Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh in a speech aired by Al Jazeera on Jan. 9 called on global Islamic scholars to “build on” the “victory” of Oct. 7, 2023, by supporting the “resistance” in their home countries.
Speaking at a conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) in Doha, Qatar, Haniyeh said that donations to the Gaza Strip were not humanitarian aid but “financial jihad,” adding, “the time has come for the jihad of the swords.”
The following are excerpts from his speech, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute:
The scholars of our [Islamic] nation have a pivotal role, on two fronts: The first front is supporting the resistance. Brothers and sisters, the whole world is pouring weapons on the occupation. The whole world is not afraid to do so. There are air bridges from multiple capital cities which reach the occupation, as well as aircraft and so on and so forth. This has become an individual obligatory [Islamic] duty, which we must perform.
Like the scholars have mentioned, there are fatwas [Islamic religious rulings] to this effect, and there are motivating statements. There is verbal jihad, which is jihad by the tongue, but indeed, the time has come for jihad of the swords. This is the battle for Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and not the battle of the Palestinian people, or Gaza, or the people in Gaza.
The people of Gaza constitute our front line trench for defense as well as for offense. They are not there only to defend, but also to attack. What was Oct. 7 if not a front line trench for an offensive by our nation?
We must not let this moment slip away. The time has come. Oh, sons of our Islamic nation, oh, free people of the world, there are very few historic moments like this. Do not let this moment slip away. Our nation and our Islamic scholars have very few historic moments like this. Do not let this moment slip away, because if it does, we do not know how many decades will pass before such a moment returns.
Time is on our side. At the beginning of this aggression, the Americans were waving a big stick in the face of the world, and even in the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities in some European countries—some of their prominent Palestinian or Arab figures were summoned and were told not to raise the Palestinian flag or do anything. But the language of the same countries has now changed. Why has it changed? Because of the [Palestinian] steadfastness. Were it not for this steadfastness, the conscience of the world would have been crushed. Brothers, we should build on this steadfastness. We should hold on to the victory that took place on Oct. 7 and build upon it.
The Islamic scholars can establish groups and delegations on multiple levels. These delegations would meet the officials of the countries in which they live—government officials, political parties, civil society, institutions—and fulfill their duty in their own countries. They can even lead the masses [in protests].
That’s for one. Secondly, [we should] form special delegations that will meet with the heads of state in the Arab, Muslim and even Western countries. They should visit countries and talk about Palestine, Jerusalem, Gaza and the need to stop the aggression against the Gaza Strip.
The second issue is the call to donate money. Dear brothers and sisters, let us call this “financial jihad.”
The Islamic nation does not make “donations.” This is not just a humanitarian issue, despite its immense importance and Gaza’s need for any aid it can get. This is financial jihad. We should revive this principle of Islamic jurisprudence in our Islamic nation—the notion of waging jihad with one’s life and one’s money.