Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

The Western Double Standards on the Blasphemy Law

In Blashphemy Law - An Islamic Perspective on December 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

By Shahnawaz Farooqui

After 9/11 western world has developed a habit of ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Pope Benedict started it; Danish newspapers came next and took the controversy to new heights by publishing derogatory caricatures of Prophet (SAW). The newspaper of other European nations followed the trend.

Latter the Facebook event ‘Draw Muhammad day” (*Naozubillah*) broke all the records. Today we are witnessing another controversy which is perhaps

connected with the same trend: the matter of Asiya Bibi, the Christian lady,who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for derogating Prophet of Islam (SAW). Not a small incident though, perhaps of international significance as Pope Benedict has raised his voice against this case. USA has offered refuge to this lady as well. All of this makes one ask “If we don’t call derogation of Prophet (SAW) as developing habit of the western world … then what?”

Muslim majority always raise a voice against such acts of psychological terror. They come on streets; shout slogans against the westerners and then go back home, exhausted. This reaction of Muslim masses is considered as ‘emotional’, ‘radical’ or even ‘reactionary’ by westerners and even by secularized Muslims. Why the Muslims masses react this way? The answer to this question is perhaps not known to religious minded Muslims even, let alone westerners or secular Muslims. Before we try to answer, let us skim over the intricacies of Islamic Belief system.

Historians of Islam tell us that before Prophet (SAW) came, the ArabianPeninsula was plunged into darkness of apostasy and worst form of polytheism. Millions use to worship hundreds of idols. People of the Books adulterated their sacred scriptures and as a result had departed from the genuine concept of God. The trend was broken after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came. The world once again got acquainted with the truth about the Creator of this Universe of mankind’s relationship with Him. The concept of oneness of God (*Tauheed*) got popularized. The differentiation of good from bad and right from wrong got established and clarified for the final time. From this perspective Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the first person who made mankind acquainted with the complete concept of God.

The realization of this concept isn’t possible unless and until one accepts the practical teachings of Prophet (SAW). Therefore the personality of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the epitome of the Ontological Principle of Islam(Nature of Existence) i.e. *Tauheed*, which cannot be understood without bringing the personality of Prophet (SAW) in perspective. In order to truly understand the stated principle, studying Hinduism will help where One God is transformed in to 330 million Gods. Further to understand its worth the concept of God in Christianity should be looked upon, where One God has been `trinitized’ into Father, son and the Holy Ghost. A lot more can beexplained though we would prefer to move further.

According to an authentic Hadith, Allah SWT created Prophet Muhammad (SAW) from his own Spirit or Light, and then created the entire universe from the light of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This stature has not been awarded to any other messenger of Islam. This Hadith tells us that Prophet (SAW) is indeed the reason for which this universe has been created or in other words Prophet (SAW) is the epitome of Islam’s Cosmological Principle as well.

In Islam there are two undeniable sources of Knowledge. One is the Holy Qur’an, which comprises of the words of Allah SWT and brought to Prophet (SAW) by Jibrael (AS). The second source is Hadith or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Muslims believe that since the Holy Qur’an is the last book revealed by Allah SWT on mankind therefore it confirms to the teaching of previously revealed Divine books, however Al-Qur’an also contains some other topics as well which were not covered in previous books. According to Muslims, this is so because Al-Qur’an is final guidance meant for all the times or ages to come. Furthermore Muslims also believes that wisdom of  Prophet (SAW) is greater then cumulative wisdom of all other Prophet whocame earlier. If seen in this context then we understand that why the personality of Prophet (SAW) is the epitome of Islam’s Epistemological  Principle as well. According to the Historians of Islam, Allah (SWT) sent around one hundred and twenty four thousand Messengers or Prophet for the guidance of Mankind.

They were all chosen; therefore their stature is greater then rest of mankind for obvious reasons. Muslim believes that among all those messengers and prophets the stature of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the greatest; for this reason he is also known as *Sardar-ul-Anbiya* (Leader of all Prophets). This is confirmed from the reported tradition which says that on his way to the heavens, during the historical event of *Mairaj*, Prophet Muhammad led the prayers of all other prophets and messengers in *Masjid-e-Aqsa* in Bait-ul-Muqaddas (Jerusulum).

Muslim considers Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as their perfect role model. From the life of Prophet (SAW) a Muslims gets guidance regarding his beliefs,prayers, and ethics. In the personality of Prophet (SAW) Muslims find standards to follow in every walk of life. This is so because Prophet of Islam (SAW) was a ruler of his kingdom, he was also a Judge, a soldier, a military strategist, a diplomat, a peacemaker, a husband, a father, a relative, a trader, a friend etc. A part from that Muslims even look at his personality to learn how to walk, sit, stand, eat, smile, and even sneeze.

In other words for Muslims the personality of Prophet (SAW) is a blueprint of Islamic civilization, benchmarks to evaluate the history, understand sociology, comprehend psychology, and do politics. Muslims look at the practices Prophet (SAW) to even device their economic model. Al-Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet (SAW) are even the basis of the constitution which a Muslim should abide at collective level.

