[JUMAT SERMON] Al-Islaam: The Misunderstood Religion (Part Two)

[JUMAT SERMON] Al-Islaam: The Misunderstood Religion (Part Two)
  • PublishedJanuary 15, 2021


WHEN the persecution by the idolaters in Mecca was no longer bearable for the Muslims, the Prophet (SAW) directed a number of them to embark on a lesser migration to Abyssinia (known presently as Ethiopia), where they sought for asylum under the rule of the Abyssinian king, the Negus, who, as a non-Muslim then, granted them asylum. Then in search for a more conducive environment for his mission, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) went on a trial trip to Taif, a nearby town, in anticipation to find some listening ears or enlightened minds that would probably reason with him. But unfortunately, the people of Taif were also very hostile. They woefully rejected him, even incited the hoodlums to mock him and stoned him with pebbles to the point of bleeding. When all the oppressions of the Meccans failed to hinder the Prophet from propagating his deen (religion), the infidels attempted to lure him with some attractive incentives. They approached his uncle and said: “0 Abu Talib! We had concluded a plan to grant your nephew a unique offer, provided he would desist from condemning our gods, and put an end to ridiculing our ancestral religion. They went on thus: “If he is interested in material wealth, we shall provide him with every available resources no one among us possesses. Besides that, we shall select the most beautiful ones among our daughters for him as brides; furthermore we shall install him as the paramount monarch in the Arabian Peninsula and subject ourselves to his rule”.

This offer apparently moved Abu Talib, who zealously presented it to his nephew. But out of disappointment, Muhammad (SAW) instantly stood up, looked straight into the eye of Abu Talib and said: “O Uncle! If they can afford to bring down both the sun and the moon from the sky, place the former in my right hand and the latter in my left hand all in an attempt to silence me from what I have been preaching, I would never succumb to their pressure till the decree of Allah comes to pass”. A little while later they invited the Prophet and said: “O Muhammad! Since you are hell-bent to continue your preaching while we also are not prepared to abandon the religion of our ancestors, we intend to reach a compromise with you; whereby we join you in practising the tenets of your religion for a whole year, on condition you do same with us in the subsequent year as regards practising our own rituals too. This suggestion was also turned down by the Prophet (SAW). And in sequence to that, He received a divine revelation thus: “Say (O Muhammad) to the unbelievers! I worship not that which you worship. Nor will you worship that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which you are worshiping. Nor will you worship that which I worship. To you be your religion, and to me my religion”. Quran 109:1-6. As all the efforts of the idolaters to silent Muhammad hit the rock, they finally resorted to a grand resolution. That was to eliminate him once and for all. Allah said: “And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad SAW) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home, i.e. Mecca); they were plotting and Allah too was planning, and Allah was the Best of the planners”. Quran 8:30. As a result of that, Allah granted Him the permission to leave His birthplace. The Prophet (SAW) who had previously granted some of his companions a permission to secretly move one after the other to Yathrib in advance eventually proceeded to join them. As the Muslims were just settling down in their new abode, which seemed a fertile land for His mission, the enemies were not comfortable with that, so they resorted to planning for a war against them (the Muslims) in faraway Medina. It was then, Allah gave Him permission to fight them back, as stated in Quran 22:39:  “Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allah is able to give them (believers) victory”. So the Jihad in Islam was a necessity meant for protecting the weak Muslims against the aggressiveness of the enemies and also to grant them freedom to choose the religion they liked. However, despite the fact that Islam has a zero-tolerance for shirk (polytheism) Allah still instructed the Prophet and by extension all Muslims to protect the polytheist when the need arises as stated in Quran 9:6: “And if anyone of the mushrikun (polytheists) seeks your protection, then grant him protection, so that he may hear the word of Allah (the Quran), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not”. Another relative verse is: “And insult not those whom they (the disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus we have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord (Allah) is their (final) returning and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do. (While on earth)”. Quran 9:108. A story that is worthy of narration here is that of Asma’u bint Abu bakre, the step-sister of Aisha the spouse of Allah’s Messenger (SAW). One day, Qutaylah the mother of Asma’u came all the way from Mecca to visit her daughter in Medina. She brought with her some foodstuffs as a gift, but Asma’u did not only reject the gifts but denied her mother entry into her house simply because she was still a pagan. Aisha reported this case to the Prophet (SAW) who immediately ordered Asma’u to allow her mother to enter the house and also accept her gifts. To this effect, a divine revelation came thus: “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly to those (unbelievers) who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” Quran 60:8. Another aspect where the magnanimity of Islam stands out among its peers is that, it is the only existing law which maintains that it is mandatory for believers to recognise the previous Prophets e.g. Musa (Moses AS) and Isa (Jesus AS) to mention but few, as well as to believe that they were bearers of Divine Scriptures i.e. Taorah (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel). Failure to do that renders one a non-Muslim. Allah says: “The Messenger (SAW) believes in what has been sent down to Him from His Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers”- and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) your forgiveness, our Lord, and to you is the return (of all).” Quran 2:285. When it comes to argument with people of other faiths like the Jews or Christians in particular, the Quran said: “And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner) except with such of them as do wrong, and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you;  our Ilaah (God) and your Ilaah (God) is One, and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims).”Quran 29:46. With this brief illustration, it hopefully will be crystal clear to non-Muslims that Islam is far from being a hostile religion; Islam is by nature a very accommodating system which strictly abhors injustice. Hence there should be no cause at all for Islam-phobia; and the concept of Islamisation agenda is just a fictitious idea invented by those who are aliens to the teachings of Islam. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Whom was sent as a blessing for mankind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *