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Most Common Islamic Misconceptions

 

By Beconvinced, Daniel Masters, Isma'il Kaka, Robert Squires Published in Other Islamic Refutations Published on Aug. 22, 2008

 

Misconception # 1: Muslims worship a different God

 

First of all, there is only One God who created the Universe and all of mankind. Throughout history, people have created false gods in their minds and come up with false ideas about Almighty God, but regardless of this there is still only One True God - and He alone is worthy of worship. Unfortunately, some non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This might be due to the fact that Muslims sometimes refer to God as "Allah", but also because over the centuries there have been many lies and distortions spread by the enemies of Islam. In actuality, Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- the same God as Christians and Jews. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God and it is the same word that Arabic speaking Christians and Jews use to refer to God. If you pick up an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible, you will see the word "Allah" where "God" is used in English. For more information on the word "Allah", please read: Who is Allah? But even though Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, their concepts about Him differ quite a bit. For example, Muslims reject the idea of the Trinity or that God has become "incarnate" in the world. Also, the teachings of Islam do not rely on or appeal to "mystery" or "paradox" --- they are straightforward and clear. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, Loving and Compassionate and that He has no need to become man (nor do humans need for Him to). One of the unique aspects of Islam is that it teaches that man can have a personal and fulfilling relationship with Almighty God without compromising the transcendence of God. In Islam there is no ambiguity in Divinity --- God is God and man is man. Muslims believe that God is the "Most Merciful", and that he deals directly with human-beings without the need of any intermediary. Actually, the phrase "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful" is one of the most repeated verses in the Holy Qur'an. Additionally, the pure and straightforward teachings of Islam demand that Almighty God be approached directly and without intermediaries. This is because Muslims believe that God is completely in control of everything and that He can bestow His Grace and Mercy on His creatures as He pleases - no Atonement, Incarnation or blood sacrifice is necessary. In summary, Islam calls people to submit to the One True God and to worship Him alone.

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Misconception # 2: Muslims worship Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)

 

According to Islamic belief, the Prophet Muhammad was the last Messenger of God. He, like all of God's prophets and messengers - such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus -- was only a human being. Christians came to the mistaken assumption that Muslims worship Muhammad by formulating an incorrect analogy - they worship Jesus so they assumed Muslims worship Muhammad. This is one of the reasons that they called Muslims by the incorrect name "Mohammedans" for so many years! Muhammad, like Jesus, never claimed divine status. He called people to worship only Almighty God, and he continually emphasized his humanity so that people would not fall into the same errors as Christians did in regards to Jesus. In order to prevent his deification, the Prophet Muhammad always said to refer to him as "the Messenger of God and His slave". Muhammad was chosen to be God's final messenger --- to communicate the message not only in words but to be a living example of the message. Muslims love and respect him because he was of the highest moral character and he brought the Truth from God - which is the Pure Monotheism of Islam. Even when Islam was in its very early stages, God revealed that Muhammad "was sent as a mercy to all of mankind" - thus informing us that the message of Islam would become very widespread. Muslims strive to follow the great example of Muhammad, peace be upon him, but they do not worship him in any way. Additionally, Islam teaches Muslims to respect all of God's prophets and messengers - but respecting and loving them does not mean worshiping them. All true Muslims realize that all worship and prayer must be directed to Almighty God alone. Suffice it to say that worshiping Muhammad --- or anyone else --- along with Almighty God is considered to be the worst sin in Islam. Even if a person claims to be Muslim, but they worship and pray to other than Almighty God, this cancels and nullifies their Islam. The Declaration of Faith of Islam makes it clear that Muslims are taught only to worship God. This declaration is as follows: "There is nothing divine or worthy of being worshiped except for Almighty God, and Muhammad is the Messenger and Servant of God".

