Every time when there is violence against the critics of Hazarat Muhammad, Dawwah preachers tries to justify it by saying that those are defamation and abuses against Hazarat Muhammad and not mere criticisms. They further add that while they condemn defamation, they invite critiques which they are ready to answer. In the context of violence in Kerala, MM Akbar, the Dawwah preacher was no different in response in bringing the charge of defamation. Interestingly, Dawwah preachers never cite any authoritative texts to disprove the so-called defamers of Hazarat Muhammad. Here also, MM Akbar was not different. Further, though Dawwah preachers offer to answer criticisms against Hazarat Muhammad, they never come for a debate on this subject where their answers can be evaluated. Will MM Akbar be different on at least this? writes Jerry Thomas.
No true Christian will ever defame another person leave alone the founder of the second largest religion, Hazarat Muhammad. Then how can many Christians be charged with defaming Hazarat Muhammad as in Kerala recently? The most recent controversial pamphlet provides insights into the defamation charges raised by Muslims. While the other pamphlets and booklets which were charged with offending Muslim sentiments were not easily accessible to the general public, this pamphlet titled ‘Who is the One Prophesized by Moses and Jesus’ has been in circulation for some time now. This was written in response to misinterpretation by the Dawwah preacher MM Akbar claiming that Muhammad was prophesied by Prophet Moses and Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible.
For those who came late, MM Akbar is an Islamic preacher who claims to have conducted over 1000 public programs in Kerala and had written numerous book often portraying Christianity and Hinduism in bad light and Islam as though it is a superior religion. In his books and recorded speeches, he has often defamed reverent personalities of other religions by calling them as liars, adulterers, drunkards or similar offensive words. Though these books are highly provocative, civilized religions responded to those misconstructions in a scholarly and peaceful manner rather than resorting to street violence. However, Muslims who initially made offensive charges against other religions are now unable to respond in a scholarly manner for the answers though the answers itself had nothing except quotes and summaries from Islam’s authoritative texts.
Any unbiased person who reads this pamphlet and the referenced Islamic authoritative books will certainly agree that the pamphlet contains nothing except what the Islamic authoritative books themselves have said about Islam. While much of the pamphlet is a mere comparison between Prophet Moses, Lord Jesus and Hazarat Muhammad such as their tribe, genealogy, miracles etc, a few of the passages about the morality of Hazarat Muhammad or Islam may require additional evidence from the Islamic texts which would not have been possible to cover within the scope of a pamphlet.
Of course, everyone would agree that to refute the false claims that Hazarat Muhammad is mentioned in the Holy Bible, an evaluation of the morality of Hazarat Muhammad and the religion that he founded is legitimate and necessary. And as one would note, the pamphlet was merely citing those without even much critique leave alone the charges of defamation.
For example, let us take the one minor analysis of the pamphlet that Quran promotes violence. While this is not the thrust of the pamphlet or its major argument, one may raise objection to this by pointing out to the peaceful verses in Quran. If so, was the pamphlet writer misrepresenting Islam to defame it? No at all. As Islam grew during Hazarat Muhammad’s time, its teaching changed based on the numerical strength of Muslims and finally when Muslims became majority, all the peaceful verses were rendered as abrogated. Read the following Quranic quotes and its interpretation by the great orthodox scholar and commentator of Islam, Ibn Kathir.
The initial peaceful verses when Islam was a minority in Arabia:
Quran 2:256 – "There is no compulsion is there in religion.”
Quran 43:88-89 “And for his saying, 'My Lord, surely these are a people who believe not' — yet pardon them, and say, 'Peace!' Soon they will know.”
Allowing the defensive wars when Muslims gained strength:
Quran. 2:190-194- And fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors. And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers — but if they give over, surely God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is God's; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.
Quran 22:39-41-Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged — surely God is able to help them — who were expelled from their habitations without right, except that they say 'Our Lord is God.' Had God not driven back the people, some by the means of others, there had been destroyed cloisters and churches, oratories and mosques, wherein God's Name is much mentioned. Assuredly God will help him who helps Him — surely God is All-strong, All-mighty who, if We establish them in the land, perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and bid to honour, and forbid dishonour; and unto God belongs the issue of all affairs.
Command to kill or subjugate non Muslims when Muslims became the majority:
Quran 9:1-6 “An acquittal, from God and His Messenger, unto the idolaters with whom you made covenant: 'Journey freely in the land for four months; and know that you cannot frustrate the will of God, and that God degrades the unbelievers.' A proclamation, from God and His Messenger, unto mankind on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage: 'God is quit, and His Messenger, of the idolaters. So if you repent, that will be better for you; but if you turn your backs; know that you cannot frustrate the will of God. And give thou good tidings to the unbelievers of a painful chastisement; excepting those of the idolaters with whom you made covenant, then they failed. you naught neither lent support to any man against you. With them fulfil your covenant till their term; surely God loves the god-fearing. Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. And if any of the idolaters seeks of thee protection, grant him protection till he hears the words of God; then do thou convey him to his place of security — that, because they are a people who do not know.”
