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How To Protect The Honour Of Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy

Praise be to Allah, Lord of All the Worlds. And may peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

Dear brothers and sisters, the first pillar of Islam is our testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. The first half of this testimony is our declaration of monotheism. The second half is our declaration that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him). We can only fully realise the meaning of the second half of the testimony in our hearts by cultivating the following:

  1. Belief in everything the Prophet (Peace be upon him) has told us: We must believe, first and foremost, that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah sent to all humanity to convey to them what Allah revealed to him of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is the religion of Islam, and Allah will accept from his servants no other religion.
  2. Obedience to his commands with full acceptance and submission: We must adhere to his Sunnah and emulate his most excellent example and eschew everything to the contrary.
  3. Love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him): We must love our Prophet (Peace be upon him) more than we love anyone else, even our own parents and children. In this way, we will show him the respect and deference that he deserves and we will be inspired to do what we must to support and defend him.

Respected servants of Allah, it is incumbent upon every one of us as Muslims to fully realise in our lives the meaning of our testimony:

“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

We must truly inculcate this faith in our hearts. The hypocrites had said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“We bear witness that indeed you are the Messenger of Allah.”

In turn, Allah said:

“Allah knows that you (Prophet Muhammad) are indeed His Messenger, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.” [Qur’an, 63: 1]

My beloved people, there are a number of things that we can do to put our love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) into action and carry out our duty to him. We must confront the vicious attacks being waged against him and ransom him with our lives, our loved ones, and our wealth to the extent of our varying abilities. We must all carry out our responsibilities on whatever level we are able.

  • Things we can do as individuals
  1. We can contemplate the evidence which decisively demonstrates that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah. The first source for this evidence is none other than the noble Qur’an.
  2. We can learn the evidence from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Muslims (Ijma’) that it is obligatory to obey the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and emulate his most excellent example.
  3. We can acquaint ourselves with how Allah has protected the Prophet’s Sunnah. We should learn about the considerable efforts that were made by the scholars throughout the centuries to separate the genuine Sunnah from what was false and how they compiled the authentic Sunnah according to the most stringent conditions. No other civilisation of the past had ever developed a more arduous and learned set of principles for authenticating historical evidence.
  4. We can cultivate in our hearts our love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) by recalling his noble attributes. We can read about his good character and his noble deeds. We can learn how he embodied all the good qualities that can possibly be attained by a single human being.
  5. We can bring to mind the great favour that he bestowed on all of us and how indebted we are to him. He is the one who conveyed to us the true religion. He carried out this duty in a most excellent manner. He fulfilled his trust to Allah perfectly and delivered to us his Lord’s Message.
  6. We can give him due credit for all the good that we attain by Allah’s grace in this world and the Hereafter, since he is the one who showed us towards how to attain it and who brought us guidance. Allah has blessed him on our account with the greatest blessings ever bestowed upon a Prophet.
  7. We can bring to mind how compassionate and merciful the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was to his followers and how concerned he was for our guidance and welfare. Allah the Most High says:

“The Prophet is closer to the believers than they are to their own selves.” [Qur’an, 33: 6]

  1. We can become acquainted with the verses of the Qur’an and with the Hadith that discuss his lofty status with his Lord and the love that Allah has for him and the esteem in which Allah holds him.
  2. We can carry out Allah’s command to love the Prophet (Peace be upon him). We should love him more than we love ourselves. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“None of you truly believes until I become dearer to him than his own self, his children, his parents, and all of mankind.”

  1. We can carry out Allah’s command to show respect for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and for his Sunnah. Allah the Almighty says:

“O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the Prophet’s voice and do not speak to him loudly as you might speak to one another, lest your deeds become vain while you perceive it not.” [Qur’an, 49: 2]

  1. We can fulfill Allah’s command to come to the defense of our Prophet (Peace be upon him) and protect him from those who wish to harm or defame him. Allah the Almighty says:

“To believe in Allah and His Messenger that you may assist and honour him.” [Qur’an, 48: 9]

  1. We can cultivate in our hearts a sincere and constant resolve to defend the Prophet and promote his good name.
  2. We can bear in mind the great blessings and rewards that in the Hereafter await those who genuinely put into practice their love for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They will be his close companions in Paradise, for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has promised that:

“You will be with whom you love.”

  1. We can make it a habit to offer salutations of peace upon our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) whenever we remember to do so, especially after the call to prayer and on Fridays. This will increase our blessings from Allah In Shaa Allah.
  2. We can read the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) from authentic sources and benefit from the many lessons that it contains. We can then try to apply those lessons to our lives today.
  3. We can learn the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) by studying its authentic sources. We must study the Hadiths and strive to understand them correctly. We need to derive from these Hadiths the rulings and the lessons that they contain.
  4. We can follow the Sunnah in its entirety, giving priority to what we are obligated to do.
  5. We can strive to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) even in matters where we are under no obligation to do so. It is better even if we do something the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) did only once in our lives just so we can follow his example to the last detail.
  6. We can be vigilant to avoid ever belittling any aspect of his Sunnah.
  7. We can make sure that we feel joy every time we see people putting some aspect of his Sunnah into practice.
  8. We can feel sorrow whenever we find that some aspect of his Sunnah is being neglected.
  9. We can feel enmity towards anyone who defames the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) or disapproves of his Sunnah.
  10. We can show love for the members of our beloved Prophet’s family (Ahlul Bait) and for his wives and descendants. We can seek nearness to Allah by loving them for the sake of their nearness to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and for the sake of their commitment to Islam. If we find any of his descendants disobedient to Allah, we should be eager to guide them, since their guidance is something most dear to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Umar Ibn al-Khattab said to the Prophet’s uncle:

“O Abbas! The day that you accepted Islam was more beloved to me than the day when al-Khattab accepted Islam. This is only because I know that your acceptance of Islam was dearer to Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) than that of al-Khattab.”

  1. We can act upon the direction of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) with respect to his family when he thrice said:

“I remind you of the rights of Allah with respect to my family (Ahlul Bait).”

  1. We can show love and respect for the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and recognise their honour and distinction with Allah and their superiority in knowledge and good works to those who come after them.
  2. We can show love and respect for the scholars on account of their status and their knowledge of the Prophet’s legacy. The scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets. They deserve to be loved and honoured. This is a right that our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has over us.
  • Things we can do as families and as a society
  1. We can raise our children to love the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  2. We can raise our children to emulate his excellent example.
  3. We can make available in our homes books about the Prophet’s life.
  4. We can make available in our homes recorded lectures about his life for our families to listen to.
  5. We can show our children cartoons that have a clear, pure and wholesome Islamic content.
  6. We can set aside some family time every week for an Islamic study circle.
  7. As husbands and wives, we can follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in how we deal with our families.
  8. We can encourage our children to memorise and put into practice the words that the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used to remember Allah on all occasions.
  9. We can encourage our children to spend a portion of their daily allowances on charitable deeds that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used to encourage, like providing for an orphan, feeding a poor person, or helping the needy. This is an excellent practical application of the Sunnah.
  10. We can make our children accustomed to using some of the Prophet’s good sayings in their everyday speech like:

“A believer is clever and sage.”

“A believer does not get stung from the same hole twice.”

“Make things easy, not difficult.”

  1. We can hold competitions at home where the children can be tested on their knowledge of the Prophet’s life.
  2. We can teach our children about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) by holding little programs at home like:

“A day at the Prophet’s house.”

  • Things we can do in the field of education
  1. We can cultivate love for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in the hearts of our students by teaching them about the rights he has over us as his followers.
  2. We can increase the amount of lectures given covering different aspects of his life and personality.
  3. We can encourage educational authorities to add to the Islamic Studies syllabus a subject entitled ‘The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).’
  4. We can make efforts to finance the appointment of professors of the Prophet’s biography in prominent universities.
  5. We can encourage serious research into the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and encourage scholars to publish works about different aspects of the Sunnah.
  6. We can hold exhibitions at schools and universities to inform people about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) while focusing on the geographical spread of Islam.
  7. We can devote prominent sections of our libraries to books about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  8. We can develop valuable encyclopedic reference works about the Prophet’s life.
  9. We can host annual competitions where students can receive scholarships and prizes for writing the best original research papers about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life.
  10. We can hold youth camps that cultivate love for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and teach the practical application of the Sunnah.
  11. We can host training seminars for our future leaders that focus on how to emulate the example of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  • Things we can do in the field of Islamic work
  1. We can explain the hallmarks of the message that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) called towards, emphasising that he came with the original, pure religion and that his concern was to guide all humanity to the sincere, pure, clean, monotheistic worship of their Lord.
  2. We can step up our efforts in calling people of all nations and all walks of life to the guidance of Islam.
  3. We can convey to the people the illustrious and noble character that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had even before he began to receive the revelation from Allah.
  4. We can explain to the people the good qualities of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the unique features of Islam in a manner that will hold their attention and capture their interests.
  5. We can explain how the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) behaved toward his family, his neighbours, and his followers.
  6. We can focus on how admirably and magnanimously he conducted himself with the Jews, Christians, pagans, and hypocrites who showed him enmity and hostility.
  7. We can explain how nobly he carried out his most mundane, daily affairs.
  8. We can set aside part of the Friday sermons for discussing certain aspects of the Prophet’s life and occasionally devote an entire sermon to this topic.
  9. After the daily prayers, we can offer a few comments on how the verses we recited in our prayers relate to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life.
  10. We can hold study sessions for the memorisation of the Sunnah just like we do for the memorisation of the Qur’an.
  11. We can correct the misconceptions that the general public has about the Sunnah and emphasise the importance of following the Sunnah in our lives.
  12. We can call the people’s attention to the Islamic rulings issued by scholars regarding those who defame the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and emphasise that we have to disassociate ourselves from such people.
  13. We can work to return the people to their religion by presenting to them the message of the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in the simplest terms.
  14. We can use the media to warn people against going overboard in their reverence for the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and explain to them the verses of the Qur’an that prohibit excess and extravagance. Allah the Most High says:

“Do not go to excesses in your religion.”

