Polls in various countries discovered that large proportions of the population have negative opinions of Islam and Muslims. This negative opinions are known as “Islamophobia”. What is “Islamophobia”? This is an intriguing question that we are going to answer in this article.
What is Islamophobia?
Islamophobia, is defined in terms of behavior and attitude. Behavior is all types of actions that is easily observed by any one confronted with it. while an attitude is not observed directly. You can say that the behavior is the effect of an attitude. So, we can say that ‘hostility’, ‘exclusion’, ‘rejection’, ‘violence’, and ‘discrimination’ are negative behaviors which are practiced towards Islam and Muslims. In other words, “Islamophobia” is an unjustified fear and hatred of Islam.
When did Islamophobia start?
Many people think that “Islamophobia” began after the horrific events of 9/11, however, it actually began 14 centuries before that. It started when a man called ‘Muhammad Ibn Abd-Allah’ announced that he received revelation. The core of it is that belief in the unique oneness of God. Before that he was loved and respected by the Pagan tribes of Arabia. Among the He was known as the truthful and the trustworthy.
But when he said there is no God but Allah, they called him a mad man, a lunatic, a sorcerer, a magician, a liar and a poet who had made up the Qur’an. He was astonished by their behavioral change. Allah told him in Qur’anic verses that it was actually nothing personal at all. And that the problem was actually with the message he was conveying to them. The problem that they didn’t want to accept the verses.
…And indeed, they do not call you untruthful, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers reject.” [Qur’an 6-33] (1)
Why does Islamophobia appear ?
One other reason for “Islamophobia” is the negative representation of Islam from some of it’s followers. Unfortunately, Muslims today don’t project a correct and civilized image of Islam. Another reason for “Islamophobia” is racism. Islam is still looked upon as the religion of the Arabs or the religion of dark-skinned people, or the religion of people from the subcontinent of India.
It is not viewed as a global religion. “Islamophobia” is also used in an attempt to justify past occupation of Islamic world and perhaps to justify the reoccupation of the Islamic world. In this article we will try to clarify some of many misconceptions used to attack Islam’s picture in the western countries.
What is Blasphemy?
This is our first misconception we are going to talk about. If we question or think for ourselves do we become disbelievers? On the contrary, contemplation is required so that faith is not nearly inherited. Prophet Muhammad ‘peace be upon him’ contemplated the universe. Prophet Ibrahim contemplated the universe and commands us to contemplate the universe and attempt to crack the code or solve the riddle mentioned in the Qur’an. The riddle that is how deep creation begins.
God Almighty addressed Prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an and told him
Say, [O Muhammad], ‘Travel through the land and observe how He began creation.’ …” [Qur’an 29-20] (2)
The important question is, How do I think? How do I ennoble my brain?
There are 4 types of consciousness:
1. Sensuous consciousness:
When I see something using the sense of sight and I become conscious of it, likewise, I hear, I taste, I smell ,anything and therefore I become aware of it, that is “sensuous consciousness.
2. Imaginative consciousness:
I conjure a picture in my mind based on my knowledge of past experiences and memories. For instance, I can imagine a bag that you describe to me based on my memories and experiences of similar bags.
3. Illusionary consciousness:
It is empathy or feeling what others are feeling. As if I see you and I feel that you are upset, but you are happy, this is “illusionary consciousness”.
4. Mental consciousness:
Both humans and animals have those three types of consciousness in common.However, the fourth type of consciousness is possessed only by humans. It is “Mental consciousness”, that is the ability to contemplate and use reason.This exclusive feature makes man unique. Whenever we enter debates with atheists, they reject mental proof, saying “I want to see God”, they ask:”How can I believe if I don’t see him?”
They demand sensuous consciousness and atheist once said that he want to concoct God in the lab. That means that he wants the creator to submit to his creation in the lab. If you want to think logically then you must believe in the mind abilities and understand that mental proof is stronger than sensuous proof.
How can we control our senses?
The mind is what sets the senses straight. The sense of sight makes you see water in the desert. But your mind is what tells you don’t waste time. Don’t believe your sense of sight. It’s only a mirage in which the light reflects on the sand making you literally see water which doesn’t actually exist. So, your senses might deceive you and lead you astray. But, your mind is the one that guides you through reasoning and understanding.
Then we come to another matter, so long as you are going to think that you must believe with your mind, then you must know that the mind has it’s limits, It can even be conscious of some essential characteristics of the creator. It can become conscious of the creator’s wisdom in certain matters, but it will fail to grasp others.
