By Imam Murtada Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah; the Creator and Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Solomon, David, John, Muhammad and all the Prophets. We praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah, the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomsoever has been guided by Allah, none can misguide him, and whomsoever has been misguided by Allah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner or Associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allah).” (Al-Imraan, 3:102)
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa, 4:1)
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the Truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great success.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)
O servants of Allah, Allah the Most High says:
“And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” (Al-Furqan, 25:63)
My fellow Brothers and Sisters,
When the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (Pbuh), peacefully invited to the message of all the prophets of the children of Isra’il (Jacob) before him – [to abandon the Worship of Stones, trees, the elements, the forces, causes and effects, animals, prophets, or the righteous or any created entities and to reserve it only for the creator of all entities, beings, forces, causes and effects] – those who felt threatened by this simple message consisting of NO MORE THAN FOUR WORDS (laa ilaaha illallah), embarked upon a sustained campaign of hindrance, abuse, mockery, physical harm, assassination and declaration of war to hinder his “FREEDOM OF SPEECH.” The story is a long one but Islamophobes driven by irrational hate omit a large portion of the story so as to give the impression that Muhammad (Pbuh) was a murderous maniac. Orientalist scholars such as Bernard Lewis dispelled the Myth that Islam was spread by the sword (see his book THE JEWS OF ISLAM) as did many other writers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries such as Thomas Carlyle in his book, ON HEROES, HERO-WORSHIP AND THE HEROIC IN HISTORY, Lawrence Browne, in his book THE PROSPECTS OF ISLAM (1944), James Michener, in READER’S DIGEST, May 1955 page 68-70 and others.
My Respected people,
Among the most widely believed myths about Islam in the west today is the myth of forcible conversion to Islam. Many westerners do believe that Islam is so widespread in the world today simply because of a “holy campaign of terror” carried out by the early Muslims to convert non-Muslims to Islam. Non-Muslims were offered the freedom to choose either Islam or death. In a recent discussion with a Pastor he said to me that “Muslims tend to kill non-Muslims and anyone who disagrees with them”. Also in a syndicated column appearing in over 30 papers entitled, “Muslims persecution of Christians is increasing”, the author blames many Muslims countries for persecuting Christians, and then he quotes the Qur’an, “There is no compulsion in Religion” and ends the quote by rudely writing “Really?” How to confront such misconceptions? First, there is no need for us to be apologetic. We Muslims should search for the truth and present it as it is. This is how we have been instructed by Allah (SWT),
“And say: “The truth is from your Lord then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieves.” (Al-Kahf, 18:29)
Islam is the religion of the Truth. The Qur’an is the book of the Truth.
“And with truth We have sent down (the Qur’an) and with Truth has it descended.” (Al-isra’, 17:105)
“Put your trust in Allah. Surely, you are on the path of the manifest Truth.” (An-Naml, 27:79)
Therefore, we should ask ourselves first, before we are asked by anyone else, what is the truth? Did Muslims really force others to convert to Islam? Is there any concrete evidence for consistent forcible conversion throughout the Islamic history? As a matter of fact, there is no such evidence anywhere in the history of Islam. Many distinguished Western historians have attested to this fact – foremost among whom is Sir Thomas W. Arnold in his book, “The Preaching of Islam” Published in 1896. Also there is Marshall G. Hodgson in his book, “the Venture of Islam”, Albert Hourani in his book, “A History of the Arab people”, Ira Lapidus in his book, “History of Islamic Societies”, L.S. Starorianos in his book, “A Global History, the Human Heritage” and many others. In fact, there is substantial evidence to the contrary. We have already seen in our previous Khutbahs (Sermons) that Muslims were often seen as liberators of the oppressed people everywhere. The question that remains to be answered is why then so many people have chosen Islam throughout the more than 1436 years of its history. Islam has penetrated the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, West Africa, East Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, India, Western China, and the Malay Archipelago. Islam in all these regions replaced so many other well-established religions; Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism and Animism. What are the reasons behind the triumph of Islam over all these religions in so many different places at so many different times?
First and foremost, Islam is an amazing blend of simplicity and rationality; a very simple religion yet very rational at the same time. Professor Hodgson has explained the reasons for the popularity of Islam as follows:
“Muslims made a personal appeal to people’s religious consciousness. On the level of straight argument, they often put forward the populist intelligibility of Islam. Muslims commonly ridiculed, in the name of intellectual good sense, the more mythically convoluted teachings of older traditions. This could seem attractively straightforward to people dissatisfied with taking things on faith from a learned priest whose mysteries they could not comprehend. A single Creator to be worshipped by each person for himself on the basis of revelation that had been given to a famous Prophet whom millions already acknowledged, this was at once intelligible and plausible.”
