How to deal with Islamophobia?Lessons from the Past and advices from Quran
It is no secret that Islam is being attacked. Whether from within, by people who commit atrocities in the name of Islam such as ISIS and Al-Qa’idah, or from outside by the rising tide of Islamophobia and the subtle, and not-so-subtle, attacks on and mockery of Islam and Muslims. Our religion has been hijacked by a statistically insignificant minority who share nothing with the teachings of our faith other than a name. Their evil actions give reason and excuse for people of ill intent to try to smear this beautiful religion, using the actions of this minority as an excuse to attack Muslims and create a tremendous fitnah (trial) for us all. It is shaking the weak-hearted to the core and confusing those of us who, all of a sudden, find ourselves in the midst of a very disorienting storm.
Islamophobia at the time of early Islam
Many Attempts were made to check the growth of Islam.People were more Islamophobic in those days. Let us see some incident:
Having fully perceived that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) could never be desisted from his Call, Quraish, in a desperate attempt to quell the tidal wave of the Call, resorted to other cheap means acting from base motives: Scoffing, degrading, ridiculing, belying and laughter-instigating cheap manners, all of which levelled at the new converts in general, and the person of Muhammad (Peace be upon him)in particular, with the aim of dragging the spirit of despair into their morale, and slackening their ardent zealotry.
People used to denounce the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as a man possessed by a jinn, or an insane person:
- And they say: O you Muhammad (Pbuh) to whom the Dhikr (the Qur’an)
has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man. [15:6]
- And the disbelievers say: This Prophet
Muhammad (Pbuh) is a sorcerer, a liar. [38:4].
- And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatreds
- Those who disbelieve almost stab you with their glances when they hear the message, and say, “He is a madman!”[68:51]
The wicked used to laugh at the righteous in many ways:
- They would inwardly laugh at their Faith, because they felt themselves so superior.
- In public places, when the righteous passed, they used to insult and wink at them,
- In their own houses, they would run them down.
- Whenever and wherever they saw them, they reproached and called them fools who had lost
They Distorted Muhammad Sallalahu alaihe wa sallam’s teachings, evoked ambiguities, circulated false propaganda;forged groundless allegations concerning his doctrines, person and character
Allah says,”Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His servant, to be a warning to humanity.He to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, who took to Himself no son, who never had a partner in His kingship; who created everything and determined its measure.And yet, instead of Him, they produce for themselves gods that create nothing, but are themselves created; that have no power to harm or benefit themselves; and no power over life, death, or resurrection.Those who disbelieve say, “This is nothing but a lie that he made up, and others have helped him at it.” They have committed an injustice and a perjury.And they say, “Tales of the ancients; he wrote them down; they are dictated to him morning and evening.”Say, “It was revealed by He who knows the Secret in the heavens and the earth. He is always Forgiving and Merciful.”(25:1-25:-6)
People urged the Messenger to call upon Allâh to shield him against the adversities he was suffering at the hand of the polytheists.
Khabbab bin Al-Aratt once urged the Messenger to call upon Allâh to shield him against the adversities he was suffering at the hand of the polytheists. The Prophet’s face reddened andhe remarked that the true believer must not precipitate things, it was incumbent upon a believer to undergo all the odds of life as much as he could, fearing nobody except Allâh until the religion was established, which would surely happen. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) in this regard, referred to the perseverance that the Muslims had to show and the hardships they had to undergo in order to establish the land of Islam where peace and security would prevail all over it. Glad tidings of better prospects for Islam and the Muslims were not confinedto Muhammad’s followers, in fact they were being disclosed time and again to both believers and disbelievers. Whenever the two parties met, the latter would jeer at the former and mockingly say “Here are the sovereigns of earth who will defeat Chosroes and Caesar.” But the believers, in anticipation of that shining and Godly-orientated future, would always persevere and tolerate all sorts of persecution and humiliation regarding them as summer clouds that would soon clear away.
People threw rocks and stones at prophet Muhammad(pbuh)
When Mecca became unbearable. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had to seek support from outside of Mecca. He first headed for the neighboring town of Ta’if, looking for this support. But what did he meet with there?
The people of Ta’’if ordered their children to throw rocks and stones at prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to drive them out of the city. The rocks that were thrown at him by the children caused him to bleed seriously, so much that his feet became stuck to his shoes by the drying blood. Amongst the early converts, there was a group who had unfortunately no strong clan at their back to support them. These innocent souls were ridiculed and jeered in season and out of season.
