It saddens and hurts to see freedom – the virtue and the principle which supposedly is avowed to safeguard human dignity, the one that when it rises from the depth of the soul, stands to bring justice and restore peace – used to express hate and religious discrimination and used to defame and to mock the dearest to the hearts of all Muslims, the Prophet (pbuh). Causing hurt to more than 1.5 billion of Muslims in the world, cannot emanate from “enlightenment,” but from hearts who refuse the attainment of the wellbeing of people and their peaceful coexistence. “Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. Here you are loving them, but they are not loving you, while you believe in the Scripture – all of it …” (3:118-119).
Standing against such enormous bigotry is an action of faith, but must be done in a way that honors the legacy of the Prophet (pbuh), in peace and with zero violence. Such an action is, indeed, necessary for all believers. In fact, this bigotry tries our beliefs and identity. We are by obligation of the faith required to assist, honor and venerate the Prophet (pbuh). “We have truly sent thee as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner: in order that you (O, people) may believe in Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), and that you assist and honor him (pbuh), and (that you) glorify (Allah's) praises, morning and afternoon" (48:8-9).
But the Prophet (pbuh), is in the loftiest rank “in a seat of honor near The Sovereign, The Omnipotent.” Not an iota of the bigotry reaches him, nor touches his holiness, nor diminishes any of his nobility. The caricatures which claimed to portray his image are but fabricated portraits, pictured by hearts filled with darkness and hatred. They don’t in any way relate to him (pbuh). As a matter of fact, the chief of deceivers, Satan, with all his cunnings and abilities, is incapable of reproducing the true image of the Prophet (pbuh), even in dreams. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who saw me in sleep in fact saw me, for it is not possible for Satan to appear in my form.” In a Hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) said to his companions: “Don’t be amazed how Allah (swt) is turning back from me the insult of Quraish. They are cursing Muthammama (the disgraced one) and insulting Muthammama (meaning they referring to him (pbuh) with this name) and my name is Muhammad (the praised one)."
Anyone seeking to assist and honor his/her Prophet (pbuh), would ask what should be the first action needed to be done. The answer is simple, it is indeed to know him (pbuh) better. Knowing him (pbuh) better, increases the faith, deepens the vision of existence, extends the horizons of understanding, affirms the identity, enlightens the path and increases one’s love to him, (pbuh). Knowing him (pbuh) better, helps one understand more deeply the greatness of his person and understand the beauty of his message.
- Remind yourself, he (pbuh) is the mercy to the worlds. In his hands are the keys to the ultimate truth, to the wellbeing of the universe, to the establishment of justice on earth and to the absolute success. "And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” (21:107).
- Remind yourself, he is on an exalted standard of character as His Lord (swt) described him: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (68:4).
- Remind yourself, that his servitude to Allah (swt) exceeded all measures. He said (pbuh): “the delight of my eyes is in prayer,” meaning that the joy of his soul, the expansion of his breast and the pleasure of his heart happen when he meets Allah (swt). From such delight arose an abundance of Sakina (tranquility), mercy and kindness.
- Remind yourself that he is the most kind and merciful, “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty, ardently anxious is he over you. To the Believers is he most kind and merciful” (9:128).
- Remind yourself that he loves you and cares about you more than you do love and care about yourself. He said (pbuh): “The people most loved by me from amongst my Ummah would be those who would come after me, but everyone amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of me even at the cost of his family and wealth.”
- Remind yourself that he called you "my brothers and my sisters." It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went out to the graveyard and said: “Peace be upon the abode of believing people, and if Allah wills, we will join you soon. Would that I could see our brothers.” They said: "Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied: “You are my companions. Our brothers are those who have not come yet. I will reach the Cistern before them.” They inquired: "O Messenger of Allah, how will you recognize those of your ummah who came after you?" He replied: “Do you not see that if a man has a horse that has a white blaze and white feet among horses that are all black, will he not recognize his horse?” They said: "Of course." He said: “They will come to me with bright faces and limbs (like the white markings of a horse), because of the traces of wudu’ (ablution), and I will reach the Cistern before them.”
- Remind yourself that the Prophet (pbuh) will be invoking Allah on the Day of Judgement for you to be saved, as he was doing during his life. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (pbuh) recited the verse about Ibrahim (pbuh), 'O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But who follows me, he verily, is of me' [Ibrahim 14:36], and the verse in which ‘Isa (pbuh) said, 'If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You, are the All‑Mighty, the All‑Wise' [al-Maa'idah 5:118]. Then, he raised his hands and said: 'O Allah, my ummah, my ummah.' Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, said: 'O Jibreel, go to Muhammad, although your Lord knows best, and ask him why he is weeping.' So Jibreel (pbuh) went to him and asked him, and the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) told him what he said, although He knows best. Allah said: 'O Jibreel, go to Muhammad and say: “I will make you pleased concerning your ummah and not displeased.”'"
Let’s act to know him more, love him more and spread his message by following his guidance. Such is the greatest of the acts to honor him and assist him (pbuh). Let’s work on having him be our role model in changing our character and behavior, by being merciful and kind, wise and patient, a beacon of light spreading the light of the guidance.
Definitely Allah (swt) will suffice for His Prophet over those who scoff, as Allah has declared it in the Quran: “Then declare what you are commanded and turn away from the polytheists. Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers” (15:94-95).
SubhanAllah, this mocking of the Prophet (pbuh), coincides with the timing of the blessed month of Rabi-Al-Awwal, the month in which the Prophet (pbuh) was born; in it, he migrated and in it, he passed away. So, let's do as Allah had said to His Prophet (pbuh): “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)” (15:97-99).
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessings upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace” (33:56).
Allahumma Salli Wa Sallam Ala Rasulillah wa Ala Aalihi Wa Sahbihi Wa Sallim Taslima (O Allah, confer you blessings and peace upon the messenger of Allah, his family and his companions).