We can also mention relevant Hadith like:

“Do not venerate me in the way that the Christians venerated the son of Mary (Jesus).”

We must emphasise that true love for the prophet (Peace be upon him) is expressed by following him truthfully, faithfully and sincerely.

  1. We can encourage the people to read about the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) from its authentic sources. We must clarify those sources and make them available.
  2. We can refute and dispel the misconceptions and false claims that are circulating about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life.
  • Things we can do in the cultural sphere and in the media
  1. We can use cultural and media events as opportunities to teach people about the illustrious character of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  2. We can refrain from publishing or broadcasting anything that is contrary to his Sunnah.
  3. We can oppose the media and refute the misconceptions and false claims that they are propagating about our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) and our religion.
  4. We can host press conferences and cultural events with moderate non-Muslim thinkers where we can openly discuss the Prophet Muhammad (Peace e upon him) and his message.
  5. We can publish and disseminate what objective non-Muslim thinkers have said about the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  6. We can hold conventions and conferences to discuss the life and methodology of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and to demonstrate how that methodology is suitable for all places and times.
  7. We can air televised competitions where contestants can earn prizes by demonstrating their knowledge of the Prophet’s life.
  8. We can write and publish articles, stories, and pamphlets about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  9. We can petition the editorial boards of newspapers and magazines to provide a regular feature that highlights verses of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and explains why Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and emulate his example.
  10. We can petition the executive bodies of television networks to air programs about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life, highlighting his good qualities and the exemplary way that he conducted himself with his wives, his children, his followers, and his enemies.
  11. We can encourage production studios to prepare professional quality video programs about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life.
  12. We can encourage our local television stations and satellite channels to produce and air pure cartoon programs for children highlighting the good qualities of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and stories from his life.
  • What we can do through our Islamic groups and charities
  1. We can establish committees and departments within our groups devoted to supporting our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  2. We can reserve space for our groups at local and international expositions and conventions and distribute literature and other media products about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his message.
  3. We can establish permanent distribution centers for distributing books, pamphlets, and audio recordings about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  4. We can establish a special award with preset standards to be presented to the person who best served the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his biography. The presentation of this award could be accompanied by a major ceremony to which many renowned personages would be invited.
  5. We can print books about the Prophet’s life in various locals and foreign languages to be distributed to public libraries, universities, and centers for Oriental studies around the globe.
  6. We can publish a periodical journal that specialises in the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), his life, Islamic teachings, and the Muslims, emphasising the good qualities of the religion that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) came with.
  7. We can establish charitable funds to finance our program of supporting the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and to pay for the writing and translation of books and articles.
  • What we can do on the internet
  1. We can establish groups and platforms devoted to propagating Islam and showing, among other things, how Islam teaches love and reverence for all of the Prophets (Peace be upon them all).
  2. We can establish websites and online newsgroups devoted to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). On a smaller scale, we can create dedicated web pages for existing websites that have a broader focus.
  3. We can participate in live chats online with non-Muslims and invite them to study the personality of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the religion that he came with.
  4. We can include at the bottom of our e-mails some appropriate Hadith and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  5. We can prepare an occasional online newsletter that discusses the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his message to be sent out on special occasions and whenever circumstances warrant it.
  6. We can post on major search engines notices about relevant books and lectures.
  • Things we can do with our wealth and through our governments
  1. We can give financial support to Islamic activities that focus on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  2. We can print billboards and bumper stickers that quote the words of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
  3. We can help to establish Islamic television and radio stations, as well as periodicals that are devoted to spreading the message of Islam in many languages around the world and especially in English.
  4. We can pay for airtime on television and radio stations in various countries to get our message across.
  5. We can establish centers devoted to research into the study of the Prophet’s biography and the publication of that research in many languages.
  6. We can establish museums and libraries devoted to the Prophet’s life and his legacy.
  7. We can fund the establishment of high quality professional websites on the Internet devoted to the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his life.
  8. We can pay for the production of high quality books, audio recordings, and television programs in various major languages, especially English.
  9. We can help to finance Islamic competitions about the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and provide substantial prizes to encourage participation.

As for the other ways to honour the beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), I leave that to you dear listeners and readers. I welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please send your input to my e-mail address: gusauimam@gmail.com

My Dear listeners and readers, it is our collective and individual duty to do what we can to support and protect the honour of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). I’m offering this list of suggestions so that no one will have any excuse to remain idle. Let us begin by working together to circulate these suggestions to as many people as we can. We should invite our families and friends to get involved. We should not feel shy to pick up the phone or to send out an SMS in support of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com

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