Sister Saima Sheikh of Dallas Chapter has written the following coloumn on Dallas Morning News dated 28 Jan 2015. Sister Saima is also a National Spokesperson of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.
Anti-blasphemy laws that punish profane or contemptuous speech, writing or actions concerning God or anything held as divine are nothing new. They’ve been around for centuries. According to a 2012 Pew Research study, a quarter of the world’s countries have such laws, with punishment ranging from fines to death.
Western countries such as Ireland, Canada, Germany and Poland have these laws, although they’re not enforced. Some countries are considering repealing these laws after the Charlie Hebdo attack, while Middle Eastern and South Asian countries hold fast to enforcement.
Most of these countries enacted the anti-blasphemy laws to protect the honor of prophet Muhammad of Islam. Did prophet Muhammad ever ask anyone to defend his honor, or does the Holy Quran command Muslims to defend his honor? The answer is a big “no.” I will cite some examples to prove this point.
When prophet Muhammad first started preaching, he was ridiculed and mocked. This is recorded in the Holy Quran, which says that the “disbelievers” made “a jest of thee” (21:37). They called him “a mad man” (15:7). When he would present them with signs from God or Allah, they would say, “Thou art but a fabricator” (16:102) and “a liar” (35:26).
The Holy Quran tells prophet Muhammad that all previous prophets or messengers had been mocked or ridiculed, “And if they treat thee as a liar, those who were before them also treated messenger as liars. Their messengers came to them with clear signs, and with the Scripture, and with the Illuminating Book” (35:26), and “Alas for my servants! There comes not a messenger to them but they mock at him” (36:31).
The Holy Quran told him to be patient and remain steadfast, “Bear patiently then what they say” (20:131) and “Messengers indeed have been rejected before thee; but notwithstanding their rejection and persecution they remained patient until our help came to them. There are none that can change the words of Allah” (6:35).
Did the Holy Quran command prophet Muhammad to kill those who ridiculed or mocked him? On the contrary, it said quite clearly that it is not up to him to seek revenge but only God has the power to do so: “Verily, those who malign Allah and his messenger — Allah has cursed them in this world and in the hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment.”
It is clearly evident from the above verse that the Holy Quran does not command the prophet Muhammad or any Muslims to seek revenge against anyone who blasphemes him.
Prophet Muhammad was sent as “Rahmatul Alameen.” That is, mercy for all mankind. He was compassionate toward everyone. After the peace treaty with Meccans, he forgave everyone and said, “By God, you will have no punishment today and no reproof” (Hisham). He even forgave the man responsible for the death of his pregnant daughter, Zainab. He was so forgiving that he pardoned the woman who poisoned him (Muslim).
So, how can the man who forgives someone who was responsible for killing his daughter and poisoning him ask Muslims to seek revenge on his behalf?
The Muslims have been misguided by their governments and their so-called Muslim scholars and clergy who have tricked ordinary Muslims into believing this nonsensical ideology. These governments have used anti-blasphemy laws to suppress and persecute minorities and anyone who rises against them.
It’s time for ordinary Muslims to take back their religion from the corrupted clergy and the governments. Otherwise, their youth will continue to fall prey to extremism.
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