From being the most powerful, honourable, respectable, chivalrous, pious, progressive, courageous and admirable nation once on earth, the Arab leaders of today have sullied the name and the race of our most noble Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). The present Arab powers, far from their previous prestige, have indeed greatly deteriorated in stature to such an extent that they are now known for everything un-Islamic. These include their exploitation of labour, oppression of others, opulent and deca dent lifestyles, betrayal of their own race, war mongering, extremism in religion, manipulation and selective application of religion, and the cherry on the top – their open love, alliance, and adoration of USA and Israel. If this love was kept hidden in the heart, one could still be in doubt, but the Arab leaders have demonstrated themselves their willingness to be the Zio-Western underdog and poodle on all levels: economic, social, political and even religious. The only thing now left to change is the Saudi flag. The pure Kalimah (Islamic Creed) should be removed and be replaced by a woman in a bikini.
But being a friend of the devil is no ordinary task. You need to do two things to be afforded this disgraceful privilege. Firstly, you have to sell your religion – a demand which is currently being fulfilled; and secondly, you have to take your Lord and Protector to be the mighty West, the formidable East, or anyone else besides the One Almighty. This has already been done many decades ago. In return, you get protection of your throne and license to kill your own people.
The caricature controversy keeps rearing its ugly head, this time after the murder of a French teacher for showing degrading caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
Every time a Muslim reacts with violence in response to these despicable caricatures, a wave of support for the caricatures spreads across the world in defence of freedom of speech. This is very unfortunate.
Why is the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ caricatured?
What makes the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ significant today is that there are about 2 billion people around the world who love him and have him as their supreme role model. Caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ would be of little interest if Muslims did not follow him. Every time he is caricatured, it is not the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who is in focus – instead, the focus is on all the Muslims in the world who follow him. The cartoons are not only depicting him as a historical person, but are meant to represent Muslims as a whole.
The “bomb in the turban”
The drawing by the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, where the Prophet ﷺ is depicted with a bomb in his turban with the Islamic creed (shahāda) inscribed on it, makes one question why he is portrayed in this way. There were no bombs at the time of the Prophet ﷺ, so how can this be a criticism of him? What is the context behind this image? Evidently, there is no visible context whatsoever. The message one is left with is that Islam, bombs, and terrorism are all one and the same, and that Muslims are dangerous.
Where does this caricature come from? Some Muslims are seen committing terrorist attacks, but instead of blaming only these terrorists individually, one wishes to blame all Muslims. To substantiate that all Muslims support terrorism, the Prophet ﷺ is caricatured with a bomb in his turban as a symbol of the inner faith of Muslims.
The obvious message is that all Muslims – at least if they are “good Muslims” – either openly or secretly (through “taqiyyah”) support terrorism.
Therefore, the drawing is Islamophobic
The drawing is a clear Islamophobic racist cartoon, and the reason behind this is that it conveys an extremely negative stereotype that Muslims are terrorists. This is supported by the following arguments:
When the average viewer sees the drawing, the natural impression he is left with is that Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism. This is precisely why this drawing has become so popular in Islamophobic circles, and just as hated in Muslim circles.
The Muslim creed – which defines all Muslims – is written on the bomb. Therefore, the drawing conveys that all Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism, not just a specific person or organisation. If, for example, the terms Al-Qaeda or ISIS were written on the turban, it would have conveyed a completely different message.
The drawing is a caricature of the Prophet of all Muslims, not of, for example, Osama bin Laden. Had it been a caricature of the latter, one could argue that it would not have been Islamophobic. But precisely because it is attributed to the Prophet ﷺ, it is a picture that portrays all of his followers, i.e. all Muslims, as terrorists or supporters of terrorism.
More or less all Muslims, about 2 billion people, experience the drawing as Islamophobic and a violation of their human dignity.
Can the message be explained away?
It is also necessary to emphasise that Westergaard tried to explain away the cartoon as a symbol of terrorists taking the Prophet ﷺ and the religion as a hostage. But, since the drawing from the beginning has been conveyed as a caricature of the Prophet ﷺ, and not one of a terrorist, this is not a credible explanation. Therefore, the drawing remains Islamophobic.
To further exemplify it: If a Nazi makes an anti-Semitic drawing that shows that Jews exaggerated the Holocaust, and the cartoonist says that the drawing is really only meant to criticise some Jews who make too much fuss about the Holocaust, this will be rejected. Why? Because the drawing must be able to convey a meaningful message by itself, without it having to be explained away. If the drawing itself promotes a racist, anti-Semitic, or Islamophobic message, then that is exactly how it should be understood, regardless of how the cartoonist later explains away his intentions.
