by Maulana Aslam Munshi
All praises are for the Almighty Allah Azwajal. He alone is the Creator, Master of the vast universe and every minute atom in it. We seek His assistance in all matters of this world and the hereafter. We seek refuge with His help from the evil of our souls and the vices of our deeds. We bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him and that Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) is His humble servant and messenger.
Dear respected brothers and sisters, today our sentiments are such that the feeling of insecurity rises amongst the Muslims. We are living in such times which are unprecedented before in the annals of history where the anti-Muslim rhetoric is echoed in every corner of the world. Muslims are seen through a lens of security. Discrimination against minorities has become the norm. Slogans of Islamophobia are being chanted and acts of hate, mistreatment and bigotry are being justified. Subsequently every reaction is being criticized.
We as Muslims need to look at the life of the merciful servant of Allah who was the embodiment of the highest characteristic. He communicated with every personality with sensitivity, in a gentle manner. He was diplomatic towards even his enemies, who didn’t leave any stones unturned in prosecuting him and his loved ones. Even the prolific writer Micheal H. Hart, who authored the famous book titled “The 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons in History“, placed the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) at the top. Furthermore, Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala has attested to his exemplary character in the Qur’an:
“And surely you are on an excellent standard of character” (Surah al-Qalam Verse 4)
Let us step back 1400 years into the life of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala and analyze a few incidents which shine brighter than the radiance of the sun as the epitome for humanity until the day of judgment.
Islamophobia at Taif
Donald Trump’s presidency has brought numerous challenges with it for Muslims
Nine years had elapsed since The Almighty sent the first revelation to Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) in the Cave of Hira. The persecutions and enmity of the infidels of Makkah reached its pinnacle. The Prophet with a rejuvenated spirit sought the assistance from the people of Taif. As he approached their chiefs and engaged in dialogue, the first amongst them remarked at the presentation of Islam. He tore the cloth of the Kaaba and mockingly jeered “Is it true Allah sent you as a messenger?” The second one said, “Has Allah not found anyone else to entrust him with his message?” The third one continued, “I swear by Allah! I will not have any contact with you! If you are the messenger then it is too serious to retort you back and if you are belying then it is imperative not to speak to you!”
Consequently, the Prophet of Allah didn’t despair and moved towards preaching to the masses. The reaction of the people, however, was also hostile. Furthermore, the crooks of the town were appointed after him. They pelted him (peace be upon him) to the extent that he was bathed in blood head to toe. Zaid’s (ra) love reprimanded him and he tried to shield the Prophet. After a few miles, the two reached an orchard. At this juncture, the suffering soul (peace be upon him) supplicated to The Almighty in agony:
“Oh Allah! You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the paucity of my resources and my insignificance before mankind, you are the lord of the helpless and I seek your protection.”
In a Hadith it is narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“I looked up and saw a cloud casting its shade on me and Jibraeel addressing me, Allah has heard your words and sent angels of the mountain. The latter called and gave me his greetings and asked for my permission to bury the city between the two flanking mountains.”
What was the response of our beloved Prophet to this bitter hostility from the Islamophobes? It was one of compassion, love, and humility. His reply to the Islamophobia?
“I would rather have someone from their progeny who will worship Allah.”
Just imagine who we are speaking about! The best of the creation, the leader of humanity – paint the picture and every stand of hair will stand on your body). This was the character of our Nabi Muhammad (peace be upon him) that makes his Ummah great.
Power of Forgiveness
“Haters gonna” hate” – The question is how do we respond?
In another narration, Ikramah ibn Abu Jahl, the son of one of the bitterest enemies of Islam, Abu Jahl. Ikramah fought against Islam until the conquest of Makkah. His father, Abu Jahl, displayed so much hatred towards Islam and the Prophet (peace be upon him) that historians have classified him as the second pharaoh. At the conquest of Makkah, Ikramah decided to flee to Yemen for his safety. In Makkah, his wife Umme Hakeem requested amnesty for him from the Prophet (peace be upon him) after she accepted Islam. she disclosed to the Prophet that Ikramah was fleeing to Yemen fearing for his life.
