Islam is a widely misunderstood and oft-maligned religion, particularly in the 21st century. Misconceptions about Islam are widespread, largely due to ignorance, fear, and bigotry. Myths about Islam are frequently fuelled by the bias and propaganda concerning our religion in Western media. One rarely sees good things about Islam as a religion in the news. There’s always a strong emphasis on Muslims’ religious identity when they are in the news for the wrong reasons. Especially since 9/11, our faith has been a constant victim of rampant misinformation and fear-mongering.
Additionally, a lot of Muslims lack knowledge of the true teachings of their religion. Many Muslims simply don’t act according to Islam, falling into all kinds of cultural and religious deviance. These factors also play a part in Islam being perceived negatively by non-Muslims. One tends to associate the actions carried out by the adherents of religion with the faith itself. Furthermore, since the time of the Prophet (PBUH), Islam’s enemies have sought to disseminate falsehood pertaining to our religion. In this article, we will refute seven common myths about Islam.
Myth 1: Islam promotes terrorism
This is one of the most prevalent myths in today’s world’s atmosphere of chaos and paranoia. Muslims are often regarded with suspicion by those who have been misled into thinking that Islam supports terrorism. This misconception, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely…” (Quran, 5:32)
Islam compares the killing of a single innocent to the killing of all of humanity, and the same goes for saving one life. Islam couldn’t possibly cherish the worth of life more than it already does. Indeed, killing an innocent person is absolutely prohibited. Muslims are never permitted to attack innocent people. Suicide bombings and all such atrocities are utterly Haram (forbidden). Islam’s rules of war are very strict in their prioritization of preserving innocent human life.
“Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” (Quran, 2:190)
“Go out in the name of God and do not kill any old man, infant, child or woman. Spread goodness and do good, for God loves those who do good.” (Abu Dawud)
Myth 2: Islam mistreats and oppresses women
It is a regular allegation that Islam oppresses women. This is a blatant falsehood, for Islam elevates women’s status in a far nobler manner than any other religion or ideology. Islam gives women inheritance rights, the right to gain an education, and allows them to own property.
In Islam, the woman is free to choose whether she wants to accept a marriage proposal. It is impermissible to force her into marriage. Since the responsibility for providing for the family lies squarely on the husband’s shoulders, Muslim women don’t have to struggle with work while raising their children. Their burden is thus reduced, while those who choose to work are not obliged to pay the bills with their money, as the husband is supposed to be the provider. Women are also permitted to ask for a divorce.
Both men and women are judged based on their deeds. All Muslims, whether male or female, are supposed to have faith in Allah’s Oneness and worship Him alone. Women are not discriminated against in terms of the rewards they earn for their deeds. Both genders will be rewarded purely in accordance with their deeds.
“And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer – those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed.” (Quran, 4:124)
There is no denying the fact that Muslim women are mistreated and oppressed in some cases. However, these women are not oppressed because of Islam but in spite of it. Usually, cultural practices that are in complete opposition to Islamic teachings are at fault. Meanwhile, Islam raises women’s status. Islam teaches that Paradise lies under a mother’s feet. (An-Nasai) Daughters can be a pathway to Paradise for their fathers. (Muslim)
Myth 3: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wrote the Quran
“And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who disbelieve say of the truth when it has come to them, “This is obvious magic.” Or do they say, “He has invented it?” (Quran, 46:7-8)
This is a fairly typical claim of detractors who seek to deny the divine origin of Islam. Since the time of the Prophet (PBUH), the opponents of Islam have made such claims in a futile attempt to discredit the Quran. However, the fact is that the Prophet (PBUH) was illiterate, whereas the Quran is a Holy Book whose perfection no one has been able to imitate. Additionally, there are many scientific miracles in the Quran. This emphatically proves that no man in the 7th century could have produced it, let alone an illiterate one.
It is essential for Muslims to possess knowledge of the Quran to respond to misconceptions and mistruths about Islam. Online Quran learning is one of the best ways to attain Quranic knowledge in the 21st century. Learning from an online Quran tutor is a highly convenient and effective method. Online Quran classes for kids are an excellent option so that they can absorb Quranic knowledge early in life.
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Myth 4: Muslims reject Jesus (PBUH)
This is another glaring falsehood. Muslims certainly believe in Jesus (PBUH), as believing in all of Allah’s Messengers is an article of faith. Thus, it is not permissible for a believer to deny the Prophethood of Jesus (PBUH). We only reject the lies that were attributed to Allah, wherein the Christians say that Jesus is God and the son of God, as part of a trinity. Muslims categorically refute such claims and uphold the truth of Allah’s Oneness, without partners or offspring.
“And say, “Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.” (Quran, 17:111)
Regarding the Prophet Jesus (PBUH), Muslims believe in his miraculous birth and that he was solely a Prophet of God. He was not a deity, nor was he the son of Allah. He only called on people to worship Allah and never sought to be worshipped himself. We also believe in the second coming of Jesus (PBUH) towards the end of time. Our rejection of the Trinity must not be misconstrued as a rejection of Prophet Jesus (PBUH).
Myth 5: Islam is an intolerant religion
People often think of Islamic as an intolerant religion, which oppresses people of other faiths. However, Islam has always been noble in its treatment of disbelievers. The Quran and Sunnah teach us how to be fair in our treatment of people from other religions. Non-Muslims are given the freedom to practice their religion and are not to be treated unjustly, according to Islam.
Myth 6: Islam is only a religion of Arabs
Islam was certainly revealed in Arabia, to an Arab Prophet (PBUH). The Quran was also revealed in Arabic. Nonetheless, it is a universal religion, which is aimed at all of mankind and not limited to any era. It is certainly not a race-based religion, as the concept of the Muslim Ummah (nation) ensures that believers are united by faith.
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Quran, 49:13)
Indeed, the majority of Muslims are non-Arabs, with Asian Muslims comfortably outnumbering Arab Muslims. Among the countries with the largest Muslim populations are Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. There are also people regularly accepting Islam in the West after embracing its message of pure monotheism. Our religion does not discriminate against anyone based on race or country. People from any country can become Muslim, as Islam was revealed for all of mankind.
Myth 7: Islam has only been in existence for 14 centuries
Islam means to submit to Allah. Therefore, everyone who practiced monotheism submitted to Allah, and worshipped Him without partners was a Muslim. Indeed, all the Prophets preached the same fundamental message of monotheism. Therefore, all the Prophets, and their true followers, who followed their original, uncorrupted teachings were believers.
“And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.” (Quran, 21:25)
Although all Prophets before Muhammad (PBUH) were sent to establish pure monotheism, their messages were eventually altered and corrupted. The Quran was, therefore, revealed to all of mankind. It is the final revelation and binding on all of humanity.
“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” (Quran, 3:85)