Khutbah by Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda | Transcribed by Sameera 

[The following is the video and transcript of Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda's khutbah "Defending the Honor of the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu 'alayhi wa sallam)." The transcript is slightly modified for the sake of readability and clarity.]

Download / listen to khutbah here.

From the very early part of the prophethood of Muhammad [saws], there is a very amazing and remarkable story of love, commitment, dedication and devotion.  In the very early part of the mission of the Prophet [saws] before the preaching was public, the people close to and around the Prophet [saws] started to embrace the faith and belief.  The books of seerah mention the number of believers was now ranging from anywhere from 38-40 people.  These are the first 40 believers and included many of his own close family members and close personal friends and close friends of those initial believers.  It was a very close and small tightknit circle.

One of these first believers was al-Arqam b. Abi al-Arqam raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), who was hosting the Prophet [saws] and his companions within his own home so that they would have a place to pray and a place to learn and a place to congregate.  This is the famous dar'l-Arqam (the house of Arqam).

Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)

Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was a leader of his people even before Islam.  He is a leader of this ummah of course, but he was a leader before Islam and was well-respected in the Makkan community.  He was considered one of the seniors of the community.  He was someone to whom people would take their problems.  He was someone who would intermediate in conflicts and would step in and settle disputes.  On top of that, it is said that Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was a man of wealth and dignity and honor.  The books on the life of Abu Bakr tell us that even before Islam he was well known not to consume alcohol, not to be publicly intoxicated, not to engage and indulge in fornication and adultery.  He was a man of very high esteem and high honor and great dignity even before Islam.  Regardless of the general culture of Mecca at that time, which had deteriorated very badly at that time, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was respected very widely because of this personal standard of dignity and honor and self-respect.

Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was also a genealogist, a specialist of knowing people's lineages, the tribes and families and family trees.  He knew people and where they came from.  He was one of the first few people to accept Islam.  He was the first adult male to accept Islam.  According to the majority of scholars of seerah and hadith, the way they reconcile all of the narrations is that Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) may have been the fourth person to accept Islam after Khadijah, 'Ali, and Zayd b. al-Harithah raḍyAllāhu 'anhum (may Allāh be pleased with them).  He was the first person to pray publicly by the side of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

To give you a little bit of insight into their relationship with one another, there are narrations about the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and childhood of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that tell us that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) had been best friends since the age of ten.  There is a report that goes back all the way to the time when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was ten years old that talks about the friendship with Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  At a minimum, they had been best friends for 30 years.

On top of that, he was a man of very great honor and dignity and respect.  That is why when the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) presented the message to Abu Bakr, the narrations say that Abu Bakr asked the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “I haven't seen you coming and sitting with the people for the last day or so.  What's going on?  Is everything okay?”  When you don't hear from a close friend for a day, then it is cause for concern.  You immediately call them and drive over to their house and ask if everything is okay.  Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) didn't see the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for a day / day and a half, and he grew concerned about his best friend, so he went to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and said, “What is going on?  Is everything okay?”  The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) about the message.

I'll tell you what Abu Bakr did when he heard the message through the words of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says in a narration that: “Any time I presented this religion, this deen, this iman, this Islam to anyone, they always took a moment to think.  They always hesitated for at least a little bit.”  Even 'Ali raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was a child, but he told the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “I need to sleep on it.”  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Anyone I presented this religion to took a moment to reconsider things except for Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  He immediately embraced the faith.”

One time Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and 'Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) – and this happens amongst friends, colleagues, and coworkers – had a dispute over a matter.  When it was brought to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), because of the overwhelming love that he had for Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), he tells all of the sahabah that “I came and called all of you to Islam, and all of you initially said, 'You lie,' except for Abu Bakr.  I told him the message and he said, 'You speak the truth.'”  This is why the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) gave him the title of al-Siddiq.

This is a man of great love for the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  This is a man who recognized the truth faster and quicker than anyone else.  This was also a man who was willing to stand up for the truth before anyone else.

Spreading the Message of Islam

There is a beautiful story that when the number of Muslims reached about 40 and when the house of Arqam was popping at the seams and completely full of people, Abu Bakr told the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “The time has come that we go and make a public appearance.  It is time, O Messenger of Allah.”  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) didn't prohibit him and didn't forbid it and didn't say “no,” otherwise it would have been a command.  The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) told Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), “I think we should be a little bit more cautious.”  Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “No, O Messenger of Allah.  I feel confident.”  He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Let's go.”

