Thursday, 31 August 2017
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in the US Supreme Court
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Not many people know, but there is a marble image of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) perched above the press seating area inside the U.S. Supreme Court chamber. The statue is sculpted in a frieze. It depicts the Prophet (s.a.w.) carrying a sword and the Qur’an and stands in the company of more than a dozen other great lawgivers of history. They range from Moses (a.s.) to Confucius to Napoleon to John Marshall.
At one time, it was a controversy among Muslim groups, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups writing to the court to urge that the statue’s face be sandblasted. Fortunately, then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist refused, issuing a letter that said it would be “unlawful to remove or in any way injure an architectural feature in the Supreme Court building.”
Shaykh Thaha ibn Jabir al-Alwani (r.a.), the noted Shafi'i jurist and exegete of the Qur’an, and founder of the Fiqh Council of North America, issued a fatwa and concluded, “What I have seen in the Supreme Courtroom deserves nothing but appreciation and gratitude from American Muslims. This is a positive gesture toward Islam made by the architect and other architectural decision-makers of the highest Court in America. God willing, it will help ameliorate some of the unfortunate misinformation that has surrounded Islam and Muslims in this country.”