Gunmen shot and killed at least 17 people last week in France. Apparently, they did this to ‘protect the reputation / honor of the prophet Muhammad’. They did this without regard for common Muslims’ safety or sentiments. They did this without thinking about the likes of Mohamed El Makouli – who was stabbed 17 times and killed today right before his wife in France. The attacker was screaming “I am your god, I am your Islam”. He has now been sent to a psychiatric hospital (how predictable!). The wife managed to escape with her child. However, neither Islam nor Europe seems likely to escape a return to the dark ages.
For decades now, ordinary people (Muslims, Christians, all) have suffered the consequences of terrorists’ crimes. Like most others, the Charlie Hebdo ‘terrorists’ sported beards like the prophets and had Arabic names. Only, they failed to follow the teachings of the prophet.
Flashback to the 6th Century A.D. – Ridiculed, hunted, tortured and even exiled during his lifetime – the Prophet responded not with vengeance or hostility. Guided by the God of Abraham or the God of Moses or YHWH or Allah, Muhammad was merciful and gracious. He wrote extensively to his magistracy and representatives to ensure Muslims behaved themselves. At a time when religious groups were at loggerheads and the entire region in flux, he wrote the following about adherents of other religions and detractors:
(In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent and most Merciful)
“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
Slander not the tree, I say, having tasted its rotten fruits. Muhammad – as history will testify – was a kind man who surrendered his will to Allah (SWT). He is as venerated as the other prophets in Islam – Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, Lot, Job, Ishmael, Isaac, John and Jesus. No more, no less. And while Muhammad was not afraid to repel attacks on his community or march on the city of his birth to retake Makka’h – he never willfully spilled the blood of the innocent.
Those are the facts.
To borrow from Plato’s Cave Allegory: it is logically and morally wrong to ascribe meaning to a flame, based on the shadows cast by our own hand gestures. It is our hand. We decide what shape it takes. The light is constant. It is not the flame, but we, who cause our own souls to be manifest against the Light when we commit crimes in its name.
Let us discover the true transmissions and teachings of Muhammad and judge him according to those. However, let’s also be warned that when we venerate prophets to the point of worship …it is sacrilege in Islam. When we make up stories of violence and abuse in his name …it is baseless slander. When rogue idiots shoot people – innocent or otherwise – in the name of protecting Muhammad / Islam, it is just gruesome, avoidable murder. Neither Muhammad, nor his Master, asks it of any Muslim.
“It is as though the terrorist themselves are declaring to the Muslim World, “I am your god, I am your Islam”. It’s a big middle finger to all those trying to clutch on to the fundamental teachings of Islam and at the same time, fit into an increasingly radicalized, discriminating world.”
I reject the Terrorists’ creed and their ranks with utmost disgust.
These violent acts tarnish neither the Scripture, nor He who sends it. It says nothing of what Muhammad thought, felt or did. This is freestyle Islam …doing what we want to do for political gains or money or power or thrill – and then demanding that Islam be expanded to accommodate our actions.
Thank God ‘Islam’ is not only a Noun, but also a Verb!