Position Towards Insults Against the Messenger
Position Towards Insults Against the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)
Shaykh Dr Saalih al-Fawzaan elaborates the position a Muslim takes towards insults hurled against the Final Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).
[Question]: May Allaah bestow favours upon you. The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has been insulted repeatedly in recent times by way of films, in newspapers and other than those media. The question is: What is the Sharee’ah legislated position with regards to these offences? And following on from that, he says: And what is the ruling on expressing anger at the insults against the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) by way of protests and demonstrations?
[Answer]: O brothers! This is not something new. In the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi sallam) they said that he was a magician, a liar, a soothsayer, a poet and other than that. And the Messenger (’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) remained patient and he did not act hastily and Allaah commanded him with patience.
وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَوَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا
“And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.” [Sooratul-Muzzammil 73:10]
He (’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) would hear them, but he would remain patient with the command of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ
“And We already know that your breast is constrained by what they say. So exalt Allaah with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate to Him. And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” [Sooratul-Hijr 15:97]
So he remained patient and he prohibited his Companions from taking revenge on his behalf from anyone during their days in Makkah. He prohibited them from such acts, because if they had exacted revenge from the polytheists, this would have surely halted the spread of Islaam in Makkah and it would have halted the da’wah in its infancy. So when they had migrated and found the Ansaar (helpers), then at that point Allaah commanded him with Jihaad against the polytheists, with the Sharee’ah legislated Jihaad. As for protests and demonstrations, and destruction and sabotage and killing innocent people and killing those who are living under the security and protection of the Muslims, then this is treachery and it is not permissible. And it is not permissible to kill innocent people even if they are disbelievers. It is not permissible.
وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُواْ
“And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haraam lead you to transgress.” [Sooratul-Maa‘idah 5:2]
It is not permissible to commit any aggression against an innocent person.
وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى
“And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.” [Sooratuz-Zumar 39:7]
وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّى يَسْمَعَ كَلاَمَ اللّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ
“And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allaah. Then deliver him to his place of safety.” [Sooratut-Tawbah 9:6]
The messengers of the polytheists would come to the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to negotiate. They would enter upon him (’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) even in his mosque and they would negotiate with him, even though they were polytheists and disbelievers. However, it was necessary for them to know that Islaam is not a religion of anger and a religion of revenge. It is only a Religion of guidance and mercy and kindness, as was exemplified by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). And what was the result? The result was that Allaah granted victory to His Messenger and strengthened the Religion. And some of those who used to mock the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) became leaders in Islaam and they strove in the Path of Allaah. They accepted Islaam and they excelled in their Islaam because the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) was patient and mild and kind with them, up until they began to love him, as Allaah the Sublime and Exalted said,
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” [Sooratul-Qalam 68:4]
This was the moral character of the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam). When the disbelievers committed these acts, they wanted to stir up strife so that they could say, “Look at the behaviour of the Muslims, they kill the mediators and destroy the houses and demolish the buildings. This is the Religion of Islaam.” This is how the disbelievers desire to cause outrage amongst the Muslims, through the behaviour of ignorant Muslims, through the behaviour of ignorant people or through infiltrators amongst them. So it is not permissible to rush into these affairs.
وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُواْ عَلَى مَا كُذِّبُواْ وَأُوذُواْ حَتَّى أَتَاهُمْ نَصْرُنَا وَلاَ مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ وَلَقدْ جَاءكَ مِن نَّبَإِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
“And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over the effects of denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them. And none can alter the words of Allaah. And there has certainly come to you some information about the previous messengers.” [Sooratul-An’aam 6:34]
Such is the guidance of Islaam in these affairs: kindness, deliberateness, patience and not rushing into things. So the polytheists want to exploit these affairs through what has occurred from some of the Muslims in terms of haughtiness, destruction and killing up until the Muslims apparently started killing themselves, they killed the Muslim police. This is what the disbelievers want. Yes.
Translation by Maaz Qureshi
Sunnah Publishing, Philadelphia, USA
Shaykh Dr Saalih al-Fawzaan (b. 1354H/ 1933) is a Member of the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ and member of the Council of Senior Scholars, KSA