Reasons Behind The Offensive Movie And How Muslims Should Respond To It

Every now and then the biggest issue Muslim world faces is a person or a group of people publishing, writing, or creating something that is against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In response to which the Muslims all across the globe protest in despair and try everything possible that emphasizes their protest even if it’s violent.

Although a Muslim, who reads Quran, knows about hadith and Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) has every right to protest in the strongest way possible. However, the Muslims of today need to learn Quran preaching, be cautious and sensible and try to understand the reasons behind these offenses against Prophet (PBUH) and what are their aftermaths. The lines below explain that why the evil people offend Prophet (PBUH) and how should Muslims react in response to it, but before that a little background of the current situation.

Background of Current Situation:

The situation at hand is that an unknown person has made a movie about Muslims and in the movie Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has shown in an insulting manner. The movie was to be released in the remembrance of 9/11. The information about the movie caused great anger among Muslims and strong protests were made in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia and other Middle East countries along with all other countries with Muslim population. The rallies started as peaceful turned out violent, resulting in fires and the Ambassador of US getting killed in Libya along with 4 other diplomats. From then onwards the protests have been going on across the globe.

The Reasons Why They Offend:

A Muslim needs to analyze the reasons for why such people offend Islam in particular and Muslims in general, so that the according response could be exhibited. First of all the need is to analyze the kind of love and revere Muslims have for the Prophet (PBUH). Some of the major hadith’s in this regard are:

The Prophet (PBUH) said that no one can have true faith until “Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to you than anything else” (ibn Al- Arabi)

Moreover the Prophet (PBUH) also said that “No one is a believer until I become more beloved to him than his father, son, and the whole humanity.” (Ibn Dakik)

These two hadith’s show the love Muslims carry for the Prophet (PBUH) and the importance the reverence and lover for Him holds in Islamic faith.

Now coming to the reasons why such people offend against the feeling of Muslims for Prophet (PBUH). There are several reasons besides them being non-Muslims. The major ones are:

  • The reason for such offense could be that such people want Muslims to be distracted from Islam by doing such things. This situation is the same as the people of Makkah would do where they would tell the visitors not to meet Prophet (PBUH) by calling him a wizard, and magician.
  • The other reason could be to gain fame. All those people who have offended Prophet (PBUH) previously and those who did it now were unknown to the world prior to their offence. Therefore, to gain fame the cheap way they offend Muslims that makes such people the subject of talk across the globe.
  • The third major reason is to earn money. With an offensive picture or movie, that gets publicity all over the world, it is bound to generate a lot of money compared to if it were ignored.
  • Political tactics and political gains is another reason for such offense. Like in this particular case, Libya was to select its political government and the riots broke.
  • Last but not the least of all reasons could be to harm the image of Islam and Muslims. The culprits know that Muslims get extremely offended by such actions. Thus they want to show Muslims as barbarians, savages and violent people and portray Islam in the same way.

It is the duty of every Muslim to respond to such offense only after knowing the above mentioned reasons or any other reasons behind the offense.

How Muslims Should Respond:

Before moving forward to how Muslims should respond to such an offense, the need is to develop an ideology for the response.

There is no denying the fact that every Muslim loves Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) more than anything and anyone in this world. However, fiqh also teaches us to keep an eye on the consequences as well. A Muslim must take an action after considering the principle, and consequences.

In the given case, the principal is to take as severe stance against the offender as possible. However, when the consequences are considered, where most of the times it results in loss of life, property of others, a bad image of Islam, violence and distress in the country, then fiqh tells us to give the consequence priority. By Quran reading a Muslim can find the perfect example of it in the instance of when Prophet Moses went on the mountain and on his back people made a bull god and started worshiping it, and upon his arrival Moses became furious and angry with Harun (his brother). As mentioned in Quran, the reply of Harun was:

“I was afraid lest you should say: You have caused a division among the children of Israel and not waited for my word.” (Taha 20:94)

In this case also the principle was to stop Bani Israel from worshiping a bull god; however, the consequences would have been division among the people and violence. Therefore, Harun opted for consequences, and Moses asked for his forgiveness from Allah Almighty.

Now coming back to the point of how to address such offense, the lines below give details that are totally practical while keeping both the principle and consequences in mind.

Ignore- The first and most effective way of responding to such offenses is to ignore them. This seriously demoralizes the offenders and does not let them succeed in their plans mentioned above. In Quran Allah also says:

“And turn away from the ignorant” (Al-A’raf 7:199)

Therefore, responding to such offenses in any way gives air to fire. So totally ignore!

Reflect- The second thing the Muslims must do is to take a leaf out of the life of Prophet’s (PBUH) life. He was an epitome of forbearance, patience and forgiveness. Whenever such an epitome strikes, Muslims should try to idealize how He would have reacted to such situation. His obvious response would have been to bear such a person as He did all his life and to view things from forgiveness perspective.

Be Smart- Muslims should use their head and consider such an offense as an opportunity to show their positive side. Everyone in the world thinks of Muslims as vicious people, therefore, by reacting to such offenses calmly and peacefully would send a positive message about Islam and Muslims to all the people of world.

Appreciate Denouncers- Everyone who denounces and disregards such an offensive movie, the Muslim should appreciate them and join hands with them. Every statement of apology from any embassy or State should be appreciated instead of attacking them.

Professional Response- On contrary to the response showed by Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya the right way of expressing the freedom would have been to show it the way the offender’s show, by making a movie, journalistic writing, poetry and all other forms of arts.

Concluding Remarks:

There is no denying the fact that the love for Prophet (PBUH) is the life of a Muslim and nothing is above that, and Muslims possess every right to be furious. However, in Quran Allah Almighty says:

“No one should be held accountable for others’ mistakes.” (Al- An’am)

Therefore, Muslims must show forbearance and appreciate those who denounced the movie and all the people associated with it. Moreover, burning building and property of others who are not affiliated with the offending person goes against the preaching of Islam. Hence it is the duty of every Muslim to record protest against every offense made against Islam in the most professional, peaceful and calm manner, so that the world sees the peaceful, forgiving, loving and humanitarian side of Islam.

May Allah guide us all to the right path and make us better Muslims and lovers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Ameen!