Saturday, September 16, 2006

Responding to Provocations

Argh... you know what is really, really embarassing? When something happens - like the Danish cartoons, and now the Pope and his anti-Islam comments - and we Muslims get all mad and offended... and with good reason, but some people (a lot of people...) react in a way that isn't really fitting for Muslims to act. It makes me cringe when I hear of Muslims freaking out and trashing buildings and burning flags and stuff... and, of course, it just gives the non-Muslims a worse view of us, and people like Daniel Pipes and his rabble-rousing ilk have more fodder to use against us, and they can say, "You see! These Muslims are barbaric, backwards people!Islam is evil!"

At times like this, we Muslims can only blame ourselves for our bad image. Why can't people control their tempers?! The Prophet (peace be upon him) had the Mushrikeen of the Quraish throw the innards of a camel on him, but HE didn't go on rampage! Why can't we follow his example? Why can we not control ourselves, and realize that by acting in this way, we're bringing more harm upon OURSELVES?

What we need to do is react in a very controlled manner... no riots and rampages, but make it clear to the people responsible that what they have done is NOT acceptable. The leaders of Muslim countries should recall their ambassadors and diplomats, the Shuyookh should tell the people not to react violently, but intellectually - and to make lots of du'aa, 'cuz that was the Prophet's weapon, and that should be OUR weapon. In the West, I think Muslims are dealing with it fairly well... we have our organizations calling for apologies, and we don't have the riots... but in the Muslim world - yaa ikhwatil Muslimeen, we cannot act in this manner! Do you think that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be proud of the way we're acting? Do you think that he would approve of it? If he stopped his Companions from reacting strongly to the Quraish, do you think that if he was alive today, he would allow us to act in this way? Laa wallah! Attacking churches? People, it's haraam to do so! The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade the attacking of places of worship during war - and if it's forbidden in war, is it not even more so during times of peace? It only inflames matters, makes it harder for us to solve the problem...

So please, please, please: STOP IT! Stop rioting! Stop attacking people! Stop firebombing churches! This behaviour is totally contrary to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and it does not help us in any way. It only harms our cause.Remember, WE, the MUSLIM UMMAH, are REPRESENTATIVES of Islam. So if we freak out and start trashing buildings and attacking churches and so on, it only makes the non-Muslims think that Islam is evil and Muslims are violent. That is NOT true, as we all know. But because of our behavior, that's what they think.

On the Day of Judgement, would you like to be standing before God and admit that because of YOUR behaviour, you drove people away from Islam rather than giving Da'wah in the proper manner of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? Huh?

So think about that, before you go and tarnish the image of Islam even further. All right?

Now, to address any non-Muslims who may be reading this... what many of those Muslims are doing, attacking churches and so on, is NOT condoned by Islam. In fact, much of their behaviour is forbidden in Islam. But the reason that they're reacting in that manner is because, well, that's the only way they know how to react. They live in countries that are poor, ruled by tyrants, almost never allowed to express their opinions. Only in situations like these are they allowed to let loose their emotions - because the despotic rulers don't really give a damn about the issue, and they think it's a good way to let the people let off steam without harming them (the rulers).
Also, many of these people are ignorant as to the proper adaab (manner) of reacting to situations like these... Islam advises calmness and good manners even in times when our religion is being insulted, but not all Muslims know that, or follow that.
The thing that must be kept in mind is that not all Muslims behave the way that Islam tells them to. The actions of a people are not necessarily condoned by the religion they follow - and that's especially true with Islam.

So I ask you, please, don't judge Islam based on what Muslims do, because what Muslims do isn't always in accordance with Islam. If you really want to learn about Islam, do some independent research... and don't go to sites like Jihadwatch for your info, 'cuz you'll just get told that Islam's a religion of violence and evil and rubbish like that. A good place to start your search - http://www.islam-qa.com/ (you'll find a link to the English section), http://www.islamway.com/ (same as the last site, you'll find where to get directed to the english part of the websites), http://www.islamtoday.com/, http://www.sultan.org/.

So, ummm, yeah... don't judge Islam based on the nasty things some Muslims do. Go do some real research, from authentic sources.
Or, you could just ask me, your friendly neighborhood Muslim Mouse! :)

5 comments:

Faraz said...

Assalamu'alaykum little sister,

Thanks for this post. I was going to write about this whole thing myself, but haven't had the time yet. I really didn't side with the majority of Muslims on the cartoon issue, but in this case, I do. For the most part, the reaction has been relatively restrained and civil - there have been a few isolated incidents of violence, but nothing as ridiculous as what we saw back in February.

You touched on one interesting point, that Muslims in the West have generally displayed a more nuanced approach to these situations. It's these sorts of realities which make me annoyed whenever Muslims condemn the West; in many ways, we have benefitted from living here. There is a lot of good here, as well as bad. The problem is that many non-Muslim countries take the bad and leave the good, and then proclaim that everything about the West is evil.

Oh, and thanks especially for mentioning the story of the camel innards dropped on the beloved Prophet of Allah salallaho'alayhi wa salam during sajda. This was one of many episodes which show that Prophetic guidance insists on patience over revenge, even when one has the means for revenge.

Keep me in your du'as, insha-Allah!

Abu Sahajj said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum,

Please keep in mind that you are a Western Muslim (I am assuming). And as a Western Muslim not living in an Islamic country, the slander of Islam may not strike the same chord as someone who lives in an Islamic country, like Pakistan for instance.

You should prepare for a long life of embarassing episodes, because out of 2 billion Muslims, there will always be someone to respond to something... appropriately or inappropriately.

wasalaam

Sadiq M. Alam said...

thanks a lot for raising the issue. i hv a little thought sharing in my blog as well. welcome there!

AnonyMouse said...

Faraz:
Wa 'alaikumus-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu! :)

Another example that I remembered only later was when the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to Taa'if and was chased out of the city, bleeding from the stones that the people were throwing at him. Yet when Jibreel came with another angel, and told the Prophet that if he willed, the other angel would destroy the city of Taa'if, the Prophet objected and instead prayed that the children of the people of Taa'if would accept Islam... how amazing is that? Subhaan'Allah!

Abu Sahhaj:
Wa 'alaikumus-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatu! :)

Shukran for taking the time to comment on my post... yes, you are correct that I'm living in the West.
However, I don't think the fact that I'm living here changes how I feel about this slander against Islam - I am as furious over it as any other Muslim, BUT I object to how we react to it. As a Muslim Ummah, we need to learn how to react appropriately in situations where people mock our religion, and our Prophet. As I mentioned, the Quraish at one time dumped the innards of a camel over him while he was in Sujud - yet he did not react violently, but instead made du'aa against them.
Another thing that many have pointed out is that, how come when someone says something against Islam Muslims around the world rise up in a storm of fury - but every single day, while our Muslim brothers and sisters are being slaughtered, we don't say a word? The Muslims in the Muslim world, who burn flags and attack churches and people over an insult, do not seem to think that the daily killing of our fellow Muslims is worth rioting about. Why?!!!!!!

Anyway... may Allah grant us true strength, physical and spiritual, so that we may fight back and by His will be victorious... ameen!

Brother Sadiq: I'll be going right over to read your post, insha'Allah! :)

DA said...

The whole world is insane, sometimes I wish Islam allowed monastacism and built mountaintop retreats like Buddhists do.