Alia Ahmed rationalizes that as Muslims, we must learn to reply to every critic of Islam with logic and evidence

By now, we are all well-aware of the blasphemous caricatures publication by the Danish newspaper, Jyllands Posten, in September last year. France Soir, a Paris daily reprinted the cartoons along with a German paper, this January. Le Temps in Geneva and Budapest’s Magyar Hirlap also played their part. Spain’s ABC newspaper and Periodico de Catalunya put on display the photographs of papers, which had published the cartoons. The list goes on, including other European dailies such as France’s Le Mande.

The Muslims all over the world have condemned the publication of these caricatures and as a result, we have witnessed a variety of protests and demonstrations.  There is a call from all quarters for a complete boycott of Danish products.  Inevitably, this event has created deep resentment and has concurrently enraged the sentiments of the Muslim community the world over. And I feel myself a strong part of this community. But having said that, I feel that this problem should be confronted with more suitable means.

We raised our voices when “The Satanic Verses” was brought into the market. We chanted slogans and sent numerous emails asking Muslims the world over to boycott all Jewish products. But did all of that bear any fruitful results? I think not.

Before reacting against any form of bigotry, we must first analyze what we wish to eventually gain from it.  Do we just want to show that we are incredibly devout Muslims who will not take a word against Islam? Or do we want to leave a lasting image on the world that no matter what you do, you cannot shake our faith, our principles and our commitment.  We are a strong nation, which shall never waver, no matter how strong the trial may be Insha’Allah.

When the companions (rta) claimed loyalty to Allah’s Apostle (sa), they proved every word of it by following the Prophets’s (sa) Sunnah and the Quran to the core. They lived the faith and not just pay lip service. They ascertained it by passing along Allah’s (swt) message to the whole world with dignity and honour, regarding it as their fundamental duty.

They earned Allah’s (swt) pleasure Who glorified them. Don’t we wish to be like them? If our answer is yes, then we must first look into ourselves before we blame others. Are we the appropriate ambassadors of Islam? Are we submitting to Allah (swt) whole-heartedly, or are we simply following some odd rituals with a heavy heart? Are we strong enough to observe the message brought by our Prophet (sa) and have we made it imperative upon us to deliver it to the rest of mankind?

Let’s check ourselves and then our family, our neighbours, our countrymen…

The task is endless and we have a lot to do. There is no time to be wasted. One life may not be enough to cause a noticeable change. But one life, no matter how small, is enough to prove to the world that it was worth living.

Let’s make a pledge to ourselves that we shall be a beacon of light for everyone around us by genuinely reflecting the image of Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) Ummah. It is my conviction that if we mend our ways the world will be at our feet. Our Prophet (sa) won the hearts of even the greatest enemies of Islam, simply by submitting completely to the will of Allah (swt). We simply need to step out of the shadows of respect and reverence and build up the courage to practically apply and deliver what the Prophet (sa) brought to the mankind.