THE INSULTS ON PROPHET MUHAMMAD PBUH: WHO IS THE TRUE EXTREMIST?
Extremism is an excessive behaviour which exceeds the boundary of human nature. It is different from the behaviour of senseless animals because animals are also born with innate feelings such as maternal instincts between a mother and a child.
All parties should contemplate the French President’s action to rationalise the dissemination of Prophet Muhammad PBUH’s caricatures by applying the concept of freedom. This had triggered a violent reaction from a Muslim youth of Chechen descent who had taken the lives of his teacher for showing a cartoon insulting Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Let us take the real teaching of Islam from the Quran as comparison.
Allah SWT had said:
﴿وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ١٠٨﴾
“Do not revile those whom they invoke other than Allah, lest they should revile Allah in transgression without having knowledge. This is how We have made the deeds of every community attractive in their sight. Then, to their Lord is their return, after which He shall tell them what they have been doing.” (Surah al-An’am: 108)
This is the ethics that Allah SWT had made compulsory upon the Muslims regarding their relationship with adherents of other religions. This is also applicable to idolators who commit the heaviest form of shirk in Islam. Even though Islam makes it obligatory to deliver the message of Islam to the non-Muslims, Islam also promotes the concept of no coercion in religion. Thus, the Muslims are encouraged to engage in a fruitful debate with the non-Muslims, instead of insulting their religions.
For believers in Islam, their love for Prophet Muhammad PBUH exceeds their love for their own parents in order to honour the Prophet’s service in bringing goodness into this world and the hereafter. Nevertheless, Islam also requires its followers to treat their parents with kindness even if they do not embrace Islam.
Prophet Muhammad PBUH forbade the companions from insulting other companions when some of their non-Muslim fathers were killed in the Battle of Badr for attacking the Muslims. This is done out of respect for the feelings and innate nature contained inside every normal human being.
If the French President is mentally sound, how would he feel if an insulting caricature of his father, his mother or himself is drawn or sketched?
He would absolutely be furious if such atrocities are committed in front of him. If he does not feel even a bit of anger at being treated as such, it indicates that he has exceeded the boundary of human nature.
But at the core of it all, he must embrace the true human rights that are different from the rights of other creatures. This includes the rights of animal to the extent it becomes the fighting cause for environmentalist groups in Western countries.
Granting someone the right for freedom does not mean giving them the freedom to steal, rob, and kill indiscriminately like a wild beast, nor does it mean being allowed to strip naked in public because the practice is rejected by every religion and human being who possesses true humanity.
The Quran makes it obligatory upon the Muslims to believe in the prophets and the messengers without discriminating against any one of them. If a Muslim does not believe in any of the prophet, then his testament of faith and belief is invalidated. Allah SWT had said:
﴿آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ٢٨٥﴾
“The Messenger believes, and so do the believers, in the guidance sent down upon him from his Lord: each of them believes in Allah, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers. They say: “We make no distinction between any of His Messengers. We hear and obey. Our Lord! Grant us Your forgiveness; to You we are destined to return.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 285)
Thus, the act of insulting any of the prophets and messengers of Allah is not only prohibited, but can also invalidate the religion (Islam) of those who commit it. In fact, it is considered a serious criminal offence, referred to as apostasy. Likewise, this act is also prohibited against Prophet Muhammad PBUH who are considered the noblest among the Muslims.
The Muslims are required to persevere in facing the enemy and are prohibited to go overboard by only focusing on one extreme individual. It should be known that most Christians, Europeans and French do not condone such behaviour.
The French President’s statement exposes his hostility against Islam and its followers. This is actually a grave error that there is no justification that can be produced in his defence even if his sole aim is to obtain votes in the election.
We should not only be holding the teenager liable for his extreme action when he took the lives of the teacher who displayed the caricature insulting Prophet Muhammad PBUH because the French President and the caricaturist’s action of insulting the Prophet PBUH had clearly crossed the line to the extent of inciting extreme provocation.
This recent turn of event is not able to contain the wrath of the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims who are rational and aware of its consequences unless the French government and its people interfere by punishing them in order to save them from bigger harm and consequences.
Allah SWT had reminded the believers and the virtuous in the Quran:
﴿فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ١٩٤﴾
“The sacred month for the sacred month; sanctities should be respected alike (by all concerned). Thus, if someone has attacked you, attack him just as he attacked you, and fear Allah and remain conscious that Allah is with those who guard against violating the bounds set by Him.” (Surah al-Baqarah: 194)
Therefore, we call on every Muslim and Malaysian who are concerned to boycott French goods as a sign of solidarity against provocations made against the sanctity of Islam and the peaceful coexistence of multireligious society.
ABDUL HADI AWANG
Date: 30th October 2020 / 13 Rabi’ul Awwal 1442