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Common Misconceptions about Islam

Updated on April 20, 2011
Veil is never a hindrance in performing regular tasks
Veil is never a hindrance in performing regular tasks
The most Sacred kaba
The most Sacred kaba
Islam did not spread by sword
Islam did not spread by sword
Gender equality in Islam
Gender equality in Islam

Misconceptions about Islam

Religion in general and Islam particularly is under the constant pressure of many misconceptions as a result people are getting away from religion. It is necessary to study and research the base of these mis-guided misconceptions.

Misconception # 1: Islam does not give equal rights to women as to men.

Islam is the only religion in the world that does not subjugate women. Islam allows women to go out for study and for performing other tasks. But when women is out of home she should protect her modesty by keeping herself veiled. A veil is never a hindrance in performing tasks, rather it adds to the confidence of women.

Islam is the only religion which states the rights of women: their legal, religious and social rights in such detail. These are mentioned in the Holy book of Quran on several places. In the fourth chapter of Al-Quran - Nisa - means women there is every detail regarding marriage, divorce,modesty and other aspects of women's life. There is also full detail of the inheritance law in this sura or chapter of Al-Quran. No other religion provides such details about women's inheritance.

On the day of judgement there will be no difference between men and women and they will be equally asked about how they spend their lives. The only difference will be between virtuous and guilty.

Misconception # 2: Muslims are terrorists and Islam was spread by sword.

In the history of Islam there is no such evidence that any real Muslim emperor or Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) used sword on innocent people to make them willing to convert to Islam. We all know that no one can truly convert a person from one belief to other by sword because may be a person will get converted as a protection from the danger but deep with in his heart he can never change by sword.

on the other hand Islamic history is full of such incidences where non-Muslims converted to Islam just because of the love, peace, justice and equality of the Muslim leaders.

Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) never used sword for her own sake or for the purpose of converting people without their will. He was the most humble, down-to-earth and peaceful man on the earth. In many incidences he asked from Allah forgiveness for those people who hurt him or caused inconveniences in his way. It is a fact that he never cursed the deadliest enemy. Even the angels asked him why not you curse that man who is constantly teasing you but he replied calmly that in doing so there will be no difference between me and him.

Misconception # 3: Muslims do not believe on other religions.

Islam and Muslims believe on other religions and there existence much more than others. Facts about Christianity, Jews and Hebrews are mentioned on several places in Al-Quran. Quran accepts there existence but in the end the best religion in the world is Islam and with the introduction of Islam according to Quran every man and woman should convert to Islam. Muslims study the stories of Jesus, David, Moses and many other Prophets in the Quran and to become Muslim a person have to believe on all the prophets including Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) otherwise he is not a Muslim.

Misconception # 4: Terrorism is spreading in the world due to Islam and Muslims.

I think that this misconception is the worst one and this has spoiled Islam greatly. The reasons why it got spread in the world are many: partly media is responsible for projecting negative image of Islam; but the main part played by America and its allies. For several years Americans and Israelis barbarically treated Muslims of different countries but nobody said a word about them. Nobody said that America and Israel are terrorist countries but when on 9/11 the twin towers exploded America started the propaganda that Muslims are terrorists and they are responsible for this attack. They are still not able to prove that Muslims did that but as a result they started their attacks and invasion in Afghanistan and than in many other Muslim countries. Muslims are not responsible for the terrorism and bloodshed going on today but they are being used by America.

Misconception # 5: Muslims worship Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h).

The major difference between Islam and many other religion is that Muslims believe in one God only and they do not worship any human being. They never bow in front of a human being because this is only for Allah. Muslims believe on Pophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) as a virtuous man and messenger of Allah; the best man on the earth but they never think of him as a God. On the contrary Christians believe that Jesus is there god and he surely is not.

Misconception # 6: Muslim men marry more than once but there is no liberty for women to marry more than one men.

In Islam a man can have more than one wife and less than four at a time. Matrimony is one of the most beautiful relationship on earth it is million billion trillion times better than adultery or other illegal relationships. In Islam four marriages are allowed to men only because in this way he can have a legal and noble relationship and he will not look at other girls. Women can marry twice, thrice or even more than that but in the presence of one husband she cannot marry another man. If she marries twice or thrice there will be no identity for the kids and it is very insensible too.

