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Page 2 of the most common questions generally asked about Islam

Why do Muslims follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar?

How do Muslims get to go to heaven? What is the way to heaven according to the Islamic teachings or according to Islam?

Is Islam intolerant of other religious minorities? Why do Muslims prosecute people of other religions in other countries?

What is the Islamic view on: Dating and premarital sex, Abortion, Homosexuality and AIDS and Organ transplantation?

Why is it permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Christian or a Jewish woman, and in the same time, it is forbidden that a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man or an infidel?"

What are some of the denominations or main sects of Islam? How could the same religion teach people to be in different sects? What are Sunni or Sonni and what is Shiaa? Why are they always fighting together?

If Islam is the best religion, why are many of the Muslims dishonest, unreliable, and involved in activities such as cheating, bribing, dealing in drugs, etc.?

Killing an animal is a ruthless act. Why then do Muslims consume non-vegetarian food?

What are the dietary prohibitions in Islam? What are Muslims allowed to eat and what are they not allowed to eat or drink? What is Halal food and what is Haram food in Islam?

Why is the eating of pork forbidden in Islam?

Why is the consumption of alcohol prohibited in Islam?

What is Sharia?

When Islam is against idol worship why do the Muslims worship, and bow down to the Ka'abah idol in their prayer?

How could Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword, or that it was spread by force? Isn't it true that the meaning of the word Islam is submission, meaning that the Muslims must -have the right- to force others to submit to Islam even by the use of force, sword or under the edge of the sword?

Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since the Qur’an says that Muslims should kill the Kafirs (Non-believers, pagans or infidels) where ever they find them (9:5)?

Why the Islamic culture in the Middle East is always not so good? Why does the culture of Islam seem so unbelievable? Why do governments in the Islamic cultures do strange things?

Why Muslims can't have Christian or Jews friends? Could a Muslim have friends who are not Muslims? Why does Quran teach Muslims to be unfriendly with others (non-Muslims or people of the Book, i.e. the Jews and the Christians) in (5:51)?

 

Page 3 of common questions about Islam

Choose a section of the common questions about Islam:

Questions about Jihad and terrorism

Questions about women or woman in Islam

Questions about The Mosque (worshipping place) and prayers in Islam

Questions about Muhammad, Mohammad, or Muhamet peace be upon him.

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Q14-Why do Muslims follow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar?

Muslims follow the lunar calendar, which was the way God taught man how to count time -months and years- from the beginning. That's why many civilizations -ancient and modern- associate counting time with the moon. The word "Month"; in chronology, is the conventional period of lunation, i.e. the passage of the moon through all of its phases. In many other references of religion and history, we find that all the messengers of God had taught their followers nothing -about time and calendars- except observing the "lunar calendar".

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Q15-How do Muslims get to go to heaven? What is the way to heaven according to the Islamic teachings or according to Islam?

How can we humans, from the Islamic prospective, overcome "sin"? The Quran teaches that life is a test, that earthly life is temporary (67:2). Muslims believe that there is reward and punishment, that there is life hereafter and that reward or punishment don't necessarily wait until the Day of judgment. Muslims also believe in resurrection and accountability.

Islam teachings are always practical, it teaches that our way to heaven is by being humble and that we cannot achieve salvation by our own righteousness. The reconciliation of the "sinful" human with Allah is contingent on three elements; the most important is; The grace, the mercy and the generosity of God. Then there are good deeds and of course, the correct belief. Correct belief and good deeds are prerequisites for God's grace and forgiveness and for rising above our common shortcomings. Correct belief and good deeds are the proofs that we are turning -or walking- towards God, not holding the correct belief or choosing to do what is wrong means that we are walking away from Him.

To acquire good deeds one must do what is right and avoid what is wrong according to the teachings and the way shown to us by Muhammad (pbuh), whenever there is a choice. Allah tells us that there will be times when we will have no choice, He already knows that, because He is the All-Knowing. He gives us some examples:

"O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restrain. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days. But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later"(2-183,184).

And; "…But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits. Then he is guiltless, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving most Merciful"(2-173).

How can sin be washed away? The Quran gives the prescription:

"If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God's forgiveness, he will find God Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful"(4: 110). However, Islam does not teach that one can choose to do what is wrong and then go a head and ask for forgiveness later, for this would be hypocrisy. It teaches repentance, stopping evil ways, feeling sorry for what one has done and determining to follow the path of Allah as much as humanly possible.

  • Islam teaches that Allah is only interested in the individual's sincere repentance and in one's turning towards Him.
  • Islam also teaches that one cannot inherit any sins or good deeds of anybody else. But will be asked only for what he/she did:

"On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns. And it suffers every ill that it earns" (2:286)

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Q16-Is Islam intolerant of other religious minorities? Why do Muslims prosecute people of other religions in other countries?

Unfortunately, many make this claim that Islam does not tolerate other religious minorities or that Muslims prosecute people of other religions in other countries, ignoring these important facts:

1. LET THE 14 MILLION TESTIFY

Muslims were the rules of the Arab world, a good portion of Asia Minor and all of North Africa for about 1400 years and that's how the official language have become the language of the Quran, the Arabic language. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled the Arab world most of the time. Yet today, there is an estimated 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians, Christians, Catholics and also Jews. They have held their religion for all these generations through these 1400 years. If the Muslims had used the sword as many "CLAIM", there would have not been a single Arab who would have remained on his other religion. Especially when we consider that Muslims could have done with Non-Muslims as they please and did not have to worry about the Geneva Convention or the U.N at that time.

2. OLD BUILDINGS' TESTIMONY

In countries where the dominant religion is Islam, there are many old churches and synagogues that are older than the inception of Islam -- more than 1400 years. If Islam does not teach tolerance and respect to other faiths, then why would Muslims keep those buildings with their monks, priests and even their own scriptures, long before any of today's modern human rights and other world organizations such as the U.N?

3. MORE HYPOCRITES?

The Holy Quran also warned Muhammad (pbuh) and Muslims against HYPOCRISY and THE HYPOCRITES. The Quran describes the hypocrites as:

"Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in God and the Last Day, but they do not (really) believe". (2:8)

In fact there is a whole chapter (63) that is entitled The Hypocrites. Any rational mind will find it extremely difficult to believe that Islam teaches forcing others to accept it even if they were not convinced with it, only to create more HYPOCRITES.

4. NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION

It is very clear in (2:256): "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error, whoever rejects Taghut (anything other than the real God, false deities, Satan, idols and so on) and believes in God, hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things".

Again we find: "Say: The truth is from your Lord; Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject". (18:29)

5. MODERN HISTORY AND POLITICS

A few hundred years ago, Jews were welcomed and flourished in Muslim Spain even when they were persecuted in the rest of Europe. They consider that part of their history as the Golden Era. In Muslim countries, Christians live in prosperity, hold government positions and attend their church. However, the same religious tolerance is not always available to Muslim minorities as seen in the past during Spanish inquisition and the crusades, or as seen now by the events in Bosnia, Israel and India. Muslims do recognize that sometimes the actions of a ruler do not reflect the teachings of his religion

6. GOVERNMENTS DO WHAT GOVERNMENTS DO

Almost anywhere in the world, there are governments or rulers who are doing something that is against the teachings of the major religion in their countries. In the west where the major religion teach "don't kill", governments allow the killing of the unborn children. There are other example you probably are already aware of where governments do what they like, and in many cases what they do is against the teachings of the major religion. If we are to consider that Islam is a bad or evil religion because some Muslims people or governments do something wrong or evil in its name. Then how should we regard other religions when countries with the majority of its people believe in that religion, yet the governments allow the killing of the unborn children.

  • That religion, whichever it is, because realistically, any religion is responsible only for what it teaches.
  • All religions, because there will always be somebody who is doing something wrong.
  • Ourselves, when we have to consider that all religions to be evil or bad.

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Q17-What is the Islamic view on: Dating and premarital sex, Abortion, Homosexuality and AIDS and Organ transplantation?

Dating and premarital sex: Islam does not approve of intimate mixing of the sexes, and forbids premarital or extramarital sex. Islam encourages marriage as a shield to such temptations and as a means of having mutual love, mercy and peace.

Abortion: Islam considers abortion as murder and does not permit it except to save the mother's life (Qur’an 17:23-31, 6:15 1).

Homosexuality and AIDS: Islam categorically opposes homosexuality and considers it a sin. However, Muslim physicians are advised to care for AIDS patients with compassion just as they would for other patients.

Euthanasia and Suicide: Islam is opposed to both suicide and euthanasia. Muslims do not believe in heroic measures to prolong the misery in a terminally ill patient.