What about other caricatures of the Prophet ﷺ?
Similarly, when the Prophet ﷺ is caricatured as, for example, a misogynist, the indirect message is that everyone who follows the Prophet ﷺ – namely, all Muslims – abuse and discriminate against women, at least if they are “good Muslims.”
Any caricature of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that promotes a negative stereotype of Muslims will be Islamophobic because the Prophet ﷺ represents all Muslims.
Aren’t the caricatures a critique of religion?
Some may say that the caricatures are meant to be a criticism of the Prophet ﷺ. To portray the Prophet of the Muslims in Islamophobic stereotypes is quite different from non-Muslims criticising certain actions that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did in his historical context. According to the secular world view Muslims must tolerate criticism of their religion, but they do not have to tolerate Islamophobia. That’s why the distinction between criticism of religion and Islamophobia is crucial. One moves from criticism of Islam to Islamophobia when one either:
Stigmatises Muslims as a group by attributing negative opinions, characteristics, or intentions to them; or
Mentions historical events related to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in a stigmatising way without showing the context of the event one wishes to criticise, which leads to stigmatisation of Muslims.
The caricatures of the Prophet ﷺ do exactly this because they portray the symbol of the ideal Muslim as a terrorist and misogynist, without showing any real historical context. The context is crucial for distinguishing between criticism of religion and Islamophobia.
Therefore, the caricatures are Islamophobic, in line with claims such as Muslims inwardly support terrorism, good Muslims oppress women, or that Muslims secretly want to conquer Europe, etc. This is the same rhetoric found in right-wing extremist circles and organisations that promote the idea that to be a good Muslim, one must support terrorism, murder, and the oppression of women.
Should the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ be defended as freedom of speech?
The distinction between criticism of religion and Islamophobia is crucial in this debate. Precisely because this distinction has not been clear enough, we see that many defend Islamophobic caricatures in the name of freedom of expression.
Islamophobia is still a new concept for many, so it is important to point out that Islamophobia is a branch of racism. When we see these caricatures in the context of Islamophobia, it is easier to see the moral reprehensibility of saying that Muslims must tolerate being portrayed in this way. For instance, we would not say that Jews must tolerate caricatures of Moses being portrayed as a greedy man with a big nose (a typical anti-Semitic stereotype). It is morally reprehensible to make such anti-Semitic portrayals of Moses a symbolic struggle for freedom of speech.
But it has taken the world many years and many lost lives to really understand the dangers of anti-Semitic propaganda. We must learn from the mistakes of history. Now, in 2020, we understand the phenomenon of Islamophobia much more than society did in 2005 when the caricature controversy first started.
It is now time to put these caricatures in their right context. Defending the drawing, printing, or publication of Islamophobic caricatures is not a defence of freedom of speech – it is a defence of Islamophobia.
Question:What does the Shariah say about boycotting Israeli goods? If a group organizes such a boycott, does it become incumbent on the community to observe the boycott? Is it permissible to pressurize people to observe the boycott, and to label them traitors for not observing the boycott?
Answer: Firstly, it is necessary to ascertain who the people are who initiate these boycotts. The initiators are all faasiq and faajir men and women whose relationship with the Deen is extremely deficient. The type of activities they indulge in to highlight their boycotts of Israel, confirm their fisq and fujoor. They descend to hooliganism and haraam acts. There is no regard for the Shariah’s commands and prohibitions.
The very first disqualification of a movement or an activity is the fisq and fujoor of its leaders/ initiators. If the initiators are fussaaq and fujjaar, the movement stands condemned. It will be…
A few weeks ago, social media was abuzz at an incident that took place at a Masjid in Johannesburg. The Imam, a well-known knowledgeable, selfless and humble personality, had just polished off his biryani after conducting an excellent Jumu’ah service, and was about to lay down for his well-deserved afternoon siesta when he received a phone-call from the one-man show trustee of his Masjid. The said trustee wasn’t even present at the Jumu’ah, and so acting on the words of his “perfect” son, proceeded: “Maulana, I’m letting you know that you’re fired.”
“It’s fine with me, but be courteous enough to inform me the reason please,” asked the rather amused Imam.
“My son told me that you went against Masjid protocol by saying that by taking precautions against Covid-19 in the Masjid, you can still contract it. You said that social distancing doesn’t necessarily protect one, but Allah alone should be trusted.”
“So what’s wrong with that? You checked my lecture script yesterday,” queried the Imam, getting frustrated with an ignorant trustee who didn’t understand the basics of tawheed and tawakkul (beliefs in the Oneness and Trust in God).
