We are witnessing these days a wave of protests against certain acts degrading the noblest of Allah’s creatures the Prophet Muhammad s.aw.
Faced with these expressions of all kind we have to ask ourselves: What should be the attitude of the Muslim facing these provocations? What would be the instructions of the Prophet Himself if He lived among us today?
To try to answer these questions which concern any sincere Muslim today we must first remember that the beauty of Islam is that its followers never act according to their own passion in any situation but in accordance with Allah’s recommendation and that’s where the meaning of their name “Muslim” (obedient to Allah’s will) derives from.
This has been noticed since the dawn of Islam when Muslims were persecuted by the unbelievers, for the simple reason that they chose submission to Allah (Islam) as their lifestyle. At one point, Muslim believers facing the intensity of the persecution wanted to fight back- which could nowadays be considered as self-defence, but the answer of the Prophet was firm: “I have not yet received my Lord’s order … “And despite the broken-hearted, the believers had only to follow the Prophet s.a.w because they submitted to the command of Allah:” Say (O Prophet): “If you really love Allah, then follow me, and Allah shall love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” S3 V31
The second point is that the vilification and defamation of the noblest of Allah’s creatures is not new in the history of Islam. We remember many verses that teach us how He was treated as crazy, obsessed, magician, liar…
We also remember camel faeces poured on his noble head when He prostrated himself in front of Kaaba or thorns and other garbage dumped on his way as well when he was stoned in Ta’if or when a man came shouting that that he will kill Him and Umar (r) grabbed the man and tied him before the arrival of the Holy Prophet s.a.w
In all these cases the messenger of Allah has demonstrated that He was actually sent as a mercy to the entire universe including those who attack or/and denigrate Him. Allah says, “And We have not sent you but as mercy for all the worlds.” S21 V107
He always opposed the evil with good, He is the one who pray Allah when the ignorant people attacked Him by saying: “My Lord forgive them as they do not know” and in the case of the man who wanted to kill Him, he asked Umar (r) to detach him and offer him to eat and drink in order to show how Islam teaches us hospitality. This shows why this remarkable man has received the highest honour from Allah with these words: “And you are surely on an excellent standard of character.” S68 V4 when He continued to do good even to his detractors.
Does it not enough for Allah to be His defender and guarantor of his reputation when He said: “Have We not caused your bosom to be wide open for you? (1) And We removed from you your burden (2) That had (almost) broken your back, (3) And We raised high your name. “S94 V1-4
Let us also see what by sincerity even non Muslims said about Him:
Lamartine, Histoire de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol II, pp. 276-77:
“If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern 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 and 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 souls… the forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unit of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
“Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; 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?”
Edward Gibbon and Simon Ocklay, History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870, p. 54:
“It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder, the same pure and perfect impression which he engraved at Mecca and Medina is preserved, after the revolutions of twelve centuries by the Indian, the African and the Turkish proselytes of the Quran…The Mahometans have uniformly withstood the temptation of reducing the object of their faith and devotion to a level with the senses and imagination of man. ‘I believe in One God and Mahomet the Apostle of God’, is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honors of the prophet have never transgressed the measure of human virtue, and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion.”
Bosworth Smith, Mohammed and Mohammadanism, London 1874, p. 92:
“He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope’s pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.”
Annie Besant, The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, p. 4:
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”
- Montgomery, Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953, p. 52:
“His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”
James A. Michener, ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion’ in Reader’s Digest (American Edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70:
“Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband.
“Like almost every major prophet before him, Muhammad fought shy of serving as the transmitter of God’s word, sensing his own inadequacy. But the angel commanded ‘Read’. So far as we know, Muhammad was unable to read or write, but he began to dictate those inspired words which would soon revolutionize a large segment of the earth: “There is one God.”
“In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumors of God’s personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, ‘An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human-being.’
“At Muhammad’s own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: ‘If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever.’”
Michael H. Hart, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc. 1978, p. 33:
“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.”
Why then give importance to the actions of people who want to make their names through our reactions-we are doing them more favours in their repulsive endeavour. Be sure that if the noblest of Allah’s creatures was with us today he would tell us to ignore such acts as He has done so well in His time because those acts do dishonour only those who make them. How could they tarnish the image and reputation of a man whom the Master of the universe Himself is responsible to raise and maintain the reputation?
Let us show those people without real role model that we have a model in the person of the noble Prophet s.a.w “There is indeed a good model for you in the Messenger of Allah – for the one who has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah profusely. “S33 V21