Wondering how the Prophet might have responded to the cartoons..

1/2/2006

In the Islam religion class in school I, as all children in Muslim world, have learned about the life of Prophet Mohammad. I would like to briefly recount three of the ones I remember:

1. His story with the Jewish neighbor who used to THROW GARBAGE at his doorsteps: The Prophet had this Jewish neighbor. Everyday the neighbor would throw his garbage at the Prophet’s door! Then, one day, the garbage stopped appearing.

The Prophet wondered why and asked people about what had happened to his neighbor. He was told that the neighbor was sick, in bed.

So, the Prophet went and visited his Jewish neighbor to make sure he’s OK and to wish him well. So touched was the Jewish neighbor that he later converted to Islam.

2. His story with the people of Ta’if who’s children STONED him: One day the Prophet visited the village of Ta’if near Mecca. He was hoping to find support amongst the people of that area after he was shunned by many of his own tribe in Mecca. Instead of support, he was faced by a mob of children, sent by their parents to throw stones at him. He was hit by the hail of stones. He was bleeding, and was barely able to escape into an orchard. He could have asked for God’s wrath to be brought down upon the village, but instead he prayed that one day these people will see the light.

3. His story with his tribe after he conquered Mecca: When the Prophet’s army finally conquered his hometown Mecca, many of the leaders of his tribe were filled with fear. They feared the conquerer’s retribution. Most of them NEVER BELIEVED in him. They TORTURED and KILLED many of his followers and CONSPIRED TO KILL HIM in the early days of his prophethood.

What did the Prophet do? He told them: “Go. You are free!”

* * *

In the spirit of the life of the Prophet, here are 5 ways how the Muslim world could have responded the the Danish cartoons:

1. Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark to organize a big exhibition about the Life of Prophet Mohammad and Islamic History. The Saudi and other Arab governments would finance this event and promote it in a big way in the Danish media. 2. Invite 100 Danish children to come and live with Arab and Muslim families to learn about life in today’s Arab and Muslim world. 3. Invite the editors of the Danish newspaper to a well publicized cultural debate in Doha, Qatar or Copenhagen. 4. The embassies of Arab and Muslim nations could commission a website in Danish about Islam, contemporary muslim thinkers and life in today’s Islamic world. A dedicated staff would respond to incoming questions and request for information. 5. Subtitle the movie ‘The Message’ in Danish and try to get many movie theaters and cultural centers in Denmark to show it.

97 Comments

  1. Roba says:

    :D
    I’ve been wondering about your opinion about this for a while. I absolutely love your suggestions! If only we had more people like this in the Arab world…

  2. Oleander says:

    only if…

    Some changes need to take place, we can’t continue to stand aside and let the extremist voices be the only ones heard, people with similar opinion are more than the few bloggers on JP. It’s time for the voices of reason to he heard.

  3. foulla says:

    Thank you for reminding us of the prophet’s wisdom.

  4. Nas says:

    very nice post man, hats off to you

  5. [...]
    Posted on
    Wednesday 1 February 2006

    By way of Ahmad Humeid @ 360East In the Islam religion class in school I, as all children in Muslim world, have learned abou [...]

  6. laith says:

    very well said Ahmad. I’ve been observing this issue on the net and what you have written here is the best i have read.

  7. [...] suggestions so far to what could be done to solve or even benift from it by 360east titled Wondering how the Prophet might have responded [...]

  8. Hani says:

    Nice point of view, thanx.

  9. kinzi says:

    Ahmad, well said, I’ve been holding my breathe for this. May God increase your kind.

  10. Probably the best post I read regarding this matter, hats off to you

  11. Hadeel says:

    Thank you for the great article.

  12. Rasheed Roussan says:

    In addition, it would be great to educate our children about the Prophet’s life and teachings [Aleihssalatu Wassalam]. Every parent is responsible.

    Many of us know about Dan Brown and Aristotle more than we know about our Prophet and Teacher! Our religion has become cornered in a school memory, or image of a religion teacher. The life, morals and teachings of Prophet Mohammad [Aleihssalatu Wassalam] is a 101 course that each and every Muslim needs to undertake.

  13. David says:

    Not trying to offend anyone, but I have a question. How does one justify events like the ones listed above with others, such as one that comes from Sahih al-Bukhari (4:280):

    “Anas bin Malik said, “Allah’s Apostle entered (Mecca) in the year of the conquest (of Mecca) wearing a helmet over his head.” After he took it off, a man came and said, “Ibn Khatal [a pagan opponent] is clinging to the curtains of the Ka’aba [a recognized behavior for seeking mercy].” The Prophet said, “Kill him.”

  14. Basem says:

    Can’t see why this can’t go hand in hand with the pressure exerting by the economical boycott!

    Moslems were not the perpetuators, the Danish newspaper was, and the Danish government endorsed its actions under the fallacy of “freedom of speech”, and not only so, it refused to “apologize” for months after!

    The economical boycott was a very civilized response -not the burning of flags of course-. And it came months after futile attempts by Moslem politicians and civil groups to contain the matter within Denmark!

    Perhaps the novelty of throwing out a high-profile exhibition was not there from the start –it would’ve been nice, really- but surely credible attempts were made to address the matter!

    Moslems are probably better off being capacitating, understanding, compassionate & embrace the perpetuating-other with understanding, yet if no powerful stance was made along with it in a civil manner; the good karma would be negated by the weak and utterly disgraceful reality of Moslems all over the world, heck… blood is being shed while masses are stagnated, it can’t get any worse!

    Why should Moslem governments finance the matter? It would be nice, but why not the sincere Danish industries affected by the boycott? why not they sponsor and advocate for such an event? Of course with the essential and necessary support from Moslem organizations… not being cynical, worse comes to worse, the initiative must be taken regardless who’ll finance it!

    On a side note however, Christ -Peace & blessing upon him- himself wouldn’t have asked Moslems to “whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”…

  15. Nice suggestions. I think these would help. But when one is passionately in love with our beloved prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and when someone publishes cartoons that ridicule him, a lot of rash reactions can be expected. Not that I approve but it is the reality of the matter.