To further understand the respect which a Muslim should have for the Prophet of Islam (SAW), look at the Holy Qur’an where Muslims are instructed to not to raise their voice higher then Prophet’s (SAW), and if they do then it will nullify all their good deeds.

A Hadith tells Muslim that their belief in Islam cannot be completed when Prophet (SAW) is not dear to him more then his parents, relative and even his wealth. If seen in this context then derogation of Prophet (SAW) is also a derogation or insult Ontological Principle (*Tauheed*) Muslims believe in, an insult of Epistemological Principle which they believe in, and even an insult to their cosmological principle. It is also an insult to Islamic civilization and its history, and an insult to the constitution and concept of justice which Islam advocates. Henceforth an insult to the Prophet (SAW) is an insult to the individual and collective way of life of a Muslim along with its underline meaning.

A Question might arise here is that are Muslims aware or conscious about relationship they have with Prophet (SAW) to such a holistic extent as explained above? Answer of this question is indeed that a great majority of Muslims are not conscious of their relationship likewise. Perhaps this is the reason why we see so many Muslims practically violating the teachings of Prophet (SAW). However an ordinary Muslim has a realization about the sacredness of this relationship. How come a person can realize something he isn’t conscious about? The answer of this question lies in understanding the miraculous nature of belief of a Muslim. This belief influences the personality of an individual even if he isn’t conscious about it. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once asked his companions (RAA) that whose belief is bizarre?

Companions replied “It is yours’, Prophet Muhammad (SAW)”, Prophet (SAW) replied, “How come, I am direct recipient of the revelations”, companions then said, “then it is out belief which is bizarre”, Prophet (SAW) replied, ”Is it so as I am in front you all”, companions then questioned, “then who are those whose belief is bizarre?”, on this Prophet (SAW) answered, “The belief of those will be bizarre, who would believe in me without seeing me.” This tradition makes it is obvious that this realization is indeed due to miraculous power of belief itself. From this context, it is not appropriate to consider the reaction of Muslims as radical or emotional on the derogation of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This is so because of the realization of the relationship which Muslims have with Prophet (SAW).

The question which eventually arise that from all of the above what westerners really understand? It is rather even more important to ask that do westerners even have the capacity to understand these spiritual aspects of the relationship of Muslims have with Prophet (SAW)?

The reason for asking this question is to point toward a fact that western or European world has now become void of the concept of sanctity. 75% of their population doesn’t practically follow any religion including Christianity. For them Jesus (AS) is just a historical personality or a folk hero. There are people in the west who have even argued that Jesus (AS) even had relations with a mistress (*Nauzobillah*). The question which should be asked here is how come we expect the western world that doesn’t even care about sanctity of Jesus Christ (AS), to care about the sanctity of the relationship Muslims have with Prophet Muhammad (SAW)?

There is another point to ponder here, in order to make a comment about any subject it is important that the commentator should have its complete knowledge and is aware of its background. It is a matter of fact that a great majority of secularized west isn’t aware of the stature or sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his relationship with the Muslim majority. If this is correct then how can the west be considered as qualified to comment in this regards. Is it ignorance of the western majority which makes them qualified? …

A part from the great ignorant majority, there is a certain percentage of population in the west who is close to Christianity. This minority, as we may call it, isn’t unaware about Prophet of Islam (SAW) and the importance he holds for the Muslims, rather the converse is true, which in turn makes them horrified and jealous. They are horrified because they see Christianity getting extinct even from European countries, and on the contrary Islam is spreading in western world despite all the propaganda against it. Perhaps this decline of Christianity and rise of Islam is indeed what provoke the Christian population to derogate the Prophet of Islam (SAW).

It is indeed a fact that the majority of the western population isn’t interested in respecting the sanctity of Prophets, religious belief and even God. On the other side sanctity of their National Interest is most sacred to them. This National Interest has made these European countries to fought two world wars subsequently killing 80 million human beings. The same national interest made Americans to invade Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. According to the statistics presented by John Hopkins, in Iraq alone America has killed roughly six hundred thousand people. It is quite strange that the west doesn’t much bother killing 80 million people of different nationalities for the sake of national interest, however they cry loud when a women who is found guilty of violating the Blasphemy law in Pakistan and is in turn sentenced to death. This rather becomes a horrendous violation of human rights in their viewpoint.

We can see the contrast here … as from Muslim’s perspective the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is more significant then anything else in the universe, let alone national interest; rather it is considered by them that Prophet (SAW) is indeed the reason why the universe exists in the first place.

If we look a bit more closely, we notice that the west is also not in favor of derogating an ordinary citizen with out a solid proof. This is also considered illegal in almost every western country. However the western world isn’t willing to give respect to the Prophet of Islam (SAW) equal to what’s given to an ordinary person, and considers it irrational when Muslims persist on doing so. Their opposition to the blasphemy law in Pakistan is indeed a proof of this. This opposition indeed only exposes the hatred the westerners have against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The question we should eventually ask our self now is on whose side we are standing indeed? Is it the westerners’ viewpoint which appeals us? Or is it the cry of the Muslim that we want to support, against the derogation of the most important personality in the universe?

Your answer will eventually tell you that on whose side your loyalty belongs.

Translated by Omer Javed


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