I am an average person with an average mind. Can I attain Einstien’s knowledge? Can I comprehend all that which Einstien can? No, I can’t, let alone that of God Almighty, the All- Knowing, the All- Aware, certainly I will be able to understand somethings, but others will be too complex for me to fathom. I may be able to grasp part of God’s wisdom, but I will not be able to grasp all of it and that is the beauty of knowledge.
The unlimited knowledge of God:
God’s knowledge has no limits, and the more knowledge I acquire. The more aware I become of other sciences that the more need to go further in order to broaden my understanding. And the more aware I am that I can never master all sciences. God Almighty addressed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Qur’an and told him:
Say, ‘If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.’ “ [Qur’an 18-109] (3)
So, your lack of understanding doesn’t mean that the answer is necessarily wrong. It would be extremely arrogant to think that just because you can’t grasp something that it means it is incorrect.
Jihad and terrorism:
Another great misconception about Islam is “Jihad” and “terrorism”. “Jihad” in Arabic linguistic meaning comes from the root “JAHAD” which means: someone doing great effort. So, it’s meaning in Arabic is “striving and struggling”.
Jihad in Islam has two meanings:
The First, a non – violent struggling within oneself for a life of virtue. That means, you struggle against your ego to be a better person. For example, spend a charity of 100 dollars and try not to tell anyone not even your closest friend and see how hard is it. So, here ” Jihad” means a struggle to have sincerity.
The Second, fighting to establish justice, which is a supreme goal not only in Islamic teachings but in any civilization. If justice can’t be established through peace, then you have to fight to establish justice and regain back your rights. But, if a Muslim went to a battle field to fight to establish justice.
Here are some limitations stated by prophet Mohamed(PBUH):
- Never kill innocent people.
- Don’t ever injure prisoners of war.
- Never kill animals.
- Do not destroy crops.
- Do not destroy infrastructures.
- Never mutilate bodies of enemies dead or alive.
- All prisoners should be given fair treatment.
- Women and children should be protected from harm.
- Always bury all dead with respect.
If you go to Geneva convention you will not find anything more than these limitations, maybe except showing them T.V.
Islam advocates moderation and abhors extremism, terrorism, fanaticism and oppression.
Women status in Islam:
“Women’s status in Islam” is another great misconceptions about “Islam”:
Despite of all the negative propaganda in the western countries about women’s status in Islam, most of those who converted to Islam are women.
So, what do attract women to Islam?
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Said: “Women are but sisters of men”. Islam is very objective and it is not against any gender.
Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an:
And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, ‘My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.’ (11)
And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.” [Qur’an 66-11:12] (4)
So, Mary and Pharaoh’s wife are our examples as Muslim men and women. On the spiritual aspect, let’s see if women are equal to men or not. Men and women have the same spiritual nature. Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an:
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. …” [Qur’an 4-1] (5)
So, this is how men and women are equal.
We as Muslims don’t believe that we are here on earth because of a mistake of Eve, a mistake of woman.No, this is something that we don’t agree on. Actually in the Qur’an the blame falls on both of Adam and Eve. Both of them fall into the sin and ate from the forbidden tree. Allah Almighty said:
And We said, ‘O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.’ ” [Qur’an 2-35] (6)
So, both men and women have the same duties and responsibilities. And Both of them face consequences of their deeds in Islam.
Why do Muslims women wear hijab?
If you look for the pictures of great women in Christianity, you will find that all of them wear hijab. Hijab is a direct command from Allah to women.
Muslim women are not wearing Hijab all the time and with all people . Actually in the presence of their husbands and their close relatives they are wearing normally showing their hair and their arms. So, why do Muslim women wear like that? Men have been using women as tools of enjoyment. God wanted not to let women for public use, this is a liberation for Muslim women.
“Hijab” put the control in women’s hand which part in their bodies is permitted to be seen by others and not the opposite.
Here we have discussed “some” misconceptions about Islam. If you need more clarification,kindly contact our chat team who can help you any time.
(1) Interpretation of meaning of verse 33 Surah 6.
(2) Interpretation of meaning of verse 20 Surah 29.
(3) Interpretation of meaning of verse 109 Surah 18.
(4) Interpretation of meaning of verses 11: 12 Surah 66.
(5) Interpretation of meaning of verse 1 Surah 4.
(6) Interpretation of meaning of verse 35 Surah 2.