“You’re fired because I said so, and that’s it. Come collect your money from my shop.”
“With pleasure. My last few month’s envelopes are still with you, so whenever I’m around, I’ll gladly do so.”
And that was it. Eight years of sterling service terminated by a mere phone call at the whim and ego of an ignorant autocratic trustee.
This article is not targeting any Masjid or trustee in particular, but if the caps fits, wear it. Nevertheless, it highlights the rather common trend on how some abusive trustees ill-treat scholars and Imams, not following any Islamic protocol or labour law imperatives when taking any decision. Some of these trustees are disgustingly scholars and Imams themselves which actually compounds the problem. It’s well known that government and world affairs are today led by the worst of people, the most corrupt, with the worst human rights record and with very little knowledge or morals, but hidden in plain sight are the leadership of some of our Masajid and Islamic institutions too.
Masaajid and Islamic institutions are today, by and large, not seen as a centre of service to humanity, but as a status symbol. So, those who have the ability of funding it, or who have social or political status, aspire to run them – and they run them just like their businesses, bereft of any moral compass, knowledge base and etiquette. Our Masaajid stand at the very forefront of our identity as Muslims, at our progress as a Muslim ummah, it plays one of the most pivotal roles as far as our role in this world is concerned, and our destiny in the hereafter. Our life and death revolves around the masjid, and it’s the yearning of many to die in a Masjid, on a Friday, whilst in sujood (prostration). It’s no ordinary building, and that’s why the first structure to be erected by our noble Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) when reaching Madinah, was a Masjid.
If the Masaajid is so pivotal to Muslims, then their trustees should be the most knowledgeable, the most pious and elite, and the most decent. Is this the case? How many attend five-times daily salaat in their own Masjid, are not involved in interest-based loans, do not behave nor appear according to the sunnah, who conduct community affairs with transparency and shura (consultation), and who have a dignified demeanour? A community who has such trustees ruling their affairs should remove them and replace them with better suited candidates. If this can’t be done because many Masjids are today built and owned by rich and arrogant individuals and families, then build an alternate Masjid and run it according to proper Islamic principles. Those who support clannism, elitism and exclusivism in the name of Islam can support the crooked Masjid and continue beguiling their fantasies, whilst those humble souls who genuinely want to serve Islam and obtain correct guidance, can attend the second one. The choice would be yours.
Scholars, Imams, ‘Ulema, Shuyookh etc would also make a choice as to which Masjid to serve in. If they choose to be lapdogs and sellouts of the rulers and the rich, let them sell their souls to the devil in the Masjid for a few extra rands. Believe you me, there are hundreds like these around, including some of the Imams of the Grand Haram in Arabia! When they get a grand kick from their evil masters one day, they’ll know if they mounted a horse or a donkey. The more sincere ‘Ulema, on the other hand, should seek out Institutions which are run closer to the ideal, and if such Institutions are not to be found, they have one of two choices, and a no-choice as follows:
They could either rally like-minded in the community behind them, and build their own Masjid and Islamic institutions. There is no unity on falsehood and evil. Such unity is actually a deception, because it will cause further harm to Islam down the line, endorsing rotten people, and their rotten apples. If this is not possible, they should serve Islam in their private capacity, and seek their livelihood via business or some other trade or skill. In this way, they will serve the religion with dignity, and without compromise.
The no-choice option would be to continue serving under the rich and arrogant, unhappily, whilst compromising the religion. Many scholars of the past, and till today, continue exercising patience in such positions “for the greater good of the community,” but they do not realize what they can achieve via another structure, or the harm they are causing the community in the name of Islam. Interestingly, many local scholars are not towing the line anymore, so the despotic trustees hire foreigners with no command of the English language, with no understanding of the local dynamics, who willfully take orders, and who are happy to slog for a measly 30 happy meals per month. What a disgrace upon such trustees who dishonor Islam in such a way!
Let’s ask a basic question here: Will the CEO of a huge hospital which handles many critical patients, be a non-doctor? Did you ever meet the head of an accounting firm who’s not a CA or highly qualified in his field? Can a person running a tyre shop or a construction company, who flunked out of basic Madrasah, be made the head of an IT company. The answer is “no”, but you’ll sadly find these in two situations: in politics, and in religion. The Masjid trustee will boss around the learned scholar, but will not know how to even recite Surah Fatiha with tajweed (rules of pronounciation). Many trustees, if asked the following basic questions, will not be able to answer. Go on, go quiz them a bit:
What are rules and regulations pertaining to waqf (Islamic endowments) in Islam, the broad difference between Zakaat and Lillah and how should they be disbursed. Is there proper financial record keeping, and no criminal record or incidences or fraud or indecent behaviuour in their social and private life?
