I have been walking around the past few days in a serious funk, wondering what was bringing me down. I had been attributing it to the news.
I woke up Wednesday to the news of 3 beautiful, intelligent, young Muslims murdered in their home by an Anti-theist who hypocritically claimed religion is the source of violence and hatred in the world.
On Thursday, I researched a case of a mosque burning in Ohio in 2012 where the criminal who set the blaze claimed he never met a Muslim and did not know what Islam was beyond what he heard on Fox News and talk radio.
Then I came upon a story where a women murdered a fellow human being by pushing him in front of an oncoming subway because, as she said, “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Her conflating of the two vastly different faiths shows her obvious ignorance.
Just this morning, I read news of an Islamic community and education center in Houston, TX that has burned down (it is not known yet if this was an accident or a hate crime). And I read about the murder of a 15 year old Muslim in Kansas at the hands of a man who harassed and taunted him for his faith.
I read several posts in my Facebook news feed over the past few days of Muslim women being insulted and harassed.
These crimes against humanity lay at the feet of Muslim Extremists, White supremacists, Christian Extremists, Fox News Talking heads, Talk radio bigots, Islamophobes, Anti-theists, and anyone who spreads hate and cheers in the face of lost lives and violence. It is my hope that these crimes will make them lose sleep and in the process lose their insane ideologies.
It is a distinctly sinking and sickening feeling to know that people hate you, want to see you suffer, want to kill you … people who don’t even know you. It is horrifying knowing that the media and well-organized and well-funded groups are implicit in twisting my religion and spreading lies to create this hatred of me and my people. It is most terrifying knowing that some weak-minded and uneducated Muslims play into this twisting of Islam and perpetuate these lies!
But still, this was not entirely the source of my melancholy.
Media lies and dehumanization of Muslims is nothing new. Islamophobes and their dark hearts have campaigned to distort my faith and defame me, my brothers, and sisters since the 7th century. Muslim ignorance and intolerance has been rife since Muslim majority lands have been torn apart, colonized, and continually destabilized by Western powers. And I have lived knowing these facts for more than 13 years.
However, the funk I was in took a different shape when I watched a lecture on YouTube by Nouman Ali Khan, a bright scholar of Quran and the Arabic language. While watching his lecture, I realized that nothing that will happen to the Muslims will be worse than the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH-peace be upon him).
I realized I was mourning the loss of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a man I knew so well, but had never met. Yes, I had been depressed because of the lost lives and fear my community is facing. But also because in this time of crisis we will never again have Muhammad (PBUH) to lead us with the ultimate wisdom and mercy he came with.
It was the guidance from God that I missed. It was the man God sent with a smile and a sense of humor that I missed. I missed urgently and deeply a man I had never met.
And now, as I write this, I realize that we have his legacy. We still have God’s guidance sent through Muhammad (PBUH). And we can pick up were he left off. We can do our best to do as Muhammad did.
(from an article I wrote for OnIslam.net)
We can be honest like him
He was known as Al-Sadiq (the Truthful) and Al-Amin (the Faithful) among all that knew him—even his enemies.
When the Qaiser of Rome received a letter from Muhammad (peace be upon him) inviting the Qaiser to Islam, he asked Abu Sufyan about Muhammad. Abu Sufyan, who at the time was a staunch opponent of Muhammad’s message, said:
“Muhammad is nobly born; is honest and truthful, and has never broken a pledge. He enjoins his followers to worship none but One God and to pray to Him alone. He preaches kindness, piety and, tolerance towards all. And his followers are on the increase.”
This man was so honest that even his enemies called him the honest and the truthful. We can be like this too.
We can be protective like him
Muhammad (peace be upon him) lost his father before he was born and his mother at an early age, an experience that left a lasting impression on him. Having been vulnerable at an early age, he advocated for the good treatment of those who are vulnerable in society. He would attend to the needs of the indigent and the widowed. He took care of the orphans, and recommend others to do the same.
The Prophet said:
“The one who looks after and works for a widow and for a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah’s cause.” (Al-Bukhari, 6006)
“The best house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is well treated, and the worst house among the Muslims is one where an orphan is badly treated.” (Ibn Majah, 3679)
We can be good to the widowed, orphaned, the homeless, and the helpless in society. Nothing is stopping us but our selves.
We can seek justice like he did
Muhammad was an advocate for blind justice. He said:
“Assist your Muslim brother, whether he be an oppressor or oppressed.”
And when a companion of the Prophet asked:
“But how shall we do it when he is an oppressor?”
Prophet Muhammad replied:
“Assisting an oppressor by forbidding and withholding him from oppression.” (Al-Bukhari, 2444)
Here is a man who told people to be loyal to justice first even if it means witnessing against your own self. We too can reignite this revolutionary thinking- and end bigotry, racism, sectarianism and so much more.
We can be honorable like him
Muhammad (PBUH) treated women with dignity and told his followers to do the same.