    David:
    I don’t have a direct answer to your query but it would be best if you referred the question to a traditional scholar of the Hadith. There are commentaries that detail the historical context of the sayings and why they happened. Taking the text alone literally at a times like this will probably give you a biassed opinion.

  16. Frank notes says:

    Muhammad Cartoons

    The world was rocked this week, not by President Bush's declaration that America will break its dependence on Middle Eastern oil in the next 20 years, not by Ahmadinejad's continued resistance to international pressure over Iran's atomic…

  17. Wael says:

    David: this is the first time I’ve heard your story… Please refer to your reference so that we can check it out… I need to read it in Arabic and answer your Question if possible.. also am going to Sa7ee7 bo7′ari on the event of the “Fate7 Mecca” and look for that story.

  18. Khalidah says:

    Ahmad, this is the best point of view ever … only yesterday I was talking to my aolleague and narrating these very incidents from the Prophet’s Sirah …

    If we learn from what we read, we should pay attention to what these stories tell us loud and clear; I am sure that if the Prophet (PBUH) was around in our time, he would have dealt with the matter with simplicity and kindness, and as I told my colleague yesterday that all the reactions taken only show how primitive we are while we should be educating them about the real Islam because they really don’t know .. they acted upon what they know about Islam and what is being reflected to them by us as a nation, so whose fault is it?

    When Allah sent his angels to punish a whole villiage for their sins, they came back to him telling him that this villiage has good people, so Allah told them to start with them because they have a responsibility to teach and advise .. not condemn, shout and complain …

    Thank you again ahmad :)

  19. Rasheed Roussan says:

    There is nothing easier than quoting a Hadith that, for people unaware and uneducated about Islam, would project against peace and welfare of mankind at the very moment of reading it. You need to understand the context of the Hadith and the motive behind the Prophet’s act before you embark on civilized discourse.

  20. [...] s.. Wondering how the Prophet might have responded to the cartoons.. In the Islam religion class in scho [...]

  21. a abdel wahab says:

    Bismillah.
    I believe v much that as an “ummah” or community,Muslims need to work collectively on introducing Islam & The Prophet[S],to the world.In fact hurting & controversial events as such,provide chances not to be missed for working on this.However,I agree that a lot of diplomatic efforts-from September till now-for settling the matter were of no use.After using the economic tool, the world has turned towads us.It’s time now for introducing educating information.

  22. Dane says:

    You miss the whole point here. It’s not an issue of “they just don’t understand the prophet and Islam.” It’s an issue of their right to publish what they wish. No Muslim has a right to control the paper. They have a right — as is the standard in the western world — to publish these things. And is oft said, while I may not agree, I whole-heartedly stand by their right to say what they feel. Why? Because one day I might say something against them and I would expect the same respect. It’s not that they don’t understand Islam. You can school them all they want. They don’t like Islam, perhaps. They don’t like what is happening within Islam perhaps. It’s not an issue of understanding. It’s an issue of expression, and their right to free expression.

    But follow that up with the idea of proportionality. Just as they had the right to publish what they wished. Muslims within Denmark had the right to respond — right there on the same pages of the paper. But what occurs instead: bomb threats, death threats, guns, boycotts and god knows what to come. Ever hear of proportionality?

    This issue is being exploited. And it falls squarely on the shoulders of those who oft carry a chip. They need to brush that chip off, accept that others can have an opinion about their beliefs that they don’t like. It’s called freedom. Perhaps some would trade it for the chains they now wear. If that’s their choice so be it. But they should keep their chains out of the lands of the free.

  23. Rania says:

    Thank you. Very well said.
    This is exactly what we need- proactive, constructive and positive thinking. Learning from an incident and getting the most out of it in the best way.

  24. Dane says:

    One other note: The other tragedy of this disproportional response is the divide it’s creating between the Arab/Muslim world and Scandinavia. There was a great deal of moral and financial support coming from here — and it came without any required recompense; just purely for the belief in equitable development. Now, like a jugular vein freshly cut, you can expect to see that support ebb away.

  25. David says:

    For those who replied to my comment, I commend your graciousness.

    While the link above gives me more of a commentative background to the quoted text, I still have questions concerning the dichotomy of peace and justifiable violence.

  26. [...] issue and the double standards used when Arabs are involved. I’ve also come across an : excellent post that suggests ways, the prophet (pbuh) himself would have reacted to the cartoons. The ways mentione [...]

  27. Being a Dane and shamed of the anti-Muslim climate in my own country, really believing the pictures of Muhammad was a somewhat insensitive provocation, I am however also a bit miffed by the stupid propagandistic use to which the Saudi regime and other despotic regimes have put the issue.

    In that vein, I absolutely love your suggestion and think hotheads as the anonymous “Dane” above AND the shouting, manipulated crowds in the Middle East should all take a hot shower – and then the Saudis should implement your suggestions. We’d all be better off for it.

  28. wael says:

    Dear David…
    I would like to assure that all Serah books talking about fate7 Mecca never mentioned a one single sole being lost in the whole process…

    There are lots of links that you can find on the web that answers your questions… such as
    http://www.islamtomorrow.com
    http://www.whyislam.org/877/
    http://www.muslimheritage.com/default.aspx

    You can send them your questions and am sure they are going to answer you… its there job I guess 

    Also read this article
    http://www.islamicity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3424&PN=1

    But first I would like to ask you kindly to look for answers in a very subjective way and away from any perceived ideas… That if you are really looking for answers.

    Thank you for asking… I hope I added some valuable information to your knowledge.

  29. Siddiq Khan says:

    I found the name of this blog distasteful having personally seen the images that have been published by various European newspapers. Au contraire. This is how the Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings be upon him, reacted when those he loved were disparaged or defamed. Ka’b Al-Ashraf used to insult Muslims, and especially Muslim women. He had been later killed by a Muslim, through the permission of the Noble Prophet(P).