What are the principles of shura (mutual consultation), how is it administered, is it inclusive, and is the outcome according to Islam or not?
What are the principles of labour law, or contracts, in Islam and SA law? Remember that the Imam is more knowledgeable than you and has been employed to lead the community. Do you feel threatened by his authority and guidance, and want to dictate to him how things must be done? Will you “work him out” if he doesn’t toe the line because you pay his salary? Does his salary cover his needs, and if it doesn’t, do you feel threatened by his “side hussle” that will slowly make him independent of you? Sadly, most hired Imams make less than what the rich give their kids for school lunch.
Pertaining to ghusl (bathing), wudhu (ablution), and salaat (prayers), what are the faraa’idh, sunnah, nafl and musthabbaat. Do they have the capacity of rectifying the Imam in salaat, or continuing the salaat if the Imam breaks off mid-way?
Lastly, hats off to those trustees who fit the above bill, and who run the show properly. If not, maybe it’s time you allow for others to get involved. Your Masjid may be suffering due to you. You may think you’re the solution, but you’re actually the problem. No one owns the Masjid, even if you donated every cent of the R20 million it cost. It belongs to the Ummah.
Insulting God and His Prophets is not an invention of the contemporary world. For eons, forgotten losers of old have levelled abuse at the Divine and His notable representatives on Earth, not least of all at the Prophets of God. It is undoubtedly clear that the champions of paltry ideologies that reduce man to a measly composition and movement of chemical compounds cannot salvage their philosophical wreckage except by scorning those who know life’s greater purpose. Despite its laïcité, France stands as the “most depressed nation on earth” and has the highest suicide rate western Europe. Scorning definitely distracts from confessing that others may be right.
Many Prophets were killed, crucified, or insulted, yet they are in bliss and their legacies remain. Their killers or scorners are, at best, dust, awaiting a much longer chastisement and humiliation in the Hereafter. The history of the final Prophet, Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), is replete with how his scorners faced abysmal and humiliating ends whilst his immaculate status was forever preserved. Allāh has promised:
“Surely We will be sufficient for you against the mockers…”
During the international phase of the da’wah, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wrote to invite both Khosrow (of Persia) and Caesar (of Rome) to Islam. Both abstained from accepting the message. Caesar, however, honoured the letter and emissary of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Allāh strengthened and stabilised the Kingdom of Caesar. Khosrow, on the other hand, tore apart the letter and mocked the Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his emissary. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) later said: “Khosrow has just torn apart his own dominion.”
A short time later, Khosrow’s son, Kavad II, killed his father to take over the throne. Through successive ignominious defeats at the hands of the Byzantines and the Muslims in the Caliphate of ‘Umar (rady Allāhu ‘anhu), Khosrow’s empire was indeed irreversibly torn into pieces.
Al-Suhaili reports: “Heraclius (610-641 AD) kept the Prophet’s letter sheltered in a gold reed-like object in its honour and kept passing it down from one emperor to the other. It finally ended up with the ‘King of the Franks’ over Toledo, before being inherited down. Some of our companions told me that Abd al-Malik b. Sa’īd, one of the Muslim commanders, met that king. In their encounter, he showed him the Prophetic letter. On seeing it, he was overtaken by emotion and knelt across (to kiss it), but was not given permission.”
Ibn Hajar reports, on the authority of Said al-Din Falih al-Mansūri, that the King of the Franks showed him a box lined with gold containing a gold pen case. He opened the case and pulled out a letter, the ink of which had faded, attached to a silk rag. The king then said: “This is your Prophet’s letter to my grandfather the Caesar that continues to be inherited down until now. Our father advised us that so long as we preserve this letter, our kingdom will be preserved. We thus protect it with utmost effort and honour it, concealing it from the Christians so that our dominion may persist.”
Abu Lahab and his son ‘Utbah were once preparing to head for al-Shām (the Levant). Before they left, ‘Utbah promised: “I will (first) go to Muhammad and mock his Lord.” ‘Utbah approached the Prophet and daringly said (invoking a Qur’ānic passage from Surah al-Najm out of mockery): “I have disavowed the one ‘who got close and drew near, and was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer.’” Hearing his mockery of Allāh’s words, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) invoked: “Allāh, send upon him a dog of your dogs,” and turned away.
‘Utbah returned to his father who asked: “Son, what did you say to him?” ‘Utbah related the account, then Abu Lahab asked: “And what did he say back?” He replied: “Allāh, send upon him a dog of your dogs.” Abu Lahab then said: “Son, by Allāh, I do not feel safe from (the manifestation of) that supplication.”
