Egypt’s mufti: To Muslims, prophet Muhammad is ‘the mercy to all worlds’

AP A Libyan woman, Salwa Bugaighis, on Sept. 17, 2012, carries a wreath with a photo of U.S. Ambassador Chris … Continued

AP

A Libyan woman, Salwa Bugaighis, on Sept. 17, 2012, carries a wreath with a photo of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens on it as she and others gather to pay their respect to the victims of an attack on the U.S. consulate, in Benghazi, Libya. Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, part of a wave of assaults on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim countries over a low-budget movie made in the United States that denigrates prophet Muhammad.

It goes without saying that violence of any sort, whether inspired by religious sentiment or secular interests, must be condemned unequivocally and in the strongest terms possible. This is in keeping with the best of Muslim tradition, which abhors sectarian rife, inter-ethnic conflict, and interreligious violence. This lesson is best contained in the example of the prophet Muhammad himself, who was repeatedly subjected to the worst treatment by his enemies, only to consistently disregard these insults and instead take the path of forgiveness, mercy and compassion.

He is known to Muslims as “the mercy to all worlds.” Indeed, this example is most succinctly summarized in the Koran itself, which instructs believers as follows: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better.”

The world is sorely in need of such lessons, which represent the authentic teachings of the Koran and the prophet of Islam. It is important to separate these noble messages from those that are bandied about by those who have no competencies in religious interpretation, Koranic hermeneutics or the history of Islamic thought. Unfortunately, the current state of the Muslim world is such that institutions and structures of legitimate authority have been weakened to such an extent that inflammatory rhetoric has taken the place of thoughtful analysis as a motivator of action and a guide for religious sentiment.

We are today in desperate need of serious religious leaders who engage the reality of the modern world – complete with its challenges and difficulties – in order to create an environment in which people can coexist. This must be a joint effort from members of all faith groups and cultures.

A necessary part of any such effort must be a sincere desire to understand what is behind the Muslims’ reverence for the prophet. For more than a billion Muslims around the world, Muhammad is their ultimate example. He is their reference point and, as the Koran explains, “dearer to them than their own selves.”

Prophets are the means, in the Islamic worldview, through which people have been taught about God. This is no less true for the succession of prophets that preceded Islam – including Abraham, Moses and Jesus – than it is for Muhammad himself. They are revered teachers who taught us the very nature of reality, the purpose of our existence, and how to connect with God Himself.

As a result, Muslims strive to emulate the example of the prophet in every aspect of their lives. They seek to inculcate the values in a deep and profound manner. These include, among other things, the ability to confront evil provocations with patience, tolerance and mercy. These are, for Muslims, spiritual values of the utmost importance, and they are best exemplified in the life of Muhammad himself.

A famous story from his life is known to Muslims around the world. One of his enemies was a woman who lived above a street he used to pass daily, and would litter the streets with garbage as he walked past. One morning, when the prophet was walking by, he noticed no such provocation. His response to this sudden reprieve was to ask after the woman’s health, concerned that she had strayed from her daily routine, as painful as it might have been for himself. The stories of the prophet praying for his enemies, and exhibiting enormous steadfastness in the face of insults and provocations, are legion in Islamic literature.

This should be the Muslim ideal, there is no doubt. Unfortunately, it is not possible that everyone can live up to the ideal. What is clear is that people’s attachment to the personage of the prophet is undiminished, even when they are unable for their own reasons to live up to the lessons he has taught. Insults against the prophet are taken as more serious than insults against one’s own parents and family, indeed than one’s own self. Muhammad is a sacred figure, who taught Muslims how to live in this world, and whose appearance in the world was a gift from the divine.

As such, inflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world only contribute to the escalation of tensions with no observable benefit. Muslims should either ignore such provocations, or respond nonviolently, as per the limits laid down by their religion. Such limits have been obviously transgressed in recent days, and the broader Muslim religious establishment as well as the Coptic Church in Egypt all joined in calling for calm and not allowing this to further escalate.


Sheikh Ali Gomaa

, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, is one of the world’s most recognizable Muslim scholars. This column first appeared on Al Arabiya News
’ Web site.

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Religion as pretext or cause in attacks in Cairo, Egypt and Libya

About

  • cs9243

    “only to consistently disregard these insults and instead take the path of forgiveness, mercy and compassion”.
    That is the message muslims should heed and not to the fanatics who preach violence. Sadly this is not what we witnessed last week. In the 21st century if people should have faith in any religion, only the message of compassion and forgiveness would promote and justify the need for any religion.. I am not saying that atheists ans agnostics do not belive in non violence and compassion, they do.

