By Fatima Mulla Panchbhaya
December 7, 2017
Islamophobia has existed almost since the
beginning of time: from the time our Prophet Nuh called his people towards the
oneness of Allah, through each era of each prophet including the era of our
beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). That is, today’s Islamophobia is
not something unique or isolated.
The difference between Islamophobia during
the time of the prophets and Islamophobia today is that when the prophets and
their communities went through it, they had the support and comfort of their
prophet with them. The prophets were not only able to comfort their people
through their own wisdom, but also through divine revelation.
One may ask: how do we gain some of the
confidence as the people of the past? How do we raise confident children, who
have strong personal identities and aren’t ashamed of who they are, especially
in this sensitive age of social media? How do we teach them to react when they
are confronted with an uncomfortable or hateful situation?
Alhamdulillah for the most complete religion that we have been blessed with; a
religion that wasn’t only for the time of medieval Arabia but has been carved
into stone for us until The Day of Judgement. For us, our answers lie in the
words of the Noble Quran and the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammed
(peace be upon him).
As Allah tells us in the Quran:
لكم في رسول الله أسوة حسنة لمن كان يرجوا الله واليوم الاخر
certainly for you, in the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) excellent
character for those who have hope in Allah and the last day.
This ayah speaks volumes to any of us who
want to ponder, learn and implement the Prophetic way in our daily way of life.
Our beloved Prophet was victimized in his time; along with his companions (may
Allah be pleased with them). But regardless of the trials he suffered, he never
compromised his sense of character.
The many scenarios that took place during
their lives are analogous to the Islamophobic incidents we hear of today. As
much as I would love to mention the many hardships they encountered, one blog
post wouldn’t do them justice. But the one incident that is very close to my
heart is the story of the Prophet Muhammed’s (peace be upon him) trip to Ta’if.
He had travelled to Ta’if to introduce
city’s chiefs to the religion of Islam. The unfortunate consequence was that
our Prophet (peace be upon him) was pelted, hit and humiliated by the rich and
poor, young and old of the city.
Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)
took refuge under the shade of a tree, where the angel Jibrail came and asked
The Prophet if he would like the angels of the mountains to bring together the
mountains that surrounded the city of Ta’if and crush its inhabitants.
May Allah send his countless mercy and
blessings on The Mercy to Mankind, peace and blessing be upon his soul: his
reply was in the negative! Subhan Allah! His compassion and kindness are the
ultimate example of how we need to react to the unfortunate yet divinely
ordained hardships we may encounter.
Allah mentions in the Quran:
ان تدخلوا الجنة و لما يأتكم مثل الزين خلو من قبلكم ….
‘Do u think you
will enter into Jannah, without the trials of your predecessors crossing you?’
In other words, these hardships are a
given. Everyone encounters different hardships in different ways and some of us
may encounter them in the form of Islamophobia.
We need to teach our children and ourselves
how to react in The Prophetic way—with the wisdom and traditions he left behind
for us. That is, the wisdom of kindness and calm.
We need to learn the Sunnah of Our Beloved:
how he was ever so kind to everyone around him even those who hurt him and hurt
those whom he loved. Through his kind and gentle actions, he not only let an
entire city live, but also transformed a disunited Arabia into one big family
who prayed together, ate together, celebrated together and hurt together.
Through his example of kindness, foes became brothers and sisters. Even his
enemies couldn’t help but love him!
Many times the people who are Islamophobic
just don’t have enough knowledge—they have never really met and interacted with
Muslims. We must ensure to educate our children in Islamic and secular
education, so that they have the knowledge to be able to communicate with
wisdom with everyone around them. With this education, they will in shaa Allah
become confident individuals who can exemplify our beautiful religion and fight
injustice when they encounter it.
As parents it’s our duty to teach our
children to learn and love the actions of Our Beloved (peace be upon him). We
must teach them to embody his character by being the best kind of human they
can be: one who shows love, compassion, kindness, leadership, intellect,
humbleness and most of all mercy. Part of our children’s confidence and pride
should come from being from the most honourable Ummah of the most honourable
prophet of Allah (peace be upon him). Through our actions and interactions we
directly and indirectly teach Islamophobic people who we are and what we live
I leave you with two beautiful quotes to
تعلموا العلم و تعلموا السكينة و الوقار
knowledge- learn tranquillity and dignity
Go my friend-
bestow your love even on your enemies, if you touch their heart, what do you
think will happen?
Fatima Mulla Panchbhaya, a mother of
three and resident of Toronto, Canada, pursued her advanced Islamic education
in the U.K, where she graduated from a six year Islamic theology and
jurisprudence course. Over the course of the six years, she completed
comprehensive studies of Hadith, Quran, Tafseer, Aqa’aid, Fiqh, Arabic grammar
and academics. Over the years she has been teaching Islamic studies to sisters
of various age groups in different Masajid. Currently, she teaches youth and
also helps with a small community Muslim youth club in her local area.