    It is far worse to say one is a traditionalist and then only present one aspect of of Prophet Muhammad, when his every act, regardless of how the non-Muslims perceive it, was perfection. Here restores the balance:

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/059.sbt.html

    Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:
    Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). “The Prophet said, “You may say it.” Then Muhammad bin Maslama went to Kab and said, “That man (i.e. Muhammad demands Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you.” On that, Kab said, “By Allah, you will get tired of him!” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Now as we have followed him, we do not want to leave him unless and until we see how his end is going to be. Now we want you to lend us a camel load or two of food.” (Some difference between narrators about a camel load or two.) Kab said, “Yes, (I will lend you), but you should mortgage something to me.” Muhammad bin Mas-lama and his companion said, “What do you want?” Ka’b replied, “Mortgage your women to me.” They said, “How can we mortgage our women to you and you are the most handsome of the ‘Arabs?” Ka’b said, “Then mortgage your sons to me.” They said, “How can we mortgage our sons to you? Later they would be abused by the people’s saying that so-and-so has been mortgaged for a camel load of food. That would cause us great disgrace, but we will mortgage our arms to you.” Muhammad bin Maslama and his companion promised Kab that Muhammad would return to him. He came to Kab at night along with Kab’s foster brother, Abu Na’ila. Kab invited them to come into his fort, and then he went down to them. His wife asked him, “Where are you going at this time?” Kab replied, “None but Muhammad bin Maslama and my (foster) brother Abu Na’ila have come.” His wife said, “I hear a voice as if dropping blood is from him, Ka’b said. “They are none but my brother Muhammad bin Maslama and my foster brother Abu Naila. A generous man should respond to a call at night even if invited to be killed.” Muhammad bin Maslama went with two men. (Some narrators mention the men as ‘Abu bin Jabr. Al Harith bin Aus and Abbad bin Bishr). So Muhammad bin Maslama went in together with two men, and sail to them, “When Ka’b comes, I will touch his hair and smell it, and when you see that I have got hold of his head, strip him. I will let you smell his head.” Kab bin Al-Ashraf came down to them wrapped in his clothes, and diffusing perfume. Muhammad bin Maslama said. ” have never smelt a better scent than this. Ka’b replied. “I have got the best ‘Arab women who know how to use the high class of perfume.” Muhammad bin Maslama requested Ka’b “Will you allow me to smell your head?” Ka’b said, “Yes.” Muhammad smelt it and made his companions smell it as well. Then he requested Ka’b again, “Will you let me (smell your head)?” Ka’b said, “Yes.” When Muhammad got a strong hold of him, he said (to his companions), “Get at him!” So they killed him and went to the Prophet and informed him. (Abu Rafi) was killed after Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf.”

    More background:
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/what-about-the-killing-of-kaab-bin-al-ashraf

  30. zainab L says:

    Asslamualikum
    this is in reply to Davids first comment and query regaurding the hadith you naratted from bukhari
    since I have studied a few of the sahih kitabs through traditional scholars alhamdulila.
    Briefly the answer is that man was one of the few unfortunate people who had commited such crimes and sins that his only punishment was for his life to come to an end. this is rare in Islaam but our prophet p.b.u.h was told through revelation of his punishment. As we are all aware [through the article] that our prophet p.b.u.h was the best of mankind with the best of characters and his kindness and mercy was of such, that no other human had and never will have. however when it comes to legal rulings and punishments not even a judge will let a man guilty of murder free even if he wants to out of pity for him. in the same way as it is also mentioned in the quran we are not allowed to let our emotions take over us when it comes to dealing with legal punishments within the shariya.
    hope this helps.
    remember me in your pious duas
    wasslamualikum

  31. David says:

    Zainab,

    Again, my questions are not meaning to offend or cause any sort of strife, but rather to promote free thought and ordered discussion. However, as you say that the prophet “was the best of mankind with the best of characters and his kindness and mercy was of such, that no other human had and never will have”, I ask have you ever read about or compared the life of the prophet to the life of Jesus?

  32. it is not a matter of comaprison…. and we love Jesus peace be upon him… and we look up to him… as we believe that he is on the same chain of prophets sent by the ONE God to the human kind… and i would never say anything to offend him…
    [though i dun believe in that] but it is said in the bible “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi,[c] lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”…. so how can you justify this? the son of God angry at Him? asking why God has forsaken him?? Matthew 27via this site i don’t want u to answer this!! am not that kind of people who ask questions in this way!!!
    i don’t want to compare religions together… cuz as i said before i believe that Christianity, Judaism and Islam… are all form the same source of Light…
    Prophet Mohammed was perfected for the humankind that is why his life course and events were different than the other Prophets peace be upon them all… each act he has done is to teach us something new…. till the end of time…
    i think i went away from the basic point… but…
    Dave… dun search for flaws in our religion or compare it with yours… open your heart and soul… and search for the truth… out of your true love of truth… seek for the whole picture… behind the steel frame…

  33. Jameel says:

    I believe Dana hit the nail right on the head, the real issue here is the claimed freedom of speech not Danish or Western understanding of Islam or the lack of it.
    On the other hand, if the publishing of cartoons can be justified under freedom of speech regardless of how offensive they are to Moslems, then it is equally justifiable for Moslems to feel offended and practice their freedom not to buy Danish or other products they do not like. Why would anybody ask Moslems to give up their right to protest in a civilized manner? yes I think the BOYCOTT is a very civilized way to deal with such issues.
    Flag burnings and threats are totally unacceptable

  34. zainab L says:

    Thankyou and jazakallah kayr Super devoika,
    David I feel I don’t have to reply to your question and statments. Since Super devoika has done that for me in a wonderful manner.
    However I would like to say …Being a Muslim alhamdulila that is what I believe and I also believe that Jesus was Gods messenger for which reason I respect and honor him greatly too. This is what our prophet taught us, to never compare two prophets as stated in many hadiths because it results in putting one lower than the other which is disrespectful. And remember he commanded us to do so despite the fact that he p.b.u.h knew that he was the best amongst mankind because God clearly mentioned so within the holy Qur’an. This just goes to shows how humble our prophet p.b.u.h was!!!
    BTW I only stated what I did David, because I thought you were a Muslim if I knew you were a christian I wouldn’t have said what I did [as to not offend you]. Since it is a Muslims duty to call people to Islaam is the best of manners and not to make them turn away. [which the media is doing really well. May God grant them what they deserve...ameen] If anybody wants more info on dawah try reading or watching some of sheikh Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s works which can be found easily on http://www.guidancemedia.co.uk, you can also search him on google.
    remember me in your pious prayers!!