Imagine the personality she is requesting to be forgiven unconditionally. Yet the Mercy to Mankind forgave him, closing the doors of mistreatment and retribution against him. While Umme Hakeem was returning to Makkah with Ikramah, the Prophet displayed such sublime character in his absence. He addressed the companions, also inflicted with harm from Ikramah, not to taunt him in regard to his father as as this will cause grief and sorrow to him. Upon his return, there is a dialogue between him and the Prophet and Ikramah accepts Islam. Furthermore, he requests the same Muhammad that he tried to kill to supplicate for him. Immediately, the Prophet supplicated with the following which made Ikramah joyous:
“Oh Allah forgive every hatred that Ikramah ever displayed, every step he took to extinguish the light of Islam, and if he ever insulted me openly or in secrecy.”
Even when it came to the household of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the enemies of Islam tried to cause harm by persecuting his family. After the battle of Badr, some of the prisoners were excused on the basis of ransom and some on the basis of educating the illiterate Muslims. Amongst these prisoners was the husband of Zainab (ra). To ransom him, Zainab (ra) gave the necklace of Khadija (ra) that was given to her from her father as a gift. Her husband was freed on the condition that when he reaches Makkah, he would send Zainab (ra) back to her father. Complying with the condition, Zainab (ra) mounted on a camel accompanied by her husband’s brother is leaving Makkah. The news of her leaving had reached the Quraish. The Quraish deployed some men to intersect her from leaving and when she reached the outskirts of the city, some of these men surrounded her camel. One of the men named Habar bin Asad hurled a sphere at her which struck her camel causing Zainab (ra) to fall. At this time she was pregnant with the grandchild of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Nonetheless, she managed to reach Makkah and soon passed away due to this injury. The Prophet (peace be upon him) lead the Janazah prayer of his daughter and as the grave was being prepared, he sat by his daughter’s grave extremely grieved. The companions sitting around him state that none of them had the courage to utter a word.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed that the grave is ready, he descended into it. After a short while, he came out with his face radiant and all signs of grief disappeared. He was delighted. When the companions asked the reason for this, he (peace be upon) replied:
“The narrowness and the terror of the grave was in front of me and I knew the weakness of my Zainab. This was troubling me and I supplicated to Allah to make it easy for her and he accepted.”
What happened to the perpetrator – this Habar bin Asad who caused such a trauma to the Prophet of Allah by killing his daughter and grandson? When he came to Muhammad (peace be upon him), requesting forgiveness, he (peace be upon him) uttered words of kindness which history is witness to:
“I have forgiven you and Allah has been extremely kind towards you that he guided you towards Islam and Islam wipes out all your previous sins.”
Sabr and Taqwa in times of Trials and Hardships
Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala presents a similar situation of hatred and mistreatment of The Prophet (peace be upon him). When The Prophet presented the Qur’anic injunctions of charity and zakat, the arrogant non-Muslims of his time mocked him. They said that Allah has surely become poor and needy while they are rich; why else would he go about asking us to give charity? There was no need to respond to these acts of ignorance because the injunctions were not meant to benefit the Creator but rather the creation. Following the injunctions meant that the rich would learn to value what they have and the poor would receive help in the process. Nonetheless, Allah responded to their statements by saying,
“Allah has heard the statement of those who say, ‘Truly, Allah is poor, while we are rich’. We shall record what they said. Allah continues and reminds the believers of the ultimate reality of things in the situation and states, Everyone shall taste death and only on the day of resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the fire and admitted to paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception. You shall be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves. And Allah advises to be patient and have consciousness of god in this condition” (Surah al-Imran; 180-186).
From this we learn that situations and conditions of hardship will arise. So let us not forget the bigger picture which is the obedience of Allah and striving for the hereafter. While we are accused of being unethical and lacking compassion, let us not retaliate with any sort of insensitivity. Let us not become proactive in throwing out jeering remarks. Let us coexist together as one family but take active means which are peaceful to educate our neighbours, community, society, and citizens of North America in regards to the legacy of The Prophet (saw).
1. Al-Hindi, A. (n.d.). Kanz Ul Ummaal.
2. Al-Mubarakpuri (n.d.). Ar Raheeq Ul Makhtum.
3. Al-Hilali, M. & Khan, M. (1999). Interpretation of the meanings of The Noble Quran, In the English Language. (First 4-colour Edition).
4. Nafi, M. (n.d.). The Four Daughters Rasulullah.
How are you responding to Islamophobia?