How Prophet Muhammadsa treated people of other faiths
Jalees Ahmad, London
During the treaty of Hudaibiyah, the Quraish of Mecca interjected and said to erase the words, “Messenger of Allah”. Today, the very same mullahs who oppose the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, who demand that the Kalima be erased from our mosques and graves, are no different to the disbelievers of Mecca.
Unfortunately, another sad incident recently occurred in the “land of the pure” – Pakistan. On 13-14 July, in Gujranwala, Pakistan, after being encouraged and provoked by extreme clerics, a violent mob demolished the graves of 67 Ahmadi Muslims. All this happened whilst the local police sat and watched. It appears the maulvis who harbour hatred towards Ahmadi Muslims won’t even let the deceased rest in peace. Such repulsive behaviour is, supposedly, in the name of Islam and in “love” for the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
However, it confounds me how someone can claim that they follow the perfect example of the Holy Prophetsa who was Rahmatun-lil-Alamin (mercy for all mankind) and simultaneously cause and incite harm towards fellow human beings. They claim to believe in a God who is Rabb-ul-Alamin (Lord of all the worlds) and in a prophet who was Rahmatun-lil-Alamin, yet their conduct towards Ahmadi Muslims is indistinguishable in comparison to the manner the disbelievers of Mecca treated the early Muslims.
Is this the Islam they present to the world? Is this the behaviour they encourage? Did the Holy Prophetsa ever do such awful and detestable things? If this is the Islam they call to, would it not be better to remain, as they assert, a “kafir”? Are their actions anywhere close or even remotely resemble the practice of the Holy Prophetsa?
During the early days of Islam, when Muslims were persecuted and pain and suffering reached their limits, the Holy Prophetsa instructed those who could, to migrate to Abyssinia. The Holy Prophetsa added, “The king of Abyssinia is just and equitable. None are subjected to oppression under his rule.” (Abu Muhammad Abdul-Malik bin Hisham, As-Siratun-Nabawiyyah, Abu Muhammad ‘Abdul-Malik bin Hisham)
As the degree of persecution grew hot, the heinous methods which were employed by the Meccans to further cause harm to the Muslims and to stop them in their tracks is a long and grievous story, which resulted with the Muslims, and later the Holy Prophetsa, migrating to Medina.
Thus, when we read about how Muslims suffered and endured such hardships in the early days of Islam, a Muslim should naturally feel empathy for all minorities, regardless of faith or race, who are being persecuted the same way.
It seems that the clerics of Pakistan have forgotten the premise it was founded on, which was, according to its founder, the “land of the pure”; this should give its citizens the freedom to “belong to any religion, caste or creed”; Muhammad Ali Jinnah went on to say that faith and religion “has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
The clerics of Pakistan encourage its subjects to take such drastic measures whilst “preaching” that this is their “jihad” and that such horrendous acts are a means of gaining God’s pleasure.
However, such a “justification” is not supported by the peaceful teachings of the Holy Prophetsa, nor has Islam ever granted Muslims permission to cause anyone harm in any way or form.
(The mere fact that so many inverted commas had to be used in the past couple of lines indicates that something is very clearly wrong.)
The truth is that Jihad and permission to fight was only granted to those who were being fought with as they were wronged, and more importantly, it was to protect all religions. Hence, it is clearly established that nowhere in Islam has the Holy Prophetsa given anyone permission to fight others, destroy their mosques and places of worship or demolish their graves.
We know that the Holy Prophetsa was like a father to all Muslims – their pain was his pain; their happiness was his happiness – however, as the maulvis, clerics and extremists in Pakistan do not wish to accept Ahmadis as Muslims, let us see how the Holy Prophetsa treated people of other faiths.
It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that once, a funeral procession passed by some companions who, upon seeing it, stood up. They were told that the funeral procession was of one of the inhabitants of the land i.e. of a non-believer, under the protection of Muslims. Upon this, the companions replied that they had once observed a funeral procession pass by the Prophetsa who, upon seeing the procession, stood up out of respect. When he was told that it was the coffin of a Jew, he responded, “Was he not a living being?” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana‘iz, Hadith 1312)
This is the perfect example displayed by the Holy Prophetsa; an illustration of true love and respect for all humanity and clearly shows his treatment and respect for the deceased. On another occasion, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Do not abuse the dead because they have reached the result of what they forwarded.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Jana‘iz, Hadith 1393)
If only the confused, lost souls and maulvis knew that their conduct is completely contradictory to the noble example of the Holy Prophetsa. In fact, it is as different as night and day.
History testifies that whenever anyone of any faith or race was wronged, the Holy Prophetsa was the first to take a stand and express his displeasure. After being commissioned by God, the Holy Prophetsa visited Taif with the hope that they would embrace Islam. He invited the chief of the city to Islam. Not only was the Holy Prophet’s invitation rejected, but the chief said, “It is best that you leave this place, for there is nobody here who is willing to listen to you.” (Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, Sirat Khatamun–Nabiyyin)
As the Holy Prophetsa left, he was chased by the children of the city who began throwing stones at him. This left the Holy Prophetsa drenched in blood. The episode that followed is one that all Muslims hold dear to their hearts and is the perfect example of forgiveness all Muslims should strive for.
Narrating this journey to Hazrat Aishara, the Holy Prophetsa, in his own words, said:
“So, I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded and could not relax until I found myself at Qarn al-Thalib where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me unexpectedly. I looked up and saw Gabriel who called upon me saying, ‘Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me and then said, ‘O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will cause Al-Akh–Shabain [two mountains] to fall on them.’”
To this, the Prophetsa replied, “No, but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship None besides Him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Bad‘-ul-Khalq, Hadith 3231)
Thus was the practice of the Holy Prophetsa. Even on a day that he later said was harder than the Battle of Uhud, his practice was to forgive. The Holy Prophet’ssa compassion for mankind was such that even in the face of persecution and suffering hardships, he would continue to pray for his enemies. It was a result of his prayers that Hazrat Umarra accepted Islam. This was the example of our noble and beloved prophet.
The disbelievers of Mecca left no room for Islam to spread and even denied the Holy Prophetsa and the Muslims their rights, yet he continued to pray for them.
Now, compare this to the attitude of the maulvis, clerics and the extremists in Pakistan. It is clear that the Islam they preach and call others to is not the true Islam, nor is it the practice of the Holy Prophetsa. It is crystal clear that the maulvis who, day and night, preach and exhaust all efforts to instil hatred for Ahmadis within the hearts of people are no different to those about whom God says: َ
یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ لِیُطۡفِـُٔوۡا نُوۡرَ اللّٰہِ بِاَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ وَ اللّٰہُ مُتِمُّ نُوۡرِہٖ وَ لَوۡ کَرِہَ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ
“They desire to extinguish the light of Allah with [the breath of] their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, even if the disbelievers hate [it].” (Surah al-Saff, Ch.61: V.9)