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Islam and some misconceptions

Updated on March 19, 2016

Islam is an Arabic word. It means submission and obedience to Allah. Submission and obedience to Allah bring peace. That’s why, Islam also means peace.

The root word of Islam is ‘salaam’, which means peace. Islam is a religion of peace which is acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah.

Islam was spread by the sword

It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam had been spread by the sword. Is this true? At the very beginning of the Islam, one day, an old woman was shifting from her own residence to the far away another place with a heavy load. The Prophet (Pbuh) saw her and carried her heavy load. On the way, he asked her the reason behind her shifting with heavy load. The woman informed him that in her locality there is a man whose name is Muhammad. Whoever met with him, he or she lost their religion. That’s why, she is leaving her locality to save her religion. Muhammad (Pbuh) did not tell her anything. After reaching her destination, she asked him his name. As Muhammad would not know how to tell a lie, he told her that his name is Muhammad Ibn Abdullah. The old woman was so surprised. She was amazed by seeing the behavior of Muhammad (Pbuh) and accepted Islam. Muhammad (Pbuh) impressed her by showing the sword of his behavior.

Thomas Carlyle, a famous historian, tried to sort out this misconception that Islam was spread by the sword in his book, “On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History”. In his book, he mentioned, “The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one, in one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” [Surah Nahl, Verse No.: 125]

According to the Pew Research Centre, Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion. It was rightly said by Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson that people who worry that nuclear weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day Muhammad (Pbuh) was born. As per Pew Research Centre, Islam will leap from 1.6 billion (in 2010) to 2.76 billion by 2050.

Actually, Muslims are using the sword of truth, intellect and logic to spread Islam. De Lacy O’Leary, another prominent historian, mentioned about it in his book, “Islam At the Cross-roads.” In his book he told, “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.”

Terrorism is the teaching of Islam

Sometimes some non-Muslims quote some verses from the Qur’an and tell that terrorism is the teaching of Islam. For example, they quote from Surah al-Anfal, verse no. 12 and 39. In verse no. 12 Allah says, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and every fingertip.” In verse no. 39 Allah says, “Fight with them until there is no more unbelief.” They try to misinterpret these verses. In these verses Allah says about the Battle of Badr. This battle was held in 624 CE. An army of a thousand unbelievers marched on to Madinah to attack the Muslims. A small army of 313 Muslims confronted them at a place called Badr, 128 km South-West of Madinah. In this battle a Muslim soldier had to face three infidels. Allah revealed these verses to encourage them. So, it will not be wise to tell that Islam teaches terrorism. Terrorism and battle are not same. They are totally two different issues. According to the dictionary, terrorism is the calculated use of violence against CIVILIANS in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature and battle is a hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war.

Muslims are the terrorists – this is the anti-Muslims campaign by the most of the US media. In the Oklahoma bomb blast, the US media quickly declared that it was a ‘Middle Eastern Conspiracy’. But later it was seen that a soldier from the US Armed Force is the real culprit. Without valid reason to kill a person is prohibited in Islam. Allah says, “If anyone killed a person not to take (equal) revenge of a murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind.” [Surah Al-Maidah, Verse No.: 32]

Some non-Muslims even say that Islamic terrorists like ISIS are completely in line with the Qur’an and Muhammad (Pbuh) which is totally wrong because most of the victims killed by ISIS are Muslims. According to the Independent, UK, ISIS is responsible for more Muslim deaths than Western victims. Dr. Zakir Naik, a renowned Indian Islamic preacher, urged the Muslims to tell them AISIS (Anti-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

Actually terrorists have no religion. Every religion teaches us how to maintain peace in this world. But some people misinterpret Islam and try to take unfair advantages from it. Islam gives emphasize on learning, though most of the Muslims are not very much keen to acquire knowledge. That’s why, others can very easily blame Muslims that their religion is promoting terrorism.

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