By: Jennifer (Sumayah) Fayed

The insulting cartoons featured in a Danish newspaper demonstrating several images of Islam’s prophet Mohammed that were released in September of 2005 caused lots of controversy. Later, the publications in… Norway and New Zealand newspapers have also caused major uproars not only in the Middle East but around the globe. There have been violent protests in the Middle East of burnings of a Danish consulate in Beirut, Lebanon also embassies of Norway and Denmark were burned in Damascus, Syria. These images have caused more chaotic protests in Southeast Asia yesterday (02/06/06). Those images are such an insult to the Prophet Mohammed (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Those cartoons of the Prophet are so offensive not to Muslims but also insulting to Islam.

As Muslims we must take this time and reflect and instead of taking action violently we have to speak out and protest in a constructive peaceful way. The method that our fellow brothers and sisters in Islam are reacting around the globe isn’t what Islam teaches us. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) solved conflicts in a practical and beneficial way. Burning the buildings of countries that insult our religion is not the way to solve dilemmas. The Prophet who showed us to value and protect Islam didn’t burn or hurt the people who treated him the worst. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) taught us to control our anger.

Abu Huraira narrated: The prophet of Allah said, “The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Volume8, Book 73, Number 135)

When we are faced with such calamities we have to be wiser than the kufar (non-Muslims). Yes, what the Europeans did by portraying our Prophet in such dishonor is unacceptable, I agree; however, it is crucial that we learn that there is an appropriate approach for us to express our anger; we’re not doing anything by taking part in protests that will only escalate anger and hatred for Islam. This is the path of shaytan.

It was narrated Sulaiman bin Sarad: Two men abused each other in front of the Prophet while we were sitting with him. One of the two abused his companion furiously and his face became red. The Prophet said, “I know a word (sentence) the saying of which will cause him to relax if this man says it. Only if he said, “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the outcast.’ “So they said to that (furious) man, ‘Don’t you hear what the Prophet is saying?” He said, “I am not mad.” (Volume 8, Book 73, Number 74)Yahya related to me from Malik that Yahya ibn Said said that he heard Said ibn al-Musayyab say, “Shall I tell you what is better than much prayer and sadaqa?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Mending discord. And beware of hatred – it strips you (of your deen).” (Book 47, Number 47:1.7)

This second hadith states that fixing relations is better than to remain enemies and to be vigilant of hate because it will lead us astray from religion. This shows that we are going about this in the wrong way. Using violent outbursts to try to solve a problem isn’t going to get us far. The reporters who drew and had any part of those dreadful cartoons are nothing more than ignorant individuals. Allah (swt) has made it clear in his book that at times it is better to be gentler than harsh with the disbelievers.Allah (SWT) says: “And by the mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their fault), and ask (Allah’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). (3:159)

We should have protests that are calm and organized.
If for any reason this is unachievable this would be a great opportunity for an interfaith dialogue on an international level if possible. Instead of viewing this typical behavior of the non-Muslims as an outrage and something that is intolerable. We should shed light on the larger picture of what these hurtful anti-Islamic publications might have intended. This might be a trial from Allah (SWT) to see how wise we are with our actions when in anger. This is a perfect opportunity for us to teach non-Muslims about Islam and how we honor and respect all the prophets and inshallah this negative situation may have a positive result for Muslims worldwide and more knowledge about Islam for non-Muslims. Let’s not let these reporters get the best of us. Let’s convey a solution for the slander of our Prophet (pbuh) and religion. Instead of arguing on the couch about how disgraceful this is to Islam, we have to take affirmative action and enlighten this problem with solutions of new laws being passed that protect the respect of all religions in the world.

Copyright © 2006 Jennifer Fayed Authorization is given by author to share and use for purposes of dawah (invitation to Islam)for non profit publications. If use is for other than non for profit purposes please contact author for other rights which are reserved.