Islam seems to be the most misunderstood religion on earth. From Muslims being tagged terrorist to Shariah being tagged oppressive, there are always one or two things people do not really get right about Islam. I have taken five of these misconceptions and give clarifications on them accordingly.
Misconception 1: Islam was founded by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
When an inaccurate fact is being repeatedly narrated, it will gradually be captured as a fact. It is widely believed that Prophet Muhammad founded Islam in Arabia about 1400 years ago. It is not just common among the common populace, professors of knowledge are also into this mess. This statement is even a fact being taught to kids in what we call “current affairs”.
This statement is inaccurate, fallacious and erroneous. In fact the advent of Islam dates back to the creation of Adam, the first human being who was a monotheist, worshipper of the one true God and therefore upon the religion of Islam. All subsequent prophets and their followers were also Muslims. The word “Islam” means submission. This submission is to the one and only true creator who has no partners, associates or children. A “Muslim” is any person who submits to the one true God and believes that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was His last messenger.
According to Islamic belief, every prophet preached Islam. There is an emphasis on charity, prayer, pilgrimage, worship of the one God, and fasting. The Quran itself calls Islam the “religion of Abraham” (Ibrahim) and refers to Jacob (Yaqub) and the Twelve Tribes of Israel as being Muslims.
It is therefore not true that prophet Muhammad founded Islam. There have been Muslims from the first generation of humans; Adam and Eve. It is just that the Islam wasn’t perfected until the last prophet; Muhammad was sent.
“…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion…” ( Quran 5:3)
Allah founded and owns the religion of Islam not Muhammad. That is why Islam wasn’t named after Muhammad. Another evidence is the Qur’an. Quran is a revelation from Allah and not a book written by Muhammad.
I don’t know the origin of this fallacy, but its high time you know Muhammad was only a prophet as willed by Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Muhammad didn’t start a new religion, rather, he was instrumental to the perfection of the religion that started from the creation of the first man, Adam.
Misconception 2: There are 6666 verses in the Qur’an.
This also is a popular misconception about Islam. It is perceived by many that Quran has 6666 verses. Critics of Islam actually link the 666 to he number of the beast which is associated with the Beast of Revelation in chapter 13, verse 18 of Book of Revelation. The number 666 is used to signify the devil, the antichrist, or evil in general.
Meanwhile, it is also popular among the Muslims too. Some will even call it miracle of numbers that the Quran has 6666 verses. But is that actually so?
The number of verses in the Qur’an is actually 6236. If you take 6236 out of the misconceived 6666, there would be a large sum of 430 verses left. That’s huge! Are the verses missing? Of course not!
There are 114 chapters in the Qur’an and only 113 of them begins with “Bismillahi Rahamani Raheem”. Aside Suratul Fatiha, the opening chapter, every other chapter takes its count from the first verse other than Bismillahi Rahamani Raheem. Even if we add 112 Bismillahi Rahamani Raheem to the number 6236, there would still be 318 more verses to make it complete 6666.
I have searched for the possible reasons the verses in the Qur’an can be 6666, I didn’t get any. May Allah guide us aright, but its actually not 6666. The factual number of the verses depend on whether Basmallah is taken into consideration. In either case, it would be 6236 or 6348 but definitely not 6666. Therefore the ides of linking Qur’an with the number 666 is stupidity. Qur’an is not Antichrist in any manner. It speaks good of Jesus Christ and his mother. However, it rejects the idea the he is God or the son of God. The Bible supports this too.
Misconception 3: Allah is exclusively the God of Islam
Some non-Muslims actually believe Allah is exclusive to the Muslims. This isn’t true. Allah is an Arabic name for God. Every other language has what it calls the Supreme Being. Allah is the Lord of the worlds. Arabic speaking Christians and Jews also use the name Allah to call upon God. Allah is not also the moon-god as many ignorant people believe but the God of the moon and every other creature.
Arabic and Hausa Bibles have Allah as God. So it is ignorance to say Allah is exclusively the God of the Muslims. But if the reason to say Allah is exclusive is that Allah is One and Self-sufficient, I will consider it to be factual. Allah cannot be Sango, the god of thunder. He is not Ogun, the god if iron. He is not also one of the Trinity. He is One, self-sufficient.
Allah is the One and True God all languages regard as the Supreme Being. We don’t often translate it to other languages as that could be erroneous. Meanwhile, Allah has many other names and beautiful attributes He described Himself with in the Qur’an.
Misconception 4: The word “jihad” means holy war
To an ignorant critic of Islam, Muslims are trained to “war and not jaw”. He believes any peaceful Muslim is only looking for the right opportunity to strike. This is not true.
The word jihad is derived from the Arabic word “jahada” which means to struggle. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said the greatest jihad is the battle to fight the evil within ones own soul. Thus jihad primarily refers to an inner struggle to reform oneself and live a life of virtue and submission to God. Military jihad (struggle) is a very misunderstood concept and has been misused by extremist groups. It is not something that any individual or group can declare but must be declared by the leader of an Islamic government in order to resist tyranny, oppression or injustice in the land. Generally this is a defensive struggle to protect the lives, property and freedom of worship of all individuals.
To struggle means to strive to be a better human, to be a changed person from bad attitude, to spend ones wealth to earn the pleasure of Allah, to obey Allah’s commandments even when it is inconvenience to one. Jihad doesn’t not necessarily mean to fight the non Muslims. There is no compulsion in religion.
So jihad doesn’t mean to kill the non Muslims unjustly. It doesn’t mean to abduct. Muslims are expected to share peace and kindness on earth not trouble.
Misconception 5: Shariah is cruel and oppressive
This list will not be complete if I omit this. To non Muslims, Shariah is barbaric. How do you even criticize what you know nothing about?
Shariah is simply a set of laws that Muslims follow to practice their faith. It is based on the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. It is very similar to the Halacha, which is Jewish law and jurisprudence based on the Talmud. The Shariah primarily guides us on how we worship and apply faith into our daily lives and interactions with others. Islamophobes frequently focus on the legal punishments prescribed under Shariah for such crimes as murder, adultery or theft as a justification for their fear of Islam. The reality is that these are deterrent punishments and the overwhelming evidence required to prove these crimes means they are rarely applied in Muslim countries.
To many, the word “Shariah” conjures horrors of hands cut off, adulterers stoned and women oppressed. By contrast, who today remembers that the much-loved English common law called for execution as punishment for hundreds of crimes, including theft of any object worth five shillings or more? How many know that until the 18th century, the laws of most European countries authorized torture as an official component of the criminal-justice system? As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands. When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes.
Shariah isn’t all about capital punishment. Inheritance, Business, Burial, Marriage, Divorce etc are other things it entails. Shariah gives hope to the hopeless, gives freedom to the enslaved and ensure Justice among Muslims. So, it is not true that Shariah is oppressive.