So I went and viewed the Facebook, “Everybody Draw Muhammad” page, and I admit that I cried. Then I sat stunned for the next 15 minutes at my computer. You would have thought I would have known the types of images that people would have posted, but it was the vulgarity and debasement which so utterly shocked me. Why would anyone want to be so offensive and ugly about anything or anyone, let alone someone who is revered and loved by so many.
I posted to my Facebook status the Qur’anic verse “The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk in the earth modestly and who, when the ignorant address them, say, ‘Peace’.” (25:63)
I am not sure this made me feel better or worse. Was I just capitulating to a wrong? Or was I making a statement of faithfulness to God in the face of provocation. I needed a plan of action, and I thought I would share it with you.
Here are our ten tips to help you share your love of the Prophet and make the change.
- Read a biography of Muhammad
If we become more acquainted with the life of Muhammad, his ways and his words, then we will feel closer to him, and will be better able to defend his character. In the English language, Martin Ling’s biography of Muhammad is one of the most eloquent.
- Tell a child
Having read the biography we need to share that information. Our children are the first place we should start. If we ourselves do not have children, then tell your nieces or nephews anecdotes and beautiful stories from his life.
- Facebook – hadith of the day/ week
If you are on Facebook or other social networks, share a beautiful hadith with your friends. Use social networks as a dawah tool. We have designed a profile picture that you can download and use for your profile if you wish.
- Ask your library to buy in a good biography
Libraries are amenable to buying in books that are requested. Sometimes they need more than one person to request it, so get your friends to make the same request. Make sure they buy in books for the adult and children sections. If they refuse to buy books because of budgets restraints then offer to buy it for the library.
- Buy a School’s Resource Pack
The Muslim Council of Britain have a good school’s resource pack (click here). Buy it for your local primary school. If it is too expensive (£250) then get together with some friends to buy it.
- School Assembly
Make yourself available to your local schools to do an assembly on the life of Muhammad. If you feel you just cannot stand in front of an audience, then organise the event and get someone else to come in and do the talk. Organisations like ISB and Christian Muslim Forum can help you find someone to come and do the talk for you.
- Hold an exhibition
This may seem like a giant impossible step, but actually schools, local libraries and town halls are very open and amenable places. Explain how we need to build bridges of understanding and that you would like to hold an exhibition. Islam Awareness Week in November is a recognised fixture in the calendar and many councils and schools will be open to having an event then – but start planning it now.
You can find professional produced exhibitions to buy and rent here.
- Hold a cultural evening
Book a local hall and hold an evening of poetry, and songs that focus on the prophet and his life and deeds. Make it a free and open event. Local businesses may be open to sponsoring the event, your local Muslim restaurant may give free or discounted food, or make it a “bring-a-dish” do and get the community to work together to organise the food.
- Mosque Open Day
Encourage your mosque to hold an open day. Mosques are often perceived as closed and scary places. Explain to the mosque committee that we need to open up to show people about the true character of Muhammad.
Visit your local Church, Synagogue or Temple and talk to them about building a society of mutual respect and understanding. Explain how the vilification of Muhammad (or any religious figure) undermines faith and thus people of faith and conscience should work together for the betterment of the whole of society.