He never lifted a hand against a woman. He never lost his temper with a woman. He sought advice from women and advocated for women’s rights and their good treatment.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his followers:
“Only an honorable man treats women with honor and integrity. Only a mean, deceitful, and dishonest man humiliates and insults them.”
Muhammad (PBUH) left an example to men and women alike. He emphasized the need to respect each other as full and actualized human beings.
We can be patient like him
Muhammad (PBUH) told us “The strong person is not the good wrestler. Rather, the strong person is the one who controls himself when he is angry”. This is an inspiration. We can claim self-control for ourselves as the only true strength.
Through learning about the legacy of his behavior, teachings, compassion, strength, and mercy; I learned how amazing a human being could be.
I learned what it means to love and respect someone I would never meet in this life. And I missed Muhammad. I still miss him, but I seek comfort in knowing that I and my brothers and sisters can and do strive to live his legacy.
Quran 25:63 And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace.”
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11 thoughts on “Missing Muhammad”
Excellent article. He surely indeed is missed terribly in this world and just like what many Muslim scholars and authors who’ve written extensively about his life, without a shadow of a doubt if he was alive today, he’d singlehandedly change the world with his character.
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May Allah makes us more like him and able to create change from within and without. Thanks for reading and mourning this loss with me.
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indeed ! May Allah make us more like him.
Teresa, youve done Muslims proud.. beautiful article. regards fayaz.
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 19:43:54 +0000 To: email@example.com
Jazakum Allah Khair, Fayaz. Thank you for the kind words and for reading!
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
One thing that I miss more than anything else; is the greatest gift that Allah has given to human-beings in my opinion; it is a gift that Muhammad (PBU) shared in common with all of us during his time on Earth as a human-being himself; it is a gift without limits and without prejudice; it is the gift of youthful thinking. Children are blessed by Allah with the ability to live life always looking forward, never back and to display a superhuman resiliency that could only be provided by Allah. In what is perhaps the most insulting act of ungratefulness; for all faiths, the world rips youthful thinking from our souls, until we are left as nothing more than a distrustful sack of bio-mechanical goop living life on autopilot. The extraordinarily cruel things we experience, see, hear and read about all remove a tiny piece of our youth from us each and every time until there is nothing left.
It appears as though we are creating a world in which it’s sole function is to perpetuate the inhumanity that surrounds us on a daily basis to further enrich the rich and indenture all others; a planetary wide feedback loop that in the end can only be stopped by a catastrophe or a new enlightenment that forces us to see one-another as human-beings. It appears we have come too far, too fast, left a critical portion of our species maturity behind, creating a maturation to technology ratio that is imbalanced; thus destroying our youth. Physics theorizes that we can affect the past through the future; perhaps we have. Because you see; maturity saves youthfulness. Not the other way around.
As we grow ever more immature as a species, we become increasingly callous and reckless. As we rely more and more on machines and television to do the thinking for us, we loose our ability to empathize and love each-other for whom and what we are. As we make more automated decisions based on mathematical principles and computer driven algorithms, than we do based on the humanities, we throw what it means to be human to the side. I don’t see how we can disrespect Allah any more or survive long term than by rejecting our humanity; regardless of faith.
In a sort of dark-humored twist of literary fate; I can say that there will be a “price” to be paid for our rejection (the ultimate payment in a consumer driver reality) . And perhaps, all Allah has to do is sit back and watch us destroy ourselves.
If I had to paint a picture of humanity, I would surely paint the picture of a pimply faced socially awkward teenager with a gun in one hand, cell phone in the other, money falling out of a front pocket, walking out of a fast food joint, texting obscenities, while applying online for the first credit card; a person with little free will and no real future. Or maybe I am just painting a picture of America as it is now or as I don’t want it to become. I pray that I am wrong on all counts.
I would have to agree. And this rending of innocence from the human is happening at earlier and earlier ages. I think that some will read this as niavate, but to me that is not at all what is meant. It is a certain type of purity that understands that evil exists and removes itself form it, not a unwillingnes or blindness to see evil at all. It is not just a removal of youthful thinking, it is a removal of iman from the heart. And paradoxically, as you pointed out, it makes us more immature at the same time. I would agrue that we have lost any semblance of iman and wisdom. It is indeed sad and wreckless. Thank you for sharing your perspective.
Could you please elaborate more about the first episode? What are the sources? Is the emperor reaction known? Thanks!
Thank you for the question. The Qaiser or Rome, Heraclius said about Muhammad (PBUH):
“I knew that he was going to appear, but I did not know that he would be from among you. If what you have said is true, he will rule the very the ground beneath my feet; if I knew I would definitely see him in person, I would undertake the journey to meet him; and if I were with him, I would wash his feet.”
Here is a link to the full story of Heracluis’ interaction with Abu Safyan and his reaction to the message of Muhhamad (PBUH). Along with sources. http://thedeenshow.com/watch/2231/the-letter-of-the-prophet-to-the-emperor-of-byzantium
Salam Alikum Corbin!!! I have added the award post and your nomination so make sure you pass through my site to view it, thanks!!!! 😀
Jazakum Allah Khair! I certainly will. Thank you!!
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