  • Mahiul Kadir

    Obviously true above the statement. We are muslim, Prophet Mohammad is our life long legend and always follow his lyfe style. So if any one utters a bad sound about himself, no time to sit ideal without protection as we are devote of muslim. We believe he came to us for teaching our life and show respect to other religions. But my opinion is that we should not hate americans who are not involve these activities but should hate themselves who made the film. Please we should come forward to maitain our peace instead of conflict. Our islam teaches us to retain peace and try to understand the main message about our religion. we hope all gentle human being should stand a possition for all peaceful religion.

  • JTFriday

    What a liar!

  • ThomasBaum

    Ali Gomaa

    You wrote, “As such, inflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world only contribute to the escalation of tensions with no observable benefit.”

    Maybe if “the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world” really were what you say that they are supposed to be concerning what Muhammed supposedly said and did then these “inflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend” shouldn’t and wouldn’t have a snowballs chance in a very warm place to offend.

    If this were the case than the “observable benefit” could be that all this talk about “the mercy to all worlds.” might be seen as more than just talk.

  • Do not fall for it

    read the article. not all the 1.5 billion muslims where participant in the violence. Muslims like any people have the good, the bad and in between. unless you are a racist you can’t fault all of them

  • Mercy for All

    Please kindlt read between the lines. This paragraph from the articles respods to your logical query.
    there is no doubt. Unfortunately, it is not possible that everyone can live up to the ideal. What is clear is that people’s attachment to the personage of the prophet is undiminished, even when they are unable for their own reasons to live up to the lessons he has taught. Insults against the prophet are taken as more serious than insults against one’s own parents and family, indeed than one’s own self. Muhammad is a sacred figure, who taught Muslims how to live in this world, and whose appearance in the world was a gift from the divine.

  • tianxiang69

    It is difficult to read the article without wondering whether this person is trying to be funny, or is simply so deluded as to think anyone could read this drivel and actually believe what he is writing. Muhammed may be known to Muslims as a “mercy unto all worlds” but non-believers who refused to submit to his rule, and the rule of his followers, would certainly not agree. Muhammed was not always so kind and tolerant of dissent and mockery as the writer would have one believe. Woe unto they who composed poetry making fun of Muhammed! Woe unto the Jews of Khaybar that refused to accept his prophethood! If one wants to reference stories about Muhammed, be sure to include stories that represent all sides of the man. And as far as “Muslim tradition, which abhors sectarian rife, inter-ethnic conflict, and interreligious violence” you have just got to be kidding. Tell that to the millions of Hindus and Christians and Jews that have had the misfortune to hold true to their mythologies against the advancing armies of Islam. It is illustrative enough to look at the life of Muhammed to know that other religions would never be free to practice their faiths freely and be treated with respect by Islam but to actually have the audacity to claim that “Muslim tradition” opposes interreligious violence is just beyond the pale. This is simply a shameful and hideously mendacious article that should have no place being printed in a serious newspaper.

  • asmaa7123

    ok read and form an idea about islam did not encourage muslims to hate the true meaning of islam is to believe in one only God no body like him and no equivalent to him

  • sofi76

    Thank you for your comment, just to clarify that Taqiyaa is Shiite principle, which is as mentioned above, most of sunni muslim believe that laying is forbidden. i am living with muslims and i have read a lot about islam, just to be fair, it is really as Gomaa has stated in his article. however, most of muslims don’t adopt its value, principles and rules.

  • asmaa7123

    no god but the only God (Allah). the God who is the greatest no equivalent to him no body can see him, he sees us, he forgives to us and guide us to the right way thanks for God to be muslim and may these people know the merciful Allah and our wholy book. our muslim nations could not represents our religion in western nations and unfortunately could not represent democrasy because of corruption and corrupted adminstration of the most our muslim nations but may god help us to achieve democrasy and deveopment to our nations and to all over the world

  • asmaa7123

    thanks alot Sofi

  • ThomasBaum

    Do not fall for it

    I do not fault Muslims, I fault islam and the god of islam.

    Islam is about world domination thru any means available whether it be violence, the ballot box or whatever.

    The god of islam gets upset if anyone calls him father, yet Jesus asked us to call God, Our Father, even so far as to call Him, Abba, which translates as Dad or Daddy.

    Jesus in Christianity is God-Incarnate yet the god of islam gets highly upset if one calls Jesus God-Incarnate,

    Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us, here is the Trinity which really upsets the god of islam.

    The Jesus in the Koran and the Jesus in the Bible are not the same, not even close.

    Jesus in the Koran is subordinate to the god of islam but spoken highly of, Jesus in the Bible said, I and The Father Are ONE, I imagine that this got the god of islam upset in a number of ways.

    Seeing as the Jesus in the Koran and the Bible are quite different, one may be true and the other false or they may both be false but they can NOT both be true.

    However, the One, True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.

    God became One of us for ALL of us and this has upset satan quite a bit.

