ALMIGHTY Allah says in the Holy Quran, “And therefore, We have made for every Prophet an enemy from among the criminals, but sufficient is your Lord as a guide and a helper”. This is the reality throughout the history and biographies of the messengers and Prophets.
None of the Almighty Allah’s Prophets was spared from the enemies who tried to inflict harm in various ways.
For instance, Prophet Musa (Moses) (Peace be upon him) and the tribulation of the rebellious “Samiri” who wanted to distort the Mosaic message from its true goal. And also Jesus Christ, the son of Mary (Peace be upon them) who suffered a lot of pain and did not resort to violence in response, but both of them made dialogue a path into people’s hearts.
The same thing happened with the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who endured harm from his people, in fact the closest people to him – his uncle Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil.
An entire chapter was dedicated to these two for the attrocities that they committed against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Almighty Allah says, “May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he. His wealth will not avail him or that he gained. He will suffer in a blazing fire. And his wife, the wood-carrier. In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad (palm fibre)” (Quran 111:1-5).
Nonetheless, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) responded with a good word and the call to faith. Testimony to that is the incident involving a lady named Hind Bint Al-Otbah, which represents the true Islamic manner of dealing with its antagonists.
Despite her atrocities against Muslims and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that rendered her to deserve death, he forgave her after she became a Muslim.
Before going further, it is necessary to look at the literal meaning of the term “Islam”, for it means Peace. It is used in the greetings “Peace be upon you”, meaning to spread and disseminate tolerance and forgiveness.
Also, our noble Prophet did not come in a vengeful or terrorising manner for advocating and spreading the message of Islam, as he was told by Almighty Allah that, “O Prophet! Surely We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news, and as a warner” (Quran 33:45).
He was also instructed to advocate the message by Almighty Allah through “Call to the path of your Lord through wisdom and good advice, and argue with them in the best manner. Allah knows well about those who stray from His path and those who seek guidance” (Quran 16:125).
This message that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) delivered from the Almighty Allah stands on the basis of convergence between the people in accordance with the glorious verse, “O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” (Quran 49:13).
Therefore, any deviation from these rules established by the Almighty Allah would mean deviation from the teachings of Islam.
In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not intend to slaughter his opponents and cut off their heads, or attack their temples, as he established a covenant with the Jews in Madinah and did not harm them in their prayers and rituals.
What Western countries are witnessing of the practices attributed to Islam regarding the unjustified aggression and revenge have nothing to do with the true religion, not from near or far. Rather, it is a terrorist act on Muslims, and the French president was right when he said, “I think that the reactions were based on lies and distortion. For my words, and because people understood that I support these cartoons, because there are people who distort Islam and in the name of this religion claim to defend it, I understand the feelings of Muslims and do not adopt the offensive cartoons”.
Yes, Islam is not based on isolationism; it is the religion of dialogue. It is based on examples taken from the Prophet’s biography, and what the rightly guided Caliphs followed. Therefore, it is imperative to answer a frank and clear question that we ask, since we follow this tolerant message. Who kindled the fire of revenge in the minds of young men and deceived them with an understanding that their religion is based on murder and defamation of others? How could those who talk about their distinct religious identity deviate from the ideals established by the Messenger (PBUH)? Does a true Muslim seek blood, or is he commanded for dialogue and arguing in the best way?
The Almighty Allah said, “The most honored before Allah among you is the most pious”. The pious is the one who spreads peace among people, creates love, and seeks correct dialogue. That is why we refer to what the late King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz said when he launched the Center for International Interreligious Dialogue in 2008, “We have to announce to the world that difference should not lead to conflict and battle. We say that the tragedies that have passed in human history were not due to religions, but because of the extremism that afflicted some of the followers of every heavenly religion and every political ideology. The Messenger (May the best of prayers and peace be upon him) will not be harmed by embarrassing caricatures and utterances of the ignorant.”
This religion, which is 1,442 years old, is still expanding and increasing in popularity day after day. Distortion campaigns have not affected it nor the noble Messenger. Rather, Muslims have to follow their Prophet so that they do not respond to an offense in the same manner, but with good. Almighty Allah commands us, saying, “Good and evil cannot be equal. Respond to evil with what is best, then the one you are in a feud with will be like a close friend”.
That is why we have to look for ways to consensus, not through violence and revenge, because we must search for those who incited and sent these terrorists, and what their goal is. This is because slaughter is not one of the values of Islam, nor part of the teachings of our noble Messenger.
There is no doubt that the French President Emmanuel Macron should read true Islam, while we must be aware of our industrial and economic reality, and that institutions should not be led by calls for blind fanaticism and hate speech.
The calls to boycott French or Western products seem to be a target for those who pushed terrorists to commit these heinous crimes to cover the disappointments in their countries by exporting their problems while calling on Muslims to take this path that isolates us from the world.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times