Organ transplantation: Islam stresses upon saving lives (Qur’an 5:32); thus, transplantation in general would be considered permissible provided a donor consent is available. The sale of the organ is not allowed.

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Q18-Why is it permissible for a Muslim man to marry a Christian or a Jewish woman, and in the same time, it is forbidden that a Muslim woman marry a non-Muslim man or an infidel?"

Allowing a Muslim man to marry a Christian or a Jewish woman, is an exceptional rule applied under special circumstances. And when a Muslim man marries a Christian or a Jewish woman, there is no problem, because he believes in all prophets, and all holy books. There will be no problem between him and his wife in this matter, especially that his religion -Islam- commands him to be fair with his wife even if she were Christian or Jewish. And any Muslim man going through such marriage should have strong belief in his faith, and should strongly abide by his religion.

The reason for forbidding a Muslim woman from marrying a non-Muslim, is that a Christian or a Jewish man believes only in his prophet, and doesn’t believe in prophet Mohamed Salla Allah Allih Wa Salam or any of the other prophets (blessing be upon them).

For example, when this Muslim woman, tries to teach her kids to love and respect all prophets and believe in all of them, her non-Muslim husband will not agree, because he believes only in his prophet. He will interfere in the way she raises her kids, and prevents her from raising them in an Islamic way. And here comes the real problem, because she will have only two options, whether she leaves the whole thing as it is, and does nothing about it -which will be an insult to her religion- or she argues about the matter, and this will sure lead to more marital problems.

On the other hand, there will be no such problems between a Muslim husband, and a non Muslim wife, because if this wife tried to teach her kids to love and believe in her prophet, her Muslim husband will not refuse that because he already believes in her prophet and all prophets. This is why Islam allows the marriage between Muslim man and non-Muslim woman, and forbids the marriage between Muslim woman, and non-Muslim man. Because Islam respects the marital relationship and wants to guarantee its stability, not because it respects men, and disrespects women …

As for the polytheists or atheists or others of non-Abrahamic faiths, Muslims cannot take those for a spouse. Marriage in Islam is not regarded as merely a physical relation ship; it is regarded as a religious act, with its own rituals, rules and obligations, similar to those of the people of the Book. Thus, Islam -among other reasons- can't force any one who does not accept God (an atheist for example) to be obliged to these religious rules which were set by God.

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Q19-What are some of the denominations or main sects of Islam? How could the same religion teach people to be in different sects? What are Sunni or Sonni and what is Shiaa? Why are they always fighting together?

 Muslims have no denominations, they all follow the same Book - The Quran, the same prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and all offer their prayers five times a day, fast in the month of Ramadan, give Zakat -the poor due- and go for Hajj, (pilgrimage) to Mecca.

Even though there are different schools of thoughts in Islam, since they all hold the same principles or articles of faith but with minute differences in the secondary matters, these -minute- differences don't constitute the need for "denominations". Further more, Muslims are encouraged by their scholars to ignore these differences if they happen to be in an area where other Muslims adopt them as a sign of unity and the understanding that these differences are minute.

With the majority of Muslims following the Sunnah or Sunna, which means the actions of Muhammad (pbuh), they are called Sunni. However, about 16 percent of the Muslim population do almost the same things plus holding a political -not a religious- belief that Ali (Muhammad's son-in-law) should have been granted the leadership of Muslims after the death of Muhammad, they form a sect of Muslims called Shia or Shiaa. The word Shia means a partisan, as they formed the party of Ali, and it started more as "a political party", that was formed after the death of both Muhammad and Ali. Most Shias live in Iran and Iraq while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni.

There are other smaller sects in Islam presenting about 3% of Muslims. Differences between these smaller sects are usually in the ways they express their gratitude, extra thanking or glorifying Allah.

This is the case with Islam and Muslims as a majority or in general, then just like they are in any other religion, in Islam there are also the same people. Those who hold wrong or foreign beliefs or simply misunderstand their own scriptures. Just as there are many Christian cults with foreign beliefs such as the KKK for example, there are some "so called" Muslims who hold some twisted beliefs that are foreign, strange and in many cases, contrary to the true teachings of Islam just as the KKK does

As for fighting between some sects; there is the example of the Catholics and the Protestants who are fighting with each other in Ireland. They are not fighting with each other just because of the differences in their beliefs. If that was the case, then every Catholic in the world would be in a fight with his Protestant neighbor. It is clear that they are fighting for other political or economical reasons. This is the same that goes on between the Sunni and the Sheiat. They are not fighting because they belong to different sects, they are fighting for the same reasons, political or economical reasons. If they were fighting because of the differences in their beliefs, then every Sunni in the world would be in fight with any one who is Shia.

  • The fighting between sects is always in a certain area of the Islamic world, mainly Iran and Iraq, Just as it is always in a certain area in the Christian world…Ireland 

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Q20-If Islam is the best religion, why are many of the Muslims dishonest, unreliable, and involved in activities such as cheating, bribing, dealing in drugs, etc.?

1. The teachings of Islam

as Muslims we acknowledge that there are many who are strong in their faith who always do good and there are those who are weak faith who act with foolish. Any rational mind would have to agree; just because there are some Muslims who misrepresent Islam by doing many shameful acts, that does not mean that Islam teaches so. If you want to judge how good Islam is then judge it according to its authentic sources, i.e. the Glorious Qur'ân and the Hadeeth.

2. Muslims are people like other People

Just like any other religion, in Islam there are also the same people. Those who hold wrong or foreign beliefs or simply misunderstand their own scriptures. Just as there are many Christian cults with foreign beliefs such as the KKK for example, there are some "so called" Muslims who hold some twisted beliefs that are foreign, strange and in many cases, contrary to the true teachings of Islam just as the KKK does. The religion of Christianity is not responsible for what some -the KKK- do in its name. And Islam can't be responsible for what wrong some do in its name.

Holding any religion responsible for the wrongdoing of its followers is not fair to:

  • That religion, whichever it is, because realistically, any religion is responsible only for what it teaches.
  • All religions, because there will always be somebody who is doing something wrong.
  • Ourselves, when we have to consider that all religions to be evil or bad.

3. Don’t judge a car by its driver:

If you want to judge how good is the latest model of the "Mercedes" car and a person who does not know how to drive sits at the steering wheel and bangs up the car, who will you blame? The car or the driver? But naturally, the driver. To analyze how good the car is, a person should not look at the driver but see the ability and features of the car. How fast is it, what is its average fuel consumption, what are the safety measures, etc. Even if I agree for the sake of argument that the Muslims are bad, we can’t judge Islam by its followers? If you want to judge how good Islam is then judge it according to its authentic sources, i.e. the Glorious Qur'ân and the Hadeeth.

5. Judge Islam by its best follower i.e. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh):

If you practically want to check how good a car is put an expert driver behind the steering wheel. Similarly the best and the most exemplary follower of Islam by whom you can check how good Islam is, is the last and final messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Besides Muslims, there are several honest and unbiased non-Muslim historians who have acclaimed that prophet Muhammad was the best human being. According to Michael H. Hart who wrote the book, ‘The Hundred Most Influential Men in History’, the topmost position, i.e. the number one position goes to the beloved prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh). There are several such examples of non-Muslims paying great tributes to the prophet, like Thomas Carlyle, La-Martine, etc.

Muslims best as a whole:

In spite of all the black sheep in the Muslim community, Muslims taken on the whole, yet form the best community in the world. We are the biggest community of tea-totallers as a whole, i.e. those who don’t imbibe alcohol. Collectively, we are a community that gives the maximum charity in the world. There is not a single person in the world who can even show a candle to the Muslims where modesty is concerned.

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Q21-Killing an animal is a ruthless act. Why then do Muslims consume non-vegetarian food?

Islam enjoins mercy and compassion for all living creatures. At the same time Islam maintains that Allah has created the earth and its wondrous flora and fauna for the benefit of mankind. It is up to mankind to use every resource in this world judiciously, as a Niyamat (Divine blessing) and Amaanat (trust) from Allaah.

Let us look at various other aspects of this argument.

1. A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian

A Muslim can be a very good Muslim despite being a pure vegetarian. It is not compulsory for a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food.

2. Qur'ân permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food

The Qur'ân, however permits a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food. The following Qur'ânic verses are proof of this fact: "O ye who believe! Fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals with the exceptions named." [Al-Qur'ân 5:1]

"And cattle He has created for you (men): from them Ye derive warmth, and numerous benefits, And of their (meat) ye eat." [Al-Qur'ân 16:5]

"And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: From within their bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides), numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat."