Islam does not restrict man to marry four times it depends on his circumstances and his needs otherwise most of the Muslims marry once. If he has to marry another girl he has to take permission from the first wife otherwise he cannot do so. He has to maintain equality between wives too if he is not able to maintain equality he should not marry again.

Misconception # 7: Muslims are barbaric and they have no respect for life.

In current years due to the terrorism, suicide attacks and killing people think that Muslims are barbaric and they have no respect for their own or other peoples life. This is most unjust because Islam does not allow Muslims to fight unless it is in defense. Islam tells Muslims to respect not only human beings but animals, livestock, plants and crops of the enemy. Islam never allows taking out sword on an enemy who does not have one in his hands too, it is not allowed in Islam to kill children and women during war. War is only a condition when non-Muslims try to harm Muslims and Islam. Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) changed his way once because he saw some ants in his way and he did not want to step on them. so how can Islam does not respect so precious lives of human beings.

Misconception # 8: Muslims does not respect women.

Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) had a daughter named Fatima whenever Fatima came into his rest room he got up from his bed and keep standing until she was sitting this was the respect he paid to his daughter.

Islam is the only religion where there is so much respect for mother, wife, daughter and sister. In western society women is medium to sell products- we cannot call it respect- women is on the billboard; women is in the shop; women is on the T.V.; women is in the newspaper; women is in the bar and everywhere else this cannot be respect.

Islam allows women to go out but in veil to protect herself from lustful eyes this is the respect which she really deserves.

Misconception # 9: Muslims believe on myths.

Before the introduction of Islam people believed on different myths and they were superstitious too. When a girl was born they thought that luck was not in their favor so they killed her and when a boy was born they accepted him as a gift of God. After Islam came Allah revealed in Quran that a girl is a blessing to the whole family. Whatever is written in Quran has already been proved by science too while other scriptures have so much been changed by the human beings that they are full of mythical stories which have no resemblance to the real sacred revelations of Allah the almighty.

Misconception # 10: Jihad means killing people.

The literal meaning of jihad is to struggle or to strive or to make an effort. So jihad has nothing to do with killing people but it is a mean of spreading the knowledge: a teacher who is teaching in an institute is doing jihad; a person helping poor is doing jihad; parents helping kids in learning good virtues are doing jihad; a person involved in charity is also doing jihad as well Muslim army fighting to rescue innocent people of Palestine from Israeli barbarism is also doing jihad. Jihad is not killing but a positive struggle.

Misconception # 11: Muslims wrongly don't eat pork.

Eating pork is not only prohibited in Islam but in other scriptures like in Bible too. Pig eats human excreta and it is scientifically proven that eating meat of pig can cause hundreds of diseases. Pig is the filthiest animal so eating its meat is dangerous and filthy act too.


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    • firdousi0 profile image

      Fassee Ullah 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for encouraging me

    • profile image

      silsila 3 years ago

      Masha allah

      May allah may you free from hell fire.may allah make all believers to unite in jennathul firdous .aameen

    • profile image

      ben 4 years ago

      Sorry but it only takes one google search to see them cut eachothers heads off for me to say thats crap

    • profile image

      sharifa,bangladesh 5 years ago

      really it is a sourse of knowing about misconceptions and come to in the shade of Islam.

    • Taalib Pugh1 profile image

      Theodore Pugh 6 years ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

      Barakullaahu Fekum! Maa sha'ALLAAH! I really appreciate what you did here this was great and straight to the point. Please view my First Hub here, it's called "Tawheed First" check it out vote, comment and if you want to follow please do. May ALLAAH guide us all ameen.

    • profile image

      AMNA ASLAM 6 years ago


    • ahiah profile image

      ahiah 6 years ago

      Good article, it should be required reading. People fear what they don't know and I find that if you just talk to people, you find we are all pretty much alike. All religions have extremists that seem to get all the attention even though they are a small fraction of the whole, who are appalled by their actions.

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC


      Today I am posting a hub about two children in the Middle East.

      Get Real dude.

    • firdousi0 profile image

      Fassee Ullah 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Good effort to remove misconceptions in the non-Muslims regarding Islam. However, main reason for the misconception is the attitude of the Muslims itself, which is far from the teaching of Islam. You can find more about this topic from my hub:

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Ehtesham for the comment, I truly believe that there is strong need to spread this information because there are so many misconceptions about Islam spread by non-Muslims as well as by some so-called Muslims.

