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. Bias and propaganda often fuel myths about Islam, which are frequently 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 non-Muslims perceiving Islam negatively. 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. Misled people who think that Islam supports terrorism often regard Muslims with suspicion. This misconception, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Allah describes in the Quran how He has completely forbidden people from killing anyone unless it is in retaliation for murder or corruption. In Surah al-Maidah, He says that if anyone kills a person, it’s as if he has killed all mankind. On the other hand, the one who saves a person has saved all of mankind!
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. Allah has strictly forbidden Muslims from attacking innocent people. Islam also bans Muslims from committing suicide and suicide bombings. Islam’s rules of war are very strict in their prioritization of preserving innocent human life.
In Surah al-Baqarah, Allah tells Muslims to fight in His way without transgressing. Our Lord does not permit any form of transgression.
The Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith recorded in Sunan Abi Dawud that Muslims should go out in Allah’s name but they should not kill any elderly persons, babies, children, or women.
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. This reduces the burden on them. Those women who choose to work do not have to pay the bills with their money, as the husband is the provider. Islam allows women to ask for a divorce.
Allah will judge both men and women according to their deeds. All Muslims, whether male or female, should have faith in Allah’s Oneness and worship Him alone. Islam does not discriminate against women in terms of the rewards they earn for their deeds. Allah will reward both genders purely in accordance with their deeds.
Allah says in Surah an-Nisa that anyone who does good or righteous deeds will enter heaven, whether the doer is male or female.
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. Daughters can be a pathway to Paradise for their fathers.
Myth 3: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wrote the Quran
In Surah al-Ahqaf, Allah describes how people who disbelieve in His verses say that the Quran is magic, or claim that the Prophet (PBUH) invented it.
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.
Regarding the Prophet Jesus (PBUH), Muslims believe in his miraculous birth and that he was solely a Prophet of God. Isa was not a deity, nor was he the son of Allah. He only called on people to worship Allah. He never asked for humans to worship him. 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. Islam gives non-Muslims the freedom to practice their religion and does not allow them to be treated unjustly.
Myth 6: Islam is only a religion of Arabs
Allah certainly revealed Islam in Arabia, to an Arab Prophet (PBUH). He also revealed the Quran 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.
Allah says in Surah al-Hujurat that He created man and divided us into tribes so that we may be able to know each other. He also says that nobility is only increased by righteousness.
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.
In Surah al-Anbiya, Allah says that he sent messengers to humans and told them all to worship Him as he is the one and only Lord.
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.
Allah says in Surah aal-Imran that whoever wishes to follow a religion besides Islam will be amongst the losers in the next life.