How would the Prophet (peace be on him) feel if he was alive today?
How do we honour the Prophet (peace be on him)? Everyone is talking about this topic during this painful time and I also want to share my thoughts on this with you.
This Islamophobic attack is not about freedom of speech. If it was about freedom of speech it would apply to everyone equally. However, if you create different rules for different people, then you create injustice. If your rules were the same for everyone, I would accept that in defending freedom of speech, you are being truthful to your principles, even if I disagreed with them. However the rules are applied selectively.
How would the Prophet (peace be on him) feel today? And what would he do?
The Prophet (peace be on him) brought a message of mercy
Allah Almighty said in the Quran:
We did not send you except as a mercy for all mankind. (21:107)
The Prophet (peace be on him) is the representation of this mercy. In the hadith the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
I am not but a gifted mercy. (Sunan Al-Darimi)
In Surat al Baqarah, Allah Almighty says:
We sent you with the truth—bringing good news and delivering warnings. And you will not be questioned about the inmates of Hellfire. (2:119)
We see from these verses that Allah Almighty sent Muhammad (peace be on him) with mercy and the truth, to deliver the good news of Paradise to those who followed the message and warn those who disobeyed it, and denied the revelation. We have all been given the choice and will be questioned about what we choose.
In Surat al Fath, Allah Almighty says:
We sent you as a witness, and a deliverer of good news, and a warner. So you (pl) may believe in Allah and His Messenger, and assist him, and respect him, and praise Him (Allah) morning and evening. (48:8-9)
In these verses, we see Allah is telling us to honour His Messenger (peace be on him) and support him. Allah Almighty uses the word tu’aziruhu in this verse, which means to assist, as the Ansar assisted him.
How do we support the Prophet (peace be on him) by our actions?
There are three ways in which to support the prophetic message:
1. Remain focused
We should not be provoked or distracted from delivering our message. In his last words, during his Farewell speech, the Prophet (peace be on him) said:
Convey on my behalf even if it is only one verse of the Qur’an.’ [Bukhari]
He was delivering this advice to his whole Ummah. All of us are responsible for delivering the divine message that he conveyed to us. Of course we will be challenged and have enemies around us, provoking us.
We will face challenges, whether they come from the French or people in the UK, or in other countries. Don’t let any provocation distract you from your purpose. Don’t fall into their traps. Don’t be predictable. Choose the battles you want to fight. Not the battles they want to suck you into.
2. Know the Prophet (peace be on him)
We need to know the Prophet (peace be on him) better. This is how we honour him.
أَمْ لَمْ يَعْرِفُوا رَسُولَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ
Or is it that they did not recognize their messenger, so they are denying him? (23:69)
3. Emulate the Prophet (peace be on him)
We have to emulate our Prophet (peace be on him) and embody what we learn from him and his seerah. We should teach this to our children and we have to live it. He was sent to be followed.
If you really love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, Allah is All Forgiving All Merciful. (3:31)
This does not mean we should be weak and allow others to step all over us. We should be united and defend our rights and we should be strong together.
Use whatever legal and legitimate means you can to mobilise, and to protect the vulnerable, weak and oppressed. We have seen a Muslims oppressed in France, Rohingya and China and other countries. It is a challenge but it will make us stronger when we overcome our differences and unite.
Let’s be wise and creative in our delivery. Let’s do our best to deliver the prophetic message.
What would the Prophet (peace be on him) think and feel if he saw our situation today?
The Prophet (peace be on him) would definitely be disappointed. The ummah is scattered, fighting one another and stabbing each other in the back. How would a father feel if he saw his children behave like this towards each other? It would be very painful.
What would the Prophet (peace be on him) do if he was here today?
He would do his best to try and reunite us. Our strength lies in our unity. Imagine if our leaders came together and issued a united statement against this attack on Islam and all Muslims? Would we have the same arrogant response from the French? Or would they back down? They would back down.
The Prophet (peace be on him) would cry if he saw our sad situation, but his sadness would not stop him from being a reformer, as he was. He would try to change the status quo and improve the situation. Everyone has to do their bit, in their house in their work in their community.
Does anyone have the power to stop these attacks?
I doubt these terrorist attacks have been committed by lone wolves. I am against conspiracy theories, and I don’t deny that we have crazy people in our community, as every community does but the timing of these attacks is very suspicious. Anyone can say ‘Allahu Akbar’. Who knows the reality behind the scenes?
No one can stop such people. Who knows who they are and what’s in their mind, who prepared them and who mobilised them? When we read the memoirs of people in the intelligence services, it is not uncommon that they plant such people and there are other possibilities.
Do we need to condemn the attacks?
The crimes being committed are heinous. We abhor any act of violence and of course we are against killing anyone. Killing a cat is not allowed, let alone attacking someone in a sacred building, like a church! However these acts have nothing to do with Islam in any shape or form. Why should we apologise for something we have not done? It was not by us. It has nothing to do with us.
What can we learn from how the Prophet (peace be on him) brought change to his community within such a short time span?
We need to study the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be on him). For 13 years he struggled in Makkah. Even though the revelation from God was descending, he could not penetrate the society he lived in.
He had to keep exploring his options and looking for new avenues, as the hostility increased and the threat to his life.
He then migrated and started from zero in Madinah when he spread the message.
He did not sit back, satisfied that he had the revelation and it would spread by itself.
He was proactive, he had a plan and he executed it. Some of you will be surprised that he had plan. In fact, he had short term, mid term and long term plans. He was not working haphazardly. He worked with deep organisation and management.
He worked with local leaders who were responsible for their tribes and he would visit them. He made alliances and treaties with them. He looked after the economy, military and social affairs, as well as the mosque, and the poor and needy.
He worked extremely hard. He wasn’t complacent that he was the Prophet and that was enough. And he got support, as he could not complete his mission alone. With their support, more people embraced the change with him. He built it up from that. We need the team. We need the ummah to come together and collaborate with others, not just Muslims. He made alliances with different tribes and non-Muslims. We need to change the status quo with the plan.
Our situation is sad and it is worsened by these incidents. We should continue to deliver the message of the Prophet (peace be on him) without distraction and diversion.
We should not be provoked but at the same time we should defend our rights with every legitimate means, and reflect the message in our merciful approach. We have to stay in line with his teachings and reflect his character in our practices and our plans. He was Rahmatan lil alameen, salalahu alayhi wa salam, a mercy for all mankind.
We have to make a lot of dua for our brothers and sisters, who are suffering from persecution and discrimination. We ask Allah to give veneration to our ummah again, unite our hearts and unite our leaders and bring forth goodness from our ummah which the Prophet (peace be on hm) longed for his ummah to deliver.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Thought for the Week, 30th October 2020
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