Prophet Muhammad is ‘the mercy to all worlds’ to Muslims: Egypt’s mufti
By Ali Gomaa
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. (AP) 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. READ MORE http://www.washingtonpost.com