Muslims are violent, terrorists, and extremists!
This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from the
constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. When a gunman
attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA guerrilla sets off a
bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent
Muslim civilians, these acts are not used to stereotype an entire faith.
Never are these acts attributed to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how
many times have we heard the words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist, etc.'
linked with violence. Politics in the so-called "Muslim countries" may or
may not have any Islamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the
name of Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the
source of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what
is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God' and is
derived from a root word meaning 'peace'. Islam may seem exotic or even
extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion does not
dominate everyday life in the West, whereas Islam is considered a 'way of
life' for Muslims and they make no division between secular and sacred in
their lives. Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense; in
defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly
from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include
prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees
NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS ...
The Noble Qur'an says:
"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not
transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Qur'an, 2:190).
"If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the
All-Hearer, the All-Knower." (Qur'an 8:61 ) .
War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous
conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally means
'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other
'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul, which everyone wages against
egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.
Islam oppresses women.
The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to stay
home and forbidden to drive is all too common in most people's thoughts.
Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should
not be seen as coming from Islam. Many of these countries do not rule by any
kind of Shari'ah (Islamic Divine Law) and introduce their own cultural
standpoints on the issue of gender equity. Islam on the other hand gives men
and women different roles and equity between the two is laid down in the
Noble Qur'an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own
right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A
marriage gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use,
and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men
and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified. The
Messenger of God, Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said: "The most perfect in faith
amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife."
Violence of any kind towards women and forcing them against their will for
anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in
which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus
vary widely from country to country. Divorce is not common, although it is
acceptable as a last resort. According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be
forced to marry against her will: her parents simply suggest young men they
think may be suitable.
All Muslim men marry four wives.
The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so
accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant
the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Noble
Qur'an, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. No woman
can be forced into this kind of marriage if they do not wish it. Polygamy is
neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. Images of "shaikhs
with harems" are not consistent with Islam, as a man is only allowed at most
four wives only if he can fulfill the stringent conditions of treating each
fairly and providing each with separate housing etc. Permission to practice
polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is rather
associated with compassion toward widows and orphans. It was the Noble
Qur'an that limited and put conditions on the practice of polygamy among the
Arabs, who had as many as ten or more wives and considered them "property." It is both honest and accurate to say that it is Islam that regulated this
practice, limited it, made it more humane, and instituted equal rights and
status for all wives. It is a very tiny percentage of Muslims that practice
it over the world. However, permission to practice limited polygamy is only
consistent with Islam's realistic view of the nature of man and woman and of
various social needs, problems and cultural variations. The question is,
however far more than the inherent flexibility of Islam; it also is the
frank and straightforward approach of Islam in dealing with practical
problems. Rather than requiring hypocritical and superficial compliance,
Islam delves deeper into the problems of individuals and societies, and
provides for legitimate and clean solutions that are far more beneficial
than would be the case if they were ignored. There is no doubt that the
second wife legally married and treated kindly is better off than a mistress
without any legal rights.
Muslims worship a different God.
Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah for Muslims is the greatest
and most inclusive of the Names of God, it is an Arabic word of rich
meaning, denoting the One and Only God and ascribing no partners to Him. It
is exactly the same word which the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (Eloh), the
word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an
identical name in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Allah is the same God
worshiped by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Muslims believe that Allah's
sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His
teachings and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who
were sent at various times and in many places throughout history.
Islam was spread by the sword and is intolerant of other faiths.
Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab
horseman carrying a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other conquering
and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct portrayal of
history. Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all
faiths. The Noble Qur'an says:
"God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for (your)
faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with
them; for God loveth those who are just."
(Qur'an, 60:8 ) .
Freedom of religion is laid down in the Noble Qur'an itself: "There is no
compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is
distinctly clear from error." (Qur'an, 2:256 ) .
Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the
question of the spread of Islam: .". of any organized attempt to force the
acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic
persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing.
Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have
swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out
of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism ..."
It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of
minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all
over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance
towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year
634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the
city. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives, and property were
safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he
asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all
the holy places. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up
their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities
themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are
considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not. Racism is not a part
of Islam, the Noble Qur'an speaks only of human equality and how all peoples
are equal in the sight of God:
"O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you
into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly,
the most honoured of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God
is All-Knowing, All- Aware." (Qur'an, 49:13 ).
All Muslims are Arabs.
The Muslim population of the world is around 1.4 billion. 1 out of 4 people
in the world is a Muslim. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the
World. Muslims are a vast range of races, nationalities, and cultures from
around the globe "from the Philippines to Nigeria" they are united by their
common Islamic faith. Only about 18% live in the Arab world and the largest
Muslim community is in Indonesia. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. 30% of
Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in
Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet Union and
China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan make up 10% of the non-Arab Middle East.
Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin
America and Australia, they are most numerous in Russia and its newly
independent states, India and central Africa. There are about 8 million
Muslims in the United States.
