Under no circumstances does Islam tolerate a personal attack upon the Prophet . No Muslim can forgive the offender for such an attack, since such an attack is not against them. The Prophet in his life forgave the people who abused him, however, he had the right to do so, since the attacks were upon him personally. We have no right to forgive that person. Just as I have no right to forgive a person who has committed a wrong against you, no matter how merciful you might be. In fact, the better your character, the more offense I should take on a person who attacks you.
The Prophet of course demonstrated the absolute perfection of human character. Allah says about him, "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)" (Quran 33:21) Addressing the Prophet Allah says that He has "raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)" (Quran 94:4) Therefore, we have a moral obligation to object to anyone attempting to abuse the honor of our Holy Prophet .
Traditional Islamic civilization had been extremely tolerant of other faiths. Princeton University professor emeritus Bernard Lewis writes, "They were able to pass an even severer test by tolerating divergent forms of their own." Unbelievers and deviants were only punished when "the offence became public and scandalous."1 However, even in Islamic Spain, arguably, the most liberal of the Muslim territories insults against the Prophet were not tolerated. Yale professor Menacol writes, "although Islam was elastic in matters of doctrine, particularly when it had to do with Christians, they had zero-tolerance for disparagement of their Prophet." In 855, a radical group of Christians openly sought martyrdom as a symbol of their defiance to Muslim rule. These "would-be martyrs thus knew for certainty that they were forcing the hands of the authorities of the city by expressly choosing to vilify Muhammad." 2 Their virulent public attacks continued until it led to their desired end, execution.
The personality of Muhammad forms the very core of Muslim identity. Muslims believe in everything he said, follow his every word, emulate his every behavior and attempt to model their lives according to his blessed life. Without Muhammad there is no Islam as we know it. Insulting the Prophet would be like insulting someone very close to your heart, perhaps a mother or a daughter. The Quran teaches that the "Prophet is closer to the believer than their own selves" (Quran 33:6). The Prophet himself said, "That is, none of you is Momin (believer) unless I am dearer to him than his parents, his children and all other persons." (Sahih Bukhari). Allah states, "I have sent you as a blessing for the whole Universe" (Quran 21:107). The Prophet is a particular mercy to the believers, "Allah did confer a great favor on the believers when He sent among them an Apostle from among themselves." (Quran 33:56) Therefore, Muslims deeply love their Prophet . Getting upset when someone insults someone you love is a natural human reaction. It is not an academic issue regarding freedom of speech, it's a personal issue. Furthermore, this is not an issue on which Muslims disagree, all Muslims schools of thought agree on this. There is zero-tolerance for denigration of the holy Prophet .
Muhammad Iqbal, the famous early 20th century Muslim philosopher, in a poem entitled Satan's advice to the enemies of Islam, writes,
wo faqa kash kay mout say derta nahin zara
Rooh-e-Muhammad uss kay badan say nikal dou
The steadfast simple Muslim that does not fear death.
Take the soul of Muhammad out of his heart.
If people can make us compromise on our Prophet , then what else is left? If it is okay for his blessed person to be the subject of mockery in the name of "modern" values, then the West has truly won over the Muslims. It truly represents Muslims admitting complete defeat, and bowing in complete submission to the West.
If the abuse of the beloved of Allah, and the beloved of all Muslims (peace be upon him) can be tolerated, do we really have any other honor to defend?
Therefore, I respectfully argue that, Muslims intellectuals should be careful before jumping on the bandwagon the West would like us to jump on and condemning the condemnation of these cartoons.
1. Lewis, Bernard. What Went Wrong? (p. 114). New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
2. Menecol, Maria Rosa. The Ornament of the World. (p. 70). New York: Back Bay Books, 2002.
Dr. Macksood A. Aftab, Masters of Liberal Arts (Candidate, Harvard University), Clinical Associate in Diagnostic Radiology (Tufts University School of Medicine).
The cartoons depicted what non-Muslims see everyday and that is Islam = violence.
It is the same as Osama wanting the west out of the middle-east. Because of what he has done, there more westerners there now than ever before. If you wish for Islam to be the only religion, you must stop the violence in it.
The whole world is watching what you do and don't do. Our opinions will be formed from it.
And regarding the forgiveness, its not our job to forgive some one who insult the prophet, All the Muslims must know that if you offend someone even Allah can not forgive you. It's only the victim who can forgive.
I am against the action for dealing with this situation as the harshest way as possible. We refuse to use our minds and read and learn as an ummah. As a famous scholar said, becoming angry and insulting back is a sign of weak Iman cause' we should know that whats loved by God will be dealt by God. If we truly have Yaqeen (Conviction of the Judgment) than why do we get so angry although the Prophet (Pbuh) said 'Do not angry'. and why do we feel like being harsh towards the parties, but we fail to realize whats Gods will be protected by God, just like the Quran. We should realize that acting like this will only give people an incentive to state their hatred in a deeper sense for the Prophet (pbuh). Remember Day of Judgment is NO joke, so why do we take it that acting like this will help Cultivate the Earth and get people closer to God...
