How did Prophet Mohammed Respond to Islamophobia?
A couple of years ago, I had been going through some really rough times. Very bothered, mad and upset, I phoned one of my trusted friends and good brother in Islam and vented to him about my problems -- may Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) reward that brother for all his efforts, patience and guidance. We stayed for more than an hour on the telephone and each time that I said something he would bring me an example from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be on him) or among the other prophets to draw and to help me navigate my own ideas and feelings. From my ignorance and frustration, and I ask Allah (swt) for His forgiveness with this, I explained to the brother:"Akhi (my brother), all these really are prophets. Who can I compare myself to them? I can't compare myself to them, they are in a very different class then me."
But Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Kahf (Chapter of the Cave):
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ
"Say'I'm just a human like you, to whom it's been shown that your god is one God,’” (18:110).
The Prophet ﷺ wasn't an angel, nor a demigod, nor a jinn. He had been a human being, a son of Adam'alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him)--allowed the best of those children of Adam (as), but nevertheless human. This means that besides the wonders facilitated to him by Allah (swt), and the revelations he received through God's angel Jibreel (as), exactly what he did and how he behaved and lived his own life were something that a human could perform. It wasn't unnatural!
Allah (swt) says in Surat Al Anbiya’ (Chapter of the Prophets):
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَلَائِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَكًا رَسُولًا
"Say'When there were upon the earth angels walking securely, We would have sent them down from the heaven an angel [as a] messenger. ''' (Qur'an 17:95)
If Allah (swt) had sent an angel for us to trace, how can we do this? Rather, all of the prophets and messengers of Allah (swt) are people, but humans who actually lived, practised and breathed the message of Allah (swt). 'A'isha radi Allahu 'anhaa (may God be pleased with her) said of the Prophet ﷺ: "His manners were the Qur'an." If we need to understand our religion, we have to know how the Prophet ﷺ lived his entire life and also understand why we should reevaluate him and practice his sun-nah (heritage ).
Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Ahzab (Chapter of the Combined Forces):
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
"There's certainly been around for you in the Messenger of Allah an superb pattern for those who hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] recalls Allah frequently" (Qur'an 33:21)
We must get to know that the Prophet's ﷺ character better by studying his seerah (biography) and by analyzing his sunnah, and then by putting into practice all his great qualities.
It's no secret that Islam has been attacked. Whether within, by individuals who commit atrocities in the name of Islam such as ISIS and Al-Qa'idah, or by external by the rising wave of Islamophobia and the delicate, and not-so-subtle, strikes on and mockery of Islam and Muslims. Our religion was hijacked with a statistically insignificant minority that share nothing with all the teachings of our religion aside from a name. Their wicked activities give reason and explanation for individuals with ill intention to attempt and smear this gorgeous religion, employing the actions of the minority as an excuse to attack Muslims and make a huge fitnah (trial) for us all. It's vibration the weak-hearted into the center and confusing those people who, all of a sudden, find ourselves in the middle of a very disorienting storm.
Is this something new, or has it happened before? Let us take a quick look back in a couple of major events in our Prophet's ﷺ life.
From the tenth year of prophet hood, the Prophet ﷺ moved to Al-Tayef, which is roughly 60 kilometres from Mecca. He travelled by foot, the two ways, and also in his company was his slave Zayd Bin Harithah (ra). Whenever that they stopped by a village or town, he'd invite its people to Islam and not one could answer his invite. When he came at Al-Tayef he sought out three brothers that were prominent figures of this tribe of Thaqeef. He sat with them and invited them to Allah (swt) and also to help Islam. Among the brothers said ,"I'll tear off the cloth the Ka'abah when God sent you," while others said,"Did God not find anybody better than you?" And the third said,"by God that I won't ever talk to you personally, for if you're a prophet then you're dangerous to take part in conversation and if you're lying then I shouldn't be talking to somebody just like you." So that the Prophet ﷺ abandoned them and said,"Then please don't tell others about me" (The Sealed Nectar, p148)
The Prophet ﷺ remained with the people of Al-Tayef for ten days and he didn't leave anyone of their honorable or respected figures without even talking to them about Islam. Each of them told him to leave their land and kicked him out. Additionally they egged the lowly ones from one of them, and their allies, to shout and curse at the Prophet ﷺ and Zayd (ra) since they were departing. People gathered and formed two lines , together with cursing and yelling, threw pebbles and stones at them until the heel of Prophet ﷺ bled. Zayd (ra) was attempting to protect the Prophet ﷺ together with his very own body, had been hit in the head, and bled. People continued to mistreat them till three miles after, the Prophet ﷺ along with his Companion got into a vineyard and they rested under the shade of its plants/crops.
The Prophet ﷺ himself was humiliated, hurt and broken-hearted. What exactly did he do?
