The official Israeli Arabic Twitter account shared Quranic verses from Surah Al-Fil (verses 1 to 4) alongside imagery of a missile attack in Rafah City, Gaza, supposedly justifying their attack. The tweet received huge backlash and was taken down as it was seen as a mockery of the Palestinians and their faith. However, the backlash might not have been the only reason.
Ever since the event of Sheikh Jarrah, Palestine-Israel tensions reached an all-time high. They eventually reached a point where Muslim protestors were attacked during prayer in Masjid Aqsa due to ‘inciting violence.
The situation was further propelled since it was during the month of Ramadhan, the holiest month for Muslims. The attacks even continued during Eid-Ul-Fitr, a day celebrated in Islam. This resulted in the conflict getting global attention with protests in many major Muslim countries.
Before uploading the tweet, the account handlers must have expected the response considering the current situation in the region. The English Translation of the verses reads as follows:
“Do you [Prophet Muhamad] not see how your Lord dealt with the army of the elephant?
“Did He not utterly confound their plans?
“He sent ranks of birds against them, pelting them with pellets of hard-baked clay”.
The verses quoted narrate how when the Army of King Abraha attacked the Holy Kabah with elephants (‘fil’ in Arabic), Allah sent an army of birds that pelted the aggressors with small rocks that resulted in their destruction.
The tweet intended to compare the Israeli army with the birds (Gods Army) and the supposed targets of the missile attacks, the Hamas with the army of Abraha (enemies of God himself). Considering how Jeruslam is a very Holy place to the Muslims, with Masjid Al-Aqsa being the religion’s 3rd holiest site, the purpose of the message seemed clear.
However, they probably missed one key detail about that specific Surah. Its primary purpose was not to talk about the attack itself. The year the army attacked was also the birth year of the Prophet Muhammad (570 AD).
The main message of the Surah was that the birth of the Prophet was prophesied and how he and the city were both under Allah’s direct protection confirming his prophethood. This gave him divine credibility proving him to the successor of Moses and his mission to spread the word of God.
These are things that the extreme right-wing zionists of Israel completely deny. It goes directly against their faith and beliefs. The conflict in the region is primarily a religious one. While being a holy place to the Muslims, the importance of Jerusalem to Jews is paramount.
It is essential to their faith and identity like Makkah and Medina is to Muslims. They claim that the land initially named Judea is their birthright and was taken away from them by foreign invaders by force.
While the tweet did make a mockery of the Muslim suffering, it also Ironically mocked the Jewish people by confirming that which they deny, hinting as to why it was taken down so quickly.