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Misconception # 3: Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) wrote the Qur'an

 

In addressing this misconception, it is interesting to not that no other religious scripture claims to the direct word of Almighty in toto as clear and as often as the Holy Qur'an. As the Qur'an clearly says: "if had been written by man, you would have found many discrepancies therein". At the time the Qur'an was revealed, the Arabs recognized that the language of the Qur'an was unique and that it was distinctly different from the language normally used by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. The Arabs of that time, by the way, were known for their beautiful poetry and Muhammad was known to be an illiterate man! The Qur'an clearly says that Muhammad was unable to read and write, so if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have protested and rejected him. However, there are no reports of this. Certainly there were people who rejected Muhammad's message, just like other prophets were rejected, but none for this reason. On the contrary, Muhammad, peace be upon him, had thousands of loyal followers and the results of their efforts spread Islam from Spain to China in just over a century! It is also interesting to note that even though the Qur'an is not poetry, the Arabs more or less gave up writing poetry after it was revealed. It could be said that the Qur'an is the piece of Arabic literature par excellence - and Muhammad's contemporaries realized that they couldn't out do it. Additionally, it is easy to prove that Muhammad did not possess a great deal of the knowledge which is expounded in the Qur'an: such as knowledge of historical events, previous prophets and natural phenomenon. The Qur'an says in several places that Muhammad and his people did not know these things - so, again, if this wasn't true, certainly his contemporaries would have rejected his claims. Suffice it to say that not only is the Qur'an the most memorized and well preserved scripture on earth, it is also unequaled in eloquence, spiritual impact, clarity of message and the purity of its truth.

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Misconception # 4: Muslims are violent, terrorists, and extremists

 

This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from the constant stereotyping and bashing he media gives Islam. When a gunman attacks a Masjid in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA guerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are not used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard the words

'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence.

 

Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have any Islamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the source of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God' and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace' (read more about this here: Definition of Islam). Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West, whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' (read more about this here: Islam (a Complete Way Of Life)!) for Muslims and they make no division between secular and sacred in their lives. Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock.

 

NOWHERE DOES Islam ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS. The Qur'an says (interpretation of the meaning): "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors" [2:190] and "If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things" [8:61]. War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally means 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.

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Misconception # 5: Islam oppresses women

 

The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to stay home and forbidden to drive is all too common in most peoples thoughts. Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be seen as coming from Islam. Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah (Islamic law) and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender equity. Islam on the other hand gives men and women different roles and equity between the two is laid down in the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way which is modest and dignified. The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said: "The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife".

 

Violence of any kind towards women and forcing them against their will for anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. Divorce is not common, although it is acceptable as a last resort. According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be forced to marry against her will: her parents simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.

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Misconception # 6: Islam was spread by the sword and is intolerant of other faiths

 

Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab horseman carrying a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other conquering and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct portrayal of history. Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Qur'an says (interpretation of the meaning): "God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just" [60:8]. Freedom of religion is laid down in the Qur'an itself (interpretation of the meaning): "There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error" [2:256]. Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question of the spread of Islam: ".. of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestanism ..."

 

It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives, and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not.

Racism is not a part of Islam, the Qur'an speaks only of human equality and how all peoples are equal in the sight of God. (interpretation of the meaning): "O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All- Aware [49:13].

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Misconception # 7: Islam is fatalistic

 

