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Common questions towards Islam

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Question 1: What is Islam?

Answer: Islam is the religion revealed by God to all of his prophets, starting from Adam (pbuh) all the way to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Question 2: Wasn’t Islam started and created by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)?

Answer: No, there is a misconception that Islam was a new religion brought by Muhammad (pbuh), much like when Jesus (pbuh) brought Christianity. We believe that all prophets preached the message of Islam, Islam was not a newly created religion by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), rather it was a continuation of what the previous prophets had preached, you could say that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the final corner stone.

Question 3: So what is Islam’s main message?

Answer: Islam’s main doctrine is that there is one God, and that this God created all of us, and that it is only this one and true God that deserves to be worshipped. That in a nutshell is the core Islamic message, and the message all prophets preached, to worship the one and only true God that created all of us.

Question 4: What is the Quran? Was the Quran written by Muhammad (pbuh), or by his disciples?

Answer: The Quran is the main book and revelation of Islam, just like the Torah for the Jews, and the Bible for the Christians. Muslims believe that the Quran was revealed by God, to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through the angel Gabriel in the Arabic language. The Quran is the full word of God, it was not written by Muhammad (pbuh) nor by his companions. The Quran was fully revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Question 5: What about the hadith? What are those?

Answer: The hadiths are a collection of authentic sayings by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions; the hadith is separate from the Quran. The Quran is the revelation from God, word for word, while the hadiths are the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions rather than the verbatim word of God.

Question 6: Does Islam command Muslims to fight and kill all infidels unless they convert to Islam?

Answer: No, Islam does not command it’s followers to do such a thing, the Quran has several passages that preach about religious freedom, the there is no compulsion in religion, and that non-Muslims are free to not believe in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made several treaties with non-Muslims, which included non-Muslims living under his control and protection, and they were more than free to practice their faith, without being obliged to become Muslims. Islamic history also testifies to the tolerance of Islamic states towards its minorities, throughout history the Islamic world has always had non-Muslim communities living within it.

Question 7: Why do some Muslims go out and kill innocent people if Islam does not command the killings of non-Muslims?

Answer: Why do people murder, rape, and steal if the law forbids them from doing so? Humans have free will, and as such, are going to often do bad things. The religion of Islam does not condone the murder of innocent civilians, whether they be men, women, and children. Islam does not command terrorism, such as flying planes into buildings filled with innocent civilians, or blowing up a bomb on board a bus filled with innocent passengers going about their daily lives. The Quran explicitly says that if you were to kill one innocent person, it would be like you have killed all of humanity. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also commanded the Muslims to not kill the women and children during times of conflict, and that Muslims should not respond to a wrong doing by their own wrong doing in response. The ideology of terrorism is more of a tribalistic way of thinking, you kill my people, I kill yours, you kill my child, and I kill yours. Islam does not condone or call for such ways of behavior, Islam calls on all of its followers to act with justice, even against someone they hate. At the end of the day, nobody will ever be able to produce a single Islamic text that tells Muslims to go out and murder innocent people.

Question 8: You say nobody will be able to produce a verse, but several critics of Islam have brought verses from the Quran, and the hadith that commands violence towards non-believers. How do you explain these violent texts?

Answer: Yes, critics of Islam do often quote the Quran, or the hadiths, but they often quote them out of context. For example, they will quote verse 5, but leave out verse 4, or verse 6. They leave out all the other verses that give a clear meaning to what the verse is saying. So for example, they will quote one verse that tells Muslims to fight the unbelievers, now this verse by itself would seem to show that Islam commands violence against unbelievers, but the previous verse and after verse have been left out. Now if one were to read the previous, and after verse, and read it all together, one would see that the context mentions self-defence, so if you are attacked, you have a right to defend yourself. So the critic will leave that part out, and only mention the verse about fighting, hence painting a very false picture of what’s being said. They will do the same with the hadith, isolate one hadith, and not allow the contexts of hadiths to explain what’s happening. On top of this, they will ignore the historical context of the verse and the hadith, the reasoning behind the revelation and why what happened, happened. So they will quote hadiths about fighting, but will ignore the historical context that this fighting was taking place during a time of war. Yet even with all the verses and hadiths they quote, they can never bring a single Islamic text that explicitly commands the Muslims to go out and murder innocent people.

Question 9: Why did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fight? Why was he a warrior? Why wasn’t he like Jesus (pbuh), who was peaceful, didn’t engage in war, and preached a message of peace and love?

Answer: Just because one person fights, and another does not, does not make the latter a better moral person than the former. There are cases where fighting is necessary, when the community is under threat, when the community is under oppression, because of their beliefs, ethnicity, or race, then that community has a right to defend itself does it not? The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Muslim community were under heavy oppression from the pagan majority who vehemently disagreed with their Islamic message, and so the Muslim community were eventually forced to defend themselves and their right to believe in Islam free from oppression. Just because the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fought in battle, and Jesus (pbuh) did not, does not make Muhammad (pbuh) any less moral or any less of an example than Jesus (pbuh). Other prophets also took part in battle; Moses (pbuh) took part in several battles and wars according to the Bible, as well as did David (pbuh). One of the most famous biblical stories is that of David (pbuh) and Goliath, and this took place during a battle! So if being a fighter makes you bad, then should David (pbuh) not be condemned? Yet nobody condemns David (pbuh), instead we praise the story.

Question 10: Do Muslims actually believe in Jesus (pbuh)?

Answer: Yes, Muslims believe in Jesus (pbuh), it is a fundamental of our faith to believe in Jesus (pbuh), no Muslim can be a Muslim if he/she rejects Jesus (pbuh). Muslims believe in Jesus (pbuh) as a mighty messenger and prophet of God, born of a miraculous birth by the virgin Mary, that he was the Messiah, who performed wonderful miraculous deeds and signs for the Israelites, and that he preached to them about the one and true God, calling on them to repent and turn back to the one and true God to be assured of their salvation in the hereafter. A Muslim who rejects any of this, cannot be a Muslim, even if they believe and love the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), they are still not a Muslim.

 

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