Assalamualaikom wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
Most of us would have read in the news that the derogatory movie about our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam which led to many protests and also unfortunate deaths. If there’s one lesson we never fully learn throughout history is that how we react to such insults never result in a positive outcome. Why? I don’t remember a time where we actually responded in any way other than through protests and carrying equally insulting slogans during demonstrations. The result? Casualties, lives were lost and yet the issue is not still resolved.
Riots and violent protests are contrary to the teachings of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. We want others to hear our voices but how can anyone use fire against fire? I received an email about how the protests that took place in Sydney would further cause more disruption and chaos instead of educating the public about the true teachings of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. The protests were supposed to be a peaceful one but with inflammatory slogans such ‘behead those who insults Prophet’ do not exactly spell out ‘peace’. The sister said that when survey was done amongst the youth, majority of them have not even seen the movie and yet their response was emotional rather than a rational one. And this made me think about how we are quick to react to insults by non-Muslims but when we see another Muslim doing haraam, skipping their obligations, we close an eye to it. We choose to ignore when it is a greater insult to Islam that we are not performing our duties as Muslims rather than insults by ignorants who lack knowledge of Islam. It’s not that Muslims should be accepting of derogatory comments made against our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam but we should know where our priorities lie. An article which I came across recently mentioned that it is usually those who rarely support da’wah work, or being involved in Masjid/community events are the first to spring to action when there is an insult against Islam.
What exactly are our priorities? Is it important that we retaliate violently when someone mocks our Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam as compared to speaking up on the current issues that our Ummah is facing? Refer to Suraah Anbiya’: Allah SWT speaks about Prophets being mocked for generations – this was not something recent but in fact has occurred centuries ago. Yet, this remains true even in our times. Yes, we stand up to defend him but we must not forget that no matter how these haters try to defame his name, they will not succeed. Like the 9/11 incident, it compelled others to study about Islam and eventually becoming Muslims when the irony is that, the perpetrators are supposed to be Muslims. The same could happen if we remain patient in times like this and respond to it tastefully. There are other issues that our Ummah need to address and can be rectified but yet we choose to remain silent – domestic abuse, issues faced by teenagers, the practise of cultural traditions that contradict religious customs, oppression faced by our brothers and sisters around the world and the list is endless.
The killing of US official and casualties caused only taint the image of Islam and reinforces the perceptions of non-Muslims that violence is part of our beautiful Deen. I remind myself and all of you that Allah SWT has commanded us in the Qur’an to ‘invite others with beautiful preaching’ and that ‘if you find those insulting your religion to leave them immediately’ or say ‘salaam’ (peace) and walk away. Ask yourself if how you are responding is in accordance to the teachings of Islam.
In response to the movie, a sister I know created an event to raise awareness and shared about Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. They gave out flowers to the audience during the event as well. I can’t say how impressed I was to see such a beautiful initiative being carried out. We need more creative ways like this to give da’wah (also like how iera did theirs during the Olympics) and channel our energy towards something which can benefit others. In the end, when we handle such insults in a rational manner, the tables are turned against these haters themselves.