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Response to The Jewel of Madina

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ruby.jpg Disclaimer: This post is classified as a “rant,” meaning that it’s not meant to be an analytical or even constructive criticism of the subject, but rather an expression of my own outrage.

Ah, where would we be without controversy? The latest episode in this never-ending game of “Hey, let’s do something senseless just to get a reaction from Muslims!” revolves around the novelist Sherry Jones and her book “The Jewel of Madina.” Marketed as historical fiction, this book is the author’s depiction the story of our beloved Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the Mother of Believers A’ishah (radhiAllahu anha) – and as can be expected, by the author’s own admission takes full advantage of “literary license” (i.e. she makes things up to make it a more exciting story).

The Jewel of Madina” is the result of author Sherry Jones’ 6-year-long endeavour to ‘bring the love story of Aishah and Muhammad to the West,’ as she claims. Scheduled to be published by Random House and other publishing agents around the world, Random House called a halt to the August 12th launch date after a call from University of Texas professor Denise Spellberg denounced the novel as incredibly offensive, stupid, and likely to incite the wrath of Muslims. Aside from numerous factual and historical errors (though she says that she did “a lot of research”), as pointed out in this book review, most notorious – and disgusting – is the inclusion of an explicit scene between RasulAllah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and A’ishah (radhiAllahu anha). This fact alone should prepare you for what is to come below. Yet, terribly, Random House has retracted its decision and is going to go ahead with publishing and distributing the novel.

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Sherry Jones’ interview with AltMuslim is apparently meant to allay suspicions,soothe tempers, and encourage us all to read (to buy!!!) her book before making judgments on it. She rambles on about her personal research journey into the life of our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and of A’ishah (radhiAllahu ‘anha), her hope that the Western world will gain a better understanding of the life of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and that it’ll be a bridge between cultures and all the rest of what you can expect from the so-called liberal artistic intellectual types.

I don’t believe a word of it. The interview is so sickeningly saccharine in her cooing over the greatness of Islamic history and her personal love of the Seerah (her own twisted version, that is) and encouragements for people to be more open to change and re-interpretations that only a blind man would be unable to see the outright tabloid-quality of the entire endeavor. For a woman who’s been a journalist for the last 28 years, Ms. Jones is incredibly stupid to think that in today’s day and age such a work would be accepted as what she’s trying to pass it off as; that the majority of Muslims would not be outraged and disgusted at her depiction of our most beloved Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his wife, whose innocence from the slander of the hypocrites was revealed and confirmed from above the Seven Heavens, yet which she is quite happy to cast doubt upon for the mere sake of making her book more exciting (or as she says, to make the character of A’ishah “more humanistic”).

To my cynical eyes at least, the author’s true motives are glaring obvious even through all her sugarcoating and wide-eyed protestations of innocence and pure intentions. There is no reason to write and publish a fictional account of our Prophet’s life, especially focusing on (what is to others) more “controversial” issues, except to generate money and tabloid fodder. If she were truly interested in Islam, in the exceptional and beautiful life of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his companions, then she would respectfully keep her trap shut and pursue further education regarding this Deen of ours rather than undertake such a ridiculous and ill-fated endeavor. May Allah guide her, ameen.

A question is asked, if Muslims are just not ready for historical fiction. That question, I believe, is a moot point – the real issue is not that of accepting historical fiction (I’m quite a fan of it, actually), but that of people continuing to slander and debase those whom we love even more than our ownselves: our Prophet, and his companions. To those who say that we’re just being stick-in-the-mud conservatives again, that don’t you get it, the book is actually saying positive things about the Prophet!, that it’s important for us to accept a “humanized” picture of the Prophet and his companions – to them I say, this is not an issue of being a grumpy old conservative who is being reactionary for no reason, nor is it that I’m not able to accept a “humanistic” vision of our Messenger. Indeed, in the authentic Seerah and in the Qur’an itself there is enough that presents the human side of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)! We don’t need to depend on others, on those who don’t even believe in the truth of Islam, the Message conveyed by the Messenger, to tell us how “human,” how “flawed yet beautiful,” how “complex and rich” our history is. We know our history – or should know it – very well, thank you very much. And we believe in it far more than you ever could, Ms. Jones, however much you profess to love “your Muhammad” and “your A’ishah.”

In conclusion, I don’t think that this particular subject is going to be any different from the Danish cartoons case… except that (hopefully) there won’t be any deadly riots over it; nonetheless, it doesn’t make it any easier for me to swallow. The same old slogans and arguments and flamewars over freedom of speech and expression, of overcoming our own internal obstacles towards “greater understanding” and “enlightenment,” of what we can do to defend our Messenger will be repeated over and over again, with little if any progress or change. The book is published, it’s going to sell, and bitter as it may be to us all, there’s nothing we can do about it except pray that Allah guide this foolish woman and refer people to far more authentic sources through which they may learn of the true biography of the greatest of Allah’s creation.

I contemplated not bothering to publish this post, as I feel that it’s not worth much in terms of practicality. If I can’t provide any solutions to the problem, what’s the point? A bitter part of me feels that with all the proverbial mud being slung at us these days, incidents like this aren’t even worth being responded to when compared to the far more weighty and depressing situations like that of the Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Kashmir, and elsewhere. The other voice in my head insisted that I may as well write this out because it’s something that’s happening, that has to do with us and our Messenger, and that we can’t just ignore it… and so, I’m going to press the “publish” button and pray that I haven’t simply given this woman and her foolishness more attention than they deserve.

May Allah paralyze the tongues and limbs of those who knowingly and maliciously slander our beloved RasulAllah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), may He guide those with an atom’s weight of fitrah left in them to the correct path, and may He increase us in our love of Him and His Messenger and follow in the footsteps of the Sunnah throughout our lives, ameen.

Note: IslamOnline published a column by Sherry Jones, defending her book. The Wall Street Journal has another such articleA Wikipedia summary of the novel and the controversy surrounding it.

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Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of MuslimMatters.org.

94 Comments

94 Comments

  1. SaqibSaab

    September 10, 2008 at 8:49 AM

    With the book coming out, it will probably be something Muslims will have to deal with when discussing A’isha (radhiAllahu ‘anha) or the Seerah. I think we should let them know that:

    1. The book is a novel and does classifies as historical fiction. It doesn’t coincide with Islamic sources and truths.
    2. We Muslims are displeased with it because of its ficticious nature. We adhere to authentic historical sources and a book of this nature goes against our way.
    3. To be fair, we recognize the author’s own admittance that this is a “version” or “twist” on the life of A’isha, while at the same time disagree with the idea that doing so is acceptable.
    4. And thus, we are against the idea of such a book, and ask that readers look into authentic Muslim sources on the life of this wife of our Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

  2. Azra

    September 10, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    MashaAllah, this is a powerful article that is much needed to make people aware of the gravity of what’s being published about our Messenger, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Indeed it is intolerable for Muslims to hear the Prophet (S) being turned into a literary character for the purpose of our entertainment. This definitely falls into the category of the Danish cartoons, regardless of what sweet talk the author attempts to buy her audience with.

    As Muslims we are obligated to defend the honor of the Prophet (S) no matter what it takes. Zaid bin Haritha defended him with his own body while being chased out of Taif and is raised in status for that act. Today, we have as much need to protect the Messenger (S), maybe not physically, but by raising his honor and demonstrating to the world that we will not tolerate any violation of it.

    Your article, Anonymouse, is one step towards fulfilling this duty. May Allah SWT make your efforts reach far ends.

    I recommend everyone to listen to Imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s ‘The Dust Will Never Settle Down.’ He has the perfect response to the issue of blasphemy.

  3. MR

    September 10, 2008 at 9:24 AM

    keyword: FICTION

    Please translate this word in to Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Pashtu, Hindi, Turkish, Swahli, Somali, Ethiopian, and all other Muslim world languages, before we have riots and more McDonald’s being burnt down.

  4. anon

    September 10, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    Wait, wats the purpose of translating the word “fiction”?

  5. publicdebate

    September 10, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Trust AltMuslim to do an interview with this character, and help her sell this garbage.

  6. Ibnkhalil

    September 10, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    RUBBISH! I was so angry when I read about this novel two months ago. This just shows how much of a perverted and sickening mind some people have and even worse, how they will use it for material gain.

    I was appalled by this novel. I was happy to know that it was pulled because of inaccuracies and fear of Muslim backlash. Now reading the article implies that its being published. If that is the case what is the company that dares to? Does anyone know?

    A personal complaint must be lodged and we must warn them of the mistake they are making. This is unacceptable.

  7. Amad

    September 10, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Excellent and poignant!

    I guess altmuslim is enlightened enough to interview the author of trash like this. They can continue to pretend of course to represent mainstream Islam but stuff like this is a reminder that they are as mainstream as the novel is historically accurate. Shame on them for giving space to garbage and blasphemy producers.

    Yes, there is freedom of speech, but how about engaging in speech against it and speech in not publicizing trash. I mean do we have to depend on a kind Jewish professor to make our case, while Muslims clamor to support such dishonoring of the prophet (s) and his beloved wife (rd)? If you can’t help the izza of Muslims, at least don’t participate in its further destruction!

  8. usman

    September 10, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    Salaam…i went thru the interview…it is a load of crap to be honest….we can not tolerate a fictitious account of the Prophet and Aisha (rd) and shame on the Altmuslim ppl for interviewing her..this artcile was awsome…we need to mass distirbute this

  9. Siraaj

    September 10, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Speaking of Seerah, I recall that in Shaykh AbdulBary’s class “The Shepherd’s Path” that whenever the nonMuslims try to attack Islam and Muslims, the negative media coverage is nonetheless media coverage and piques the interest and curiosity of people, to the point that some go back to learn what Islam is truly about and then themselves become Muslim.

    That doesn’t mean we advocate for negative publicity or “historical fiction”, but that we should be prepared with responses to questions people would have regarding what has been presented.

    This is a novel situation in that normally, we get negative coverage and we have to rebut accusations, whereas in this case, we have (at least on the surface) someone trying to positively portray the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim and Aisha (ra) through the prism of a Western perspective (i.e. unwanted “positive” propaganda).

    What would be great is if someone could research what is presented in the book, chapter-by-chapter, and present a comprehensive point-by-point discussion of what is (maybe) true and what is not. This would be valuable in that although the author places the disclaimer that this is historical fiction, Muslims and nonMuslims alike may have trouble separating the two when reading the book.

    So my suggestion, a definitive one stop shopping area for clarification in all areas of historical (in)accuracy would be best. All those brothers and sisters who spend inordinate amounts of time online refuting, rebutting, and attacking this group and that, here’s a great project you can take on to defend the honor of both the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim and our beloved mother Aisha (ra) ;)

    Siraaj

  10. Abu Khawlah

    September 10, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    AltMuslim, as the name suggest is alternative to Muslim and does not indicate in anyway that it is Muslim or Pro-Muslim, right?! Pathetic of them to allow this publicity hoarding, fiction Frankenstein rag. Defend the honour of our beloved Prophet (SAW) and Ammeh Aisha (RA), we must and indeed, at all cost.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see an end to religiously offensive material (anti-Islamic) anytime soon… Pray for guidance and a good, God-fearing leader to lead us through these trial times….

  11. My H-town

    September 10, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Authubillah!! I read an excerpt and its like what one critic said, “light pornography!!” I cant believe the trash these people come up with! Not surprisingly, Satanic Verses’ satan himself was for the publication of this trash. May Allah give them what they deserve!!

  12. AnonyMouse

    September 10, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    keyword: FICTION

    Please translate this word in to Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Pashtu, Hindi, Turkish, Swahli, Somali, Ethiopian, and all other Muslim world languages, before we have riots and more McDonald’s being burnt down.

    I think you totally missed the point. It’s not a question of fiction or non-fiction. It’s a question of someone twisting the life of our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and our Mother for mere entertainment purposes.

    Besides which, fiction is already a widely read and accepted gender in the languages/ cultures you listed. Ever heard of the Arabian Nights? And I won’t even start mentioning the works of fiction, both classical and modern, that are available and produced even now in Urdu/ Farsi/ Pashtu/ Hindi, etc.

    Really, I find your comment quite ignorant, which is an unpleasant surprise.

  13. AnonyMouse

    September 10, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    What would be great is if someone could research what is presented in the book, chapter-by-chapter, and present a comprehensive point-by-point discussion of what is (maybe) true and what is not. This would be valuable in that although the author places the disclaimer that this is historical fiction, Muslims and nonMuslims alike may have trouble separating the two when reading the book.

    The book review I linked to actually does a pretty good job (although not quite chapter-by-chapter) of doing that… she lists the numerous errors and points out how almost the entire story is warped to fit her own fairy-tale-Arabian-Nights idea of the Arab world and Muslim society.

    Another question that came to mind just now is, I wonder how popular this book will become? Aside from pre-publication hoopla, what’s the author going to get in terms of hard sales and genuine readership?
    What irritates me further is that even as a work of fiction, if we were to disregard the subject matter itself (which is difficult to do anyway), it doesn’t even seem that great. Simply from the excerpts I’ve read online, the quality of the writing is more akin to a cheap romance novel than a genuinely good book. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres when it comes to “light” reading, and there’s a huge difference between a serious look at certain characters and events in history, and plain old fantasy-based “re-interpretation.”

  14. AbdelRahman

    September 10, 2008 at 4:35 PM

    Sadly, I don’t think many will be critiquing this book in an intelligent manner. I don’t even think many will read it. The Ummah’s literacy levels dropped through the floor, I doubt they even understand a lot of the vocabulary in the novel. Subhan Allah.

  15. MR

    September 10, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    @Anonymous:

    I think you totally missed the point. It’s not a question of fiction or non-fiction. It’s a question of someone twisting the life of our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and our Mother for mere entertainment purposes.

    Besides which, fiction is already a widely read and accepted gender in the languages/ cultures you listed. Ever heard of the Arabian Nights? And I won’t even start mentioning the works of fiction, both classical and modern, that are available and produced even now in Urdu/ Farsi/ Pashtu/ Hindi, etc.

    Really, I find your comment quite ignorant, which is an unpleasant surprise.

    Actually you missed my point. Sh. Yasir Qadhi and Sh. Yasir Birjas (Both MM authors) said at a lecture at ISNA 2008 that was recorded by SaqibSaab (another MM author) that the “best way to defend the Prophet is by our actions“. InshaAllah Wasat Studios will release that extremely relevant lecture soon.

    The point of my comment was that once this book is released, you will have some Muslims causing anger and stir the EMOTIONS of the Muslim world causing more flag-burning, embassy riots, McDonald’s being burnt down. That’s why we need some “crowd control” in the ummah.

    Sh. Hamza Yusuf also mentioned something in another lecture at ISNA and that was over the course of history many people have mocked the Prophet (saas) and Allah (swt) has defend the Prophet’s (saas) honor. A recent example he shared with us was that an American drew some ridiculous cartoons of the Prophet (saas) and a few weeks later he died in a terrible accident.

  16. MR

    September 10, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Sadly, I don’t think many will be critiquing this book in an intelligent manner. I don’t even think many will read it. The Ummah’s literacy levels dropped through the floor, I doubt they even understand a lot of the vocabulary in the novel. Subhan Allah.

    Another reason why I said “fiction needs to be translated”. Not literally speaking, but to let the Muslim world know that the author of the book KNOWS they made up the crap in the book, so it’s not as serious as the Danish cartoons which the author felt to be the TRUTH. Big difference, one knows its made up the other is portraying it as fact.

  17. MR

    September 10, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Basically this article needs to be translated.

  18. AnonyMouse

    September 10, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Eek, my sincerest apologies for the major misunderstanding! :S
    Please forgive me…

  19. H. Ahmed

    September 10, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    as salaam alaikum wr wb,

    i think all of this is unecessary.

    Unfortunately – there is much worse out there in various media (literature, film, lectures, websites, etc.) that insults anything and everything that we revere. The best thing to do is ignore it all. Go to you local bookstore and u will find dozens of books that we all would find incredibly insulting and blasphemous. The more we rant out against particular books/media – the more attention those books get – and controversy creates cash. Ultimately we are giving her free PR and providing more interest about her book – which will probably cause many to be like let me check out the book for myself and see what the hoopla is all about. This supposed controversy will inevitably lead to greater cash for the author – and ultimately may even promote her to continue writing more books about these issues.

    Allah (swt) is in control of everything, and He is the best of planners. – going off ranting about every insult against our deen is probably counterproductive.

    Where are all the posts out there about all the great new positive books about Islam?

  20. Siraaj

    September 10, 2008 at 6:47 PM

    Another question that came to mind just now is, I wonder how popular this book will become? Aside from pre-publication hoopla, what’s the author going to get in terms of hard sales and genuine readership?
    What irritates me further is that even as a work of fiction, if we were to disregard the subject matter itself (which is difficult to do anyway), it doesn’t even seem that great. Simply from the excerpts I’ve read online, the quality of the writing is more akin to a cheap romance novel than a genuinely good book. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres when it comes to “light” reading, and there’s a huge difference between a serious look at certain characters and events in history, and plain old fantasy-based “re-interpretation.”

    Well, the only way the book can get popular is if we lend it publicity – controversy is a great marketing tool. Political conservatives will probably detest the attempt at a positive spin, religious conservatives the western spin. She seems to have an uphill battle ahead of her along with her (lack of) writing prowess added on top of those obstacles, so insha’allah it’ll fade out quicker than “the true furqan”.

    Siraajj

  21. Faiez

    September 10, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    Well put Ms. Mouse.

    Here’s an interesting lecture by Imam Anwar on this issue: http://www.anwar-alawlaki.com/2008/05/27/the-dust-will-never-settle-down/

    Sadly, I don’t think many will be critiquing this book in an intelligent manner.

    I think there are many people in this Ummah who could critique any book in an intelligent manner.

    comment edited

  22. Zaynab

    September 10, 2008 at 7:15 PM

    You know what would be awesome? If after the book was released we had open houses at our Masajid and events with our MSAs describing the actual life of RasulAllah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. If we capitalized on all the media attention and did some serious da’wah!

    Alhamdulillah for tests which allow us to show the real Sunnah of RasulAllah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and the true honour of this Deen.

    comment edited

  23. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    September 10, 2008 at 7:56 PM

    The Holy Qur’an, Surah Furqan, ayat 63: And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace… (Sahih International)

    I invite you to consider two responses to this book. In one, people tear out their own hair, burn cars, destroy each other’s businesses, riot in the streets, burn flags and effigies, and more.

    In the second, Muslims buy (and even write additional) thoughtful books about the true relationship of the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam to the Mothers of the Believers, buy or make legal copies of Shaykh Webb’s audio series on the Mothers of the Believers, and then they approach every library in the country that buys the accursed novel and every book club that distributes it and every reading group or class that assigns it, and then with words of peace invites them to go beyond fiction into the light of truth. They make the good available to each and every person who has consumed evil.

    Most people never understand that jihad always brought good wherever it went. Jihad was not about killing or wreaking destruction but about bringing hearts and minds closer to Allah. I am paraphrasing the lesson I was taught by a daa’i whom I love and respect dearly because every ayat and seerah event for which he gives tafsir is imbued with a lesson on taqwa and building iman. May Allah increase him and every shaykh like him in their ‘ilm and barakat. And may He teach us all to prosecute His Cause in the best way. Ameen.

  24. asim

    September 10, 2008 at 8:14 PM

    I worked at Borders and this will be a very popular book.

    Go right now to Borders and you’ll find the ‘hot books’ or displayed books in the Islamic section are from Ayaan Arshi Ali, Irshad Manji and Daniel Pipes.

    Add onto the obsession with pornography and this makes a best seller.

    AstigfurAllah, it is truly disgusting.

    And yes, some Muslims will be stupid in their words and bring more attention to this work.

    Let us both condemn the book and follow the sunnah to defend the Prophet’s (S) honor.

  25. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    September 10, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    bismillah. someone from MM should change the statement in the home page/carousel:

    A critical look at Sherry Jones’ novel “Jewel of Madina,” a fictional – and disgusting – portrayal of the life of Umm al-Mu’mineen A’ishah bint Abi Bakr (radhi’Allahu anha).

    because those words contradict these words at the start of the article:

    Disclaimer: This post is classified as a “rant,” meaning that it’s not meant to be an analytical or even constructive criticism of the subject, but rather an expression of my own outrage.

    or change the disclaimer, whichever is less accurate.

  26. S

    September 10, 2008 at 9:00 PM

    anyone know the ruling for writing a historical fiction book about the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wa sallam)? best proactive approach would be to write an accurate historical fiction piece, but islamically, is that okay?

  27. Ahmed B

    September 10, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    Yet, terribly, Random House has retracted its decision and is going to go ahead with publishing and distributing the novel.

    Editors: Just wanted to point out that this is incorrect. According to the wikipedia entry referenced in the article, the book is now being published by ‘Beaufort Books in the United States’ and ‘Gibson Square in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth’. I also heard an NPR radio show indicating Random House’s cancellation of the book but I didn’t hear anything about them deciding to go forward with publishing it. NPR article

  28. DrM

    September 10, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    Well done! This is what I posted on AltMuslim:

    Professor Spellberg said it best : “A very ugly, stupid piece of work.” All you need to know about this orientalist garbage.

    http://ummahpulse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=449&Itemid=71

    I would like to see these same people and their comments if someone were to write a “fictional fantasy” of how the Jews of Europe entered into strange fetishes in the camps of Hitler and how the deaths were via consensual sadomasochist acts as opposed to torture… freedom of expression right?

    As for the freedumb of speech angle, go read the ULTIMATE guide to the Danish hate cartoons

    http://www.drmaxtor.blogspot.com

  29. phil

    September 10, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    anyone know the ruling for writing a historical fiction book about the Prophet (Sallalahu alayhi wa sallam)? best proactive approach would be to write an accurate historical fiction piece, but islamically, is that okay?

    isn’t “accurate historical fiction” an oxymoron?

    anyways its a bad idea, just circulate a point by point correction to any “half truths” from the book(so that when muslims are asked about things in the book, we can give clear answers) and avoid burning down things.

  30. Candice

    September 10, 2008 at 10:55 PM

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

    My husband read this article to me while I was resting. The further he read into the piece, my feelings went from utter relaxation and calm to dismay, sickness in my stomach, and heaviness in my heart. I am disgusted, though not surprised, at this thinly veiled attempt to cast doubt and create scandal around a marriage that was ordained by Allah.

    I’ve noticed that often times when people talk about how “human” a person is, what they really mean is that “hey, she’s no angel; she’s a sinner just like the rest of us.” The Jones’s assertion that creating doubt about Allah clearing A’isha of the allegations of adultery makes her more “human” only feeds the appetite for sensationalism amongst the filthy-minded. There’s a huge market for people who like to wallow in filth. Why else would gossip tabloids be put at almost every cash register in grocery stores, delis, and other places where people have to wait in line? The Jones is probably overcome with joy that she found one, single area in the life of A’isha where she can tear down her reputation for piety and goodness.

    And fictionalizing the life of the Prophet! “Revisionist history” is an understatement. How many people know anything about the Titanic other than what Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet did in the movie? What about Pearl Harbor? How many people can separate “Saving Private Ryan” from the actual events of the war depicted therein? How can she say that she’s bringing the story to a Western audience when most of the people of the West don’t know enough about the facts to be able to distinguish the “historical” part of her historical fiction? How can she say that she’s bringing the story to a Western audience when she’s fictionalized it? Once it’s fictionalized, it’s not the story of the real people depicted. In that case, she’s not telling the story of Muhammad and A’isha. She’s telling a story that she wishes were true. I truly hope that people will be able to see through this.

    We should bombard Random House with a deluge of letters expressing our anger about the publication, release, and sale of this book. I’m not after censorship, but the publication is incredibly insensitive, considering that it adds to the abundant misinformation about Islam. Once this book is out there, what will Random House do to correct the false ideas that this book created? If the Prophet and A’isha were alive, this would be libel and slander. But since they’re long gone, it’s literature. If there were a word 10 degrees beyond “disgusted,” that about capture what I feel upon hearing this terrible news.

    But what can you expect from a people who mock the life and legacy of who they consider God and the Son of God? If God is fair game in their books, what can hold them back from our Prophet? This is a classic example of passive aggressive behavior. The Danish cartoons and Salman Rushdie’s book were blatantly and unapologetically offensive. This sycophant and charlatan delivers her blow with warmth and a smile. May Allah give her what she deserves. Ameen.

  31. usman

    September 10, 2008 at 11:23 PM

    mashallah sister candance u put wrote wat i was thinking and a lot of other ppl…great comment

  32. Faiez

    September 10, 2008 at 11:25 PM

    Please be joking. People are still talking about the Salman Rushdie fatwa, why give them more fodder?

    Then again, as Sunni’s we couldn’t do that as we’re too split. We should stick to writing blog posts and signing petitions. Although, maybe if the shia’s did it then it would be a bit more stronger of a message since they have a state and their plain crazy. Plus they don’t have much to lose.

    If not that, then maybe we can have an old-fashioned north african style book burning. Only problem with that is that we’d hurt the environment and we wouldn’t want that.

    -Edited

  33. Musa Franco

    September 11, 2008 at 12:04 AM

    Bismilah Arahman Araheem

    As Salaam Alaykumm Warahmatulah

    I just wanted to add a quick statement to what my wife Candice said. To reiterate we shouldn’t accept these actions and try to find a way to change these actions from the kuffar. Because the sahaba did not sit around and allow the honor of the messenger of Allah to be defamed. In fact we should reflect on the history of Islam and also what the fuqaha and Ulama in general have stated in regards to insulting the messenger of Allah. I mean there are sufficent stories that mention what is the shari’ implication for insulting the messenger of Allah. Stories like the assasination of Ka’ab ibn Al Ashraf. Ka’ab was killed because of his poetry which defamed and attacked the prophet sallahu alayhi wa salaam. Ibn Taymeeyah has mentioned many other incidents in Al Saram Al Maslul which discusse defaming the messenger of Allah. Ibn Taymeeyah said “Everything the Ibn Al Ashraf did was by the toungue”.

    There are countless stories about the companions not allowing people to attack the honor of messenger of Allah. Now ofcourse we acknowledge that we are not powerful in the land. We do not have a state etc… However, we should not just explain it away as this is just the actions of the kuffar.

    This is unacceptable.

    Wallahu Ta Ala A’lim

    Wa Sallalahu Ala Saydina Wa Rasulina Muhammad Wa ala Alihee wa Ashabee Ajma3een.

    Akhukum

    Musa

  34. candice again

    September 11, 2008 at 12:08 AM

    a vessel laced with e. coli will contaminate anything that you place therein. likewise, a filthy mind, like that of sherry jones, will soil any pure thing that comes into contact with it.

    in her interview with islamonline, she had the nerve to say that she intended to bring honor to islam. thanks but no thanks. we don’t need someone to tarnish the reputation of the beloved people of islam to say that they’re bringing honor to islam. i just can’t imagine what perverse plane her brain operates on.

  35. SH

    September 11, 2008 at 4:31 AM

    Assalam `alaykum

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for witting this article, to be honest even if it was a rant, it brought it to our attention to those which may have passed unnoticed.

    A couple random thoughts came to me,
    1- If she really did full research and accurately, she would have seen the true light of the deen. We all know the power of du`aa’ ( :) ) so let’s ask Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala to guide her (and those who will potentially follow her)
    I honestly can’t see why if she did all this research about the life of the rasool (sal Allahu `alahi wa salaam) why she wouldn’t have converted.. Allahu a’lam

    2. I know we’re are discussing this without having read the book, and we’re making claims and possible accusations, without having read the book. I am not for it, but I can just imagine, sometime next year at the next Open mosque (masjid!) day, this topic will come up.
    This is the perfect Da’wah opportunity, it may help from a da’wah perspective to have read the book and make sure our own resources are correct come time for da’wah opportunities. Whether its at the Open Masjid day or out on the streets.

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for bringing this article up, you may not have solutions as you pointed out in the end of your article, but this allows for all of us to make up our own decisions and perhaps make a unified statement in sha’ Allah.

    Yes, we may be upset but we also need to keep in mind how sensitive our actions are to others. I dont mean to take upon a passive approach, but to take upon negative approaches or send in angry letters may just be feeding fuel to the already burning fire. Allahu a’lam, I too don’t have a solution – but these discussions are great! :)

    Barak Allahu feekum

    wassalam `alaykum

  36. Abu Bakr

    September 11, 2008 at 7:19 AM

    The life of our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not up for grabs to be “reinterpreted”, “rewritten”, or fictionalized by arrogant ignorants.

    For those who would like to learn more about the real life of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) should refer here:

    http://www.dar-us-salam.com/store/main.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Eng_ProphetMuhammad

    The works by Sallabi and Mahdi Rizqullah Ahmad are two important contemporary researches. I believe they were also sources for Imam Anwar in his Sirah sets, although I would have to confirm this. I remember with 100% certainty that he used Sallabi’s book on Umar b. al-Khattab for his Umar b. al-Khattab lectures.

    Also, check out:

    http://islamicbookstore.com/b7270.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b6608.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b4830.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b3833.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b3834.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b7794.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b7795.html
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b3816.html

    http://islamicbookstore.com/b3828.html

    A note of caution on this ibn Ishaq translation by an Orientalist:

    The following review was written in entirety by Alford Welch: “Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah or Maghazi is extant is two recensions, one by Ibn Hisham, used by Guillaume and often listed as the “author” of this translation, and another by Yunus ibn Bukayr (d. 814). Guillaume has attempted to reconstruct Ibn Ishaq’s original work by beginning with Ibn Hisham’s recension, placing all of his additions in the back as notes, and then inserting long excerpts that were deleted by Ibn Hisham, but have been preserved in works such as al-Tabari’s Ta’rikh.” -BS

  37. MR

    September 11, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    @AnonyMouse – No need to apologize. It was my fault for the lack of explanation. I am very dumb when it comes to making quick comments like that without further thinking and explanation.

  38. Fatima Barkatulla

    September 11, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Jazakillahu Khairan Anonymouse.

    But I do think that the greatest insult to this author will be for Muslims to not take her book seriously and not make a big fuss about it so that she gets minimal media attention for it.

  39. coolguymuslim

    September 11, 2008 at 6:10 PM

    assalamu alaikum,

    just wondering, does the author claim to be muslim?

  40. AnonyMouse

    September 11, 2008 at 6:26 PM

    Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam,

    No, Sherry Jones does not claim to be Muslim.

  41. AbdelRahman

    September 11, 2008 at 11:34 PM

    Then again, as Sunni’s we couldn’t do that as we’re too split. We should stick to writing blog posts and signing petitions. Although, maybe if the shia’s did it then it would be a bit more stronger of a message since they have a state and their plain crazy. Plus they don’t have much to lose.

    If not that, then maybe we can have an old-fashioned north african style book burning. Only problem with that is that we’d hurt the environment and we wouldn’t want that.

    1.It’s Ramadan, we should watch what we say and how we spend our time.
    2.I find it ironic that you sarcastically criticize (I think) “writing blog posts and signing petitions” when in fact all you’re doing is…writing a comment on a blog post.

    I think there are many people in this Ummah who could critique any book in an intelligent manner.

    3.Yeah, any educated person can critique this book. My previous comment was in regards to the Ummah’s reading level as a nation. I was trying to take this discussion in a more productive direction, but it seems as if putting a bounty on some old misguided lady’s head has become of top priority. How about we worry about millions of brothers and sisters and helping them become literate humans before we worry about one non-Muslim lady and placing the hudood on her?

    No more comments, I had to say it. Btw, you still coming to OPPC with me on Saturday iA buddy?

  42. Siraaj

    September 12, 2008 at 1:20 AM

    Faiez has been listening to Imam Anwar’s lecture on what should be done to a person who defames the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim. Makes me wonder though, there are intentions and perceptions at play here, at least on the surface. Imam Anwar’s lecture relates to people who intentionally defame the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim.

    But what about people who make things up about him (or A’ishah) intending good? On one level, it’s almost like hadeeth fabrication (let them choose their place in Hellfire), but were people ever executed for fabricating ahadeeth (and at times, intentionally) about things he said, did, or implicitedly sanctioned?

    I’m more like thinking aloud here, I don’t have answers, just questions and the hope of educating myself better so that I may make a more educated decision about the stance I take on this matter.

    Siraaj

  43. Abu Bakr

    September 13, 2008 at 4:46 AM

    But what about people who make things up about him (or A’ishah) intending good? On one level, it’s almost like hadeeth fabrication (let them choose their place in Hellfire), but were people ever executed for fabricating ahadeeth (and at times, intentionally) about things he said, did, or implicitedly sanctioned?

    The short answer is yes, there were some fabricators executed for fabrication

  44. Abu Bakr

    September 13, 2008 at 4:46 AM

    Though I should note, that does not mean that all were executed.

  45. Pingback: Iconia» Blog Archive » The “literary license” of “The Jewel of Madina”

  46. Nouman Ali Khan

    September 13, 2008 at 11:57 PM

    A no-name writer such as herself is only to gain book sales by the continuation & spreading of this discourse online. I’m not convinced of any good to come from responding to such ignorance. This, as perhaps pointed out earlier, is probably playing right into the ‘marketing strategy’.

  47. Ravenous Hope

    September 15, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    I second that suggestion. Perhaps the best thing to do is to give her the exact opposite of what she is so clearly after, i.e. fame and controversy. We should just ignore her and let her book fade into obscurity. Salman Rushdie was a nobody until the western media outlets picked up a story about his book being burnt in Bangladesh.

    By the way sister Anonymouse, ameen, thumma ameen to your du’ah.

  48. Suhail

    September 15, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Some of the comments on the forums are too elitist and it feels like some people think that the ones who reacted against the cartoons with burning the embassy and flags are the problems.

    I mean what on the earth are you living on. First the west destroys their countries, then you have tyrants sitting in their countries ruling them with the help of west, countless muslim’s are dead because of the so called free west and its lackeys. Then the west goes ahead and makes cartoon of the Prophet(SAW). Then you expect people in muslim world to sit down and just criticize the cartoons in paper. Surely they are not powerful enough to fight the west but what about the gheraah of the deen they have. They burnt and marched not because they are some lowly people as you are describing them on the forums here but they were hurt deep inside. I am sorry for you that it does not affect you like them because they love the Prophet(SAW) in there heart. What do you expect them to do? Sit down write an article and then the west will say “Hey look at the response. Lets stop making the cartoons and writing novels”.

    This comment in not against the author but some comments here are reeking with elitism as if the entire muslim world are illiterate fools and the chosen few in the west are the best that this ummah has. Get over yourself. The vast majority of the muslim ummah leaves in the east so don’t describe them as illiterate or idiots. They have more gheraah for there deen than the people in the west who are selling there deen for few dollars and sitting in the lap of secularists and rulers.

  49. ibnabeeomar

    September 15, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    suhail – with fairness, i don’t think its an issue of elitism as much as it is practicality. what was the end result of the action, and was it the intended result?

  50. Suhail

    September 15, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    I knew someone would ask me this question. Atleast you don’t see anymore cartoons being published again. They are fearful that the next thing would create another storm in the muslim world or they would be killed. I am not justifying the actions but i am not condemning it either. They had a reason to vent there anger and who are western muslims to condemn them. What did the muslims in west did to stop them ridiculing the Prophet(SAW)? They wrote few articles here and there, then the night came they went to sleep and next morning they went to work forgetting something happened yestarday. Do you seriously think that these people will stop ridiculing Islam just because some muslims wrote few articles in a news paper.

    So really all the muslims in the west can do is sit in there chair and call the rest of the muslims as illiterate, violent etc. They are the civilized people while the rest of the ummah are well, uncivilized and needs to be taught some manners. All these condescending comments points to elitism and nothing else. Really brother grow up. You are not the only one who know about practical things in life. The people back home and in muslim lands are living in the same world. They are not alien to this world.

    What about the sahaba? Where they illiterate too? What will you say about there actions? Where they impractical? Where they uncivilized?

  51. AbdelRahman

    September 15, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    I am sorry for you that it does not affect you like them because they love the Prophet(SAW) in there heart.

    Fear Allah, brother. You haven’t the right to judge how it affects people, that is between Allah and His worshiper alone.

    as if the entire muslim world are illiterate fools and the chosen few in the west are the best that this ummah has. Get over yourself. The vast majority of the muslim ummah leaves in the east so don’t describe them as illiterate or idiots.

    First of all, no one said that they are illiterate fools. A comment that was made was reflecting upon the low literacy level in the Ummah, and how that’s a topic worth discussing because literacy is directly connected to the ability to make a difference. Without being able to express your thoughts and concerns in a manner that is dignified and upright, no one will want to listen or even understand your argument.

    Allah reiterates the importance of this point in the Qur’an, “Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and reason with them in the best way. Lo, your Lord best knows those who go astray from this path, and He knows best those who are rightly guided.” (16:125)

    People can run off of anger and emotion all they want, but until they approach world issues in a logical and respectful manner, no one will take the Ummah seriously. And that’s why they’re drawing cartoons in the first place, because to them, we are a joke – and the way we act validates that claim.

    They have more gheraah for there deen than the people in the west who are selling there deen for few dollars and sitting in the lap of secularists and rulers.

    Again, you don’t have the right to judge the intentions of any Muslim brother. Ask Allah for forgiveness, brother, because that’s a very debilitating habit to have, and Ramadan is an especially bad time to run around pointing fingers.

    Allah forgive us all.

  52. Suhail

    September 15, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    For the record I am not saying that you go ahead and attack somebody. What i am saying is that you need to take some actions. Write letters to the publishers. Be proactive.

    I am against stereotyping people and labeling them as illiterate and manner less as if you are something while the rest of the Ummah is uncivilized bunch of people. There are issues in the muslim world and that need to be addressed but they way some of the people here makes post about the muslims back home is totally unwarranted. Most of them have never even lived there or visited those places.

  53. Suhail

    September 15, 2008 at 4:56 PM

    They dont make jokes because of the way you act. It is because we have become cowards. We think more than we act. What have the west done in the wake of the cartoon. Give me the instances please. What have these civilized group of muslims living in the west have done which stopped them from publishing cartoons.

    Illiteracy was not the cause of then being angry and violent. They were hurt inside and they did what they could do in there power. They burnt the embassy.

    What did the civilized america did when they got angry? They carpet bombed 2 muslim nations. I mean what are you talking about here. They disrespect the most loved thing after Allah(SWT) to the muslims. The muslim in muslim lands who cannot do jack against these nations go ahead and burned there flags and embassy to show them anger. The muslims in the west rush ahead condemning the actions of there fellow muslims to show how civilized they are while the whole western press in mocking the best of the creation Prophet(SAW).

    It is ramadan i know but it does not mean i cannot say the truth when i see it before my eyes.

  54. Suhail

    September 15, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Well at least i have internet gheerah and am no apologist who apologizes even when bush bathroom leaks because guess what may be the muslims from muslim world have done that. On the other hand you go ahead and criticize you fellow muslim brothers for there uncivilized actions.

  55. AbdelRahman

    September 15, 2008 at 7:31 PM

    211East Ontario, Suite 1800
    Chicago, Illinois 60611-3242

    That’s the address for the Danish embassy in Chicago, go ahead and take your torches and other rioting material and have fun.

    At a local community college, the school newspaper decided that they would go ahead and re-print the original Danish cartoons. The MSA went and diplomatically spoke with them, to which they received a negative response. There was no way of stopping the newspaper, they decided to print the cartoons, “in the name of free speech.”

    On the morning that they went around distributing all of the copies of the newspaper, a group of Muslims quietly followed them in a minivan. Every time the newspaper van would stop to fill up a rack on campus, the van of Muslims would quickly go and take them. Being that they were free newspapers, this was completely legal to do. Not only was it legal, but it was intelligent. They could’ve easily broken down the door for the newspaper office during night hours and smashed all of the computers and monitors. They could’ve gone and spray painted the school or done some other acts of vandalism. But no, they took the appropriate, Prophetic approach and responded in a civilized fashion, first through speech, and then through action – always taking care to remain civil and intelligent.

    The next few days, major newspapers in the city of Chicago were printing stories, written in a sort of admirable light, of how the Muslims had taken a practical approach towards getting what they wanted. If I can find the articles online, I’ll post them – they were written in a manner that showed they were refreshingly surprised at the tact and pleasant nature of the protest.

    Compare burning down buildings and making everyone say, “see, told you they were violent barbarians,” and causing people like Sarah Palin to actually have legitimate support, to the option of protesting in a practical, civil, and almost quiet way to get what you want. Compare them and compare the results – hopefully it’s clear that banging your head against a wall in anger won’t solve anything.

    And the fact that you’re downlplaying the importance of a literate Ummah, Faiez, is shocking to me. Of all people, I’d think you’d be a supporter of a smarter Ummah.

  56. Faiez

    September 15, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    “And the fact that you’re downlplaying the importance of a literate Ummah, Faiez, is shocking to me. Of all people, I’d think you’d be a supporter of a smarter Ummah.”

    I am, but if your literate then do something about it. If you think your literacy gives you an edge then don’t sit around and just talk about people’s illiteracy.

    As for the issue of insulting the Prophet (saw), there is that which you can do which is your own capability and that which is correct. That which I believe is correct to do in this situation has already been stated. As for what we do which is on our own capability, that is the real question here. And this has to deal with effectiveness. I’ve already stated what I know is the most effective, as for what is the next effective option? It’s definitely not petitioning, writing blog posts, and protesting. How do I know? Because it hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now.

    As for the idea of picking up the newspapers, the original idea that was proposed was to get people to protest, and ask for resignation, and write letters. All the same useless approaches that we take all the time that never get anything done. So a group of brothers sick of hearing this junk decided to break from the group and do their own thing and you see the results that it provided. If you asked those SAME brothers what their opinion is on those who insult the Prophet (saw), I think you’ll be unpleasantly surprised.

    Edited

  57. AbdelRahman

    September 15, 2008 at 8:58 PM

    In your own masjid, Faiez, is one of the results of the attacks upon our Prophet [saw] and Islam. I forgot the convert brother’s name, but the older gentleman who converted and now comes to the ICNA WhyIslam classes at Islamic Foundation was led to convert by these very same “ineffective” efforts you talk about. He mentioned that while he was perusing the anti-Islam and anti-Muhammad websites, he came across a mature discourse from Muslims defending their Prophet [saw]. If leading people to believe in Islam by displaying maturity and tact is “ineffective” then I’m not sure what effectiveness is.

    We need to understand the constitutional reality of our existence here in the west. The very fact that we are able to speak and type our thoughts on this blog is a result of our ability to speak freely, the same right that the author of this terrible book is abusing. Let freedom of speech exist, but counter people who abuse it with methods that engage people’s mind and make them drawn towards Islam by it’s “taking the high road” nature.

    -Edited

  58. Siraaj

    September 15, 2008 at 9:20 PM

    I believe the relevant hadeeth, if translated correctly, is the following:

    Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever among you sees something wrong should change it with his hands. If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then at least hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Sahîh Muslim]

    I think Faiez has a good point about capability – do what is within your means. Action, words, internal hatred, in that order. In the case of the papers, I think the order was reversed simply because of the availability of the papers.

    There were times in Makkah when the Muslims could do nothing to either protect themselves or even the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim from harm and disrespect. In Madinah, there were times that it was possible, verbally and physically (often both).

    If there is something we can do to either prevent the book’s distribution or educate others about the errors (if really needed), then whoever’s interested should get it started. If not, then a great chunk of this discussion may simply be a tool for highlighting the controversy the book has already generated (and thus caused it to be a marketing tool, which make people say, “Why are Muslims so PO’ed about this book?”).

    As for results, results will only come about as a result of fear – fear of some type of harm to loss to be incurred which would be undesirable. Physical harm is one means, but it is not the only. The reason letters of protest and petitions from Muslims don’t work is because we really don’t have much in the way of power, so to generate results peacefully, we do have to be smarter.

    When CAIR went after Michael Savage for his demeaning remarks against Islam and particularly describing the sujood in a vulgar position, CAIR didn’t stage protests or have petitions signed to have him removed – instead, they took recordings of that show and sent it to some of his biggest advertisers and asked them if they wanted to be associated with that maniac and his prejudiced remarks. He very quickly lost many of his sponsors. He consequently took CAIR to court and lost there as well. Of course, he duped his listeners to pay for the legal fees, but that’s another story.

    Point being, the fear of loss or harm (money, power, rep, etc) needs to really be there, or you’ll probably not get the result you’re looking for.

    Siraaj

  59. Faiez

    September 15, 2008 at 9:25 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum

    9/11 brought people to Islam as well. Effectiveness of protecting the honor of the Prophet (saw) is not measured by how many people accept Islam but by how many attacks are thwarted or prevented. Secondly, we have more liberty to speak in certain other countries than we do here, so don’t think that you’ve given full liberty here.

    Judging by what you wrote you probably didn’t even read my statement above and if you did, you just read in your own thoughts and assumptions about the way I think as is often the case when discussing issues with you. I won’t continue this conversation any more as you’ve already made up your mind and there’s no point talking to you since you don’t consider the other side whenever your discussing issues. It either turns into an a contest of who can yell the loudest to get their point across or who can stay on their point the longest. There’s no seeking of the truth.

    May Allah (swt) give you the strength to act on everything you theorize. Ameen.

    Asalaamu alaikum

  60. AbdelRahman

    September 15, 2008 at 10:48 PM

    Turning a discussion into ad hominem attacks (“you don’t consider the other side whatsoever”) doesn’t really help your argument. We were discussing the issues, so there’s no reason to turn this into a character assassination session, claiming that I don’t “search for truth.” We should try to stay away from becoming people that find it easy to place judgment on others, and instead make excuses for what we may see as other’s faults.

    Like now, I have a long list of statements I can make, many of them sharp and hurtful like the ones you’ve made against me, but I won’t. And this is exactly what I’m talking about. Instead of being able to articulate thoughts in a persuasive yet polite and pleasant manner (“And reason with them in the best manner”), we Muslims often find ourselves taking out the pointy stick and poking people, stifling their thoughts and provoking further attacks.

    May Allah put mercy in our hearts for one another insha Allah. Ameen.

  61. AnonyMouse

    September 15, 2008 at 10:48 PM

    Actually, it’s somewhat interesting to note that the cartoons are/have been republished repeatedly, not despite the violent protests but because of them. I think the latest was a few weeks ago (I was browsing Google News and saw it in the headlines, but didn’t bother reading the article).

  62. Mehreen

    September 16, 2008 at 12:42 AM

    Is this discussion really going anywhere?

    I like what Br. Saqib had to say in the first comment…

  63. Mehreen

    September 16, 2008 at 12:49 AM

    “If there is something we can do to either prevent the book’s distribution or educate others about the errors (if really needed), then whoever’s interested should get it started. If not, then a great chunk of this discussion may simply be a tool for highlighting the controversy the book has already generated (and thus caused it to be a marketing tool, which make people say, “Why are Muslims so PO’ed about this book?”).”

    These are my thoughts exactly

  64. DOC

    September 16, 2008 at 6:02 AM

    Peace:

    This discussion is amazingly insane? What is wrong with you guys talking about harming another person. The hadith about preventing evil is in reference to the rulers and the learned, not a bunch of middle aged over zealous retired salafis. I’ve found this exchange nothing short of madness. Brothers! Wake up we live in America!

    DOC

  65. Siraaj

    September 16, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Peace:

    This discussion is amazingly insane? What is wrong with you guys talking about harming another person. The hadith about preventing evil is in reference to the rulers and the learned, not a bunch of middle aged over zealous retired salafis. I’ve found this exchange nothing short of madness. Brothers! Wake up we live in America!

    DOC

    Actually, the only middle-aged person in this discussion appears to be you – not very many people will quote Dr. Dre’s label (Aftermath Records) in their email and call themselves the D.O.C. You’d have to be really OG to make references to the NWA in 2008 bro.

    You might like an Imam I know, a teacher and brother I love dearly for the sake of Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, Suhaib Webb. He’s also into quoting early 90s lyrics in his speeches like, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself,” or more correctly, “Chikity Check Yo’self befo you Riggity-Wreck Yo’self” from Wreckx-N-Effect. Former DJ, ginormous white brother – thankfully, he doesn’t bite lyrics off Vanilla Ice.

    Yeah, and I don’t know if he’s Straight Outta Compton, but he’s out on the West Coast like NWA and The D.O.C.’s style (actually, i think The D.O.C.’s album was done East Coast style, not sure why he did that) ;)

    Anyway, that hadeeth about preventing evil, which one are you referring to? Is it the one I referenced? Rules and learned men only? If that’s what you meant, then you probably shouldn’t have posted your naseeha (unless, of course, you’re some scholar or learned man who is middle-aged enough to reference West Coast gangsta rap in the wee hours of the morning ;)) If that was the hadeeth you meant, one place my understanding of it was reaffirmed (that it includes everyone) was the following article on islamtoday.com

    http://www.islamtoday.net/english/showme2.cfm?cat_id=31&sub_cat_id=603

    Y’know, in my overzealous online salafi warrior days (as you may have noted, I’m retired [and not quite middle-aged yet, but getting there]), I would have ended this post with something, I dunno, appropriate to the situation. I might have concluded with something like the following, addressing it straight to you:

    “I’m the type of brotha that’s built to last…”

    and of course, I’d leave it to you to fill in the rest, just so you get the message loud and clear, just to instigate you, and I would want to do that because of the namecalling in your post.

    But that was then, and this is now, and now, my sincere naseeha to you akhi is that whatever knowledge or advice you have to share is greatly appreciated, and as constructive criticism directed your way, ad hominem attacks make you look like the very people you were trying to caricature. Don’t let words spoken by some kids (relative to you and me) online instigate these types of responses.

    The intelligent response is the one that addresses the discussion at hand, not the personalities of the people. Part of an open dialogue is that the dialogue is open, ideas are exchanged (hopefully rationally), even if initially you may detest some of the ideas. You may continue detesting them after the dialogue, unconvinced, but if you only display closemindedness and sarcasm to the one you’re discussing with, that’s what you’ll likely get in return.

