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OnIslam.net

Would You Take a Bullet for Him?

By Ibrahim Babelli
Writer - KSA
14751
In 1993, I watched the newly-released movie Dave. The storyline of the movie was about someone who had an uncanny resemblance to the US president. He found himself forced to replace the real president in an attempt by White House staff to avoid a potentially explosive scandal.

I found the movie slightly amusing, but there was one scene, actually two, that I always remember. Dave, the imposter in the movie, had the following conversation with Duane, the secret service agent:

Dave: You know, I've always wondered about you guys. You know, about how you're trained to take a bullet for the president. Duane: What about it? Dave: Is that really true? I mean, would you let yourself be killed to save his life? Duane: Certainly. Dave: So, now that means you'd get killed for me too.

Duane did not answer this question immediately, but it was so obvious that he felt its weight. Later on, when Duane discovered the real character of Dave he finally answered the question: "I would have taken a bullet for you."

I wondered then: Who would I take a bullet for? Later, I discussed this same question with a close friend. We both agreed that this person must be someone we hold dear, whose life we regard as more important than our own, and for whom we would sacrifice anything, including our own life. We agreed that we would take a bullet for our fathers, but I would not take a bullet for the father of my friend and he would not take a bullet for my father.

I immediately remembered what Duane said to Dave at the end of the movie when I saw that many of my non-Muslim colleagues did not understand why Muslims become so angry when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is ridiculed, insulted or belittled.

Muslims would sacrifice their own lives for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). That was my answer.

`Umar ibn Al-Khattab told the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once: "O Allah's Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self." The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self." Then `Umar said to him [having reflected upon the matter], "However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self." The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Now, O `Umar, (you are a believer)." (Al-Bukhari)

I cannot be absolutely certain of the exact mental arguments that `Umar entertained before he gave his final answer, but I am almost sure that he asked himself the following question, "Would I sacrifice myself to save the Prophet?" And his entire self, mind and soul, answered emphatically, "Yes!"

The Companions of the Prophet held him dear to the point that they would rather suffer the most horrible deaths than wish upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) the slightest pain. When Khubayb, a Companion of the Prophet was captured and was about to be executed, his executioners asked him, "Would you want Muhammad to be in your place?" He answered, "I would suffer being hacked to death to spare the Prophet the prick of a thorn while he is in his home." He, Khubayb, was indeed hacked to death, but did not waver in his love for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Muslims may differ on a lot of things, but they all agree on their absolute and unwavering love for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Muslims cannot take a bullet for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) now, since no bullet can hit him physically in his grave, but they – if forced to - would sacrifice anything for his sake at any time to protect his sanctity from that which might negatively affect it.

Is this an extreme reaction to a trivial offence? After all, derogatory and outright offensive stereotypes are commonplace these days. But nobody reacts the same way Muslims do when their Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is, for example, offensively portrayed in the media. The reason is that no offense is trivial in the eyes of Muslims when it is directed against Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his sanctity is much more valuable to them than the life of the US president is to his secret service agents.

I would take a bullet for Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). You know why? Because Almighty Allah says,

(Now has come unto you a Messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should perish; Ardently anxious is he over you; to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.) (At-Tawbah 9:128)

Taken with modification from 'Know Thy Prophet' book published by Al Jumuah Magazine.
Ibrahim Babelli is a research scientist. He published several books, papers and reports. He worked as a director and executive director in several campus publications in Prude University.

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