Ask A Muslim: Reconciling Feelings Around Prophet Muhammad

Ask A Muslim: Reconciling Feelings Around Prophet Muhammad

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By Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi

Hi, I am Muslim and I saw something online about prophet Muhammad that made me upset so I started researching about his life and his wives online. I had some negative feelings toward him but I quickly stopped. I feel guilty, does this make me a disbeliever now? – Alina

Great question. No, having negative feelings does not make you a non believer. One of the great things I admire about our religion is the fact that we are asked to go out and search for knowledge. We are asked to not follow everything without question, being led through life as though a blind person. It is human nature to question everything, that is how innovation, progress and enlightenment takes place. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “we have made you into tribes, so you can learn from each other.” Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same. Islam spread across the globe, because people went out to seek knowledge. When you ask questions, you will get asked questions in return; we learn from each other. 

You do have to remember, there are always two sides to the coin. When you were doing research, who were the authors of the pieces you read? Were they written by authentic Muslim scholars, or non-Muslim/western white centric ones? What are the chances the article lacks compassion and understanding of Muslim ideology and norms? We are after all living in a world today that holds true to structural constructs and social norms geared to favor white supremacist culture. Even Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) is portrayed as a white, blond, blue eyed man who people have been trained to forget was of the Jewish faith, born in Africa of African descent to begin with. 

I am unsure what you read and learnt about the life of Mohammad (sallallah-o-alaihe-wassalum) that you found negative and colored your perception unfavorably, but if you wish to contact me personally and discuss privately via email (contact the editor), I am happy to give my two cents’ worth though I would caution you that I am not a scholar. However I am sure I can find some answers for you by asking some scholar friends who are more knowledgeable than I am. Having said that, my guess would be geared towards the fact the he was not a lettered man, and the number and ages of his wives. Those are the two aspects every Tom, Dick, and Harriett uses to malign him. I have no desire to get into an argument with someone whose entire viewpoint is to show me down rather a genuine desire for understanding, but discussing these aspects with another Muslim/Muslimah scholar would prove beneficial. You might even try connecting with the local imam who may be able to recommend someone locally to mentor or facilitate your questions. 

Suffice it to say, we grow when we are challenged. You are lucky to have found an aspect that will challenge your petdonal growth and knowledge in faith. The discomfort you are feeling is normal and natural — and who says you HAVE to agree with everything? You can agree to disagree too, and that is the beauty of our personal relationship with Allah and His messenger. We stand on that musallah five times a day, believing Him to be present where we bow and prostrate. We can ask for forgiveness, make duas, and have whatever conversation we want, with Him directly. He is aware of our innermost struggles, and in that lies His love for us, so we can transform and grow. It is an opportunity for strengthening our own skills, relationship and faith. 

I know I have approached your question in a very broad manner, but I wanted to reassure you that having negative feelings about any one aspect of being Muslim, does not make you an automatic disbeliever.

About Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi

Naghmana Ahmed-Sherazi moved to Spokane about four years ago with her son. Coming from a huge bustling metropolis like Houston with its varied and diverse micro-cultural communities, she said it was interesting to see people's reactions when they met her or her son. She said she has so far loved living in Spokane with its four seasons and unique landscape.
Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, she has had the good fortune of travelling since an early age and has had education on four different continents. She considers herself a global citizen.

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