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Meet the Prophet Muhammad: Response to anti-Islamic video and reaction

When people say hurtful things to me, I strive to respond in a way that is in line with how he would have reacted and that is praying for those people and saying peace.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Democrat & Chronicle
By Mubarak Bashir | September 28, 2012

A 2010 Time magazine poll showed that only 38 percent of Americans have ever met a Muslim. At the time I read this, the number was very alarming to me and I concluded it couldnt be true. To prove my point, each time I went to a local high school, college, or organization to give a presentation on Islam, I always began with the same question: How many of you have ever met a Muslim? To my dismay, the responses I received verified the polls results.

In a recent trial of a classroom of 30 college students, I was again met with the same outcome; In fact, the numbers were even less than 38 percent. Based on that experience, it would appear even two years after the Time magazine poll, the numbers haven’t changed. How unfortunate, 62 percent of Americans have yet to meet a Muslim! Their only encounter with a Muslim is what the news media has shown them. Its said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the images portrayed on television have been engrained in the American public’s mind, even though they in no way represent the true teachings of Islam. In fact, they represent a very small minority of a religion that claims 1.5 billion people worldwide, 2.6 million of whom are our American neighbors.

With the recent uprising in the Muslim world caused by a hateful and abhorrent video about the Prophet Muhammad, the religion of Islam is again portrayed as a violent religion. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the oldest Muslim organization in the United States, my community and I strongly condemn this and any form of violence. The uprisings in the Muslim world do no justice to Islam and they are totally opposite of the guidance and character exhibited by the Prophet Muhammad.

In this short article, I would like to introduce you to the most perfect exemplar, the most perfect Muslim, the Prophet Muhammad. I will prove that according to the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, the reaction to the video in the Muslim world are unjustified according to Islam.

The Prophet Muhammad had many opponents during his lifetime who were against his message and teachings. He was constantly mocked at and was subjected to some of the most hateful words and actions. One such account included a woman who used to throw trash on him as he used to walk by her home. When for a few days she did not throw any trash, the Prophet inquired after her and found that she was ill. He went to visit her and prayed for her speedy recovery. Never once did he talk ill about this woman nor look for revenge.

The Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Aisha, said his character was the Quran. If we look at just a couple verses from the Quran, we will see the reaction to this film is unjustified. For instance, the Quran states, you shall surely hear many hurtful things from those who were given the Book before you and from those who set up equals to God. But if you show fortitude and act righteously, that indeed is a matter of strong determination (3:187). This verse tells us that we will face many tests and trials and it is only the weak in faith that waver during these hard times. Rather than hurt, these incidents become a means of spiritual advancement for those who remain patient and steadfast.

The cartoons and this most recent video about the Prophet Muhammad are painful but they are also a test for Muslims. Will we react to such ignorance as the Quran tells us, servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on earth in a dignified manner and when the ignorant address them, they say peace. (25:64)

Will we react as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) acted? When once a Muslim and Jew were having a conversation the Muslim said, I swear by that Being (God), who chose Muhammad over all people and granted him excellence over all others. The Jew responded, I swear by that Being (God), who granted Moses and chose him. The response of the Muslim was to slap the Jew. When word of this incident reached the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) he called for the Muslim and said do not give me preference over Moses. Although God had clearly given testimony to the Prophet Muhammads excellence in the Holy Quran, the Prophet Muhammad said the feelings of a person in their realm could not be hurt because of something that was said about their Prophet. If one was to hold him in respect, one would have to hold other prophets in respect as well.

What an excellent response and teaching! If we as a society would take this example and put it into action, movies and cartoons about Prophets would not be created. The Prophet Muhammad championed freedom of speech, but as in this case with the Muslim and the Jew, freedom of speech should never be used to insult an entire group or pollute the atmosphere.

As I was leaving that college class a few weeks ago, I received one last question. A student looked at me and said she had a personal question for me: How can you remain so calm and patient when people constantly say hurtful things to you, about the Prophet Muhammad and about your religion? My response was: when you go into a profession, you observe people who have had success in that profession. You do your best to pick up some of the things that helped them along the way. The Prophet Muhammad was a perfect person. Although we cannot attain perfection, if we want to become the best people that we can be, as Muslims, we must follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad. When people say hurtful things to me, I strive to respond in a way that is in line with how he would have reacted and that is praying for those people and saying peace.

Mubarak Bashir is Director of Faith Outreach for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Email him at mbashir232@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @mbashir232.

Read original post here: Meet Muhammad: Response to anti-Islamic video and reaction

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