    • profile image

      Ehtesham Ahmad 6 years ago

      there is need 2 spread such type of information in the present scenario plz go on........mashaallah/////

    • profile image

      Ehtesham Ahmad 6 years ago

      there is need 2 spread such type of information in the present scenario plz go on........mashaallah/////

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      @davidkaluge and Umer.Shahzad

      There is no proof of even Osama's existence alone how come you can say that Osama did 9/11. Osama's involvement in 9/11 was hyped by western media and western countries so even if Taliban except it we have no proof of their involvement. Rather America taking advantage of 9/11 did so much bloodshed in Pakistan and Afghanistan which could only be regarded as the most brutal act in world's history.

      Today America claim that they captured Osama in Pakistan and assassinated him but they did not show any proof of it but still you will say that yes America has captured Osama and he is no more but when I say that 9/11 was not due to Muslims you do not believe me. Do you or your western media have any proof of Osama's part in 9/11. Nobody has any proof. Whenever America wants to get control of any country or to kill innocent people a plan is easily made and always Muslims are the one who are targeted. Who is the biggest terrorist then America and west or Muslims and Osama.

      You said that Muslims marry more than one wife so what does nonmuslims do, they have relationships with more than one girl at a time and girls have relationship with more than one guy at a time. So what do you call it!! Islam has allowed men to marry more than one woman to stay away from adultery and thankfully we Muslims know well about our identity, we do not need to have DNA test to know who is our real father and who is our actual mother, neither we kill innocent fetus in mothers womb in order to hide our shameful acts. Secondly you said that Islam does not give equal rights to women and women are not allowed to marry more than once so Islam does not say anything like that. Women are allowed to marry twice, thrice and even more than that but the condition is that they either get divorced or their ex-husband is dead. If women were allowed for polygamy their would not have any identity of the children as who is their father. In Islam everything is logical and yes my article is only an effort to show the true image of Islam it is just an effort if you are interested in knowing the true image of Islam read Holy Quran and do not follow fake Hadiths as many of the Hadiths are weak and have no relationship to Prophet Muhammad's wordings.

      If still you do not agree with me read Micheal Harts book The 100s and you will get to know that not only Muslims but west agree that Prophet Muhammad was, is and will be the best personality ever born in this world.

      God bless you!

    • jreuter profile image

      Jason Reuter 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Hi gulnazahmad,

      To a point, I agree with your assertion that, primarily in the West, there are many misconceptions concerning Islam. The VAST majority of Muslims are not bloodthirsty fanatics, but rather generous and kind people, who place a large amount of importance upon things such as family, faith, and hospitality.

      That being said, I can not but wholeheartedly disagree with your assertions that "Islam is the only religion in the world that does not subjugate women," and that Islam was not spread by the sword.

      My own experience with Islam stems from my conversations and debates with both Muslim acquaintances and dear friends, and if I can pinpoint one constant among all of these conversations, it is that the great majority of Muslims hailing from Arab countries have had little to no experience with dissenting opinions, and have not grown up in a culture in which a large amount of importance is place upon critical thought. The reason I say this is because when faced with evidence of gender inequality and violence committed by Mohammed their own Islamic history, hadith literature, (and in some cases, even passages from the Koran) the majority of Muslims either ignore such information, or flat out deny its existence, preferring instead to remain unaware of the realities that are so effectively censored and prohibited in Islamic countries.

      A perfect example is Mohammed himself. While Islamic history itself records nothing short of deplorable acts of violence committed by Mohammed, today's Muslims merely repeat over and over the "good" parts of his life, either intentionally or ignorantly ignoring the "bad." You are aware, I hope, that Mohammed struck Aisha in the chest (Sahih al-Muslim) causing her pain, ordered political assassinations against both an elderly man (abu afak- from Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah") and a pregnant woman (Asma bint Marwan) of whom whose crimes were merely criticizing Mohammed), and ordered the beheading of 700 Jews of the Qurayza tribe.

      While you can cite over and over how magnanimous and forgiving Mohammed was in a specific situation, all the critic needs to do is refer to but ONE act of unjustifiable violence (and there are many) to render the praises of Mohammed obsolete.