The Nation of Islam is a Muslim group.
Islam and the so-called "Nation of Islam" are two different religions.
Muslims consider this group to be just one of many cults using the name of
Islam for their own gain. The only thing common between them is the jargon,
the language used by both. "The Nation of Islam" is a misnomer; this
religion should be called Farrakhanism, after the name of its propagator,
Louis Farrakhan. Islam and Farakhanism differ in many fundamental ways. For
example, Farakhan followers believe in racism and that the 'black man' was
the original man and therefore superior, while in Islam there is no racism
and everyone is considered equal in the sight of God, the only difference
being in one's piety. There are many other theological examples that show
the 'Nation's teachings have little to do with true Islam. There are many
groups in America, which claim to represent Islam and call their adherents
Muslims. Any serious student of Islam has a duty to investigate and find the
true Islam. The only two authentic sources that bind every Muslim are 1.the
Noble Qur'an and 2. authentic or sound Hadith "Sunnah". Any teachings under
the label of "Islam" which contradict or at variance with the direct
understanding of fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam from the Noble
Qur'an and authentic Hadith should be rejected, and such a religion should
be considered a Pseudo-Islamic Cult. In America there are many
pseudo-Islamic cults, Farrakhanism being one of them. An honest attitude on
the part of such cults should be not to call themselves Muslims and their
religion Islam. Such an example of honesty is Bahaism, which is an offshoot
of Islam, but Bahais do not call themselves Muslims nor their religion,
Islam. In fact Bahaism is not Islam just as Farrakhanism is not Islam.
Muslims are a barbaric, backward people.
Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the
simplicity of its doctrine. Islam calls for faith in only One God worthy of
worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence
and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities
were flourishing, for, according to the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), "Seeking
knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim 'Male & Female'" The synthesis
of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about
great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography,
architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as
algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the
advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam.
Sophisticated instruments, which were to make possible the European voyages
of discovery, were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good
Muhammad was the founder of Islam and Muslims worship him.
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was born in Makkah in the year 570. Since his
father died before his birth and his mother shortly afterwards, he was
raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he
became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so that he was
sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes. The historians
describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was of a deeply
religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his society. It
became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near
Makkah. At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)
received his first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This
revelation, which continued for 23 years, is known as the Noble Qur'an. As
soon as he began to recite the words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach
the truth which God had revealed to him, he and his small group of followers
suffered bitter persecution, which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God
gave them the command to emigrate. This event, the Hijra 'migration', in
which they left Makkah for the city of Medina, marks the beginning of the
Muslim calendar. After several years, the Prophet and his followers were
able to return to Makkah, where they forgave their enemies and established
Before the Prophet died at the age of 63, the greater part of Arabia was
Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had spread to Spain in the
West and as far East as China. He died with less than 5 possessions to his
name. While Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was chosen to deliver the message, he is not
considered the "founder" of Islam, since Muslims consider Islam to be the
same divine guidance sent to all peoples before. Muslims believe that all
the prophets from Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus etc. were all sent with divine
guidance for their peoples. Every prophet was sent to his own people, but
Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was sent to all of mankind. Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) is the
last and final messenger sent to deliver the message of Islam. Muslims
revere and honour him (P.B.U.H.) for all he went through and his dedication,
but they do not worship him.
"O Prophet, verily We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad
tidings and a warner and as one who invites unto God by His leave and as an
illuminating lamp." (Qur'an, 33:45-6 ) .
Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets.
Muslims respect and revere Jesus(Peace Be Upon Him), and await his Second
Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to
mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the
phrase (Peace Be Upon Him) (abbreviated as (P.B.U.H.) here). The Noble
Qur'an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur'an is entitled
'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Qur'an
describes the Annunciation as follows:
"Behold!" the Angel said, 'God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen
you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a
word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honoured
in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He
shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of
the righteous.' She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has
touched me?' He said: "Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a
thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is." (Qur'an, 3:42-47 ) .
Jesus (P.B.U.H.) was born miraculously through the same power which had
brought Adam (P.B.U.H.) into being without a father:
"Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He
created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was." (Qur'an, 3:59
During his prophetic mission Jesus (P.B.U.H.) performed many miracles. The
Qur'an tells us that he said:
"I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay,
as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird
by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead
by God's leave." (Qur'an, 3:49 ).
Neither Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) nor Jesus (P.B.U.H.) came to change the basic
doctrine of the belief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to
confirm and renew it. In the Noble Qur'an Jesus (P.B.U.H.) is reported as
saying that he came:
"To attest the Torah which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of
what was forbidden unto you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord,
so fear God and obey me." (Qur'an, 3:50 ) .
The Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said: Whoever believes that there is no god
but Allah, alone without partner, that Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) is His messenger,
that Jesus (P.B.U.H.) is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed
into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are
true, Allah will make him enter Paradise."