They troubled and Misbehaved with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Uqbah was one the neighbors of Muhammad. Yet he assaulted Muhammad verbally and physically as he was preaching monotheism He also constantly ridiculed Muhammad when the latter was preaching in Mecca. On one occasion, when Muhammad was praying in the courtyard of the Ka’ba, Uqba brought the waste of a slaughtered camel (intestines, blood, dung etc.) upon the suggestion of other Quraysh leaders who were gathered there, and placed it upon Muhammad’s back while he was in prostration. They laughed so much so that they fell on each other. He remained in that position due to the weight, unable to lift his head from prostration until his daughter fatima (R.A)came and removed it.(Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 9, Number 499)
They Purchased Songstress to entice People away from Islam
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) related that An-Nadr used to purchase songstresses who would through their bodily charms and songs entice away from Islam anyone developing the least attachment to the Prophet (Peace be upon him); in this regard, Allâh says:
And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead(men) from the Path of Allâh. [31:6]
Advice From Quran to deal with Islamophobia
With reference to incidents from past, We can take guidance to deal with the Problem of Islamophobia plaguing our Societies.
1)Allah suffices as God and Helper
2)In the hereafter all the tricks and falsehoods will be shown for what they are, and the tables will be reversed.
Allâh had said: Verily! (During the worldly life) those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed; and whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another (in mockery); and when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting; and when they saw them, they said: Verily! These have indeed gone astry!’ But they (disbelievers, sinners) had not been sent as watchers over them (the believers).But on that Day, those who believed will laugh at the unbelievers.
3)Allah’s Help is near
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allâh?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allâh is near!” [2:214]
4)Do you think you will not be tested ?
“Alif-Lam-Mim. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it)known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allâh knows all that before putting them to test).” [29: 1-3]
5)To the People who are threatened to be driven out of their land
“And those who disbelieved, said to their Messengers: ‘Surely, we shall drive you out of our land, or you shall return to our religion!’ So their Lord inspired them:‘Truly, We shall destroy the Zâlimûn (polytheists,disbelievers and wrong-doers).And indeed, We shall make you dwell in the land after them. This is for him who fears standing before Me (on the Day of Resurrection or fears My punishment) and also fears My threat.” [14:13,14]
6)To the Migrants
The Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) had the following:
“And as for those who emigrated for the cause of Allâh, after suffering oppression,We will certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew.” [16:41]
How Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)responded to Islamophobia
The Prophet (Peace be upon him), on his part, would always maintain and sustain his followers’ souls with the light of belief, sanctify them through inculcating the Qur’ânic wisdom in their hearts and cultivate their minds deeply with the spirit of Islam that would elevate them to a state of noble spirituality, pure heartedness and an absolute degree of freedom from the yoke of materialism, a high morale powerful enough to resist worldly lusts and consequently lead them from darkness to light. He would constantly teach them to be tolerant, forgiving and overpowering over their selves in order to get well established in their religion, disdain lust, and devote themselves to attaining the Pleasure of Allâh, yearning for the Garden (Paradise), enthusiasm in sciences relating to their faith, calling themselves to account, subordinating fleeing whims, holding under firm control all rage provoking incidents and finally observing sobriety, patience and gravity.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Prayed for the Islamophobes:
Aisha reported: She asked the Prophet, “Have you encountered a day harder than the battle of Uhud?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Your tribes have troubled very much, and the worst was the day of Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn Abd-Yalail ibn Abd-Kulal and he did not respond to what I intended. So I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and I could not relax until I found myself at a tree where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, “Allah has heard your people’s saying to you and how they have replied. Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.” The Angel of the Mountains greeted me, and said, “O Muhammad, order what you wish. If you like, I will let the mountains fall on them.” The Prophet said, “No, I hope that Allah will bring from their descendants people who will worship Allah alone without associating partners with Him.”Source: [Sahih Bukhari 3059, Sahih Muslim 1759]
Mere lip profession of Faith is not enough. It will be tried and tested in the real turmoil of life. The test will be applied in all kinds of circumstances, in individual life and in relation to the environment around us to see whether we can strive constantly and put the Lord above self. Much pain, sorrow and self-sacrifice may be necessary, not because they are good in themselves, but because they will purify us, like fire applied to a goldsmith’s crucible to burn out the dross.
May Allah guide People to the true Path to Salvation and save us from hell fire. Ameen.
Source:Reference of the texts take from Biography of Muhammad with Modifications.