Most Muslims find it rather odd that their religion, which strikes a beautiful balance between faith and action, could be accused of being "fatalistic". Perhaps this misconception came about because Muslims are taught to say "Praise be to God!" whenever anything good or bad happens. This is because Muslims know that everything comes from Almighty God, who is the All-Knowing Sustainer of the Universe, and that since a Muslim should rely completely on God, whatever happened must have been for the better. However, this does not mean that Muslims are not taught to take action in life --- just the opposite is true. Islam requires not only faith, but action --- such as regular prayer, fasting and charity. To be more precise, in Islam actions are part of one's faith. Islam total rejects the extreme beliefs of some religions that teach that you shouldn't go to a doctor when sick, but only pray for God to heal you. Islam's outlook is very positive, since it teaches that human beings can take positive action in this life. This was certainly what was taught by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to his followers --- since they obviously took the action of spreading Islam from Spain to Morocco in a very short period of time. Even though Islam teaches that God knows what human beings will do before they do it, human beings still have free will. Certainly God, who is All-Knowing and All-Wise, knows what is going to happen to everyone before it happens -- to deny this would be a denial of God Himself. However, if human-beings did not have free will, it would be ridiculous and un-just for God to demand that they do certain things and believe certain things. Far from being "fatalistic", Islam teaches that a human-being's main purpose in life is to be God-conscious. Due to this, Muslims worry less about material matters and view their earthly life in a proper perspective. This is due to the fact that Islam clearly teaches that if people worship and depend on Almighty God alone, then they have nothing to worry about - since God wants what is best for them. True freedom, from the Islamic perspective, does not mean aimlessly following all of your human desires for food, drink, wealth and sex. On the contrary, freedom means being able to control one's base desires and fulfilling them in a proper and legal way. This brings one's desires in tune with what God wants for us --- only then is a person truly free!

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Misconception # 8: Islam is a religion only for Arabs

 

The fastest way to prove that this is completely false is to state the fact that only about 15% to 20% of the Muslims in the world are Arabs. There are more Indian Muslims than Arab Muslims, and more Indonesian Muslims than Indian Muslims! Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact that most of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Qur'an is in Arabic and the Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims made every effort to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples. Furthermore, it should be clarified that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist - or of any other religion or ideology. Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all -- such as Turkey and Iran (Persia). The people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of a different ethnic heritage than the Arabs. It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals -- there was Bilal, the African slave; Suhaib, the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Salam, the Jewish Rabbi; and Salman, the Persian. Since religious truth is eternal and unchanging, and mankind is one universal brotherhood, Islam teaches that Almighty God's revelations to mankind have always been consistent, clear and universal. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of race, nationality or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind --- not to mention the fact that significant numbers of Europeans and Americans of all races and ethnic backgrounds are coming into Islam.

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Misconception # 9: All Muslims are Arabs

 

The Muslim population of the world is around 1.4 billion. 1 out of 4 people in the world is a Muslim. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World and North America. They are a vast range of races, nationalities, and cultures from around the globe--from the Phillipines to Nigeria--they are united by their common Islamic faith. Only about 18% live in the Arab world and the largest Muslim community is in Indonesia. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. 30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan make up 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are most numerous in Russia and its newly independent states, India and central Africa. There are about 8 million Muslims in the United States.

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Misconception # 10: The Nation of Islam is a Muslim group

 

Islam and the so called "Nation of Islam" are two different religions. Muslims consider this group to be just one of many cults using the name of Islam for their own gain. The only thing common between them is the jargon, the language used by both. "The Nation of Islam" is a misnomer; this religion should be called Farrakhanism, after the name of its propagator, Louis Farrakhan. Islam and Farakhanism differ in many fundamental ways. For example, Farakhan followers believe in racism and that the 'black man' was the original man and therefore superior, while in Islam there is no racism and everyone is considered equal in the sight of God, the only difference being in one's piety. There are many other theological examples that show the Nation's teachings have little to do with true Islam. There are many groups in America who claim to represent Islam and call their adherents Muslims.

 

Any serious student of Islam has a duty to investigate and find the true Islam. The only two authentic sources which bind every Muslim are 1. the Qur'an and 2. authentic or sound Hadith. Any teachings under the label of "Islam" which contradict or at variance with the direct understanding of fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam form the Qur'an and authentic Hadith should be rejected and such a religion should be considered a Pseudo-Islamic Cult. In America there are many pseudo-Islamic cults, Farrakhanism being one of them. An honest attitude on the part of such cults should be not to call themselves Muslims and their religion Islam. such an example of honesty is Bahaism which is an off-shoot of Islam but Bahais do not call themselves Muslims nor their religion, Islam. In fact Bahaism is not Islam just as Farrakhanism is not Islam.