The unambiguous and uncompromising belief in the Unity, the Greatness, the Wisdom of God, the Creator of the universe, is unparalleled among other religions. The French professor Eduard Monte Said:
“The dogma of the unity of God… has always been proclaimed in the Qur’an with grandeur, majesty, an invariable purity and with a note of pure conviction which is hard to find surpassed outside the pale of Islam. A creed so precise, so stripped of all theological complexities and so accessible to the ordinary understanding might be expected to possess and does indeed possess a marvelous power of winning its way into the consciences of men.”
Besides its simple and rational creed, Islam offers an impressive set of rituals which has gained the admiration and subsequently, the conversion of many non-Muslims. The second pillar of Islam, SALAH, the prayer, has been described as follows by Sir Arnold:
“The religion of the Muslim is continuously present with him and, in the daily prayer, manifests itself in a solemn and impressive ritual which cannot leave either the worshipper or the spectator unaffected.”
Then Sir Arnold narrated the story of an Egyptian Jew who converted to Islam at the end of the 13th Century mainly because of the sight of the JUMA’A prayer. Actually, it is not only in the 13th century that people converted to Islam because of the prayers; it just happened a few years ago in Ottawa that a non-Muslim Canadian woman converted to Islam because of JUMA’A prayers. She used to go to the Ottawa Mosque on Friday and pray among the sisters for several months. She loved the prayer and eventually she embraced Islam.
In addition to the prayers, the other pillars of Islam, ZAKAH, HAJJ, SIYAM, have always been factors in attracting many hearts to Islam. Up until the present day, one still meets converts who were impressed by the social justice of Islam brilliantly expressed in the payment of ZAKAH. The genius of HAJJ and SIYAM has always been a determining factor in the conversion of many people. It is this union of rationalism and ritualism that explains the power that Islam has exercised over the hearts and minds of so many people. Islam simply gives the truth, neat and clear in a visible and tangible form. The neatness and clarity of Islam was presented to human beings in the form of a miraculous book, THE QUR’AN. The marvelous power and beauty of the words of the Qur’an have always been a decisive factor in conversion to Islam. The famous Jewish American convert to Islam, Sister Maryam Jameelah, cited the Qur’an as the major factor of her conversion. After a deep study of both the Old Testament and the Qur’an, the contrast between the two scriptures became increasingly evident to her until she firmly believed that the Qur’an was indeed God’s message to the human race.
A conference of Christian missionaries in 1887 was discussing why Islam has almost swept away Christianity from the Middle East. What did Islam offer these people to forsake Christianity for good? One of the missionaries was insightful enough to say the following:
“Islam brought out the fundamental dogmas of the unity and Greatness of God, that He is mindful and Righteous. It proclaimed the responsibility of man, a future life, a Day of Judgement and stern retribution to fall upon the wicked, and enforced the duties of prayer, alms-giving and fasting. It replaced monkishness by manliness; it gave hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind and recognition to the fundamental facts of human nature.”
The formidable rationalism, ritualism and clarity of Islam did not only lead the Christians of the Middle East to forsake Christianity and embrace Islam in the past. It continues to do so with Christians in the West to the present day. An Australian-born Christian who converted to Islam four months ago and who was studying there with the brothers at Queens wrote in her story of conversion to Islam:
“Christianity continued to be difficult for me. So much didn’t make sense, the trinity, and the idea that Jesus was God incarnate, the worship of Mary, the Saints, or Jesus, rather than God. The priests told me to leave reason behind”. Then she went on to say, “Could Muhammad really be a Messenger? Could the Qur’an be God’s word? I kept reading the Qur’an, it told me that Eve wasn’t alone to blame for the fall, that Jesus was a Messenger that people would question the authenticity of Muhammad’s claim to revelation but that if they tried to write something as wise, consistent and rational they would fail. This seemed true. Islam asked me to use my intelligence to contemplate God; it encouraged me to seek knowledge.” Then at the end of her sincere search for the truth she prayed to God saying, “Dear God, I believe in you, I believe in the compelling and majestic words of the Qur’an and I believe in the prophethood of your Messenger Muhammad (SAW)”.
