There has been much talk about the honour of the Prophet (ﷺ) and the question of defending it.
The truth is, that Allah (ﷻ) has taken upon Himself to protect the honour of all the Prophets (Peace be Upon Them) just as He (ﷻ) has vowed to protect the Quran and not left it to us, even though we commit it to our hearts.
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا ٱلذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ
“It is certainly We Who have revealed the Reminder, and it is certainly We Who will preserve it”. [TMQ Surah Al-Hijr – 15:9]
There are many instances where Allah (ﷻ) preserved the honour of the prophets.
Nuh (عليه السلام) chose a place outside the city, far from the sea. He collected wood and tools and began to work day and night to build the ark. The people’s mockery continued: “0 Nuh! Does carpentry appeal to you more than prophethood? Why are you building an ark so far from the sea? Are you going to drag it to the water or is the wind going to carry it for you?” Nuh (عليه السلام) replied: ‘You will come to know who will be put to shame and suffer.”
Allah the Almighty revealed:
وَيَصْنَعُ ٱلْفُلْكَ وَكُلَّمَا مَرَّ عَلَيْهِ مَلَأٌ مِّن قَوْمِهِۦ سَخِرُوا۟ مِنْهُ ۚ قَالَ إِن تَسْخَرُوا۟ مِنَّا فَإِنَّا نَسْخَرُ مِنكُمْ كَمَا تَسْخَرُونَ
‘So he began to build the Ark, and whenever some of the chiefs of his people passed by, they mocked him. He said, “If you laugh at us, we will (soon) laugh at you similarly”.’
فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَن يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَيَحِلُّ عَلَيْهِ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ
“You will soon come to know who will be visited by a humiliating torment (in this life) and overwhelmed by an everlasting punishment (in the next).”[TMQ Surah Hud – 11:38-39]
At the time of Musa (عليه السلام) aspersions were cast upon the condition of his skin, so Allah (ﷻ) made the stone run away with his clothes when he was bathing. Musa (عليه السلام) chased the stone naked and the people who doubted him were able to witness the purity and beauty of his skin [Bukhari].
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ آذَوْا مُوسَىٰ فَبَرَّأَهُ اللَّهُ مِمَّا قَالُوا ۚ وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهًا
“O you who believe! Be you not like those Who annoyed Moses, But Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, And he was honourable in Allah’s Sight” [TMQ Surah Al-Ahzab – 33:69]
The Children of Israel that claimed they had killed Isa (عليه السلام) by crucifixion (a punishment reserved for criminals) to which Allah (ﷻ) too responded to this:
وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا ٱلْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ٱبْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱخْتَلَفُوا۟ فِيهِ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا ٱتِّبَاعَ ٱلظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًۢا
‘and for boasting, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” But they neither killed nor crucified him—it was only made to appear so. Even those who argue for this ˹crucifixion˺ are in doubt. They have no knowledge whatsoever—only making assumptions. They certainly did not kill him.’ [TMQ Surah An-Nisa – 4:157]
The incident of ifk (slanderous lie) against Aishah RA at the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) was dispelled by the Quran thus preserving the honour of the Prophet (ﷺ).
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Oh gathering of Muslims! Who will help me against a person who has hurt me with slander about my wife? By God, I only know good about my wife. And they have mentioned a man with her concerning whom I only know good of as well.”
It was Allah (ﷻ) who gave testimony to the innocence of the Mother of the Believers when He (ﷻ) responded in Surah Noor: 12-20.
وَلَوْلَآ إِذْ سَمِعْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُم مَّا يَكُونُ لَنَآ أَن نَّتَكَلَّمَ بِهَـٰذَا سُبْحَـٰنَكَ هَـٰذَا بُهْتَـٰنٌ عَظِيمٌ
‘If only you had said upon hearing it, “How can we speak about such a thing! Glory be to You ˹O Lord˺! This is a heinous slander!” [TMQ Surah An-Noor – 24:16]
Similarly, regarding the false accusation that the Prophet (ﷺ) had learnt the Quran from the Christian Jabr, slave of the Banu aI-Hadrami. Allah (ﷻ) responded to this too:
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّمَا يُعَلِّمُهُۥ بَشَرٌ ۗ لِّسَانُ ٱلَّذِى يُلْحِدُونَ إِلَيْهِ أَعْجَمِىٌّ وَهَـٰذَا لِسَانٌ عَرَبِىٌّ مُّبِينٌ
‘And We surely know that they say, “No one is teaching him except a human.” But the man they refer to speaks a foreign tongue, whereas this (Quran) is (in) eloquent Arabic.’[TMQ Surah An-Nahl – 16:103]
There are numerous examples of the preservation of the honour of the Prophets (May Allah (ﷻ) be pleased with all of them) that we can quote, but suffice is to make the point.
So, what is our role in defending the honour of the Prophet?
The status of our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) in the eyes of the Muslim is beyond one’s own parents:
لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ والِدِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
None of you have truly believed (complete sound faith) until I am more beloved to him than his father, his son and all of humankind. [Bukhari and Muslim]
It is not befitting for one that holds the Prophet (ﷺ) in higher esteem than themselves and their own parents to remain silent when his (ﷺ) honour is violated. So, what is required from the believer?
In Surah At-Takwir, Allah (ﷻ) questions the child killed in infancy on the day of judgement:
وَإِذَا ٱلْمَوْءُۥدَةُ سُئِلَتْ
And when the girl (who was) buried alive is asked
بِأَىِّ ذَنۢبٍ قُتِلَتْ
For what sin she was killed? [TMQ Surah At-Takwir 81:8-9]
This question is a rhetorical question in that Allah (ﷻ) is well aware of the reason. Rather this question is for the people that allowed this atrocity to take place – to account them for their inaction in preventing this from happening or at least objecting to it.
On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
This outlines what must be done. Ultimately the strongest and most comprehensive response is to work towards the re-establishment of the Khilafah so that we can provide a befitting response to the situation, just as Sultan Abdul Hameed II infamously gave to the foreign powers of the time that wished to dishonour the Prophet (ﷺ) with a play written by Voltaire that sought to depict our honourable Prophet (ﷺ).
قُلِ ٱللَّهُمَّ مَـٰلِكَ ٱلْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِى ٱلْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتَنزِعُ ٱلْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَآءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَآءُبِيَدِكَ ٱلْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say, (O Prophet) “O Allah! Lord over all authorities! You give authority to whoever You please and remove it from who You please; You honour whoever You please and disgrace who You please—all good is in Your Hands. Surely You (alone) are Most Capable of everything. [TMQ Surah Ali-Imran – 3:26]
15 Ramadan 1442AH