By JAWED ANWAR
MUHAMMAD (s.a.w.), the Rasool (Messenger) of Allah, is the last messenger of God. It is a part of Muslims’ belief that there is no Messenger between him and Qiyamah (dooms day -the end of the world).
Al-Quran is the final revelations of God that confirms the previous books, the messengers, and the messages. It is the final version of the old books and the latest edition of the divine series of books. It gives full and detailed accounts of Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Jesus, and many other messengers of God. Muslims believe in all the messengers, their messages, and their books.
‘Islam’ means ‘complete surrender to God in order to obtain peace,’ and a ‘Muslim’ is one who surrenders to God. As there is no messenger left to come, Muslims are responsible to convey and deliver the message of God to all mankind. Muslims are now the messengers of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (s.a.w.).
Muslims must be merciful to all human beings, and it is part of our mercy to convey and protect the Message, which is for all human beings, and to protect the dignity of the Messenger.
“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that you may be witnesses against mankind, and that the Messenger may be a witness against you” [English translation of Arabic Al-Quran, Surah Al Baqarah 2:142].
To protect the Message (Al-Quran) and the life and dignity of the Messenger, Allah made a special arrangement on this planet. The principal is that the source of the Message --the guidance to which the fate, the success, and failure of all humanity depends-- must not be the issue of blasphemy, mockery, fun, ridicule, disgrace, and caricature.
Muslims live with the full knowledge that the efforts to disgrace the Message and the Messenger call upon the wrath of God. By sentencing a person who ridicules the Messenger means saving the whole humanity. Muslims know well that if they allow disgrace and blasphemy of our beloved one on this earth, there would be no meaning of our existence as a community. It would be better to die than to live.
Muslims have a special responsibility to protect the dignity of the messengers of Allah. They love the Messenger of Allah more than their parents, families, and themselves.
“O Prophet, tell them plainly, ‘If your fathers and your sons, and your brothers and your wives, and your near and dear ones and the wealth which you have acquired and the trade you fear may decline and the homes which delight you --if all these things are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and the struggle in His Way, then wait till Allah passes His judgment on you, for Allah does not guide the wicked people [Al-Quran,Surah At-Taubah 9: 24].
It was related from Anas (r.a.w.), a companion of Muhammad (s.a.w.) that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "None of you will believe until he loves me more than his father, his children, and all people" [Sahih Al-Bukhari Chapter 1, Hadith #150].
Muslims know the importance of the Messenger and the Message. Muhamamd (s.a.w.) is the Messenger for whom Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) had prayed.
“Lord, raise up from among them a Messenger who shall recite Your Revelations to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify their lives. You are All-Powerful and All Wise" [Al-Quran, Surah Baqrah 2:129].
For whom Musa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus) predicted and Allah sent the Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w.) and said:
“Surely Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He raised from among them a Messenger to recite to them His signs, and to purify them, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom. For before that, they were in manifest error [Al-Quran, Surah Aal-Imran 3:164].
“(O Prophet,) We have not sent you forth but as a herald of good news and a warner for all mankind. But most people do not know [Al-Quran, Surah Sabaa 34: 28)].
“(O Muhammad,) We have sent you to be a real blessing for the people of the world [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Anbiyaa 21: 107].
By praising his speech, Allah said:
“Nor does he speak out of his desire. This is nothing but a revelation that is conveyed to him” [Al-Quran, Surah An-Najm 53: 3-4].
“(O Messenger,) tell people, 'If you indeed love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you and will forgive you your sins. Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate [Al-Quran, Surah Aal-Imran 3: 31].
The person who loves Allah and His Messenger is the most powerful, the most merciful person; and, the person who is blasphemous against the Messenger is the most wicked and most hateful person on this earth.