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February 21st, 2008

Muslims must welcome the Danish cartoons

Muslims must welcome the Danish cartoons

by Maulana Mustapha K. Hydal B.A. Theology (Peshawar)

Lahore Ahmadiyya Imam and Missionary in Trinidad and Tobago


Muslims have insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Their behaviour is a shame and disgrace to the teachings of this ideal Prophet. Yet we do not see demonstrations of Muslims against these Muslims who insult the Prophet Muhammad by their response to the publication of cartoons allegedly offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.

Allah prophesied in the Qur’an: “you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.” (The Qur’an 3:186) Thus the correct duty of Muslims is firstly to “restrain (their) anger and pardon people.” (The Qur’an 3:134) and then to “defend themselves after they are oppressed.” (The Qur’an 26:227)

We must recognise and realise that the concept of Islam and Muslims which many persons harbour is a concept of terrorism. Ever since the last century and even before, it was incorrectly stated that Islam was spread by the sword. This wrong concept of Islam and Muslims was and still is fostered and nurtured by Muslims themselves: “whatever misfortune befalls you, it is on account of what your hands have wrought.” (The Qur’an 42:30)

For example, over one hundred years ago Mirza Ghulaam-Ahmad advised Muslims that rather than merely asking governments to proscribe and confiscate the offensive jargon of the objectors of Islam they should all be collected and appropriate replies prepared so that the present and future generations can be spared from these vituperative and poisonous diatribes. But instead of heeding his call Muslims condemned him and developed and advocated violence and terror to him and his followers.

It is amazing that the very first revelation Prophet Muhammad received was not to pray, not to fast, not to give charity or to perform pilgrimage. The first command was to READ and the method of propagating Islam was there and then indicated “Allah teaches by the pen” (The Qur’an 96:4). Later on Prophet Muhammad was also informed: “the pen and that which they write! By the grace of your Lord you are not mad. And surely yours is a reward never to be cut off. And surely you have sublime morals.” (The Qur’an 68:1-4) In other words Muslims must use the pen to promote the sublime morals that they ought to possess.

The Prophet Muhammad, though illiterate, used the pen at least once in his life and that was to delete his Divinely given honorific as the messenger of God to foster peace with his enemies albeit under disgraceful conditions at the truce of Hudaibiyya.

If we ban the cartoons we ban the expression, we do not remove the thinking.

It is only when the opponents of Islam express their thoughts that we can counteract their objections which arise out of either ignorance or fabrication. So rather than insulting the Prophet Muhammad by their truculent behaviour, the Muslims must take on the challenge of one whose head is full of lies with this approach – “let him bring on his brayers we will call up our penpushers.” (The Qur’an 96:17-18)

The Qur’an sets the tone for the appropriate counteracting of objections to Islamic teachings: “say to My servants that they utter what is best.” (The Qur’an 17:53) Yes, the Qur’an teaches: “And the recompense of evil is the like of it; but whoever forgives and amends, his reward is with Allah. Surely He loves not the cruel ones.” (The Qur’an 42:40)

We live in a time when human beings are at a loss – wondering how society can deal with so much violence and hatred pervading all strata of human society yet with little solutions to these challenges. Let there be exception in those “who believe and do good, and exhort one another to Truth, and exhort one another to patience.” (The Qur’an 102:3)

Maulaana Mustapha K. Hydal B.A. Theology (Peshawar)

4 Responses to “Muslims must welcome the Danish cartoons”

  1. September 29th, 2008 at 1:52 pm
    From Dr. Eugenia Springer:

    Thanks for a much needed perspective on how Muslims should respond to criticism.  It is true that many marvel at the readiness of some Muslims to destroy voices of dissent.  And the question, how can a religion with so much to give to society by way of personal discipline and moral responsibility accommodate such intolerance, begs an answer.

    I so wish I could get in touch with the author to have him share his views on one of my radio programs out of the Caribbean.
    ES


  2. Blog Admin:

    I have passed on your message to someone who should be able to forward it to the author.

    Zahid Aziz


  3. Dear Dr. Eugenia Springer:
     I will suggest you to take a look at the article At a debate in USA. Published in The Light-London Edition, June 2006.
    This article is in reference to Cartoons published in Europe and USA.
    Click on the link:
    http://www.ahmadiyya.org/uk/light-jun06.pdf


  4. October 7th, 2008 at 2:43 am
    From Eugenia Springer:

    Thanks for the reference.  I have taken a cursory look at the article, since I am currently attending an event in St. Vincent.   I will take time  soon to carefully read it through.  Rather interesting, it seems.
    ES


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