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Does the Quran or Hadith give any guidance on how to handle the case of a Non-Muslim who insults the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

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All things have limitation, Freedom of speech should not be used with freedom. I can't say bad words for anyones father or mother, just because I have freedom of speech, can I? For Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is dearer than anything and anyone in this world. –  Anwar Sep 14 '12 at 16:21
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@Anwar one must define "insult". A lot of things that would be perfectly acceptable about anyone else are suddenly insulting just because it is Muhammad. That is not really "insult". Also, the insult can be taken even if it is not given. For example, if I (deep breath) drew a picture of Muhammad, then no insult is given (by me), but insult would be taken by many Musims. –  Marc Gravell Sep 15 '12 at 7:09
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let me clarify: marcgravell isn't saying that those drawings aren't insulting, he is saying that one may draw this picture without any intention of insulting muslims, but muslims might be offended regardless, like offense is in the eye of the beholder.. (i guess?) and the questionaire must clarify wether its intentional or not –  NesreenA Sep 15 '12 at 12:44
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All political figures (and in that we include religious figures, such as Muhammad) are going to be critiqued, parodied, and lampooned. It happens to all of them, ancient and current. I demand my right to parody such. It is no different for Muhammad. The moment anything is beyond criticism, we are slaves. –  Marc Gravell Sep 15 '12 at 15:11
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The "hint" and political/belief statement in this question do not belong. If this is intended as a legitimate question about what the Qur'an/Hadith teaches on the subject then it is distracting and unecessary to include the opinion or draw a connection to a previous event. Those are statements. Questions aren't meant to make a point. I have suggested an edit to remove these and keep just the question. I suggest this is a more constructive and reasonable way to approach this topic in the SE format. –  Caleb Sep 15 '12 at 19:04

5 Answers 5

The first thing we must do..

The first thing we must do is ask Allah for forgiveness.

I say this because, the people that insult the prophet(pbuh) have never met him or seen him BUT they know him through our actions. So we have failed to deliver the message of Islam for them to insult someone they have never seen or met.

These insults will not change the status of the prophet(pbuh) in the least. Allah is enough to protect the name of His messenger(pbuh) BUT these insults are a warning from Allah about our failure to deliver the message of Islam

Patience is the key..

You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah - indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination. (Quran 3:186)

Allah in the above verse clearly says that we will hear a lot of stuff that will grieve us BUT BE PATIENT.

We have today become emotional puppets. We are insulted and we respond exactly how "they" want us to. This is because we have forgotten this verse from the Quran. We have to be calm, collected & calculative.

This is nothing new

The Quraish used to go around insulting the prophet(pbuh) all the time. As the Islamic empire expanded the number of people insulting the prophet(pbuh) increased BUT the prophet(pbuh) or his companions never lost focus. They went on spreading the message.

Understand the nature of disbelief

We should understand that it is the nature of disbelief to insult the prophets(pbuh), the books of Allah & even Allah. We should not be surprised at all. Our problem will not be solved by reprimanding the disbeliever rather spread more awareness about Islam to remove disbelief.

See how the prophet(pbuh) responded to a person urinating in masjid Annabawi

Anas reported: A Bedouin urinated in the mosque. Some of the persons stood up (to reprimand him or to check him from doing so), but the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: Leave him alone; don't interrupt him. He (the narrator) said: And when he had finished, he called for a bucket of water and poured it over. (Muslim hadith 557, Book of purification)

Understand our failure

What is the reason of our failure?

  • Are we few in number? ... one in every five on this planet is Muslim
  • Don't we have the means?... we control all the natural resources under our feet.

The prophet(pbuh) didn't build the Islamic empire with numbers or money....rather he won hearts and we have failed to do so.

Go to any masjid, you will see that we have even forgotten to smile which is one of the sunnahs of the prophet(pbuh).

PS: I feel we should let everyone know that it is unacceptable to insult the prophet(pbuh) BUT they way to convey this needs to be better and with patience.