Another Muslim sister, from California, who was a practicing Christian and an active member in her nearby Presbyterian Church, wrote in her conversion story that despite her active affiliation with the church, she always had serious questions about the fundamentals of Christianity which did not make sense to her. She debated her questions with her friends but never came up with good answers. The church couldn’t give them good answers either, they only told them to “have faith”. All her questions were answered when she took a course about Islam. Listen to her own words:
“This class brought back all of the concerns that I had about Christianity. As I learned about Islam, my entire questions were answered. All of us are not punished for Adam’s original sin. Adam asked God for forgiveness and our merciful, loving God forgive him. God doesn’t require a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. We must sincerely ask for forgiveness and amend our ways. Jesus wasn’t God; he was a prophet like all of other prophets of God. This answered all of my questions about the trinity and the nature of Jesus. I found a teaching that put everything in its proper perspective and appealed to my heart and my intellect. It seemed natural. It wasn’t confusing. I had been searching and I had found a place to rest my faith.”
My dear brothers and sisters,
Islam is so strong and so self-assured that it does not need to use force to attract others to it. The moral and intellectual superiority of Islam over all other religions has manifested itself so clearly throughout the history of Islam. Despite all of the ills of some Muslims everywhere, Islam continues to be fastest growing religion on earth. Professor Huston Smith of the MIT in his book, “The Religions of Man”, says:
“In some areas where Islam and Christianity are competing for converts, Islam is gaining at a rate of 10 to 1”.
Ambassador Herman Ellis, in a testimony in front of the committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress on June 24th 1985, said:
“The Muslim community of the globe today is in the neighbourhood of one billion (as at that time). That is an impressive figure. But what to me is equally impressive is that Islam today is the fastest growing monotheistic religion. This is something we have to take into account. Something is right about Islam. It is attracting a good many people.”
Yes, something is right about Islam and that’s why it has attracted so many people throughout its 1436 years of history.
My Respected people,
Recently some ignoramuses demonstrated and protested in Germany, which is the largest buyer of the copies of Charlie Hebdo magazine that insulted our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), to show their hates for Islam and Muslims, to also show their enmity for the expansion and spread of Islam in Europe. These people supposed to understand that all this (the spread of Islam) is from Allah (God) not human being.
And to the Charlie Hebdo satirical Magazine publishers and editors, they should fear God and desist from their reckless provocation of Muslims please, for peace to reign in the world. And they should also know that our beloved prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) is the man who never wrote an autobiography and yet has more biographies written about him than any man in history. The Prophet of mercy, who made it clear to the world that God, will not show mercy to those that do not show mercy to others. And the Prophet that Pencils and cartoons do not harm, because he is truly the Messenger of God to all Mankind and Jinn. And Cartoons do not and will not rewrite history!
In every Prayer, a Muslim makes mention of Muhammad, asking for peace, mercy and blessings to be showered upon him. Every time his name is mention a Muslim says, “May peace and blessings be upon him”! His name is the most popular name on the planet. Every day, he is also the most remembered person on the planet. Therefore, pencil cartoons do not and will not rewrite history and nor will they diminish or lower his rank (Pbuh).
Yes, in the past, some people because of their ignorance attacked the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), people like, a Belgian, Henri Lammens (1862-1937).
A German, Carl Brockelmann (1868-1953), a French man, Raymond Charles, an Austrian, Gustave Edmund Von Grunbum (1909-1972), Voltaire and a Jewish French writer of Hungarian origin, Ignoz Goldziher.
Actually, there is one author who makes the point that those in the past who attacked the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did so in an attempt to avoid discussing the real issues. Minou Reeves writes in a work entitled, “Muhammad in Europe: A Thousand years of western myth-making”:
“The trouble started with early medieval Christian polemicists. They chose not to attack Islamic theology, which was too seductive in its simplicity and clarity, and which raised too many awkward questions about Christian dogma. Nor could they cast doubt on the pious practice of ordinary Muslims. Instead, anticipating the worst excesses of tabloid journalism, they personalized the issue and attacked the Prophet of Islam, dispensing with all but the barest knowledge of any facts and inventing falsehoods. Muslim could not reply in the same way, since they are told by the Qur’an to revere and respect Jesus as a holy and noble prophet of Allah.”(See Minou Reeves, Muhammad in Europe: A thousand years of western myth-making (Washington square, New York: New York university press, 2000), p.x.
