Sunday, October 20, 2019

Facing hatred, Muslims spread love, take teachings of Prophet Muhammad to millions on Twitter: Lessons from Prophet's Life

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

When a few misguided souls tried to spread hate by targeting Islam and Prophet Muhammad, Muslims responded with teachings of the Holy Prophet.

Innumerable Muslims responded on Twitter with love and kindness. They began sharing the teachings of the Prophet.

Within a few hours, Twitter was witnessing #ProphetofCompassion and #ProphetMuhammad trending on Twitter.

Tens of thousands of people were writing and millions saw it on their timeline. People who had little idea about teachings of Islam came to know about. That Prophet Muhammad was not just a messenger for Muslims, but for entire humanity.

[UPDATE: Again on Eid Miladun Nabi on November 10, again #KnowMuhammad was the top trend on Twitter in India with over 51,000 tweets till 10 pm.]

That how he abolished slavery, usury, ended apartheid, infanticide, discrimination of caste, colour, creed and gender and the message of Islam spread across the world. That no one was superior on the basis of birth and came up with right of inheritance and divorce for women.

Even providing legal contractual framework for marriages and divorces. Highest standards of justice, irrespective of faith of citizen. Protection to non-Muslims in Islamic societies. And we know apartheid and slavery remained legal in 'modern era' in the West till recently.

Prophet's sayings like, 'One must pay the worker his wages before his sweat dries' and how he treated adversaries, his worst enemies with kindness and mercy, reached those people who had little interaction with Muslims or Islam.

Muslims didn't choose harsh words to respond to provocative tweets that had started in the morning in India. Twitter hadn't even put a check on those tweets. But Muslims responded in a totally different manner.

The Prophet's quotes, his sayings, quotes from hadith and incidents of his life were narrated in tweets. In a tweet, I mentioned how Islam stresses on:

Justice. Equality. Kindness. Modesty. Charity.

Against discrimination of any form. Stand against oppression. Shun arrogance. Value of learning. Avoiding harsh language, hurting people. Teachings we grew up with & they must guide our lives.

Such focus on character, values. Even doing charity not looking at person in eye, lest we get sense of false pride. That even if you buy something for a poor man or servant, choose for him what you choose best (for yourself).

That's the way forward. We need to do more to ensure that Islamic values are reflected in our life. Rather than nitpicking and judging others, we must set example by imbibing the values and teachings in our lives.

Twitter users mentioned examples from Prophet's life like how a woman who used to throw garbage at him daily and when day she didn't throw it, the Prophet went to enquire about her health. This act of compassion overwhelmed her and changed the woman's life.

People said that how Hazrat Bilal was made the first muezzin, status to someone from black community when it was unthinkable, as apartheid continued till recent years and blacks face racial discrimination in US, West even today.

Not just Muslims, Hindus, Christians and people from other communities too cited examples of Prophet's teachings. Jagrati Sablok tweeted:

"A person asked Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) : Who is Most Deserving of Respect? He said: Your Mother. Person then asked: Who next? Your Mother, Prophet replied Again the person asked: Who next? Prophet said: Your Mother"

Some of the most tweets mentioning Islamic teachings and Prophet's sayings that were widely circulated on social media, are being mentioned here:

* The strongest among you is the one who controls his anger
* Do not waste water even if you were at a running stream
* Do not do evil to those who do evil to you, deal with them with forgiveness and kindness
* He is not a believer whose stomach is full while his neighbour goes hungry
* The best of you are those who are best to their women
* I and the one who looks after an orphan will be together like this in the next world.
* Feed the hungry, visit the sick, set free the captives
* A Muslim is the one that others are protected from his hand and tongue
* The best of houses is the house where an orphan gets love and kindness
* When you speak, speak with justice, even if it is against someone close to you
* Lucky is the woman whose first child is a daughter
* Be content and you will be the richest
* The best of you are those who are best to their women 
* An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab. A white has no superiority over a black (or vice versa) except by piety and good action.