Dear Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H),
Remember the man who stood up in front of a huge crowd and accused you of stealing from your own people when you were alive? His name was Hurgoos ibn Zuhair? When he stormed out of the mosque you said,
“From this man will come people who recite the Quran but they will not understand Islam. They will apostate due to their random killing of people. If I were to live, I would fight them.”
As you prophesized, those people have emerged and they are wreaking havoc all over the world. You would be so hurt if you could see how Islam has been misrepresented and how many innocent lives have been lost as a result.
It all started when these people we call terrorists, killed Uthman, your third successor just 24 years after your death. They then killed his successor, Ali, shortly thereafter. They’ve been popping up and shedding innocent blood for hundreds of years now. Every time they appear they have a new name but the agenda is the same; kill as many people as possible who don’t follow their molested version of Islam.
They’ve forgotten how you lived and frankly they don’t care. They disregard the fact that you never once ordered the murder of a politician or a secret kidnapping when you and your companions were tortured in Mecca for thirteen years. They ignore that you were hit, kicked, spat on and even assaulted by your uncle Abu Lahab, who hated Islam and you did nothing in return. They don’t mention that you said,
“Towards the end of time, if someone breaks into your home and wants to take your property be like Able, the better of the two sons of Adam.”
I cry for Islam today Muhammad, because these evil people have misunderstood the Quran altogether. They claim that Allah ordered you to kill the ‘People of the Book’ but they don’t understand that you weren’t ordered to kill Jews and Christians at all. You taught us that those verses of war were ordering you to defend yourself against your own pagan Arab tribe at that time. These evil people discount the fact that you did business with Jews and Christians and had relationships with them.
These terrorists try and suppress the humanity and forbearance you demonstrated. Remember when you were chased out of the land of Taaif and stoned bloody and took no revenge? Remember when the pagan Arabs used to dump animal carcasses on your doorstep and even on your back while you prayed, and you would clean up without saying a word?
Just last week I debated a man who claimed that Islam and democracy are diametrically opposed to one another. I reminded him of the period you entered Medina and wrote a constitution allowing Jews and Christians the right to practice their faith openly, choose their own leaders, keep their own property and engage in business as they pleased. You even insisted that people of other faith-practices should settle their differences using their own laws. The man had no idea this was true. Most don’t.
There are even some small-minded men who attempt to follow the letter of 7th century Islamic Law, rather than the spirit of it. They don’t realize that Islam can be practiced in the 21st century with contemporary conditions taken into consideration. They want the entire world to continue to ride camels.
Since you’ve been gone, women have become the scorn of many patriarchal Muslim tribes even after you said,
“Be kind to women.”
These so-called Muslims execute women who seek an education and if a woman is raped, she is blamed. You viewed women as an equal counterpart to men and you encouraged future fathers saying,
“Whoever has two daughters, educates them and takes care of them until adulthood will receive Paradise.”
Considering the ascetic lifestyle you encouraged us to lead you’d be shocked at the number of corrupt Muslim leaders there are. Many Muslims have migrated from the Middle East to western lands because the leaders have stolen all of the wealth for themselves. Millions of young adults are illiterate, and with no functional economy to work for, they travel to the west seeking education and employment. Can you blame them?
I don’t want to make it seem as if you weren’t successful in your message. There was a golden era of a few hundred years where Muslims followed the true teachings of the Quran. We were prosperous, and lived in peace with others. We were the pinnacle of civilization with our inventions and scientific discoveries. We entertained guests from all over the world who came to take knowledge from us in places like Timbuktu, Spain, Morocco, and even Baghdad. But today, it seems the further we move away from the true message of Islam; which is peaceful submission to God and service to mankind, the more we become confused.
Those of us who are trying to hold on to the true teachings of Islam are having a difficult time in the west. People suspect us of being secretly in cahoots with the terrorists. College students, professionals and even school-aged Muslims have a pervading suspicion of guilt hanging above their heads no matter where they go. All of this is caused by the terrorists because now the average non-Muslim doesn’t know what Islam really teaches us.
I pray that we can do what you advised us to do when you said,
“Make things easy for the people and do not make them difficult.”
Only time will tell…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Imam Taymullah Abdur-Rahman is a pastoral care provider, educator and thought leader for the past decade. He received a diploma in Islamic Sciences from the Saudi Arabian Council of Senior Scholars. He has served as in Massachusetts Department of Corrections and in Northeastern University. Currently, he is the Muslim chaplain at Harvard University.
He can be reached at: email@example.com