chaapvado
Published in

chaapvado

An Islamic Point of View

There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Of these 1.8 billion people, there are 6–8 million Muslims in the United States of America. Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and the fastest-growing one. Now let us understand what Islam means. Islam means submission, a peaceful following of a religion that prescribes the guidelines to a holistic way of life. Grave events that Muslims have become associated with are not what defines the Muslim ummah (people). It is unfortunate to think that people misinterpreted the message of this peaceful religion, one that is dangerously similar to the other two monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity. Islam is the last of these three Abrahamic traditions. Contrary to popular belief, Muslims respect Prophet Musa (Moses) and Prophet Issa (Jesus) as their prophets. Islam teaches validity of the prophecies each messenger brought with him. However, Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is the seal of prophets. A man who relays God’s final message. Similar to followers of Christian and Jewish faiths, Muslims believe in the oneness of God. The Arabic word for God is Allah. In other words, Allah is not another God, it simply means God.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was an illiterate man to whom Allah revealed the Quran through the Angel Jibrail, (Gabriel). Allah relayed Iqra (which translates to “read” in Arabic) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) suddenly began reciting the divine words that compose the Quran. The Quran serves as the guidelines of Islam. The word Quran is Arabic for recitation, and that is what followers believe the book to be: a recitation of Allah’s message. In actuality, the Quran is a book that covers all aspects of life; it explains natural phenomena, makes references to the beginnings of the universe, how the world will end, and how a pious man should lead his life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) represents the ideal Muslim, it is encouraged that all Muslims aspire to lead the simple and peaceful life that he lead and following his examples is called sunnah.

Islam is stereotyped as a strict religion that does not allow its women to step out of the house unveiled, a religion that permits its men to have multiple wives, and a religion that orders followers to harm non-Muslim. In reality, Islam is a religion that values women with the utmost respect. Women are represented as gems that should be carefully handled and protected from the cruelties of the world, giving them respect from all discomforts. Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) wife Khadeejah, was a very successful businesswoman who sent a proposal for marriage to the prophet herself. Yes, a working woman asked for Prophet Muhammad’s hand in marriage; now is this the Islam you know? The misconception that the Quran is a declaration of war against kafirs, non-believers, is false also. Islam teaches its followers to believe in and respect the message of all of Allah’s Prophets. One of the mutual components, a very significant one, of all the revelations is to believe in one God and his almighty power over the universe. This aspect stays constant throughout all three, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism; it instantly binds these religions together. Respect for people, tolerance, and peace is the reoccurring message in Islam.

Islam is stereotyped as an extreme religion because it requires outward practice and constant worship. Islamic pillars are incorporated into the everyday life of believers as a way of life. Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day to remember Allah and show appreciation. There is a dua (prayer) for everything in Islam. Whether it is walking into the bathroom, before you embark on a journey, waking up, or looking into the mirror, God is continuously praised and thanked. If a Muslim murmurs something in Arabic under his/her breath it does not mean that he/she is about to wage jihad. Recitation of prayer is not an extremist practice in Islam but rather an act that binds practicers with their faith.

The issue at hand is a lack of understanding and axioms that have made it difficult to break down stereotypes. As an American- Muslim, I have to defend my religion regularly. A majority of people are unaware of even its most basic principles. It is unfair to paint all 1.8 billion Muslims of the world with the same brush. The issue at hand is spreading the message

of tolerance. Understanding the unknown will only foster growth and allow peace for all of humanity.

Siddra Bakhtawar Sheikh, Editor in Chief, CHAAP World

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
CHAAP

CHAAP

CHAAP is a digital platform that assists in the advancement of gender equality through dialogue and awareness. Join the FORCE Take the pledge