We should not let him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) down for the efforts he took, we should not let him down for the duas he made for us, we should not let him down by ignorance of our religion, we should never let him down on the Day of Judgement.
By Rihana Basheer
Some of you must be wondering what this change in display picture is that I speak of. But others among you may already have guessed. Yes, I am talking about that phenomenon which is becoming increasingly common – what we as Muslims do every time someone insults our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Lately, there have been several incidents where our passions are ignited and we feel the urge to show support and love for our Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). But as an average Muslim, something that always goes through my mind is: are we doing enough? Is changing our display picture on Whatsapp or Facebook and posting about the goodness of our beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for a day or two during the protests enough? Just think for a while … are we doing justice to our lives as Muslims?
We hear many Muslims say that they converted to Islam when they started reading about the life of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Islam after one of the many controversies. But as people who were born Muslims, what do we know about our beloved Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)? Have we made an effort to know about his life and his struggles? Do we know how Islam was established at a time when the Arab world was going through its worst phase of ignorance? The torture, the persecution, the battles fought and blood lost? How many of us know that our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was stoned, humiliated, insulted but he stood by the truth and always made dua for his ummah? The same ummah, that today simply shows its support and love by changing their display picture.
Don’t get me wrong, I think changing your display picture is an efficient effort, no matter how small, to register one’s protest. But my bigger question is: is that enough?
My life took a major turn when I started to learn the seerah. I had to make an effort to convince my mind that it’s not some never-ending novelette that a celebrated 19th century author was writing. The kind that are later made into 3D movies. What I was reading was, in fact, history. True stories from a very real life that our beloved Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) lived. He was a human being, just like us. When we read his seerah, we realise why Allah chose him as an example, as a hero to be followed by the rest of mankind.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
He is the perfect one and the best to have ever walked over the face of the earth. In his seerah we find advice and lessons that help us in every aspect of life, but only if we try to find the wisdom behind them. As a student of seerah I tend to take the lessons and apply them wherever I can.
A great example of his forgiveness and perseverance is apparent when he pardoned the people of Makkah after its conquest. When the Messenger of God (صلى الله عليه وسلم) gathered the people who had abused, harmed and tortured him and his companions, and had driven them out of the city of Makkah, he said:
“What do you think I will do to you?’
They answered: ‘You will only do something favourable; you are a kind and generous brother, and a kind and generous nephew!’
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Go – you are free to do as you wish.”*
We live in a world where Islam is attacked from every corner — physically and verbally. To resist it, we need to know what our deen is, how it reached us and the life of the man who went through all the difficulties to make Islam reach us with the help of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
Let us encourage each other to live by his teachings. We should not let him down for the efforts he took, we should not let him down for the duas he made for us, we should not let him down by ignorance of our religion, we should never let him down on the Day of Judgement.
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.”
Let’s take bigger steps and do more than changing our display picture for a week. Let’s put an end to the disagreements among the different practices in our religion and turn our attention towards learning more about our beloved Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the revelations which Allah has sent for all of humanity through him (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
Our real love should be seen in the number of sunnahs we practice with sincerity in our daily life and the efforts we make to satisfy the urge to be with the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in Jannah.
This is a reminder for me first. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless us to be with the best man who ever lived, our beloved Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). May be one day we can hear all those stories from him, as we sit with him on the riverside in Jannah. Ameen.