Shaikh Ahmad Yaseen, founder of the Islamic Resistance movement (Hamas) and recognised as leader of Palestine's Islamic movement, addressed this message to the Ummah on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
To the Arab and Muslim Peoples in general, and the Palestinian People specifically on the occasion of the blessed `Eidul-Adhaa.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon the Prophet (saw) and his family and companions (ra), and all those who call to his way, until the Day of Judgement.
Assalaamu `alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.
O Muslims in the East and West: on the occasion of the Blessed Eid ul-Adha I turn to you from the field of confrontation that has been forced upon our isolated people. I turn to you, and around me are those who 'have been true to their covenant with Allah, of them are those who have fulfilled it, and of them are those who wait, and they do not waver in the slightest.' (33: 23).
They were men who excelled in creating glory for their ummah. They were not put off by the impotence of the ummah in assisting them, from continuing in the train of offering themselves. Nor did the assault by Zionist gangs increase them except in resolution and persistence. They persist in seeking to attain shahaadah (martyrdom), just as the Jews persist in trying to preserve their lives. I turn to you, while the insistence of the Muslim women in Palestine increases day after day, calling to shahaadah in the way of Allah, feeling envy for the men and the opportunities they have to reach the heights of nobility.
O Muslims everywhere, we have promised Allah, here in Palestine, to continue the jihad despite the pain of our wounds, the tears of bereft mothers, orphans and widows, the weight of shackles on the wrists of thousands of prisoners in the prisons of the occupation. Despite the coercion and siege, despite the destruction and ruin, we will continue the jihad by the will of Allah, even if the powers of evil lie in wait for us in the Zionist-dominated world. We will continue the jihad, even if help from our ummah, that is the best of umam [plural of ummah] is not forthcoming. Do we have a choice, while our land is violated, al-Quds is defiled and our population suffers the humiliation of occupation?
O Muslims, why has your ummah split into so many strands, due to the incitement of those who have the most animosity to those who believe? Why are our Muslim populations slaughtered in Palestine, in the Philippines, in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in Chechnya, in Iraq, and everywhere? Why is our honour violated? Why are our riches pillaged, our women made vulnerable and our sanctuaries defiled? Indeed the reason is that we have deviated in our path, and abandoned the Book of Allah, so we no longer learn from the saying of Allah 'azza wa jalla: 'And hold (all) fast onto the rope of Allah together, and do not split' (3:103) B a route to unite our dispersion.
Nor do we learn from His saying: 'And prepare from them what you are able of strength and the ties of horses, to strike fear into the enemies of Allah and your enemies' (8:60), an obligation that should increase our determination. Nor do we learn, from His saying 'So do not weaken and call to peace until you are the uppermost, and Allah is with you, and will never put you in loss of your good deeds' (47:35), an ethic to reactivate in us the potential of honour and nobility.
America is infuriated by its disaster, and wages a terrorist campaign on the Muslim ummah in Afghanistan and on the Islamic movements that take part in jihad everywhere. Our innocents are killed in all parts of the world, and who avenges their blood? Where are the responsible ones in the ummah?
Where are its kings? Where are its leaders and chiefs? The ummah calls you, and al-Quds calls you'Waa Mu`tasimaah!' [a call for victory], so is there someone to answer? It is incumbent upon us to use all our resources to confront the attack on our ummah. 'Indeed Allah has bought of the believers their souls and their wealth, that for them is Paradise. They fight in the Way of Allah, so they kill and are killed.' (9:111).
O sons of Islam everywhere, jihad is a fard 'ayn [individual obligation] upon you, to establish the Rule of Allah on earth, and to liberate your lands and yourselves from the hegemony of America and its Zionist allies. It is your battle, and either victory or shahaadah [is your fate].
So [choose] either a life that pleases a friend, or a death that enrages the enemy. Keep your covenant with Allah: 'So whoever violates his oath does so to the harm of his own soul, and whoever fulfils that which he has taken as a covenant with Allah, then Allah will surely grant him a great reward' (48:10).
O Muslims, O Believers, we must prepare ourselves for a long battle; this century is the century of Islam, the century of victory, insha'Allah. And these oppressive thrones shall fall, by Allah's Will and our resolution and sacrifice. And we will be the coming power insha' Allah. And Allah was Truthful when He said: 'And such are the days that We alternate between people.' (3:140) So keep your covenant with Allah, and Allah will be with you.
Aqoolu qawli haadhaa wa astaghfirullaaha li wa lakum. [I say this speech of mine, and seek forgiveness from Allah for me and for you]. 'And Allah has Full Power and Control over His affairs, but most people do not know' (12:21).
Allahu Akbar, and Honour is for Allah, His Prophet and the Believers.
And indeed it is jihad, then victory or martyrdom.
Wassalaamu `alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.
Shaikh Ahmad Yaseen
Founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement HAMAS,
7 Dhul Hijjah 1422AH
(19 February 2002CE).