[Al-Qur'ân 23:21]

3. Meat is nutritious and rich in complete protein

Non-vegetarian food is a good source of excellent protein. It contains biologically complete protein i.e. all the 8 essential amino acid that are not synthesized by the body and should be supplied in the diet. Meat also contains iron, vitamin B1 and niacin.

4. Humans have omnivorous set of teeth

If you observe the teeth of herbivorous animals like the cow, goat and sheep, you will find something strikingly similar in all of them. All these animals have a set of flat teeth i.e. suited for herbivorous diet. If you observe the set of teeth of the carnivorous animals like the lion, tiger, or leopard, they all have a set of pointed teeth i.e. suited for a carnivorous diet. If you analyze the set of teeth of humans, you find that they have flat teeth as well as pointed teeth. Thus they have teeth suited for both herbivorous as well as carnivorous food i.e. they are omnivorous. One may ask, if Almighty God wanted humans to have only vegetables, why did He provide us also with pointed teeth? It is logical that He expected us to need and to have both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian foods.

5. Human beings can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food

The digestive system of herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. The digestive system of carnivorous animals can digest only meat. But the digestive system of humans can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. If Almighty God wanted us to have only vegetables then why did He give us a digestive system that can digest both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food?

6. Even plants have life

Certain religions have adopted pure vegetarianism as a dietary law because they are totally against the killing of living creatures. If a person can survive without killing any living creature, I would be the first person to adopt such a way of life. In the past people thought plants were lifeless. Today it is a universal fact that even plants have life. Thus their logic of not killing living creatures is not fulfilled even by being a pure vegetarian.

7. Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime

Once a vegetarian argued his case by saying that plants only have two or three senses while the animals have five senses. Therefore killing a plant is a lesser crime than killing an animal. Suppose your brother is born deaf and dumb and has two senses less as compared to other human beings. He becomes mature and someone murders him. Would you ask the judge to give the murderer a lesser punishment because your brother has two senses less? In fact you would say that he has killed a pure and an innocent person, and the judge should give the murderer a greater punishment.

8. Over population of cattle

If every human being was a vegetarian, it would lead to overpopulation of cattle in the world, since their reproduction and multiplication is very swift. Allah (swt) in His Divine Wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His creation appropriately. No wonder He has permitted us to have the meat of the cattle.

Islam does not order Muslims that they must eat meat, and does not object that one can choose to be a vegetarian. Yet, Allah (swt) in His Divine Wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His creation appropriately as He has permitted us to have the meat.

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Q1-What are the dietary prohibitions in Islam? What are Muslims allowed to eat and what are they not allowed to eat or drink? What is Halal food and what is Haram food in Islam?

Diet in Islam is based on the holy Quran and what it teaches. It is very simple and not too complicated as many would imagine. The basic rule is; all things are good and pure (Halal) except those that we are told they are not (Haram). Here are some examples from the Quran to show you the basic guidelines for the correct diet for Muslims:

"He hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless. For Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful" (2:173).

The commentary to the verse is as follows:

  • Dead meat: maitat: carrion; animal that dies of itself; the original Arabic has a slightly wider meaning given to it in Fiqah (Religious Law); anything that dies of itself and is not expressly killed for food with the Takbir duly pronounced on it. But there are exceptions, e.g., fish and locusts are lawful, though they have not been made specially halal with the Takbir. But even fish or locusts as carrion would be obviously ruled out.
  • For prohibited foods, cf. also Q. v. 4-5; vi. 121, 138-146; etc. The teachers of Fiqah (Religious Law) work out the details with great elaboration. My purpose is to present general principles, not technical details. Carrion or dead meat and blood as articles of food would obviously cause disgust to any refined person. So would swine's flesh where the swine live on offal. Where swine are fed artificially on clean food, the objections remain: (1) that they are filthy animals in other respects, and the flesh of filthy animals taken as food affects the eaten; (2) that swine's flesh has more fat than muscle-building material; and (3) that it is more liable to disease than other kinds of meat; e.g., trichinosis, characterized by hair-like worms in the muscular tissue.
  • As to food dedicated to idols or false gods, it is obviously unseemly for the Children of Unity to partake of it.

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful" (5:3).

The commentary to the verse is as follows:

  • The prohibition of dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which other names than that of Allah have been invoked, has been there explained.
  • If an animal dies by strangling, or by a violent blow, or a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, or by being attacked by a wild animal, the presumption is that it becomes carrion, as the life-blood is congealed before being taken out of the body. But the presumption can be rebutted. If the life-blood still flows and the solemn mode of slaughter (zabh in the name of Allah is carried out, it becomes lawful as food.
  • This was also an idolatrous rite, different from that in which a sacrifice was devoted to a particular idol or a false god.
  • Gambling of all kinds is forbidden (division by arrows or otherwise). A sort of lottery or raffle practiced by Pagan Arabs has been described in n. 241. Division of meat in this way is here forbidden, as it is a form of gambling.

"They ask thee what is lawful to them (as food). Say: lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and what ye have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by Allah. Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of Allah over it: and fear Allah; for Allah is swift in taking account" (5:4).

The commentary to the verse is as follows:

  • The previous verse was negative; it defined what was not lawful for food, viz., things gross, or disgusting, or dedicated to superstition. This verse is positive: it defines what is lawful, viz., all things that are good and pure.
  • In the matter of the killing for meat, the general rule is that the name of Allah, the true God should be pronounced as a rite in order to call our attention to the fact that we do not take life thoughtlessly but solemnly for food, with the permission of Allah, to whom we render the life back. The question of hunting is then raised. How can this solemn rite be performed when we send forth trained hawks, trained hounds, or trained cheetahs or other animals trained for the chase? They must necessarily kill at some distance from their masters. Their game is legalized on these conditions: (1) that they are trained to kill, not merely for their own appetite, or out of mere wantonness, but for their master's food; the training implies that something of the solemnity which Allah has taught us in this matter goes into their action; and (2) we are to pronounce the name of Allah over the quarry; this is interpreted to mean that the Takbir should be pronounced when the hawk or dog, etc., is released to the quarry.

"This day are (all) things good and pure things made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them…)" (5:5).

The commentary to the verse is as follows:

  • The question is for food generally, such as is ordinarily "good and pure": in the matter of meat it should be killed with some sort of solemnity analogous to that of the Takbir. The rules of Islam in this respect being analogous to those of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), there is no objection to mutual recognition, as opposed to meat killed by Pagans with superstitious rites. In this respect the Christian rule is the same: "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication." (Acts, xv. 29). Notice the bracketing of fornication with things unlawful to eat.

"O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?" (5:90-91).

The commentary to the verse is as follows:

  • Intoxicants; Wine: (Khamr): literally understood to mean the fermented juice of the grape; applied by analogy to all fermented liquor, and by further analogy to any intoxicating liquor or drug. There may possible be some benefit in it, but the harm is greater than the benefit, especially if we look at it from a social as well as an individual point of view.
  • Gambling: (maisir): literally, a means of getting something too easily, getting a profit without working for it; hence gambling. That is the principle on which gambling is prohibited. The form must familiar to the Arabs was gambling by casting lots by means of arrows, on the principle of a lottery: the arrows were marked, and served the same purpose as a modern lottery ticket. Something e.g., the carcass of a slaughtered animal, was divided into unequal parts. The marked arrows were drawn from a bag. Some were blank and those who drew them got nothing. Others indicated prizes, which were big or small. Whether you got a big share or a small share, or nothing, depended on pure luck, unless that was fraud also on the part of some persons concerned. The principle on which the objection is based is: that, even if there is no fraud, you gain what you have not earned, or lose on a mere chance. Dice and wagering are rightly held to be within the definition of gambling. But insurance is not gambling, when conducted on business principles. Here the basis for calculation is statistics on a large scale, from which mere chance is eliminated. The insurers themselves pay premia in proportion to risks, exactly and statistically calculated.
  • The stones there referred to, were stone altars or stone columns on which oil was poured for consecration, or slabs on which meat was sacrificed to idols. Any idolatrous or superstitious practices are here condemned. The ansab were objects of worship, and were common in Arabia before Islam. See Renan, "History of Israel", Chapter iv, and Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. Part 1. p. 154: Illustrations Nos. 123 and 123 bis are Phoenician columns of that kind, found in Malta.
  • The arrows there referred to, were used for the division of meat by a sort of lottery or rate. But arrows were also used for divination, i.e., for ascertaining lucky or unlucky moments, or learning the wishes of the heathen gods, as to whether men should undertake certain actions or not. All superstitions are condemned.

 

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Q2-Why is the eating of pork forbidden in Islam?