When the Jyllands-Posten in Denmark ran the cartoons mocking the Prophet (pbuh), the publisher maintained that their purpose was to promote freedom of speech rather than to antagonize the Muslim world. In actual fact the man behind the cartoons insulting the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam was none other than Flemming Rose, a Jewish extremist supporter of Israel and close friend of Neocon Jewish extremist Daniel Pipes.
The Iranian President and press argued that the Denmark paper is not really concerned with freedom of speech. He said that major dailies across the Western world would never allow a cartoon that questions even the smallest detail of "The Holocaust." He also insisted that Jewish extremism would never be satirized in the paper. Immediately, the editor of the Danish Daily responded that he would prove it was truly a free speech issue by publishing some Holocaust cartoons in conjunction with the Iranian paper Hamshahrari.
Now it turns out that the Iranians were completely correct about Western free speech hypocrisy. Not only did the paper issue a statement that on no account would the paper print any cartoons questioning the Holocaust, but also canceled planned cartoons simply critical of Israel. Freedom of thought and speech is claimed as a cornerstone of Western values. What the cartoon controversy has really proven is that there is no true freedom of speech in the West.
ii's there a shame to insult a prophet while making him what he isnot (also used not) in his living time
let the terrorists be known and the terrorists are quitely known and there are those who made these cartoons and those who supported to or backed them up?
Every product when manufactured has tolerance limit - on the same line any article, cartoon, comment or criticism has its limit. I pray to Allah that there is a peace in the whole world as this is the message of Islam.
The problem with muslims is the trigger happy emotions and total lack of any strategic thought. Keep history in prospective, prophet Mohammad was insulted and humiliated by Meccans at the time but he didn't allow for the revenge. Not even from people city of Ta'if. The reason because Prophet Mohammad was thinking long term when next generations of Ta'if and Mecca will be muslim.
As a follower of prophet Mohammad, I felt same pain in my heart when Iraqis were killed by smart bombs and human bombs, I felt same pain when earthquake wipe out the next generation of northern Pakistan. I felt same pain when someone insults prophet Mohammad or any other prophet we dearly believe in. I felt same pain when muslims are oppressing their brothers in faith.
Rather than calling for a day to protects the cartoon and burn and destroy someone property why not call for a day to celebrate the Sunnah and show the world that how much we love prophet Mohammad by following his sunnah just for a day at least.
A thought for the writer to remember as he didn't like the muslims intellectuals to condemn the condemnation method (a correction for the writer) no muslim intellectual endorse the cartoon.
The thought is "Watch your words as they become actions, watch your actions as they become character , watch your character as it become you for rest of your life". Please don't quote my Lewis Bernard he is not my teacher in life.
secondly: if you confess that prophet mohammad pbuh actually forgave his abusers, then shouldn't we follow his conduct?
do we worship mohammad or Allah? we know by following his teaching we follow Allah and thus we worship Allah. that does not diminish our respect for mohammad pbuh. indeed it shows his enemies that this man is far above in respect than such menial jokes. thus to the contrary, i feel our respect stays higher if we choose to totally ignore such silly behaviour. instead we should be out on the streets in drones peacefully objecting to any invasion of any muslim country. we should show our disgust against abuse of innocent civilians. from gitmu to fallujah to chechnya and now syria and iran. we must never tolerate abuse of our brothers. i strongly believe that is what the prophet pbuh would have wanted from us by saying that 'a muslim is a brother unto another muslim' yet we seem to remain silence when our brothers are physically abused. not only that: has any of our governments brought any action against america for illegally invading iraq?? no, we even offer them our land for their military barracks. but are happy to go out burning property that belongs to people who had nothing to do with these cartoons. is that what prophet mohammad pbuh would have done?
"It is not an academic issue regarding freedom of speech, its a personal issue." Wah! So academics and those trying to look nice and those in the business of projecting a good image, should see it through a different lens. By the way, the Danish newspaper chose the event of publishing the cartoons. It had to have different outcomes in the sample space. The condemnation in the form of physical outrage was one of outcomes. The probability of a physical outrage from amongst the billion+ Muslims had to be expected. That was a little probability 101 for the editors of the newspapers. They got their math wrong. They miscalculated. So all this talk ,after the fact, about how wrong it was to stage an unruly physical protest seems a bit hollow. Maybe it was a trial ballon sent out to see how far the Muslims were willing to defend the honor of their beloved Prophet!. And they got varied answers!