Respected Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, As-Salamu `alaykum.
Your Eminence must have been following what is going on at present in political circles and the negotiations over deals between the Palestinians and the Israeli Zionists on the so-called outstanding issues, including the issue of refugees and their right to return to their land and homes from which they were driven out illegitimately to be scattered over the whole world. Despite the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and the Security Council that give refugees the right to return to their homes and property, we see Israel refusing to recognize this uncontestable right and saying that it would allow only a few thousand refugees to return, and only under conditions and terms laid down by itself. As to other four million refugees scattered in the world, whose number may even be more than that, they have no right to return in Israel’s view, and may be compensated for not returning to their homeland with some billions of dollars, a part of which would be given to individuals and the other would go to the Palestinian State.
Our question to Your Eminence, for which we want a straightforward, clear answer, is: May a Palestinian give up his land to Israel and the Zionists, and accept compensation for this land, however high the compensation might be, or he may not do that?
Some people have said in this respect, “Let us be realistic about this issue. If we do not have the power by which to reclaim our land, let us take compensation for it, enjoying and making use of it, instead of wasting the chance. Is this sort or logic acceptable from the point or view of Shari`ah?
Please explain this matter to us, in order to put minds at rest, dissipate their doubts and eliminate confusion and uncertainty for those people who are targeted by those who are trying to sow the seeds of doubts in their minds, those people who feel the whispers of jinns and men in their hearts. May Allah guide your steps and make you useful to Muslims everywhere.
Name of Counsellor: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Topic: Jihad: Rulings & Regulations
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.
Answering the question you raised, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states:"
"The answer to your question is that a Muslim may sell land that is owned by him to whom he wants at the price that he wants, if he is selling it to a citizen like himself. He may also concede it for a material or moral return, or for no return by granting it or giving it as charity or something of the sort, if he is conceding it to a citizen like himself. For in this case, while the land would be changing hands, it would remain generally within the circle of public property of the Ummah of Islam, i.e. within the house of Islam, and the deed to it would not be shifting to another nation and out of the house of Islam.
As to selling the land or conceding it for any compensation, however high it may be, to another nation, be it represented by a state or the nationals of that state, it would be wrong by all means, for the Muslim in this case would be giving the one compensating him the right to move the deed to Muslim land to another nation. Such action would be particularly wrong when the nation in question is the enemy, who drove the Muslim out of his land by force and fire, shedding blood in the process. This way, the Muslim land would be going out of the house of Islam into the house of Islam’s enemies.
Waiving the right to Muslim land is not only haram, it is one of the gravest sins, which make those who do them commit the great unbelief, may Allah the Almighty spare us such fate.
The sin is compounded if it is committed in collective way, for it would be like a people selling their homeland in public auction, and homelands are not for sale, even if the price is all the gold on earth.
The situation is even more serious when the homeland in question is the land of sanctums and the place where the Messages were sent down to the Prophets, the land that Allah has blessed for mankind.
Furthermore, this land does not belong to those who own it and hold the deed to it; it is not the property of the Palestinian people alone, so that they may sell it if they become weak and agree to sell it. In fact, it is the property of the Muslim nation in all parts of the world, and should be defended with life and every means at the disposal of Muslims.
This land does not even belong to this generation alone, so that if this generation is weakened and agrees to give up its sacred places and sanctums, it should not impose its weakness and humiliation on the coming generations. It has no right whatsoever to concede the property, rights and sanctums of the coming generations to the enemies of the Ummah.
There are actions that individuals may take, but only because these actions relate to their individual rights and personal affairs. As to those actions that relate to the Ummah and its destiny as a whole, including the ownership of land, no individual or individuals have the right to take them by disposing of the land or conceding it by any means.
Islam stipulates for Muslims a requisite religious duty if a part of their land is usurped, i.e. entered and occupied by force by their enemies. This duty is that Muslims should go to war to restore that part and drive the enemy out of it whatever the cost. Such fighting is a duty for all the people of the country, men and women alike, to the extent that a wife may go to such war without taking her husband’s permission and a son may go to it without his father’s permission, because the right of the group has precedence over the right of the individual.
The Ummah should also go to war if it is driven out of its home, fighting its way back into these homes, as ordered by Allah: “How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?” (Al Baqarah: 246)
As to the logic of the meek, who say “we must accept the compensation because we do not have the power with which to reclaim the land,” their logic is even weaker than their position. Those who do not have the power today may have it tomorrow. Therefore, they can say no with all their might and refuse to give up their land, just as they should not give up their honor, and prepare for tomorrow is another day, and things are bound to change sooner or later. Allah the Almighty has set forth this rule: “Such days (of varying fortunes) we give to men and women by turns…” (Al `Imran: 140)
What may be done for the Palestinian refugees is to compensate them for the long years of suffering over more than a half-century that they, their sons and their grandchildren have spent away from their homes as homeless and lost people. This gives them every right to be compensated for the material, psychological, moral and religious damage they have sustained as a result of expulsion of their homes, which Allah has put into one context with murder, saying: “If we had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it…” (An-Nisa': 66)
Israel has gained ten, even hundreds of billions of dollars, deutschemarks and other currencies in compensation for damage alleged by Jews or in compensation for some of what Israel considered as a concession on its side. Why do not the victimized Palestinians get compensated for their torture and suffering? They are more deserving of such compensation."