Islam is the second most populous religion in the world, comprising of more than 1.4 billion adherents world over, second only to Christianity which has 2 billion followers. Islam was founded in the 7th century. Its history starts from 622 AD SAMVAT called HAJRI when its founder prophet HAZRAT MOHAMMAD went from Madina to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
A misconception is referred to as a view or opinion that is incorrect based on faulty thinking or understanding. To start with, it is very important to clear the Misconceptions which majority of people hold with respect to Islam. No religion preaches anything evil or anything wrong. It is just a false perception that majority of people have against Islam. This religion is as pure as any other religion! To add on, the people who follow it are human and not anyone else.
There is one god, we just call him by different names, some call him- Allah, and some call him ‘Bhagwan’ while some call him ‘Jesus’. The almighty has different names with respect to the religion one follows.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do we have red blood and people who follow Islam have green?
Obviously not! This clearly states that whatsoever religion we follow, whatsoever caste we belong to, we have the same blood making us all equal. The bottom line here is that with people, all religions are equal too.
MISCONCEPTION #1: ISLAM OPPRESSES WOMEN
‘Verily the most honorable to you in the sight of Allah is the most god conscious’
This is verse taken from Quran, the holy book of Islam religion. Many of us think that Islam oppresses women and their rights. But in reality, Islam believes that the real honor and status is not acquired on the grounds of caste, color, rich or poor and male or female. It rather is achieved through faith, religion, and devotion. Unfortunately, in some Muslim countries, women are deprived of equal rights but that is not the fault of Islam. It’s because in some countries people follow certain cultural practice and tradition that has nothing to do with Islam. Islam always allows equal rights for man and woman. This could be the right to pursue education, the right to divorce, and choice of spouse.
MISCONCEPTION #2: MUSLIMS DO NOT SPREAD GOOD AND NOBEL IDEAS
Islam is based on 5 principles which are by an large non – violent i.e.
- God is one (Allah-ho-Akbar)
- Prayers in the form of namaaz are held 5 times daily facing towards the west where it is Mecca.
- Fast (Roza) for 1 month every year on whose culmination the festival of eid is celebrated.
- Haj- every Islamist chief wishes to go on pilgrimage to the holiest place for Islam.
- ZAKAT, i.e. distribution of their income for ‘dan’ (alms) to poor people. Islam is a religion of peace, compassion, mercy, love, and brotherhood.
MISCONCEPTION #3: ISLAM ALLOWS TERRORISM
This is one of biggest and the most common false conception in Islam. This is the result of constant stereotyping and bashing that media gives Islam. Media often becomes too biased towards Muslims when it comes to terrorist attacks. They portrait Muslim as a terrorist. But the realistic picture is that Islam does not permit anyone to even destroy a plant or to kill an animal unnecessarily. Islam is basically a religion of peace, love, compassion, unity and brotherhood. Often dictators and people in politics will use the name of Islam for their own purposes. Everyone should be enlightened and forced to remember the source of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam states from what is simulated in the media. The term ‘jihad’ literally means ‘struggle’. According to Muslims, there are two kinds of jihad. The other ‘jihad’ is the inner battle of the soul which everyone wages against vain avidity for the sake of reap inner peace. But some small fringe groups (though in minority) have spread hatred against other religion treating the latter as ‘kafirs’ and inferior but the majority of Muslims in India is like these ‘jihadies’ and terrorists like ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) and treating as defaming Islam as a terrorist brand. War, is the last resort and is subject to the rigorous circumstances laid down by the sacred law.
MISCONCEPTION #4: HIJAB IS OPPRESSIVE
To practice hijab, Muslim women are required to cover every part of their body with clothes that do not allow their body reveal in front of unknown males. These women observe hijab because it was the command from Allah and he knows what is good or bad for his procreation. Hijab allows and empowers a woman to highlight her inner intelligence and beauty rather than dramatizing her physical elegance.
MISCONCEPTION #5: ISLAM FORCES TO BECOME MUSLIM
No one can force any other individual to eat, sleep or study. Similarly, even though it is the duty of a Muslim to spread the ideas and thoughts of Islam to other, no one can necessitate to accept Islam. For accepting Islam voluntarily one has to be both mentally and spiritually be ready to believe and obey god. No one can be forced to accept Islam.
MISCONCETION#6: ISLAM FAVORS FORCED MARRIAGE
In many countries arrange marriage is a cultural practice predominating the society. Not restricted to Muslim, forced marriage is always been associated with Islam from ages.
But in reality, Islam gives equal justice to both male and female to choose or their spouse, and in fact the marriage will be canceled if the woman’s approval is not granted prior to the marriage.
MISCONCEPTION #7: ALL MUSLIMS ARE ARAB
Islam is the second most populous religion in the world, comprising of more than 1.4 billion adherents world over, second only to Christianity which has 2 billion followers. Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims. India has the second largest population of Muslims. Pakistan is behind. About only 20% Muslims are Arab remaining 80% of Muslims are anti-Muslim.
MISCONCEPTION#8: MUSLIMS DISLIKES JESUS
There are many historical associations of Christianity with Islam. In fact, many of us will be surprised to know that according to Muslim belief Jesus is among the greatest messengers of god. Just like Christianity, Islam gives allowance to fighting in self-defence, in the aegis of religion, or on the part of those who have been dislodged forcibly from their homes. Jesus has also been a part of many verses of the Quran and often related to good character and virtue. The only line of separation between Islam and Christianity is that Muslims don’t agree with the fact that Jesus was a god.
MISCONCEPTION #9: ALLAH IS THE GOD OF ISLAM
Allah simply means ‘The God’. This is the god of Abraham that includes Muslims, Jews, and Christians. The race of Christians and Jews comes under Isaac while that of Muslims comes under the shed of Ismael. Both Isaac and Ismael are the sons of the Abraham.
MISCONCEPTION #10: ISIS MEMBERS ARE MUSLIMS
The cruel members of ISIS unashamedly ignore the concepts, the ideology and the main essence of Quran. Quran is completely against the unwanted killing of plants, animals and human life existing on this planet. ISIS members make target the poor innocents who live in poverty and are improvised and desperate. These are the people who disrespect Quran thus are not Muslims.