The fact that consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam is well known. The following points explain various aspects of this prohibition:

1. Pork prohibited in Qur'ân

The Qur'ân prohibits the consumption of pork in no less than 4 different places. It is prohibited in 2:173, 5:3, 6:145 and 16:115.

"Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah." [Al-Qur'ân 5:3]

The above verses of the Holy Qur'ân are sufficient to satisfy a Muslim as to why pork is forbidden.

2. Pork prohibited in the Bible

The Christian is likely to be convinced by his religious scriptures. The Bible prohibits the consumption of pork, in the book of Leviticus

"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you". "Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you." [Leviticus 11:7-8]

Pork is also prohibited in the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy

"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass." [Deuteronomy 14:8]

A similar prohibition is repeated in the Bible in the book of Isaiah chapter 65 verse 2-5.

3. Pork has fat building material

Pork has very little muscle building material and contains excess of fat. This fat gets deposited in the vessels and can cause hypertension and heart attack. It is not surprising that over 50% of Americans suffer from hypertension.

4. Consumption of pork causes several diseases

The other non-Muslims and atheists will agree only if convinced through reason, logic and science. Eating of pork can cause no less than seventy different types of diseases. A person can have various helminthes like roundworm, pinworm, hookworm, etc. One of the most dangerous is Taenia Solium, which is in lay man’s terminology called tapeworm. It harbors in the intestine and is very long. Its ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack, if it enters the eye it can cause blindness, if it enters the liver it can cause liver damage. It can damage almost all the organs of the body.

Another dangerous helminthes is Trichura Tichurasis.

A common misconception about pork is that if it is cooked well, these ova die. In a research project undertaken in the United States, it was found that out of twenty-four people suffering from Trichura Tichurasis, twenty-two had cooked the pork very well. This indicates that the ova present in the pork do not die under normal cooking temperature.

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Q3-Why is the consumption of alcohol prohibited in Islam?

Alcohol has been the scourge of human society since time immemorial. It continues to cost countless human lives, and causes terrible misery to millions throughout the world. Alcohol is the root cause of several problems facing society. The statistics of soaring crime rates, increasing instances of mental illnesses and millions of broken homes throughout the world bear mute testimony to the destructive power of alcohol.

1. Prohibition of alcohol in the Qur'ân

The Glorious Qur'ân prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following verse: "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and Gambling, (Dedication of) stones, And (divination by) arrows, Are an Abomination – Of Satan’s handiwork; Eschew such (abomination), That ye may prosper." [Al-Qur'ân 5:90]

2. Prohibition of alcohol in the Bible

The Bible prohibits the consumption of alcohol in the following verses:

a. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

[Proverbs 20:1]

b. "And be not drunk with wine." [Ephesians 5:18]

3. Alcohol inhibits the inhibitory center

The human beings possess an inhibitory centre in their brains. This inhibitory centre prevents the person from doing things that he considers wrong. For instance a person does not normally use abusive language while addressing his parents or elders. If he has to answer the call of nature, his inhibitory centre will prevent him from doing so in public. Therefore he uses the toilet.

When a person consumes alcohol, the inhibitory centre itself is inhibited. That is precisely the reason that an inebriated person is often found to be indulging in behaviour that is completely uncharacteristic of him. For instance the intoxicated person is found to use abusive and foul language and does not realize his mistake even if he is addressing his parents. Many even urinate in their clothes. Neither do they talk nor walk properly. They even misbehave.

4. Cases of adultery, rape, incest and AIDS are found more among alcoholics

According to National Crime Victimization Survey Bureau of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice) in the year 1996 alone everyday on an average 2,713 rapes took place. The statistics tell us that the majority of the rapists, were intoxicated while committing the crime. The same is true in cases of molestation.

According to statistics, 8% of Americans commit incest i.e. one in every twelve to thirteen persons in America is involved in incest. Almost all the cases of incest are due to intoxication of one or both the persons involved.

One of the major factors associated with the spread of AIDS, the most dreaded disease, is alcoholism.

5. Every alcoholic was initially a social drinker

Many may argue in favor of liquor by calling themselves ‘social drinkers’. They claim that they only have one or two pegs and they have self-control and so never get intoxicated. Investigations reveal that every alcoholic started as a social drinker. Not a single alcoholic or drunkard initially starts drinking with the intention of becoming an alcoholic or a drunkard. No social drinker can say that I have been having alcohol for several years and that I have so much self-control that I have never been intoxicated even a single time.

6. If a person is intoxicated just once and commits something shameful, it will remain with him for a lifetime.

Suppose a ‘social drinker’ loses his self-control just once. In a state of intoxication he commits rape or incest. Even if the act is later regretted, a normal human being is likely to carry the guilt throughout his life. Both the perpetrator and the victim are irreparably and irreversibly damaged.

7. Alcohol is prohibited in the Hadith

The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

a. In Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3371.

"Alcohol is the mother of all evils and it is the most shameful of evils."

b. In Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3392

"Anything which intoxicates in a large quantity, is prohibited even in a small quantity."

Thus there is no excuse for a nip or a tot.

c. Not only those who drink alcohol are cursed but also those who deal with them directly or indirectly are cursed by Allaah.

According to Sunan Ibn-I-Majah Volume 3, Book of Intoxicants, Chapter 30 Hadith No. 3380.

It was reported by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "God’s curse falls on ten groups of people who deal with alcohol. The one who distills it, the one for whom it has been distilled, the one who drinks it, the one who transports it, the one to who it has been brought, the one whom serves it, the one who sells it, the one who utilizes money from it, the one who buys it and the one who buys it for someone else."

8. Diseases associated with alcoholism

There are several scientific reasons for the prohibition of consumption of intoxicants i.e. alcohol. The maximum number of deaths in the world related to any one particular cause is due to the consumption of alcohol. Millions of people die every year only because of intake of alcohol. I need not go into the details of all the ill-effects of alcohol since most of them are commonly known. Below is a simple list of few of the alcohol related illnesses:

1. Cirrhosis of Liver is the most well known alcohol associated disease.

2. Others are Cancer of Oesophagus, Cancer of Head and Neck, Cancer of Liver (Hepatoma), Cancer of Bowel, etc.

3. Oesophagitis, Gastritis, Pancreatitis and Hepatitis are linked with alcohol consumption.

4. Cardiomyopathy, Hypertension, Coronary Artherosclerosis, Angina and Heart Attacks are linked with heavy alcohol intakes.

5. Strokes, Apoplexy, Fits and different types of Paralysis are linked with alcohol intake.

6. Peripheral Neuropathy, Cortical Atrophy, Cerebellar Atrophy are well-known syndromes caused by alcohol consumption.

7. WernickeKorsakoff syndrome with amnesia of recent events, confabulations and retainment of memory to old events with different types of paralysis are mainly due to thiamine deficiency due to excessive alcohol intake.

8. Beriberi and other deficiencies are not uncommon among alcoholics. Even Pellagra occurs in alcoholics.

9. Delerium Tremens is a serious complication that may occur during recurrent infection of alcoholics or post operatively. It also occurs during abstention as a sign of withdrawal effect. It is quite serious and may cause death even if treated in well equipped centres.

10. Numerous Endocrine Disorders have been associated with alcoholism ranging from Myxodema to Hyperthyroidism and Florid Cushing Syndrome.

11. Hematological ill effects are long and variable. Folic acid deficiency, however, is the most common manifestation of alcoholic abuse resulting in Macrocytic Anemia. Zeive’s syndrome is a triad of Hemolytic Anemia, Jaundice and Hyperlipaedemia that follows alcoholic binges.

12. Thrombocytopenia and other platelet abnormalities are not rare in alcoholics.

13. The commonly used tablet metronidazole (flagyl) interacts badly with alcohol.

14. Recurrent infection is very common among chronic alcoholics. The resistance to disease and the immunological defense system are compromised by alcohol intake.

15. Chest infections are notorious in alcoholics. Pneumonia, Lung Abcess, Emphysema and Pulmonary Tuberculosis are all common in alcoholics.

16. During acute alcoholic intoxication, the drunk person usually vomits, the cough reflexes which are protective are paralysed. The vomitus thus easily pass to the lung causing Pneumonia or Lung Abscess. Occasionally it may even cause suffocation and death.

17. The ill effects of alcohol consumption on women deserves special mention. Females are more vulnerable to alcohol-related Cirrhosis than men. During pregnancy alcohol consumption has a severe detrimental effect on the foetus. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is being recognised more and more in the medical profession.

18. Skin diseases are also related to alcohol indulgence.

19. Eczema, Alopecia, Nail Dystrophy, Paronychia (infection around the nails) and Angular Stomatitis (inflammation of the angle of the mouth) are common diseases among alcoholics.

