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The truth about Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

The truth about Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

Loving him is following him

Muslims all over the world are deeply hurt by the recent caricatures
of our beloved Prophet Muhammad , in Danish and several other

Every now and then, some Western media outlets provoke Muslims by
insulting the Prophet Muhammad . The baiting often succeeds in
eliciting Muslims' outrage and sporadic violence.

The latest incident started with a Danish newspaper's caricature
portraying the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. To add insult to
injury, Norwegian, French, German, Dutch and a few other newspapers
reprinted the defamatory cartoons to "defend"—th ey claimed—the freedom
of expression.

The real issue is not the freedom of expression. Free speech is not
and was never meant to be absolute. There are laws in the West that
ban certain kinds of speech, including those that incite anti-
Semitism, racism and violence. Moreover, some countries have laws
against blasphemy and defamation. To Muslims, banning blasphemy
against Allah and the Prophet Muhammad has a higher priority.

For the European newspapers to reprint the offensive cartoons to show
solidarity with their Danish counterpart seems akin to the plot the
leaders of Quraysh had hatched to assassinate Prophet Muhammad .

The Quraysh masterminds had figured that including representatives
from major tribes of Makkah in the heinous plot would make it
impossible for the Prophet's clan, Banu Hashim, to avenge. But Allah
willed that the Prophet Muhammad would migrate to Madinah unscathed
while the plotters laid siege to his house.

The West often underestimates the Muslims' reverence for their beloved
Prophet Muhammad, (sallallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and is, therefore,
staltred by the fierce Islamic reaction to an insult against him. Few
in the West know that for Muslims, loving their Prophet more than
themselves is a matter of faith, not choice.

Further, the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad , as a terrorist is a
falsification of history. He was considered "Al-Ameen," the
trustworthy, by his people even before he received the Prophethood.

Once, when asked by some of his followers to invoke Allah's wrath on
the enemies, he refused saying he had been sent as a mercy unto

Objective Western intellectuals have acknowledged the superior
character of Prophet Muhammad . In his “The 100, a Ranking of the Most
Influential Persons in History," Michael H. Hart ranked Prophet
Muhammad, (sallallallahu alayhi wa sallam) No. 1 because "He was the
only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious
and secular levels.”

Alphonse de Lamartine, a renowned 19th Century French writer, had this
to say about the Prophet Muhammad : "As regards all standards by which
human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man
greater than him?”

Unfortunately, some Muslims forget that loving their Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be upon him) means following him. Burning Danish embassies, as
they did in Damascus and Beirut, to avenge the insult to the Prophet
Muhammad is a complete disservice to him. Our violent reaction only
plays into the hands of those who wish to reinforce the negative
stereotypes about Muslims.

Do Muslims need reminding that Prophet Muhammad , forgave the people
of Ta'if who had rejected his message of monotheism and pelted him
with stones, bloodying him? Islamic tradition has it that when Jibreel
(Archangel Gabriel) sought his permission to punish the perpetrators,
the Prophet , instead prayed that some day the inhabitants of Ta'if
would leave their idols and worship Allah alone. Within a few years
they did.

Prophet Muhammad's, (sallallallahu alayhi wa sallam) servant once
noted his forgiving disposition, said, "I served the Prophet , for ten
years, and he never said ‘uf’ (a word indicating impatience or
discontent) to me and never blamed me by saying, `Why did you do so or
why didn't you do so?" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad's, (sallallallahu alayhi wa sallam) archenemies hated
his Message and hurled malicious insults at him, to which he responded
with forbearance. Years later when he, sallallallahu alayhi wa sallam
returned as victor to Makkah, his city of birth which he was forced to
leave, he asked its awed citizens, "What do you think I'm going to do
to you." They said, "You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother;
we expect only good from you." The Prophet responded with a general

Let Muslims not forget that the Prophet , encouraged freedom of
expression. In the Battle of Badr, he changed the battlefield against
his own opinion due to the passionate advice of some young soldiers.

Part of the West's success today is the freedom of expression, of
thought, of religion—that draws Muslims to it from their oppressed
societies. For that, Muslims should be thankful to the West. After
all, freedom is an Islamic value that the West has embraced while
Muslim societies have forsaken.

Defending Prophet Muhammad requires allowing freedom and practicing
compassion and forgiveness, like he did. In his lifetime he , bore
insults with magnanimity and devoted his time to spreading the Message
of Allah. In fact, he never avenged anyone for a personal offence. Can
we really respect him by violent retaliation?

Muslims should turn this extremely painful incident into something
positive, by teaching the world what the Prophet , means to us and
what his life was like.

As for the West, there really is a need to reexamine the notion of
free speech. Without safeguards, the exercise of this freedom can be
lethal, as we have seen.

One may ask, is it morally defensible to provoke violence, cause
death, and create a civilizational conflict for one cartoonist's
freedom of expression?

The West already has laws to protect religious freedom, which Muslims
and other peoples of faith admire. What it now needs to do is protect
this freedom from being trampled by unbridled free speech. No one
should have to insult Prophet Muhammad, Jesus, or Moses, may Allah
exalt their mention to speak freely.

We can turn these negative, malicious cartoons into something positive
by learning about the Prophet , by following him, and educating others
about his teachings.

Allah described the Prophet in the verse (which means): "And verily,
you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character." (Quran

And (what means): "Indeed in the Messenger of Allah there is a good
example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah and
the Last Day and remembers Allah much." (Quran 33:21)

By a divine decision, the status of Muhammad was raised forever, as
in the verse (which means): "And (has Allah not) raised high your
fame?" (Quran 94:4)

Muslims were commanded to lower their voices low in the presence of
the Prophet , out of respect, as in the verse (which means): "O you
who believe, raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor
speak aloud to him as you speak aloud to one another lest your deeds
be rendered fruitless while you perceive not. Verily, those who lower
their voices in the presence of Allah's Messenger, they are the ones
whose hearts Allah has tested for piety. For them there is forgiveness
and a great reward." (Quran 49:2-3)

While other prophets were sent to their own people, Muhammad was
appointed as the Messenger to all mankind. And such he was asked to
declare (what means): "Say (O Muhammad): `O mankind, verily I am sent
to you all as the Messenger of Allah - to Whom belongs the Dominion of
the heavens and the earth." (Quran 7:158)

On the Day of Judgement he will be the only Messenger to intercede
with Allah to seek forgiveness for the wrongdoers.

As blasphemous as the drawings are, we believe that behind all events
there is Allah's pre-decree and wisdom that mortal beings fully
understand only in hindsight. In the end, this deeply hurtful incident
would be seen as benefiting the image of the Prophet .

A case in point is the verse (which means): "Verily, We have given you
(O Muhammad) a manifest victory." (Quran 48:1)

When this verse was revealed, even some of the most exemplary Muslims
could not understand how being prevented from performing pilgrimage by
the enemies could be a manifest victory. Prophet Muhammad had just
signed a treaty with non-Muslims of Makkah that imposed unfair
restrictions on Muslims.

The Prophet swore by Allah that no matter how restrictive this treaty
seemed, it was a clear victory for Muslims. Within a few years, the
victory became abundantly clear when Muslims marched into Makkah, not
just as pilgrims but as victors.

Our love for the Prophet Muhammad cannot be expressed except by
following him. If we did that, we will see how Allah can change this
painful incident into a great opportunity for the Islamic cause.

Oct 19 '08 #1
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