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Muhammad (PBUH) discussed at Westminster

I had a privilege to reflect in the House of Commons about the glorious personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on 18th March, 2015. The session was initiated and chaired by Rt. Honourable Member Parliament (MP) Gavin Shuker. Although the session held at House of Commons but it was also attended by various members of House of Lords. It was a pleasant surprise to see that legendary Parliamentarian Rt. Honourable MP George Galloway was one of my co-speaker in the session. My speech was as follows:

Rt Honourable MPs, Lords, ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Let me first of all thank Rt. Honourable MP Gavin Shuker to initiate and requisite this session to reflect about the glorious personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The personality of Muhammad (PBUH) is significant not only for the reason  that he is followed by 2,786,635 people in UK, about 44,138,000 in European Union and approximately 1.6 billion people across the world.  His significance really lies in his teachings which are based on peace, forbearance, tolerance, co-existence and community cohesion—the themes which are so relevant and significant to our British Society and modern world today.

Few of the honorable speakers have already highlighted the need of interfaith harmony and community cohesion. I would like to inform you that Muhmmad (PBUH) laid the strong foundations of interfaith relations and community cohesion by signing the Charter of Madina in 622 AD with the Jewish and Christian tribes of Madina. He declared that Muslim, Christian and Jews were “one community”, and this Charter formed the basis of a multi-religious and Islamic state in Madina. The Islamic state of Madina under Muhammad (PBUH) issued a Covenant in 626 AD to the Christian monks of Saint Catherine’s Monastery. The convent had a hand imprint of Muhammad (PBUH). The convent even today is a great foundation for peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians. It encourages Muslims to rise above communal prejudice and engenders good will in Christians.

Honourable MPs…. you and your fellow parliamentarians needs to be congratulated to bring together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. The Equality Act 2010 which simplifies, strengthens and harmonises the current legislation to provide Britain with a new discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. But it is also true that in our modern Britain we still observe terms i.e – ‘black’, ‘coloured’ and ‘ethnic’ that have all meant or implied different things at different times, and continue to give rise to argument about their usage.  We also hear in our media in the media phrases such as ‘race row’, ‘race relations’, ‘racial discrimination’, and ‘racially aggravated’. Muhammad (PBUH) clearly promoted the racial equality in 623 AD by choosing Bilal ibn Rabah, a black emancipated slave as Muazan (caller to prayer) of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not voice or campaign the cause of any specific race or ethnicity, but stood up for the whole humanity irrespective of caste, creed, race, color, language or geographical barriers. The divine Message he preached was universal, transgressing all obstacles whether artificial or otherwise.

Sirs….. This year our Parliament along with the nation, will be celebrating 2015 as a special year: 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta Charter. I want to bring it to your attention that Muhammad (PBUH) on 6th March 632 delivered a sermon (Khutba Hajatul Wada) which could be narrated as first declaration of Human Rights. In the sermon Prophet Muhammad clearly stated that all human beings are equal, racial supremacy is unacceptable, women have rights, socio-economic inequality is contemptible and should be confronted.

It is very unfortunate that Muhammad’s religion, Muhammad’s theology, Muhammad’s message is being misrepresented and misinterpreted today by few groups. The rise of the barbaric terrorists of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a stigma on the name of Islam. I fully agree with what Right Honourable Lord Nazir Ahmed has just said before me that ISIS is neither Islamic nor a state. The maniac has already killed thousands of Muslims as it considers other Muslims who do not follow their interpretation —Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, and similar groups within Islam—to be non-Muslims and therefore enemies. Throughout the recent months the captured fighters – and non-combatants – were shot or decapitated by ISIS, their deaths recorded in grisly videos which inspire fear and revulsion among opponents. The ISIS has clearly ignored the saying of Prophet Mohmmad (P.B.U.H.) which suggests “The Believers, in their mutual love, mercy and compassion, are like one body: if one organ complained, the rest of the body develops a fever.”  In light of core Islamic texts, the act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the destruction of building and properties, the bombing and defacement of innocent men, women, and children, are all forbidden and are culpable, hateful acts according to Islam. I want to reiterate what Right Honourable MP, George Galloway has said in his speech that one should not jump to demonise Islam due to these despotic acts of ISIS.

Muhammad (PBUH) whom we are discussing in this august house today was such a glittering example of mercy, patience, forbearance that when the people of Tai’f rejected him, stoned him, evicted him, and made him to bleed, he prayed for them…..he also prayed for the health and wel-being of the ill women who use to through trash on him daily ……at the conquest of Macca he declared the house of his enemies as the place of general asylum for the public. Therefore, the vast majorities of Muslims follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and have nothing to do with the violent events that have become associated with some Muslims.

It is also unfortunate that limitless freedom of speech in some of our neighboring countries has hurt the Muslim religious sentiments across the world by publishing the obscene and racially aggravated cartoons of Prophet Muhmmad (PBUH). However, it is indeed a matter of great satisfaction that Britain unlike its neighboring country has a very strong legislation in place to prevent the ‘obscenity’ and ‘racism’ in media. On this occasion….I would like  to request the Muslim faith leaders to engage with the Muslim Youth to prevent them from engaging in extremist activities ……community leaders should stop exploring the ‘business opportunities’ in unfortunate happenings.  It is about time that majority of peace loving main stream Muslims should come forward to confront the handful of extremists who misrepresent our faith.

Sirs……. It was from the land of Charlie Hebdo that in 1854, famous French author, poet and Politician, Alphonse Marie Lamartine, wrote about Muhmmad (PBUH) in his well-known Histoire de la Turquie: “if greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? Of all standards by which human greatness can be measured, we may well ask … is there any man greater than Mohammed?”

I would like to conclude with the words of our great fellow country man and co-founder of the London School of Economics, George Bernard Shaw, who wrote in 1936 : “He (Muhammad) must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the sovereignty of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness”.

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