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The forgotten meaning of Islam

 | September 23, 2012

This whole video issue has been blown out of proportion.


I received this text on my mobile device which read:

“From today and for three days, Muslims will stop using Google and YouTube. Because they refused to stop showing the film that made fun of our Prophet SAW. Take less than 5 min to 4wrd ths msg so tht we can answr Allah SWT wen he asks us wat action we took wen his beloved SAW was made fun of? USA is losing; pls dnt let ths mail stop in ur inbox.”

So I responded and said, “Hey, I am sorry, I am not forwarding this ridiculous message coz firstly I don’t want to be like the masses, and secondly, I don’t even know who the originator is. For all you know, it’s someone who has taken advantage of this ‘film provocateur’ to make a fortune out of the entire chain of messages being sent.”

What I really wanted to say was : Hey, don’t tell me you bought this, you smart ass? I can’t survive without Google. My world basically revolves around this damn search engine and I couldn’t give two hoots about forwarding this message!

I must say that the anti-Islam video has done an excellent job in provoking Muslims. The current count is 30 dead in seven countries in the riots and violence that broke out, and the figure is rising.

This well publicised story is driving me insane and the stories over my flatscreen TV is spinned ad nauseam, so I came to a conclusion that I should do my bit for society and that I should remind my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam on the basic teachings of our Prophet SAW (PBUH).

That’s what I want to do – it takes more time and effort than just forwarding that silly message over watsapp.

So, yeah, I googled away (disrespecting the text msg I got this morning ) and discovered that the US has spent US$70,000 for air-time across seven channels in Pakistan as it tries to stem the outrage over the American-made movie.

The adverts, which aim to calm the protests, show President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton denouncing the anti-Muslim film. The president said: “There is absolutely no justification to this senseless violence. None.”

Well, guess what? I tend to agree with this man, although I reckon that this time around, Obama Obama is definitely not proud of his “Made in America” stamp!

Then the French vulgar caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad added more fuel to the fire, further inflaming global tensions, prompting France to step up security at embassies and French schools abroad. Sigh, another drama!

Truth be told, when this video was released and created a commotion in the Muslim world, resulting in worldwide protests, that gave content to the likes of CNN, I took no interest in it. For a very simple reason: we already live in a complicated world. Let’s not make it more complex than it already is.

Besides, negativity is bad for the brain. So I avoid bad stories and all types of negative vibes. Besides, this is not the first attempt at insulting the world of Muslims, therefore it is no longer “breaking news” in my books.

Missing the real meaning

My grandfather’s name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. I stand guided by the basic principles of Islam, which carries the meaning “peace” in English. Some examples include Assalamualaikum, May Peace be Upon You, Peace be upon him, May Allah pray on him and grant him peace”, May Allah grant peace and pray on him and his family – some regular expressions when greeting each other, expressions that follow after saying the name of a prophet, one of the archangels, or name of Prophet Muhammad, SAW ( PBUH ).

Islam in itself means Peace, but unfortunately, in today’s world, the real meaning has escaped the minds of many. I am far from being a political analyst and neither am I an economist by training. But pure intelligence tells me that this whole video issue has been blown out of proportion.

It breaks my heart to see all this violence, disruptions and bloodbath.

At least, Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, condemned what it called an act of “aggression” against Muhammad but urged Muslims not to fall into a trap intended to “derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West”.

So, all hope is not gone.

In communication, we call this tossing the red herring. Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead, the Arab Spring still heated up, and Islamic finance seems to be taking the world by storm, let’s try and break their current focus and maybe let’s give Obama a new headache too!

Lo and behold, the birth of a video which had well achieved its primary objective, generally annoyed some 1.6 billion people on this planet, got some people killed, and raised the billings in advertising and commercial airtime. Why not?

On a more serious note, I stopped to reflect and imagine how the Prophet SAW (PBUH) would have reacted should he be alive today. For one of the marvellous qualities of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was his infinite patience. God is certainly with those who patiently persevere (Al Baqarah 2:153 ).

Let me share a few stories of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) Inexhaustible Patience so that you understand what Islam really advocates and teaches its followers.

1. An incident at the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah demonstrates how lenient and kind the Prophet was to ignorant people. Abu Hurairah reports: “A Bedouin urinated in the mosque and some people rushed to beat him. The Prophet said, ‘Leave him alone and pour a bucket of water over it. You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult’ (Al-Bukhari).’”

2. Once a man approached the Prophet seeking advice, and the Prophet said, “Do not get angry.” The man asked for advice several times and the Prophet replied every time, “Do not get angry” (Al-Bukhari). The questioner was probably one disposed to a quick temper, and so the Prophet was stressing the need to control his anger. The Prophet also said, “He who is deprived of forbearance and gentleness is, in fact, deprived of all good” (Muslim).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH ) once said: “The strong man is not one who is good at wrestling, but the strong man is one who controls himself in a fit of rage”.

Dear Muslims, let us all not forget the real meaning of Islam, the real meaning of Peace.

May Peace be Upon Everyone and May we all be granted with strength and patience of a true believer. Amen.

Sairana Mohd Saad is currently the Director of Corporate Communications, for SME Corp Malaysia, an agency under MITI.


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