At the blessed terraces of Al-Aqsa a woman dedicated herself to the study of sharia and Islamic jurisprudence. Having been living some part of her life there enables her to learn every single details and corners of the first Islamic Qibla by heart. She later developed a strong attachment towards the holy site and thus making her determined to protect it at all costs. She then became one of the precious servants of Al-Aqsa and a courageous murabitah in the holy mosque’s courtyards. Her fight for the cause continues until today despite being critically ill from cancer. Israeli occupation to her, is the worst and most dangerous “cancer” that must be uprooted from the holy city of peace and purity. She is the murabitah Samiha Shaheen.
Empty spot without her
Murabitah Shaheen was imprisoned twelve times; twice in Ramleh prison. During her first detention, she was interrogated for five hours. The arrest was a failed attempt as the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) did not manage to make Shaheen confess to the false accusation they made. She was later released on bail and kept away from her beloved mosque for 15 days. The second arrest took place inside her heaven, the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself. The mosque was stormed by the IOF troops and it was the toughest on her. The murabitah was severely beaten to the point that her ribs were fractured. She still suffers from these fractures to this day. She was writhing in pain at the times of interrogation, but to no avail. The Israeli interrogator in return screamed at her, saying: “Enough pretending!”. She was then expelled away from Al-Aqsa Mosque for months.
According to Shaheen, the goal of the Israeli’s occupation practices of banning the murabitahs is to empty Al-Aqsa Mosque from the people, so that the Israeli settlers can infiltrate into the mosque without any inconvenience, perform their Talmudic rites, and commit their immoral violations there.
For several times, these women have managed to resist. They thwarted these incursions, prevented the extremist Jewish settlers from performing their Talmudic rituals and drinking alcohol in the mosque. With the word of takbeer as their only weapon, they managed to cast the settlers out of the virtuous squares of Al-Aqsa.
Shaheen had her favourite ribat spot in Al-Aqsa, where her day used to begin at the early hour of Fajr until the Zuhr prayer. After performing Fajr prayer, she would usually lay her prayer rug somewhere in between the Bab Ar-Rahmah and the Dome of the Rock. She would recite the Quran and supplicate until the time for Dhuha prayer came. Right after that, she would prepare herself for her daily battle with the IOF soldiers. The murabitah became the major stumbling block to the first group of the intruders, who would usually come to perform their rituals. This brave woman would stand strong with firm belief in her faith and chant takbeer, annoying the intruders. Due to her act, she was repeatedly expelled and prevented from entering the mosque, restricting her ribat only at the gates of the mosque.
Her illness did not stop her
The battle between her and the occupation reached another level as her father-in-law’s house was stormed, and she was summoned to meet the Israeli Intelligence on 10th of April 2016.
After a long dispute, they tried to get her signature on a document made for her 6-months expulsion from the holy mosque and the gates leading to it. The Intelligence claimed that Shaheen was behind all the troubles in the mosque. Refused to sign, her ID card was consequently confiscated, and later returned.
That day was so harsh on Shaheen that she felt a lot of oppression and resentment. A lot of questions came to her mind; how come she is being deprived from visiting the place she loves so much? Why are the Muslim worshipers are prevented from entering it while foreigners and strangers are free to do so? She kept asking herself until she arrived home that night. She prayed Isha, turned her worries over to Allah and slept after a long thinking. When she woke up in the middle of the night to pray Tahajjud, she fainted injuring her feet. After waited for quite some time and went through several medical check-ups, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She had to stay for four months at the hospital to receive treatment and later continue the treatment at home.
Our responsibility towards Al-Aqsa
Undoubtedly, Shaheen is suffering an excruciating pain due to her illness. But to her, to be banned from entering the holy mosque is more painful. She is allowed to come to the holy site only on Fridays along with other Muslim worshipers. Yet, she is still very keen to urge other women to pray at Al-Aqsa and do ribat.
Shaheen concluded by asking other Muslims to pray for peace and safety of Al-Aqsa and to support the murabitin by all means. “We are responsible for Al-Aqsa, and as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects.”