Saturday, February 25, 2006

Salman Awan: The truth is...

The truth is, The Prophet of Islam can neither be symbolized/drawn nor can be characterized in any way and anytime.

First of all I would like to pay my gratitude to Mr. Luboš Motl for giving me an opportunity to express my point of view on Danish Cartoon illustrations. Secondly, English is not my first language, however, I will try to communicate the intended message at the top of my abilities. Thirdly, most of you won't agree with what belief we Muslims and majority of the world share, but I am happy that I am into the act of Jihad through Pen.

Well, I am studying Business here in London and I am a Muslim by religion.

Firstly, I would to clear some misconceptions about Islam. Islam means "to make peace" and it struggles to maintain peace. We are no way terrorists, but all over the world we are looked upon as terrorists only because of few individuals who misunderstood the true meaning of Islam and were used by some economies for political reasons and benefits. After the 7th July, 2005 incident I have been stopped and searched 23 times at various London Underground Stations under a section, which says that I might be a terrorist. Well, that's another issue but the issue I will discuss here is concerning the height of disrespect our Prophet (PBUH) is treated with.

There is a lot happening at present in Muslim countries and wherever Muslims live. Yeah, its all emanated from Danish Cartoon Illustrations (DCI), moreover, these DCI are compelling Muslims to be defensive. Condoning or punishing such acts is a personal opinion shaped by religion, culture, values and heritage.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the last of all messengers and Islam was completed during his life. For us, Muslims, he is the best of all human beings and we try to follow his footsteps in every walk of life to get the best of the both worlds. Concisely, he is a model of excellence, and our love for him is unlimited.

The Prophet's Distinctive Characteristics as a Reformer

1. The most Successful of Prophets
2. Universality of the Message
3. Unity of Human Race
4. Development of entire Human Race
5. Greatness in all Directions
6. Not a Product of Environment
7. Universal Peace

The Prophet's Sublime Morals

1. The Prophet, an Exemplar
2. No Work was too Low for him
3. Simplicity
4. Food
5. Dress
6. No Attraction for Comforts
7. Cleanliness
8. Love for Friends
9. Generous to Enemies
10. Equal Justice for all
11. Humility
12. Sympathy for the Poor and the Distressed
13. Hospitality
14. Gentleness
15. Faithfulness
16. Forgiveness
17. Modesty
18. Affection
19. Respect for Others
20. Courage
21. Steadfastness

He possessed all the qualities we can think of and the qualities beyond our imagination. All these attributes make us fall in love with him. The DCI aimed to depict him as violent and terrorist minded, moreover, it's an attack on his attributes and not only that every Muslim is deeply offended and insulted our religion Islam is also disgraced and disrespected. I will not forgive such callous, disdainful, condescending disregard of things dear to me, things that I love.

No one has ever dared to draw his sketch except DCI, it's because of the respect we all hold for other religions. As CNN refused to post the DCI:

"CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam."

(This comment by CNN is an act of respect)

He was so perfect that we cannot bear anyone manifesting him as a terrorist or any other character as depicted by DCI. We treat each other with respect, I have respect for your values and religion it doesn't means that you can abuse my Prophet or Allah. Cartoons are no way means of depicting such personalities. The truth is, The Prophet of Islam can neither be symbolized/drawn nor can be characterized in any way and anytime.

It's a grave mistake by the Danish Prime Minister to oversimplify it into an issue of freedom of speech and religious sensitivities; it would miss the point completely. The Danish editors cannot claim that they were only exercising freedom of expression because hiding behind that guise would misrepresent what they did, and what they did was deliberately incite. That defeats the very purpose of a freedom of expression.

What should we do? We will be intolerant of such actions. We will not pretend that you have the right to insult our religion. But, we will be intolerant without being violent. We will use this forum of speech, and expression and non-violent action, to make ourselves heard. This is not on. This will never be on. We will fight, but our fight is not violent, at least not yet. Freedom of expression is not a vice. It is a virtue. Let us not forget that. Let us not forget that it is open to us too. That we can tell them it is wrong, and we can continue telling them, until they listen to us. But just because they don't listen to us right now, does not mean we burn and we torch, and we kill. Our fight is better than that, our fight is smarter than that. It is a longer, more difficult fight. But it is the right fight. And that is what matters. That is what Muslims are supposed to be about.

Also, I will make it crystal clear that who the fight is against. It is not against a civilization. It is not against non-Muslims as a whole. It is not against American governments as a matter of default. Our fight is against, those who believe our religion is not worth being respected. We need to earn our respect. We earn it, by being patient, by showing all the good that our religion stands for. We earn it by respecting them, and by respecting theirs. That is what we do.

So far there have been some deadly protests and I stand against them.

Salman Awan
awansalman at


  1. Lubos - this is a bold and good experiment. My questions (to the author): some of the prophets characteristics listed are:

    9. Generous to Enemies
    14. Gentleness
    16. Forgiveness

    Do you think Muslims ought to apply these in the issue of the cartoons? (I notice that you explicity rule out forgiveness, yourself).

    And secondly (perhaps more important) I'm puzzled by the pictures issue. You say "The Prophet of Islam can neither be symbolized/drawn nor can be characterized in any way and anytime." Yet (a) lists any number of depictions. If you mean "only respectful depections are allowed" then you should say so (b) I was under the impression that Islam forbade depictions of any living thing - hence all the caligraphic art. Has this been abandoned?

  2. You say: The truth is, The Prophet of Islam can neither be symbolized/drawn nor can be characterized in any way and anytime.

    This statement is a puzzle. You seem to have devoted most of your post to characterizing the Prophet of Islam.

  3. Answer from Salman Awan to William Connolley (belette):

    Well, the contemporary issue of the cartoons is a different scenario. However, if an individual tries to abuse or harm me I am ready to forgive him and will be generous to him. Though, his act of abusing or harming me would make me unhappy but forgiveness is encouraged in Islam. Moreover, I will pray that Allah Almighty forgives him for his acts which caused pain and distress.

    If someone abuses or harms my parents, then I will not be very flexible in terms of displaying my generosity, gentleness and forgiveness. I will forgive him thrice, but after that I will not accommodate such acts and I will be ready to take legal actions.

    Well, when it comes to Allah or Prophet (PBUH), it’s sensitive. My generosity, gentleness and forgiveness will have its limits. I love Allah and Prophet more then myself, my parents and any other thing I can think of. So, out of that love I will try to restore the respect which has been damaged by the newspapers. They depicted Prophet (PBUH) in a wrong fashion and this truth must be realized.

    If the newspapers editors and Danish Government apologizes to the Muslim Community. Then, for sure, I will forgive them; I will be generous and gentle. This act of DCI is a constant source of pain for us Muslims. We, human beings, make mistakes; we have to realize our mistakes before it’s too late. We must present apologizes to the concerning parties to restore healthy and cordial relations.

    Well, Islam forbade depictions of living things and this is because images, pictures and all other form of depictions echo in your mind and drive you off the track. Its just like music, I like a song, it will echo in my mind, and I will spend time singing or listening to that song where as I could have done something constructive in that time, for example, saying my prayers.

    I won’t comment much on WHY ISLAM FORBADES DEPCTIONS OF LIVING THINGS because my knowledge on this topic is very limited. I will try to research on this topic and get back on this issue as soon as possible

    Collectively, pictorial representation of a Prophet is sinful, and it’s sinful because such personalities cannot be represented no matter how good we are. It’s calculating someone on the basis of our knowledge, which is limited. Prophet’s of any religion must not be represented in any sort of illustrations out of the respect we hold for each other.

    In the end, the need of time is not forgiveness; it’s the time to make the Danish Govt. realize (peacefully) that what they have done so far is an offence (morally and socially accepted standards).

    I have tried to answer you questions, if something remains unclear or ambiguous, I will be pleased to answer.

    Salman Awan

  4. From Salman Awan:

    Dear CapitalistImperialistPig,


    The word characterized is used in the sense of pictorial representations or someone trying to disguise as a Prophet.

    Prophets cannot be characterized, we can only take examples from their lives to live in such a manner that we can have the best of the both worlds eventually.

    It's essential to write about his attributes and his personality so that we all can understand the importance he holds in our lives.

    Take Care,
    Salman Awan

  5. I am not interested in Islam but I have the highest respect for the Great Islam Prophet. By any reasonable and scientific account. The accuracy of predictions made by Islam Prophet is a million times better than that by super string theorists.

    Last I heard, an Islam scholar indicated that the Al Quran correctly predicted the accurate value of light speed in vacuum, to 7 decimal places accuracy. The Prophet some how indicated that the distance traveled by the moon in 1000 years, the light takes one day to cover, which is a quite accurate accessment without the any instrument to measure the light speed :-) But the islamic scholar took it literately and calculated the exact distance traveled by the moon, on a very complicated curlly path, from the reference frame of the sun, and find that the precise value of C was actually obtained. For the sake of world peace I am not going to give my opinion but the numerical calculation does seem to be correct.


  6. See this link.

    1400 years ago it was stated in the Koran (Quran, the book of Islam) that angels travel in one day the same distance that the moon travels in 1000 lunar years, that is, 12000 Lunar orbits / Earth day.

  7. If you follow the link, the calculation is really amazing. There is no math error. It leads to exactly correct value of C.

    The only thing I am not quite sure is they used an average lunar orbit radius of 384267 km, but I know a slightly different value from NASA, 384460 km. But then who knows, maybe at the time the Great Prophet lived, the moon was just slightly closer. There is scientific evidence that the moon is indeed getting further away from the earth each year.


  8. Salman - on the forgiveness bit, you seem to be saying that your forgiveness is conditional on nice behaviour by the other sied - saying sorry and so on. That seems rather weak, and easy. Anyone can forgive under those circumstances. And it wasn't in your initial characterisation that 9, 14 or 16 were conditional on the behaviour of the other side.

    On the picture issue: you appear to be repeating what puzzled me, that *any* depiction of TP is sinful. yet I provided you with a link to a whole galleryful. Could you perhaps explain why there have not been worldwide protests about those pictures, some of them quite old.

    Also, you keep saying *Danish Govt* - do you understand the difference between a govt and a newspaper? If you are trying to say that the Danish govt should step in and try to browbeat this newspaper, I am totally against you.

  9. Quantoken, the facts you mentioned are only a few of scientific facts mentioned in the Quran more than 1600 years ago. Many in which scientist discovered recently.

    Belette, I really appreciate how you discuss the issue. I'm sure you will get a reply from the blog's author, but i thought maybe i can contripute in explaining some things :)

    Forgivenes is not weakness at all. Muslims are asked to forgive everyone who harm them by words or actions. But there are exceptions for that liking protecting your country when it is attacked or invaded and when it comes to saying bad thing about God or the propehts. I said prophrt not prophet because that does not mean Prohet Muhammad only but all the prophet including Prophet Jesus and Prophet Moses peace be upon them all.

    An important point is that we must always try to show our opinion of not agreeing to such actions by conversations and discussing to the people we disagree with. And that happened in the cartoons issue. When that did not work in making them apologize, Muslims then started to act by protests and boycott.

    I strongly stress that Islam is against the violence acts that happened.

    May God lead everyone to the right way :)

    Empress 2