How to Respond to Those Insulting Rasul’Allah (saw)
The Muslim Ummah is offended, and angered by the shameful drawings of our beloved Rasul’Allah (saw). We do not want to see them published and shared, and rightfully so. But is refusing to see these cartoons enough?
We must also build anger towards these cartoons and, for the sake of Allah (swt) and on behalf of His final Messenger (saw), do something against these cartoons.
Yes, anger is an energy, but we must channel this force towards the correct and strong actions as ordered by Allah (swt) and upon the Methodology of Rasul’Allah (saw).
This action is, at its core, the political and intellectual struggle against the treasonous rulers of the Muslim lands and, by extension, the Western Colonial Powers.
Ignoring the Problem?
Blasphemy against Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) will continue. In fact, it will likely get worse now since there is no force in this world to stand against it and eliminate it.
Those who say, “ignore the cartoons and they will go away” are blind to the reality. Such an action (or inaction) is the green light for the enemies of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) to carry on with their disgusting trade.
These attacks started from the day Islam was revealed to this world. It is in the nature of Kufr (disbelief) to attack the Haq (truth). Ignoring or looking the other way will not stop Kufr from its assault on the Haq.
Simply, the belligerent Kuffar will continue attacking us and our deen. Allah (swt) warns us in the Qur’an:
“Never will the Jews or Christians be pleased with you, until you follow their faith.” [TMQ 2:120]
To illustrate this fact, a French political scientist – Francois Burgat – Tweeted, “The only ‘good Muslim’ is the Muslim who is not Muslim anymore.” Indeed, eliminating the Haq is the mission of these enemies.
Besides, it is not Islamically permissible to stay silent.
We should speak out against these crimes by using our words if we lack the physical capability (e.g. the Khilafah to leverage its economic, political, and military might).
Or, if we can, we leverage physical means, as the caliph Sultan Abdul Hamid (II) rh, did in the late 19th century, where he stopped the French and the British from holding a play that insulted RasulAllah (saw) by threatening them with war if they failed to stop.
These attacks are not simply about the insult. Rather, the goal of these attacks is to force the Ummah to internally accept the Western concept of, ‘freedom to insult.’
The West packages this behaviour in its so-called, “Freedom of Speech and Expression.” They want us to say, “we do not like being abused, but we defend your right to insult Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw).”
Moreover, by staying silent, we are effectively giving our consent for them to carry on with the abuse. In fact, such a behavior is a sign of weak ‘iman.
Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“None of you truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father, and all of the people.” (Bukhārī and Muslim)
Some may point to instances of Rasul’Allah (saw) looking away from insults and attacks.
But those using such examples miss an essential point, i.e., the difference between the situation in Mecca before Hijrah, and the situation after Hijrah in Madina.
Despite the torture, Rasul’Allah (saw) and the Sahaba (ra) did not remain silent. They kept calling the society to Islam, and in loud and clear terms, condemned Kufr. However, they refrained from any physical violence until Allah (swt) permitted it in Medina.
When Rasul’Allah (saw) established the Islamic State in Medina, the Ummah did not tolerate a single insult on Allah (swt) or Rasul’Allah (saw).
Tolerating the Insults?
There are also those who say, “our Prophet is a prophet of peace and tolerance.”
However, these people fail to realize that after forming the Islamic State in Medina – and before the Battle of Badr – Rasul’Allah (saw) ordered military expeditions against Quraysh.
He (saw), for example, ordered the Muslims to seize control of the commercial routes by intercepting the caravans of Quraysh, even if it meant fighting Qurayshi tribesmen. Rasul’Allah (saw) sought to display the might of the Islamic State to Quraysh.
Indeed, after forming the Islamic State in Medina, Allah (swt) gave the Muslims permission to fight:
“Permission to fight is given to those, who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory.” [TMQ 22:39]
This verse was revealed as part of a package of instructions to the Ummah to reject all aspects of Kufr and, uphold the honour represented by the symbols and rites of Allah (swt).
Further ayat permitting war were revealed to us in Surah al-Baqarah (2:190-193) and Surah Muhammad (47:4-7).
So, where was this ‘peacefulness’ in Rasul’Allah (saw)?
In terms of how Rasul’Allah (saw) dealt with insults, the most notable example is that of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf.
Ka’b was resentful of Islam and Muslim. He sought to inflict maximum harm upon the honour of Rasul’Allah (saw). Ka’b was a zealous advocate for waging war against Islam and Muslims.
When Ka’b heard of the Battle of Badr, he swore that he would prefer death to life if the news of Quraysh’s defeat were true. When Quraysh’s defeat was confirmed, Ka’b wrote poems both satirizing the Messenger of Allah (saw) and eulogizing Quraysh. He enticed Quraysh to keep fighting Rasul’Allah (saw).
Ka’b even rode to Mecca to trigger the fire of war and kindle fresh animosity against the Muslims. He even tried insulting the Muslim women by writing obscene songs and amatory sonnets about them.
So, Rasul’Allah (saw) asked, “Who will kill Ka‘b bin Al-Ashraf? He had maligned Allah, and His Messenger.”
It is clear from the evidence that the Muslims cannot and must not “tolerate” such insults.
Indeed, it is rich for the West to call for ‘tolerance.’ Where was this tolerance when the West invaded and colonized other lands? Where was this tolerance when the U.S. destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan? Where was this tolerance when the Europeans brutally subjugated Africa and South America?
“Peace” is not the goal of Islam. Yes, peace is a by-product of its correct implementation, but Islam itself does not mean ‘peace.’ Rather, Islam means “submission” to the Will of the Creator (swt). Islam’s goal is to pull people out of the debasing act of worshipping things other than the One True God (swt).
In today’s time, Islam’s goal is to eliminate the corruption, insecurity, and humiliation brought upon to all human beings by the implementation of Capitalism and its toxic fruits ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy.’
Thus, we must be extremely careful when attributing labels to Rasul’Allah (saw). We must check whether these characteristics (e.g., “peaceful” and “tolerant”) are indeed based on evidence in Qur’an and Sunnah, and not the need to ‘look good’ to the Kuffar. We do not answer to the Kuffar. We answer to Allah (swt).
Indeed, false attributions to Rasul’Allah (saw) will be counted as lies against him (saw). This is a dangerous trap for both the dunya and, especially, the akhirah.
Simply, the continuing attacks on the honour of Rasul’Allah (saw) by the belligerent kuffar will not stop with condemnations, speeches, or meek letters by leaders.
Rasul’Allah (saw) himself did not respond to such insults in such a way. Rather, he used the power of the Islamic State to punish such transgressions (for they are crimes against Allah (swt)), and made examples of them in history as a warning to future instigators.
Sadly, this power in today’s Muslim lands – including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan – is in the hands of the agents and supporters of the Western Colonial powers. At the same time, it is not permissible to carry out acts of violence (as individuals) or to harm innocent civilians.
The only way for us to reverse this reality is to carry out the Islamic obligation of uprooting the corrupt systems in the Muslim lands and, in their place, re-establishing the Khilafah or Islamic State. By doing so, the Ummah will have an Imam who will defend the honour of Rasul’Allah (saw) without any restraints.
To reach this point, we must follow the Methodology of Rasul’Allah (saw) in establishing the Islamic state, just as he (saw) did in Medina. Once we cross that milestone, then these cartoonists will stop drawing.
“Surely the disbelievers spend their wealth to hinder others from the Path of Allah. They will continue to spend to the point of regret. Then they will be defeated and the disbelievers will be driven into Hell.”
[Surah al-Anfal (The Spoils of War), 8:36]