Our Duty Towards Allahs Messenger
Praise be to Allah who says: "Now a Messenger has come to you from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that affliction should be fall you. Ardently anxious is he over you. To the believers is he most kind and merciful."
[Sûrah al-Tawbah: 128]
May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon the Prophet who said: "None of you truly believes until I become more beloved to him than his parents, his children, and all of humanity."
There can be no doubt about the rights over both humanity and the Jinn enjoyed by the most honored of Adams descendants, the final Prophet and Messenger, the bearer of the standard of praise, and the possessor of the greatest intercession on the Day of Judgment. How can it be otherwise when Allah raised him to such a lofty status and every virtue that we are blessed with in this world and the next is to his credit after the grace and providence of Allah? Did not the religion of Islam come to bring us success in both worlds? And is the Prophet (peace be upon him) not the one who conveyed this religion to us in its entirety and in the best possible way?
One of the most emphatic rights that he has upon us - to whom he brought the blessing of Islam and the hope of Paradise that comes with it - is for us to defend his honor and respond forcefully to those who aggress against him with their words and insinuations. This is his right that can never be revoked. No one has the right to even think of revoking it.
This is from the fundamentals of our faith about which no two Muslims differ, irrespective of nationality, skin color, or ideology. All agree on the principle that they must expend every effort and spare no expense to defend Allahs Messenger (peace be upon him). The enemies of Allah can find no better way to unite the Muslims (whom they have been trying so hard to divide) than by slandering the Prophet (peace be upon him) of belittling his Sunnah, even in the subtlest terms.
I take this occasion to address those wrongdoers directly and say: Which of us here is more deserving of the label "extremist"? And who here is more deserving of being credited with moderation and tolerance? Those who slander and malign the Final Prophet (peace be upon him) though he is alluded to in your own scriptures? Or those who believe in Jesus (peace be upon him) and revere him as well as Moses, Abraham, and all of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (peace be upon them)?
Certainly, we as Muslims are witnesses over humanity. Allah says: "Thus We have appointed you a moderate nation, that ye may be witnesses over humanity, and that the Messenger may be a witness over you."
[Sûrah al-Baqarah: 143]
Praise be to Allah first and always. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of His Creation, his family, his Companions, and all those who follow their way.
* Dr. al-Sharîf Hâtim b. `Ârif al-`Awnî, Professor, Umm al-Qurâ University, Mecca