Mozaik Islam

Puasa Ramadhan, Fiqih Shalat, Rahasia Sunnah, Zakat Fitrah, Haji dan Umrah

Top Misconceptions About Islam‎

Muslims are violent, terrorists

This is the biggest misconception in Islam. It is no doubt resulting from the constant ‎stereotyping and bashing the misshapen features of Muslims through the use of the media. 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 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 that substantially means ‘peace’. ‎

Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because ‎religion doesn’t 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 destroying crops, trees and livestock. ‎


{{And fight in the Way of Allâh those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allâh likes not the transgressors.}} (Holly Qur’an 2:190)

{{But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower}} (Holly 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, happy life in the mundane world and in the Hereafter.

Islam oppresses women

The images of the typical Muslim woman include wearing the veil, being forced to stay home, and are ‎forbidden to drive vehicles are all common in most of peoples’ thoughts. Although some ‎Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be considered as ‎coming from Islam. Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari’ah ‎‎(Islamic law), but rather they 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 Holy Qur’an and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). ‎Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as a respectful individual in the society who has rights 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 name. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way ‎that is modest and dignified.

The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) 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 in Islam. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in which either ‎partner is free to include conditions.

Marital 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 to her. ‎This is the freedom of Islam that gives it to woman while she has no right to do anything in the darkness age of Europe.

Muslims worship a different God

Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah is for Muslims the greatest and most ‎inclusive of the Names of God. It is an Arabic word that contains a 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 (Elohe), 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 worshipped by Muslims, Christians and ‎Jews. Muslims believe that Allah’s sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and ‎in the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His ‎messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places ‎throughout history. However, it should be noted that God in Islam is One and Only. ‎He, the Exalted, does not get tired, does not have a son (i.e. Jesus) or have associates, ‎nor does He have human-like attributions as found in the other faiths which are thought to be changed through the run of 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 Holy 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 Holy Qur’an says:

{{Allâh does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allâh loves those who deal with equity.}} (Holly Qur’an 60:8)

‎Freedom of religion is laid down in the Holy Qur’an itself: {{There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.}} (Holly Qur’an 2: 256)

Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question of Islam’s ‎spread: “…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. The Christians of Jerusalem are keeping till today the covenant of Omar, the second Caliph in Islam. ‎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.

One has to tell that there was a Muslim soldier who has trespassed the rights of a Jewish man in Iraq after defeating the Persian Empire. This Muslim soldier had pillaged the house of the Jewish man who himself went to the Madinah to complain about this misdemeanor. As soon as the Caliph Omar heard about this plunder, he sued this soldier not only to give back the house to the Jewish man, but also to be punished for his bad deed that has not a jot of relationship with Islam.

Racism is not a part of Islam, the Holy Qur’an speaks only of human equality and how all ‎peoples are equal in the sight of God.

{{O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqûn (pious)]. Verily, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Aware.}}

(Holly Qur’an 49:13)

This Holy verse was not only a statement in the Holy Qur’an, but also a real fact in the Muslim world especially at the time that Muslims were used to follow the Holy orders word by word to the point they got a great empire in 25 years at the time that the Romans have spent 700 years to settle their great empire. For instance, Amr Ibn AlAs, one of Muslim leaders who used to be monitoring Egypt under the agreement of the Caliph Omar, had a son who vied with an Egyptian guy.

Thereafter, when the son lost the race competition, he has beaten up the Egyptian guy while uttering: do you overcome me and I am the son of the nobles! The Egyptian young man was deeply hurt, and he went to the Madinah to complain against the son of this leader. The Caliph Omar arraigned Amr Ibn AlAs and his son to his court; then, he said to the Egyptian young man:

“I want you to beat up the son of the nobles and the noble man (who is the governor of Egypt-Amr Ibn AlAs!”. The Egyptian man said: O Caliph of the faithful, I just want to beat up the son of our governor for he had hurt me!”
Pausing here for a moment, the Caliph Omar, may Allah be praised with him, turned to the governor of Egypt and said a historical sentence, ”O Amr! Since when did you enslave the people whom their mothers had brought to the world free!”

On the heat of the moment, I should mention a discussion has been with one of my best American friends. She asked about the truth of the fact that Islam had been widespread by the power of the swords. I told her,’ Look Nancy, Islam was just the Saudi Arabia, then it has been spread almost everywhere…many Muslim scholars who have protected Islam are not Arabs, but they are from Russia, Perse, and other places; for example, Imam Al Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

Nowadays the Arabs are very weak, but look around you: Turkey that used to be the second Christian place (Constantinople) after Rome is still Islamic many years after the weakness of the Arab Muslims…It is the same thing for Malaysia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Egypt etc…What is the reason that let them keep their religion even though they many times suffer because of adopting a religious life and loving Allah Almighty…there is no mundane power that compels them to convert to Islam…They are Muslims because they want to seek the path of comfort, soulful content, and perennial happy life. They are still Muslims because they found themselves within the glistening of the Holy Words that come directly from the Lord of the World.

All Muslims are Arabs

The Muslim population of the world is around 1, 2 billion. One out of five people in ‎the world is a Muslim. They 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. Thirty percent 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 6 million Muslims in the United States.

All Muslim men marry four wives

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times, and as it is, it ‎accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the ‎taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Holy 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, and they also have the right to exclude it in their ‎marriage contract. ‎

Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. Images of ‎‎”sheikhs 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 Holy 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. What the ‎Qur’anic decrees amount to, taken together is discouragement of polygamy unless ‎necessity for it exists. It is also evident that the general rule in Islam is monogamy and ‎not polygamy. 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 which 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 or permanence. It is quite true that man in the United States of America and Europe gets married to a one woman, but alas, the percentage of the betrayal of the husbands trespasses the number of four that is legally accepted in Islam. A Western man marries only one woman, but meanwhile, he can have an abundant number of illegal relationships with other women! Islam restricted this chaos by imposing the rules of polygamy with quite certain rules that keep the honour of the woman as a respectful human being and not a mere device for pleasure.

Muslims are barbaric and 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 Who is worthy to worship. It also repeatedly ‎instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within few years, ‎great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet ‎‎peace be upon him, ‘seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman’.

The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas that have correlated the new thought to the old one, have engendered because of the Muslims’ efforts 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 navigational maps.

Muhammad was the founder of Islam and Muslims worship him

Muhammad peace be upon him was born in Mecca 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 peace be upon him 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 Mecca. At ‎the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad -peace be upon him- received his ‎first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued ‎for 23 years, is known as the Holy 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 fiercely. In the year ‎‎622 God gave them the command to emigrate. ‎

This event, the Hijrah or ‘migration’, in which they left Mecca 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 Mecca, where they forgave their enemies and ‎established Islam definitively to spread out in the other regions smoothly and effectively. Before the death of the Prophet – peace be upon him- 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 five possessions to ‎his name. ‎

While Muhammad -peace be upon him- 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 in all the prophets from Adam, Noah, Moses, ‎Jesus etc. who were all sent with divine guidance for their peoples. Every prophet was sent ‎to his own people, but Muhammad peace be upon him was sent to all of mankind for he is considered to be the last messenger. It is substantial to think of the messenger Muhammad as ‎the last and final messenger who is sent to deliver the message of Islam. Muslims revere and ‎honour him- peace be upon him- for all he went through and his dedication, but they absolutely do not worship ‎him.

{{O Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner, And as one who invites to Allâh [Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allâh (Alone)] by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur’ân and the Sunnah the legal ways of the Prophet). }}, (Holly Qur’an 33: 45-46).

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 God’s messengers to mankind. A Muslim ‎never refers to him simply as ‘Jesus’, but always adds the phrase “peace be upon him “. The Holy Qur’an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Holy Qur’an ‎is entitled ‘Mary’), and Mary is considered the purest woman among all the creation. The ‎Holy Qur’an describes the Annunciation as follows:

{{And (remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allâh has chosen you, purified you (from polytheism and disbelief), and chosen you above the women of the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinns) (of her lifetime).” O Mary! “Submit yourself with obedience to your Lord (Allâh, by worshipping none but Him Alone) and prostrate yourself, and Irkâ’i (bow down etc.) along with Ar-Râki’ûn (those who bow down etc.).”, This is a part of the news of the Ghaib (unseen, i.e. the news of the past nations of which you have no knowledge) which We inspire you with (O Muhammad). You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam (Mary); nor were you with them when they disputed. (Remember) when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allâh gives you the glad tidings of a Word [“Be!” – and he was! i.e. ‘Isa (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allâh.”, “He will speak to the people in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.”, She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.” He said: “So (it will be) for Allâh creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be!” and it is. And He (Allâh) will teach him [‘Isa (Jesus)] the Book and Al-Hikmah (i.e. the Sunnah, the faultless speech of the Prophets, wisdom, etc.), (and) the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel).}} (Holly Qur’an 3: 42-48)

“Jesus “peace be upon him” was born miraculously through the same power, which had brought Adam “peace be upon him” into being without a father:

{{Verily, the likeness of ‘Isa (Jesus) before Allâh is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!” – and he was}}

(Holly Qur’an 3: 59)

During his prophetic mission Jesus “peace be upon him” performed many miracles. The Qur’an tells us ‎that he said: {{And will make him [‘Isa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe.}} (Holly Qur’an 3: 49)

Neither Muhammad- peace be upon him- nor Jesus “peace be upon them came to change the basic doctrine of the ‎belief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. ‎

In the Holy Qur’an Jesus “peace be upon him” is reported as saying:

{{And I have come confirming that which was before me of the Taurât (Torah), and to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden to you, and I have come to you with a proof from your Lord. So fear Allâh and obey me. , Truly! Allâh is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him (Alone). This is the Straight Path.}} (Holly Qur’an 3: 50-51)

This is similar to what we find in the Bible when Jesus “peace be upon him” said in the Book of Matthews: “5:17 Think not that I am coming to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not coming to destroy, but to fulfill”.

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said: “Whoever believes there is no god but Allah, ‎alone without a partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the ‎servant and messenger of God, His word that breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating ‎from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into ‎Heaven.

Yasser Gabr & Houda Karkour, Islamic Propagation Office in Rabwah, Riyadh