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Misconception # 11: All Muslim men marry four wives

 

The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Qur'an, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. No woman can be forced into this kind of marriage if they do not wish it, and they also have the right to exclude it in their marriage contract.Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. Images of "sheikhs with harems" are not consistent with Islam, as a man is only allowed at most four wives only if he can fulfill the stringent conditions of treating each fairly and providing each with separate housing etc. Permission to practice polygamy is not associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is rather associated with compassion toward widows and orphans. It was the Qur'an that limited and put conditions on the practice of polygamy among the Arabs, who had as many as ten or more wives and considered them "property".

 

It is both honest and accurate to say that it is Islam which regulated this practice, limited it, made it more humane, and instituted equal rights and status for all wives. What the Qur'anic decrees amount to, taken together is discouragement of polygamy unless necessity for it exists. It is also evident that the general rule in Islam is monogamy and not polygamy. It is a very tiny percentage of Muslims that practice it over the world. However, permission to practice limited polygamy is only consistent with Islam's realistic view of the nature of man and woman and of various social needs, problems and cultural variations. The question is, however far more than the inherent flexibility of Islam; it also is the frank and straightforward approach of Islam in dealing with practical problems. Rather than requiring hypocritical and superficial compliance, Islam delves deeper into the problems of individuals and societies, and provides for legitimate and clean solutions which are far more beneficial than would be the case if they were ignored. There is no doubt that the second wife legally married and treated kindly is better off than a mistress without any legal rights or expermanence.

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Misconception # 12: Muslims are a barbaric, backwards people

 

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'. The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.

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Misconception # 13: The Islamic Threat

 

In recent years, a great deal of attention in the media have been given to the threat of "Islamic Fundamentalism". Unfortunately, due to a twisted mixture of biased reporting in the Western media and the actions of some ignorant Muslims, the word "Islam" has become almost synonymous with "terrorism". However, when one analyzes the situation, the question that should come to mind is: Do the teachings of Islam encourage terrorism? The answer: Certainly not! Islam totally forbids the terrorist acts that are carried out by some misguided people. It should be remembered that all religions have cults and misguided followers, so it is their teachings that should be looked at, not the actions of a few individuals. Unfortunately, in the media, whenever a Muslim commits a heinous act, he is labeled a "Muslim terrorist". However, when Serbs murder and rape innocent women in Bosnia, they are not called "Christian terrorists", nor are the activities in Northern Ireland labeled "Christian terrorism". Also, when right-wing Christians in the U. S. bomb abortion clinics, they are not called "Christian terrorists". Reflecting on these facts, one could certainly conclude that there is a double-standard in the media! Although religious feelings play a significant role in the previously mentioned "Christian" conflicts, the media does not apply religious labels because they assume that such barbarous acts have nothing to do with the teachings of Christianity. However, when something happens involving a Muslim, they often try to put the blame on Islam itself -- and not the misguided individual. Certainly, Islamic Law allows war --- any religion or civilization that did not would never survive --- but it certainly does not condone attacks against innocent people, women or children. The Arabic word "jihad", which is often translated as "Holy War", simply means "to struggle". The word for "war" in Arabic is "harb", not "jihad". "Struggling", i.e. "making jihad", to defend Islam, Muslims or to liberate a land where Muslims are oppressed is certainly allowed (and even encouraged) in Islam. However, any such activities must be done according to the teachings of Islam. Islam also clearly forbids "taking the law into your own hands", which means that individual Muslims cannot go around deciding who they want to kill, punish or torture. Trial and punishment must be carried out by a lawful authority and a knowledgeable judge. Also, when looking at events in the Muslim World, it should be kept in mind that a long period of colonialism ended fairly recently in most Muslim countries. During this time, the peoples in this countries were culturally, materially and religiously exploited - mostly by the so-called "Christian" nations of the West. This painful period has not really come to an end in many Muslim countries, where people are still under the control of foreign powers or puppet regimes supported by foreign powers. Also, through the media, people in the West are made to believe that tyrants like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moammar Qaddafi in Libya are "Islamic" leaders -- when just the opposite is true. Neither of these rulers even profess Islam as an ideology, but only use Islamic slogans to manipulate their powerless populations. They have about as much to do with Islam as Hitler had to do with Christianity! In reality, many Middle Eastern regimes which people think of as being "Islamic" oppress the practice of Islam in their countries. So suffice it to say that "terrorism" and killing innocent people directly contradicts the teachings of Islam.

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Misconception # 14: Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets

 

Muslims respect and revere Jesus, upon him be peace, and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace' (abbreviated as (u) here). The Qur'an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur'an is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Qur'an describes the Annunciation as follows:

 

"Behold!" the Angel said, "God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is" [3:42-47 - interpretation of the meaning]

 

Jesus (u) was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam (u) into being without a father: "Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was" [3:59 - interpretation of the meaning].During his prophetic mission Jesus (u) performed many miracles. The Qur'an tells us that he said (interpretation of the meaning): "I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave" [3:49]. Neither Muhammad (pbuh) not Jesus (u) came to change the basic doctrine of the brief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Qur'an Jesus (u) is reported as saying that he came (interpretation of the meaning): "To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me" [3:50]The Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: "Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad(pbuh) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven."(Hadith related by Bukhari)

 

Note from Islamic-Life:In fact, believing in the Prophets is one of the Islamic pillars of faith. A Muslim's faith is not complete until he believes in all of the six pillars of faith. Read Belief in the Prophets to find out more.

 

 

Source: Islamic-life.com

 

 

 

------------------------End of Article-----------------------

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Very good post thanks for sharing.

 

I heard most of these before I became a Muslim but I never heard of the first misconception until after I became a Muslim as a girl asked me 'but what is Allah?' I couldn't believe that she thought Allah was some separate idol that only Muslims believe in. And misconception about all muslim men marrying four wives is funny!

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What about misconception #1 in the real life?

 

Islam is just another religion.

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It would be good if there were "must read" threads for common misconceptions that Muslims have about other religions too. Or is it all a one-way street when Muslims call for open-mindedness?

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It would be good if there were "must read" threads for common misconceptions that Muslims have about other religions too. Or is it all a one-way street when Muslims call for open-mindedness?

 

We tried this before with the Baha'i Faith, but I was handcuffed by not being able to use my religious sources as they are banned on this forum. In some instances, it is a one way street. A Christian or Jew would have a better chance, or any religion recognized by the moderators of these forums.

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It would be good if there were "must read" threads for common misconceptions that Muslims have about other religions too. Or is it all a one-way street when Muslims call for open-mindedness?

No religion was attacked here, at least not by me. And this is an Islamic forum, so you expect Islamic issue to be here. There might be other comparative religion forums. Try there.

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Well, an Islamic issue is that 90% of the followers have no clue what an atheist really is.

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But I don't think this is an 'Islamic issue'.

Unbelievers are simply Kafirs and thats it, probably for most Muslims.

I sometimes wonder what sort of an education they get (obviously this is a vast generalisation here), particularly regarding the west and western values, ideology etc.

 

Salaam,

 

Sky

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But I don't think this is an 'Islamic issue'.

Unbelievers are simply Kafirs and thats it, probably for most Muslims.

I sometimes wonder what sort of an education they get (obviously this is a vast generalisation here), particularly regarding the west and western values, ideology etc.

 

Salaam,

 

Sky

 

And what exactly are you implying with that statement? Yes you said it is a generalization, but I can tell you that many Muslims here in the US at least are more involved in learning that many of their cl######mates. There's really no need to cast aspersions on others here, especially since you don't like it when you are "treated harshly" on these forums.

 

I have friends that are not Muslim, I even have friends that are not Christian either. I don't judge by groups. My goal is to show through my actions how I live, not sit there and talk about it constantly.

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I have friends that are not Muslim, I even have friends that are not Christian either. I don't judge by groups. My goal is to show through my actions how I live, not sit there and talk about it constantly.

