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Answering Islamophobic Claims

Top 5 misconceptions about Islam

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When coming across arguments against Islam, you realize that there are quite a few misconceptions against Islam. In this article we will list 5 of the most common misconceptions against Islam, and give a clear response towards the misconception.

1-Islam commands the Muslims to convert everybody by the sword

The argument that Islam is an intolerant faith that orders the subjugation of all people into Islam is perhaps the biggest misconception. The fact of the matter is that there is Islamic text that calls on Muslims to either convert people to Islam, or kill them all.

Quite the opposite, the Quran explicitly says that people are not to be forced into the Islamic faith:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (2:256)

Also from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he used to make treaties with Christian and Jewish communities, promising them their right to keep their faith, and to carry on practicing their faith. It’s a fact of history that Christians and Jews were not forced into Islam, and that’s why you still have large Christian communities in the Muslim world. Surely if Muslims were forcing everybody to convert by the sword, then we wouldn’t expect to see such a community in existence.

In Syria for example, you have one of the oldest known Christian communities in existence, living in the town of Maaloula, and the community even speak in the Aramaic language of Jesus.

2-Islam teaches Muslims to hate the Jews

This is another common argument that’s used, that Islam commands the Muslims to hate the Jews. To clear this up, there is no verse in the Quran that tells Muslims to hate the Jews. On the contrary, the Quran when talking about the Jews, says there are both good and bad Jews, just like all other communities:

Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.  Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right. (3:113-115)

So the Quran explicitly teaches that there is a group from the Jews who are unrighteous, who stand for the truth, and do what is right.

Quite the contrary to supposed anti-Semitism. It must also be noted again, that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made several treaties with the Jews, allowing them to practice their faith and so on.

3-Islam allows Muslims to have sex slaves

This is yet another absurd claim, that Muslims are allowed to have sex slaves. In this case verses from the Quran are badly distorted, for example when the Quran talks about capturing right hand captives, i.e. prisoners of war, critics claim that these are sex slaves. In reality what the critic has done is projecting their own warped view on prisoners of war, and reflects more on them, than it does on Islam.

Islamic texts on POW’s, i.e. right hand captives, are explicit. POW’s are to be treated humanely, they are to be treated like how you would treat your own brother:

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 29

Narrated Al-Ma'rur: At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, "I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names."  The Prophet said to me, 'O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.

Islamic scholarship is also clear on the issue, with the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence saying:

"If a man acquires by force a slave-girl, then has sexual intercourse with her after he acquires her by force, and if he is not excused by ignorance, then the slave-girl will be taken from him, he is required to pay the fine, and he will receive the punishment for illegal sexual intercourse." (Imam Al Shaafi'i, Kitaabul Umm, Volume 3, page 253)

In our view the man who rapes a woman, regardless of whether she is a virgin or not, if she is a free woman he must pay a "dowry" like that of her peers, and if she is a slave he must pay whatever has been detracted from her value. The punishment is to be carried out on the rapist and there is no punishment for the woman who has been raped, whatever the case.  (Imam Maalik, Al-Muwatta', Volume 2, page 734)

4-Muslims worship a moon God

This is another argument that is very common to hear, that Muslims worship a pagan moon God. Obviously this is nonsense, with the Quran itself saying:

And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostate to Allah, who created them, if it should be Him that you worship. – Qur’an 41:37.

So the Quran tells the people to neither worship the sun or the moon. So how can Muslims worship a moon God, when the God of the Quran is telling the people to not worship the moon, and that God created the moon?

5- Islam is anti-women

Critics claim that Islam is a faith that is against women, which off course is false, the first convert to Islam was in fact a women, the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) wife Khadijah.

We will list a whole set of revelations the Quran brought down concerning women, proving it is not a misogynistic faith.

-The Quran banned the abhorrent practice of burying female daughters alive:

When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! ith shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on? (16:57-58)

When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned, for what crime she was killed (81:8-9)

-The Quran made it a rule that wives must be treated properly, not to be abused, and not to force women into marriages against their will:

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. (4:19)

-Women are to receive an alimony after a divorce:

For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous. (2:241)

-Women who give birth to a child, must be provided for by the father of the child:

Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. (2:233)

-Women have a right to an inheritance:

From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men and a share for women, whether the property be small or large,-a determinate share. (4:7)

-Women have a right to have their honor and reputation protected:

And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;- (24:4)

-Women are put on an equal footing with men:

For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

Conclusion

Obviously there are many more misconceptions towards Islam, but these are 5 of the most common arguments you will often hear, hopefully we have clarified some of these issues. What we urge everybody to do, is to conduct a proper research into the claims being made, read the Quran, read the hadiths, consult a knowledgable Muslim, and then you will find yourself understanding the issues far more better. 

 

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