9. Alcoholism is a 'disease'…!?

Medical doctors have now turned liberal towards alcoholics and call alcoholism a disease rather than an addiction.

The Islamic Research Foundation has published a pamphlet that says:

If alcohol is a disease, it is the only disease that:

- Is sold in bottles

- Is advertised in newspapers, magazines, on radio and television

- Has licensed outlets to spread it

- Produces revenue for the government

- Brings violent deaths on the highways

- Destroys family life and increases crime

- Has no germs or viral cause

ALCOHOLISM IS NOT A DISEASE – IT IS SATAN’S HANDIWORK

Allaah (swt) in His Infinite Wisdom has warned us against this snare of Satan. Islam is called the "Deen-ul-Fitrah" or the natural religion of Man. All its injunctions are aimed at preserving the natural state of man. Alcohol is a deviation from this natural state, for the individual as well as for society. It degrades man to a level below that of the beasts he claims to be superior to. Hence the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam.

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Q4-What is Sharia?

Sharia is the comprehensive Muslim law derived form two sources, a) the Qur’an b) the Sunnah or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (P). It covers every aspect of daily individual and collective living. The purpose of Islamic laws are protection of individuals' basic human rights to include right to life, property, political and religious freedom and safeguarding the rights of women and minorities. The low crime rate in Muslim societies is due to the application of the Islamic laws.

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Q5-When Islam is against idol worship why do the Muslims worship, and bow down to the Ka'abah idol in Their Prayer?

Kabah is the cubical structure in the city of Mecca, which Muslims face at the time of their prayers.

Ka'abah is the Qiblah i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Ka'abah during prayers, they do not worship the Ka'abah. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah: "We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction." [Al-Qur'ân 2:144]

1. Islam believes in fostering unity

For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south. In order to unite Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Ka'abah. If some Muslims live towards the west of the Ka'abah they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Ka'abah they face the west.

2. Ka'abah is at the Center of the World Map

The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Kaaba was at the center. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah the Ka'abah is at the center of the world map.

3. Tawaf around Ka'abah for indicating one God

When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaf or circumambulation round the Ka'abah. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.

4. Hadith of Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him)

Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a Hadeeth (tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you".

5. People stood on Ka'abah and gave the adhaan

At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Ka'abah and gave the ‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims worship the Ka'abah; which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships?

6. Which direction is Kabah?

Muslims try to find out which direction the Kabah is, in order to face while performing their prayers. Yet if they were not sure which direction is it then they should pray to the direction where they would suppose to be the correct one. Had they been worshipping Kabah itself, it would be unrealistic that they would be allowed to do their prayers any way even though they are not facing the correct direction of Kabah. But because they worship God and not the Kabah, they are allowed to worship even if they did not know to which direction to turn, because there will always be…God;

"It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in God and the Last Day, and…" The Holy Quran (2.177)

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Q6-How could Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword, or that it was spread by force? Isn't it true that the meaning of the word Islam is submission, meaning that the Muslims must -have the right- to force others to submit to Islam even by the use of force, sword or under the edge of the sword?

Without proofs, it is easy for anybody to make THE CLAIM that Islam was spread by force. We will share with you some PROOFS of our claim, that nothing other than the force of truth, reason and logic spread Islam. As we share with you some of the facts, we hope you would consider the source that makes such "FALSE CLAIM".

1. WESTERN CONVERTS TODAY

If you get to visit any of the Islamic centers or Mosques in the Western Hemisphere, especially in big cities, you will find a large number of westerners, both men and women worshipping there. These people had the chance to find out about the true Islam and decided to become Muslims.

How did Muslims force these converts in their own free western world to accept Islam? What weapon did Muslims use against those who were born and raised in other faiths to force them to accept Islam?

2. HUGE INCREASE MUSLIM POPULATION IN 50 YEARS

An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, yearbook 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At THE TOP WAS ISLAM, WHICH INCREASED BY 235%, AND CHRISTIANITY HAD INCREASED ONLY BY 47%…!?

May one ask: Which war did Muslims lead against the whole world between 1934 and 1984 that converted millions of people to Islam?

3. ISLAM IN THE DISTANT PARTS OF THE WORLD

Indonesia and Malaysia provide another example supporting that Islam was not accepted by force. The number of Muslims in these two countries alone exceeds the Muslims in all the Arabic speaking countries combined, which leave us with a few questions, such as:

· How did Islam flourish there?

· How was Islam introduced to these non-Muslim lands, which were simply too far from any "military" reach?

Islam was introduced to that side of the world through MERCHANTS, who went there for business. They were exemplary in character in dealing with the non-Muslims they encountered, by treating them with respect and trading in commerce honestly (two core attributes of Muslim character). Muslims did not have the ability to cross all that land and sea from Arabia to spread in Indonesia by force. Rather, through those good and honest Muslim MERCHANTS, Islam was accepted there by way of example.

4. LET THE 14 MILLION TESTIFY

Muslims were the rules of the Arab world, a good portion of Asia Minor and all of North Africa for about 1400 years and that's how the official language have become the language of the Quran, the Arabic language. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled the Arab world most of the time. Yet today, there is an estimated 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians, Christians, Catholics and also Jews. They have held their religion for all these generations through these 1400 years. If the Muslims had used the sword as many "CLAIM", there would have not been a single Arab who would have remained on his other religion. Especially when we consider that Muslims could have done with Non-Muslims as they please and did not have to worry about the Geneva Convention or the U.N at that time.

5. OLD BUILDINGS' TESTIMONY

In countries where the dominant religion is Islam, there are many old churches and synagogues that are older than the inception of Islam -- more than 1400 years. If Islam does not teach tolerance and respect to other faiths, then why would Muslims keep those buildings with their monks, priests and even their own scriptures, long before any of today's modern human rights and other world organizations such as the U.N?

6. NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION

It is very clear in (2:256): "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error, whoever rejects Taghut (anything other than the real God, false deities, Satan, idols and so on) and believes in God, hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things".

Again we find: "Say: The truth is from your Lord; Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject". (18:29)

7. MORE HYPOCRITES?

The Holy Quran also warned Muhammad (pbuh) and Muslims against HYPOCRISY and THE HYPOCRITES. The Quran describes the hypocrites as:

"Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in God and the Last Day, but they do not (really) believe". (2:8)

In fact there is a whole chapter (63) that is entitled The Hypocrites. Any rational mind will find it extremely difficult to believe that Islam teaches forcing others to accept it even if they were not convinced with it, only to create more HYPOCRITES.

  • These are some of our "ADULT PROOFS" that Islam was not spread by force. These are not some articles in a newspaper, a history book that was published by a specific interest organization or something that somebody said on the TV. These are logical, practical, true and indisputable proofs.

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Q7-Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since the Qur’an says that Muslims should kill the Kafirs (Non-believers, pagans or infidels) where ever they find them (9:5)?

1. Misquoting any scriptures

All scriptures, no matter which ones, are subject to being misquoted by those who would use them to satisfy their own agenda or by those who simply lack an underlying understanding of the contextual elements of the verses at hand. If a scripture says; "God is one" it will be hard to misquote such a verse. However, other more layered verses become targets of misquotation. In this paper we will look at some examples of these misquotations that has been used against Islam. A proof of that is that we usually hear or read about all these negative verse, but not once we have heard the context or at least what does the following verse says…!

2. What's the context?

As a very basic right in any civilized community, Muslims as well as all other people are entitled to defend themselves. However, when the Revelation of the Quran first commenced, Muslims were not even allowed to fight back in self-defense.

The tribe of Quraish in Mecca saw their position as guardians for the "house of Abraham" threatened. They kept idols for different (gods), those idols were worshipped by many tribes in the area, while Muhammad (peace be upon him) called for belief in One God. Blinded by ignorance, the tribe of Quraish thought it must dismantle this new religion that called for submission to One God to replace their many Gods that were under their guardianship.

During the first few years of Islam, Muslims were persecuted in Mecca, where Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) started calling for Islam. Many were killed and others suffered persecution and humiliation. It was ten long years before Muhammad (pbuh) was commanded to migrate with whoever survived of his followers to Medina, which is about 260 miles North of Mecca. The powerful tribe of Quraish in Mecca, trying to finish off Islam and Muslims, was unable to stop the successful departure of Muslims from Mecca. For those still residing in Mecca, the Quraish decided to finish them all for good and they increased their hold on the city. They started by taking all the properties that belonged to Muslims, thus trying to prevent them from leaving Mecca on foot for the arduous 260 miles trip through in the desert.

Many Muslims still had the courage to leave the city on foot for the sake of God, so the Quraish plotted to kill everyone who left the city for Medina by intercepting them in the desert. After Muhammad (pbuh) made sure that every one of his followers had left the city, he too fled the city of Mecca with his closest friend, Abou Baker after miraculously surviving the assassination plot the tribe of Quraish had planned for him. Three years later, after a total of thirteen years of persecution, humiliation and killing, God allowed Muslims the right for self-defense by declaring to them the following verse: "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors". (2:190)

Unfortunately, this self-defense has been generally misinterpreted and maliciously misconstrued by many, in an attempt to show that the commandments were a declaration of war for Muslims against everybody else. You might have heard this quotation from chapter 9, which states: "slay the Non-believers (infidels) wherever ye find them", which has been quoted repeatedly out of context. Let's take a closer look at this verse and its meaning:

Chapter 9 starts by clearly pointing out to whom the commandment apply. Specifically, these commandments were concerning:"…those of the pagans (Non-believers or infidels) with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances" (9:1). More specifically, those who did not honor the treaty and committed aggression towards Muslims, as we will see in (9:4), yet Muslims were still unable to dissolve their treaty until Allah (God in Arabic) had commanded Muslims to dissolve their part of the " treaty " too.

(9:2) "Go ye, then, for four months, (as ye will), throughout the land…" The Prophet was directed to give his enemies a four-month grace period, a cessation of hostilities, during which they could review their attitude and plans towards Islam and Muslims. Had the commandment been just to "storm them all and kill them all" there would be no need to allow such long period for warning.

Some also have misunderstood the word " people" in verse (9:3) which says: " This is a proclamation from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage…" to refer to all humankind. Or to make the verse sounds as if it is a command for Muslims to wage war against all people, overlooking the exception found immediately in the next verse. In (9:4), the exceptions are:

" … Those idolaters who have honored their treaties with you in every detail and have not aided anyone else against you"

  • THE MEANING COULD NOT BE CLEARER OR MORE UNEQUIVOCAL, IT ONLY CONCERNS THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED AGGRESSION AGAINST MUSLIMS AND VIOLATED THEIR RIGHTS, EVEN THOUGH MUSLIMS HAD SIGNED A PEACE TREATY WITH THEM AND HONORED IT PEACEFULLY.

In (9:5) God commanded Muslims to fight back after they exercised patience for years, losing many lives and masses of properties. At that time The unbelievers (infidels) were the enemy who committed all forms of aggression against the Muslims, that's why God commanded Muslims at that time to fight back: "Slay the Pagans (Non-believers or infidels) wherever ye find them". With the exception found in (9:4): " … Those idolaters who have honored their treaties with you in every detail and have not aided anyone else against you"

3. Example from another history

We know that Great Britain once colonized many other countries in the world including the U.S. It is normal to expect all people of these "colonized" countries to seek independence from Britain. Suppose that George Washington as the commander in chief of the continental army in the American Revolution against Britain, was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war and he said: "Whenever and wherever you find the British, kill them". Today if I say that George Washington said: "Whenever and wherever you find the British, kill them", without giving the context, I will make him sound as if he was an evil butcher who's only goal is to kill the British people -not the soldiers- for no reason. Yet, considering the situation as a whole and quoting him in context as to when that statement was made, wouldn't what George Washington have said -in the example- sound logical?

4. What about those caught in the middle?

In every conflict there are innocent people who have no inclination to support either of the fighting sides. The prophet was instructed to guarantee such people safety and security and secure for them right of passage until they reached their safe lands. God said:

"If one amongst the Non-believers ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are people without knowledge" (9:6).

5. Chapter 9 verses 1-6… promote violence, bloodshed and brutality against Non-Muslims?

Now that you have seen for yourself the context and the situation in its reality as to when were these verses revealed, not as some misquoted it. How could these verses be simply an advocacy of aggression or warmongering? As you have seen, a careful examination of the above verses reveals the following critical points:

  1. Muslims, as well as others in any civilized community, are entitled to SELF-DEFENSE.
  2. The enemy who Muslims had to defend themselves against -at the time- happened to be A CERTAIN GROUP of infidels (Non-believers).
  3. It could have not been simply a declaration of war against all the Non-Muslims or infidels because of:
    1. The exception of those who did not violate Muslims rights or committed aggression towards them in (9:4).
    2. The commandment of offering protection of those caught in the middle in (9:6).

6. Prisoners of war

The Islamic law, "the Shari'a", is a comprehensive law, it covers most aspects of life in the most practical way, when taken as a whole or in its complete form, not when misquoted. If it so happen that a war situation arises and if Muslims should have the upper hand, then what should be done with captives of war (P.O.W)?

With the (false) idea that Muslims are out there to fight and kill all those who are Non-Muslims, one should expect that Muslims would not grant captives their lives, especially those who are warriors who could return to fight again later. This would be the only logical action against the P.O.W, if Muslims goal were to kill the infidels. Yet, according to the "Shari'a", Muslims cannot kill children, women, elders, Monks or the enemy warriors who surrender or those who were injured and their injuries prevent them from causing harm to Muslims. As the Holy Quran teaches:

"…When ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind (the captives) firmly: Thereafter (is the time for) either generosity (i.e. free them without ransom) or ransom". (4:8)

If Islam commands Muslims to rage war against all others, why would it forbid them from killing everybody even the captives? Over fourteen hundred years ago, while every army at the time cared only of achieving a sweeping victory taking no prisoners, over thirteen hundred years before the civilized Geneva Convention?

MUHAMMAD (PBUH) THE VICTORIOUS

Right before his death, Muhammad (pbuh) finally was able to come back to Mecca claiming victory against those who chased him, killed his followers and confiscated their properties. While he had the upper hand at that time, what would have stopped him from killing all those who opposed him in Mecca? Who could have prevented Muhammad (pbuh) from taking all the Non-Muslims at that time to be prisoners for the rest of their lives so they won't cause him any trouble later? Yet, he gathered all those who were Non-Muslims and gave his famous speech, with which he ended with: "Go, you are free"!

 

ISLAM BY FORCE

Without proofs, it is easy for anybody to make the "CLAIM " that Islam was spread by force. We will share with you some PROOFS of our claim, that nothing other than the force of truth, reason and logic spread Islam. As we share with you some of the facts and some history of Islam.

 

1. Western converts today

If you get to visit any of the Islamic centers or Mosques in the Western Hemisphere, especially in big cities, you will find a large number of westerners, both men and women worshipping there. These people had the chance to find out about the true Islam and decided to become Muslims. How did Muslims force these converts in their own free western world to accept Islam? What weapon did Muslims use against those who were born and raised in other faiths to force them to accept Islam?

 

2. Huge increase Muslim population in 50 years

An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, yearbook 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At THE TOP WAS ISLAM, WHICH INCREASED BY 235%, AND CHRISTIANITY HAD INCREASED ONLY BY 47%…!?

May one ask: Which war did Muslims lead against the whole world between 1934 and 1984 that converted millions of people to Islam?

 

3. Islam in the distant parts of the world

Indonesia and Malaysia provide another example supporting that Islam was not accepted by force. The number of Muslims in these two countries alone exceeds the Muslims in all the Arabic speaking countries combined, which leave us with a few questions, such as:

· How did Islam flourish there?

· How was Islam introduced to these non-Muslim lands, which were simply too far from any "military" reach?

 

Islam was introduced to that side of the world through MERCHANTS, who went there for business. They were exemplary in character in dealing with the non-Muslims they encountered, by treating them with respect and trading in commerce honestly (two core attributes of Muslim character). Muslims did not have the ability to cross all that land and sea from Arabia to spread in Indonesia by force. Rather, through those good and honest Muslim MERCHANTS, Islam was accepted there by way of example.

 

4. Let the 14 million testify

Muslims were the rules of the Arab world, a good portion of Asia Minor and all of North Africa for about 1400 years and that's how the official language have become the language of the Quran, the Arabic language. For a few years the British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled the Arab world most of the time. Yet today, there is an estimated 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians, Christians, Catholics and also Jews. They have held their religion for all these generations through these 1400 years. If the Muslims had used the sword as many "CLAIM", there would have not been a single Arab who would have remained on his other religion. Especially when we consider that Muslims could have done with Non-Muslims as they pleased and did not have to worry about the Geneva Convention or the U.N at that time.

 

5. Old buildings' testimony

In countries where the dominant religion is Islam, there are many old churches and synagogues that are older than the inception of Islam -- more than 1400 years. If Islam does not teach tolerance and respect to other faiths, then why would Muslims keep those buildings with their monks, priests and even their own scriptures, long before any of today's modern human rights and other world organizations such as the U.N?

