Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Time to step up

‘Nothing is heavier in the scales of a believer on the Day of Judgment than his good behaviour.  Allah (swt) detests a person who is obscene and shameless.’ (Tirmidhi)

Across the world we keep being exposed to ‘the two faces of Islam’:

-         death-chanting, aggressive, violent and ‘out of control’
-         peaceful, praying and calling for calm

The ‘second face’ is often ignored, side-lined and quickly forgotten (it’s not really ‘newsworthy’, especially when you can show images and footage of rampaging flag-burners), but there’s a problem within that ‘second-face’ – they keep shying away.

We need that ‘second-face’ to be out there and not back down.

We need the scholars and speakers to keep preaching and speaking and teaching.

And praying.

When the people of Taif pelted the Prophet (saw) with stones and chased him out of the city, he didn’t seek their deaths.  He prayed for them and their children.

When the woman who hurled abuse at him, daily, as he walked for the morning prayer wasn’t there one morning, he asked about her wellbeing and, hearing she was ill, went to see her.  He even addressed her as ‘mother’.

When the woman who ordered the assassination of the Prophet’s (saw) uncle and later mutilated his body and chewed his liver, was brought before the Prophet (saw) years later…he forgave her.

With regards to the man who assaulted Zainab (ra), the Prophet’s (saw) daughter, causing her to miscarry…the Prophet (saw) forgave him.

Time and time again, he forgave those who abused and oppressed him.

Time and time again, he forgave those who abused and oppressed those dear to him.

Time and time again, he warned against becoming one of the oppressors.

Those out there seeking ‘violent retribution’ need to take a few moments to consider what it is that they’re actually doing.  Are they truly and absolutely ‘fighting’ for Allah and His Prophet…or are they giving way to their own frustrations?  On one occasion, when Ali (ra) was fighting in a jihad, he had his opponent ‘on the ropes’ when his opponent then spat on him.  Ali (ra), to the astonishment of the others there and his opponent, threw down his sword walked away, leaving his opponent alive.  Why?  Ali (ra) later said that he knew that if he had delivered the killing blow at that point it would not have been in a fight for God but because of the anger at being spat on, rendering him a murderer instead of a noble warrior.

So, in light of all this, those encouraging violence and those doing violence in response to the ‘movie’ need to re-assess their actions and motives.

It’s easy for me to say these things, ‘hiding’ behind this platform – but I’m not a scholar.  I’m not the kind of person others will listen to and adhere to and follow.  Those people, noted scholars and speakers, are out there…but they only seem to come forward for brief moments.  They need to step up and do more.

It doesn’t matter if their words aren’t receiving the ‘right press’, they just need to keep doing it.

Insha’Allah, they will.

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