The dawn of each day portrays set of news which are highly deplorable and distressing. While this phenomenon is an old tendency however it has transformed our society into a pitiable bunch of people who are apathetic towards most events and their fall outs. The most disturbing aspect of this tenet is absence of any workable solution and adoption of measures to stop recurrence of such events. With this preamble I seek to draw attention of my respected readers towards the reprinting of blasphemous cartoons of our beloved prophet Muhammad PBUH by Charlie Hebdo a French publication few days back. This is in connection to a pending trial of a similar activity which resulted in death of over eleven people in the month of January 2015. The magazine vowed to publish these cartoons as piece of evidence and further affirm in freedom of speech and media against racism and ethnicity.
With this motive in background I started to search the reactions of our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters on the web and found that several protests have been held in the country by some religious and political organizations condemning the act of above mentioned French media house. Ministry of foreign affairs has also issued a statement through Minister of foreign affairs Mr. Shah Mahmood Quershi but what is missing is the conduct of Ulema and noble persons of our society. These people who represent an important section of our society unfortunately lack in rendering a role which is one of their explicit characteristic and a tool to convey the true feelings of a Muslim believing in Prophet Muhammad PBUH being the last and final messenger of Allah subhan u tala. It is particularly incomprehensible that Prophet Muhammad PBUH has been mentioned in the early scriptures which they follow but even then why they hate and instigate Muslims. It is this point that our ulema should take up in their lectures and deliberate upon that the personality of Prophet Muhammad PBUH is as reverent as those of previous prophets send to other nations and communities.
The apathy of ulema in Pakistan is due to various factors such as fear of becoming an extremist or fundamentalist or may be exposed to government agencies looking for such elements in our society. In the present age of information we find Muslim scholars in the world who are working fearlessly and dedicatedly to spread the teachings of Islam and Prophet Muhammad PBUH because they talk in politic manner, control their emotions and adopt a tolerant way of conveying their thoughts taking help from the knowledge of religions and cultures common in the world. The case is opposite in Pakistan where cleric speeches are rich in hostile sentiments and hatred against other non Muslim communities. The effect is disastrous and results in further acrimony against Muslims. The teachings of Holy Quran and sunnah taught us that it was the virtue of brotherhood and love which paved the way for the people to convert as Muslim and rule the world. There may be many citations from Quran and hadith such as surah 6:108,49:11,42:37. Islam regards blasphemy against the Prophet a very heinous crime and the Quran strongly forbids blasphemy and makes 11 references to it: 2:88, 4:15, 5:17, 5:64, 5:68, 5:73, 6:19, 9:74, 11:19, 14:28, 39:8. They are all against it. At the conquest of Makkah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) announced general amnesty to all except those who were guilty of blasphemous acts and sacrilegious statements. Both Nasai and Sunan Abu Daud, famous Hadith books, narrate that a slave Jew woman was killed by her master for her repeated blasphemy against the Prophet and when the case was brought to the Prophet’s notice he declared no retaliation against the master. (Hadith No.4348).
There could be no end to these writings but having conveyed the meaning is sufficient to convince my respected readers. I invite my readers to share and forward their views in order to broaden peace and tranquility in the world.
(MUFTI MUHAMMAD KHALID)