By Ustaz Syed Hasan Alatas
English translation by Radzi Sapiee
Allah revealed in the Quran:
“Do not curse the idols they set up beside Allah, lest they blaspheme and curse Allah, out of ignorance. We have adorned the works of every group in their eyes. Ultimately, they return to their Lord, then He informs them of everything they had done.” (Verse of al-Anan'am:108)
Islam prohibits its adherents from deriding or ridiculing the object of worship of others. Fights normally ensues because of humans who like to follow their whims and fancies humilitating the faith of others. Islam forbids us from forcing other people to embrace Islam. While it is the only true religion, our obligation is only to call people to its path, not force but get them to willingly submit.
Forcing others would only lead to bad things and those forced won’t be sincere. Islam asks the other communities to return to the real common ground, that is to worship the One Unique God and not attributing partners to Him in any way. Allah said:
“Say, ‘O followers of the scripture, let us come to a logical agreement between us and you: that we shall not worship except Allah; that we never set up any idols besides Him, nor set up any human beings as lords beside Allah.’ If they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have submitted).’” (AIi Imran:64)
Islam forbids us from hurting the feelings of other people with rude, unjust and filthy comments and actions. Look at how the holy book al-Quranul karim give such high honour to Prophet Moses a.s., Prophet Jesus Isa a.s., and other prophets despite the fact that these prophets are often associated with religions other than Islam. We should respect the faith of others and not hurt their feelings. If we do so, God willing, an Ummah in full concord, orderly and just will become a reality and our reward.
There are men who really likes to ridicule others’ faiths using the excuse of “freedom of speech” to attack Islam among others. Too bad the so-called freedom is not sincere but only exist because of hatred and racism. This resulted in anger of the Muslims all over the world. In fact it cost lives in some places, all because of skewed write-ups which are actually clear slanders and lies.
Such men have not only humiliated and belittled the whole Muslim community which comprise one fifth of the world population, they also potrayed Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as a fierce oppressor, womaniser and throw other wild accusations. On the contrary the prophet was a person full of love and caring for all creatures and very responsible to his wives. He lived with just one wife, Siti Khadijah for 25 years and married others only after Khadijah had died. Then again most of his wives were widows. He only marries them to support their orphaned children left by fathers who died as martyrs on the battlefield.
He only married one virgin named Siti Aisyah, daughter of Abu Bakar As-sidiq, his companion in fighting to uphold, defend and spread Islam. For the record, Saidina Abu Bakar became the first Caliph of Muslims after the death of the prophet s.a.w.
Islam strongly forbids us from deriding the personalities of other Samawi (heavenly) religions like that of the Jews and Christians who also receives revealed manuscripts although the manuscripts were later tampered with. This is because the personalities are also prophets for Muslims as is the case with Prophet Moses a.s., Prophet Jesus a.s., Prophet Abraham a.s. and others.
Although adherents of such religions have gone astray and make their prophets objects of worship, god even, Islam still forbids us from deriding or ridiculing them. Hopefully our kindness and tolerance would make them interested to study Islam. Who knows they would become converts because of our examples?