  35. fatmanur beÅŸer says:

    suggestions are so nice. thank you very much for preparing this site.

  36. Hugechavz says:

    I agree, Jameel. At the same time, though, the global market should make it costly for those who want to boycott through making them use more expensive / lower quality substitutes. Boycotting is perfectly legitimate, but you can’t expect it to be free; otherwise, people would do it over minor, senseless things like…

    It is interesting to see young people in the process of prosyletizing for Islam here, as I’m so used to it for Christianity. They tend to be very similar, and I really can’t imagine how it works. People are either born into a religion (aided by their family or surrogate parents), or they early on realize that they don’t find religious imperatives credible. Another website with self-important clerics delivering commands and judgement from on high? Not so likely to convert people.

    Here’s a cartoon: all we are is dust in the wind, genes and flesh, skin and memories. There is nothing surreal, nothing spiritual, nothing special, nothing holy, nothing less base than mud. Your ancestors are lost to oblivion, and soon we will be too.

    If you feel at all offended by it, you might want to think a little harder about life on Earth [hint: alcohol helps. There's a reason why it's banned in Islam, and frowned upon among modern Christians].

  37. [...] blog linked anand expanded a piece from other person’s blog titled, How the Prophet May Have Responded to the Cartoons, emphasizing how the Prophet (saw) dealt with acts of disrespe [...]

  38. Qais says:

    You’ve reminded me of how much the middle east sucks today.

    Your suggestions would have changed the way the west views islam. if only they’d thought of it.

  39. [...] the cartoons! So let’s be reasonable. Sie verlinkt ausserdem einen Artikel mit dem Titel “Wondering how the Proph [...]

  40. [...] the cat back in the bag. Flying home Friday, I got an email from Mohammed pointing me to a blog post he’d found heartening. I wasn’t surprised to see that it came from my friend [...]

  41. sean coon says:

    Dane says: “This issue is being exploited. And it falls squarely on the shoulders of those who oft carry a chip. They need to brush that chip off, accept that others can have an opinion about their beliefs that they don’t like. It’s called freedom.”

    Really? So where do these freedoms end? Don’t we all censor ourselves at one point or another for fear of exposing a prejudice, or for causing pain to others or for the possibility of being wrong? Who’s really exploiting whom?

    The offense, as far as I can tell, wasn’t the Danish newspaper expressing its freedom to discuss the shortcomings of Islam in the modern world, or fundamentalists, or terrorism, or any other negative perspective of Islamic culture. That happens all the time.The offense, as I see it, was the informed decision to publish the depiction of the Prophet Mohhamed. The bomb in the turbin really just added insult to injury.

    I agree with all of Ahmad’s points in this post — I just happened to watch The Message last week — but unfortunately, in the climate of this world, with The New World Order and a fundamentalist – modern – postmodern struggle of all people, and all religions, such a calm, smart, humane response can’t be expected from all Muslims; nor from any other large group of people in a flip-situation.

    Anyone who republished the cartoon after the fact — newspapers and bloggers alike — weren’t doing anything worthy of writing home about. They were adding fuel to the fire in the name of freedom of the press.

  42. [...] uman rights, individuality; originality and truth. [Source] And while I loved what Ahmad wrote here, what Nas wrote there, I’m still not satisfied. I’m not seeing the kind of outcry required. [...]

  43. MoeS says:

    Personally I wonder is racism a question of personal preference?

    Do we allow people to draw caricatures defacing and insulting black/white/or any other race? Europe and many of the media may find this an issue of Freedom of Speech. Do people have the right to print child pornography? Is this a question of freedom of speech? How is it that Europe is allowed to insult my beliefs and customs and they consider it freedom of speech?

    What happened to morality? What happened to respect? I have never condoned violence. But does the west expect that by poking a caged animal it is not expected to fight back?

    These cartoons are distasteful, and as a Muslim I am deeply insulted and hurt.

    Being so biased I have no comment on who is right or who is wrong. But as every news organisation has their so called right to publish this. I have a right to believe them as racist, immoral and totally ignorant to other cultures and religions. I am disgusted by them, the least I can do is boycott them because of their blatant insult.

    In this world we already have so many divisions, misconceptions, violence, wars, death. Well done Europe you have now created one more thing for us to fight about.

    You can argue we(Muslims) should have reacted differently, better. The fact is those cartoons are very insulting distasteful and were meant to cause problems, such they have.

    I guess it’s another toast to freedom of speech. Lets all have our say, lets all be intolerant of other peoples looks, cultures, beliefs and let us all fight until we destroy this Earth.

  44. Samih Toukan says:

    I think this is a great article and very clever and good recomendation. However I think we have to have a two pronged approach. The uproar and the boycott that the Moslim world did in my opinion is needed and very important and gives a clear message that Moslims and their religion are to be respected. On the other hand the Moslem world should not escalate the matter anymore because the message has been delivered and should start with the type of recommendations that Ahmed has suggested.

  45. nasimjo says:

    Of Course those points would be a response of The prophet!
    I’m not liking how muslims and arabs are responding on this issue at all … I have tons of thoughts, and further more tons of disagreement of Muslims reaction on this issue…. They are making the world laugh on us, as simple as that… Unfortunatelly I’m not having time at all to write those thoughts down, I guess they’ll take over 50 KB of text If I’d write them all, along with those points you have mentioned of course…

    Respect

  46. [...] is the Lebanese government who is supposed to ensure the security of all civilians” Ahmad Humeid wonder’s how the Prophet Mohammad would have responded to these cartoons; recalling stories from his [...]

  47. Amr says:

    Salamu Alikom,,Hey all,,,well it is a great article to tell, however they wont listen!! We have to find a way to make them listen and comprehend these stories and situations our prophet PBUH have been put in. I need suggestions for doing this!

  48. Ahmad, wonderful post. I only wish the discussion had gone in that direction in the media… I’m afraid those who are captivated by violence and vengeance, on both sides, are the ones getting all the attention – again, on both sides. That needs to stop.

