It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or west; but it is righteousness – to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, those regardful of Allah.
– Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2: Verse 177
A recent trend among our Christian brothers and sisters used the acronym “WWJD.” A powerful yet gentle reminder for guiding the actions of the Christian faithful according to “What Would Jesus Do?”
Muslims should ask a similar question according to the acronym “WWMD.” After watching the violent reactions to the 12-minute film trailer titled “Innocence of Muslims,” the question that Muslims really need to answer is, “Would Prophet Muhammed react in such a manner?”
In order for Muslims to justify such violence they are seriously obligated to find where Prophet Muhammed indulged in or condoned such violence. And every Muslim knows that Prophet Muhammed’s mannerisms and conduct was far superior to the violence we have witnessed at the hands of Muslims. Ask any Muslim would Muhammad the messenger of Allah condone the violence we have recently witnessed and they would have to drop their head and say, “No!”
Muslims have two immediate and highly accurate sources of Islamic knowledge. We have the Holy Qur’an and we have very many authentic written records Hadiths that describe in detail the life-modeled by Prophet Muhammed. Both information sources explain clearly WWMD if he was faced with responding to this cheap film, while neither information source condones the violence we have witnessed abroad.
Prophet Muhammed and his fledgling community were punished severely for the first 13 years of mission. Physically tortured, some even to death. He and his followers were boycotted by the leaders of Mecca to the point that many Muslims fled to nearby Christian lands for refuge. They plotted to kill him and even after he escaped to Medina with his life, the pagan Quraish of Mecca pursued him and struck war against him. However, after 10 years in Medina the Prophet grew in strength and returned to Mecca with an army of 10,000 men. One report of his return to Mecca reads: Yet, when he entered Mecca victorious with an army of 10,000, he did not take revenge on anyone. The Prophet said to the Quraish: “O people of Quraish! What do you think I will do to you?”
Hoping for a good response, they said: “You will do good. You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother.” The Prophet then said: “Then I say to you what Joseph said to his brothers: ‘There is no blame upon you.’ Go! For you are all free!”
Muslims have no excuse for the reactionary violence that has been portrayed to us via the media. Even though it is a major minority of Muslims reacting violently, still we cannot justify their violence simply because these reactions are against the Qur’an and the life model of Prophet Muhammed.
The late Muslim leader, Imam W. Deen Muhammed said, “We want people to build upon the good, and only dwell on the bad when the bad is threatening the good community. Don’t be faultfinders looking for every little mistake in a person.”
People of faith are consistent regardless of the environmental influences. We do not lose composure during difficulties, nor do we gloat and brag when God blesses us with mercies. Surely if Prophet Muhammed and his companions did not react violently even after suffering major difficulties then Muslims should not react violently over a cheaply made movie trailer.
We understand that there should be no physical depictions or images of Prophet Muhammed; however, what kind of image are Muslims depicting of Islam when emotional fervor dominates the common senses resulting in hurt, murder and violence?
Al-Islam in America welcomes your questions and comments. Please forward them to: Al-Islam in America, c/o Imam Mikal Saahir, Nur-Allah Islamic Center, 2040 E. 46th St. Indianapolis, IN 46205. Or email: email@example.com.