THE POWER OF A UNITED UMMAH
The splendid victory by a united Ummah over the Weekly Mail & Guardian who rather insensitively published the blasphemous cartoon of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is worthy of being recorded. After all, we Muslims could do with some good news.
All the cards were stacked against the Muslims. An agnostic media which revels in sensationalism and Islamophobia (remember the Al-Qaeeda headlines in the Sunday Times?), our mutual bitter in fighting, and the fact that we make up only 2% of the populace. To make matters worse, the offensive cartoon was published only a few days before the World Cup commenced, sparking fears that it was part of a larger plot to provoke the Muslims.
Millions of Muslim hearts throughout South Africa, nay the World, were bleeding with pain in the manner in which our beloved Rasul Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam was depicted. Each true ardent devoted Muslim was prepared to shed the last drop of his blood in defence of the Izzat of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.
Confronting them, was the a Newspaper that worshipped the “freedom of speech-idol”. This cherished, sacred idol, is jealously protected by the Fourth Estate. Journalists throughout the World have been clubbed, beaten and imprisoned in defence of this highly valued idol. No price was too high to pay, no adversary too powerful to confront by its ardent devotees.
The stakes could not have been higher. Emotions were running high. Both sides had made their positions clear.
Twenty one divergent Muslims organizations held a meeting beforehand to discuss the issue. In an atmosphere filled with mutual respect and cordiality, views were frankly and forthrightly exchanged.
If there were Ulama who felt that, bearing in mind we Muslims were in the minority in the country, threats of a boycott were counter productive and ineffective, then there were Ulama who impressed upon the august gathering that the issue was the defence of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam as per the directive of The Shariah.
If there were Ulama who felt that the Hudaybia example of treating the enemy with kindness and compassion should be applied, then there were Ulama who pointed out respectfully that Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam confronted the determined enemy differently when the Muslims enjoyed power. The poetry of the non-Muslims was answered with poetry. Treachery was responded to firmly. Breaches of peace agreements invited retaliation. Why, war was even waged. Fire was fought with fire. Islam’s compassion should not be confused or interpreted as weakness.
And so the meeting ebbed and flowed with emotion.
To and fro the conversation went. By Allah, the hearts were brimming with Imaan. An hour’s meeting stretched to two, three, no four hours. At stake was a most important discussion under the canopies of the skies: How to respond, how to safeguard the dignity of the Greatest of Allah’s Creation.
An elderly, beardless, white-headed person wished to say something urgently:
In a voice filled with emotion, he said:
“Remember, I have not been attacked, you have not been attacked, Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has been attacked. We Muslims are being attacked all over the World. I am sick and tired of being a terrorist. It is time for another armed struggle!”
Even the angels must have applauded him. In the twilight of his life, he roared like a wounded lion and was prepared to gift his life to Muhammed Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam.
At the end of all the deliberations, it was decided to set up a committee to meet with the newspaper’s Editor and the Cartoonist.
Before the meeting was conducted, Du’a was made. This was one very warming feature. Du’a before meetings, du’a after meetings, exhortations to one another to make du’a, du’a, du’a and du’a.
And so the two groups met. Security was tight. Bodyguards escorted the media representatives. The place was teeming with fully-armed security guards.
And so we set down, each with his own secret fears and high hopes.
The Weekly Mail and Guardian had come to defend the idol of freedom of speech.
The Muslims had come to defend the respect of their beloved Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. None dared to fail! A nation who at that time was the focus of the World could be thrown into turmoil if things went wrong.
Introductions commenced. No, there was going to be no photographing allowed. This was a serious matter, more serious than life and death. This was not a circus.
One after the other, an array of leaders of the Muslim community introduced themselves and defined their role in the community.
The youth were represented. The business community was represented. The Muslim Media was represented. Different Ulama from various provinces were represented.
One after the other made the feelings of their constituents known in no uncertain manner.
“Mass marches are being planned in universities in protest against the cartoon.”
“A human chain was going to be formed at soccer city.”
Muslim business community members had already withdrawn advertisements. By Allah, just as Muslim financial muscles were flexed, so was basic logic and sheer reason employed to scuttle the argument of “freedom of speech” presented by the Paper. Their were no signs of any side prepared to give in. Fears deepened. Hearts pumped faster. And then came a critical moment.
Allah’s Divine Aid descended. Logic was suddenly abandoned. Instead the discussion took on another dimension. One after the other, Muslims explained just how much they love Rasullullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasllam.
“You have traumatised all Muslims!”
“See here Zapiro, though I have not seen him (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), I clip my nails, wake up and go and sleep just as Muhammed Salllahu Alayhi Wasallam did.”
“We would gladly trade our eyesight in order to get just a glimpse of Muhammed Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam.”
With the gloves of Love for Allah’s Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi on, Muslims boxed and jabbed frantically. Somewhere along the line, the Editor remarked:
“We never expected such an outpouring of devotion and emotion.” He simply was bewildered at the Love which was displayed unashamedly. 12:30 was the time when the meeting was to be concluded.
The bell rang. Time was up. The newspaper representatives were going into conference. The stress was apparent on every Muslim’s face. Will their demands be met? An Ummah was waiting with bated breath…
And then came the decision. An apology would be made by the newspaper. No publishing of any derogative nature would take place. A review of policy would be conducted by the newspaper.
By Allah! The relief and the joy and the happiness and the ecstasy was etched on everyone’s face.
And from the Green Dome, it appeared as if the angels were making Du’a:
“May Allah reward you, O Ummah of Muhammed Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. You did not fail him. May Allah be pleased with you and you with Him.”
Such is the result of the power and magic of a unity which is within the ambit of the Shariah.