Islam is not a cult – its followers number over 1.5 billion worldwide. Along with Judaism and Christianity, it is considered to be one of the three Abrahamic traditions.
There are five pillars of practice in Islam. These practices must be undertaken in order to be considered a true Muslim in the Islamic tradition: A) Shahadah – declaration of faith in the oneness of God and that Muhammad is the last prophet of God. B) Formal prayer five times a day. C) Fasting during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. D) Poor-due “tax” – 2.5% of one’s savings given to the needy at the end of each year. E) Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, if physically and financially able.
There are also six articles of faith in Islam. These are the basic beliefs that one must have in order to be considered a true Muslim. They are the beliefs in: A) the One God. B) all the prophets of God. C) the original scriptures revealed to Prophets Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. D) the angels. E) the Day of Judgment and the Hereafter. F) the divine decree (or destiny).
Today, Islam is a widely misconceived religion. Those who are unfamiliar with the faith often have misunderstandings about its teachings and practices. Common misconceptions include that Muslims worship a moon-god, that Islam is oppressive against women, or that Islam is a faith that promotes violence. We bust these myths and expose the true teaching of Islam in this article titled top 10 Fast Facts about Islam worth knowing. So without further ado, let’s begin:
1. Islam Considers a Daughter a Blessing
There is a very big misconception among people, especially among Westerners, that Islam depraves and degrades Muslims. Islam gives complete right and liberty to females. The daughters are given more love and esteem than a son, Islam regards a daughter as a blessing and those families who do not have a daughter actually lack God’s blessings. The holy prophet (P.B.U.H) himself didn’t have any son, he had 4 daughters and he loved his daughters more than anything.
Allaah quote: “To Allaah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female [children], and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them [both] males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and Competent.” [Quran 49:50]
As you read the above quote, you probably notice that the mention of daughters preceded that of sons, and the scholars commented on this saying: “This is to hearten daughters and encourage kindness towards them, because many fathers feel burdened by receiving a daughter. The common practice of the people during the pre-Islamic era was to hate receiving daughters, to the extent that they would bury them alive; therefore, it is as if Allaah is saying to people: `This inferior child in your estimation takes precedence in My scale.’ He also mentions daughters first to indicate their weakness, and that they are therefore more deserving of care and attention.”
Such honoring of daughters is the complete opposite of how people were accustomed to dealing with females in the pre-Islamic era, when they would degrade women and consider them as their possessions, and if news of a baby girl would come to any of them, it would be as if the man was hit by lightening.
It is said that some enemies of Qays ibn ‘Aasim At-Tameemi, who was a pre-Islamic Arab, attacked his premises and captured his daughter. Later, one of these enemies married her. After some time, the clan of Qays and that of his enemies reconciled, so they gave this daughter of his the freedom to go back to her father or remain with her husband, and she preferred to stay with her husband. At that point, Qays took a pledge upon himself to bury alive any new daughter that he would receive, and the Arabs imitated him after that. It was, therefore, this man who introduced this ‘evil practice,
During the era that preceded Islam, there were two methods that people used to kill their daughters:
· At the time of the delivery of the child, a man would order his wife to give birth next to a hole dug in the ground; if the newborn was a male, she would return home with him, otherwise, she would throw her into the pit and bury her alive, or:
· When the daughter reached six years of age, the man would tell his wife to adorn and perfume her, then he would take her to a well in the desert and tell her to look down into the well; when she would do this, he would push her into it from behind.
2. Muslims Believe in Jesus
In the Qur’an, stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called ‘Isa in Arabic) are abundant. The Qur’an provides a detailed description of his miraculous birth, his teachings, and the miracles he performed with God’s permission. There is even a chapter of the Qur’an named after his mother, Mary (Miriam in Arabic). However, Muslims believe that Jesus was a fully human prophet and not in any way divine himself.
Excerpt from Quaran: “Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how God makes His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!” (5:75).
3. Jihad Does Not Mean Mass Killing
Jihad is another amazing postulate of Islam but it has also been misunderstood by the people. Jihad does not mean the mass killing of non-Muslims, it means that you have to go for the rescue of your Muslim brothers who are being tortured and are not being provided with their rights. There are however some people who have misunderstood the significance of jihad and go to the extremes.
The exact definition of Jihad is “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty. It is also a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual disciplines…”
The people who committed 9/11 terrorist acts left a train of evidence about how they accomplished their mission, but nowhere did they leave evidence as to why they did what they did. There were no suicide notes and no phoned-in claims of responsibility after the fact. But as evidence seemed to indicate, they were supported by Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda networks he lead before he died. Therefore, the terrorists died convinced they were waging Jihad.