 

And this is how we all should be. That is a great example, Nightingale.

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But I don't think this is an 'Islamic issue'.

Unbelievers are simply Kafirs and thats it, probably for most Muslims.

I sometimes wonder what sort of an education they get (obviously this is a vast generalisation here), particularly regarding the west and western values, ideology etc.

 

Salaam,

 

Sky

 

Kafirs, that is a very complex subject and not easily definable. It requires the judge to determine what truly is in the hearts of another, as well as being aware of all their actions. It requires the judge to be pure and sinless. Unfortunately I do not know any living human who meets this criteria. This is why Nightingale's example is important. We must treat all people with loving-kindness.

 

The following is a link of topic I posted on Gawaher many months ago. it is a study of Unbelievers and Hypocrites using the Qur'an. All conclusions are my own and not that of any other group. It is an excerpt from a larger work I am writing. It is uncited as it is unpublished and nowhere else on the net. http://www.gawaher.com/topic/737198-who-are-unbelievers/

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      Michael: “Being brief and concise, the topic is that I believe that marriage should be monogamous for both sides. In other words, I believe that the polygamy, that Islam allows, is a kind of oppression meted out towards the woman, don't you agree with me?!”
      Yousef: “Which woman do you mean?”
      Michael (in surprise): “The woman! The wife! Is there any other woman in this relationship?!”
      Yousef: “As we previously agreed, to rightly discuss a topic it should be within a general framework in which all matters are arranged and all dimensions are considered.”
      Michael: “Well, How can this affect our topic?”
      Yousef: “It can affect it as when we discuss the polygamy, we should consider the woman’s interests, as the female sex; i.e. all women, and consider the society’s interests as a whole, and man’s interests, as well, and the differences between him and the woman.”
      Michael (interrupting): “Here we come to the origin of the oppression that is meted out towards the woman in your community: the differences between the man and the woman! These so called differences are values set by the males in your eastern community, in order to exploit women and use her for your own enjoyment. What are these differences (that you referred to)? Why doesn't the woman have the right to marry more than one man? Isn't that evidence of the men's lust in this community?
      Yousef: Wait... Wait… slow down, my friend.. You have thrown a fission bomb of questions at me which is prohibited in any conversation, and all of which I can't deal with at one time.. All of these will be discussed, but let's first break this bomb into pieces. Starting with what provokes you most: Don't you agree with me that there are differences between men and women?
      Michael: What differences?
      Yousef: For a start; the biological differences between the physical nature of women and men.
      Michael: Of course there are biological differences, what does this have to do with our topic?
      Yousef: I won't speak from a religious prospective, though I definitely believe in the necessity of accepting and admitting it (such a view), but I will speak from an intellectual and scientific prospective, which you have previously declared that you believe in. Look sir,
      l recently conducted scientific studies that prove that the chemistry behind love in man differs from that in woman. This urged many scientific institutions to intensively research the emotional differences between men and women. Researchers discovered astonishing results which denotes that the male genes induce polygamous relationships, whereas the female genes induce stability and monogamous relationships. Modern-day science has already proved that man can love more than one woman, without affecting his love for any of them.
      A CNN site cited on the authority of Lisa Diamond, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah, that there is biological evidence that plurality in sexual male relationships originates from the male physical structure.
      A team of researchers from the British Oxford University denoted in a study in 2007 that women, on the contrary to men, are mainly interested in their bodies or their children, because of their abundance of the hormone oxytocin, which increases their attachment to their children.
      New studies indicate that particular parts of men's brains grow to twice the size of that of women’s. Perhaps the greatest difference between the male and female brain is that men have a part which is responsible for sexual desire which is almost 2.5 times larger than that in women. Furthermore,
      do you think, my friend, that these differences should not have an influence on reality?
      To continue this dialogue, click on this link: https://www.path-2-happiness.com/en/dialogues-one-wife-is-it-enough
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