Common Misconceptions About Islam - Terrorism, Polygamy, harsh punishments and gender inequality in Islam

Is Islam a religion of Peace or violance

Islam an Ideal Religion for All

Common Misconceptions About Islam

Islam is indeed a misunderstood religion. Main reason of misconception about Islam among non-Muslims is the deviation of the Muslims from the teachings of Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). When non-Muslims see the Muslims of the present world, they get misconceived. The Muslims of present era are far away from the teachings of Islam.

Some of the most common misconceptions about Islam are discussed here under:-

1. Misconception about Islam and Terrorism. Most of the non-Muslims, especially those who have very little knowledge about Quran and life of Holy Prophet think that Islam provokes terrorism. Unfortunately, the western media has also used this misconception to propagate against Islam. This misconception gets its roots especially after 9/11. However, on the contrary, Islamic teachings are against terrorism. So far as the 9/11 incidence is concerned all Muslims all over the world, had deeply condemned the terrible attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th. Islam is against killing of civilians in any circumstances. History of Islam is a witness of this basic principle when the Muslims never raise their arm against civilians. This act of 9/11 could never be endorsed by any God-fearing Muslim. Those attacks were the acts of some young individuals who have no knowledge about the teaching of Islam. This is just like a recent incidence in America where some crazy Priest burnt the copies of Quran and one fundamentalist Christian committed bomb attacks in Norway against multi-culturism. Muslims believe that the Christians have great feelings of tolerance and these are just acts of some fanatic individuals and it cannot be termed as act from the Christian community. The Holly Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says that life and property of a zimmi (non-Muslim) is respectable just like the life and property of a Muslim.

In Islam, taking life of a single person is greater sin than destroying Kaaba, the most respected place in the world for Muslims. Islam strictly forbid its followers to spread bloodshed on earth and warns them that those who act violently on earth would get damnation in the world Hereafter. The Quran in this context says:

"And as for those who offer peace, Allah allow you no way against them."

There is no compulsion in religion.

Say (O Prophet): We believe in Allah and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ismael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the (Other) prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.

d. ... and do not show aggression; God dislikes the aggressors.

e. ......You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant.

Islam belief in Human Brotherhood: So the Quran says:

a. Difference in clans and tribes is simply for the purpose of introduction.

b. ..... We have created you male and female, and have made you nations that ye may know one another.

c. Mankind are one community.

d. He created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread a multitude of men and women.

The above verses of Holy Quran make it abundantly clear that Islam believes in universal brotherhood. Hence it is wrong to say that Islam promotes terrorism. Rather, the meaning of word ‘Islam’ is ‘peace’. According to Islam all humans are equal. There is no discrimination between black and white, poor or rich, old and young, strong and weak etc. They are all accountable before God for all their deeds on the day of recurrence.

We should also see that which is the nation causing most bloodshed on earth. Which nation is the aggressor. I do not want to dilate upon this topic further. Just pardon your anti-Islam feelings for a while and ask this question to your heart and you will get the correct answer.

2.Misconception about Islam regarding Polygamy: It is a general misconception that Muslims are at liberty to marry more than one woman at a time. This concept is not correct. Though polygamy is permissible but with strict conditions. If a person wants to marry more than one woman, he has to ensure that he will be able to do justice, otherwise, he will not be allowed to marry with two women at a time.

It is urged in Islam not to marry more than one wife as there is always apprehension that a man could not treat all the wives equally and in such case he will be a sinner. It is worth mentioning that restriction of marrying more than once is of no help for non-Muslim nations as it is an open secret that most of the men, especially in the open society of the West, have illicit relations with other women. The most notorious example is the relationship of Clinton with Monica. Suppose, had there been no restriction and they be allowed to marry. In such circumstances, situation would be much different.

Restriction of not marrying for the second time could be taken as an argument for falling in illicit relations by men and women, as we see illicit relations especially in the open society of the West are ever increasing. On the other hand, in a Muslim societies not only such shameful acts are avoided but polygamy is also not a common practice.

3.Conception Regarding Inequality of Gender: It is generally presumed that Islam do not give equal rights to woman. They are probably confined to the houses. Women are not allowed to work in offices. They are property of husbands. This concept is against the spirit of Islam.