My Respected people,
It seems that not much has truly changed over the centuries. Anyway, our answer to those ignoramuses insulting, mocking and abusing our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the saying of Allah the Most High that:
“For he who hates you (O Muhammad pbuh), he will be cut off (from posterity and every good thing in this world and in the Hereafter).” (Al-kauthar, 108:3)
And also His saying,
“Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the Mujrimuun (disbelievers, polytheists and criminals). But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper”. (Al-furqan, 25:31)
And the Most High saying,
“And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – Shayaatin (devils) among mankind and jinn inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it; so leave them alone with their fabrications.” (Al-An ‘am, 6:112)
And the Most High saying,
“Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers.” (Al-hijr, 15:95)
On the commentary (Tafseer) of this last verse (Hijr, 15:95), Sheikh ‘Abdul Rahman bin Naasir al-Sa’dee (Rahimahullah) stated in his exegesis of the verse, he said: “Meaning: “(Allah is sufficient for you (O Muhammad and what you came with. And this is a promise from Allah (SWT) to His Messenger (Pbuh) – that the mockers will not be able to harm him (or cause any damage to his reputation), and that Allah (SWT) will suffice him (Pbuh) against the mocker by inflicting them with any punishment as He (SWT) wills. And He (SWT) has already done this (in the past); verily, no one showed up, mocking the Prophet (Pbuh) and what he came with, except that Allah (SWT) destroyed him and gave him a violent ( or a painful) death.”
Narrated Anas (R.A): “The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
My Respected people,
Charlie Hebdo, a Parisian satirical magazine, published 3 million copies of their magazine on Friday January 9th, 2015 (A Special edition) with a picture or cartoon they say is Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) on the cover, intended to hurt the feelings of the Muslims, in their total disregard for the feelings of Muslims all over the world, in the name of liberty and freedom, freedom of speech or of expression. Millions of copies were printed and more is to be printed as against its usual 60,000 copies as reported.
In fact, they should know and understand that, the time they attacked and abused our beloved prophet, many people took the effort to find out more about him. It’s also the time millions will increase their love for him, commence fresh research and investigation in order to know who he is, and eventually submit to his religion ISLAM.
My Respected people,
The following is a collection of short quotations from a wide variety of non-Muslim notables, including academics, writers, philosophers, poets, politicians, and activists belonging to the East and the West. And to our knowledge none of them ever became Muslims. These words, therefore, reflect their personal views on various aspects of the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).
*Michael H. Hart (1932- ) Professor of astronomy, physics and the history of science, said:
“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.”[See The 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential Persons in History, New York, 1978, p.33]
*William Montgomery Watt (1909- ) Professor (Emeritus) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“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.”[See Mohammad at Mecca, Oxford, 1953, p.52]
*Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) French poet and statesman, said:
”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?”[Translated from Histoire De La Turquie, Paris 1854, vol. II, pp. 276-277]
*Reverend Bosworth Smith (1794-1884) late fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, said:
“… He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope’s pretensions and Caesar without the legions of Caesar. Without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without fixed revenue, if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by a right Divine, it was Mohammed; for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports.” [See Mohammed and Mohammedanism, London, 1874, p.235]
*Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian thinker, statesman, and nationalist leader, said:
“…I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every trouble.”[See Young India (periodical), 1928, Volume X]
*Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) considered the greatest British historian of his time, said:
“The greatest success of Mohammad’s life was affected by sheer moral force without the stroke of a sword.”[See History of the Saracen Empire, London, 1870]
*John William Draper (1811-1882) American scientist, philosopher, and historian, said:
“Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race… Mohammed.”[See a history of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London, 1875, vol.1, pp. 329-330]
*David George Hogarth (1862-1927) English archaeologist, author, and keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, said:
“Serious or trivial, his daily behaviour has instituted a canon which millions observe this day with conscious mimicry. No one regarded by any section of the human race as Perfect Man has been imitated so minutely. The conduct of the founder of Christianity has not so governed the ordinary life of his followers. Moreover, no founder of a religion has been left on so solitary an eminence as the Muslim Apostle, “Muhammad”.” [See Arabia, Oxford, 1922, p.52]
*Washington Irving (1783-1859) well-known as the “first American man of letters, said:
”He was sober and abstemious in his diet, and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind; neither was his simplicity in dress affected, but the result of a real disregard to distinction from so trivial a source… In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability with which he received them, and listened to their complaints… His military triumphs awakened no pride or vain glory, as they would have done had they been affected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect were shown to him.” [See Life of Mahomet, London, 1889, pp.192-3,199]
*Annie Besant (1847-1933) British theosophist and nationalist leader in India, President of the Indian National Congress in 1917, said:
“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.”(See The Life And Teachings of Muhammad, Madras, 1932, P.4)
*Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) considered the greatest British historian of his time, said:
“His (i.e., Muhammad’s) memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid and decisive. He possessed the courage of both thought and action.” (See History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1838, vol.5, p.335)
For more information and understanding please read the book: ‘ISLAM AND THE MESSENGER IN THE EYES OF THE PEOPLE OF JUSTICE IN THE EAST AND WEST’. This book, authored by Sheikh Ahmad Ibn Hajr Butaami (Rahimahullah), clarifies the many virtues of Islam, the role Muslims played in developing civilization and then the author mentions statements from the people of the East and West regarding Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).
