Support Your Prophet
One of the greatest things that makes a Muslim proud is his belief and love of the Messenger, (may Allah exalt his mention). Muslims believe in all the Messengers and the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, and do not distinguish between any of them -- except that our Prophet Muhammad, , is the last and final messenger and prophet, and he is the best of them. He, , is the first one for whom the gates of Paradise will be opened; belief in him, , is the way to Paradise, as no one among those who were born after his prophethood, will be permitted entry (i.e. to Paradise) unless they had believed in him, .
What can one say in response to the sarcastic caricatures published in the Jyllands Posten newspaper from Denmark, in its issue dated Tuesday, September 30th 2005? Whom was this newspaper mocking? It was mocking the greatest man ever created … the leader of all the Prophets, . They featured evil, shameless images of him, , as shameless as any disbeliever’s imagination can be.
Again, in the days of ‘Eed Al-Adh-Haa, to confirm their enmity, the Magazint newspaper from Norway repeated the same attack, as if they were trying to re-open the old wound, when they republished the images that were published in the first newspaper. Indeed, what Allah said about the disbelievers is true:
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which means: “Did they suggest it to them (i.e. did the former disbelievers pass on these words to the Makkans so that they repeat the same expressions)? Rather, they [themselves] are a transgressing people.” [Ath-Thaariyaat: 53].
What can one say in response to this open declaration of enmity? Should we look to the other side, deafen our ears and keep our mouths shut, while our hearts are still beating?
I swear by The One Who honored Muhammad and exalted his rank! Our graves are dearer to us than being incapable of uttering the truth and defending our messenger, . Indeed! My father, my grandfather and my honor are in sacrifice for Prophet Muhammad .
The rank of the Prophet : There is no phrase that can encompass all the features of greatness of this great Prophet, ; and there are not enough words to describe his greatness -- a greatness that overwhelmed all people in all ages, and was decreed to be eternal. It is this greatness that is instilled in all hearts, settled in all souls, felt by all the people and even the enemies of Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad, , possessed the perfect manners which no one can possess; a lofty rank which no one can reach. He, , was the wisest person; the one with the most sound mind and opinion; the most generous -- whose alacrity in spending was said to be faster than a fast wind. He, , used to spend like a person who never feared poverty due to spending. He, , used to spend so generously, yet went to sleep hungry. He never saved anything, and used to instruct his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, to be generous, saying: “Spend (charitably) O Bilaal! And do not fear that Allah will decrease your provision (due to your spending)”.
He, , was the most tolerant of all people and the kindest; if someone abused him, he would forgive him, and the harsher a person was, the more patient he, , would become. He was most lenient and forgiving, especially when he had the upper hand and the power to retaliate.
He, , was the most humble person -- he used to mix with the poor and the needy; he used to sit with the elderly and the widows; a young girl could take him by the hand to fulfill a need she had, and he, , would go to fulfill it. He, , never wore anything to distinguish himself from his companions or appear in higher rank than them.
He was most lenient, and if he was given a choice between two matters, he chose the easiest, as long as it was not a form of disobedience to Allah. On the other hand, he, , was the most firm with regards to fulfilling the obligations and supporting the truth. He was never enraged for a personal matter, but if one of the limits of Allah was transgressed, he, , would become angry and his face would become extremely red.
He, , was the bravest person, one with the strongest will power and determination; he faced matters with steadfastness and patience, and would go through tough times and situations with firmness and perseverance.
He, , never uttered abusive words; he was clear in his statements and chose his words carefully. He, , was chaste, pure and the most honest and truthful of all people.
He, , was the most just, even if the opponent was an enemy; penal laws would be imposed even against the people closest to him, and he even swore to this effect saying: “I swear by Allah! If Faatimah, the daughter of Muhammad were to steal, I would amputate her hand”.
He, , was the most pure in his soul, the loftiest in spirit and the most knowledgeable about his Lord. He gave each one his due right -- he gave his Lord His right, his friend his due right, his wife her due right and his mission its due right.
He, , was the most ascetic and the farthest from clinging to worldly material possessions; he ate whatever he was offered and never turned down any type of food and never requested and craved for what was not available, he slept on a straw mat.
He, , was kindest towards the weak and most merciful to the miserable. His mercy included both humans and animals, and he, , warned his companions against being harsh towards animals, as when he, , said: “A woman was punished in Hell because of a cat which she had confined until it died. She did not give it to eat or to drink when it was confined, nor did she free it so that it might eat the vermin of the earth.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
If the Prophet, , had conferred no other favor upon humanity than conveying the message of guidance and the Qur’aan from his Lord to the people, then this would have been enough favor, for which the people could never do enough to express their gratitude or to reward him.
The above was but a glimpse from the light of prophethood, and a ray from the lamp of the bright manners of Muhammad, ; there is still a lot that one can say, which time does not permit.
Let them ask history: Has it ever witnessed a man greater than Muhammad, , who was above any deficiency and the farthest from sin?
