a total of 398 injured militants had also been treated at Galil Hospital in Israel’s northern coastal city of Nahariya in the past couple of years. Another hospital in the city of Safed had provided treatment for hundreds of other Takfiri terrorists.
Israeli forces have detained 550 Palestinians, including women and children, in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the current year.
Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian man in Hawara village, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on April 27, 2015
The detainees, who were arrested in the southern city of al-Khalil (Hebron), included seven women and 105 teenagers, Amjad Najjar, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) in al-Khalil, said on July 2.
The Palestinian official added that 225 of the detainees received sentences through the Israeli practice of the so-called administrative detention, under which Palestinians are kept behind bars without charge or trial for months or even years.
According to Najjar, 78 Palestinian patients “who faced a real life threat as a result of detention” were among the inmates in Israeli jails, where they receive no “medical treatment.”
He noted that Israeli forces treat the Palestinian detainees in a “savage and inhuman way during detention.”
(Source / 06.07.2015)
Palestinian woman holds her daughter as she walks past the ruins of houses, that witnesses said were destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 2, 2015
In the ruins of what used to be his home, Gaza Strip resident Rabah Abu Shanab reflects on what used to be – and what little hope remains.
“We were doing better a year ago,” the 57-year-old said while sitting on a plastic chair in his living room, now just concrete slabs and twisted iron bars.
“The whole world was paying attention to Gaza, but today nobody cares.”
This week marks one year since Israel’s devastating war with Palestinian militants in Gaza, and despite a tacit ceasefire that has largely held, there has been little reason for residents caught up in the conflict to believe their suffering will soon end.
Thousands of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes are yet to be rebuilt, a strict Israeli blockade and tightly controlled borders have added to Gazans’ misery and the risk of yet another conflict remains a threat.
On top of that, internal tensions have seen Salafist extremists in Gaza challenge Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the territory, angry over its ceasefire with Israel and what they see as its lack of zeal in enforcing Islamic law.
Jihadists – and not Hamas – have claimed credit for recent rocket fire into Israel.
They have claimed links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Leavnt (ISIL), and whether or not there is any truth to such statements, their emergence has further complicated the task of setting Gaza on a path to recovery.
Residents find themselves trapped in the besieged coastal enclave, which has seen three wars in six years and where 39 percent of the 1.8-million population lives below the poverty line.
Last year’s 50-day war was the longest and deadliest of the three, with 2,251 Palestinians killed, including 551 children, compared with 73 people on the Israeli side.
“I think what is different after this last conflict than even after the previous two was a much higher sense of hopelessness, that there really was not a feeling that the conditions were going to improve,” said Robert Turner, director of operations in Gaza for U.N. relief agency UNRWA.
“We have not addressed any of the underlying causes, so I think conventional wisdom would be that another conflict becomes inevitable at some point.”
Indirect talks between Hamas and Israel’s right-wing government under Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu with the aim of shoring up the ceasefire – and potentially easing the blockade that has been in part blamed for the slow progress in rebuilding – have not convinced war-weary residents.
For Yahya Zaza, 20, “war has become normal for us.”
“We know that we don’t have any future,” he said of the crowded territory where a population of graduates remains frustratingly unemployed amid the nine-year blockade.
Mohamed Sendawi, 18, spends his days collecting rubble from the war to sell to recyclers, filling his cart to earn 10 shekels ($3). He said he does it “to feed his brothers and sisters.”
A recent poll showed that one in two Gazans wants to leave the territory, a sentiment that has also led to tragedy, with many residents seeking to emigrate illegally drowning in the Mediterranean. Israel and Egypt allow few people through the land borders they control.
When the conflict finally ended last year, Hamas proclaimed “victory” despite the destruction, while Israel said it had fulfilled its objectives of destroying tunnels dug by militants and halting rocket fire.
Gazans today sneer at such claims of victory in a war that wiped out entire families, while rocket fire has continued to occur and Islamist militants have shown off their tunnels to the news media.
Political scientist Mukhaimer Abu Saada said it is difficult to name any significant gains for either side, apart from the fact that “now the parties are aware that there is no military solution and that they will have to sit down and talk.”
But even recent indirect contacts between Hamas and Israel have led to fallout.
The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority led by president Mahmud Abbas chafed at being excluded from the talks, and Abbas has sought to remake the Palestinian unity government put in place last year in an attempt to end a years-long split with Hamas.
Hamas official Ahmed Yousef said: “All the ingredients are there for an explosion: Reconstruction has not begun and the war showed that it was not a solution since the situation is worse than before.”
It has created a vacuum that the jihadists have sought to fill, and signs of danger are apparent. ISIL fighters are battling Egyptian soldiers just over the border in Sinai, and some Gazans have left to fight in Syria.
Before last year’s war, two thirds of the Gaza population depended on food aid and more than 40 percent was unemployed, said the U.N.’s Turner.
“None of that has improved,” he said. “For the reconstruction of homes, we have money for 200 homes… but we need to rebuild about 7,000.”
Rights activist Essam Younes said: “Gazans are being treated like guinea pigs: We are mixing humiliation with confinement and waiting to see the result.”
The only thing that is sure is that it will be dangerous because people are increasingly edgy.”
(Source / 05.07.2015)