Blasphemy and the Holy Prophet Muhammad

The issue of blasphemy is a hot issue that remains in news particularly in Pakistan. In 2010, a Christian woman Asia Bibi, who was charged with blasphemy in Pakistan, made the international headlines. But charging Asia Bibi under the blasphemy law did not apparently quench the radical thirst of the clerics of Pakistan. A Muslim cleric offered $6,000 to a person who would kill Asia Bibi. Tragically, the late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who visited Asia Bibi in prison, was later gunned down by his own security guard, Mumtaz Qadri. Salman Taseer’s crime was to speak up for the victims of blasphemy law. The insanity continued unabated when after few weeks of the murder of Salman Taseer, a Catholic and Minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated allegedly over his stance on blasphemy laws. The issue of blasphemy has once again reared its ugly head: the death penalty imposed by antiterrorism court against Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Salman Taseer, has been reversed.

The issue of blasphemy is not a new phenomenon. The instances of blasphemy are found throughout recorded human history. The Holy Quran, for example, points out very clearly that all the prophets and messengers of God were persecuted, harmed, abused and mocked, not only during their life time but also after their demise. “Alas for My servants! There comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him.” (36:31) “Then We sent Our Messengers one after another. Every time there came to a people their Messenger, they treated him as a liar.” (23:45) Noah, Abraham, Lot, Saleh, Shuaib, Moses and Jesus, peace be on them all, just to name a few, were all mocked and blasphemed by their enemies and opponents.

Questions naturally arise: How did Prophets react to blasphemy? Did they ever punish the blasphemers? What was the end of those mockers and blasphemers?

The Holy Quran clearly speaks about the treatment of those mockers and enemies of God’s prophets; “And surely, Messengers have been mocked at before thee; but I granted respite to those who disbelieved. Then I seized them, and how was then My punishment!” (13:23) “And Messengers indeed have been rejected before thee; but notwithstanding their rejection and persecution they remained patient until Our help came to them. There is none that can change the words of Allah.” (6:35) 

These verses make it abundantly clear and manifest that all the messengers observed extreme patience whenever they were blasphemed and they never tried to punish or respond to those blasphemers violently. All those mockers, blasphemers and enemies faced deadly consequences.

Another common element in their stories is that all the enemies were punished by God, and this is one supreme reality that can never change; “There is none that can change the words of Allah” (6:35).


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Categories: ISLAM

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