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I am Muslim

Shaikh Khalid Zahid

The writer is Associate General Secreatry (HWC) and Member Pakistan Federal Union of Columnists (PFUC).

The Muslim world is furious and has expressed outrage over the blasphemous remarks by the French President against our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and for expressing support towards those who published offensive caricatures and displayed them.

A true Muslim cannot tolerate any sort of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) under any circumstance. They will go to any extent to defend the honour and dignity of Islam and the esteemed prophet and will sacrifice their lives for him. France is one of those countries where there has been a gradual rise in Islamophobia and blasphemous activities.

Due to social media, we have increased access to Turkish dramas which are increasingly popular in many countries. This has helped revive interest in Islamic history and look at the glorious past of Muslims. A new drama has been formed on Sultan Abdul Hamid, the last Caliph of the Ottoman Empire. It is necessary to mention two historical events to understand his love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and strengthen our faith.

A man appeared in the court of Sultan Abdul Hamid claiming that the Caliph owed him. He was presented in front of the caliph to plead his case. The man claimed he saw the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in his dream last night who instructed him to tell the caliph ‘My dear Hameed, you forgot to recite the Durood Sharif last night’. When the caliph heard ‘My dear Hamid’ he asked him what else he saw in his dream. The man kept repeating until the caliph started offering him a bag of gold coins on every insistence while his minister looked bewildered and understood the matter.

The minister asked the man if his debt was repaid. He shook his head and was asked to leave. The Caliph looked at his trusted adviser Pasha and told him he fell asleep last night while working and forgot to recite the Durood Sharif, and if he was not stopped he would have handed his entire kingdom to the man.

The second incident relates to the current situation. Sultan Abdul Hamid came to know a film was being shown in France depicting the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He summoned the French envoy and threatened to declare war. He sent letters to the leaders of Muslim regions to prepare for war, saying he was ready to fight them to stay vindicated before the Holy Prophet on the Day of Judgment. The French were not prepared for war and decided not to continue their nefarious activities.

The respect and esteem of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an integral part of faith. Sultan Abdul Hamid was a true Muslim who was willing to fight against any conspiracy. When the ruler is honest and upright, then his constituents are also fair and just. But now we have leaders who have no character or principles and people are only seeking materialistic gains and worldly desires.

We have blurred the line between halal and haram and are least concerned about Islamic injunctions. This why the French President has threatened Turkey from interfering in internal affairs. It is our weak faith that French Muslims are being discriminated against today. Have the two billion Muslims forgotten that we are our brother’s keeper? Have we forgotten that we are like a building and even one brick loosens then the entire structure weakens? We are being slowly pushed into the quicksand of lies and deceit.

Our enemies have realised that we have been weakened and continue to strike us. We have hypocrites among us who are after their personal interests.

We are passing through a testing phase. It’s time we decide if we want to satisfy our worldly desires or stop ourselves from the hellfire. While the world is gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, there are also elements creating ethnic and religious strife and pushing the world into greater conflict.

Pakistan needs to sever diplomatic relations with any country involved in blasphemy and only restore them when they issue an unconditional apology. We cannot be considered a true Muslim if we don’t respect the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Let it be known that this is not just ingrained in our hearts and minds but we are ready to wage jihad for it.