What Westerners say about the Prophet Muhammad : Some of the famous, contemporary personalities who read the biography of the Messenger of Allah, , could not help but admit that he was a master with excellent manners and an honorable character, and the following are some of their sayings:
- Michael Hart author of ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ said: "My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”
- George Bernard Shaw, the British playwright said: “The world is in dire need of a man with the mind of Muhammad; religious people in the Middle Ages, due to their ignorance and prejudice, had pictured him in a very dark way as they used to consider him the enemy of Christianity. But after looking into the story of this man I found it to be an amazing and a miraculous one, and I came to the conclusion that he was never an enemy of Christianity, and must be called instead the savior of humanity. In my opinion, if he was to be given control over the world today, he would solve our problems and secure the peace and happiness which the world is longing for.”
- Annie Besant, wrote in ‘The Life and Teachings of Muhammad’: “It is impossible for anyone who studies the personality of the great Prophet of the Arabs, and come to know how this prophet he used to live, and how he taught the people, but to feel respect towards this honorable prophet; one of the great messengers whom Allah sent”
- Alphonse de La Martaine wrote in ‘Historie de la Turquie’: "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws, and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples, dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls. Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Conqueror of Ideas, Restorer of Rational beliefs... The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire -- that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
- J.W.H. Stab wrote in ‘Islam and its Founder’: “Judged by the smallness of the means at his disposal, and the extent and permanence of the work that he accomplished, his name in world's history shines with a more specious luster than that of the Prophet of Makkah. To the impulse, which he gave, numberless dynasties have owed their existence, fair cities and stately palaces and temples have arisen, and wide provinces became obedient to the Faith. And beyond all this, his words have governed the belief of generations, been accepted as their rule of life, and their certain guide to the world to come. At a thousand shrines the voices of the faithful invoke blessings on him, whom they esteem the very Prophet of God, the seal of the Apostles…Judged by the standards to human renown, the glory of what mortal can compare with his?”
- Dr. Gustav Weil writes in ‘History of the Islamic Peoples’: “Muhammad was a shining example to his people. His character was pure and stainless. His house, his dress, his food - they were characterized by a rare simplicity. So unpretentious was he that he would receive from his companions no special mark of reverence, nor would he accept any service from his slave which he could do for himself. He was accessible to all and at all times. He visited the sick and was full of sympathy for all. Unlimited was his benevolence and generosity as also was his anxious care for the welfare of the community.”
- The British philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, who won the Nobel Prize for his book ‘The Heroes’ wrote: “It is a great shame for any one to listen to the accusation that Islam is a lie and that Muhammad was a fabricator and a deceiver. We saw that he remained steadfast upon his principles, with firm determination; kind and generous, compassionate, pious, virtuous, with real manhood, hardworking and sincere. Besides all these qualities, he was lenient with others, tolerant, kind, cheerful and praiseworthy and perhaps he would joke and tease his companions. He was just, truthful, smart, pure, magnanimous and present-minded; his face was radiant as if he had lights within him to illuminate the darkest of nights; he was a great man by nature who was not educated in a school nor nurtured by a teacher as he was not in need of any of this.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer said: “Us, Europeans, with all our concepts could not reach what Muhammad has reached, and no one will be able to precede him. I have looked in the history of humanity for an example and found that it was Muhammad, as the truth must be revealed. Indeed, Muhammad succeeded to subdue the entire world to monotheism”.
Truthfulness of the Prophethood of Muhammad : If the Prophet, , did not have anything to support the truthfulness of his message, except his praiseworthy biography and the eternal legislation he came with, then that would have been sufficient for the one who has a mind to ponder with and reflect.
The fact that the religion of the Prophet, , remained established and prevailed throughout the long periods of history, and people entered into it in large numbers, is the greatest evidence proving that he, , was truly a messenger from Allah.
Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The early prophets have informed their people that one who falsely claims to be a prophet will not last, but for a short period. One of the Christian kings heard a man from the chiefs of the Christians cursing Muhammad and accusing him of being a liar, so he gathered the scholars of the Christians and asked them how long would the one who falsely claims to be a prophet last. They informed him the news that was conveyed by the Prophets, that it would not be but a short number of years -- the longest would be around thirty years. Upon hearing this, he said to them: ‘The religion of Muhammad has lasted for more than five or six hundred years until now (up to his time) and it is prevailing and accepted and people still follow it, so how can this man be a liar?’ Thereafter, he beheaded the man who accused the Prophet of being a liar.”
Defending the Prophet : One of the rights of the Prophet, , upon Muslims is that we love, honor and glorify him, follow his Sunnah and defend him. The age we live in is full of evil and afflictions befalling the Muslim nation, where we are seeing vicious attacks by some monks and priests against the Prophet, . Despite the fact that their cursing and attacking him, , enrages us, yet we see it as a sign of the nearness of our victory and their destruction.