    Going through your comment thread, and the amazing feedback that was given to the question over another line of the Qur’an, I have two questions I hoped I might get some interesting responses to:

    1) First, a question of etiquette. As a non-Muslim, would it be considered more polite if I were to add PBUH after mentioning the Prophet? Or would that just be confusing or inappropriate since I’m not a follower of Islam? Also, the same for asslamualikum/alikumasslam: would you consider this a polite greeting from a non-believer, or disingenuous? I always wondered about that.

    2) As you all may or may not know, some of the conservative blogs in the U.S. have taken a very strong, and in some cases disgraceful, position that suggests a “Clash of Civilizations”. Many are saying things like “Arabs/Muslims” have “no art, no culture, no science” etc etc etc. from the past century. I’m by no means an expert on contemporary Arab or Muslim culture, but I know a slanderous lie when I see one. Naguib Mahfouz alone disproves them. So my question is really more of an idea: to combat these falsehoods, what about a website that compiles and lists the best music, art, books from the contemporary Arab and/or Muslim zeitgeist… so that a rational American such as myself can throw it in these fools faces? (And more importantly, learn more myself)…

  49. Ahmed says:

    Replay Muhammad Cartoon from Frank,
    Dear Frank,
    I would like to make it more clearly for you about the Muslims opinion in the cartoon over their profit as you compare it with the cartoon of Israelis.
    Mainly Arabs and Muslims see Israel regime towards the Palestinian is very aggressive all over the world it was agreed that Sharon killed a lot of Palestinian in different occasions without any mercy or humanity as sabra and shetila, most of the cartoon over Israelite or Sharon is not against the Jews but mainly against the Israelite regime towards the Palestinian, As well I would like to ask you if you ever have seen a cartoon making fun of Moses(pbuh) or ever showing him in an un respectful way for the Jew. This is the matter, Dear Frank.
    when the Dutch artist Teyo van Goch was murdered by a Muslim their were a lot of funny jocks about all Muslims in the European news and television discussions and even criticizing all Muslims all over the world because of a small group of them, that may exist in every religion but no one tried to defence this on the other hand a lot of Muslims were against it.
    Finally I would like to say that I am free if I do not harm other people and I say the truth. The cartoon was free to tell his opinion but he was harmful for millions of people in their believes, encourage more heat and racisms against Muslims only because of the religious believes and did not say any of the truth because even the head of the news paper said to the BBC News that he do not know any thing about the prophet Muhammad.

  50. [...] se. What you see on TV, read in newspapers, etc… is part of the truth. Muslims and Islam don’t call for hate and violence. And those you see and hear are only part of the Muslim world. Y [...]

  51. [...] se. What you see on TV, read in newspapers, etc… is part of the truth. Muslims and Islam don’t call for hate and violence. And those you see and hear are only part of the Muslim world. Y [...]

  52. Ahmad S says:

    to David: comments on ur first input are right, if someone wishes to understand any given subject, its only rational to go through it all and aquainting self with the principal, logic, aim and implementation. Reading some articles ‘inscientific nor objective as it may seem” does not entitle questioning in my opinion, and that such does not need fulfillment. Second comment: I would like to discuss if you wish.

    To Dana: Freedom ends when you bypass others’. you can not just go and do whatever u want, thats what jungle is. freedom of speech is linked to civilized people (all agree) respecting others is a form of civilization (all agree) losing one looses all.

    I wish I will be wrong that this may be a pre-shock, uprising before “ALQAEDA” disgusts all with another criminal episode, and guess who will be the target this time?

  53. Ahmad S says:

    the second person is Dane and not Dana.

  54. [...] he most interesting response, though, was from Ahmad Humeid, who suggested five responses that would have more truly captured the spirit of Muhammed: Apply to the Ministry of Culture in Den [...]

  55. Ahmed says:

    A Definition of freedom
    I would like to ask for a really definition of freedom. Please make your definition detailed and what is the relation between freedom and respect to others?

  56. Howie Gardner says:

    I was quite drawn to the story of Muhammad having shown such care and compassion to the Jewish woman who had previously thrown her garbage at him. This is reminiscent of Jesus having told the people to carry the Roman soldier’s bag a second mile and make a friend out of him. However another web site claims that the story of Muhammad and the woman only traces back as far as the nineteenth century to a certain Abdul Baha; presumably the founder of the Baha cult. If this is true than the story will do little to influence would-be terrorists. However, if you can supply documentation that it has early origins then the account would seem to demonstrate that terrorism is a blasphemous way to commemorate the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

  57. Emullah says:

    did not know that you had already written the same thing. I would have loved to mention it in my post.

  58. Ahmed says:

    To: Howie
    It does not surprise me, that you said so about Jesus Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH). I also believe in him the same as I believe in Moses (PBUH) and Mohamed (PBUH). I would like just to say for the Muslims believers do not get in the trap we are worshipping God not Mohamed (PBUH). God said that we have to respect all his messenger and profits. And all of them have an equal respect for us. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and all God profits (PBUT) delivered the same message for the entire Human been.
    Heir is an article about Jesus (PBUH) in Islam:
    Jesus pbuh in Islam is considered one of the great prophets sent by God to mankind. He is worthy of the utmost honor and respect as a prophet of God to the Children of Israel. He was neither an incarnation of God nor God’s son, and he never claimed to be.

    He was born of a virgin and had no father. This is a miracle of God and a sign to all that God has power to do anything He wills. His mother Mary was a pious woman and innocent of the accusations the Jews made against her honor.
    It is one of the pillars of faith in Islam to have a firm belief in God’s messengers. To deny that Jesus was a prophet of God is to disbelieve in Islam. According to Islam, Jesus pbuh was not crucified but was raised up to be with God until a time in the future when God will return him to earth to complete his mission. He did not die for the sins of mankind; each person will be accountable for his/her deeds before God on the Day of Judgment. No one can pay for the sins of others. This is the Islamic stand.
    Source: (http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1123996016330&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam%2FAskAboutIslamE%2FAskAboutIslamE)

    For answer for your question you can visit the web site http://www.islamonline.net there are a lot of Islamic scientists that can give you answer for your question or http://www.islam.com if you are interested in buying books for Muhammad (PBUH) life and web links.