 

6. No compulsion in religion

It is very clear in (2:256): "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from Error, whoever rejects Taghut (anything other than the real God, false deities, Satan, idols and so on) and believes in God, hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things".

Again we find: "Say: The truth is from your Lord; Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject". (18:29)

 

7. More hypocrites?

The Holy Quran also warned Muhammad (pbuh) and Muslims against HYPOCRISY and THE HYPOCRITES. The Quran describes the hypocrites as:

"Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in God and the Last Day, but they do not (really) believe". (2:8)

 

In fact there is a whole chapter (63) that is entitled The Hypocrites. Any rational mind will find it extremely difficult to believe that Islam teaches forcing others to accept it even if they were not convinced with it, only to create more HYPOCRITES.

 

  • These are some of our "ADULT PROOFS" that Islam was not spread by force. These are not some articles in a newspaper, a history book that was published by a specific interest organization or something that somebody said on the TV. These are logical, practical, true and indisputable proofs.

 

NON-MUSLIM PARENTS AND NEIGHBORS

Islam engages all aspects of life, such as dealings with Non-Muslims in our community and in our immediate family. The Quran sets the standards for how to treat them:

In the verse (49:13) the Quran teaches that we all are brothers and sisters of humanity, descended from the same "single (pair) of a male and a female", so that "ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other".

Again we find in 4:36 "Serve God, and join not any partners with Him; and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers. The companion by your side, the wayfarer -traveler- (ye meet)".

 

In chapter 107, the Quran criticizes those who don't do small favors for their neighbors;

"So woe to the worshippers. Who are neglectful of their prayers. Those who (want but) to be seen (of men). But refuse (to supply) (even) neighborly needs. (107:4)

Doing good to one's parents is the same commandment which Muslims have to follow concerning their neighbors. Yet, not only do Muslims have to do good and care for their immediate neighbors, but they also help those who are strangers or far away neighbors, no matter what belief they hold. Muslims must also assist those who are travelers, i.e. to those whom they may meet only once in their lifetime.

Honoring parents is taught in many places in the Quran (2:83, 2:215, 4:36, 31:14-15, 17:23-24 and 46:15-17). Even when a person decides to accept Islam while his family are not Muslims, the Quran teaches that one still is obligated to be kind to them (31:14): "And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning in two years. Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life kindly. And follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you all that ye did."

 

DONATION MONEY

In chapter 2 verse 215, Muslims are commanded that their charity: " (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer -an alien traveler", regardless to their religion. Also according to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law), money from the general donation (Sadakah) can be given to those who are Non-Muslims. If Islam teaches that Non-Muslims are enemies that should be fought at all times as many claim, then how could it at the same time allow them to benefit from money that is donated by Muslims?

 

BUSINESS PARTNERS

According to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law), Muslims -men and women- can take business partners who are Non-Muslims. In today's Hi-Tech age, one can take a business partner over the phone or after signing a piece of paper. Historically in Arabia, all that was available to many was a handshake and a promise. A merchant in many cases had to travel across the desert for days or weeks with money, goods or livestock. Business partners traveling together in the desert for days or weeks had to have known each other enough to trust each other. When the prophet died, a shield of his was found in the trust of a Jewish citizen of Medinah (the name of the city where he died).

 

PARTNERS IN MARRIAGE

According to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law) and (5:5) in the Quran, a Muslim man can marry a woman from the people of the Book (Jew or Christian). A tenet of Islam is respect for these two religions. Since marriage is based on -among other things- respect, and Islam recognizes Judaism and Christianity as religions of divine origin. As such, ISLAM guaranties a Jewish or a Christian wife the respect for the beliefs of her faith, her Scriptures and her Prophets. There are many sound reasons why a Muslim woman can't marry a Jewish or a Christian man. One reason is that Islam, like all other religions, considers the man to be the head of the house and the one responsible for the major decisions. Unlike Islam, Judaism and Christianity don't recognize Islam as a divine religion. It would, therefore, be feasible -from the Islamic perspective- that a Musliim woman would not be granted respect for her faith or Prophet, since the RELIGION of a Jewish or a Christian husband does not regard Islam to be "divine" or the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) to be a true Prophet.

 

As for the polytheists or atheists or others of non-Abrahamic faiths, Muslims cannot take those for a spouse. Marriage in Islam is not regarded as merely a physical relationship, nor that it is a social custom; it is regarded as a religious act, with its own rituals, rules and obligations, similar to those of the people of the Book. Thus, Islam -among other reasons- can't force anyone who does not accept God (an atheist for example) to be obliged to these religious rules which were set by God.

 

    • It is certainly unreasonable to suggest that Islam teaches Muslims not to take the people of the Book as friends, yet it allows a Muslim man to take one as a wife to be his partner for life, one to share with him his life his wealth and his children.

BEFRIEND OR NOT TO BE

Another verse that has been misunderstood by many from being quoted out of context deals with the issue of Muslims being friends with Jews or Christians: "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship and protection) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust". (5:51)

We have seen earlier how Islam encourages Muslims to establish a dialogue with the people of the book, urges them to care for their neighbors regardless to the religion, and allows Muslims to marry them. So how could it forbid Muslims from having them as friends? If the meaning intended in (5:51) were not to take "ALL" the Jews and the Christians as friends, then what would be the meaning of this verse that follows only 5 verses later: "O ye who believe! Take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport, whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear ye God, if ye have faith (indeed). When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding. (5:57-58)

Thus, it is clear that what God is commanding Muslims here is only logical. Those who enjoy mocking Islam and its way of worshipping God, a way that is similar to the followers of other Messengers such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them), can't be true friends for a Muslim. For friendship would have obligated them to respect Muslims and their religion.

A closer look to other verses in the same context will reveal even more details, as we read:

"Your (real) friends and protectors are (no less than) God, His Apostle, and the believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship)". (5:55)

Who should be the true friend and protector for Muslims? The verse answers: "God, His Apostle and the believers". One can see how to be a friend of other believers, but how could one be a friend of God?

In Islam, one can establish a strong relationship with God, where God is present in one's life, overseeing and protecting him or her. This would be the meaning that most Muslims understand from verse (5:55) and not having a friendship with God that is similar to that of you and me as equal humans. The meaning understood then is not friendship, but protection.

 

Protection is something that is provided by a ruler or a government. In any community with certain beliefs, everyone in that community would like to have a leader with the same beliefs, too. A Christian community, for example, would support a pious Christian as a ruler and protector, not somebody who has an opposing belief to that of Christianity to regulate their lives. So is the case for an Islamic community, whose ruler or protector (after God) should be a Muslim, too.

As for friendship, you have seen earlier that a Muslim is obligated to care for his parents even if they were Non-Muslims, his Non-Muslim neighbors and so on. In fact, Muslims are instructed to be kind to others regardless of faith: "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just. (60:8)

  • Friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims is a major reason for those new converts who become Muslims later. Through their friendship with Muslims they have come to know the TRUE ISLAM.

DEBATES AND ANSWERS

In many historical incidents, there were debates between Muhammad (pbuh) and others that held certain differing beliefs. The Quran has recorded such incidents and has provided answers to their questions. The story of chapter 112 -in short- was that a group of Christians debated with the Prophet and compared what they heard about the new religion with their own beliefs. God gave the answer in that chapter:

 

"Say: He is Allah, the One. God, the Eternal, Absolute. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him". (112:1-4)

 

Had it been the policy of Islam to force others into accepting it, the following would have been the reality through the Quran:

  1. Christians -or others- would not be allowed to question Muhammad (pbuh).
  2. Debates would not be allowed, lest they undermine Islam's position.
  3. No answers would have been granted for such discourses, especially in the Quran.

 

KILLING THE AN INNOCENT

Finally, the ruling for killing an innocent (Muslim or Non-Muslim) in Islam is similar to the ruling that was given to the children of Israel (i.e. in the Old Testament):

"If any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people". (5:32)

If Islam teaches the killing of others, it would have devalued their souls and promised no punishments for killing them, or made the price much different from killing a Muslim for example.

 

What about those "negative" verses we hear about everywhere?

It is easy for anybody can misquote any scriptures and make it sound negative. Here is an example:

Did you know the Quran teaches: There is no God…?

So how is it that Muslims claim to worship the One and the only God?

If you read the rest of the verse you will find out, as it accurately reads:

"God! There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal". (2:255)

 

Did you also know that the Bible teaches the same? There is no God…!

"Now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel." Second kings (5:15)

Any scripture can fall prey to misquotation, if the one misquoting it makes a bet that you will not verify it for yourself.

