بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔
Strict legal action should be taken against Hindu Mahasabha leader, Kamlesh Tiwari for his defamatory remarks against prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only because the man has hurt religious sentiments of the Muslim community which can never tolerate any insult against the Prophet but also because his idiotic comments have added to the communal tension and intolerance and thereby threatened the stability and overall development of the country.
There can be no two opinions regarding the fact that insulting others has nothing to do with freedom of expression. Each and every citizen of a country may file a defamatory case against a person who tries to play with his honour and dignity. But we fail to understand why the same does not apply in the case of making defamatory comments against religious personalities especially the prophets. Why insult remarks against a religious figure are justified under the pretext of freedom of expression? This makes us to conclude that such heinous attempts are driven by hatred and intellectual terrorism of the anti-Islamic elements. Islam has always maintained and invited others to maintain peace and tranquillity. The defamatory remarks against the Prophet (PBUH) are enough to create outrage among the Muslims but Muslims in India have presented a shining example of self-restraint in the face of all the anti-nationalist activities carried out by some Hindu organizations and elements.
The Muslim community, and so should the followers of other religions, unanimously consider it a highly condemnable crime to insult the religious figures and the prophets. It is a crime in multiples ways: defamation of the person, hurting sentiments of his followers and thereby threatening the national integrity and peace. The punishment for such a heinous crime in Islam along with other religions is death; respect for the prophets and patching the bleeding wounds of their followers both require so.
However, a common citizen has no right to take law in his hand; it will only worsen the situation. Only the government has the right to punish the guilty and it should take strict action against such people in accordance with law.
According to Islamic law, the punishment for insulting the Prophet (PBUH), however, is death. Allama Ibn Taimiyyah has discussed the issue in detail in his Al-Ṣa-rim al-Maslul ‘ala Shatim al-Rasul, substantiating it by evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) ordered to kill a person who had been insulting him even thought he was clinging to the covering of the Ka’abh. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: “On the day of the Conquest, the Prophet (PBUH) entered Makkah, wearing a helmet on his head. When he took it off, a man came and said, "Ibn Khatal is clinging to the curtain of the Kaʿbah." The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Kill him." (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari) The man, ʿAbdullah ibn Khaṭal used to compose satirical poetry to lampoon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), he even had two songstresses who used to satirize the Prophet in song. When the Prophet(PBUH)ordered to kill him, he was brought out of the covering of the Ka’bah in which he had wrapped himself and slain between Maqam Ibrahim and the well of Zamzam. Inviolability of the Holy Sanctuary of Makkah (the Ḥaram) was lifted for some time for the Prophet(PBUH). Killing of Ibn Khaṭal between Maqam Ibrahim and the well of Zamzam i.e. only a few metres away from the Holy Ka’bah itself shows graveness of insulting the Prophet as compared to other crimes requiring capital punishment.
The world must realize that the reverence and love the Muslims have for the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is unparalleled; they love him as they love nothing else. Besides, Islam requires them to love the Prophet and his traditions. There has not ever been a man besides Muhammad (PBUH) who had as many noble qualities as he had nor there will come anyone like him again. He was humble and forgiving. Care for the neighbours, serving people in general, showing love to the children, respect for women, kindness to the animals, maintaining justice, taking care of the slaves and the orphans, bravery, firmness, abstinence from worldliness, contentment of heart, fairness in dealings, initiating greetings, generosity and hospitality are some distinguished characteristics that the blessed personality of the Prophet enjoyed altogether. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "None of you can have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind." (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari and Ṣaḥiḥ Muslim) Abdulaah ibn Hisaam reported: We were with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he was holding the hand of Umar ibn Al-Khattab. Umar said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than everything except for myself.” The Prophet said, “No, by the one in whose Hand is my soul, until I am more beloved to you than yourself.” Umar said, “Indeed, now I swear by Allah that you are more beloved to me than myself.” The Prophet said, “Now you are right, O ʿUmar.” (Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari)
In view of the current situation in India, I would like to request my Muslim brothers to exercise self-restraint, bring the teachings of the noble Prophet (PBUH) into their life and use their abilities to positively communicate the same to others. We should not forget how much hardship and prosecution the Prophet (PBUH) had to face from the day he proclaimed prophethood till his departure from the world: the pagans put intestines of a camel on his back, threw dust on him, called him, soothsayer, magician and mad, incited his sons in law to divorce his daughters, imposed a boycott on him for consecutive three years, pelted him with stones, made him to migrate from his birth place, injured him during the battle of Uḥad, tried to kill him by poisoning and plotted to murder him by dropping a rock. Moreover, he had to spend two months without lightening fire for cooking in his house. All his offspring except Faṭimah (may Allah be pleased with her) died in his life. In short, he had to face prosecution as well as other challenges but nothing could make him give up forbearance and patience. He steadily kept on conveying the message he was entrusted with. All such incidents in the life of the Prophet (PBUH) have a great lesson for us to take. They teach us how to face all the challenges whether domestic, social, national or international with patience following in his footsteps and strengthening our bond with Allah the Exalted.
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)