Question: I am a practising Muslim, but for the last ten years I was deluded about the image of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), I was watching how the media portrays him. And I started believing that and developed a hatred towards our Prophet. Now, I have read about him and all I can do is love him more than anything. But my past haunts me, I feel like I wasn’t a Muslim for all these years and now even if I have repented, still Allah won’t accept me. How can I seek repentance for forgiveness for my past feelings?
It is great news that you have realized how western media could portray a false image of a person. Sadly, regarding the image of Islam and its Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), it is not only media that spoils that image, but sadly, many extremist Muslims.
That being said, blaming the media does not free one from guilt. The Quranic injunction requires one to investigate. Allah says, “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful” (Qur’an 49:6).
Accordingly, your repentance is important. Your ill-thought of Allah’s Messenger should bring you to tears.
Repentance, hope, and forgiveness
However, know that Allah is All-Forgiving, and His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is kind and merciful. Many people ill-treated Allah’s Messenger. He, however, always forgave and showed mercy. Fudalah bin Umayr (Allah be pleased with him) was filled with hatred for the Messenger (Allah bless him and give peace) so much so that he once set out to kill the Prophet by concealing a dagger beneath his cloak. He followed the Prophet while he was circumambulating the Ka’bah intending to take his life. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) read his mind, smiled at him, placed his hand on his chest, and prayed for him. Fudalah thereafter transmitted that when the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) placed his hand on his chest, no person under the sun was more hatred to me than him. By Allah, he did not raise his hand from my chest save that he became the most beloved of all people to me.
Loving the Prophet
Loving the Messenger (Allah bless him and give peace) is part of faith. Rather, the perfection of our faith depends on loving him. Our teacher, Habib Muhammad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf, once said that if we were to have one atom of the love sayyiduna Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) had for the Messenger, we would be flying out of love.
What I’m trying to convey, is that whatever amount of love we may currently have for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), we are very much in need of increasing in that love.
The most effective way of increasing in love for him is to read books on his Seerah and characteristics. Of the most beneficial works in this regard is “Our Master Muhammad” by Shaykh Abdullah Siraj al-Din. Also, equally important is to attend gatherings of salawat, such as the weekly gatherings of the mawlid.
And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.