Due to the lack of knowledge about Islam, most non-Muslims tend to build some wrong ideas that contain many misconceptions about Islam. I will try to spotlight some of these myths hoping to clarify the doubts raised about these ideas.
Misconception no.1: Islam is a religion of violence and barbarism!
When you just utter the word Islam, the first words that bounce up in non-Muslims’ minds are violence, barbarism, and savageness. Why?? Simply because this is the picture that was intentionally interjected in their minds; Muslims are savages, barbarians, and killers.
Enemies of Islam want people to believe, adopt, and propagate this idea. They know very well that as true Islam exists, it will prevail and dominate as it is the religion of truth; a perfect religion that covers each and every aspect of Muslim’s life, even how to excrete!
One of the disbelievers once told Salman Al-Farissy (one of Prophet Muhammad’s companions),
“Your prophet has taught you everything even the [etiquette of] excrement.”
Islam is really the religion of etiquette, not only for the example mentioned above, but it actually cares about the details of one’s personal hygiene, manners, and means of eating.
Umar bin Abu Salamah (one of Prophet Muhammad’s companions) reported:
Messenger of Allah, said to me, “Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah before starting eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is next to you.”
Also, “A man burped in the presence of the Prophet and he said: ‘Withhold your burps from us.'” [Sunnah.com]
And these are few examples on the etiquette that Islam maintains and calls for.
Misconception no.2: Women abuse
Another serious misconception that prevails amongst ignorant Muslims and non-Muslims as well is women abuse. Let’s take this point in details:
I don’t actually know from where people have had this idea, what is their evidence on their claim. I haven’t seen a religion that honors the woman whether a girl, a wife, or a mother as Islam does. Do you know that Prophet Muhammad has described women as glass vessels; Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) had in one of his journeys his black slave who was called Anjasha along with him. He goaded by singing the songs of camel-driver. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said:
– Anjasha, drive slowly as you are driving (the mounts who are carrying) glass vessels
= Vessels!”. Abu Qalaba said, “The Prophet said a sentence (i.e. the above metaphor) which, had anyone of you said it, you would have admonished him for it”.
Also he -PBUH-said:
“Indeed women are the counterparts of men.” [Sunnah.com]
One might ask how come women are counterparts of men, yet they inherit half of that which men do.
Simply, Allah has made it incumbent over man to protect, sustain, and care for the woman who lies under his patronage by means of family ties whether a mother, wife, daughter, sister, or niece.
This is why Allah has prescribed that he takes twice as the woman, since he –by these means of family ties- is obliged to provide for and be responsible for her. This exactly is the essence of women’s treatment in Islam, they are treated as queens, they do not have to work and provide for themselves, for men should. They do not have to go out for fulfilling any utilities since men should. Even in marriage; they should not pay any penny in their marriage expenses since it is the responsibility of man from A to Z (as long as he can).
In Islam, if a woman refuses to breastfeed her own baby except for money, the husband should give her a return for that, since she exerts from her health and well-being.
In Islam, a mother is extremely honored even more than the father; A man came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and said,
– O Allah’s Messenger! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?”
= The Prophet said, “Your mother.”
– The man said. “Who is next?”
= The Prophet said, “Your mother.”
– The man further said, “Who is next?”
= The Prophet said, “Your mother.”
– The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?”
= The Prophet said, “Your father” [Sunnah.com]
He mentioned the mother three times before the father; if this is not honoring, how is it to be?!
A girl in Islam can not to be given in marriage without her consent, and if it happens that her father gives her in marriage without her consent, she has the full right to abrogate the marriage contract. The Prophet said,
“A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).” [Sunnah.com]
“A girl came to the Prophet and said: ‘My father married me to his brother’s son so that he might raise his status thereby.’ The Prophet gave her the choice, and she said: ‘I approve of what my father did, but I wanted women to know that their fathers have no right to do that.'” [Sunnah.com]
Misconception no.3: marriage underage
This misconception is somehow related to the previous one since they can be entitled under women abuse.
Those who claim that Muslims tend to give their daughters in marriage at a very young age before they even reach the puberty, always cite with the Prophet’s marriage when she was six years old i.e. a kid as an evidence on their claim.
When you look to this incident generally, you really get to denounce such an act; how can a small child be married in this age to a man who is nearly her father’s age!
But when you know the truth, you really discover how incomplete is the image shown off to distort Islam and present it as the religion of injustice and oppression while the truth is totally the opposite.
At that time and place, Arabs used to live – and they still do- in an extremely hot desert climate which is the main reason for reaching the age of puberty very early.
`Aisha got engaged to the Prophet at the age of six, but she actually married him at the age of nine. Girls used to reach puberty at that age due to the previously mentioned environmental factors. This also applies to men, they used to reach puberty at the age of ten and eleven, and thus be capable of marriage.
The rough life they lead would make them bear many responsibilities at early age whether men or women. No wonder then, if they get married and have their own life at young age when they have all the capabilities to do so.
Misconception no.4: Jihad is terrorism
On hearing the word Jihad (striving for the sake of Allah), many people just relate it to terrorism while it is a very crucial and significant cornerstone in Islam.
Prophet Muhammad said to Mu’adh ibn Jabal (one of his companions):
– ‘Shall I not tell you of the head of the matter, and its pillar and pinnacle? (It is) Jihad.’ Then he said: ‘Shall I not tell you of the basis of all that?’
– I said: ‘Yes.’
– He took hold of his tongue then said: ‘Restrain this.’
– I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?’
– He said: ‘May your mother grieve your loss, O Mu’adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?’”[Sunnah.com]
But the question is: why is Jihad always correlated with terrorism?
Let’s demonstrate the meaning of both words linguistically from the Merriam Webster dictionary:
Terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.
Jihad: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty.
also: a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline.
Muslims are ordered at all times to offer Jihad, it is not a ruling that used to prevail during the first times of Islam and no longer applies, this is totally wrong, but whenever Jihad is needed in the land of Islam, it should be offered.
“O Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their abode will be Hell, and miserable is the destiny.” [Quran.com/66/9]
We are ordained to strive against disbelievers and hypocrites who fight Islam and Muslims whenever they show enmity against Islam or Muslims in any part of the world.
At the golden ages of Islamic dominance, Islam used to conquer non-Muslim countries to spread Islam among people, and this is also a sort of Jihad since we are also commanded to spread the call of Islam, but this sort of Jihad is ruled by certain strict conditions; such as to prevent demolishing places of worship, not to kill a woman, child or an elderly, impose a specific sum of money that is called Jizyah over non-Muslims in return for the safety and protection offered by Muslims for them, and last but not least, people are not to be forced to enter Islam.
At present, if any foreign country conquers another and this is also undertaken for economic reasons to seize and control the wealth and resources of the conquered country, and we see this nowadays, you find massacres undertaken against women, children, and elderly. Places of worship are being completely demolished and destroyed. Women are being raped and men are being tortured.
If this is not terrorism, what terrorism is like??!!
If you really know about Islam from accredited resources, you will recognize that it is really the perfect religion, the religion of truth and the complementary to all previous ones.
I hope now that some of the myths raised above are clear enough to fire you off to inquire more about Islam, hoping that you will reach the truth as long as you are keen to do so.