My Respected People,
The following question was posed to Sheik Salih Fawzaan on: How to Respond to Those Who Mock the Prophet (Pbuh):
Question: May Allah Grant you great good – insults upon the Prophet (Pbuh) have become frequent. Their methods of insulting him vary, at times they release films and clips and at other times they insult him in the broader media. The question is; what should be our stance against those who insult him (Pbuh)? Connecting to this also; is it permissible for us to be angered by their insults and express our anger via protesting against them?
Shaykh Salih bin Fawzaan al-Fawzaan [Hafizahullah] replied by saying:
“My brothers! Insulting the Prophet (Pbuh) is not a new phenomenon. They insulted him to his face, calling him ‘a magician’, ‘a liar’, ‘a soothsayer’, ‘a mere poet’, ‘a madman’, ‘one to whom stories are dictated’, to the end of their degrees of insults.
However, the Prophet (Pbuh) remained patient with their insults and he didn’t hasten to seek revenge. Allah ordered him to remain patient:
“And be patient (O Muhammad) with what they say, and keep away from them in a good way.” (Al-Muzzamil, 72:10)
He heard their insults and was affected by them but he remained patient, (Pbuh), acting upon the Command of Allah, [the Glorified and the Exalted]:
“Indeed, We know that your breast is straitened at what they say. So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).”
(Al-Hijr, 15: 97-99)
So he remained patient and commanded his Companions (may Allah be Pleased with them all) to likewise remain patient and not to react to any one of these insults. This was their plight when they were living in Makkah, purely because they were weak and outnumbered, and had they reacted then the Mushriks of Quraysh would have overcome them and Islam would have ended in Makkah (without it spreading).
The command during the Makkan period was to remain patient and invite people to Islam by giving Da’wah. This situation continued until they migrated from Makkah and found those who would help them, the Ansaar.
Thereafter, Allah Ordered Jihad against the Mushriks of Makkah, which was the legislated form of Jihad (and not the killing of innocent people or those bound under treaty, rather legislated Jihad includes rulings connected to combat between two opposing armies).
Protesting, killing innocent people or destroying their wealth – this includes Muslims or who the Muslims have peace treaties with – and attacking them is a form of treachery and is not permissible.
It is not permissible to killing anyone who is innocent, regardless of if they are non-Muslims or not, it is not permissible:
Allah the Most High says:
“…and let not the hatred of some people in (once) stopping you from Al-Masjid-al-Haram leads you to transgression (and hostility on your part).” (Al-Ma’idah, 5:2)
It is not permissible to transgress the rights of those who are innocent (or under treaty):
“No person’s sin can burden another.” (Al-Israa’, 17:15)
“And if anyone of the Mushrikuun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur’an), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not.” (At-Tawbah, 9:6)
Message carriers from Mushrik and non-Muslim rulers used to come to the Prophet (Pbuh) as ambassadors for their respective countries. They would enter Madinah and at times would even enter the Masjid of the Prophet (Pbuh) and convey the message they had been ordered to carry. Despite the fact that these ambassadors where Mushriks or non-Muslims, they entered with peace and security.
With this, we must all realize that Islam is not a religion of anger and retribution. Rather, it is a religion of spreading guidance, mercy and kindness.
These were the characteristics and practices of the Prophet (Pbuh) and what did having this approach result in? It resulted in the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) being supported by Allah, given honour and the correct representation of Islam spreading.