Quran 9:28-31 “O believers, the idolaters are indeed unclean; so let them not come near the Holy Mosque after this year of theirs. If you fear poverty, God shall surely enrich you of His bounty, if He will; God is All-knowing; All-wise. Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden
— such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled. The Jews say, 'Ezra is the Son of God'; the Christians say, 'The Messiah is the Son of God.' That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted! They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from God, and the Messiah, Mary's son — and they were commanded to serve but One God; there is no god but He; glory be to Him, above that they associate.”
Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (commentary for) Surah 9: 5 notes that “This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty and every term” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 4).
Now, let the reader decides if there is anything wrong in saying that Quran promotes violence.
Or let us take the statement that Muhammad’s marriage to his adopted son’s wife before adoption was banned in Islam, was an unacceptable ethics even to Arabs.
Let me give a background of this incident to the readers. Zaid was one of the first to embrace Islam. When he had to choose between his family and Islam, he left his family and stood with Muhammad. Therefore, Hazarat Muhammad adopted Zaid as his son and loved him. Zaid later took Zaynab as his wife. However, one day when Zaid was not in his house, Hazarat Muhammad came to Zaid’s house and saw the beauty of Zaynab. According to The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1997], Volume VIII, when Muhammad saw his then daughter-in-law, he praised her and said: “Glory be to God the Almighty! Glory be to God, who causes the hearts to turn!” Hereafter, Zaynab was excited which made Zaid uneasy and who came and expressed his displeasure with Zaynab to Muhammad. Muhammad advised him to go back to Zaynab. However, Allah scolded Muhammad for his concealing his desire for Zaynab (Quran 33:37). Later Zaid divorced Zaynab and Hazarat Muhammad married her. As the news spread that Muhammad married his erstwhile daughter-in-law, there was uproar against Hazarat Muhammad.
Quran gives two reasons for this marriage. First it says in Quran 33:37 “So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her, then we gave her in marriage to thee, so that there should not be any fault in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished what they would of them; and God's commandment must be performed”. Quran later in 33: 4-5 prohibits Muslims from adopting children. Readers must remember that the Quran is arranged in no specific order. The question one can ask is if the adoption itself is banned later, what was the purpose for Hazarat Muhammad’s marriage and was it ethical? Was not Allah changing his words to pacify the Arabs?
As I said at the beginning, all the statements in pamphlets are mere records from the authoritative texts of Islam. Was it not the duty of Muslim leaders to clarify and defend such actions of Hazarat Muhammad whom they consider as model for the humanity rather than spreading lies that non Muslims are defaming Islam? What is the motive behind such blatant lies about non Muslims when all that they are doing is to merely quote from the Islamic texts?
However, Dawwah preachers like MM Akbar instead of admitting and repenting of their misconstructions are now accusing others of lying. Interestingly, one of the examples that MM Akbar cites in his recent article in Sneha Samvadam (May 2010) for defaming Hazarat Muhammad is of the Danish Cartoons. As usual, though MM Akbar accuses others of defaming Hazarat Muhammad, he never admits that the three of the worst cartoons were drawn by Imams to instigate Muslims and those were not part of the original cartoons published by the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. These lying imams were earlier given sanctuary by the Denmark government.
Here again, one must read the Islamic texts to understand the real motive of such lies. Islam’s pattern for humanity, Hazarat Muhammad himself permitted speaking lies to eliminate critics of him. Probably, that might be the reason for MM Akbar to totally ignore the lies of Imam’s during the Danish Cartoon controversy. Read the following Sahih Hadiths.
Sahih al-Bukhari 5:369- 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."
Quran further permits deception when Muslims are in minority. This is a doctrine of Islam known as Tuqyah. Quran 3: 28-29 “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah. Say: "Whether ye hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah knows it all: He knows what is in the heavens, and what is on earth. And Allah has power over all things.”
Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (commentary) Volume 2, commented on this text by quoting Sahih Hadiths: (unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.''
As we read it in this orthodox Tafsir, Tuqyah is not only allowed but it is allowed until the end of this world.
If this is the case, will not the Muslims fabricate allegations against the Non Muslims to harass and eliminate them? Who knows that tomorrow in Kerala Muslims would not write a pamphlet or a booklet in a Hindu or Christian name and charge them of defaming Muhammad and Islam? It must be borne in mind that all I have said about the doctrine of lying in Islam are not my own words but the very words of Quran, Sahih Hadiths and Tafsir.
MM Akbar in his defense on the allegations against the Holy Bible said that he is ready for a discussion on those. MM Akbar in his article on Muhammad (Sneha Samvadam, May 2010) said that he invites of criticisms on Muhammad which he can answer as against defamation. Now, I have the same offer to MM Akbar. If he is ready to discuss or debate on the morality of Muhammad, I am also ready for a public debate on it. In fact, I go a step further and offer that the debate should be about the morality of Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible and the morality of Hazarat Muhammad as they both are considered by Christians and Muslims as their respective patterns. Or if MM Akbar thinks that morality of Hazarat Muhammad can be justified by citing a few Old Testament prophets, I am ready to debate with him on the morality of the true prophets of the Holy Bible and morality of Hazarat Muhammad.
Will MM Akbar take this offer?