Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kill Them because they Insulted the Prophet! Did the Prophet or the Quran Say So?  No.

We love the Prophet. We try to follow him in every aspect of our lives. We adore him. We sing praises in his glory. We recite his name in every prayer that we offer. We regard him dearest to use. We give preference to him over our own lives.
But should we kill or insult those who insult him or who are critical of him or who ridicule him? Should we tell the world that if our sentiments are not respected, we would be at war and we would destroy or try to silence everyone who stands in our way?
If murder is the answer to every word of criticism, then no one is safe, because we all are critical of each other in way or the other.  We all are disrespectful to each other in one way or the other.
We cannot impose our love for our Prophet upon others. We will have to earn that respect for our Prophet through our actions patterned after his life. We cannot expect people to give him the same regard as we do. If some do we are thankful to them , but if they do not, we cannot complain.
Despite all the efforts to project a positive image of our Prophet or Islam, if some people still choose to reject him or insult him, we have to accept the right of the people to do so, because this is the right that has been given to them by the divine.
Among Muslims especially among many of their scholars and intellectuals prevails a criticism of the United States, Europe and what they term as western thinkers and policy makers that they have double standards towards the principle of free speech. When it comes to criticism of the state of Israel, the West unanimously, prefers to remain silent while when it comes to Islam, the West purses a path of ecstasy.
This is a weak and meaningless argument. We follow a principle because we beleive in its divine origin and its supremacy. Thus, we respect free speech because it is an essential right in Islam. It is a right that no government or establishment can ever take away. In the Quranic phraseology, it is considered one of the worst sins against God.
The right to dissent or have a different perspective other than the one that is popular or dominant or acceptable by Muslims is the right that is the essence of Islamic thinking. It is a right that the Prophet secured and stood for. During the endorsement proceedings of the constitution of Medina in the initial stages of the formation of a state in the newly adopted city, four Muslim tribes of Aws refused to sign the treaty. The rophet never retaliated against them and used violence to bring them in line with his ideals.
The Prophet defended the rights non-Muslims to reject him. He never retaliated against those who were his harshest critics. Many members of the early Arabian society were his worst critics. They were his sworn enemies. They hurled abuses at him. They called him different derogatory names. They even plotted to kill him. Yet he did not retaliate against them. Rather, he forgave them. What better example of forgiveness one can find then to quote his exemplary behavior after the opening of Makkah, the city that had persecuted him for 13 years. Did he ask people to slaughter the people of Makkah? No he offered them general amnesty and embraced his critics.
Freedom should not measured by the behavior and attitude of the West or the East. Freedom, in itself, is the essence of faith. Freedom is absolute and it cannot be sliced by special interest groups. Muslims cannot expect others to respect their freedom without defending the rights of others.
Yes, freedom means that people have a right to be critical of Islam and the Prophet. Our love to our Prophet should not prevent others from entertaining their own ideas. It would hurt us, but we cannot silence them using coercion. If we want them to show respect to our Prophet, then we should demonstrate the essential traits of Prophet's character in our lives. Those traits are: forgiveness, controlling one's anger, showing love and respect to others and defending the life.
When we show these characteristics in our lives, we become true followers of the Prophet, When we respect the freedom of others to be critical of Islam and its Prophet, we show our highest commitment to him. His personality is powerful. It would not crumble under any criticism of his critics. It would shine in all situations and circumstances. It is through respecting this right of others to practice free speech, we would promote the real dignity of our prophet.

5 comments:

  1. "Freedom is absolute and it cannot be sliced by special interest groups.." That from the blog.
    No right and no freedom is absolute; neither in law, nor in society. If there is one I would like to know.
    Why FCC maintains and enforces a long list of words and expressions that cannot be used on free-to-air broadcast in the US. You cannot read out that list on such a broadcast; as that too would be breach of the rule. Is porn and profanity speech; yes it is; is it free and absolute? If yes, where?

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  2. Those who are vocal and strong in argument and influence are not so much the so-called Muslim scholars. It's the liberal-left, the radical-left and post-modernists who are pointing out double-standard in the Western reaction and protests.

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  3. 6:108 Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

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  4. This is an issue which has been bothering me on how I personally want to react..... to go along with those who feel that there should be limits set on those who so harshly abuse the sentiments of of a religious group or to go along with the argument so well put forth by Mr. Asim Abdullah.
    I had initially agreed with Shakil's reasoning but the fact that some religious groups have been able to command enough power to destroy anyone who speaks even a single word against them is not an argumen/justificationt for outright violence by us.
    Yes there exists hypocrisy in attitudes and a prejudice but
    we also need to demonstrate an enlightened practice of our religion.
    I also wish someone in the Je suis Charlie crowd had carried a banner Je suis an etudiant en Peshawar. this is a powerful argument against the Islamohobia spreading across Europe (only D Cameron mentioned it in his speech).

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  5. RIGHT TO BLASPHEME ESSENTIAL TO ISLAM, BUT NO DUTY TO BLASPHEME
    T.O.Shanavas.

    My prayers are with the people of France and with the victims of Muslim terrorists all over the world. If caricature of a prophet can disturb the respect and love of him in his followers, that prophet does not deserve my reverence.

    Unlike the terrorists’ prophet, my Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Qur'an stand tall on the side of free press by asking Muslims to ignore the insults and extend kindness and decency to mockers and in worse cases to withdraw from the source of mockery.

    The Qur’an guides me that the right to blaspheme is essential to the Islamic order, but there is no duty to blaspheme or react violently to blasphemy.

    “And verily messengers before you were mocked but in the end, the mockers were overwhelmed by the very thing they ridiculed.” [Qur’an 21:41.]

    “Indulge [people] with forgiveness, [accepting] what issues spontaneously from people's manners [of behavior], and do not scrutinize them, and enjoin kindness, decency, and turn away from the ignorant, and do not counter their stupidity with the like.” [Qur’an 7:199]

    “You shall most certainly be tried in your possessions and in your persons; and indeed you shall hear many hurtful things from those to whom revelation was granted before your time, as well as from those who have come to ascribe divinity to other beings beside God. But if you remain patient in adversity and conscious of Him - this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon.” [Qur’an 3:186]

    “When you see those who engage in discourse about Our signs, the Qur'ān, in mockery, turn away from them, and do not sit with them, until they discourse on some other topic…”[Qur’an 6:68]

    "And obey not (the behests) of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and ignore their insults, but put thy Trust in Allah. For enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs." (Qur’an 33:48)

    None of the verses mentions the abridgement of free speech for non-Muslims even if it is painful, insulting, and indecent to Muslims. In fact, free speech is abridged for Muslims because they are expected to ignore any mockery and make a polite exit from the scene in Verse 6:68. So, all Muslims must promote and defend free press.

    When Prophet Muhammad (s), the Qur’an, and Muslims are insulted, an honorable response from Muslims is defined in the following verse:

    “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel evil deed by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” [Qura’an 41:34]

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