Since September 11, 2001, we’ve heard this term used quite often, but for the wrong reasons.
Sohail Hashimi, a scholar from M0unt Holyoke College argues that it would be a big mistake to view the attacks of September 11 as the latest phase of an Islamic Holy War to convert unbelievers and non-followers. Base don the few statements of their mission, al Qaeda’s goals appear to be far more mundane than religious and more political and theoretical in nature. In terms of their tactics, most Muslims have rejected them as reprehensible in light of the restrictions on fighting that Islamic law upholds.
4. Women Have the Right to Refuse Marriage
Islam gives complete liberty to the women, especially when it comes to choosing the life partner. A woman has complete freedom to marry the man of her liking and she also has the right to refuse the marriage if she doesn’t want to have that man as her husband. The families or the parents however do choose the husband but the girl has the right to deny the marriage. Usually the Muslims girls love and respect their families a lot therefore they happily accept the man the family chooses, this however doesn’t mean that the girl is forced into the marriage, this is all a misconception.
So What Happened?
Women’s liberation is a very subjective topic, especially when it comes to Western perceptions. Are women who wear flimsy clothes free, or are they slaves to a society that requires young girls to flaunt themselves to be accepted?
Islam gave rights to women 1,400 years ago. Indeed, these rights would have startled many so-called progressive western societies even a century ago as women in Islam received rights to inheritance, their names, their earnings and roles as equals in the eyes of Allah.
Less than a century before the birth of the Prophet Muhamad, many historians believe that the 585 AD Council of Macon decreed that women do not have souls.
Women’s rights in Islam include:
– Name – Islam forbids Muslim women from removing the name of their father. Therefore, after marriage, a Muslim woman is not permitted to take the name of her husband, as is the common practice these days.
– Choice of husband – a Muslim woman has the right to refuse a marriage proposal. The Prophet made it clear that a girl’s permission is to be sought before a marriage can be validated.
– Earnings – women have the right to earn money in a halal (permissible) manner and are under no obligation to use their earnings for their upkeep. This is the responsibility of their husbands.
– Protection – it is a right of the women in Islam to be protected by their male relatives or husbands; to be housed, clothed and fed.
5. Allah is not the God of Muslims
Many non-Muslims have come to incorrectly believe that Allah is the ‘God of Muslims’ – A deity somehow different from the God of the other faiths. It should be emphasized that the term “Allah” has no implied meaning at all of an Arabian god, a Moon god or even a Muslim god. Muslims are not claiming any exclusiveness when they say “Allah”. However Allah is simply the Arabic Name of the one Almighty God; the same name by which Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians, refer to God. The Allah comes from the term ‘al-ilaah’. Al is the definite article in Arabic, equivalent to ‘the’ in English, while ilaah means ‘a deity or god’. So Allah means The God. This is beautifully articulated in the first pillar of Islam which is to believe that God is One, in Arabic it would be, “La ilaha illallah” meaning “There is no god but God”
6. Islamic Way of Life is According to the Scientific Way
Islam gives you a complete description of how you’re to spend your day, but all the actions that we do provide advantages to our health. For example, according to a research you blood pressure varies during the day so the doctors suggested that at least one time a day you should bend your body in such a way that the blood in your body rushes towards the head. The place is same as Sajdah the Muslims do five times a day during their prayers. Islam has also explained a proper time for sleeping, which is most beneficial time according to the studies done by scientist, the fast which the Muslims keep during Ramadan is a kind of dieting, and the positions in Namaz are similar to yoga. This is a never-ending list.
Contemporary Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have recognized that scientific knowledge is not necessarily neutral and objective, but instead carries values and concepts that are explicit to modern Western culture. Therefore this has resulted in a concerted effort by contemporary Islamic scholars to call for an ‘Islamic science’ or the ‘Islamization of knowledge’. Islamic scholars have also been calling for an investigation to reflect back to the so-called ‘Golden Age of Islam’ when there seemed to have been development in science; and an acceptance of harmony between religion and science. This article examines how the tenets of Islam, and the Islamic view of nature facilitated the development of science in the so-called ‘Golden Age of Islam’; how the Western view of nature conflicts with the Islamic view. And how common or universal values can help build bridges between modern science and Islamic science.