These forty believers are a very small minority in a big city.  They march into the Haram, and the narration says that to try to put themselves in a position of safety and security, they all scattered about in the Haram and looked for a few other members of their tribe or their family and went and stood next to them.  Why?  Because there was so much tribal loyalty and affiliation at that time that even if they disagreed with what you were doing or saying, if someone from another tribe tried to harm or hurt you, your tribespeople would say, “He is ours.  We'll take care of him.  If he needs to be slapped around, we will do the slapping, and you don't touch him.  He is our family member.”  There was enough tribal pride.  It was a strategic move.

They scattered about and found some people of their tribe and family even if they weren't believers to just be somewhat protected because these were very overwhelming odds.

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) sat down as well.  Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was the first public spokesperson.  We talk about PR and wanting to make a statement in the media and a spokesperson.  The first spokesperson for Islam was Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  The first spokesperson on behalf of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and the first public endorsement the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) received was from Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  He stood up and presented the message to them.

The narrations tell us that the people attacked and jumped Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) viciously.  A few dozen other sahabah who were scattered around in the Haram came under attack.  Everybody was being beaten, but no one was beaten worse than Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  One of the leaders of Quraysh, 'Utbah b. Rabi'ah, took off his shoes and when Abu Bakr was knocked down, he sat on his chest and started to pound him on the face with his shoes.  The narration was specific and said that he was targeting his nose.  It broke his nose so badly and severely that the whole face of Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was covered in blood.  He was disfigured and people couldn't even recognize him until finally the family of Abu Bakr realized what was going on.  They stepped in and dispersed the mob and carried him home.  Everybody was certain that he was going to die.  The family of Abu Bakr, the majority of which were non-believers, swore that if he dies, they would kill 'Utbah b. Rabi'ah in retribution.  The case was that severe and his condition was so bad.

When he was taken home, it is said that when his mother and family members saw him, they started to uncontrollably cry.  The narration says that he was unresponsive for a day.  Allah knows best.  It might have even been a coma.  His family members gathered around him and kept trying to talk to him and resuscitate and revive him somehow until finally Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) opened his eyes after a day.

Everyone gathered around, and the first words out of the mouth of Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) were, “What happened to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?”  The last thing he remembered was that he was speaking in front of people and the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was sitting there and then a mob broke out and there was pandemonium.  The last thing he saw was the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) sitting in the middle of a riot.  He didn't know what happened to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  The first thing he asked was, “What happened to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?”

His father, Abu Quhafah, who was blind and the other family members were so disgusted that they started to curse him and they walked out.  They said, “This man is helpless!  It is pointless with him!”  Before they left, they told his mother, who was called Umm'l-khayr, “Look after him, feed him.”  They gave her advice on how to bring him back to good health.

When the mother came back inside and tried to treat him, he said, “What happened to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?”  She said, “I don't know, son.”  He said, “Go to Umm'l-Jameel (who was the sister of 'Umar b. al-Khattab and a believer who was hiding her Islam) and ask her.”  It is a very lengthy narration, but she goes there and she asks Umm'l-Jameel, who has to maintain her secrecy, and says, “I don't know what you are talking about.”  She says, “Can you at least come see my son?  He is dying.”

She goes to see Abu Bakr and imagine what his condition must have been.  These were people who were used to war and used to sword fighting and brutality.  When she saw Abu Bakr, she shrieked.  Imagine what his face was like!  She shrieked when she saw him and panicked.  Finally, Abu Bakr says, “What happened to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?”  She said, “He is safe and he is okay.”  Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) took an oath. Imagine the physical condition he is in.  He took an oath and said, “I swear by Allah, I will not eat anything, I will not drink a sip of water until I am able to lay my eyes on the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and he is okay.”  His mother started to cry and said, “Son, why do you do this?”  Eventually realizing he wasn't going to budge, Umm'l-Jameel and his mother Umm'l-Khayr literally carry Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) at night to the house of Arqam.

When Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) walks through the door, the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) sees Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him).  What you would normally expect the story to say is Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) hugged the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and kissed him and cried on his shoulder.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) ran to the door and hugged Abu Bakr and held him and carried him and kissed him on his head.  The narration said that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) cried on Abu Bakr's raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) shoulder.  Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) told the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “I would give up my father and my mother for you, O Messenger of Allah.  I don't care what they have done to my face as long as you are okay.”