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please mention which view is this and please support your answer with official fatwa. your answer seems your personal opinion and personal interpret of Quran and hadith. "HE WON HEARTS" did you forget prophet made near 100 war at his life and many wars by Caliphs after him? Islamic mercy and Jihad and killing all exist in Islam and Islam is not only mercy against who insult prophet. also prophet himself can forgive. but Sahaba and Muslims should obey rules of Islam. prophet forgiven many but also made many wars. –  Battle of Karbala Sep 16 '12 at 12:48
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the hadith you mentioned is about disrespect to mosque and not insult to prophet. so this hadith is irrelevant to question. also how the verse is related to insult to prophet? it is talking about bothers of idol worshipers for Muslims like sanctions and other bothers. also ignorant person is different of who intentionally makes a insulting movie to prophet. –  Battle of Karbala Sep 16 '12 at 14:39
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It is really nice Answer alhamdolillah but I think it doesn't answer the question in proper way. You should add source from hadiths what did the companions do when Quraish used to insult prophet Muhammad (PBUH) directly. –  I'll-Be-Back Sep 16 '12 at 19:00
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+1 I think this is a fantastic answer because as a non Muslim I would be more likely to be open to the message and wisdom of Islam if it were delivered in the manner you have proposed in your answer. The fact you have not cited certain scriptures does not take away from your answer I think using your brain, that God gave you, to make sense of what you have noticed about the world around you is important too. This answer may not be as 'academic' as desired but it is good for non-Muslims to see and understand what Islam is about, rather than the tripe that is in the news. –  Monkieboy Oct 26 '12 at 10:39
    
If that's the case then why was Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf killed? –  Noah Nov 1 '12 at 8:19

This answer comes from a secular perspective; if it is out of place, let me know and I'll remove it. But I offer it anyway.

Short version:

Ignore it.

Offense has the interesting characteristic in that it is, quite literally, an imaginary thing: in only exists to the observer - it is not a concrete thing by itself. Add religion into that mix and we have guaranteed confusion. It is largely impossible to make any claim by one religion without it somehow being "offensive" to another religion (by disqualifying their deity, et). Indeed, often within a single religion the views of one sect can "offend" another.

Being so subjective, it is not something that is easy to quantify: there are answers here that suggest that offense towards the prophet is like being struck in the face - yet the fact remains: you were not struck in the face - you chose to be offended. Being offended is your right, but that doesn't mean a person can respond in any way you choose. Indeed, what I find "offensive" is the all-too-familiar threats of murder and mayhem, sadly all too often coming from Muslims.

Of course, it could also be said that an all-powerful God (with a well-established process for dealing with the unbelievers and unworthy) does not need you to leap to his defense, nor (with Allah on his side) does Muhammed.

Next, we must consider the true victims in all the recent fuss: it isn't the Muslim community: it is the innocent bystanders wo happened to be in the wrong place (meaning: too close to some volatile faction of Islam). People working in embassies, or just non-Muslims living in a predominantly Muslim community. These are people unconnected t the fuss, now murdered, maimed or dishomed. I am under the impression that the Koran does not support (quite the opposite) attacking innocent populations, yet this is what invariably results. This of course also harms the Muslim community: both in terms of the global reputation, and the fate of those few Muslims responding with acts of violence and cruelty.

The ironic thing in all this is that one of the reasons Islam attracts so much attention is because of the reputation it has for being aggressive - there's a circle here that can't be broken while Islam responds with force for imagined slights.

We must also consider the perspective of the "perpetrator". In most of the law, offense and blasphemy are not crimes. Freedom of thought and word are valued. Islam repeatedly saying "you cannot" (for something that is not actually illegal) is the main driver for why people do things like drawing cartoons of Mohammed. When Islam says "you cannot, or else", then that throws down a gauntlet - and there are a lot of people who feel that this is a kind of bully-tactic that must be answered.

Finally, I'll remark on representation: Islam, in common with many religions, does not have direct and accurate representation. The people doing much of the talking on the international stage do not necessarily have a huge support base. Indeed, most of the Muslims I know and have known have been completely different to the uglier face of Islam that keeps making headlines - yet even in there own communities they have felt unable to speak out openly. But: until this is challenged from within, these unelected figureheads will assume false authority and support.

So perhaps I should further qualify my relief response, with the guidance:

Respond by denouncing the calls for violence and blood. Openly state that you do not recognize this brutality as the true message of Islam.

Unless, of course, it is?