They both took off until they reached a land near al-Shām full of lions. Addressing his travelling group, Abu Lahab said: “By the right of my age and position, that man (Muhammad) supplicated against my son that I do not feel protected from, so gather your belongings and go to that monastery and put my son in the middle of your belongings and surround him.” They did as he ordered. Moments later, a lion approached and roamed around the camping group, sniffing and searching until he hopped on top of their caravan and jumped directly onto ‘Utbah, vigorously attacking him until he ripped his head off. Abu Lahab said: “I knew that he would not escape the supplication of that man.”
In his book Thail Mawlid al-‘Ulamā’, Al-Kettāni mentions that during the era of the Caliph al-Hākim, there emerged a man who called himself Hādi al-Mustajībīn (the Guide of the Accepters) who would call to the worship of the ruler. It was said that he insulted the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and spat at the Qur’ān. When he entered Makkah, its residents complained to its Emir, but the latter defended the man and sought to excuse him by claiming he was repentant. The people insisted that such a sin cannot be made up by mere repentance. They gathered in the Haram, collectively beseeching Allāh. Thick dark smog filled the atmosphere then cleared, leaving over the sacred house a bright ray, visible day and night. This persisted until it was brought to the attention of the Emir of Makkah, who summoned Hādi al-Mustajībīn and executed him.
In his book Al-Shifā, Qādi ‘Iyād writes that the jurists of Kairouan in present-day Tunisia – and companions of the jurist Sahnūn b. Sa’īd – had issued an edict to execute Ibrahim al-Fazāri, a skilled poet and master of multiple sciences who would frequently mock Allāh and his prophets, including the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). The jurist Yahya b. Umar ordered for al-Fazāri to be killed and crucified. As he hung facing the Qiblah, historians mention that the firmly grounded wooden pole was later found in its place, but facing another direction!
The 20th century scholar Ahmad Shakir mentions that he attended a sermon in which an articulate orator wanted to praise the leadership for showing courtesy to the writer Taha Hussein, who was blind. In his speech, he said: “(The leader) did not frown or turn his attention away when the blind man came him,” invoking but deforming the verses of Surah ‘Abasa. Ahmad Shakir said: “This criminal’s retribution came in this world before the next. By Allāh, I saw him after a few years with my very two eyes, after his haughtiness and position… as a docile and humiliated servant looking after people’s slippers at the door of the masjid.”
In other instances, Allāh protected His Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) through imperceptible barriers, through angels, and through fear thrown into the hearts of those who intended to cause him harm. It was reported that Ghawrath b. al-Hārith, who was a polytheist, vowed to kill the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whilst the Prophet was sleeping under a palm tree with his sword hung up on it.
Ghawrath held a sword over the head of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and threatened: “Who will protect you?” The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) answered: “Allāh!” Jabir, the narrator, says: “The sword fell out of his hand and the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) picked it up and said: ‘And who will protect you’? The man replied: ‘The best of the two who grabbed (the sword).’ The Prophet asked: ‘Do you bear witness that none is worthy of worship besides Allāh and that I am His Messenger?’ The man said: ‘I promise to not fight you, nor to assist anyone who fights you.’ The Prophet let him go.” In other narrations, the Prophet had given him the sword on the man’s request and, on grabbing it, his hands shuddered and he dropped it. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allāh stood between you and what you sought to do.”
Abu Huraira reports that Abu Jahl asked his friends whether the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ‘places his face on the ground’ (in sujūd) in their presence. They answered in the affirmative. He said: “By Lāt and `Uzza! If I see him doing that, I will trample his neck or smear his face with dust.”
Abu Jahl approached the Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as he was in sujūd and pressed ahead to step on his blessed neck. On nearing, Abu Jahl stumbled back with glaringly wide eyes, petrified and looking as if he were repelling something with his hands. It was said to him: “What is the matter with you?” He said: “I saw a ditch of fire, terror and wings had emerged between me and him.” Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would later say: “If he were to come near me, the angels would have torn him to pieces!”
‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbās (rady Allāhu ‘anhu) reported that a group of the leadership of Quraish gathered in the Hijr (the Sacred House) and vowed by their idols (Lāt, Uzza, Manāt, and Isāf) that if they were to see Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), they will collectively kill him. Fātimah (rady Allāhu ‘anha) was made aware of their plan and rushed to her father, the Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), weeping. He said: “O daughter, bring me water for ablution.” He then washed and entered the Masjid. When the leadership of Quraish saw him, they lowered their heads and avoided making eye contact; not a man approached him. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) advanced, knelt, and filled his palm with dirt and threw it at them, exclaiming: “May these faces be deformed.” The narrator of this event said that everyone in the vicinity of that pelted dirt was killed years later on the Day of Badr.
Allāh protected His Messenger from scorners by diverting insults to other than his noble self. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say: “Does it not astonish you how Allāh protects me from the abuse and curses of Quraish? They abuse Mudhammam and curse Mudhammam, while I am Muhammad (and not Mudhammam).” Ibn Hajar explains: “The disbelievers of Quraish would, out of sheer hate, insult the Prophet using Mudhammam (the lowly one) other than his name, Muhammad (the praised one)…but Mudhammam is neither his name, nor is he known by it, and thus their insults were naturally diverted away from him!”
On other occasions, Allāh would alter the laws of nature in defence of his Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Zaynab bint Hārith presented meat that she had packed with poison to the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). On placing the meat in his mouth, and without swallowing it, he said: “The bone is telling me that it is poisoned!” On inquisition, Zaynab admitted to poisoning the meat. The laws of nature were altered in two ways: by the poison having no effect on the Messenger, and by the bone informing the Messenger of the poison!
Allāh would transform the hearts of the Prophet’s enemies to friends on their first direct interaction with him. The starkest example of this is in the story of Abu Sufyān b. Hārith, the Prophet’s milk-brother who loved the Prophet during his childhood but became a stern enemy following the prophethood. Abu Sufyān would frequently insult the Prophet and his companions, but rather than humiliate him, Allāh softened his heart to Islam.
Abu Sufyan said: “Allāh put Islam in my heart, so I travelled with my wife and child until we reached al-Abwa’. I covered my face and approached until I was face to face with the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). When he saw me, he turned away, so I repositioned myself so that I was facing him again.” The narrator said: “Abu Sufyan kept following him (the Prophet) everywhere he would go… until Abu Sufyan said: ‘By Allāh, the Messenger shall give me permission (to speak to him) or I will take my son’s hand and die of hunger or thirst.’ When the Messenger (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) heard of this, his heart softened towards him and he allowed him to enter.”
Subhān Allāh, the One who humiliates the scorners of the Prophet in this life before the next, averts their insults to useless caricatures or objects, and transforms the heart of the Prophet’s haters to become humbled at his door begging for his pardon! His mockers fail to reduce from his veneration. They are like sloths who spit at the sun: dirtied by their own splutter. They are tarnished in this life before more humiliation in the next.
“Surely those who offend Allāh and His Messenger are condemned by Allāh in this world and the Hereafter. He has prepared for them a humiliating punishment.”
In the Name of Allāh, the most Gracious and most Merciful. All praise belongs to Allāh. May the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon His Final Messenger, Muhammad (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his family and his companions.
Khutbah (Part I)
It is important for us as Muslims to be aware of what is happening to Muslims not only locally but also around the world – both near and far. Muslims are one body, and our strength comes from our unity.
Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”
It is important for us as Muslims to understand why things are happening around the world. We should learn to look past the sensationalist speeches so that we can properly understand what is happening and how we need to respond.
“They plotted, and Allāh planned, but Allāh is the Best of planners.”
What has been happening during the last few days and weeks in France has saddened and shocked Muslims around the world.
Yesterday, three people were killed in Nice in France. Nine days ago two sisters in hijab were knifed beneath the Eiffel Tower. Two days before that a teacher Samuel Paty, was killed in France for showing cartoons of our beloved prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to his pupils. None of these killings and attacks can be condoned.
Furthermore, it is unbelievable for the French president Macron to take the unfortunate murder of the teacher and use it to re-publish the demeaning and derogatory cartoons of our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and to further display the cartoons on the largest buildings in France – and then to criminalise anyone who criticises this action – all in the name of freedom of expression!
Let us call this what it is. It is double standards and has nothing to do with freedom of speech! What happened to freedom of speech when the 80-year-old Maurice Sinet, a cartoonist with Charlie Hebdo for 20 years, was fired in 2009 for his anti-Semitic cartoons mocking the relationship of former French President Sarkozy’s son with a wealthy Jewish woman?
This single act of criminality of the murder of the teacher is now being used to stigmatise 10 million Muslims in France and collectively punish them. It is being used as an excuse to stoke racism and claim that Islam is in crisis! This murder was wrong, but its cause does not come from Islam and the books of fiqh. It comes from the anger of how France is treating millions of its citizens! This is not a justification – it is contextualisation!
These acts are hypocritical of France, a country that committed barbaric crimes against the nations it was occupying! In over 130 years of French occupation of Algeria, millions of people were killed – not 1 teacher, but millions – for daring to exercise their freedom! Algerian men, women, and children were slaughtered at the hands of the French colonialists.
