Given the current world affairs, I recently walked into a local prayer hall expecting to hear words filled with advice on loving the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) and living the Prophetic example. Instead, a young, over zealous fellow, feeling the need to "correct the aqeedah" of the Muslims, came up after the prayer, telling us that it was a "blatant innovation to travel to Madinah with the intention to visit the Messenger of Allah" and how we should not do so. I was in shock and insulted. Many thoughts ran through my mind. Did he really just say that? Why is everyone sitting silent? How did this fool get the microphone? What's wrong with the Muslims?
I tried to walk out and keep quiet. I got as far as the threshold of the door before I could not help myself. I stopped his speech and begged the crowd not to let this man rob them of their love of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him and his family). The Prophet prayed for us. He lived for us, was spat on for us, was ridiculed for us. And we cannot visit him to say thank you? To say I love you, to say I need you, yaa Rasulallah. It is one thing that his enemies attack him. It is another when his own followers do not appreciate him.
We have a cancer in our midst. One that has been festering for some time and permeating our community. We have allowed the discourse in our mosques to be overrun by narrow-minded literalists that threaten us with hellfire should we dare to disagree with them. The longer we keep silent in the face of their ignorance, the stronger the disease becomes. Their ignorance breeds intolerance and intolerance breed’s hate. Our Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) was none of those things. That is not what he wanted for us. This barbaric and ant-prophetic thought has lead to intellectual and spiritual terrorism in mosques across America. It is time to reclaim the discourse in our mosques based on Love of Allah, His Messenger and a breadth of tolerance before it's too late.
By Moutasem Atiya , 16 Sep 2012