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Nur ar-Ramadan

Tarawih Iraqis Invoke Allah Against Occupiers
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By Samir Haddad, IOL Correspondent

BAGHDAD, IslamOnline.net

Tarawih prayers in Ramadan are a chance for Muslims to supplicate, ask for God’s forgiveness and even for earthly wishes, but for a country suffering from insecurity, chaos and violence, invoking Allah’s wrath against foreign troops occupying their homeland tops the list.

“Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to pray for Allah at hard times more than usual. In Iraq now, what could be worse than occupation?” Sheikh Nehad Hekmat Al-Habbori, the Al-Hadi mosque imam told IslamOnline.net.

He further saw the US occupation, intensive Jewish and Christian presence in Iraq as the “worst catastrophe” that hit the Arab, Muslim country.

“All imams (leading prayers) should make their supplications consistent with the hard times and difficult conditions Iraq and Iraqis are going through.

“Imams should explicitly invoke Allah against the occupiers. The Prophet (PBUH) himself invoked Allah against the Jews and tribes plotting against Islam.”

Sheikh Omar Al-Shabib, imam of Al-Sa’don mosque, agrees.

“Iraq suffers from occupation and a list of related diseases; hypocrites, spies, detainees, captives, bombardment and killing of innocent children and women. We need to specify our supplications to Allah to mention all these crises during Tarawih prayers.”

Mosques of Fallujah  have been unusually deserted during the Muslim holy month this year as people fled the city to avoid a reported US massive onslaught, under the pretext of arresting Abu Mosaab Al-Zarqawi and his followers.

Support for MujahedeenOther Iraqi imams go even further by supplicating explicitly for Allah’s support to be with the Iraqi resistance against US occupation forces.

“We openly pray for Allah to support the resistance,” Sheikh Fayek Al-Tikriti, Al-Yassin mosque imam told IslamOnline.net.

“May Allah support the Mujahideen and help them.”

On peoples’ reaction when an imam does that, in light of the fact that the US forces and the ally the interim government refuse to accept the presence of resistance. They rather refer to fighters as “militants, insurgents or terrorists”.

Such explicit supplications sometimes cause controversy among Iraqis.

“Some prayers show great sympathy and approval. Their tears even run when I call for Allah to support the Mujahedeen,” Al-Tikriti said.

“Others, however, express their fears the mosque might be targeted by US forces.”

Al-Tikriti believes those fearful Iraqis are Iraq’s “true defeat”.Supplication

As performing the Tarawih prayers during the dawn-to-dusk fasting month, the Iraqi prayers burst into tears when supplicating for Allah to end occupation of Iraq, support the resistance and save the war-ravaged country from daily bloody massacres.

“May Allah plunge the United States into decay and target it with punishment. We resort to You Almighty to protect us from their evils and make their malicious aggressions backfire on them,” an Iraqi imam gave an example of how he invokes Allah against the United States.

In response to a question regarding supplications against non-Muslims during prayers, Muslim scholars had said that when imams do supplicate, it is directed against the oppressors among non-Muslims  and aims at those who launch war against Muslims and against humanity.

Other Iraqi imams invoke Allah against those who collaborate with the US occupation.

“May Allah expose those who betrayed Muslims and the Iraqi people. May the Almighty make the enemies they sided with be the tool for their punishment.”

Other imams supplicate for Allah to support the Iraqi resistance. “May Allah support the Mujahedeen and destroy the unfaithful and hypocrites.”

Several Iraqi towns, particularly Fallujah, come under almost daily attacks by the US forces under claims of searching for resistance fighters.

In April, at least 700 Iraqis, mostly women and children, were killed and 1,500 others injured in Fallujah when the US occupation forces imposed a tight siege on the town and intensified air strikes on its densely-populated areas.

On September 18, Amnesty International blasted the US for its barbaric raids on Fallujah.

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