My Lord! Increase me in knowledge

Narrated by Abu Huraira:

A man came to the Prophet and asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which charity is the most superior in reward?” He replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy. Do not delay it to the time of approaching death and then say, ‘Give so much to such and such, and so much to such and such.’ And it has already belonged to such and such (as it is too late).”

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 500


Defending the Prophetic Honour

Imam Sheharyar Shaikh

 Ever since the wretched movie “Innocence of the Muslims” that denigrated the Prophet (s) made public knowledge three weeks ago, the result has been a spiral of mob violence and civil unrest in major Muslim cities around the world. To the rest of us, the over-the-top reaction has been more of a shock than the offense itself. The ongoing Muslim reaction to the movie in terms of mob protests held globally is unequivocally wrong because it harms Muslims and their interests, it contravenes the pure Islamic teachings on the issue and it turns the attention of the Muslims away from what needs to be done to uphold the honour of the Prophet (on whom be blessings and peace) in the world.


We live in times in which the worst enemy of the Muslims may well turn out to be another Muslim. Such is the case with the foolish reaction to a filthy movie that allegedly first appeared in 2011. It was run only once in a theatre in California, until the current wave of protests popularized it to an astronomical level. Ask yourselves: did this garbage of a movie deserve to have around 20,000,000 views on YouTube? What a shame. We Muslims made it happen. Just as we lent popularity to the infamous novel The Satanic Verses and the Danish Cartoons satirizing the Prophet (s) months after they were published. A true lover of the Prophet (s) finds nothing more disturbing than our Prophet (s)’s name slung in mud by our own stupidity. If this wasn’t enough the damage done to public property of other Muslims was inexcusable. Banks were robbed, shops were ransacked, public buses and private cars were torched and diplomatic enclaves were vandalized in broad daylight. And if that wasn’t enough, over 2 dozen Muslims lost their lives as the mobs pitted themselves against the security personnel. Allahu Akbar! Is this the behaviour befitting a people who claim to hold the divine message? Worse, we have shown ourselves to the world as nothing more than Pavlov’s dogs – ready to jump, stand, run and bark at the ringing of a bell held by an external hand.


The criminally corrupt governments in the Muslim world find the public unrest a perfect reason to relay to their western paymasters how necessary it is to keep them in power if their masters want Muslim masses in control. Besides, what better way than to divert the frustrations of masses deprived of food, electricity, clean water, education, legal justice and healthcare than to have them unleashed on the streets to raise havoc? Their passions were further sanctioned by the official declaration of Friday as the ‘Day of the Love of the Prophet’ in Pakistan.   


“Fitnah (civil disorder) lies asleep” the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah curses the one who awakens it”. According to Islam the resulting mob protests in the Muslim world were criminal and completely unjustified. Shame on the religious figures who fed fuel to the fire by giving unnecessary exposure to the movie, thereby popularizing it globally. They stand worthy of condemnation:


لَوۡلَآ إِذۡ سَمِعۡتُمُوهُ قُلۡتُم مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَآ أَن نَّتَڪَلَّمَ بِہَـٰذَا سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ هَـٰذَا بُہۡتَـٰنٌ عَظِيمٌ۬


And why did they not, when they heard of it, say: “It is not right for us to discuss it. Glory to You (O Allah), it is an immense slander.” (24:16)


Are these imams and religious figures holier than the pious sahabah who never went on a mad rampage upon witnessing the Prophet (s) being disrespected by his enemies? The people of Ta’if bloodied the Prophet (s) during his call to them, but neither the Prophet nor the sahabah ever vandalized Ta’if. The Medinan hypocrites left no opportunity to hurt the Prophet (s), but the Prophet (s) or the sahabah never harmed them in revenge. The Prophet even hid the names of the hypocrites from public knowledge. The American Ambassador J Christopher Stevens including three other US foreign service officers were killed in Libya. Why no respect was shown to the Prophetic instruction of protecting another country’s ambassador (الرسل لا تقتل – “Ambassadors shall not be killed”)? This was the Prophet’s teaching. Is there a surprise over the presence of a frieze in the judges’ chamber of the US Supreme Court of a man holding the holy Quran, representing none other than the Prophet (s) himself?  Who are these people that flout all injunctions of our religion, harm Muslims in revenge and give Islam a bad name? Now we hear that some local elements such as Zafar Bangash, Palestine House and some pro-Iranian groups of Toronto are about to exploit the anti-movie sentiments by holding a protest in front of the American embassy on Saturday, September 21, 2012. Stupidity knows no borders.   