      Given the less than honorable nature of Islam's greatest prophet, it follows that the early history of Islam would reflect this attitude of violence, and despite your assertions to the contrary, there is absolutely no doubt that Islam was spread by the sword. After the death of Mohammed (and even during his life), armies, not peace-loving imams, subdued and overpowered numerous surrounding countries. This was no peaceful revolution (such as the spread of Christianity for its first 300 years) it was the carving out of an empire through military action. Of course, you may counter that no one in these conquered areas was forced to convert, but given that non-believers were heavily taxed, treated like second-class citizens (possessing less rights than Muslims) and allowed to neither build nor repair churches or synagogues, it is obvious that a kind of compulsion was involved in the conversion process- an indirect compulsion. Furthermore, how tolerant is it that Umar, the second successor to Mohammed, considered by Sunnis to be rightly guided and honorable, expelled all Jews and Christians from Arabia?

      My greatest bone of contention with your hub though, is the idea that Islam somehow encourages gender equality. I honestly could fill an entire hub with Koranic passages and Hadith literature that completely refute this statement, as nothing could be further from the truth, so I will try to be brief.

      To begin with, your own Koran allows for violence against women in Surah 4:34, stating "good women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish and abandon them to beds apart; and beat them."

      What else does the Koran say about women? Well, apparently even touching a woman makes one unclean, hardly an indication of gender equality: "If ye are sick on a journey, or one of you come from the closet, or ye have contact with a woman and ye find not water, then go to clean high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it." (5.6)

      The wives of Mohammed were particularly subjugated, as they were not only ordered to live a life of confinement indoors, but were not permitted to marry after the death of the so-called prophet:"...stay in your houses...obey Allah and his messenger." (33.33)

      How about the news of a baby girl? "Yet when a new-born girl is announced to one of them his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom." (43.15)

      This is just the tip of the iceberg. Males inherited twice as much as females, and a women's testimony in court is worth but half of a man's, the requirement being that two men are needed, but if only one can be found, two women can suffice for one man. In fact, the testimony of women alone is inadmissible in court, a man is always needed according to the Koran. Evidently Mohammed did not hold a very high opinion of women, even detailing the afterlife in descriptions applying only to men (virgins with swelling breasts and what not).

      The "rights" of women you so glowingly describe are hardly based upon equality. After all, just look at surah 2:228, "they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and the men are a degree above them."

      It simply astounds me that such assertions of equality are made, when all one need do is take a look at the state of women in Islamic countries today. Whether the denial of the right to drive a vehicle, the burning of all-girls schools, the complete inability of Sharia law to prosecute a rapist, or any other number of gender abuses, the list goes on and on.

      My apologies for length, but this is, after all, a lengthy subject. I realize my comments are disagreeable, but I do hope you realize I mean not one bit of disrespect. It is a wonderful thing that we can engage in disagreement in an arena of mutual respect and that in doing so, learn more about our own respective faiths and the faiths of others. Thank you for taking the time to write, and please consider my words carefully. God bless.

    • umar.shehzad profile image

      umar.shehzad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      And for the second objection, A man is allowed to marry 4 woman. but it has some conditions as it does not allow you to marry more than once if you can't do justice.

      So why Islam has allowed it? as the population of women is increasing than that of men, so there is a possibility of a portion of women to remain unmarried throughout their lives if a man is not allowed to have more than one wife, and there is a possibility of those women to engage in illegal relationship with other men.

      So tell me is commiting fornication and having illegal relationships with more than one woman a better solution? which is in fact the case in non-Muslim countries.

      So it actually is a solution for a natural problem. Though let me remind you marrying more than once is allowed but not encouraged in Islam.

    • umar.shehzad profile image

      umar.shehzad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      @ david, this hub is just a tip of the ice berg, and an opinion of an individual on how she sees Islam. although it is a good effort put by gulnaz but if you are willing to get into details, you can find literature on that, or atleast you can buy a translation of Holy Quran. because anything said by a person can not be taken as absolute or perfect.

      as for you first objection, it does not matter whether Osama admitted 9/11 killing or not, the thing is Islam does not allow it. Quran says killing an innocent person is equivalent of killing the whole humanity, al-Ma’idah 5:32. So If he has admitted the attacks of 9/11 , he has done a great sin. and how can you just think of OBL as the true face of Islam. There are tons of conspiracy theories about OBL and other important events including 9/11. So how can you blindly follow your "biased" media.

    • davidkaluge profile image

      davidkaluge 7 years ago

      secondly is about equity for men and women. I was told that a Muslim man that has four wives and wished to get another can divorce one of the four wives. If it is true, do you think is fair? okay from your comment while men take permission from their wife to marry another wife, can women take permission from their husband and marry two men? It is your religion so I do not hold it against you and non-Muslims (traditionalist) marry many wives but in mordern society as women gain more rights it becomes unfair.