Imam Bukhari reports that'A'isha (ra) asked the Prophet ﷺ if he'd experienced a day which was tougher on him than the day of the Battle of Uhud. The Prophet ﷺ responded that he'd seen his fair share out of her people, however, the worst was when he travelled to Al-Tayef to encourage its people to Islam. He explained,"...then I left, saddened and downtrodden, until I understood I had arrived in Qarn Al-Thaalib. While there, a cloud cast its own shadow upon me. I looked up and the Angel Jibreel was on it, and he said,'God has heard what the people said to you personally and the way they reacted and he's sent the angel of the hills with me to control him with anything you may please.' At that, moment the angel of the hills called the Prophet and asked,'O Muhammad, you will have anything you please. If you so want, I can close both hills ' [The people of Al-Tayef lived between two hills.] The Prophet replied,'However, I want that God would send from one of those who would worship Him alone and not associate any in worship with Him. '''
This is why Allah (swt) says about the Prophet ﷺ in Surat Al-Anbiya’:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21:107)
He had been the most merciful person. Allah (swt) called him “a mercy to the worlds”. He was merciful to his loved ones, friends, followers, even enemies. He had been merciful to old and young, to people as well as animals. Those who persecuted him in Makkah and murdered his relatives and his followers, when they had been defeated in battles and brought to him as captives, were forgiven by him. Then he asked them "What would you believe I'm to do to you today?" And they answered,"Nothing but good, a generous brother the son of a generous brother". He responded,"I will say to you what Yusuf (as) said to his brothers:'No blame on you now. '''
He didn't ever take revenge or retaliate. He had been the very forgiving person. His concern was that the concept/message of Allah (swt) made it through to hardened hearts. yet we say,"He was a prophet akhi, how can I compare myself to him?"
Allah (swt) says in Surat Al-Baqarah (Chapter of the Cow):
أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَنْ تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُمْ مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ ۖ مَسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ
"Or do you think you will enter Paradise while such [trial] hasn't yet come for you as came to those who passed before you? They had been touched by hardship and poverty and have been shaken until [even their] messenger and those who believed with him said,"When is the help of Allah?" Unquestionably, the help of Allah is near." (Qur'an 2:214)
We're living in hard times and lots of questions surround us.
How do we counter sick-hearted men and women that wish to turn our kids to murderers under the false guise of Islam?
How can we reply Islamophobia?
How can we answer our children's questions regarding a distorted image of Islam?
How can we uphold the Prophet's ﷺ honor?
By understanding and learning the life he lived. The morals that he exemplified. The actions that he took. By building ourselves at the identical methodical way he built his followers. You begin with faith and solidify it on your own heart. You then put on the attractiveness of the faith to each one your actions.
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.’” (Qur’an 3:31)
To follow along with, we have to know him.
The time is now for us to concentrate on what's most important.
It's not the environment you reside in. The Prophet ﷺ grew up in a period where people circumambulated the Ka'bah nude and worshipped idols.
It's not the absence of a full time Islamic school which makes our kids grow up detached from this religion.
It isn't that we don't have an imam (religious leader). We've got the case of a great imam, may Allah (swt) bless him and his loved ones, although we've got him, he's not going to raise our children to us.
The responsibility lies with us. We're those responsible for understanding that our beliefs and raising our children to be proud of, and to completely embrace and training, their Muslim identity.
Allah (swt) says in Surat Muhammad:
فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنْبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ
"So understand, [O Muhammad], that there's not any deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women. And Allah knows your movement and your resting place " (Qur'an 47:19)
We're told to'understand' before we're told to ask for forgiveness. The most telling evidence that we must have knowledge first before we do it is that the very first verse of the Qur'an to be revealed was:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.” (Qur’an 96:1)
Reading is the trick to knowledge. Islam began with wisdom and learning before actions, and for that reason it's incumbent upon every one of us to understand our deen (religion ). Learn and understand what's obligated upon you for the sake of Allah (swt), for your sake, for the family's interest, your neighbours, your community, your own society and humankind as a whole.
Knowledge is a fardh (obligation) on each Muslim. This fard/obligation is two types. One is what's called Islam as fard kifayah, or a obligation that's fulfilled in case a sufficient number of Muslims within a community perform it.For example, not every Muslim needs to be a scholar of Islam, or an expert in hadith (traditions of the Prophet ﷺ) or tafseer of the Qur’an.It's an obligatory knowledge, but when a sufficient number of individuals have that, then the sin of not doing the obligatory is lifted from the remaining Muslims. That is true for a variety of knowledge, not just Islamic or religious knowledge. this mean that not everybody has to be a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer; instead, a decent amount of individuals should possess that knowledge, assisting their societies become self-sufficient instead of having to import expertise.
The next type of knowledge is what is fard'ayn, or mandatory on each Muslim. Every Muslim has to learn of the religion that corrects, strengthens and enhances their faith.
The very best method to fight Islamophobia is to learn and exercise our Islam: to engage people as a Muslim and to live our own lives as Muslims. Thus, wearing the hijab is fighting Islamophobia. Resisting lusts and temptations is fighting Islamophobia. Recognizing Islam is fighting Islamophobia.
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