    It is rather sad that many who believe that God became One of us, in the Person of Jesus, think/believe that the GOOD NEWS is Good as long as they get to the “good place”, not that to be truly GOOD, it would have to be, ultimately, for ALL.

  • asmaa7123

    halozcel2
    we believe that Allah is the only God but we are not the judge Allah will judge in judgement day
    islam do not rejects democrasy and there is shora which means in islam to tell your opinion and to select the governer also. corruption and dictatorship is the result of greed. there are also countries which are not muslims their leaders are dictators such as Venezula

  • asmaa7123

    we believe that, there is one God, people are not sons or daughters of the God but slaves, there are good people and also there are bad people

  • asmaa7123

    “But the Jews and the Christians say, “We are the children of Allah and His beloved.” Say, “Then why does He punish you for your sins?” Rather, you are human beings from among those He has created. He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, and to Him is the [final] destination.”elmaeda 18

  • asmaa7123

    we believe that Jesus is agreat prophet and was a miracle of the God to create a human without a father

  • asmaa7123

    “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.”

  • suncra

    Try to to teach an arrogant person who is ignorant, and you will get nowhere. You’ve only ‘enlightened’ us of your pitiful ignorance ScottinVA.

    I mean let’s think about how absurd this is for a minute. A person who might not have any education in Islam replying to someone who has spent decades studying Islam and is a respected scholar. Can I ask you, are you serious? I have to take what you say as a joke, but then again.. I don’t think you are joking. Absolutely pityfull.

  • GrampaCaligula

    @halozcel2 – good thing you’re open to ideas that fall outside your realm of knowledge and understanding. Otherwise you would come off as small-minded and bigoted.

  • tianxiang69

    Funny, how suncra made no mention of what was inaccurate in what ScottinVA wrote. That is probably because what ScottinVA wrote was true, whether he has a PhD from Al Azhar or not.

  • ThomasBaum

    asmaa7123

    You wrote, “we believe that, there is one God, people are not sons or daughters of the God but slaves,”

    This is totally contrary to what Jesus said in the bible, so as I have already stated: the Jesus spoken of in the bible and the Jesus spoken of in the koran are vastly different, to put it mildly.

  • ThomasBaum

    ScottinVA

    As Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED” which translates as PAID IN FULL.

    Jesus ransomed HUMANITY.

  • Omar4

    High is God above what you attribute to Him. God gave us a mind to use, not to suppress. Does it make any sense that anybody or anything could kill God, the omnipotent creator of the universe? High is God above having offspring like His creation, but if he were to have one why would he need to kill his son in order to forgive your sins?

    In the Qur’an God says no soul will bear the burden of another soul. We are all responsible for what we do, and everyone is born without sin. There are many ways to forgiveness through Islam, and there is a reason why no one is guaranteed paradise: it’s because of God’s justice. If you self-deceive yourself thinking you are guaranteed paradise after some utterance or ritual, then Satan can drag you into all kinds of sins and you can be one of the most wicked people, like a priest who molests kids.

    The true Muslim is never satisfied with himself and knows that if he isn’t getting closer to God, he is drifting away. And the true Muslim never despairs of the mercy of God, for God is the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate, as is oft repeated in the Qur’an

  • Catken1

    “You are insulting all other religions.*no god but only Allah* is the beginning of islam fascism and an absolute insult to other religions.”

    And how does that differ from every other monotheistic religion, including Christianity?

    Are Christians fascists and insulters of other religions because they believe there’s no way to heaven except by believing in Jesus?

    Are only polytheists and atheists capable of democracy, then?

  • aby

    The Mufti, unlike many other Muslim clerics, is trying to dampen the Muslims’ outrage. Yet his establishment, the Azhar institution is actively trying to get the United Nations to criminalize “those who denigrate religions”. Meaning denigrating the Muslim religion, since denigrating all non-Muslim religions is an integral part of Islam. It is institutionalized in their religious textss; Quran and Sunnah. Christians, for example, are routinely denigrated by Muslims and by their religious scholars as “infidels’,polytheists. infidels, cross worshippers etc.

  • ezrasalias-socialize

    I’m not sure where secular interests have used violence, unless you mean those fighting for freedom in the Middle East.

  • ThomasBaum

    Omar4

    You wrote, “High is God above having offspring like His creation, but if he were to have one why would he need to kill his son in order to forgive your sins?”

    Maybe God cared enough about His Creation that He wanted to become One of us.

    God didn’t kill Jesus, we did.

    God-Incarnate, Jesus, took ALL of the sins of ALL of humanity upon Himself and PAID IN FULL the “debt” of sin, He even said so, according to the bible, when He said, “It is finished” which translates as PAID IN FULL.

    Jesus went to hell and Jesus went to spiritual death in addition to His physical death.