The early Muslims used to see it as glad tidings regarding the defeat of their enemies when they cursed and attacked the Prophet, . Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Allah will extract revenge for His Messenger from those who slander and attack him. Allah will make His religion prevalent and will expose the lies of the liars if the people cannot apply the penal law a slanderer deserves.”
Many trustworthy Muslim scholars have conveyed numerous accounts of their practical experiences in different cities in the Levant. They said: ‘The Muslims used besiege the Romans for long periods, like a month and more, until they (i.e. the Muslims) almost gave up on victory; no sooner than the dwellers of those Roman cities would start cursing the Prophet that Allah facilitated victory and we conquered them. It was never delayed for more than a day or two after they started cursing and defaming the Prophet . When we did win, we used to kill large numbers of them.’ People from Morocco also told me the same thing.”
Our duty in defending and supporting the Prophet :
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which means: “So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him — it is those who will be the successful.” [Al-A’raaf: 157]. Therefore, it is our duty to support the Prophet, .
There are many things that an individual can do to support the Prophet, . The following are some of them:
- Officially condemn the attack on all levels, and sound your objection strongly. It is strange how we usually condemn other matters of lesser significance, but this time, people have remained inexplicably silent. It is also strange that the foreign minister of England condemned this outrage before any of the Muslims, who should have done so before anyone else.
- Register your objection with the official local authorities like ministries of Islamic affairs and Islamic organizations.
- Sound your objection to social Islamic foundations, organizations and bodies.
- Thinkers, official leaders and scholars in different fields must proclaim their condemnation of this outrage and openly object to it using all means, especially the pulpits of the two Sacred Mosques.
- Islamic centers in the West must sound their objections and respond to this.
- Muslims must send e-mails objecting to and condemning the publication of these images to all the organizations and people concerned, and to anyone with influence in the Western communities. If millions of e-mails were received from Muslims in this regard, this would certainly have a noticeable impact on the situation.
- Buy airtime on TV and radio stations and broadcast programs in defense of the Prophet, and express support. Muslims who are established and eloquent speakers, and who are aware of the way to address the West should be invited to address the issue.
- Write forceful articles for publication in magazines and newspapers, even if one has to buy the space as if it was an advertisement, and publish these articles on the internet as well.
- Employ professional production companies to produce video tapes which present the summary of the life of the Prophet, , highlight his virtues and good manners, and refute some of the most common misconceptions about the Prophet, .
- Print books and leaflets about the biography of the Prophet, , and address some of the misinformation in the West regarding him, .
- Hold meetings, conventions and deliver talks in universities especially in the United States to counter this attack.
- Provide a clear response by scholars, clarifying the Islamic ruling regarding those who attack and slander any Prophet or Messenger, may Allah exalt their mention, and especially our Prophet, ; arranging for some scholars and students of knowledge to respond to this vicious attack and fabricated lies on the internet.
- Hold international exhibitions at airports, market places, malls and public places after arranging with the local authorities, to highlight some aspects of the excellence of the personality of the Prophet, .
- Make material available in different languages that address the life of the Prophet, , in order to highlight his noble manners and his perfect personality. Simultaneously, this would serve to counter the attack made against the Prophet, .
- Exchange useful ideas that will enable a person who loves and glorifies the Prophet, , to participate in the campaign of defending and supporting him, , and expressing their love to him. One person could translate some material, another could financially support some effort, and a third could write articles and so on, until this becomes a worldwide campaign.
- Produce CDs that talk about the features of the Prophet, , and freely distribute them.
- Start a monthly magazine that talks only about the Prophet, , and bring to light some of events in his life and how he dealt with his enemies.
- Hold international conventions on the mercy of Islam – laying stress on how Islamic duties are easy and simple to follow, and that all the accusations against the Prophet, , are false and nothing but mere lies. If every Muslim country held a convention to counter the attack against the Prophet, , this by itself would convey a message to the world that attacking the Prophet, , is something that the Muslims will not tolerate.
The duty of those working on the internet and website owners:
- Establishing databases on the internet about the biography of the Prophet, , in all languages. This has already been done by two organizations: The International Committee for Supporting the Final Messenger and The Committee for Supporting the Prophet . However, just two groups are not enough; our efforts must be united in order to have a stronger impact.
- Forming groups of people that highlight the merits of Islam and the status of all the Prophets and Messengers in Islam, may Allah exalt their mention, and other topics.
- Establishing sites and chat rooms that concentrate on the biography of the Prophet, , and highlight that his message is a universal one.
- Carrying out calm debates with non-Muslims and inviting them to study the personality and life of the Prophet, , and the religion that he was sent with.
- Sending e-mails that talk about the personality of the Prophet, , and his mission, especially during major occasions.
- Advertising books or lectures that talk about the Prophet, , and his biography in popular search engines.
Finally, we ask Allah to support His religion and to humiliate the enemies of Islam.