Kill Them with Sunnah
Muslims are looked down upon with stares and glare ever since 9/11. All Muslims are stereotyped as terrorists. Today Muslims are responding to this negativity and hostility with more negativity and hostility in turn just proving that the image of a Muslim is a guy with a gun who has a shadow over his face that no one can approach him or have a normal intellectual conversation with. Muslim men are stereotyped as angry, tough and someone you don’t want to mess with and Muslim women are stereotyped as fragile, docile and oppressed, a pitiful girl or women that doesn’t have a voice. In this essay I will argue that Muslims are surrounded by stereotypes based on their behavior in front of their adversaries, which needs to be eliminated by using the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)’s examples and his Sunnah.
A person’s first impression comes from his/her body language and his/her tone of speech. As the saying goes the first impression is the last impression you will have on a person therefore it is crucial to have a good impression. Abû Hurayrah relates that Allah's Messenger (S.A.W) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent….” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim] this is encouraging us to speak words of good nature and words that will be beneficial but it is also warning us to be cautious with our words lest we say something that is false and harmful. In Islam it is part of a Muslim’s faith to always be honest and say things that will benefit others. Allah informs us in the Qur’an some of what comprises good in our speech and benefits other people. He says: “No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right, or bring reconciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking Allah's pleasure, then we shall grant him a great reward.” [Surah al-Nisâ’: 114], when we have nothing beneficial to say silence is golden. Now if someone was to say unintelligible things that would make a Muslim upset and that Muslim didn’t have anything that would comeback his comments in an appropriate manner but just prove what he is saying about Muslims true it would be best for that Muslim to remain silent and walk away. Keeping our tongue in check and watching what we say in front of our adversaries is one of the keys to eliminate stereotypes because this way we would be able to respond in a positive way making our adversaries look childish and showing how Muslims are mature, calm, refined and confident human beings.
When someone becomes angry they become a whole new person. Sometimes we lose our logic and lose control over our emotions. For such people who react in such a negative way Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) has given a prescription that will by using it helps not to show the anger and madness also it keeps the blood pressure normal. All that it takes is that a person has to read the following statement at the time of anger and wrath “I seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan the rejected one.” . The Prophet (S.A.W) gave us other practical advice he said: “If one of you gets angry and he is standing, then he should sit down until his anger subsides. If it does not, then he should lie down.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd], the reason that the Prophet tells us not to stand is because it is the position for striking and sitting or lying down is the position from where you can’t strike or do actions that will make you regret later. In another hadith the Messenger of Allah said: "If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent." ['Sahîh al-Jami', 693], in this way one will not say things out of spite or curse. This is another key to eliminating the stereotypes that surround Muslims. Controlling our anger by applying these methods in situations where we are speaking to our adversaries would send a new image of Muslims, that we are clam and composed. Remember when you become angry not only will you