Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam)—Our Honor, Our Pride, Our Ideal
The honor, greatness and love for the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) are deeply entrenched in the heart of every Muslim and are the core of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and every Prophet of Allah is sinless. They are sent as guides for mankind and direct the people to the Oneness of Allah and His obedience. The Prophets of Allah possess the highest level of knowledge of Allah. They also possess the highest level of spirituality and sound character. Every Prophet of Allah condemned disrespect and violence. In Islam, we revere every Prophet of Allah and we do not tolerate any disrespect to any of them.
There are three components in the posting online or anywhere of the depictions against the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam): a) The image of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam); b) disrespect/Defamation of his character and personality; c) The issue with the use/abuse of freedom of expression.
Overall, Islam forbids making pictures of animate objects. One of the reasons for the prohibition of making and taking pictures of animate objects is that it distracts worshippers from the worship of Allah and can ultimately lead to idolatry. Specifically, in Islam, there are no pictures of prophets, or saintly people. Any alleged depiction of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) is conjecture and invention by those who want to stir sensation and falsity.
The second component of the cartoons is the disrespect and defamation towards the lofty character of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). This has caused great pain and anger to every Muslim around the world. Every Muslim has a right to assert his/her love for the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) whom Allah sent as the final messenger to humanity, as mentioned in the Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text.
Third, freedom of expression is not an absolute. It has overarching principles. If freedom of expression is absolute, then freedom of religion in a democratic dispensation should also be absolute. Why does freedom of religion have overarching principles? Why are Muslims not allowed to fully practice on every aspect of Islam without any restriction whatsoever? The reason is obvious. The rights of others living as equal citizens must be considered. What then about freedom of expression and right of dignity and religious honor? Freedom of expression has nothing to do with defaming Allah or His Messengers or the religious practices of societies. Such practices are no longer under the sphere of freedom of expression, but are simply campaigns to malign a faith, which serves dark agendas that breed hate, fear and ruin.
In the midst of this, we turn unto Allah, the Guide, to enlighten people about the noble prophets, who are the teachers of humanity. We have firm faith that falsity always perishes before the truth. Any vilification against prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) is bound to be met with more interest and curiosity by honest and open-minded people about the reality of this man whom Allah proclaimed as a “mercy to the worlds” (Qur’an 21:107).
My beloved Shaykh (RA) mentioned about 9 years ago when the Denmark issue occurred, “When the world wants to boycott this country or these products for their wrongs, then that is in its own place. However, if you really want to make a mark, if you really want to send out a message to people, then abandon sin! More so, follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as much as possible. These evil people are trying to get us to be negligent of Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). They want to see us spend our time in marches and whatnot. The thing that will really burn baatil (falsehood) is looking like Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam), acting like him, talking like him. If each Muslim emulates the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) in each and every aspect of life, then who will have the capacity to ridicule or even have the courage to mock nearly 2 billion people?! Let’s not be negative and reactive in useless pursuits of begging the kuffar, “O do not mock the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).” all the while we ourselves as Muslims are hanging by a thread in following the Sunnah. We should feel remorse and feel ashamed of ourselves. Had we been strong to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam), then no one would dare to try such foolish acts.”
I pray to Allah that He gives us all the ability uphold our honor and our pride-the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). Aameen!