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Why the Islamic culture in the Middle East is always not so good? Why does the culture of Islam seem so unbelievable? Why do governments in the Islamic cultures do strange things?

For many, the culture in the Middle East or in countries such as Afghanistan is "Islamic" culture. To them also, culture in the west is a "Christian" or a culture that is based on the Bible. However, in the west, the cultures of north America for example is much different from that found in South America. There are also countries in Africa where the major religion is Christianity, South Africa for example, yet the culture in a country like South Africa is much different than both North America and South America. This will have to mean that cultures are not usually based on a religion.

It is almost normal in all western countries to allow and protect laws that give pregnant women THE RIGHT TO KILL THEIR OWN UNBORN CHILDREN. Would it be reasonable to conclude that since the major religion of such country happened to be Christianity for example, that it is Christian to kill?

The case is the same with many countries where the major religion is Islam too. Some of these governments or people do things that are against Islam. It would be illogical therefore to hold any religion responsible for what any government or people do, especially when what is being done is against that religion.

  • Since almost all countries do not involve religion in the decision making of the government. Therefore it would be illogical to hold any religion responsible for what any government does, especially when what is being done is against that religion.

We need to be able to distinguish between cultures and religions. A western culture is not necessarily a Christian culture, especially when it adopts that which against Christianity. And the same goes for the Middle East, Afghanistan and Islam.

If one would like to understand Christianity, he or she should study the religion from its appropriate sources, but not judge it with what some do. The same is for Islam too, when one needs to find out what Islam truly is, he or she needs to read the Quran and the Hadith, but not judge Islam with what some do.

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Why Muslims can't have Christian or Jews friends? Could a Muslim have friends who are not Muslims? Why does Quran teach Muslims to be unfriendly with others (non-Muslims or people of the Book, i.e. the Jews and the Christians) in (5:51)?

Another verse that has been misunderstood by many from being quoted out of context deals with the issue of Muslims being friends with Jews or Christians: "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship and protection) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust". (5:51)

If the meaning intended in (5:51) were not to take "ALL" the Jews and the Christians as friends, then what would be the meaning of this verse that follows only 5 verses later: "O ye who believe! Take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport, whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear ye God, if ye have faith (indeed). When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding. (5:57-58)

Thus, it is clear that what God is commanding Muslims here is only logical. Those who enjoy mocking Islam and its way of worshipping God, a way that is similar to the followers of other Messengers such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them), can't be true friends for a Muslim. For friendship would have obligated them to respect Muslims and their religion.

A closer look to other verses in the same context will reveal even more details, as we read:

"Your (real) friends and protectors are (no less than) God, His Apostle, and the believers, those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship)". (5:55)

Who should be the true friend and protector for Muslims? The verse answers: "God, His Apostle and the believers". One can see how to be a friend of other believers, but how could one be a friend of God?

In Islam, one can establish a strong relationship with God, where God is present in one's life, overseeing and protecting him or her. This would be the meaning that most Muslims understand from verse (5:55) and not having a friendship with God that is similar to that of you and me as equal humans. The meaning understood then is not friendship, but protection.

Protection is something that is provided by a ruler or a government. In any community with certain beliefs, everyone in that community would like to have a leader with the same beliefs, too. A Christian community, for example, would support a pious Christian as a ruler and protector, not somebody who has an opposing belief to that of Christianity to regulate their lives. So is the case for an Islamic community, whose ruler or protector (after God) should be a Muslim, too.

As for friendship, you have seen earlier that a Muslim is obligated to care for his parents even if they were Non-Muslims, his Non-Muslim neighbors and so on. In fact, Muslims are instructed to be kind to others regardless of faith: "God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just. (60:8)

Here are a few more examples from Islam to share with you the truth about being friendly with those who are not Muslims:

WESTERN CONVERTS TODAY

If you get to visit any of the Islamic centers or Mosques in the Western Hemisphere, especially in big cities, you will find a large number of westerners, both men and women worshipping there. These people had the chance to find out about the true Islam and decided to become Muslims. Those western converts to Islam have been welcomed to Muslim places and Muslim communities while they were not yet Muslims. Many of them will tell you that they had friends who were Muslims and that they were invited to Muslim gatherings or functions and that's how they were introduced to the true Islam. If Muslims were not friendly with those "later to be Muslims", they would have turned away from Islam.

  • Friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims is a major reason for those new converts who become Muslims later. Through their friendship with Muslims they have come to know the TRUE ISLAM.

PARTNERS IN MARRIAGE

According to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law) and (5:5) in the Quran, a Muslim man can marry a woman from the people of the Book (Jew or Christian). A tenet of Islam is respect for these two religions. Since marriage is based on -among other things- respect, and Islam recognizes Judaism and Christianity as religions of divine origin. As such, ISLAM guaranties a Jewish or a Christian wife the respect for the beliefs of her faith, her Scriptures and her Prophets. There are many sound reasons why a Muslim woman can't marry a Jewish or a Christian man. One reason is that Islam, like all other religions, considers the man to be the head of the house and the one responsible for the major decisions. Unlike Islam, Judaism and Christianity don't recognize Islam as a divine religion. It would, therefore, be feasible -from the Islamic perspective- that a Musliim woman would not be granted respect for her faith or Prophet, since the RELIGION of a Jewish or a Christian husband does not regard Islam to be "divine" or the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) to be a true Prophet.

As for the polytheists or atheists or others of non-Abrahamic faiths, Muslims cannot take those for a spouse. Marriage in Islam is not regarded as merely a physical relationship, nor that it is a social custom; it is regarded as a religious act, with its own rituals, rules and obligations, similar to those of the people of the Book. Thus, Islam -among other reasons- can't force anyone who does not accept God (an atheist for example) to be obliged to these religious rules which were set by God.

  • It is certainly unreasonable to suggest that Islam teaches Muslims not to take the people of the Book as friends, yet it allows a Muslim man to take one as a wife to be his partner for life, one to share with him his life his wealth and his children.

NON-MUSLIM PARENTS AND NEIGHBORS

Honoring parents is taught in many places in the Quran (2:83, 2:215, 4:36, 31:14-15, 17:23-24 and 46:15-17). Even when a person decides to accept Islam while his family are not Muslims, the Quran teaches that one still is obligated to be kind to them (31:14): "And we have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning in two years. Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life kindly. And follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you all that ye did."

In chapter 107, the Quran criticizes those who don't do small favors for their neighbors; "So woe to the worshippers. Who are neglectful of their prayers. Those who (want but) to be seen (of men). But refuse (to supply) (even) neighborly needs. (107:4)

Doing good to one's parents is the same commandment which Muslims have to follow concerning their neighbors. Yet, not only do Muslims have to do good and care for their immediate neighbors, but they also help those who are strangers or far away neighbors, no matter what belief they hold. Muslims must also assist those who are travelers, i.e. to those whom they may meet only once in their lifetime.

DONATION MONEY

In chapter 2 verse 215, Muslims are commanded that their charity: " (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer -an alien traveler", regardless to their religion. Also according to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law), money from the general donation (Sadakah) can be given to those who are Non-Muslims. If Islam teaches that Non-Muslims are enemies that should be fought at all times as many claim, then how could it at the same time allow them to benefit from money that is donated by Muslims?

BUSINESS PARTNERS

According to "Shari'a" (Islamic Law), Muslims -men and women- can take business partners who are Non-Muslims.

In today's Hi-Tech age, one can take a business partner over the phone or after signing a piece of paper. Historically in Arabia, all that was available to many was a handshake and a promise. A merchant in many cases had to travel across the desert for days or weeks with money, goods or livestock. Business partners traveling together in the desert for days or weeks had to have known each other enough to trust each other. When the prophet died, a shield of his was found in the trust of a Jewish citizen of Medinah (the name of the city where he died).

We have seen how Islam encourages Muslims to establish a dialogue with the people of the book (Jews and Christians), urges them to care for their neighbors regardless to the religion, and allows Muslims to marry them. So how could it forbid Muslims from having them as friends?

The only way Islam may sound as evil as that, is ONLY when it is …MISQUOTED.

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1-We in the Holy Quran:

Some of us may wonder why does God choose to speak in plural like "We created". If we lookup the word "we" in the dictionary, we will find out that it can be used for "I" when the speaker is a king, an emperor or a president. Also, an author who is speaking of his publication can use the word "we".

Page 3 of common questions about Islam

Choose a section of the common questions about Islam:

Questions about Jihad and terrorism

Questions about women or woman in Islam

Questions about The Mosque (worshipping place) and prayers in Islam

Questions about Muhammad, Mohammad, or Muhamet peace be upon him.

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