Learning from Muhammad’s (PBUH) life
Muslims should take a cue from Prophet’s (PBUH) life and not resort to violence thus falling prey to the designs of those who want to provoke them to give a bad name to religion of Islam
By: Muhammad Asgar Khan
The character of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the best example for everyone and it cannot be described and expressed in words or otherwise. Sometimes controversy arises as some cartoonists try their hand in presenting him through cartoons. Muslims believe that it is totally forbidden to characterise the Prophet (PBUH) through any form of painting, cartoon or drawing and this belief has resulted in violence against those who try to draw the image of the Prophet (PBUH).
This leaves us with some important questions. Were photos ever made during his period i.e. in and around 7th century? Had any perfect Muslim artist painted his picture? Based upon the findings of Quran and Hadith, it can be safely said that the answer to all the above questions is in negation.
The lessons from the past and present day conditions have showed us that any attempt in drawing a caricature of Prophet has witnessed sharp reactions from the Muslim community which often results in violence. It is because Muslims ought to love their Prophet (PBUH) more than their own lives and can’t tolerate any taunt against him. Those who indulge in such activities tend to hurt the sentiments of the Muslims with ill intensions and their actions are condemnable.
However, if one looks at the character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and follows his life history, one soon realises that the Prophet (PBUH) has always detested violence even under very compelling circumstances. It is said that non-violence and love can defeat anyone but revenge will always create enmity and agony. Invented and self-created cartoon and image cannot deteriorate the idealistic and admired character of the Prophet Muhammad ((PBUH).
How Muhammad (PBUH) would react to insults and provocations can be understood by the story of an old woman who used to throw rubbish on him.
There was an old woman in Mecca who did not like the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) much at all. Every day as Muhammad (PBUH) passed the old woman’s house on his way to pray, she would throw rubbish out of her window onto his head. Yet Muhammad (PBUH) would never complain. He would simply continue on his journey as if nothing had happened. This continued, day after day, until one day, Muhammad (PBUH) passed by the old woman’s house and, to his surprise, no rubbish landed on his head. Muhammad (PBUH) looked around to see where the old woman was. When he couldn’t see her he became concerned so he went to the front door of the woman’s house and knocked. “Come in” said a weak and feeble voice. When Muhammad (PBUH) entered, he found the old woman in bed looking scared. Was Muhammad (PBUH) going to shout at her or punish her for throwing rubbish on his head every day? “Don’t be scared” said Muhammad (PBUH), “I’m not here to shout at you”. Muhammad quickly realised that the old woman was very ill and unable to leave her bed. He therefore set about cleaning her house and making sure she had everything she needed to be comfortable. The old woman was so impressed by Muhammad’s (PBUH) behaviour that she decided never to throw rubbish on his head ever again.
Taking a cue from this all Muslims should practice true spirit of Islam and adopt Prophet’s (PBUH) moderate behaviour and dealing that will create a universal society and organized community because some people always try to defame Islam by committing different blasphemies like caricaturizing, tearing pages of Quran and raising unacceptable slogans. Muslims should not give undue importance to these trivial issues rather they should imitate character of Prophet (PBUH) and present themselves to the world so that they may be imitated by others out of love and awe.
While firmly believing in the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) and following the tenants of Islam, Muslims should not fall prey to any provocations.
‘Al-Wala’ Wa’l-bara’ (loyalty and disavowal) has been misinterpreted in the recent past by some extremist groups and organizations to malign true spirit of Islam with the intention to gain political dominance in which selfish and egocentric gain is prioritized. They have interpreted ‘Al-Wala’ as loyalty for believers & Muslims; and disapproval & hatred for non-believers. Presenting the current understanding of ‘Al-Wala’ Wa’l-bara’ in the different platform is a counterfeited and constituted agenda of certain group like ISIS and other extremist organization to quench their thirst for blood and in the process, misguide young generations who have been facing financial crunch due to unemployment and marginalization are being exploited.
Some verses are in the Holy Quran that talks about jihad and war against non-Muslims that have different contexts and era. These verses were revealed when Islam was in danger and Muslims were oppressed; they were exiled from their own houses and country. The present reality is in stark contrast with the past. Taking the Indian context into consideration, Indian Muslims get all rights as other Indian citizens get; they believe in Indian constitution that guarantees equality, justice and liberty for all citizens and nobody is driving them away from their homeland. This proves that the concept of Jihad & war against disbelievers is not at all applicable in Indian context.
Islam is absolutely safe in this world; it is not a single entity that can be protected by few persons who hold up guns and wave their fatal weapons to kill innocent people. These people commit a lot of heinous crimes and they claim themselves as protectors of Islam. Historically, true jihadists never violated human rights and kill any innocent person for safety of Islam.
Interpretation of ‘Al-Wala’ Wa’l-bara’ is postulated faultily & quoted out of context by people with extremist ideology. What they really hide is the real meaning of ‘Al-Wala’ which means love and brotherhood towards the people of different castes & religions and Wa’l-bara’ means that all Muslims leave all kinds of sins & mistakes to understand true spirit of Islam. Muslims should not accept wrong interpretation of the extremist people who try to malign true spirit of Islam.