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@AlUmmat, why did you feel the need to Americanise the spelling in Marc's answer? I personally quite like the -ize endings, but I prefer the British distinction between nouns ending in ce and verbs ending in se (cf. advise and advice, where the pronunciation also differs). –  TRiG Jan 28 '13 at 21:54
    
@TRiG meh; not in the least bothered by that –  Marc Gravell Jan 28 '13 at 21:56
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It just seems a curiously pointless edit. If you want to spend time correcting grammar and spelling, there are plenty of posts on this site that really need it. –  TRiG Jan 28 '13 at 21:57
    
@TRiG I am sorry, you must understand I do not know all styles of english. If it is very important, you can change it back, I edit posts according to the English I know. –  Mujahid مجاهد Jan 28 '13 at 23:02
    
I quote from the answer, "there's a circle here that can't be broken while Islam responds with force for imagined slights." I think "Muslims" rather than "Islam" would be a better fit there and more accurate as well, especially keeping the rest of the answer in view. –  Umar Farooq Khawaja Jun 3 at 21:55

I think this photo will speak more than words

enter image description here *In response to the abusive film about the Holy Prophet Muhammad upon him blessings and peace, “Discover Islam UK” in London distributed more than 110,000 copies of a translation of the Qur’an And the life of the Prophet Mohammed for the citizens of London.

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Now that is an example of a religion that is ready to grow! Fight lack of education with education. No need to be physical. Win hearts and minds of the people and there will be no offending movies or language. Being violent only plays into the hands of those with negative views. –  user206 Sep 24 '12 at 18:30
    
This is a beautiful image. There's nothing better than seeing muslims spreading Allah's message :) –  Hanif Dec 23 '12 at 11:42
    
I absolutely support what you have said: ignore them, or in fact, use these events as excuses to spread Islam. Let's make it a mission to have a Muslim Europe within the next 20 years! –  Najeeb May 30 '13 at 8:44

(Shia View)

Although Islam religion of mercy but this mercy is not for all equal. Quran say: (the verse is long so I mention only related part)

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّ‌سُولُ اللَّـهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ‌ رُ‌حَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ...

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves... http://tanzil.net/#48:29

According to Fiqh of Shia Islam if who insulted prophet is Muslim or is ex-Muslim should is considered Murtad (apostate) and should be killed. but if he is a non-Muslim it depends on command of Wali Faqih (i.e. the Islamic leader at time of Occultation of 12th Imam, currently Imam Khamenei) and any command of Leader in this regard should be executed by Muslims.


Reference:

this fatwa

Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist by Imam Khomeini (ra)

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Duplicate from here:

Muslims are teased of rude people not believing in anything but themselves and their own (dirty) politics. People have right to laugh at us and our beliefs and we should stay happy? Someone mock my father and I remain smiled is the reaction of a psychologically healthy person? Muslims respect their prophets more than they respect their fathers.

If thou dost question them, they declare (with emphasis): "We were only talking idly and in play." Say: "Was it at Allah, and His Signs, and His Messenger, that ye were mocking?"(Al-Tubah:65)

Freedom of speech is a respected right only if a question is asked to learn about something, be it God or the historic facts about our prophet and Imams, PBU. But there are times that someone ask not to learn but to make laugh of us, then the behavior against the questioner would be different as should be. To us most of the insults against Islamic values are just some (political, planned) examinations to see where is the Muslim's bearing threshold! Muslims be silent they would go further and further, but Muslims have proved to be zealous thanks to Allah, not allowing the United States and the global Zionism to reach their new world order that they intend.

EDIT. The film just produced in US insulting the holy prophet PBUH of course is not artistic or else and one cannot assume its target to be anything other than stimulation of Muslims' anger, to start an inter-religions war (another crusade) or to scare their own Christian and other non-Muslim people of Muslims to unite them against a common enemy to deviate their people's worry about the economical and political crises inside their own countries. So that Muslims and non-Muslims over all the globe should be cautious about this dirty politic, we should demonstrate not being passive, but also peaceful for the global zionism not to reaches any single goal of it.

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Technically, no: freedom of speech is not limited to the things you would like people to say/ask. That is exactly why it is "freedom" of speech. –  Marc Gravell Sep 23 '12 at 7:23

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