Lecture Series: What would Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) do with contemporary issues?
This post has been updated with the after-event notes and media.
What would the Prophet say?
The media shocks and surprises – that’s what they do – and we will never be able to get a full or impartial picture of any event when we rely solely on event-driven media and public opinion.
“This is an issue common to examinations of Prophet Mohammad’s life; most of the information we see today about the Prophet is taken from what we call Event Driven Biographies.” Dr. Alp Aslandogan, an expert on the life and history of the Prophet, scientist, and Executive Director of the nationwide Alliance for Shared Values began his presentation Friday with a brief overview of how we receive information. His book (written with co-author Resit Haylamaz), “The Messenger: Prophet Muhammad and his Life of Compassion” was the main reference for the evening’s discussion at the Salt Lake City Public Library.
Dr. Alp shared a timeline of the Prophet’s life. “Biographies always discuss these significant historical events, and many times we forget what proportion these events make of the Prophet’s life. These events only represent less than 1 percent of a life devoted to compassion, caring, and living the principles shared through his words and deeds.”
What could we discover if we cared to examine the rest of his life?
The remainder of the evening we learned about the many applications of liberal compassion the Prophet shared with his contemporaries. His demands of humane treatment for the economically disadvantaged, minorities, non-combatants, and military prisoners. His revelatory pronouncements of gender rights and equality. Even the Prophet’s requirements of sanctuaries and what we would today call “National Parks” to protect environments and wildlife.
When our research depends on soundbites and shock, we miss out on a tremendously rich legacy of forward-thinking compassion. A legacy much in need for our modern world.
A number of questions were asked by the audience regarding the application of Dr. Alp’s presentation into the environment of today, and after his presentation, many people were also able to have a personal visit with him. It took a while for the room to clear, as listeners were engaged visiting with their neighbors as well.
One attendee, a Hindu, observed that the presentation was timely and very well done. Another attendee, a Christian, expressed excitement for the new information he heard.
Compassion and caring are values we all share. It was wonderful to learn of so many examples from the early life of the Prophet, which can be applied to the lives of people from all walks of life.