What do we really need to do to uphold the honour of the Prophet (s) around the world? We need to bring his beautiful seerah into our own lives. This is what the Prophet (s) would have wished for the Muslims today. I do not believe for a second that he would have allowed the reactive violence or protest marches as are occurring right now to take place. Enough with protests! Haters will hate, as they have always hated. While the Prophet (s) was called the vilest of names by his enemies, as listed in the Quran, do we forget that Allah himself takes personal responsibility of dealing with the Prophet (s)’s mockers?


إِنَّا كَفَيۡنَـٰكَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَہۡزِءِينَ


We are sufficient for you against the mockers (15:95)


It is time to shun angry protests in the name of Islam and the Prophet (s). Let us think constructively on how we are going to present Islam to the world community undergoing rapid globalization. Let us build media outlets that do effective da’wah and counter anti-Islamic propaganda. Let us establish world class institutions of Islamic higher learning that wrestle with the challenges of modernity. Let us bring the Prophet (s) in our lives by following his blessed life. Let us share his seerah, so the rest of the world finds a newfound respect and love for this man who came only to deliver them on the Day of Judgment.


Inshallah, the doors of North American Muslim Foundation always open for constructive recourse to the problem of deliberate and provocative denigration of Islamic symbols and figures bound to occur again and again – as we now see in the case of the cartoons emerging from France.


Will we then pay heed?   

Sheharyar Shaikh is the former President of North American Muslim Foundation.  He is currently the Imam of Masjid Qurtabah. He specializes in Quranic exegesis with contemporary Islamic thought and modernity

This person, his vision, mentality, hard work and contribution to humanity is very inspiring and heart touching. This video about him bought tears in my eyes. I wish to meet this person and to volunteer with him someday.


Every time i read the quran, i learn something new from it. This verse which i read a few days ago really affected me in the way i think and deal with people. I always questions myself if i fall in this category.

“Woe unto the defrauders: Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, And when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due. “(Quran, Chapter 83, Verse 1-3)

The word “woe” means misfortune, grief or misery. And this is a curse from God to people who don’t deal with justice. This is not just about commercial dealings, but also social dealings like being stingy in giving time, honour, respect or other services to people, and demanding more in return from others.


About being just in dealings

It has been ordered at several places in the Quran to be just.

“And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good and better in the end. (17:35)

“And give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but with that which he can bear.” (6:152)


Infact, This was one of the evils that the nation of Shuaib (Jhetro) committed.

And unto Madyan We sent their brother Shuaib. He said: O my people! worship God; there is no god for you but he. And give not short measure and weight. Verily I see you in prosperity, and verily I fear for you the torment of a Day encompassing. And, O my people! give full measure and weight with equity, and defraud not the people of their things, and commit not mischief on the earth as corrupts. (Quran, Chapter 11, Verse 84 – 85)


Check it out – A Five Year Old Gets It, We Don’t


Abu Malik alAsh’ari reported that the Prophet (saws) said: “Four practices of the ‘Jaahiliyah’ (pre-Islamic days of Ignorance) will continue to be practiced by my Nation:

  1. taking pride in one’s parentage,
  2. giving a person a father other than his own genealogical father (ie. cursing of one’s lineage),
  3. believing that rain is caused by some stars,
  4. and wailing over the dead.”

Related by Muslim and Ahmad.


Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: God, Most High, has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting in ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a miserable sinner. You are sons of Adam, and Adam came from dust. Let the people cease to boast about their ancestors. They are merely fuel in Hell; or they will certainly be of less account with God than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose. (Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 5097)

I accepted a challenge at a blog that i visit sometimes – The challenge was to memorize 99 names of God in Ramadan. Though Ramadan got over and i am running a little late, i am very close to finishing them all.

For those who want to do this, this site  is what i used to learn. It also has the corresponding verse(s) from the Quran for each name. Good Luck!

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