    It took me a while to realize this, so it’s a good reminder for myself as well (one day, I’m going to write a blog post about this, insha’Allah).

    Siraaj

  66. Qas

    September 16, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Siraaj bro, I love your responses. But an articulate brother like you MashaALlah used to be an internet warrior…man…I’d have to read some of those old posts to believe that.

  67. Suhail

    September 16, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    For the kind information of readers here who are having problems with comprehension let me clear some things up. What i wrote was not about people living in west burning embassy. I was talking about there rushing to condemnation when the same event happened in the muslim countries.

    I am not saying that you go ahead and burn embassies here as people are phrasing here. I am saying that dont judge the muslim brethren in the muslim lands by making condescending remarks like they are barbaric etc etc. Do you guys really think that the muslims in the west are more civilized than there brethren in the muslim world.

    Imam Anwar condemned the western muslim mentality correctly when he talked about this incident. We rush to condemn our brothers and sisters when they do something out of anger and stuff but forget that we are not in there shoes. We are not going thru trials like they are but yes we are the moral police of the world. We can judge their faults and condemn them to no end while we here sitting in west having easy life have somehow reached the pinnacle of civilization and morality.

    So please read my comments in context not out of it as if i am telling all of you to go and burn the embassies. I also know that we live in America and dont want to go and burn embassies and offices nor do i think it can get anything done as it was not the way of the Sahaba rather that of Gandhi.

    I am talking about the attitude we western muslims have.

  68. Suhail

    September 16, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    Brother Abdel Rahman,

    I looked up at some of your posts. I agree that there is illiteracy in the muslim world and that is a problem. But everything has a time and place. Right now the main problem in muslim world is not illiteracy but rather everyday means of living. A majority of the ummah is living under poverty or close to it. They have problem feeding there family. Thousands of muslims have been slaughtered and thousands have become orphans with the patronage of the west. If you go in muslim world you will see a disgust or say pure hate for the western world.

    Now after all this when the west mocks Prophet(SAW) what is anybody expecting the people in muslim lands are gonna do. They dont possess literary skills so writing articles are out of question. All that anger that has bottled up what will that create? You need to put yourself into your shoes before talking about that. They did nothing in comparison to what the US did when it got angry. We here in the west have come here either for good career or ran away from persecution but we forgot that the thing we ran away from is still there in muslim world affecting the muslims living there. We might have escaped but they have not. They are still have the same hardships which we now dont face.

    It is easier to judge people when you are not in there situation but once you are put in there shoes you may act much more “Barbaric” than them. So ask Allah (SWT) to relieve tham from there trials and not place us here in west in such trials. I dont know what we are going to do here if such calamities affect us.

  69. MM

    September 16, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Many comments have been edited or removed. ANY and ALL comments that even remotely suggest violence or harming anyone (author or other) will be removed immediately. Please see blog rules concerning comments:

    http://muslimmatters.org/faq/

    We also reserve the right to edit/delete comments that can lead to or even have the semblance of encouraging or commending violence. In the world we live today, it is better to be more sensitive to these issues than to be lax.

  70. AnonyMouse

    September 16, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    My apologies for not keeping up with this thread as I am wont to. There are too many comments here for me to respond to one-by-one, but here are a couple thoughts from me:

    Those who suggested that this is a good opportunity for us to increase Masjid open-houses, do more Da’wah, etc. – that’s great! I’m all for it! But I’d also like to point out that the same kind of things were said when the Danish cartoons were published… and my question is, how many of us actually made an effort to do those things? How many of us went to our masaajid and said, “Hey, let’s have a Masjid open house and a seminar on the life of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)!” How many of us invited our non-Muslim friends, neighbours, coworkers, acquaintances to the open-houses and seminars?
    I say this first to myself, and then all of you, because after all I’m the one who wrote this rant w/o even providing any solid solutions or suggestions :)

    As for condoning violent actions, burning embassies, etc. let me say that I do NOT support vigilante justice (or anyone’s own interpretation thereof)! While we recognize the Shari’ah’s legislated stance on blasphemy, we must remember that we don’t live in an Islamic state that implements the correct Shari’ah and we have no authority to declare bounties on people’s heads. Rather, let us focus on the reality of our situation and think up practical methods and solutions of dealing with this and the many other issues we face as a Muslim minority in a non-Muslim land.

  71. Amaat al Kareem

    September 16, 2008 at 8:40 PM

    assalam `alaykum

    I’m not sure if you were replying to my comment, but perhaps this could clarify in case it was in response to a comment I made above.

    Since 9/11 masajids in CA have open masjid which is done yearly and we invite our non Muslims, neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc to attend. What I could imagine happening at next years the topic of this book once (if it ever will) becomes a best seller.

    I intended to say that we should educate ourselves about the contents in this book so the next time we are approached at some dawah event then we will be ready in sha’ Allah.

    Wallahu a’lam

  72. Amaat al Kareem

    September 16, 2008 at 8:45 PM

    By the way, check this out: http://zero-net.net/home.htm#

    This is something positive that came out of the Danish cartoons.

  73. Faiez

    September 17, 2008 at 11:05 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum

    I’d like to apologize to AbdelRahman for the way that I spoke to him and about him. I’d like reassure everyone that he is an excellent brother with much talent and will one day be an asset to this Ummah insha’Allah. I’ve worked with him on many occasions in the field of da’wah and his passion for this deen and his concern for his brothers is admirable and may Allah (swt) increase us all in these character traits. Ameen.

    Asalaamu alaikum

  74. Siraaj

    September 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM

    Siraaj bro, I love your responses. But an articulate brother like you MashaALlah used to be an internet warrior…man…I’d have to read some of those old posts to believe that.

    As much as the rep of internet debate is downtrodden, if done with the right people, you’ll very quickly become exposed to ideas that make you uncomfortable and you will have to defend the ideas you hold near and dear.

    The problem is when the exchange of ideas becomes about winning the argument rather than arriving at the truth. In some cases, the objective of argument is indeed arriving at the truth. In other cases, it is winning, and so rhetorical devices (such ad hominems, strawmen, etc) may at times be deployed to further influence audiences towards one’s position, even if it is false.

    As for myself, in some cases, I like what I wrote and defended and the tone with which it was done, and in other cases, I feel I displayed poor khuluq, even if I still stand behind the positions I advocated. If you should ever encounter any of my old exchanges on the internet buried in the archives of some long-forgotten forums, look at the date and realize that I’m not quite the same anymore, alhamdulillaah.

    Siraaj

  75. Pingback: The Rude News » Blog Archive » Islamists Fear Books

  76. Syed

    October 5, 2008 at 4:55 PM

    Dear muslim brothers,

    Especially with feeble mind and those ignorant muslims who have never read sahi muslim or bukhari; before commenting, and are following those kafirs who call themselves your religious leaders, refered in sura-e-toba -104, if you could kind go thorugh the recorded hadiaths and read it your self and Ayats in Quran itself. The trial for purity as given by seeta, was also given by bibi aisha and it was one of the scandles of its time. The hadiath gives account of the time when two groups were formed one by Aisha and one by ume-salma, and when aisha used to abus other wives of the rophet (PBUH), he use to say she truely is the dauther of Abu bakar. What I have written is not on account of the book, that I have not yet read but after review of the sahi satta, the books of hadiath.

    Oh, people of the faith, if there is any, Dajjal is to come from the East of Arabia as mentioned in the hadith. and if you could look at the atlas the east is Afghanistan or Pakistan and Dajjal is one eyed. No man will be able to kill him but son of Marry, Look for the ture enemy, brothers, read the Quran yourselves, instead of following evil lords, read the hadiths yourselves and study. DO NOT CRITICISE UNNECESARILY, WITHOUT HAVING KNOWLEDGE. i am not asking you to trust me at all before verifying this.

    May Allah show you the right path of ISLAM (peace) and save your from the fitna.

    Shahdi Umar, Syed

  77. Qas

    October 5, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Pardon my french syed, but what are you talking about?

    -Edited

  78. Shamas-ur-Rehman Toor

    October 7, 2008 at 2:06 AM

    I am truly saddened by this yet another episode of propaganda that has been systematically launched against Islam. Everyone who has read even a fraction of Islamic history knows that Muslims regard the wives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as mothers of momineen (the believers). It is outrageously insulting to read anything about our mothers that even non-Muslims regard as “offensive” and “stupid” piece of work that is likely to offend Muslims.

    However, I feel that it is a great opportunity for us Muslims to bring the truth to the world. We must show our anger but we need to respond intellectually as well. Where we can launch protests against this idiotic book, we can engage ourselves and our non-Muslims brothers and sisters in understanding the actual and authentic history of Islam. We can form discussion groups, organize seminars, and conferences in which the true history of Islam can be revealed. We can also remind ourselves and tell our non-Muslims brothers and sisters the values of Islam and the great message that Islam gives.

    I understand that the Muslims should consider such offensive episodes as opportunities to spread the truth about Islam. The image of Islam has been distorted by the propaganda launched and patronized by the certain elements. However, to defeat such evil forces, it is necessary that the Muslims engage in a healthy discourse and tell the world what Islam really stands for and what it really offers.

    Media is a powerful tool in the world we live today. We can organize talk shows and hold debates and dialogues on the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions. We can take the responsibility to educate one of our non-Muslim friends about the history of Islam and the message of Quran. We can publish magazines, journals, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and online blogs to tell the world how much we love our Prophet (PBUH) and how much we respect and honor his wives and his companions.

    But above all, we will need to show it all by our actions. If we are not proving to be better human beings because we are Muslims, we are not doing our jobs. We have to lead by example and therefore show that actions speak louder. Our behaviors, actions, decisions, interactions, and communications should be refined so that our non-Muslim friends are inspired by our daily life. Our life should become example for others around us.

    If we are merely doing a lip-service, we are doing only a part. We must come out of our shells to tell the world that Islam is the most refined way of life. This can only be done by practicing, and not merely preaching.

    Wassalam,

    Shams
    National University of Singapore

  79. Mukarram Syed

    October 7, 2008 at 3:17 AM

    Jewel of Madina
    Whatever else it may be, it is also about making money. Let us respond appropriately. Make pdf or word copies of the book and email it to all, I mean millions. Nobody will need to pay and buy.

    Do that to all such ventures.

  80. Asim

    October 7, 2008 at 6:22 AM

    Some of the comments seem to indicate that blog posts and internet articles are an ineffective way of countering these types of attacks. I would argue otherwise. Do a search in Google for ‘jewel of madina’ and you will see that this very blog post features highly in the search results, along with similar articles and blog posts by other outraged Muslims.

    Most people use Google as their primary tool for research. Insha’Allah anyone who wants more information on or about the book will likely click on one of the links to the afore mentioned blog posts and find the Muslim reaction presented in a balanced way. Those who Allah chooses may be guided to learn more about the deen insha’Allah.

    @MM
    Bearing in mind the potential effect this blog post can have on the seeker of truth, I humbly request that you remove some of the off-topic comments all together and close off further comments. This is an emotive topic and does bring out the worst in some people. I think these types of comments do nothing but further cement in the mind of the researcher that we are a people of violence rather than peace.

  81. Ben Yehuda

    October 7, 2008 at 8:39 AM

    Hi,

    As this book is from usual suspects, we are ready to publish a new historical novel about Ann Frank. The title of the book will be ‘The Jewel of Germany’. It is about the intimate sexual encounter of Ann frank with Hitler. It is thoroughly researched piece, and is based on the fictious novel by Ann herself. The background of the novel is also a fiction – Holohoax.

    We are inviting you to go review the book when it is ready to publish (it will be published online, free of charge, ofcourse!)

    That is gonna a treat for the Chosen.

    Wait for the treat…

  82. Amad

    October 7, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Br. Asim, if you can point to the comments that you think merit attention (as far as modifying/removing), that would be helpful. We have already done a couple of rounds on the comments thus far.

  83. Ibnkhalil

    October 7, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Well I just recently attended a class with Sh Abdul Bary Yahya and he gave us a group exercise saying that “If someone starts saying or printing bad stuff about your mother(that is obviously not true) in the newspaper and it has become a media sensation. Everywhere you go people are talking about it. What will be your reaction and how will you react to this whole situation?”

    Alhamdulillah some students gave very positive responses.

    So the question we should all ask ourselves and ponder on is what is our response? Is it a response based on the Quran and Sunnah or just our own desires?

  84. abdul fatah ( Jakarta)

    October 8, 2008 at 8:59 AM

    I didn’t read it yet,but it’s reasonless if the book delayed to publish on account of there the presumption that ‘a part of Moslem” will react negatively or encounter etc. But we have to believe that Islam is the religion that appreciate liberality except the matters which related with Aqeeda (tawheed,faithful). How pity I am, i could not read that book, so i can’t comment about the content of it. remember, “don’t judge the book from it cover”

  85. Badar

    October 8, 2008 at 9:41 PM

    I strongly feel that religious emotions and beliefs of all the religions must be respcted whether it is islam, chritianity or jewism. I have not yet read the novel itself but i strongly condemn such kind of literature written on the sacred personalties of our religion

  86. imran ali

    October 9, 2008 at 6:05 AM

    This would be a last nail for the country who will be publishing it and printing it. each and every person and country connected in printing this will be dealt by GOD himself as said he will safeguard all his loved ones. be prepare for the consequences.
    all western people they are coward and living in self illusions, they think they are the GOD on earth. Biggest of all the fools are leading them with no sense and vision. the more they grow more they get insecure. as compare to the africans, asians they prefer to sleep in open sky with lot of content as they have nothing to lose. the more fear they have to lose the more they get insecure.
    they will be more insecrue and will be made history and send in stone age soon. wait for the GOD’S action.

  87. Ruhul

    October 12, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    thnks for awaring the muslims.

  88. faisal

    October 14, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    i think this author is a discrace, because she does not have a single clue about islam. she has also made wrong statements about hadhrat aisha (ra), also i think that no women in this world can be like hadhrat aisha(ra), ladies should be trying to live like her lifstyle not make bad comments about her.
    Also i think this is another way of attacking the muslims through media. all this propaganda should stop, islam is a religion of peace also the muslims lifstyle is peacful. also i think people are takin the chance to attack muslims, PLEASE STOP THIS NONESENSE, SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT THIS IT SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED LIKE THE ATTACKS BEFORE.

  89. Umm Reem

    October 16, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    this is ridiculous…she has no idea what she is talking about and although she keeps saying “it is not sexual”, that’s pretty much what she tries to imply with these stories, astaghfirullah…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27045121#27045120

  90. timbuktu

    October 16, 2008 at 10:02 PM

    What a type discussion. You guys don’t have any other important work to do ?

    edited for language.

  91. rakiahowais

    December 18, 2008 at 1:15 AM

    i was revolted when i found out sherry jones has written such a book. it shook me so bad that my mind filled with violent thoughts directed towards her. and i am the least violent person. i just hope this gains as much attention as the caricatures did, because the muslims shook the world with their response. I guess they need a reminder of it.

  92. Sami

    December 31, 2008 at 8:01 AM

    The Jews and Christain should know that they are not studying their relegions in depth and logically. They are only beleiving on base of assumption and just blindly obeying the instruction and baseless evidences presented by their preists.

    The World must know that the scriptures send by God has clearly defined versions.

    1. When Hounorable Moses came in earth to spread the God message that had given Tawrah (Scripture) The second version of Devine order or Univeral ordinance . But with time being the people left the Moses Glories Instruction and they also change the holly scriptures according to their desires

    2. Then God Send the Bible The second version of the Universal Ordinance. People obeying the Bible Indeed obeying Tawrah Because Tawrah Says that When Bible come the jews should follow That. With time being this scripture also being not obyed and versioned by the humans of that time and peoples went far away from devine orders.

    3. Thus God decided to send the full and final version of devine orders in form of Quran. Bible itself insisting to read/obey quran , but the delima is that we are not reaserching at that.

    Therefore I must say to all peoples of the world that please come and do the following steps to come on reality.

    Step 1) First of all we must be unbaised, we should not be baised to Any Relgion Chritain, Jews, or Muslim

    Step 2) after Completion step Number 1 then start reading the any version of Tawrah

    Step 3) After Completion step number 2 then start reading any version of Bible

    Step 3) After Completion of Step3 then please Study Quran and let what your logic and appeal of your concieouse says and obey that now. I must say again that we must be unbaised while completing all the above steps and never leave any step blank.

    So, In short the sherry jones is tottally onawared, completly going on wrong direction. I must suggest her to do the above steps and tell the world what she feel now.

  93. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2008 | MuslimMatters.org

  94. zara

    March 11, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    she wanted attention and thats what she is getting … not like she didnt know publishing such a book would get this kind of reaction … and much like others have said on this forum … there are a million anti-islam books out there … which are not even under the fiction genre … No one with half a brain will read this book and expect it to be the truth … however those other books might require strong reactions like the ones given by people in this forum …

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