This is part of a bigger plan to control Islam and Muslims, and it is part of Macron’s plan for re-election by appeasing the ever-growing far-right in France.
Sadly, you will be shocked to learn that the truth is: it wasn’t the murder of the teacher that began this crisis. On October 2nd September 2020, two weeks before the murder of Paty, Macron announced a new set of laws “against separatisms”, which solely focused on policing and controlling Muslim communities.
The plan, announced by Macron, included:
– Labelling of imams (which would have to be approved by the Government)
– Powers granted to local authorities to dissolve Islamic organisations without any legal proceedings
– Taxing the Hajj to finance “anti-radicalisation” programs
– Prohibition of any non-religious activities for religious organisations
– Coercive controls on all Islamic organisations through the use of security, tax, and legal inspections to close organisations that do not support the government, and
– Criminalisation of organisations that combat Islamophobia.
Right now in France:
– 51 charities are currently being investigated, with a view to dissolving them.
– 72 schools, madrasas, and Muslim-owned businesses have been shut down already this year.
– The government wants to raid 123 Muslim homes and organisations – 56 raids have already been conducted. These have nothing to do with the killing – they are only there to “send a message”, according to the French Minister of the Interior.
The French government instrumentalised the murder of the teacher Samuel Paty for racist purposes. The government labelled two civil society organisations as “the enemy of the Republic”. The organisations were the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) and BarakaCity.
CCIF has a special status with the UN and is a key NGO within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. CCIF is widely respected by all of its partners across Europe and helps thousands of victims a year.
BarakaCity is a humanitarian charity that helps 2 million people all over the world with poverty alleviation and clean water provision. Sadly last Tuesday, BarakaCity was forcibly closed down by the French government even though they are totally unrelated to any attacks in France!
Let us be clear: this is not about freedom of expression – this is about racism and Islamophobia!
”They took vengeance on them only because they believed in Allāh the Almighty, the Praised.”
But what is the solution?
President Macron claims that ‘Islam is in crisis!’
It is in fact France that is in crisis because of French nationalism coupled with secular fundamentalism and extreme arrogance. France is a divided nation that has continued to disenfranchise its poor and minorities. France has let racism dictate how it treats its own citizens. Non-Whites live in ghettos outside of the main cities and are denied equal access to proper work and education, all in the name of secularism. France has created this fear of the ‘other!’
Did you know that since 2017: 212 Muslim owned cafes, 15 mosques, 4 schools and 13 cultural associations have all been closed! Frances Muslims have been enduring these hardships for a long time.
Secularism is in crisis. People moving away from religion, and people living far away from God – a Godless society based on following desires and not guidance. Islam is the solution to every problem for every society!
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ
“Verily the only acceptable way of life with Allāh is Submission.”
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Submission, it will not be accepted from him; and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers.”
We say to haters like Macron: ‘People come and go, and you too shall leave this earth. Nations rise and fall, and a time will come when France itself shall not exist. But rest assured, the legacy of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the love that all Muslims have for him shall continue to live long after you and your nation are all relegated to the ink of history books.’
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرحيم
Khutbah (Part II)
It is clear from the response (and silence) from world leaders where their loyalties lie. But where do our loyalties lie? Our loyalties must lie with the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)! We should feel angered and hurt by the disgusting photographs, more than if the photos were of our own parents!
But this should not lead us to do anything the Sharia does not allow! We cannot become vigilantes and take the law into our own hands. We should defend the honour of our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with our words and actions. We can defend our Prophet by following his Sunnah and his way. Other actions we can do include to:
Recognise that this is a test from Allāh – how will we respond and behave?
Make du’ā to Allāh – to make us worthy followers of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – who can pursue do his justice and defend him
Promote the positive image of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) through his teachings
Solidarity and unity – we are one ummah. Right now our community in France is hurting and in fear. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Send messages of support to CCIF, BarakaCity and other Muslims. Let them know their brothers and sisters everywhere are with them!
Take heed and build unity here and now – this type of dehumanisation of Muslims can also happen in the UK. We must come together leaving aside all differences and uniting to build our strength as a community!
Boycott all French products. This is the very least we can do. Some people argue that it will not do any good. Macron has already asked Gulf states not to boycott French goods – because he knows it will hurt French businesses. When it begins to hurt. As a prominent Muslim scholar has already said: – after insults against the Holy Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by France and its president, will we still continue buying and selling and importing French products? If a shop owner insulted our mother, we wouldn’t buy from them ever again. This is the very least we can all do to protect the honour of our beloved Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Call people to Islam. People are in need of this religion, the religion of Allāh. Mankind is in search for the true religion. Depression and suicide are on the rise, but Islam will establish happiness for all. The family system is broken, but Islam holds family values to be essential to a good life.