In Light of Current Events

This is a story of true love and of compassion and of respect and of honor and of iman above everything else.  I bring this story up and wanted to talk about this because of what has transpired over the last week or so.  This is not something that is completely new to us, but nevertheless this is something that we have to understand.  We must understand not just through emotional rhetoric and not through a PR statement and not through a photo-op but this is something we have to understand in the light of the Book of Allah and the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is a pillar of our faith.  We believe in him.  This is something very profound!  He means a whole lot to us and is very important to us, and his disrespect and him being slandered and disrespected and when people speak about him inappropriately, it is something very hurtful to us.  If it was not and if we could sit there and watch a video being violent and disrespectful towards the Messenger of God ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and it wouldn't churn our stomach and wouldn't make us upset and we wouldn't have to stop it, then we have a problem in our iman.

I had heard about the video, but because I know myself, I can't read that material and can't watch it because I feel like I am physically incapable of doing so.  It is too much to bear.  One of my students insisted and started to play it and in twenty seconds, I had to get up and leave the room; I couldn't take it.  If we weren't offended or insulted by it, then we have a problem in our own iman.  There is no doubt about that fact.  As you have probably heard and as it has probably been stated numerous times, but it is important that it is stated here from the minbar on the day of Jumu'ah so that we all understand and internalize this, we also have to understand how to react and how to respond and how to deal with these emotions.

I'm going to present three basic things to you.

Character and Behavior of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

The first thing I would like to present to you is the character and behavior of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) himself.  On Twitter and Facebook I see all the young people interacting “what would Muhammad do.”  Let's not just have a hashtag.  Let's not say it because it is popular and it's cool.  What would the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) do?  What did he do?

I will first talk about the outlook of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) when he looked at the world, which included his lovers and haters.  It included his fans, believers, and followers, but it also included the people who despised him, hated him, and worked against him.  How did he view the world?  What was the lens of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?

There is a narration that is in both Bukhari and Muslim where Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) says, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) saying, 'My example and the example of all of humanity [he didn't say believers], our relationship and our interaction is a man standing in front of a burning fire.  When the fire grew a little and became bigger, and then the little insects [like moths coming to a flame – there are insects and creatures that are attracted to the fire and sometimes they don't realize, to their own detriment, and keep coming closer and closer to the fire until they fall in it and burn] are starting to flock and fly towards the flame.  The man starts to shoo the bugs and flies away, trying to scatter them away and fend them off from the fire, but these creatures are overwhelming this man and there are too many and just one man running around trying to catch all of them and stop all of them from falling into the fire.  They themselves are going forward and falling headfirst into this fire and burning themselves.  [Then the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) turns the example onto us]  I am trying to grab ahold of y'all, O mankind, from behind you. [Meaning:  I'm so overwhelmed that you are actually getting past me, and I'm not able to catch you before you get to me.  You are passing me and I'm reaching back trying to grab ahold of your clothes from behind so that I can pull you back from the fire.]  But you keep going headfirst and falling into the fire.'”

I want you to sense the desperation in this example and analogy.  This isn't something that someone comes up with very casually.  This is an expression of what somebody feels in his heart.  This is pain and anguish.  This is torture to live life in this way.  That is why it is no surprise that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) goes to lay down in his bed after serving humanity and preaching to humanity and saving humanity all day long and he is barely able to lay down and close his eyes for a moment and then says, “I have to go.”  He stands up and spreads his hands before Allah and cries all night for humanity's sake.

This is the outlook of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) on the world that he lives in.  This includes the people who hate him and who speak ill of him.  We talk about what would the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) do in a situation where he is being wronged and slandered.

There is another narration mentioned by a few different books of hadith.  It is narrated in the Mustadrak of Hakim and the Sahih of Ibn Hibban and by al-Tabarani in his collection of hadith.  It is a very lengthy story.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) had gone to Zayd b. Su'na, who was a Jewish businessman, to buy something from him.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) did not have the payment ready at that time, so he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) fixed a payment date with him.  The man came back before the payment due date.  The narration says the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is sitting with his companions.  He literally tears through the congregation.  Imagine somebody who is walking straight through and shoving people aside angrily.  He walks right up to the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), and the narration says he literally grabs his clothes.  If somebody did that to us, what would we do?  We would tackle him.

He grabs the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  Imagine that!  He says, “Where is my money?  You Banu Hashim, you people are notorious for not paying people back on time.  Pay up!  I don't trust you!”  subhanAllah!  The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is letting everyone cool down and relax.  'Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) draws his sword and says, “Give me the word, O Messenger, and I'll finish him right here where he stands.  You speak to my prophet and my messenger like that?!”

The Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) says, “Sheath your sword, ya 'Umar.”  He turns his attention to 'Umar b. al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and says, “'Umar, me and him didn't need someone to jump into the situation ready to spill blood.  That's not what we need.  We needed something else.  You should have told me that I should pay this man back properly.  And you should have told him to properly ask for his money [like scheduling an appointment and saying, “Brother can you please pay me because I have some bills to take care of and I would really appreciate it.”]  You should have advised me to pay properly and you should have advised him to ask properly and not jump in the middle and say you are going to finish him.”  Then the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to 'Umar, “And give him his right back and then on top of that, from yourself, I want you to give him an extra gift because you threatened him and treated him badly.  How dare you speak to somebody like that!  I want you to make it up to him and do something nice for him.  You don't treat people that way!”

That is what the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) did.   That is his standard.  That's number one.  None of the emotional rhetoric.  I know that here are two sentiments amongst the ummah.  I know that one sentiment is:  “We have to watch ourselves and think this through and make sure what type of a political statement it makes.  There is PR and media.”  Then there is another sentiment of the ummah: “We are tired of all this and don't want to do any more photo-ops.  We are tired of appeasing people and the truth is the truth.  We need to do what is right.”

Both sentiments are human reactions, but both sentiments need to turn back and look at the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  Allah said, “Take what the Messenger gave you and leave what he told you to leave.”  We need to look at the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for guidance.  We want to defend him, so defend him by means of his guidance and his teachings.

That is the first thing I wanted to present.  This is something consistent throughout the life of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  The narrations go on endlessly from the du'a that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) made after Ta'if when he was abused and beaten at Ta'if and bled at Ta'if.  The du'a he made for those people afterwards was for guidance.  What did the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) do at the conquest of Mecca?  He was compassionate, merciful and forgiving towards these people.  This is a consistent thing throughout the teachings of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Ignorance

The second thing is that there will always be ignorant people on the face of this earth.  This is a reality of life.  Stupid is as stupid does.  There were ignorant people at the time of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) who would say, “Yes, this is the truth, but I still want to oppose it.”  There is no reasoning with that man.  That is why the Qur'an and the precedent of the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) even give us recourse in that matter.  You will be addressed by ignorant people and just say, “I am not going to stoop to your level, sir!”  It is not showing respect to that person but is respecting yourself.  “I will go about my business, but I will not engage in this nonsense and this ignorance.  I don't have time for this nonsense.”

This is the second thing we need to understand.

Telling People about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)

This will be my concluding point.  How do we fix this issue and how do we solve this problem?  There has to be a more tangible solution.  We need to go out there and tell people about who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is.  We need to have written material, online material, public forums, symposiums, campaigns.  We need to inform humanity about who Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was and what he means to us.  We need to give them the truth about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Before we take that step – and this is the part that might sting a little and will be a bitter pill to swallow, and I apologize for anyone I offend.  I'm talking to myself – I cannot go and cannot speak to humanity about who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) unless I know what I'm talking about first.  What do we know about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?  It's not for me to ask you or for you to test me.  Ask yourself!  Do you really know about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?  Do you really know his life?  Could you properly educate people about who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is?  Could you answer the questions that people would have about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)?  Could you?

I need to ask myself and go look in the mirror, and it isn't going to be fun.  A self-assessment never is, but it is important.  If the answer comes back as it does to me, “no, I don't,” then it is about time I got a little serious about this.  It is about time that I stop jumping and screaming when an incident occurred and actually dedicate my life to following the example and knowing who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is.

It is very important!  There are tons of resources.  The excuses in our times are gone!  We have scholars in your midst.  Sit and learn from them.  If you want a book, there are books.  If you want to read online, it is online.  A humble little effort that we started was taking into consideration the lowest common denominator:  someone who is very busy and doesn't have a lot of time or resources at all.  I started conducting a weekly seerah class, and we record the audio and put it online for free.  You can sign up so that it automatically downloads to your phone.  You can listen to it while you drive.  An hour a week – that's it, but you know who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is and what he stands for.

It is very important that we take this step to educate ourselves and our families and our communities until we become an educated community.  Then, we most definitely have to make noise.  But then we make the right type of noise.  We don't just go out there and yell and scream for the sake of yelling and screaming.  Everywhere you turn, you see a Muslim talking about who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is.  Everywhere you look, you see a Muslim exemplifying the character of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  Everywhere you look, you see a Muslim starting a project that brings to fruition and materializes one of the visions or instructions or guidance of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  We better humanity, society, and the world we live in by means of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).  This is a practical plan and course of action.

May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) grant us the proper understanding of who the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is and allow us to serve the deen properly.

