There is something that we need to improve and change within the Islamic communities which is the akhlaq of the believers in response to those who insult Islam or the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Anything said against our religion and our prophet hurts us. But the question is how should we respond? What is the sunnah way of responding?
Prophet (PBUH) – The Example for All
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.Michael H. Hart, The 100: A ranking of the most influential persons in history (New York: Hart Pub. Co., 1978), 21.
This and countless other examples show how the Prophet’s character shines bright in this world full of darkness. Now, it is up to us, if we truly embody his principals.
Also Read: Don’t Belittle any Acts of Kindness
Gentleness is what a true believer would embody. This trait calls him to be patient, to be mature, to be grounded in reality, and not respond with haste and hate.
In Madinah, a group of people from a Jewish tribe entered upon the Prophet ﷺ and said, “As-Sâmu ‘alayk (Death be upon you).” He ﷺ replied, “And upon you,” but ‘Â’isha (ra) felt compelled to add, “Death be upon you, along with the curse of Allah and His wrath!” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “O ‘Â’isha, be gentle! Indeed, Allah is gentle and loves gentleness in all matters. Beware of being harsh and vulgar.” She said, “Did you not hear what they said?” He replied, “Did you not hear what I replied? I have returned their statement to them, except that my invocation against them will be accepted, while theirs against me will not be accepted.”Al-Bukhâri (410, 6528)
Keep in mind that at this time, Prophet Peace be upon him is in Madina. He could respond to these Jews through physical force but he didn’t. So, contrary to the narrative that everyone who uttered a word against him was killed, there are countless examples of gentleness and calm from the Prophet peace be upon him.
Sadly, young Muslims, who are emotional and immature, sometimes take the wrong approach of personal attacks and hate when talking to those who are open in their criticism of Islam.
Humanity Over Revenge
When the companions captured the leader of Quraysh and open critic of Islam in Badr, he brought him to the Prophet.
‘Umar (ra) was delighted at a chance to exact revenge, and requested permission to remove Suhayl’s front teeth “so that he could never preach against the Messenger ﷺ.” However, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “I will not mutilate him, lest Allah mutilate me—even if I were a Prophet.”al-Hâkim (3/318) and Ibn Hishâm (3/200)
This example is another example oh how Prophet (peace is upon him) was kind to the people who criticized him. It was very easy for him to decide if he wanted this man tortured or hurt but he didn’t.
Say No to Violence
Hazrat Aisha R.A said: “Never did the Messenger of Allah ﷺ strike anyone with his hand, neither a servant nor a woman, unless he was fighting in the cause of Allah. He never took revenge upon anyone for the wrong done to him, and would [only] carry out legal retributions for the sake of Allah when the injunctions of Allah were violated.”Muslim (644)
This is the example of our dear Prophet which we should be the following day in and day out. Whether we are dealing with personal attacks or the criticism of our religion, we should never ever retort to violence. Unless it is war. In war, the fight is physical anyway. But when living together in a community of different faiths and thoughts, violence is the most despicable of acts regardless of the reason provided.
Sadly, some Muslims justify violence or even killings of minorities in the name of Islam saying that they are protecting the honour of Rasulullah. Allah raised the honour of the Prophet and it wouldn’t ever be tarnished just because someone said something.
We need to talk more about the need for respect, mutual dialogue, and peaceful coexistence. If we apply the example of the Prophet and encourage even a few to follow in his footsteps, we will have played at least some part in changing the intolerant mindsets.