Written by Sheima Salam Sumer, Ed.S.
How do we deal with Islamophobia in this day and age? Let’s read this article to find out.
Prophet Muhammad said: “All creatures are like a family (dependents) of God: and He loves most those who are kindest to his family.” [1. Narrated by Anas. Mishkat al-Masabih,3:1392; quoted from Bukhari]
The above hadith teaches Muslims to be kind to non-Muslims because they are Allah’s creation.
The Quran reminds us to be kind to non-Muslims as long as they do not harm us:
“Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you due to (your) religion, and have not driven you from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.” (Quran, 60:8)
Learn from each other
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another…”(Quran 49:13)
Terrorism has no place in Islam
Terrorism is totally against the teachings of Islam. To kill an innocent person is like killing all of humanity:
“…If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or for corruption (done) in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind… (Quran, 5:32)
Quran teaches that fighting is only done in self-defence and must stop if the enemy desires peace:
“Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits.” (Quran 2:190)
“…But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against those who practice oppression.” (Quran 2:193)
“But if the enemy inclines towards peace, you (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah… Even if they intend to deceive you, remember that God is sufficient for you…” (Quran 8:61-62)
If fighting must occur for self defense, prisoners of war should be treated with kindness.
About captives of war, the Prophet said, “They are your brothers! Offer them what you eat and drink!” 1
After the Battle of Badr, prisoners of war were brought. Among them was al-Abbas. He did not have a shirt on, so the Prophet looked for a shirt for him. It turned out that a shirt of Abdullah bin Ubayy was the right size, so the Prophet gave it to al-Abbas to wear and compensated Abdullah with his own shirt. [3. Bukhari]
The Quran states that all people have the right to choose their religion and that it is God’s will that people have different religions.
Islamic Scholar Muhammad Abdel Haleem writes: “Nowhere in the Quran is changing people’s religion given as a cause for waging war. The Qur’an gives a clear instruction that there is no compulsion in religion (Quran 2:256). It states that people will remain different (Quran 11:118), they will always have different religions and ways and this is an unalterable fact (Quran 5:48) – God tells the Prophet that most people will not believe “even if you are eager that they should” (Quran 12:103).” 2
Islamophobia is prejudice and discrimination towards Muslims due to their religion. The above hadith encourages kindness as a means to please God. Therefore, kindness is the primary solution for Islamophobia. The Quran states:
“Good and Evil deeds are not alike. Repel evil with good, and he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend.” (Quran 41:34)
“Remember the Prophet. The Prophet was subject to horrible insults and hate crimes in his lifetime. He remained steadfast, patient and tolerant in the face of this Islamophobia. We must model this same behavior.” 3
Imam Mujahid recommends kindness to neighbors as a solution:
“Instead of a term of distance like “Non-Muslims” use a term of relationship like “neighbors” when referring to our neighbors. The Prophet said, “Jibril kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance to the neighbors.” (Bukhari and Muslim). Given this level of familiarity and closeness we should have with our neighbors, it is amazing the way we keep ignoring them, especially in neighborhoods with large, vibrant mosques and Islamic centers.” 4