  59. Amal Ayyash says:

    I see this over commented on, so I am not going to go any further in torchuring new readers :)
    Ahmed, I already left my comment on Jade’s blog, I disagree with your suggestion, I think its time to fight, not entertain, because we have more issues to worry about than what the danes have to say about “or lie about” our Prophet, the best of creations… lets be more constructive, lets put aside the nonsense and be more focused, I think Prophet Mohammed would agree :)

    Dane: no buddy, this is not freedom of speach when u simply insult a man that means much to others, if you dont like islam, remember that nobody really forced u to be a moslem, just dont throw stones and expect nobody to react!

    David: you asked a question and lots of people commented, but I think you did not get your answer, here is your answer: Prophet Mohammed not only was a man of peace, he was a genious politician, a socialist, an economist, and a spiritual leader. Just as you would give the right for USA to defend itself by bombarding those who threaten its security, Prophet Mohammed established those political stratigies in the most civilized human way, so he was not just his humble poor and week man, he was powerful, and he did TERRORIZE those who threatened the peace of Islam, as a message, and human kind, as those who had the right to listen to Islam and follow it, without being threatened by higher authorities of any discrinimation. So to answer your question, I only ask you to stop thinking of Mohammed (PBUH) as a spritual leader and a man of peace, rather a commander and strong leader of a very powerful state… he was a genious!

  60. Ahmad says:

    May peace and Allah mercy and blessings be upon you,

    Mocking a “dead” man (not to mention a prophet) does NOT equal mocking a living man.

    Mocking from a prophet sent as mercy to mankind, and who represents a religion AND its followers, is equal mocking the religion AND its followers, WAKE UP.

  61. [...] with the most enlightening thing I have read about the Danish cartoon fiasco, courtesy of Ahmad Humeid from Jordan: “In the spirit of the life of the Prophet, here are 5 ways how the Muslim world cou [...]

  62. Hope says:

    This is a very healthy discussion. It’s strange but I can actually see where both Dane and Amal Ayyash are coming from, although they obviously have completely different opinions. My own point of view is this should have stayed a Danish affair between the newspaper and the Danish Muslims. The Danish Imam who took this globally (addedd 3 horrible pictures which were not from the cartoons )and inflamed the world in my opinion made a grave mistake.
    As a side discussion I noted Zainab said the following “This is what our prophet taught us, to never compare two prophets as stated in many hadiths because it results in putting one lower than the other which is disrespectful. And remember he commanded us to do so despite the fact that he p.b.u.h knew that he was the best amongst mankind because God clearly mentioned so within the holy Qur’an. This just goes to shows how humble our prophet p.b.u.h was!!!”
    I think that this is a misconception held by millions of muslims. Where exactly does it say in the Quran that Prophet Mohammad was the best amongst mankind. The Quran clearly and repeatedly states that Muslims should not favor one prophet over the other, but all Muslims favor prophet Mohammad. We should believe in all messengers and have no favourites.The Quran mentions that God has chosen Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of ‘Imran above all people {3:33}. It also states that God did take Abraham for a friend {4:125}.God focused on some Prophets namely Mohammad , Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus {33:7}. also it is mentioned that some messengers were endowed with gifts, some above others and in this context God gave the examples of Moses and Jesus {2:253}. However to my knowledge no where in the Quran is it stated that Mohammad is the best of the Prophets or the messengers.

  63. [...] et as much media attention as riots and demonstrations. For example, you might read “Wondering how the Prophet might have responded to the cartoons..” by Amman, Jordan based consultant Ahmad Hum [...]

  64. Salam says:

    In response to Hope comments. Hope said: “However to my knowledge no where in the Quran is it stated that Mohammad is the best of the Prophets or the messengers”.

    Maybe the Qur’an does not explicitly state this fact. But it can be easily concluded that Mohammad was the preferred Prophet since he was the seal of all prophets, the Messenger of the final message (Islam), and mercy to all mankind.

    Also, note a fact in the Qur’an, that Allah has called upon Mohmmad (PBUH) by “O you Prophet” (8:64) and “O you Messenger” (5:41), while Allah has called other prophets by their names such as “O Adam” (2:35); “O Jesus” (5:110); “”O Moses” (28:30); “O Noah” (11:48); “O Abraham” (37:104); “O Lot” (11:81); “O Zachariah” (19:7); “O Yahya” (19:12). Calling Mohammed (PBUH) is indicative of Allah’s great love and respect to Mohammad. When a Master calls upon his favorite slaves, he would call them by their best of their attributes to bring them closer to his master and When a Master calls the salve by his name it is just a means of informing them and it lacks any descriptive attributes.

    Sorry, Hope there is no conception by Moslems only a deception by your part.

    And, this is a response to David’s previous comment, who said “I ask have you ever read about or compared the life of the prophet to the life of Jesus? “

    Michael H. Hart (1978) published a book called The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. His book was a ranking of the 100 people who, in his opinion, most influenced human history. Mohmmad (PBUH) was on the top of the list. Hart says (p. 33) “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.”

    Mohammad (PBUH) was the founder of twenty empires and of one spiritual empire. He was a profit, messenger, teacher, legislator, peacemaker, warrior, trader, husband, and a father, so David you cannot compare Mohammad with Jesus (PBUH) , although, both were great men, but Jesus (PBUH) was the right person for his time and Mohammad is the right person for our times. Another issue worth mentioning is that Islam has a full recording of the sayings, actions of the profit including his tacit approvals. The recording covers Issues such as religious rituals, personal character, morals, habits, family relationship, social and economic affairs, administration, rights and duties of citizens, judicial system, laws of war and peace and international relations and the protection of the environment. The level of details can be at the micro level such as issues related to teeth brushing. I believe that Christianity does not have detailed recordings of the sayings and actions Jesus (PBUH) and he was never a father or a husband and he has never established a state. So a comparisons would be unfair.

  65. Bilal Islamabad says:

    Muslims can’t accept these things. And beleive me that True Muslims will Inshallah never buy the products of Norway,Denmark,Holland and Switzerland etc. on Publishing the cartoon images of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).