    • davidkaluge profile image

      davidkaluge 7 years ago

      As I read your hub, I read your mind. It is clear that you are not a peaceful Muslim and your hub is bias. I belief in religious tolerance and as such I have defend Muslims because I know that there are good Muslims. You can read it in my religious hubs. 1st you said 9/11 was not proved to be done by Muslims while you know that Osama admitted plotting it and other attacks. I want to see peace in Middle East so I wrote on its need, I expect you to call on world leaders to unbiasly solve the problem.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Yeah me too agree with you that if you want other people to know about your religion do it peacefully. Thanks for your comment.

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Brother gulnaza, May Allah save you from the hell fire. It is really nice hub and we only need to share other peacefully about our religion.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks FranyaBlue and we all should make our efforts to bring out the true image of Islam in front of people who have been wrongly informed by others.

    • FranyaBlue profile image

      Jacqueline 7 years ago from Windsor, England

    • FranyaBlue profile image

      Jacqueline 7 years ago from Windsor, England

      Salaam alaikum

      Thanks Gulnaz for taking the time to straighten out facts and present them to others. Nicely put together and informative.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you noorin for reading it and giving your valuable comments:)

    • noorin profile image

      noorin 7 years ago from Canada

      Great hub. Rated it up !!! Misconception # 4 is one of my favourites, by punishing a criminal ,-a rapist in particular-, you set an example in the society that creates a safer environment. By putting him in jail, u get others to pay taxes to feed him. Following the Hijab dress code does help to protect women from nasty looks and disrespectful actions. Unfortunately it is still not enough because ladies in Hijab do get harassed. Mainly because muslims sometimes fail to realize that Hijab is a lot more than just a piece of veil that covers hair. To me, it is a right given by my creator that forces men around me to listen to what I have to say rather than to stare at what I have to show.

      Hijab would work in a society where women wear it out of pride rather than just tradition. It should also be supported by a whole set of behaviours like lowering the gaze which unfortunately only few of the men do nowadays. In my own personal opinion things like Hijab aren't working and are causing muslims lots of grief or misconceptions because muslims and I do not exclude myself are following only part of the book. We have been warned not to over rule traditions over the Quran's regulations but instead we follow the laws that please us and ignore or manipulate the ones that don't align with our desires.

    • pisean282311 profile image

      pisean282311 8 years ago

      interesting hub..but one correction muslims didn't rule India for 1,0000 years..rule of muslim can be said to be 500 years starting from delhi sultnate to aurangzeb..1206–1707..after aurangzeb ..mughals had lost much of its power and maharashtas were strongest force in India..yes qasim came 1000 years ago but his rule was limited to sindh ..barring aurangzeb most of mughal rulers were more or less secular and one of two greatest emperor of India akhbar (other being ashoka) is known for his secularism..

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 8 years ago from Pakistan

      Thankyou Hummingbird, and we all have our own perception about things in life. Any disagreement in opinion is more than welcome.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 8 years ago

      This is a very good hub. I cannot accept that last statement though. It is not eating pork which affects morals. It is what is in the heart. Pork might not be good for the health but I know many people who eat pork and their morals are just as high as any God fearing Muslim.

      Other than that I like this hub.

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 8 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you for reading my hub and writing your valuable comments:)

    • pintails7886 profile image

      pintails7886 8 years ago from Memphis TN

      mashaa Allah. Great hub well written and extremely informative. This is very nice information. It is nice to see so many spreading the truth of Islam, here in America the media has twisted Islam so perversely it is hard to get people to listen and accept the truth. But inshaa Allah with works like this from you and others like you the truth will be known, there is a reason Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 8 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Wonderful Hub, dear. This is great compilation of misconception.

      JazzakAllah khairan for your effort. ^_^

    • gulnazahmad profile image

      gulnazahmad 8 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you dear, it is a very small share by me to make people aware about true Islam.

    • erun1 profile image

      erun1 8 years ago from Pakistan


    • erun1 profile image

      erun1 8 years ago from Pakistan


    • Ayesha08 profile image

      Ayesha08 8 years ago from Saudi Arabia

      I am totally impressed by your hub. Its really important to clear the misconceptions which are MOSTLY rising for Muslims!


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