Israel-Palestine War Untold Stories

Untold Stories Special: Prayer is the Weapon that Will Save Us

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Iwad Q., Gaza

All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. With His help, we seek assistance, in Him, we place our trust, and to Him is the final destination. 

The situation is beyond catastrophic; it’s not a war, it’s a genocide. They’re targeting civilians indiscriminately. Entire families have been killed, erased from records; it’s like they were never there. 

Entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed and reduced to rubble, leaving the inhabitants trapped underneath. There’s no safe haven except seeking refuge with Allah; schools, clinics, bakeries, shopping centres, residential buildings – all have been obliterated. The majority of the martyrs, more than 75%, were children, women and the elderly.

There’s no energy left – no electricity, no gas, not even firewood to light a small flame. 

Most residents had left their homes due to threats to leave, so we gathered together, locked our house, and walked with the people fleeing on the roads, in the hope of finding a safe place outside the city. 

We tried to find a car to give us a lift, but after many attempts, no one would stop for us. After finding no other means of transport, we walked 4-6 kilometres until we reached the nearest school outside our city. It was a school close to the Indonesian hospital. On the first night, the children slept inside a classroom without any bedding, while the rest of us slept on the ground, using cardboard boxes to shield ourselves from the cold. 

After a few minutes of sleep, intense shelling began from all directions, and we had to endure continuous bombing sounds and ground tremors. We became accustomed to such scenes, and after the long walk and exhaustion from carrying children and some personal belongings such as milk, children’s clothing etc.

Prayer is the only weapon we have. I pray for an end to bloodshed, mass killings, displacement, and starvation.

One day, we were cut off from water for two days. So, after dinner, my son and I went to fetch water, despite the late hour. Desalination stations were either disabled or closed. We walked a long distance until we reached a water station, only to find it closed. A young man, whom I had asked about the station’s location, took a water container and filled it from his house. We returned to the school, where we sought refuge, feeling relieved. I told my son, ‘I feel that there are thousands of sincere people praying for us.’ He smiled and said, ‘I feel it too.’ 

It’s really important to listen to the words of His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba). Remember what he said some years ago when he warned about wars, disasters and bloodshed? Well, it’s happening all around us now.

A message for your readers: your contribution may save a family from death, bring joy to a small child’s face, or provide shelter for a family. Dear friends, if we practise Zakat during peaceful times to alleviate poverty in our communities, then what about times like these – when an entire nation is being slaughtered and the whole world is watching and we have no one to help us but Allah the Almighty? It’s a really difficult time. Remember that whoever relieves his brother’s distress, Allah will relieve his distress on the Day of Judgement. Your help may be added to the record of your deeds and be a means for you to enter paradise.

What we need most: tents, clothing, food, water, heavy blankets (we face harsh winter conditions). Many people sleep on the ground without covering, or with inadequate blankets, sheets, pillows, or mattresses. There’s a water shortage; the water we have is unfit for drinking because desalination stations have stopped working due to fuel shortages. We lack storable food items like various types of dates. 

I’d like to conclude by thanking from the bottom of my heart our respected brother Muhammad Sharif Odeh, who we’ve always found to be like a loving father, always at the forefront, always supportive in these crises and hard times. We ask Allah the Almighty, for well-being, lasting goodness, blessings, and health for everyone. May Allah bless your efforts and accept them. Ameen.

About the author: Iwad Q. is a resident of Gaza