  66. Ahmed says:

    Again I would like to mention that do not come in the trap, Islam is a faith that believes in all the profits and messengers of God we do not worship any one except God, so this is why we believe in all his messenger and respect all of them. Mohamed the Profit pbuh said that we are more loyal to all God messenger more than their people.
    You did not accepted when David asked for comparing between Mohamed and Jesus pbut, and that he is very convinced that Jesus pbuh is better than Mohamed pbuh, just think about this and ask your self do you do as David? Simply what is David doing, What Mohamed the profit pbuh warned us from not to over act in our religion and profit as the Christian did so we lose the faith.
    Again I insist we are worshipping God and believe in all his messenger all of them with the same respect all of them had different miracles from God to support their message which was all the time the same message “ There is only one God”

    For answering Amal the power of the Religion I think lies more in the word, once the Islam religion entered different countries in the past he did not enter with the sort as some people would like to publics for Islam, no but on the other hand Islam entered with the word. Islam never forced any one to convert to, it was just the word, freedom the real freedom not the Danish European freedom that support the insults and racism against other ethnics groups in their country. Even in some parts it was just the word without even coming to this part of the world. Mohamed the profit pbuh asked all Muslims to report even one verse from him.

  67. Harly says:

    The Prophet Mohammed lived for 63 years, Jezus lived only 33 years… Hard to compare… The most important are the messages they brought in the world..
    .
    True Muslims will never buy the products of certain countries ?
    “Never ” and “Gods willing” do not match. Better say… “not”…
    The world is so small… Norway has salmon, Dutch has petrol business, Swiss has a big medicine industry… The Danes… export badminton athletes ???

  68. My Quraan says:

    Muslim Response

    All the Muslims aren稚 going to act in the same way as the Prophet pbuh would have, even though taught so. Many would be naturally violent over this and we can稚 stop the reaction. There will be Muslims protesting peacefully and in an organized manne…

  69. imane says:

    Assalamo alaykom

    This is an answer for David’ question:

    I did know that the prophet (PBUH), when he conquered Makkah, granted complete and general impunity for everybody except for some people (some scholars say they were 6 and some say they were 9), but some of them were killed and others weren’t. What I didn’t know is why the Prophet (PBUH) did it. So, thank you, because you made me search and try to learn more.

    Back to your question, I found a book of “Alfath” written by ” Hafed Ibno Hajar” (73/4) that cited the reason why Ibn Khatal was killed even if he was seeking mercy, as you said.

    The story of Ibn Khatal is that he converted to Islam and the prophet (PBUH) sent him somewhere and he had with him a Muslim man (as a slave). When they arrived to the place, he asked the man (slave) to slaughter an animal and prepare him a meal, and he went to sleep. When he woke up, he found that the man (slave) didn’t do what he asked him; he KILLED HIM, and committed apostasy from Islam.
    So Ibn Khatal was killed for two reasons: he killed a man and he left Islam.

    In Islam the punishment of a murderer is death and these are ‘hudud’ (Shari’a rules) and no body can stop them even the Prophet (PBUH) who said that if his beloved daughter Fatima stole he’d cut her hand (According to the Islamic punishment for theft).

    Also committing apostasy from Islam is punishable by death, In Islam you can keep your religion and live in an Islamic community without a problem and nobody is going to force you to convert but when you accept Islam as a religion you don’t have the right to change it, because in this case it will be like what Ibn Khatal did. When he killed a man and left Islam so he won’t be punished.

    I hope that I answered your question.

  70. tania says:

    pls sir give me mor informition about cartoons i want compleat album of cartoons

  71. Santana Juelz What The Game’s Been Missing

    Wondering how the Prop…

  72. Shaima Shahin says:

    I just want to say that I wish we could really follow Islam and wonder how the Prophet (pbuh) would react in each and every situation that Muslims are faced with today….

    But we should not sit here and ponder about how the world WOULD be if we were to do this, if we all worry about on one but ourselves (in a sense where we don’t comment on others’ actions), the world would be a better place…

    May Allah guide us all…

  73. [...] p of weblogger comments, Avari has comments, as does Al-Muhajabah, and even Bill Clinton. 360 degress East, however, reminds us of how the Prophet (PBUH) responded to hate in his time and w [...]

  74. fatima says:

    Salaam to all,

    Jazakallah khair to Ahmad for bringing out something of an intelligent solution to a bewildering array of old and impossible ones.
    I confess I didnt know that we muslims have actually started boycotting danish and other scandinavian products. Is there is info on full products/companies to avoid?

    Inshallah u will find a wealth of knowledge at the following website. http://www.islamasoft.co.uk/downloads.html

  75. Erossa9 says:

    I m a Muslim but I love all the people those who are know how to respect each other as a human in this world. In Islam, we suppose to respect each other and we are not allowed to criticize any religions. If you all want to know more about how Islam teaches their people to be good, you can get all the information from Al-Quran.
    Now have many people claim that they are Muslim but they are not. They do not know the meaning of ‘Jihad’ and they assumed that Jihad only related to the ‘War’ between Muslim and non-Muslim. In Al-Quran there have many types of ‘Jihad’ that we suppose to follow first to avoid a war. Many Muslim in the world never follow what the Al-Ouran said but they like to follow their own heart.

    Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “When you are angry, take a seat first and if still angry please go to sleep. After that you still cannot calm down, go take WUDUQ (clean yourself for pray) and pray to Allah SWT. If you are good Muslim, Allah SWT will help you in many ways.” The conclusion that we learn is do not make any decision when you are angry or not stable. This is the one of the Islamic beautiful way to see life and have so many peaceful and graceful things that has in Al-Quran. So, if have anything bad between humans please don’t ever condemn or blame the religion. The world gets trouble and worse now because of human stupidity not because of religion.

    The world will get peaceful if everybody follows Al-Quran not only for this matter but over all. The problem that we are facing now is lack of respect among the people and religion.

    Please……all of us are in wrong direction now. Before we get loss from the real track better we turn back and try to correct, think and find out the right way to go. Nobody plan to fail but they fail to plan. The world now likes to focus on the problems, that are why the problem increases, why not we focus on the solutions??? THAT’S WILL BE BETTER.
    “Blood cannot be washed out with blood.”

