Islam is perhaps the most misunderstood and misinterpreted of all religions. Many detractors of Islam have no understanding of Islam whatsoever so they tend to stereotype all Muslims and Islam itself due to actions of a few ignorant people who call themselves Muslims. Indeed even Muslims aren’t free from this malaise as there are some Muslims due to their limited knowledge of Islam fail to understand and grasp the ideology of Islam fully, leading to wrong and ill-informed notions of religion.
Here we will give you a run down on the top 5 misconceptions about Islam.
This word is the stick with which the detractors of Islam use to beat us with. But like I mentioned earlier their limited knowledge about the word “jihad” due to their willful naivety leads them to wrongfully accuse Islam as a religion that promotes violence.
This goes against the very teachings of Islam, as the word Islam is connected to the Arabic word Salam which means PEACE. The word “Jihad” is to strive and struggle in the course of Allah SWT. All of these extremist organization interpret the word in a way that suits their own needs that has nothing to do with Islam. One of the highest forms Jihad is to fight one’s evil desires and inclination to as to get closer to Allah SWT. Or any other means that can lead to one’s salvation in this life and the next.
Jihad can also mean using physical effort to fight off enemies and oppressors. But it is only as an act of self-defense like any other religion or nation would if they were attacked or oppressed.
This is mentioned in the Quran:
“Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.” (Quran 2:190)
“If they seek peace, then seek you peace.” (Quran 8:61)
Many people view Islam as a Religion that does not tolerate any other Religion and one that cannot coexist peacefully with people of different faiths and beliefs. They have these views because of the bombings and destructions of worship places of other faiths by Islamic terrorist groups.
But it is stated clearly in the Quran:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most sure hand-hold, that never breaks.” [Quran, 2:256].
This verse clearly shows that there should be no compulsion or coercion of any sorts when it comes to religion. People should be allowed to freely practice their religion of choice so long as they don’t cause mischief.
The Prophet SAW also gave a stern warning to those who oppress does of a different faith
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Hadith, Abu Dawud)
#3.Islam and Terrorism
This point is a bit related to Jihad as many non-Muslims are of the view that Islam promotes terrorism. But it should be noted that the use of sword or arms should only be a last resort in Islam. Only when we are oppressed and have no choice are we allowed to fight in Islam. Diplomacy is promoted over violence.
“…oppression is worse than murder… [Quran, 2:191, 2:217]
This verse clearly shows that oppression and violence is advised against in Islam.
Even in the case of self-defense Islam advices us to reason with our enemies first before resorting to violence.
“But if the enemy inclines towards peace, then you also incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that hears and knows (all things)” [Quran, 8:61]
#4.Women and their rights in Islam
Many people tend to intertwine traditional practices and beliefs with Islam. Yes, there are Muslim societies that tend to degrade the value of a woman, but those acts have absolutely nothing to do with Islam if anything they go against the very teachings of Islam.
Read this article on the role of women in Islam to have a better insight into the rights and privileges afforded to women in Islam. http://musliminc.com/the-role-of-women-in-islam-7892
#5. Muhammed (pbuh) is not worshipped
We Muslims adore and love Prophet Muhammad SAW but we never in any circumstance worship him. Muslims worship Allah and Allah alone and to ascribe partners to him is one of the gravest sins in Islam.
“And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him” [Quran, 3:144]