Muslims must not reduce the Sirah to a few anecdotal episodes. It is our guide for the total transformation of society.
Muslims living as minorities in the West have an obligation to become engaged in local issues of justice and equality even while struggling for their rights.
The noble Messenger (saws) was sent not only to inform but also to transform humanity by bringing it out of darkness and into light. Muslims ought to pay attention to this aspect of the Sirah in this month of Rabi al Awwal.
This is the second part of Zafar Bangash’s article on “change”; the first part was published in the October 2016 issue of Crescent International, concluding with outlining some of the qualities of muttaqi leadership.3
In June 2010, we published this commentary on the conflict in Karabakh. We reproduce it in view of the renewed conflict underway in Karabakh today between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
So this fondness, this love (and) this affection for Allah is demonstrated through our attachment, through our identifying with and to assuming the character of our Prophet Therefore it is timely that we recapture this character that we struggle and we strive to emulate.
And if Islam happens to be a voice for equality and peace and justice then Islam becomes an obstacle; and when Islam becomes an obstacle, that obstacle has to be removed from this highway of interests and to remove it, it has to be criminalized and Muslims have to be dehumanized to become the easy targets for warfare. This is what we see happening in today’s world.
(நபிகளார் எவ்வாறு அதிகாரத்தைக் கைப்பற்றினார்கள், எவ்வாறு அதைப் பிரயோகித்தார்கள் என்பது சீறாவைப் பொறுத்தவரை முஸ்லிம்களால் முறையாக ஆய்வுசெய்யப்படாத ஒரு அம்சமாகவே எஞ்சியிருக்கிறது. சீறாவின் மென்னதிகாரம் (Soft-power), வல்லதிகாரம் (Hard-power) இரண்டு பற்றியும் நாமொரு பார்வை செலுத்த வேண்டியுள்ளது.
Zainab Cheema reviews Zafar Bangash’s latest book entitled Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and published by Crescent International for the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (384 pages; soft cover, $30.00).
Modern Sirah texts are deeply affected by the formidable historical currents that have shaped the post-colonial Muslim world. The intellectual rigor of some of these texts notwithstanding, the trend that dominates most nineteenth and early twentieth century Sirah works is to justify and apologize. Muslim intellectuals of this period were generally reacting against two centuries of colonial dominance; with few exceptions, their characterizations of the life of the Prophet were attempts to rationalize the miracles mentioned in classical works of Sirah, omit events which would be considered “scandalous” in the political climate of their times, and more generally introduce an ‘historical-critical’ mode of so-called scientific objectivity borrowed from the intellectual apparatus of Orientalism.
Muslim political thought seems to have drifted from the teachings of the Qur’an, and the Sunnah and Sirah of the noble Messenger of Allah (s). In Part I of this essay, Zafar Bangash, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Isla-mic Thought, places it back in the Sirah to enable the Islamic movement to transform wayward Muslim societies.
I must hasten to say that I did not write about the greatest of all the personalities, Muhammad (pbuh), 'Blessings and Peace be upon him' son of 'Abdullah, with this limited concept in mind. I am a Muslim through knowledge: I know why I believe in Allah (swt) 'The Exalted', (Lord) of the Worlds, and in the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), and why I follow the Book he brought to us. Indeed, I know why I call others to believe in all this which has brought tranquility to my heart.1
For Muslims while the Qur’an is the revealed Word of God, the Prophet’s Seerah [life story/ prophetic model] is its practical manifestation.