Raise your voice in support of Rasulullah (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and against those that insult him – tonight at 7pm GMT, join a twitter storm using the hashtag #StopMacron
We praise Allah Ta’ala and send salutations on Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam who perfected the Deen for us until the last day, leaving us with no qualms, indecision, doubt, or reference to others as to how to lead our lives and solve any issues, be they individual or collective.
Allah Ta’ala states: ‘Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed my blessing on you, and chosen Islam as Deen for you.’ (Surah Al-Maida, verse 3)
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas Radiallahu Anhu and others explain that perfection of faith refers to the perfection of all limits, obligations, injunctions and refinements in personal and social behaviour as necessary for the true faith. Now there is no need to add to it, nor there remains any probability of a shortfall.
This document will address the following issues:
(1) Virtues of Masajid (2) Voluntary and premature wide…
The phrase ‘once in a lifetime’ is somewhat overused for events that fade into mediocrity. Yet standing at the gates of Hagia Sophia and waiting for the first prayer there in 85 years was truly an awe-inspiring event. The monument itself is a timeless wonder that has encapsulated the cultures of ancient Greece, medieval Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire, and modern Europe. Architects, mathematicians, geometers, engineers, and artists alike have all etched their influence into its splendid domes, mosaics, murals, and minarets. The result is a monument that has withstood 14 centuries of earthquakes, riots, invasions, and wars, standing gracefully on the horizon, evoking awe and wonder. Procopius, the principal Byzantine historian of the 6th century described Hagia Sophia as “a most glorious spectacle, extraordinary to those who behold it and altogether incredible to those who are told of it. In height it rises to the very heavens and overtops the neighbouring houses like a ship anchored among them, appearing above the city which it adorns.”
The prayer itself was of course the Jumu’ah prayer – the best day of the week, nestled in the best days of the year. The chosen date of 24th July was hugely significant, as it was the 97th anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923, that officially ended hostilities between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire. This prayer was not only a ritual act of worship but a bold statement to the world of the resurgence of Turkey’s Islamic heritage. The streets of Istanbul were flooded with a sea of worshippers patiently waiting for the prayer, with some having camped out since the night before. The roofs of coffee houses and shacks became makeshift prayer spaces where youngsters scrambled for a spot to pray. Wave upon wave of takbīr resounded across the old city, reaching a crescendo when President Erdoğan began his recitation of the Qur’ān. The Imam was Dr Ali Erbaş, the Head of Diyanet, the Directorate of Religious Affairs. He delivered the sermon resting on a ceremonial sword from the Ottoman era. The sermon was confident and victorious in nature, citing the great ahādīth of the conquest of Constantinople and unapologetic in raising the cause of Masjid Al-Aqsa. This was a day of celebration. This was a day of healing for the Ummah.
The protests from orthodox Christendom were to be expected, but what is clear is that the undertone of these criticisms reveal a virulent strain of anti-Turkish paranoia and racism. Ultimately, Hagia Sophia remains open to people of all faiths to visit in much the same way that the Sultanahmet Mosque across the road fulfils its dual purpose as a functioning mosque and a world heritage site. Indeed, the removal of the entry fee to Hagia Sophia should be an added incentive for tourists and worshippers alike to experience its splendour. Orthodox Christians may well ponder on the fact that it was marauding Catholic crusaders who laid the city of Istanbul to waste by plundering, murdering, and raping their Christian brethren in 1204, causing a rapid decline in the fortunes of the great city that strides two continents. They may well reflect on the words of Evliya Çelebi, the Ottoman chronicler of the 17th century who describes Hagia Sopia at the peak of its splendour and spiritual aura:
“Every night in the month of Ramazan, the two thousand lamps lighted there and the lanterns containing wax tapers perfumed with camphor pour forth streams of light upon light; and in the centre of the dome a circle of lamps represents in letters as finely formed as those of Yakut Musta’sime, that text of the Kuran: “God is the light of the heavens and of the earth.” 
Waiting for the prayer to start, I felt this was truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ event. An event where the savagery of 85 years of Turkish secularism finally received a blow that it is unlikely to recover from. The congregation of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Malaysians, and Muslims from every other nation from this Ummah surrounding me was uplifting. Each person had their own story to tell of marginalisation, structural racism, and unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Each person took away their own inspiration from this day of healing. The call to prayer will no longer resound within the walls of Hagia Sophia alone. The call to prayer will resound in the hearts of every person who witnessed this great day.