As a fundamental principle of its system, it holds that men and women are equal to each other in their origin, their abode as well as in their place of return and are as such entitled to similar and equal rights. Islam gave her the right of life, to honour, and to property like men. The reward for both sexes for their good acts is also similar. Men and women are also equal in their rights to realize their material needs in the world including similar rights to hold property and dispose of it as they wish. Islam gives right of inheritance to women and right of Haq Mehar (payable by the husband to the wife at the time of marriage). Besides, they also get dower from their father at the time of marriage.

On the other hand West entitles the wives to get share from the property of the husbands. What was the result of that? Now, there is an ever increasing trend of living together by men and women without marrying each other. This is a result of this particular law and creating biggest hurdle in establishing a basic unit of a society i.e. “Home”. This indeed tells the difference between Divine and human made laws. It is only Almighty Who knows the humans best, as he is the Creator of all of us. The rules, principles and regulation of life made by the God are best for an individual as well as for the whole society.

4.Misconception about Islam regarding Harsh punishments: Some people often say, "Can we apply t\oday the same barbarous punishments which were applied long ago in the desert? Islam intends peace on the land of Allah. So any threat to peace is dealt with iron hands. One can understand that if he kills a man, capital punishment will be his fate. This is the most reasonable measure to avoid crimes against society. Statistics tell that in the countries where Islamic punishments are applied the crime rate is much less than those countries, which are, though developed, have much high crime rate under even better economic and social circumstances.

Islam prescribes that a thief's hand should be cut, but such punishment is never inflicted where there is a slightest doubt that the thief was impelled to crime by hunger. Islam prescribes that both adulterer and adulteress should be stoned till death but it does not inflict such punishment unless they are married persons and upon conclusive evidence by four eye witnesses i.e. when two married persons flagrantly commit such a heinous crime. The standard of witness for inflicting the punishment of adultery is very high. It may surprise the critics of Islam that none has ever been punished in the history of Islam on account of committing adultery on the basis of evidence. Rather, the history of Islam report only two incidences of adultery punishment i.e. stoning till death where there was a confession from the adulterer.

It was reported to Omer, the second Caliph, that some boys in the service of Hatib Ibn Ali Balta'a had stolen the she-camel of a man from the tirbe of Muznah. When Omar questioned the boys as to why they admitted the theft . Then Hazrat Omer said, "By God I would cut their hands if I did not know that you employ these boys and starve them so that they would be permitted to eat that which is prohibited unto them." Then he addressed their employer and said "By God, since I have not cut their hands I am going to penalize you with a fine that shall pain you: and he ordered him to pay double the price of the she-camel.

Is Islam spread by Sword:

Is it possible to preach a religion by Sword. If it is true, it would be true for Christianity, as the biggest population on earth is of Christians and it were they who created their colonies in the world by humiliating all the fundamental rights of the citizens of those so-called colonies.

Christians ruled India for three hundred years and there were not even 0.01% population which embraced Christianity. On the other hand Islam established its roots in India much prior to the first attach by Muslim armies under the Command of Muhammad Bin Qasim. Moreover, Muhammad bin Qasim and his army had to leave immediately after his victory.

In fact, Islam was spread by Muslim traders and Muslim sages. Today's Muslims of India do not know about Muhammad bin Qasim, Zaheer Uddin Babar, Ghauri and other Generals of Muslim history. But a common Muslim of India is very familiar with the name of great sages of Islam Hazrat Data Sahib, Hazrat Moeen Uddin Chishti, Hazrat Baba Farid, Hazrat Khawaja Gharib Nawaz and other sages. Almost every Muslim of India knows about these great sages of Islam.

So far as the Islamic teachings are concerned, Quran explicitly says that there is no compulsion in Islam. The Holy Prophet conquered Mecca, which was the center of his enemies. They were the people who compelled him to leave his motherland. They tried to kill him and for this purpose waged wars against him. Number of his companions were martyred in those battles. But when he conquered Mecca, he forgave all of his enemies. There was no bloodshed, no revenge, no brutality and no looting which was considered as a right of the Conqueror at that time.

So, this is Islam. However, unfortunately, Muslims of today are not the true followers of Islam. Hence, they are the biggest source of creating misconception in the minds of non-Muslims.

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