18 Responses

  1. sabirah

    i watched the video to a large part, and it was just cringeworthy. I have seen worse anti – islam films. There are youtube videos that can do real harm but this particular movie is so badly made that it’s just beyond my dignity to take serious. My husband watched it and even he couldn’t believe that THIS is what the ummah has gone bonkers about. I’m at loss, really. I begin to doubt that this is the real reason for all these upheavals. Seriously, I began do doubt my whole existence as muslim and part of this ummah through this.

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    • layla

      Yes, the state of the ummah worries me and I too am afraid it affects my life as a Muslim

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  2. Sidra Mahmood

    It made me cry, ya Shaykh. The more you know about the Prophet (may peace and blessings be on him), you are even more humbled. Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom with us. May Allah swt guide us to know more about our beloved and exemplify him through his character. Ameen.

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  3. Regular Baba

    Salam Shaykh, Jazak Allah for this. I was just listening to your tafsir of Surah Al Qalam, and the verses at the start of that fit perfectly into what you have written here. I have one concern. A small minority of muslims – not scholars, as far as I can tell – always bring up the story of
    Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf when this kind of thing happens to justify the violence. As a scholar, how would you reply to such muslims?

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  4. Gibran

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    I like the post and everything, but when you are quoting things the Prophet salalalahu alayhiwasalam said, you should put it exactly, not say it in your own way.

    Can someone show me the hadith/source for the following-

    “Then the Prophet said to ‘Umar, “And give him his right back and then on top of that, from yourself, I want you to give him an extra gift because you threatened him and treated him badly. How dare you speak to somebody like that! I want you to make it up to him and do something nice for him. You don’t treat people that way!””

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  5. Garry

    It’s a pity muslims have such thin skins. If christians were the same the whole Monty Python cast would have been murdered, heads cutoff, burnt and possibly even killed. Give it a rest and start to understand the world in a less serious way

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  6. Humbled Muslimah

    This is an eye opening article. Before we become angry and blame others for their ignorance, maybe we should look at ourselves and ask ourselves, ‘why are they ignorant?’. Maybe we would then realize that we are the ignorant ones.

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    • RCHOUDH

      I agree the incendiary reaction from Muslims, which has resulted in killing and destruction, towards this disgusting video is very unIslamic and generally due to our own ignorance of Islam. I propose we try to start a worldwide media campaign to get people (both Muslims and nonMuslims) to learn about the Prophet’s (SAWS) life. Since media (both new and old) is the quickest way to deliver information in the world today, we should try to utilize it to the best of our ability. Maybe we can collect funds from wealthy Muslims (like from the Gulf states) to get this started. Speaking of media, I wonder why most of Muslims don’t also boycott and call attention to the various ways Hollywood manages to smear Islam and Muslims through the propagation of negative stereotypes. Hollywood may not go about it as crudely and amateurishly as the dolts behind the movie causing the current uproar, but they still engage in propagating racist and Islamophobic propaganda too.

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  7. monotheist

    Saying this in all honesty and sincerity. As my kids have reached the age that Aisha (ra) was supposedly when she married the Prophet (saws), I have become increasingly uncomfortable with that aspect. I have to be honest as I look at my soon to be 9 year old, if a 50+ year old was at all interested in her in a sexual way, I would consider him a pedophile and a pervert–and I’m assuming most would feel that way. Even allowing for cultural differences or differences at the time, it doesn’t make it any better to be honest. It’s still wrong. I’ve tried to justify this in many many ways, and the best I can come up with is to assume that keeping track of age was perhaps not an exact science back then–and by relating these extremely young ages was a way to imply that she was definitively a virgin. Similarly, the use of 40 always meant a lot in ancient culture, so Khadija (ra) may just have been older, but not necessarily chronologically 40. (Which would explain her ability to get pregnant so many times during their marriage when fertility is usually questionable for 40+ women.) Perhaps there is a need for scholars and the Muslim community to address this aspect in the prophet’s life and at least speak out about the continued practice in many Muslim countries of child brides (especially those married to much much older men). We know that being married so young can be quite harmful to the girl, so shouldn’t it be haram?

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  8. anna

    jazak ALLAH sir for such a article… may ALLAH gives us the knowledge to understand our deen

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  9. Gashu

    I’m a christian. And I’m so happy to see this article because I thought all muslims support the violent reaction against the rubish vidio. Specially I like the ‘ignorance’ part. People are making such vidios out of ignorance and people are reacting violently again out of ignorance. The best reaction should have been I think ignoring the ignorant. “I am not going to stoop to your level, sir!”

    thank you.

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