    You then wrote, “In the Qur’an God says no soul will bear the burden of another soul.”

    This points out the infinite difference between the god of islam and God, Who, in the bible, is spoken of as becoming One of us for the benefit of ALL of us.

    As it is written, “It is God’s Will that ALL be saved” and Jesus, God-Incarnate, said, “When I am lifted up, I will draw everyone to Myself”.

  • mema17

    Of lies that repeated the enemies of Islam and Muslims that Islam has a sword and he did not enter the Matnicoh accidentally voluntariness and choice, but they entered it, oppression and coercion, has taken the legislation Jihad in Islam means to this fabrication false sinfulness, and there is great difference between legislation Jihad and between compulsion people Islam, jihad legislation was not for this, but was sentenced Semitic, and dishonest purposes.

    This false claim unjust often repeated by missionaries and orientalists, who Ataklon of appeal in Islam and the Prophet of Islam, and Asrvon in lies and slander, Visaihon saying: Do you not see that?!! This Mohammad calls for war, and to Jihad for the sake of God, to coerce people by the sword to enter into Islam, and this while denying Christian fighting, and abhors war, and calls for peace, calling for tolerance, and linking people bond of brotherhood in God and in Jesus Christ peace.

    The high-end of the absurdity of this claim Starter senior Western is: (Thomas Carlyle), author of heroes and worship tournament, it took Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, for example, for the championship of prophecy, and said something to the effect: (The accused any prophet Mohammed relying on the sword to get people to respond to his call absurdity incomprehensible; It is not which may in understanding that defames man individual sword to kill people do, or respond to him, if believed in him of not afford to war opponents, they believe in him disobedient disbelief, and subjected to the war than others before they could by ) [Facts Islam and untruths feud Accad p 227].

  • mema17

    Of lies that repeated the enemies of Islam and Muslims that Islam has a sword and he did not enter the Matnicoh accidentally voluntariness and choice, but they entered it, oppression and coercion, has taken the legislation Jihad in Islam means to this fabrication false sinfulness, and there is great difference between legislation Jihad and between compulsion people Islam, jihad legislation was not for this, but was sentenced Semitic, and dishonest purposes.

    This false claim unjust often repeated by missionaries and orientalists, who Ataklon of appeal in Islam and the Prophet of Islam, and Asrvon in lies and slander, Visaihon saying: Do you not see that?!! This Mohammad calls for war, and to Jihad for the sake of God, to coerce people by the sword to enter into Islam, and this while denying Christian fighting, and abhors war, and calls for peace, calling for tolerance, and linking people bond of brotherhood in God and in Jesus Christ peace.

    The high-end of the absurdity of this claim Starter senior Western is: (Thomas Carlyle), author of heroes and worship tournament, it took Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, for example, for the championship of prophecy, and said something to the effect: (The accused any prophet Mohammed relying on the sword to get people to respond to his call absurdity incomprehensible; It is not which may in understanding that defames man individual sword to kill people do, or respond to him, if believed in him of not afford to war opponents, they believe in him disobedient disbelief, and subjected to the war than others before they could by ) [Facts Islam and untruths feud Accad p 227].

  • mema17

    Prophecy is a great thing and a high profile, either claimed by a two only two, has claimed believe truthful or lying liars, Ailtbs this this has had less luck consideration which Satodh in evidence, which I will mention

    First mental evidence:

    Evidence the conditions of Muhammad, peace be upon him by the experienced and Sahaba.
    Vqraún conditions expressed by and know whether it is sincere or false?
    These clues experienced and Sahaba They are not stupid fools not even believe his prophecy without the need to focus on this evidence it is expose lied Muhammad if he is honest without being issued them the exact focus.
    If it was false to back it ignorance, lies, immorality, deception and evasion to last kinds of lies and deception, but that emerged from Muhammad peace be upon him opposite where he appeared upon science, honesty and righteousness and clarity, openness and integrity of contradiction and justice and fairness and all things that indicate the truthfulness, Valenboh not claim is easy it is incorporating the science and the work must be characterized by the Apostle, a supervised science and oversaw the business, how sincere suspected liar?!
    Whoever the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and his sincerity and loyalty and matching telling his note certain, learned that the Prophet honest,
    How can we not?!
    This is indicated by the sincerity combined with new clues since his claim of prophecy until he died.

    Second mental directory:

    Consider what came by Muhammad, peace be upon him.
    Messenger should tell people things, and tell them things and forbid them about things, and we must do also matters, thereby acting all this in order to show to the people that the Prophet approved amount for God and confirms that the law of God Almighty new, if it was false to noon at the same what tells him at the same order and forbid it in the same what he does on the face of the legislation can be seen lying in many ways,
    But who knew what Muhammad brought peace be upon him of the laws and de

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