As for those who mocked him (during the Makkan period), they became from those who were foremost in practicing Islam and spreading it (such as Abu Sufyaan and the son of Abu Jahl, ‘Ikrimah).
They submitted in Islam and they personified a good display of Islam.
This is all because the Prophet (Pbuh) was patient with them, was kind and gentle with their insults until the Prophet even became more beloved to them more than themselves.
This is how Allah [the Glorified and the Exalted] said about him:
“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.”
This was the noble character of the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh).
The enemies of Islam came to realize this. They only insult the Prophet expecting a reaction from the Muslims so that they can attach something negative against Islam.
Responding to these incidents with violence leads them to point the finger and attach stereotypes to the Muslims that; killing diplomats and destroying the houses and wealth of others – is what the religion of Islam teaches.
This is exactly what the enemies of Islam want, so that they can blame the Muslims and stereotype them based on the actions of a few of the ignoramuses from them, stereotyping all Muslims based on the actions of the ignorant and the worst of those from them.
Therefore, it is not permissible to be hasty. When facing such tribulations, rather the command is to be patient.
“Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you (O Muhammad) but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our Help reached them, and none can alter the Words (Decisions) of Allah. Surely there has reached you the information (news) about the Messengers (before you).” (Al-An’am, 6:34)
This is the guidance that the religion of Islam has come with and the correct response given to those who mock and insult; be kind, practice patience and not to be hasty in seeking retribution.
The Mushriks want for us to fall into the trap they have laid in front of us, taking the example of the actions of some of the ignorant ones – arrogance, violence and killing. To the extent that, such notions become widespread and influence the regular Muslim so that they protest against the actions of one another Muslims leading to Muslims killing on another. This is precisely what they want.”
End of Sheikh Fawzaan answer.
(Please check this URL for the Fatwa: http:// www.alfawzan.af.org.sa/node/14103).
My Respected people don’t forget also the benevolence of the Prophet (Pbuh) towards specific non-Muslims, such as Thumaamaa who had come to assassinate the Prophet but was captured by the Muslims. He was treated well, eventually released and he voluntarily became a Muslim.
Brothers and Sisters,
In conclusion, I think all in the world can agree that mutual understanding, mutual respect, peace and justice certainly will never result from defamation, ridicule and insult. Therefore, there is no real benefit from defaming or denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in a manner like the recent cartoons in Charlie Hebdo French magazine. The only result that one can expect from such practices is more hatred, violence and fear. Certainly, if you disrespect someone else, you cannot expect that he will show great respect for you in return. If this hatred does turn into more terrorism, the longer term result may simply be more restrictions on civil liberties and freedoms in the West. Those who are supporting such cartoons in the name of rights, liberties, freedom and freedom of speech or of expression may, in the long-run, find their liberties and freedom restricted because of what these disrespectful acts produced. In essence, nobody wins in the long-run. There is simply no rationale for such behavior.
At the same time, we have to call upon all interested parties to show restraint and to consider what ramifications anything that they say or do might have. Muslim Scholars and leaders should take the lead, as they have done in the past, to stress to the Muslims that the actions of some non-Muslims should never anger them so much that it leads them to do something that contradicts the law of Islam. It is also time for leaders in the West to realize that the freedom which is very dear to the Western conscience should not be an unwise or harmful freedom. I believe it was Sir Milton Friedman who stated, “My freedom to swing my fist stops where your Chin begins”. In today’s turbulent environment, perhaps it should be said not as a law but as moral behavior, “My freedom of speech ends where your personal dignity begins.”
O servants of Allah, Allah the Most High says:
“The Prophet (Muhammad) is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers.”(Al-Ahzaab, 33:6)
Also narrated Abdullah bin Hisham (R.A), he said: “We were with the prophet (Pbuh) and he was holding the hand of Umar bin Al-Khattab. ‘Umar said to him. “O Allah’s Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.” The prophet (Pbuh) said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then ‘Umar said to him. “Now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The prophet (Pbuh) said, “Now, O Umar, (now you are a believer).” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
In ending I ask Allah (the Glorified and Most High) that He guides us to all good and rectification; that He bestows upon us beneficial knowledge and the correct understanding of the religion; that He rectifies our affair and alleviates the oppression and suffering from all our brothers and sisters in every place, ameen.
May the salutation and peace of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, his family and his Companions.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Rabi’ ath-Thani 2, 1436 A.H (January 23, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque Okene, Kogi state Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected]