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Charlie Hebdo and republication of the cartoon of the Prophet - A Muslim response

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
19/01/2015 18:10

“[And as for You] O Prophet - behold, We have sent you as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who summons [all people] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon.” (Qur’an 33:45-46)

Let me start by sharing with you a small story. A father was consoling his son after a dog had bitten him. The father asked his young son, “If a dog was to bite you, would you bite a dog back?” The son looked baffled and said “no dad! I wouldn’t.”

So the father said,
“The dog has done a dog’s work
He bit you on the foot 
Does biting the dog therefore
Really befit a man?”

These are couple of lines from a Bengali poem that I learned when I was very young. The moral of this poem is extremely powerful and have stayed with me even till today. In response to the republication of the cartoon of the Prophet I would say that the Muslim community to take the moral of the above poem and should simply do the following five things:

1. Ignore the ignorance of those who are republishing the cartoon of the Prophet. Do not react irrationally for a Muslim by definition is always in control of their emotions. Quran is a book of wisdom and rational, the life of the Prophet is the living manifestation of this rationale and a true Muslim follows the Quran and the life of the Prophet to the full. God says, “When the ignorant address them, they say peace”. Let us say ignore their foolishness and irrationality and say peace to them.

2. Present the life of the Prophet intellectually and let his true character and teaching be known. The true battle is won not through violence or aggression but through winning the hearts and mind of people. This can only be done when we use the pen adequately. Bring another magazine that teaches the world how to have a civilized conversation even with those who hate you. Show the world how the Prophet was critical of the dominant and degenerative ideologies around him without the need to ridicule the upholders of these beliefs. Challenging your enemy does not need you to stoop low in character and manners.

3. Let us introduce the blessed Prophet to Charlie Hebdo for who he truly was. The Prophet was a witness, bearer of glad tiding, reminder of God’s way and light-giving beacon as found in the following verse of the Qur’an –

“[And as for You] O Prophet - behold, We have sent you as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who summons [all people] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon.”

4. The Blessed Prophet’s enemy called him Al-Amin (Trustworthy), God labeled him Rahmatulil A’lamin (Mercy to the universe) and those who follow him love him more dearly than they love their own parents. No cartoon or mockery of the Prophet would reduce the honour of the Prophet. For God is the true protector of his honour. Let Charlie Hebdo know this by us mirroring the character of the Prophet. We don’t need to insult them in return just because they have insulted our Prophet.

5. The Prophet would have felt sorry for the ignorance of Charlie Hebdo. He would have felt hurt naturally by the insults and mockery but he would have felt moved and a sense of duty would have driven him to reach out to them, to extend a hand of friendship, giving them hope and good news, reminding them of the beauty of life of decency, courtesy and modesty. He would have taught them and coached them to learn to overcome their desperate desire to insult others. He would have won their hearts and minds.

6. Prophet Muhammad was a light-giving beacon. He provided light of hope to those who were steeped in addiction, he provided light of clarity when people were intoxicated, he provided light of mercy when people were dispassionate and selfish and he provided the light of God’s way when people were lost. His legacy provides the same hope, clarity, compassion and God’s way to billions of people. We can offer the same to Charlie Hebdo and may be they will see the light!

7. Ultimately after responding and challenging Charlie Hebdo’s extreme secularist ideology and political agenda as well as introducing the Prophet’s personality we can only pray for their hearts to be filled with openness and God’s light. So Muslims from all around the world should engage in extra supplication for the guidance of Charlie Hebdo and its friends.

My concluding prayer is, “O God, please fill the eyes, ears, tongue and heart of all those who are causing discontent, disharmony and discord in our world with your guidance and light.”

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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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