It is legitimate to defend all prophets of God
Some children in the West are undutiful toward their parents and behave harshly using bitter words without showing any compassion, humanity and loyalty. These children may neglect, boycott and abandon their parents until the last moment of their lives, and even curse them after death. Most of these children do not even participate in the funerals of their mothers and fathers, perhaps they are found partying at those sad moments.
According to Brzezinski, there are many reasons for this disobedience such as severe discontent among them to take up responsibilities toward others even if they are mothers and fathers.
Some people have the same attitude toward the prophets as they do not give them deserving value and respect and do not honor their status and saintliness. They distort the picture of Jesus Christ, son of Mary (peace be upon him) through films and satirical serials and mock him. Some people in the West have expressed surprise after seeing Muslims getting provoked over a blasphemous film made in America that abuses the Prophet (pbuh). They wonder why all this anger over a film.
They want us to imitate them even in this indifference and foolishness. If we refuse they get surprised as if their disobedience toward parents and disrespect for prophets are good examples to follow.
Why do a group of Westerners insists that we imitate them in their social miseries. But by the grace of God, we follow our own way: Refusing to emulate them in these wretched practices.
Why do we follow a different way?
Firstly, we Muslims are commanded to treat our parents gently always. God the Almighty has asked Muslims to treat their parents in the best manner while stressing the unity of God. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.”
We Muslims are also commanded to uphold a beautiful and respectful image of all prophets, and we have been prohibited from following the tradition of wretched people who had disfigured the images of their prophets. “O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Musa (Moses), but Allah cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honorable before Allah.”
Secondly: It is one of the purposes of Islam to project the prophets and messengers in the most beautiful image, and define them in the most beautiful way inspiring people to love them and follow their examples.
Let’s take, for example, how Islam presents Prophet Jesus (pbuh):
1) The Qur’an highlights the miraculous birth of Christ: “Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary! Indeed you have brought an unheard mighty thing.” O sister of Harun (Aaron), your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.” Then she pointed to him. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” “He [Eisa (Jesus)] said: Verily! I am a slave of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;” “And He has made me blessed where so ever I be, and has enjoined on me Salat (prayer) and Zakat, as long as I live, and dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblest.”
2) The Qur’an explains Jesus’ beautiful personality: “(Remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a word [“Be!” — and he was! i.e. Eisa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah Eisa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.”
3) The Qur’an also explains his miraculous prophecy: “(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection). “O Eisa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favor to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruhul Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)] so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed those born blind, and the lepers by My permission, and when you brought forth the dead by My permission.”
4) See how the Qur’an describes the Gospel: ” And in their footsteps, We sent Eisa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), confirming the Taurat (Torah) that had come before him, and We gave him the Injeel (Gospel), in which was guidance and light and confirmation of the Taurat (Torah) that had come before it, a guidance and an admonition for the pious.”
5) The Qur’an also introduces Jesus’ message and call, as he called his people to monotheism. “Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord”.
He taught people wisdom, and advised them to avoid controversy: “And when Eisa (Jesus) came with (Our) clear proofs, he said: “I have come to you with Al-Hikmah (Prophethood), and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ.”
Following the guidance of Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has provided a beautiful image to his brother Jesus Christ and described him as a glittering personality.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said: “I will be the first than anybody else in respecting Jesus, the son of Mary, in this world and the Hereafter. The prophets are brothers and their mothers are different but their religion is one.”
Thirdly: He also emphasized the connection between the Islamic faith and Jesus. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whoever testified that there is no god but Allah Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that Jesus son of Mary His slave and Messenger as He put His Word and His spirit to Mary, and that the Paradise is true, that the Hell is true and Allah entered him in the Paradise on the basis of what has he done from good deeds.” Imam Al-Nawawi said in the explanation of this hadith that it is a great hadith on beliefs.
The Holy Qur’an introduces Jesus, as the Prophet of God in its verses. It explains his noble mother Mary, the daughter of Imran, as Virgin and immaculate. At the same time, She, with her all great purity, was the target of a heinous smear campaign by Jewish extremists.
We read in the Qur’an:
A) Mary the daughter of Imran is saved from Satan: “And I have named her Maryam (Mary), and I seek refuge with You (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Satan, the outcast.”
B) She was also glorified in the Qur’an explaining some of the miraculous incidents that took place in her life. “Every time he entered Al-Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: “O Maryam (Mary)! From where have you got this?” She said, “This is from Allah.” Verily, Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.”
C) She has been described in the Qur’an as a purified and chosen woman in the world: “And (remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the world.”
D) The Qur’an also describes Mary as an obedient and pious woman. “O Mary! Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord and prostrate yourself, and bow down along with those who bow down.”
E) She was given glad tidings about giving birth to a great baby: “(Remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be!” — and he was! i.e. Eisa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah Eisa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.”
F) Her name has been mentioned in the Qur’an: “And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, O Muhammad, the story of) Maryam (Mary), when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east.”
G) She was described as a sign for the mankind: “And We made her and her son Eisa (Jesus) a sign for mankind and jinns.”
These evidences emphasize the moral responsibility of Muslims toward all their prophets as they should believe and respect all prophets, not only Prophet Muhammad.
It is not right, nor just or wise for a Muslim to differentiate between the prophets while defending them. The acceptance of abuse on one prophet means accepting abuse of all the prophets. Muslims do not differentiate between the prophets either in faith or defending them as Chapter Al-Baqara of the Qur’an says: “Do not differentiate between any of His messengers.”
Is it not the right of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who professed a religion that gives the most beautiful images of all prophets and saints to be honored in the most deserving manner? Is it not the right of this honest and trustworthy Prophet to be honored by the whole humanity, appreciating his great contributions and protecting his rights, even if they do not believe in him? Is it justice, wise and acceptable to defame a prophet who has brought a message urging people to believe in all prophets, and uphold their dignity, and defend their sanctities and positions?
Truly, insulting Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is tantamount to insulting all other prophets. So we have to defend our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) so that we can defend — at the same time and for the same reason — all prophets of God, without exception. Hence, it is quite legitimate to defend the Last Prophet (peace be upon him and his family).
n Courtesy of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper