Summary of bayan by Mufti Saeed Khan Sahab DB on the topic of blasphemy and the way forward for Muslims:
Knee jerk reactions do irreparable harm. Shun all the chest thumping outrage.
Work on long term strategies to make blasphemy punishable by law, as Jews have done for holocaust denial.
For those with basic understanding of shariah, strive to acquire competence in higher education and research and business/trade and market dominance for effecting revolutionary change on a global level.
We scholars are connected to the public. As soon as we heard the news of blasphemy in France, many called to say we should burn down the French embassy. This is preposterous both rationally and in Shariah. To those who advocate for such violence, I say why don't you put your money where your mouth is? Some say the French ambassador should be killed. This is against the teachings of our Prophet SAW. The true illness here is our inferiority complex due to our downward spiral over the last 300 years. Some suggest an economic boycott. I want you to tell me what our previous boycotts have achieved, against the US in 2004 and Denmark after that. It has been 16 years. Those boycotts made no difference. When we boycotted Denmark, they devised an alternate strategy to offset fall in business from Muslim countries and achieved their respective sales targets despite our boycotts. Why don't we produce these goods locally so that our boycotts can be permanent? No Pakistani think tank proposes to make plans to set up local industries that will produce substitutes of French boycotted products. In Pakistan some industrialists took up the task of manufacturing local refrigerators. Now, very few imported refrigerators are sold in the country.
There was a huge hue and cry over boycotting Pepsi cola. Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa that Pepsi was haram. Makkah cola was born and died in Karachi. Why do you turn away from ground realities? Why do you oppose those who prescribe rational solutions to your problems?
We are moving towards ilhad. Earlier when there was blasphemy, there were calls to kill and be killed. Now, there is no fervor. It's as if no one is concerned anymore. Remember that Shia and Sunni fought for 20 years and thousands of lives were lost. It took only six months of the Rahil-Shareef government and all fighting ceased. Who is it that pits the Shia against the Sunni and the Sunni against the Shia, and why do we keep falling for these conspiracies? If this is the image of Islam that you are going to show the world, then we seek refuge from this kind of Islam. Someone presented the writings of a certain hazrat to Allama Zahidul Kauthari RA and he said if this is Islam, then I want nothing to do with it.
We should do things that are the need of the hour. We should build factories. We should be independent of foreign produced goods. Some of our leaders said we should nuke France. In 2004 when America was carpet bombing Afghanistan, we had madrasa students out in the streets with sticks saying we should nuke America. What did that achieve? We are facing the results of the incompetence of our forefathers for 300 years. Our next generation will face the results of our incompetence. Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Maulana Sami ul Haque had called for nuking America. One the one hand you plead with America to allow you to form your own government, and on the other hand you also want to nuke America. What has our religious leadership given us? How many of these leaders have sent their sons to fight and die and Afghanistan? This leadership has given us nothing but only fanned our emotions. Maulana Sami ul Haque RA said we should bomb America with our nukes. I asked him, sir, how can this be done? He said we should buy a plane ticket to America and when the plane is flying over America, when can drop the nuke we are carrying with us on them. This is the intellectual level of our religious leadership. Another leader said we should refuse to pay the interest on our international loans because Islam does not allow us to deal in interest. If this is the intellectual level of our leadership, what actionable plans can we expect from them? Our religious leadership only plays with our emotions, our blood, and lights fires. Actual policies are decided via backdoor dealings.
Our plan of action in France is this. When we do not have the military strength to clash with France, then we are only left with the option of akhlaq (good character). It is the duty of our children to acquire higher education and take leadership roles in the West where these fitnas rise from. The grassroot work to be done is to go to these people and familiarize them with the seerah of our Prophet SAW. Because of our knee jerk reactions, the cartoons that were limited only to a classroom are now displayed publicly all over France. Are you happy now?
When I was in France, I met an academic who was doing research on what he termed the weaknesses of the character of our Prophet SAW. If we do not delve into hadith matters in detail, there are things mentioned in the ahadeeth that we will not be able to explain if we do not have the proper training in Shariah. This academic was looking for a Muslim to explain such ahadeeth to him. We met over a few cups of coffee over a week or so, and he was convinced that he had erred in his thesis and he set his entire research corpus on fire, saying he was saved from falsely maligning the character of a person who has already passed away. This is the type of work that needs to be done. Acquaint the West with the seerah of our Prophet SAW.
A time came in Makkah when during the Hajj, the idolators put up people at every entry point to Makkah to warn people not to listen to the preachings of our Prophet SAW. Our Prophet SAW deputed people to go to the pilgrims and explain his message to them.
How many of us have read the seerah of our Prophet SAW? I sent a message to our Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop writing letters to world leaders, and instead take Prince Muhammad bin Salman or someone from the Emirates and travel to the US and Europe and talk to them and get them to bring about legislation that would ban blasphemy of all religions of the world. This is what needs to be done. There can be no greater rewarding task than safeguarding the honor of our Prophet SAW. Indonesia's Mahatir said all French should be killed. I say to him, then please proceed. What is stopping you?
This ideological war must be fought on three fronts. First, we need to sit down with them and tell them about the true seerah of our Prophet SAW. Maulana Ali Miyan RA was of the view that Orientalists deliberately maligned the character of our Prophet SAW in their writings. Dr. Hamidullah explained to him that those Orientalists are long gone. Academics now are amenable to correction. He related the story of one such Orientalist who retracted his views when Dr Hamidullah presented the true seerah before him.
We should explain the seerah of our Prophet SAW in every mosque and on every street corner in France.
We should nudge our children to engage in trade. All revolutionary work that is done in the world needs resources and wealth. We are the only deluded community that thinks that we do not need to acquire these skills and resources, and Allah Taala will do all this for us without us trying to acquire the means.
We should also encourage our children to work for the armed forces.
Our industrialists should focus on mass producing goods that will make us independent of foreign companies.
We need to work towards changing the leadership of our country so that it is lead by able men. Does our Prime Minister know the seerah of our Prophet SAW? I doubt Imran Khan has even read 100 pages in his entire life. If he was well read, he would have been able to engage world leaders on the seerah.
The cartoons ridiculed the marriages of our Prophet SAW. If our political and religious leadership were educated in the seerah, they would have been able to present the true realities of this aspect of the life our Prophet SAW.
Remember this well. When you are militarily weak, then you can only engage the powers of the world through akhlaqiyat (good character).
When Salman Rushdie released the Satanic Verses, there were only two refutations published, one from Shia Iran, and one from the Qadiyanis. What happened to our religious and intellectual leaders? Why are we not able to counter these attacks intellectually? Our only response is "Death to the blasphemers!" We should be rational about these matters. We should do what I have highlighted above, and not engage in short sighted knee jerk reactions.
My organization An Nadwa is working along the lines explained above. We are working towards higher education, building libraries, publishing research, acquiring economic resources and means to effect change. We are alone in this task but we are undaunted.