    I read many articles in the net that people like to condemn each other including religion. Actually all of us are blind and do not know what is right and wrong. Human made mistake and the religion get punished. Why not we punish the people that cause the havoc? Wrong is wrong and don’t try to cover. An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything. It’s fair to everybody.
    Don’t let a one rotten apple spoil the whole basket!!!!!!!

    What is Islam?
    Here have 10 the meaning of Islam:
    1. Islam is peace.
    2. Islam is beautiful.
    3. Islam is harmony.
    4. Islam is love and prosperity.
    5. Islam’s not hatred or adversity.
    6. Islam is one in unity.
    7. Islam means no harm or affliction.
    8. Islam is not a terrorist or for a pretender.
    9. Islam is patience and perseverance.
    10. Islam is winning hearts through honesty.

    Still have a lot of the meaning for Islam found in Al-Quran. So, please don’t misunderstand and condemn the Beauty of Islam.
    “WE DO OUR BEST AND GOD WILL DO THE REST…”

    Erossa9
    Malaysia

  76. innocent elehue says:

    my name is innocent want to be come Muslim if you can heply, me
    so sand email thanks

  77. Waseem says:

    i feel there should be a open debate on many topics of ISLAM, since people have a very bad impression of ISLAM, particularly the topic like JEHAD, Women in Islam etc etc……..

    The Person whom i like speaking on many ISLAMIC topics is
    Dr. Zakir Naik, the best thing in him is “He speaks more logically than Sentimentally or Emotionally”

  78. Zarhali says:

    Answer to Davids mail posted on 2nd Feb: Not trying to offend anyone, ……….

    Dear David,

    Hadith you’ve refered under Sahih Bukhari relates to the incident of Abdulla Ibn Khatal murder during the conquest of Mecca. This man along with some other individuals in Mecca had murdered many new muslims during the Meccan life. Although prophet had declared the sancity of Kaaba’a that no one should be killed in it’s surroundings but Ibn Khatal had been specifically been ordered to be killed whereever found.

    Just to remind every one, Prophet Muhammad was not only a messenger of God but also a commander of an army/ leader of a nation and had all the right under law to prescribe death penalty to the perpetrators of a crime like murder.

    Rgds,

    Zarhali

  79. [...] of Aeronautics Training pilots, mechanics, technicians for aviation and technical careers. Wondering how the Prophet might have responded to the cartoons.. – 360east | design, media, technology In the Isla [...]

  80. [...] attrocities are committed against our fellow brethren. Yet most ironically of all, we are standing against the teachings of the Prophet we are defending.

    This en [...]

  81. shinan says:

    Dear Innocent,Salaam , if you want to become a moslim i am here to help you explain.Send me a mail at alishinaan@hotmail.com, or add me .

    awaiting for your positive response.

    Regards
    Shinan

  82. nik61 says:

    Alhamdulillah. My Teacher once asked, “Should you be angry at the mosquito for trying to bite you?”
    Stop blaming the enemy. The enemy will always act as enemies.
    What we Muslims needs to ponder is, what the 2nd Khalifah have said when sending his troops for jihad fi sabilillah, “I do not fear the might of the enemy, what I fear is your sins. When you have sinned, Allah will leave you to yourself!”

  83. khaled says:

    this is the most well put plan i ever lisitened too. by the way iam a concert classical painist .. i have also studies islamic shareah in Saudi arabia where i was born in jeddah . and lived there .. i am composing know a master classical peice on paino divided to six movements that talks about profet Mohmmad صلى الله عليه وسلم
    what iam takeliong in this piece is his personal humanity , his love ,, and how the revelation was giving to him during his stay at mount herah,,, the stages of his preaching ,,, etc ,, my american manager said that with the tones that have established we should first perfrom this piece in Viena she was touched by the piece to the point she is nearly know ebracing islam, there many way to expllain to the world about our beloved profit,, not just scream with helpless breath , that will only please the divel.

  84. ant says:

    religion lol ever thought in 1200 years time they will dig up a holy book and prey to gandalf?

  85. M.zib says:

    this is the most well put plan i ever lisitened too. by the way iam a concert classical painist .. i have also studies islamic shareah in Saudi arabia where i was born in jeddah . and lived there .. i am composing know a master classical peice on paino divided to six movements that talks about profet Mohmmad صلى الله عليه

  86. Selahattin UCUZCU says:

    from your all saying about islam , we can conclude that the all of the people in the world could give their culture to each other and live in peace and affection.

  87. Ann Magnuson says:

    Hi…I Googled for history of makkah, but found your page about …and have to say thanks. nice read.

  88. [...] History seems to be repeating itself, with ever increasing silliness. First the cartoon crisis, now this. [...]

  89. svend says:

    Salaams,
    Thanks for this profound corrective to these misunderstandings about the Prophet, sadly held by Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

  90. humayra says:

    i jus wanna say the pictures on googler disgraceful n i wish we cud remove dem but how allah plzz help us nice message mashallah!

  91. Dana says:

    Thank you SO much for this. For the people who can’t read arabic, this is absolutely perfect. I honestly got goosebumps after reading all the things Our Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) did. And your suggestions are more than perfect. I think somehow we all need to cooperate and make this work. And make all your suggestions come true. One day inshallah it will happen.

  92. Ian says:

    As a middle of the road religion man I have been waiting for people like you to stand up. I refuse to believe in the media stereotype of Muslim and Arab cultures but many of the real voices in these cultures have been still and power-hungry, ignorant and fearful extremists bloom in this information vacuum. These violent outburst feeds the bigotry against Islamic cultures and this has got to stop. Thank you for your insight and I hope that your voice and many more like you gets heard in the global marketplace.

  93. Hani obaid says:

    Thank you.
    Any of the above would have been brilliant compared to ummmm
    “Let’s boycott all products from that country” thereby damaging Islam more than the cartoons themselves would have.

  94. muhammad a. maikudi says:

    salam, jazakallahu khair on this beautiful article. i pray that the saudi and arab state govt will sponsor your suggestions in denmark. for wallah ,the danish people need enlightenment about islam.

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