To fully grasp the importance of the declaration of the last Friday of Ramadan as Quds Day, it is necessary to quote at some length the first message of Quds Day founder, which lays down the cornerstone of his conception of, and philosophy behind, the declaration, and the subsequent messages are based on these declarations. Thereafter, we will analyze the implication of the key points of the statements towards the Palestinian Question.
“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
“For many years I have been warning Muslims of the menace posed by the usurper Israel which has recently intensified her savage raids on our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Bent on the destruction of Palestinian freedom fighters, Israel has been ceaselessly bombing their houses and homes in Southern Lebanon.
“I call on the Muslims of the world as well as on all Islamic governments to join forces to cut down this usurper and its supporters. I invite Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan—which is a ‘day of fate’ and which could also become the day on which the fate of the Palestinian people might be determined—as ‘Quds Day’ and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine.
“I pray to the Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.
“May peace and mercy of God be upon you.”
“Ruhullah al-Musawi al-Khomeini
“Ramadan 1399 AH (August 7, 1979)
“In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
“Quds day is a global day. It is not a day exclusively for Quds. It is a day when the oppressed confront the oppressors. It is a day of confrontations for nations that have been under the tyranny of the American government and other oppressors. It is a day when the oppressed should become equipped against the oppressors and they should rub their noses in the dirt. It’s a day when committed individuals are preferred over hypocrites. Dedicated people consider today as Quds day and act as they are obliged. The hypocrites and those who are secretly acquainted with the superpowers and are friendly with Israel, today are indifferent or do not allow the nations to demonstrate on this day.
“Quds day is a day when the fate of the oppressed nations must be determined. Oppressed nations should make their presence known to the oppressors, just like Iran rose up and defeated and will defeat. All nations should rise up and throw these germs of corruption in the garbage. Quds day is a day when these followers of Iran’s past regime and these corrupt plot-making regimes and superpowers in other places, especially in Lebanon, should know their assignment. It is a day when we and they should exert our efforts to liberate Quds and save our Lebanese brothers.
“It is a day when we have to rescue the oppressed from the claws of the oppressors. It is a day when the Islamic society should make its presence known to all superpowers and their pulp, whether in Iran or other places. It is a day when these intellectuals who have formed a relation with America or American agents should be warned—warned that if they don’t quit this interfering, they will be suppressed…
“Quds day is the day when superpowers should be warned that they must leave the oppressed alone and sit back and take their own place. Israel has become the enemy of humanity who daily starts a new uproar setting our brothers in Southern Lebanon on fire. Israel should try to understand that its masters don’t have any power any longer. They should choose isolation. They should cut their covetousness of Iran and take their hands off all Islamic countries.
“Quds day is the day of announcing such an issue. It is the declaration that the satanic superpowers want to isolate the Islamic nations and impose themselves on the scene of action. Quds day is a day when their wishes should be chopped and they should be warned that those times are gone.
“The day of Quds is the day of Islam. All Muslims must be warned and must understand how strong their spiritual and economic powers are. Muslims are one billion people, supported by God, Islam and the power of faith. Why should they be afraid? …
“All the governments of the world must know that Islam is invincible. Islam and the Qur’an will conquer the world. A true religion should be a divine religion. Islam is a divine religion and thus must be promoted throughout the whole world.
“The Day of Quds is such a day and announces such a goal, announcing the progress of the Muslims all over the world. The Day of Quds is not only the Day of Palestine, but it is a day of Islam, as well. It is the day of Islamic government. It is the day that the banner of Islam is to be flown in all countries and the Muslims must show the superpowers that they cannot influence Islamic countries any longer. They must realize that the day of Quds is Islam’s and the Prophet’s Day, the day that we must muster all our powers and all of the Muslims must come out of isolation and stand against the foreigners with all of their strength…
“The Day of Quds is the day that we will realize which regime and persons are cooperating with international conspirators and thus are opposing Islam. Those who do not participate in these demonstrations are opposing Islam and thus are in agreement with Israel. Those who participate in the demonstrations on this day are responsible people and are in stride with Islam and thus oppose Israel.
“The Day of Quds is a day to distinguish between truth and falsehood. I ask God Almighty to give victory to Islam over all of the other faiths and support the deprived in order to defeat the arrogant ‘those who cause deprivation’. I implore God to free our Muslim brothers in Palestine and South Lebanon and everywhere in the world from the oppressors, deprivers and plunderers.
“Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of God and the Imams of the Muslims.”
A close scrutiny of the foregoing message would bring to light the following points with paramount import to the Palestinian issue:
First of all, by stressing that “For many years I have been warning Muslims of the menace posed by the usurper Israel which has recently intensified her savage raids on our Palestinian brothers and sisters,” Imam Khomeini’s concern about the issue is not a new one borne out of the establishment of the Islamic Republic. It is not meant to be an empty rhetoric aimed at winning the heart of the Arabs or at least the Palestinians towards the Islamic political establishment in Tehran. Instead, it has been a priority agendum for him as a concerned Muslim worth the name long years before the Islamic Revolution.
Secondly, though “all Islamic governments” are mentioned, undoubtedly Imam Khomeini’s invitation to consecrate the last Friday of the fasting month is mainly addressed to the Muslim masses of the world as suggested by the remarkable repetitions—“I have been warning Muslims,” “I call on the Muslims of the world,” and “I invite all Muslims all over the globe.” It shows that he is pinning hope on the masses, and not their governments, as they have the power to mobilize once organized. Another reason behind his reliance on the people is indicated by his remarks,
It’s a day [Quds day] when committed individuals are preferred over hypocrites. Dedicated people consider today as Quds day and act as they are obliged. The hypocrites and those who are secretly acquainted with the superpowers and are friendly with Israel, today are indifferent or do not allow the nations to demonstrate on this day.
Quality as represented by “committed individuals” are favored over quantity as represented particularly by “the hypocrites”—alluding to those in the high echelon of the governments in the Muslim world—who, according to the Imam, “are indifferent and do not allow the nations to demonstrate today.”
Thirdly, in this message the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution points to the true nature and scope of the Quds day as the day of all the oppressed and deprived people in confrontation with the ‘world devourers and oppressors’: “Quds day is a global day. It is not a day exclusively for Quds. It is a day when the oppressed confront the oppressors.” If it is named “Quds Day” it is only because the Palestinian Question is a paradigmatic example of an oppressed nation under the yoke of a regional power fully backed by superpowers. Besides, in this clash between the oppressed and the oppressors, the modus operandi proposed by Ayatullah Khomeini is for the oppressed unified front to exhibit their existence and resistance against the ‘arrogant powers’ and their surrogate agents in a bid to demonstrate their power of unity, will and dedication: “It is a day when the Islamic society should make its presence known to all superpowers and their pulp.”
Fourthly, by declaring that “The day of Quds is not only the day of Palestine, but it is the day of Islam,” the Imam made it clear the true essence and orientation of the Palestinian issue. If for the past three decades then, the issue had been reckoned as confined within the bounds of Arabism particularly during the apex of Nasserism in the Arab world, in this communiqué it is asserted that the matter is an Islamic one and therefore, it concerns all the Muslims of the world. And bearing in mind that it is an Islamic question involving the entire Muslim ummah, he reminds them of their spiritual and material strength as he admonishes: “All Muslims must be warned and understand how strong their spiritual and economic powers are. Muslims are one billion people, supported by God, Islam and the power of faith. Why should they be afraid?”
Lastly, taking into account the Islamic nature of the issue, which is supposed to have a place in the heart of every true believer, Imam Khomeini views the International Quds Day as a distinguisher [faruq] and criterion [furqan] when he rightly argues:
The Day of Quds is the day that we will realize which regime and persons are cooperating with international conspirators and thus are opposing Islam. Those who do not participate in these demonstrations are opposing Islam and thus are in agreement with Israel. Those who participate and have demonstrations on this day are responsible people who are in stride with Islam and thus oppose Israel.
In sum, championing the legitimate cause of the Palestinians had been part of Imam Khomeini’s agenda long time before the formation of the Islamic political establishment in Iran. International Quds Day is the day when the Muslim masses are called for to go out and demonstrate their sense of solidarity and support to the Palestinian people. It is the day marking the conflict between the oppressed of the world and their oppressors. The Palestinian problem is an Islamic issue and is thus not only the business of the Arabs. Commemoration of the Quds day through participation in the demonstrations delineates those clinging to Islam from those subservient to Israel.
 “Message of Imam Khomeini on the Occasion of the Day of Quds,” The Dawn of the Islamic Revolution: Echo of Islam Magazine Special Issue, vol. 1, pp. 202-205; Palestine from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, pp. 137-139; “Announcement of International Quds Day.”
 For Imam Khomeini’s speeches, messages, and interviews espousing his unflinching stance against the State of Israel in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, see Sahifeh-ye Imam: An Anthology of Imam Khomeini’s Speeches, Messages, Interviews, Decrees, Religious Permissions, and Letters Vols. 1-5 (Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, 1379 AHS).
 Palestine from the Viewpoint of Imam Khomeini, loc. cit.
(Excerpt from “The Power of International Quds Day in the Cyberspace,” pp. 50-55.