The Murabiteen and Murabitat, or Murabitoun, or Murabito Al-Aqsa are groups or individuals from Al-Quds city (Jerusalem) and its surroundings, and [Palestinian] Muslim citizens of the occupied lands in 1948. They devoted themselves and their time to stay at Al Aqsa Mosque to guard its gates and protect it from attacks by “Israeli” soldiers, Jewish extremists and radical settlers. The Murabiteen represent different generations and various political and cultural backgrounds, their illimitable love of al-Aqsa unites them all together; elderly people, young men and women besides the students who memorize and recite the holy Quran and attend the Sharia lessons on al-Aqsa terraces.
Significance and role of Murabiteen
Basically, the importance of Ribat is not leaving al-Aqsa Mosque empty of worshipers and visitors, especially in the morning and afternoon or during the Jewish festivals, where the number of intruders and their aggressions increases, and also the number of their attempts to perform Jewish rituals in al-Aqsa. At this time, the role of Murabiteen clearly demonstrates to stop and confront the Jewish intruders and to prevent the imposition of the temporal and spatial division of al-Aqsa Mosque which the occupation seeks to impose it as the status quo in al-Aqsa, just as it happened previously in al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron city. Therefore, the Murabiteen are the frontline defense on behalf of millions of Arabs and Muslims to guard and defend al-Aqsa Mosque.
Ribat in al-Aqsa aims to achieve a permanent Islamic presence to defend and protect it, and to show respect to its holy status. The murabiteen therefore are compelled to leave their jobs and devote themselves to this mission. Some of them make ribat as their permanent work and jihad in al-Aqsa Mosque. They confront the storming by their empty hands and bare chests, as well as their throats that praise and scream in the face of the intruders and aggressors “Allahu Akbar” – God is Great -!
In that regard, the murabiteen achieved remarkable results. In addition to obstructing the partition project, they are always in the frontline of defense to confront the occupation and defend the mosque on behalf of the nation (Umma). The Murabiteen and Murabitat have become an icon and a source of inspiration and motivation for many activists around the world because of their steadfastness and determination to keep themselves associated with al-Aqsa Mosque despite the persecution, physical abuse, attacks and arrests. There are several names among the murabitat who succeeded in transmitting al-Aqsa news and actions. They also conveyed the messages of al-Aqsa through attending the international conferences, public meetings or using social media sites. Sheikh Raed Salah, who devoted his life, time and effort to al-Aqsa is considered as the leader of the murabiteen. There are many others of murabiteen such as Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib and other leaders of the Islamic Movement, as well as the murabitat such as; Khadija Khois, Hanadi Halawani, Zina Amro, Sahar al-Natsheh, Samiha Shaheen, um-Ihab al-Jallad.