Guidelines for the Muslim Community regarding new cartoons to be published Tomorrow – Wednesday 14 January 2015
The following points are general guidelines for Muslims on how to initially deal with and immediately react to the depiction of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in magazines (Charlie Hebdo) due to be published tomorrow (WEDNESDAY).
1. For every Muslim, Love of the Prophet ﷺ is a NECESSARY part of his/her FAITH. He is dearer to us than our mothers, fathers, sons & daughters. We prefer him to our own self.
2. The publishing of cartoons will hurt the sentiments of 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, as well as millions of non-Muslims who respect the great personality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
3. Muslims do believe in freedom of speech. And they do respect the right for people to say what they believe to be correct. However, we all know that there is no such thing as absolute free speech. There are laws to protect the dignity and properties of people. We urge all decent minded Governments and individuals to respect these sensitivities, as we should respect all races and religions.
4. As it is clear that the cartoons are to be published again, Muslims will inevitably be hurt, offended and upset, but our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the one we love & are offended for, ﷺ. Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy as was the character of our beloved Prophet (peace and Blessings be upon him) is the best and immediate way to respond.
With dignified nobility we must be restrained, as the Quran says “And when the ignorant speak to them, they say words of Peace.”
Our aim is to not, inadvertently, give the cartoons more prominence through our attention. Muslims must remain calm and peaceful in their speech and actions. Repel harm with goodness is the Qur’anic imperative and by which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived. Legal action, civil protest, letter writing & other legal avenues can then be considered, insha Allah.
5. Muslims have to remember that by depicting the Prophet ﷺ, no one can ever tarnish his image, as he is way beyond what is depicted, as Allah says, ‘We have elevated your remembrance’. We should spend such regrettable moments in reading lots of Durood, sending salawaat and blessings to his beloved personality. May Allah’s mercy, peace & blessing be upon his soul.
6. Engage with others about your feelings. Speak of your love for the Prophet ﷺ and do not be shy to let your non-Muslims friends know your justified anger at the mockery that is made of our faith. People need to know HOW MUCH WE LOVE OUR NABI ﷺ.
7. Learn more & share more about the great Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.
Hassaan bin Thaabit (may Allah be pleased with him) describes him with the following couplets:
“My eyes have never seen anyone more perfect than you
No woman has given birth to anyone more handsome than you
You have been created free from all defects
As if you were created the way you wished”
8. We should, through our actions and deeds, display the sublime character of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The Prophet faced many great challenges but he exhibited impeccable beauty and character in his actions. He did not react inhumanely or violently. He was attacked verbally and physically in Taif but he forgave the people. His uncle and companions were murdered but he reacted peacefully and in a humane manner. And there are many such examples from the seerah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we must display.
9. As British citizens we must not allow tragic incidents of Paris for hate to creep into our hearts. Muslims, non-Muslims and people of all backgrounds must come together and show unity and solidarity and not let it divide our communities. We must remember the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him) such as: “Someone who unjustly kills a Dhimmi (non-Muslim person under protection) cannot attain a whiff of Heaven. However, its fragrance is felt from a distance of forty years. (Sahih Bukhari), or, “He who hurts a Dhimmi (non-Muslim person under protection) hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys Allah.” (Tabarani) And many other similar hadiths highlighting that Muslims are not allowed to hurt their non-Muslim brothers and sisters in humanity.
10. We must continuously supplicate to Allah that He rectifies our situation. Pray to Him that the chaos, injustice and oppression is lifted from our society. We should pray to Allah so that He makes Britain a better, fairer and just country for all. Pray to Him to aid the oppressed and the victims of the oppressors in France and all over the world. Pray that He allows us to contribute to a more peaceful and just world. Sincerely pray at night and beseech Him to protect our honour and our dignity.
May Allah give us the ability to do what is right and avoid what is wrong. May Allah protect the whole of humanity from trials and tribulations. Ameen