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How to deal with blasphemous activities against Islam

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By Dr Rifai Sulaiman, Naleemi (London)

Attacks and sinister criticism against Islam and Muslims have dramatically increased in the last few decades.  Since Salman Rushdie published his book satanic verses we have seen many provocative activities against Muslims throughout the world and particularly in European countries.   Sometimes, some anti-Muslim elements openly come out and attack Islamic places, mosques, and physically attack Muslim brothers and sisters. Many incidents of such attacks have been have been reported in many parts of European countries and  these provocative acts are expressed through books, news papers, magazines, cartoons and films to gauge emotional  pulses of Muslim people throughout the world.  Time to time provocative actions are taken by anti-Islamic forces to create communal tension between Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in Europe and more importantly to portray Muslims as violent and extremist people.

Under these circumstances, it is imperative that Muslim people behave in accordance with Islamic principles and moral conducts as prescribed in the Quran and Hadith literature. Of course, we have every right to show our love and affection to our beloved prophet. No Muslim is a real Muslim unless he or she loves prophet more than himself or her self. This love and affection to prophet is part and parcel of our faith and belief in Islam and yet, we should show our love and affection to prophet in a way that prophet taught us and in way that Quran teaches us. Unfortunately, behaviours of some of demonstrators all over the world have been pathetic and horrible and indeed have been un-Islamic. How could we damage properties and inflict injuries in the name of this blasphemous film. Of course, we have to object to this film in a practical, logical and religious way that Islam teaches us. Resentment and antagonism against Islamic message are not new phenomena.

Since the prophet Muhammad proclaimed his prophet hood in Makka, unbelievers in Makka began to show their enmity, resentment, torture and persecution against Muslim began and Quran and History of Prophet and his companions record all clearly: Quran guided the Prophet step and by step in all these difficult circumstance how to deal with these extreme hostile situations.  Quran instructed him to maintain patience and tolerance at what disbelievers say. This does mean that we should not take any constructive steps to show our discontent to this film but we should do it in an Islamic way that draws the attention of the entire world so that we could draw the support and sympathy of people against this derogatory film:

Arguments are coming ups now among Muslim people for and against demonstrations against his this films: Some people tell us that Muslim public should not go out and demonstrate against this film: they argue that these types of demonstrations do not do any good and end of day more innocent Muslim people are being killed, more innocent people are wounded by Muslim police, properties of Muslim people are damaged by these demonstrations. Sheikh Salih fawzan was asked this question. Question: “O Eminent Shaykh, may Allah grant you Tawfeeq, there are many questions as to what is your advice to the students of knowledge and other than them regarding that which has happened recently regarding the derogatory film about the Prophet, what is the advice of your Eminence regarding that?”

AnswerShaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan [Hafidhahullah]:

”Our advice regarding that is to have comportment and not to show disapproval in this manner; demonstrations or harming innocent people, and wasting wealth, this is not permissible. Those who must respond to this are the scholars, not the common folk. The scholars respond to these affairs. They want to cause chaos amongst us and they wish to affect us; this is what they want. They want us to fight one another. The soldiers withhold while these people attack; and there occurs beating, killing, and injury. This is what they want. Calm down, calm down. Those who are responsible for responding are the people of knowledge and insight. Or they could choose not to respond to them and resolve not to respond. The pagans used to call the Messenger a magician, a soothsayer, a liar etc. and Allah commanded him to have patience. They did not protest in Makkah nor did they destroy any of the homes of the pagans nor did they kill anyone. Patience and comportment until Allah the Glorified and High facilitates a way for the Muslims.

That which is obligatory is to have comportment; especially in these times and in these tribulations and within this evil today which is going on within the lands of the Muslims.  It is obligatory to have comportment and not rush into these affairs; and the commoners are not fit to deal with this, for the ignorant do not know. None should deal with this except the people of knowledge and insight.” ,

This may be the reason that we have not seen many demonstrations in Saudi Arabia against this Film and this Sheikh argues that it is the responsibility Islamic scholars to respond to the situation like this. It is fine but Islamic scholars have not any official voice in today’s Muslim world. Islamic scholars have been marginalized in very decision making process and in some countries they become government agents do what has been told to do:

Moreover Saudi Government is very much worried and concerned about the spread of Arab Spring into Saudi Arabia and for that matter it would not encourage or promote any type of demonstrations even if they are blasphemous films against Islam.  yet, I strongly believe that Every Muslim in every nook and corner of this world has  right to protect against this derogatory film and it is the fundamental right of this free world: Suppose such derogatory film is made in the name of VIPs of modern time: Suppose such film is made in the name of Obama or Prime Minster of any Western world, what would have happened today: FBI and all Intelligence agents would have traced the culprit, blocked the YouTube,  taken the culprit to court and used all legal avenues to punish the culprit: yet, when this derogatory film is done in the name of   most revered and sacred human being on earth the culprit is still at large and no human right or religious commissions to speak against this utter blasphemy:

This film is an insult to 1.2 billion Muslim people all over the world and yet, Muslim community in modern time do not have internationally recognised Islamic leadership neither political nor religious leadership to speak for Islam and Muslims: In times of difficulties and challenges Muslim people do not speak in one voice: different groups issued different religious opinions and behave differently on issues like these: at least Shia sect of Islam has got one Religious Leadership as do Catholics but Sunni Muslims people are fragmented and it is hard to formulate any uniformed religious opinion or verdict on any religious matters:

It is high time to re-evaluate this and form an International Islamic intellectual council for Muslim Scholars so that Muslim people could have one voice in times like these. More Importantly, Muslim Political leaders with more than 53 Membership in UN should have courage and determination to pass a resolution to protect religious freedom of Muslim people and to protect honour and sacredness of Islamic faiths and practices.

This may be an eye opener for Non-Muslims to learn and understand more about Islam and particular about the life of our the last prophet: some may ask Why Muslim people get so angry about this film and why this film is so derogatory to Islam and Its Prophet? How come Muslim people react angrily for just a film? These entire questions may creep into the minds and hearts of people and consequently I’m sure that a lot of People may begin to read the biography of Prophet from the beginning to the End.

This may give them opportunities to know the truth about the Prophet of Islam who was sent as a Mercy to Mankind; we should take constructive initiatives to introduce the Prophet to Non-Muslim people: We could organise local and international conferences and seminars to introduce the life of Prophet. We could even establish Islamic institutes and Centres to the study of biography of the prophet. Still more than 5 billions people need to know about Islam and its Prophet. So we should initiative translation projects to translate the biography of the Prophet into hundreds of languages in the world. There are hundred of Non-Muslims scholars who admired the accomplishments and achievements of the Prophet Muhammad.

How could a Man born and brought up in a desert in Arabian Peninsula make this revolution with his little resources and yet, His mission spread the half of the world within a short period of time. Is it not a miracle that he changed the destiny of mankind with his divine message and let all Non-Muslim people without any prejudice read the biography of this prophet and let us all determine to clear the misconception and misperceptions about our beloved prophet.

 

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