HarunYahya explains in an article published in Huffington Post how Islam confounds with science; unlike the Western view that claims the opposite. Science is a means that gives us access to the universe we live in and a factor that improves our life quality and increases life expectancy.
Science is an important reality that enables us to know the universe we inhabit, the Earth and our own bodies and to be able to appreciate all the beauties around us. Scientific advances have enlightened human life and opened the door to a healthier way of living. For example, by means of medical advances the average human life span today is much greater than it was a century ago. Even in the 1950s, average worldwide life expectancy was 47, whereas according to U.N. figures it had risen to 68 by 2010. Similarly, advances in other branches of science have made our lives easier and more comfortable.
For a sincere Muslim, science is a blessing that God has bestowed on humanity. Islam advocates a rational approach. In many verses of the Quran, God advises people to use their intelligence. He emphasizes the need for us to think rationally and scientifically, speaking of, “…those deeply rooted in knowledge…” and “…only people of intelligence pay heed.” (3:7). Another verse advises people to think about the formation of the universe: “…reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth…” (3:191)
7. The Prophet Predicted Various Sects of Islam
Today many people complain that the Muslims are divided into so many different sects but they do not know that the prophet himself during his lifetime said that in the coming days the Muslims will divide themselves into 73 sects. People think that the sects are different from each other but the point is that the rituals which are being followed by the sects are the ones prophet himself followed during his life, none of the rituals are created by the people themselves, different people have selected some sunnah of the prophet and adapted them. The point is that it doesn’t matter if you pray with your hands folded on chest, or if your hands are folded on your abdominal or if your hands are lying straight, because prophet himself followed all three ways. There are mosques built by Shia and Sunnis but the thing is that every mosque is being built for Allah. People have different ways of praying but they all lie down in sajdah in front of the same creator.
8. Islam Orders to Attain All Scientific Teachings
Many people have this opinion that Islam only asks it followers to receive the teachings of holy Quran, this is absolutely untrue. The holy prophet and the holy Quran asks all its followers to study all the fields related to science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, sociology, etc. the teaching of Islam is not restricted to a certain criteria but it has theories related to history, science and sociology.
9. Islam Does Not Ask Women to Wear the BURQA
Islam doesn’t ask the women to wear a burqa. the holy Quran says that the women are supposed to cover all their body parts properly, the dress should be loose, not very fitted so that the curves of a woman are not focused. Quran asks the women to cover their heads and cover their faces so that they may not have to endure the dirty stares of the men. There is no such thing as Burqa in the holy Quran or the teaching of holy prophets; the women however do wear Burqa because it is convenient. You can wear any kind of dress but it should not be cleavage, should cover all the body parts and your curves should not the focused, there is no point of wearing a so called Burqa if it is fitted, and if you do want to wear a Burqa it should be loose. You can choose any color you like for it, there is no law in Islam saying that the Burqa should be black, women wear black burqa because it doesn’t get dirty very often.
10. Einstein Theory of Relativity is Widely Used in Islam
The theory of relativity says that the mass, time and length remains same in constant frame of reference but they can fluctuate if the object moves with the speed of light. Einstein said that time; mass and length are not constant. Now the amazing thing is that this theory was already present in Quran and Quran was sent before Einstein was born. In surah kahf is the theory present related to time dilation, the surah gives a detailed description which relates a true event, another proof is of the event when the holy prophet went up in the sky to visit the heaven and hell during his life time and then came back to earth, he made a journey of 23 years in friction of seconds. That night is a very special night in the religion Islam. This night is another marvelous example of time dilation.
The Arabs measure time by the lunar year. Hence if we apply this principle to the rotation of the moon in one thousand years, we find that according to scientific calculations, its speed in 299792.5 kilometer per second. This result is in complete conformity with the speed of light according to Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Dr. M. Hassab El Naby adds that according to Einstein “the speed of light is an absolute constant,” while time and place are just relative. This fact is mentioned in the Qur’an and is a confirmation of the theory of relativity.
To Him the angels and the spirit mount up in a day whereof the measure is fifty thousand years. (Qur’an 70: 4)
In this verse God mentions another speed which is fifty times the speed of light, namely the speed of “angels and the spirit”. Miraculously, this verse is void of the words “of your counting”, which is a clear indication that we will never reach this speed because it is beyond our modest means.
What is interesting is that, according to the Quaran, God states that the speed of angels varies:
Praise belongs to God, originator of heavens, and earth who appointed the angels to be messengers having wings two, three and four, increasing creation as He wills surely God is powerful over everything