From the north to the south and the east to the west, numerous countries across the globe are caught in the same fever – the fever of Islamophobia. In the forefront of promoting fear and enmity for Islam and Muslims are the various media agencies which either distort the truth or resort to outright propaganda in order to portray Islam in a negative light. Testament to the animosity born against Muslims are the countless incidents which we hear of innocent Muslims being persecuted worldwide. From being denied a visa, an education or permission to board an aircraft to outright physical torture, Muslims have become an international target for hostility.
What are Muslims to do in the face of such enmity and hostility? What strategy can we possibly adopt to stem the tide of persecution?
The answer is simple – we practice on the advice which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave when entering Madeenah Munawwarah. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “O people! Spread salaam (greet one another), feed the people, perform salaah (tahajjud) at night when people are asleep and you will enter Jannah with salaam (ease and comfort).” (Sunan Tirmizi #2485)
When Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) initially made hijrah to Madeenah Munawwarah, the disbelievers of the city wished to know what kind of person Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was and what the motives of his mission were. Hence the narrator of the above hadeeth is none other than ‘Abdullah bin Salaam (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) who was, at that time, the leading Jewish rabbi of Madeenah Munawwarah. He made it a point to attend the first sermon of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) which would be delivered in Madeenah Munawwarah. The above advice formed the first words he heard from the blessed mouth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and what a beautiful, lasting impression they had on him! His perception of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and Islam was now one of natural beauty and truth and he thus, shortly after, embraced Islam and joined the ranks of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum).
The advice of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) could be summarized into three points.
Firstly, we need to be polite to one and all. Unfortunately, when we are unable to make salaam to even our own Muslim brother, how will we ever be able to display the courtesy, politeness and etiquette of Islam to the disbelievers?
Secondly, we need to treat people with kindness. Let alone feeding and showing kindness to the destitute and needy out of the home, sometimes the staff within our homes are in difficulty and yet we do not have the hearts to help them. Is it then any surprise at all that they consider us to be heartless? Even worse is when we flash the bounties of Allah Ta‘ala before them – very often the good food, etc. that we eat – without sharing even a single morsel with them, whereas they often lack enough of even ordinary food for themselves and their families. This often creates much bitterness in their hearts which later surfaces in many negative ways.
Thirdly and finally, we need to reconnect and strengthen our bond with Allah Ta‘ala. This is done by being committed to our daily ‘ibaadah and also making du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala on a daily basis.
Insha-Allah, by us practicing on these three simple steps, we will find the entire world gravitating to the magnetic effect which the natural beauty and truth of Islam holds.