6:108 Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.
Wala tasubboo allatheena yadAAoona min dooni Allahi fayasubboo Allaha AAadwan bighayri AAilmin kathalika zayyanna likulli ommatin AAamalahum thumma ila rabbihim marjiAAuhum fayunabbiohum bima kanoo yaAAmaloona
وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ)
People in this world do all kinds of actions as part of their religion. Some of them may appear ridiculous to the onlooker. As an intelligent sage person you may find these actions comical.
Allah SWT instructs our Rasool (PBUH) that do not revile their false Gods and arouse their ire (because that is counter productive and will prevent them to took at the truth with their hearts)
If one is contemptuous of the beliefs of others on whom they have based all their existence then they may turn around and lash back and revile Allah thus ending any possibility of presenting them the truth in the hope of reaching their heart. The reasoning given in this ayah is that when someone is so absorbed in their Gods to the point of oblivion of all else, their own actions appear alluring to them (a self imposed deception propagating further deception until the embellishments become beautiful in their own eyes) (FH tafseer)
My take: Someone like me who has started to review the Quran in detail may become overly excited and see someone doing something which is totally shirk or quite silly and ridiculous to the educated eye, may in a moment of enthusiasm point out the ridiculous actions in an offensive or disrespectful manner.
This sparks of a defensive reaction in the other person and instead of being attracted to the word of Allah they malign everything to do with Allah in a moment of anger thus closing all doors to a spiritual discourse and gentle reasoning.
We are particularly guilty of this in some of the remarks that I see on You tube on different sections where Muslims have actually gone out and reviled other people’s Gods in foul language, after being instigated by the commenter.
We also receive and forward what I call” Islamic paranoid hate mail”.
Someone somewhere in the planet was disrespectful to the Quran, and boom the mail is spread to all the five hundred people on our contact list. Most of the time we do not even check the source, its authenticity or reliability of the truth.
We think we are doing a good deed by spreading this “information”. In actuality we are just creating anger in our fellow muslims, some of whom may not show self restraint and do exactly what has been forbidden to do above, i.e. revile their Gods, their Books, etc, and then unleash a tirade of hatred on the internet, back and forth between muslims and non muslims.
I can hear my more passionate friends saying “this is too passive” but please read on and do this exercise with me, and report back your findings if you want to share, or just paste it next to your internet and your bathroom mirror.
When you or I receive an email forwarded to us, which says so and so (Usually from a non-muslim) has been disrespectful to the Quran or our Prophet (PBUH), Lets check our level of respect and grade ourselves before we respond or forward that email:
1. Do we respect the Quran? and How do we demonstrate this respect?
a. Do we read it everyday and in every free moment?
b. Do we review the meaning and act on what we learn?
c. Do we unlearn habits that are incongruent with the teachings in the Quran?
d. Do we run our businesses based on the Quranic principles
e. Do we revere the Prophets mentioned in the Quran
f. Do we treat our subordinates with Ehsaan?
g. Do we treat our spouses as commanded by the Quran.
h. Do we lie in small or big matters? (I,e social lie or to save taxes)
i. Do we cheat others out of their rights?
j. Do we know the rights of the people we interact with?
k. Are we arrogant or apologetic in our ‘muslim’ behavior?
l. Do we have a separate code of ethics towards non-muslims?
m. Have we gone to Mecca for Ummrah or Hajj before we travel all over the world?
n. Are we preparing for the Akirah?
2. How do we demonstrate our respect for the Prophet?
a. Do we call him or write about him with his first name only as if he was a commoner?
b. Do we send salawaat (Durood) to him (PBUH) many many times during the day with love and passion in our hearts?
c. Do we say “peace and blessings be upon him” whenever and wherever his (PBUH) name is mentioned.
d. Do we embody his habits (The Sunnah) in our lives?
e. Do we treat our wives according to his last Khutbah?
f. Do we tell people around us that he (PBUH) came as a mercy to Mankind not just as a mercy to muslims
g. Are we merciful to our subordinates, children, elderly and animals as he was?
h. Do we eat less, speak only good and the truth, and hide the defects of others as he did?
i. Have chosen to go to Medina before we choose a resort for vacation
These are just a few things to check off as an exercise when you receive a hate mail of someone insulting the Quran or our Prophet (PBUH)
If you find you are fulfilling all of the above, you certainly should check the authenticity of the information and write a personal response based on the instructions in the Quran and Sunnah. If not………..then you are the best judge as what to do.
When our own hands are stained with the heedlessness of ignorance, when we are too comfortable in old habits to learn his (PBUH) habits or find them too difficult because they don’t fit in the society we live in, then how can we blame a non muslim who does not even know him (PBUH) and is unaware of what is the true meaning of the Quran except for small sections cut and pasted for convenience?
Our Imam said that we should perform dawah even if we are imperfect muslims. In my humble opinion dawah does not constirute sending forwards of hate mail or negative things about muslims supposedly said by non-muslims. In my humble opinion the mirror is the best dawah.
Every morning it is best to stand in front of the mirror and as you adjust your clothing and your beard (hopefully for the men following the sunnah) plan how you are going to inculcate one aspect of the Quran and Sunnah in your habits today.
It sounds easy, but it is a slippery slope, because as you inculcate one, if the previous one was not well embedded into a habit, it slides out.
I pray that this is the correct approach. Allah knows best!
I am not writing this to chastise anyone. I am writing it to remind myself and you because children and people believe what they see you and me do, not what you and I say.
Jazaaik Allah hu Khairan.
Can you share your tips to bridge the muslim /non-muslim gap
It is a pity the so many people of good will who are seeking the true God are misled by Islam. An objective reader of the Koran and the true life of Mohammed cannot but have different views from those expressed above.
May Allah reward you Brother Michael, this is from the Quran, and in the Quran Allah SWT addresses not only muslims but “ya aayyo han naas: which means “O Mankind”
I hope you will get a copy from your local mosque or bookseller and read the translation by Yusuf Ali.
Thank you for your insightful comment.
This article is wonderful. I came upon it by accident and am so glad to have found this. I am not Muslim but regard Islam with respect, this only reinforces my belief that Islam is home to good people. People from any religion can profit from your advice and perhaps even those without faith. Thank you for this. This thinking is the glue can help to repair our broken planet. Thank you.
I pray that Allah guide each one of us to be an ambassador of all that is good for this dunya and Akhirah. Ameen
I have read this article 2 times since yesterday…it’s so true what you have said here. I will remember your points to be careful with what i forward to others esp. in certain sensitive case like religion,etc…in order not to get situation even worse.
Jazak Allahhu khairan
The picture is of the roof of the Haram in between prayers, the small black edge of the kaaba can barely be seen. The roof top tawaf continues as the courtyard and second floor must be full.
The Picture of the masjid e Nabvi and the roof of the Haram in Mecca is by Shireen taken before Hajj.
Inshallah I pray that each muslim gets to be there at least once, it is an empowering experience! Alhmadollillah!