Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Top 5 Misconceptions about Islam

Pakistani by Soul, Misconceptions about Islam
5 Misconceptions about Islam

                        Common Misunderstanding or Misconceptions about Islam

Islam is the world's second largest religion in terms of followers. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims and they constitute around 23.4% of the world's population. Around 1.7 billion followers of Islam, Muslims, are spread all around the globe with the majority residing in the 50 Muslim-majority countries. Islam and Muslims have been in the limelight for the last decades and mainly after 9/11. As a Muslim myself, I feel sorry and at times agitated when my religion is portrayed in an inaccurate and treacherous way by some journalists and experts who are either blinded by their own interests or lack the knowledge and are driven by prejudices.

I will use this forum to the best of my abilities to help clear the five most common and wrong interpretations of Islam and Muslims.Here we go:

Islam Promotes Terrorism:

This notion takes root from people deducing relations between Islam and actions of the some of the terrorist groups around the world who have done some nasty things in different parts of the world. I, personally, consider these actions which cause uncalled for harm and inconvenience to others to be inglorious and shocking. Why I think so personally is because my religion taught me to do so. 

I admit that Islam is no pacifist religion, but it does not promote or permit violence under normal circumstances. Islam places huge value on the security of life and belongings and considers life a precious gift. A verse in the Holy Quran (5:32) goes on to say:

"Anyone who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind and anyone who has killed another person (except in lieu of murder or mischief on earth) it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind." (Quran)

Islam has designed frameworks to be followed even in the case of a war which includes, not limited to, acceptance of peace accords, restricted warfare and dignified treatment of Prisoners of War.

Islam does not promote violence in any kind and current phenomena of ISIS and other extremist organizations have nothing to do with Islam in essence. The Islamic nation greets with the words of "Assalam o Alaikum" which means Peace be with you.

Read More: Islam condemns Terrorism

Islam Spread by Sword/Force:

We also get to hear a lot that Islam spread by force and the sword. There are a lot of voices out there trying to convince the world that advent of Islam is based on the use of force. This is completely false, the spread of Islam is based on logical persuasion and self-example. 

The expansion of Islam as a global religion can be attributed to spreading of Islamic ideology throughout the Abbasid caliphate. Large chunks of the population converted to Islam outside the Abbasid caliphate mainly in Central Asia and Africa. The conversions in Africa and Central Asia primarily were influenced by Sufis and Muslim traders in that area. In South East Asia, America and Europe, Islam spread through commerce and migrations. Indonesia is the largest Muslim population in the world and no Muslim conqueror ever went to Indonesia. The spread of Islam in Indonesia is through traders from Indian Subcontinent and Arab peninsula.

Read more: Spread of Islam

Muslims are Backward and Regressive:
Islam, Muslim, Pakistan, Pakistani by Soul

At times, Islam is blamed for being backward, regressive and responsible for holding the world back from scientific and technological development. This assertion is developed on the basis of opinions of highly biased people who get a lot of airtime. Islam is not only compatible with science and technology but it actually encourages the mankind to observe and innovate. Islam is a tolerant and science-loving religions and proof of it is a number of scientist and philosophers during the golden era of Islam. There are innumerable Muslim heavyweight scientists and philosophers who have contributed greatly to this world. Al Farabi, Ibn e Sina, Jabar bin Hayan, Ibn e Al-Haythem, Ibn e Khaldun, Al Raz and Omar Khayyam are few to name from a very long list.

Read more: Muslim Inventions

Islam Oppresses Women:

Leftists all around the globe can be blamed for unjustifiably maligning Islam for the treatment of women. This propaganda is all made up to further a specific ideology and uses the maltreatment of women in some Muslim countries which is due to cultural issues and lack of education mainly rather than religious beliefs. Islam ended the culture of female infanticide or gender-selective killings which were very prevalent in societies at that time of the world. Islam gave property rights to women which were non-existent at that time. Education, male and female, is regarded as compulsory by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam allows women to take up employment and they do not have to share their income with husbands and if they do then they are doing them a favor. 

Women were pretty active at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Muslim women have fought in wars as soldiers during Muslim conquests and civil wars. Muslim hospitals were first to employ female physicians in the whole world. Islam gives a women rights to education,property,choose spouse and a lot more. The position of mother, wife and daughter hold high importance in Islamic values. Women are considered as a source of abundance and prosperity. As The Holy Quran says:

“Blessing has been placed among women."(Quran)

Read more: Women Rights in Islam

No Place for Family Life:

I have read some taunts thrown by people with no or little understanding of Islam that convey the message that Islam does not place any value on women, children and family life as a whole. This is completely false even in the current world scenario as Islam emphasizes a lot on family values and considers it as the nucleus of society. The marriage is considered as the greatest structure of family life. Marrying is considered as half the faith. The Holy Quran conveys a message to us about family and nature of the relationship between the partners. It goes on to say:

"And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves; that you may find peace with them. And He put between you love and compassion. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect." (Quran)

Read more: Value of Family Life

Islam is the second largest religion but I consider it the most understood one. The reason for misunderstanding vary in nature but mostly they are political in nature. Last two decades have seen a lot of physical and political interventions leading to some half truth or twisted facts developing deep roots in cultures where there is less presence of Islam. European countries have larger Muslim populations and have more interaction with Muslims exhibit much lesser Islamophobia than countries where people have lesser interaction. The key to understanding Islam is through higher interaction and logical critique of the propaganda. If 1.7 billion people are at war with the rest, it would have been a complete chaos. They are peace loving and caring people like any one else in the world who love their culture, families and society.

Thanks for reading. Your feedback will be highly appreciated.

1 comment:

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