During Ramadan and fasting, it’s Sunnah to break your fast with dates. However, there is a campaign to boycott certain dates because the manufacturers are either directly or indirectly responsible and supporting the illegal occupation of Palestine the oppression of the Palestinians. By buying their dates, you will be helping to continue the occupation of Muslim lands in Palestine.
I have copied the below article from the Friends of Al-Aqsa website:
This Ramadan, Don’t Break your Fast with an Israeli Date
Ramadan is a time of year when we remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It would be an affront if at such a time we helped support oppression
Every year, Israel exports millions of pounds worth of dates to the world, which many people unknowingly buy and use to break their fasts. These dates are grown in illegal settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, on land that has been stolen from Palestinians. By buying these dates, we are in fact helping Israel to continue its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people.
For this reason, Friends of Al Aqsa will again be launching the ‘Check the Label’ Campaign.
Volunteer to be an ambassador for the Check the Label Campaign in your area. This will mean you will help promote the campaign in your area. This will include distributing leaflets, speaking to shop owners, setting up stalls and much more. become an Ambassador and order your free literature to help spread the word.
Check The Label
Most of the major supermarkets will stock dates produced in Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Dates produced in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley are from Illegal Israeli Settlements and should also be boycotted.
Making Money from the Occupation
- Dates were Israel’s leading fruit export, most of which come to Europe
- The total income for Israel from dates in a year is approximately €80 million.
You can order your FREE Check The Label literature here
The Palestinian Call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions
Inspired by the struggle of South Africans against apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression,
We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.
These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian peoples inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
- Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
- Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
- Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Click here for the full text and endorsements
Israelis will claim that Palestinians are allowed to work on the land of these settlers and therefore they are provided with jobs and a boycott will harm them. In actual fact, these Palestinians are employed for paltry wages, and they are required to do the back-breaking work that the Israeli settlers will not do themselves. This means the Israeli settlers reap the rewards for the harvests while doing very little of the work themselves.
Palestinian children are employed by these settlers, and they are forced to work long hours under a hot baking sun for small sums of money. This exploitation means that these children miss out on an education.
Alternatives to Israeli Dates
There are plenty of varieties of dates from various other countries to break your fast. However if you would like Medjoul dates from Palestine and help the Palestinian farmers they are available from YAFFA. YAFFA source there dates from Palestine and FOA are helping YAFFA distribute dates this Ramadhan.
Another provider is Zaytoun, www.zaytoun.org
There are two stages to this campaign:
Stage 1 – Contact and inform the wholesalers and shops.
Stage 2 – Contact and inform consumers.
FOA have sent letters to over 1000 wholesalers and shops but we need your help to add the personal touch as that is the best method to encourage people to join the campaign.
There are 6 steps to this stage. We would like you to:
- If you can try and involve family and friends in the campaign.
- Print letters for Wholesalers and Shop Owners: Click here for the letter.
- Order Check the Label posters and postcards from firstname.lastname@example.org so you can put poster up on shop windows and leave postcards on the counter (with permission)
- Identify the wholesalers, importers and shops in your area hand deliver the wholesaler/shop letters supplied by FOA. Inform them about Israeli human rights abuses (you can give them of FOA leaflets).
- Tell wholesalers and shop owners about the concept of boycotting and how it has worked e.g. South Africa. Ask them to boycott dates from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Explain West Bank and Jordan Valley are illegally occupied and buying dates from there would mean they are supporting the occupation of Palestine.
- Let them know that they can buy dates from many other countries, but if they want to buy medjoul dates from Palestine they can contact email@example.com, (+44) (0)116 2125 441 or Zaytoun on (+44) (0)207 609 5699
- Keep in touch with the shops that you have approached and continue to encourage and support them to join the campaign.
- Write down addresses of shops which agree to support the campaign so we can write a letter to them to thank them for their support.
- Take pictures of the campaign and keep head office updated on your work in your locality.
Most of the people we have approached during the Check the Label campaign did not know dates are from Israel and also did not know that dates labelled West Bank or the Jordan Valley should also be Boycotted. Once they were told, the overwhelming majority of people were happy to join the boycott.
Boycott is about people power. We need your help to inform people they should ‘Check the Label’ and boycott dates from Israel, West Bank and Jordan Valley.
- If you can try and involve family and friends in the campaign.
- Print letters for mosques and organisations : Click here for the letter
- Order Check the Label posters and postcards from here so you can put poster up on shop windows and leave postcards on the counter (with permission).
- Identify Mosques and Community Centres in your area and hand deliver the Mosque/organisation letter supplied by FOA. Inform them about Israeli human rights abuses (you can give them of FOA leaflets).
- Tell the mosque/ community centre contact about the concept of boycotting and how it has worked e.g. South Africa. Ask them to boycott dates from Israel, West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Explain West Bank and Jordan Valley are illegally occupied and buying dates from there would mean they are supporting the occupation of Palestine.
- Ask them if you can leave leaflets at the entrance and put up a poster
- Organise a time with friends and family to distribute outside the mosque after prayers, especially after Friday prayers.
- Let FOA know when you are planning to distribute outside mosques so we can try and co-ordinate with other volunteers.
- Contact your local newspaper and your local radio Ramadhan to let them know what is happening. Take photos when it is appropriate and send updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. It is during this month that the Shayateen are locked away in chains, that the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed and Laylat-ul-Qadr is to be found:
‘The month of Ramadan, in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between what is right and wrong)’ Surat Al-Baqarah v185
‘Verily! We have sent it (the Qur’an) down in Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than one thousand months..’ Surat Al-Qadr, v1-3
‘When the month of Ramadan arrives, the doors of Heaven are opened, the doors of Hell are closed and the devils put under chains.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
Benefits of Fasting and Ramadan
Allah Commanded us to fast. It’s the one deed that is purely for Allah alone. And the benefits of fasting are many:
The Prophet (pbuh) said that Allah said: ‘The Fast is for Me and I will give the reward for it, as he (the one who observes the fast) leaves his sexual desire, food and drink for My Sake. Fasting is a screen (from hell), and there are two moments of pleasure (moments of happiness or joys) for a fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord. And the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better in Allah’s Sight than the smell of musk.’ [Bukhari]
Allah declared: ‘O you have believed! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).’ Surat Al-Baqarah v183
‘Whoever observes (fasts) during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s Rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.’ [Bukhari & Muslim]
Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadaan then follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be like fasting for a lifetime.” [Sahih Muslim]
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Whoever fasts Ramadaan, a month is like ten months, and fasting six days after al-Fitr will complete the year.” [Ahmad]
‘Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: My nation is given 5 privileges in the month of Ramadan that no nation was given before:
- The khaloof (odour of the mouth of a fasting person) is sweeter in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk
- The angels keep praying to Allah to forgive the fasting people until they break their fast
- Allah decorates Paradise every day saying to it ‘My righteous slaves are about to be comforted of their burdens and sufferings and enter you’
- The Shayateen are chained during this month
- Sins of the believers are forgiven by the last night of Ramadan. [Muslim]
Free Campaign Literature
Check the Label Campaign Video
Coverage of Last Years Campaign:
Stand Up 4 Islam!
Other Ramadan Posts:
Ramadan 2011: Make a change in this month of fasting
Ramadan 2011: Some Do’s and Don’t's
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