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 Islam for Non-Muslims

Syed Hasan Akhtar, M. D. 
Austin, Texas

Member, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242 


ISLAM means...


The word Islam means submission to the Will of God (Allah). Muslims worship the same one God that Jesus and Moses worshipped.  Muslims believe in all the prophets that Christians and Jews believe in.  According to the Muslim belief, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him & his progeny) was the last prophet in the long line of prophets which started with Adam and included Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all) to name a few.  Muslims regard Prophet Muhammad as a human being with a divine mission.  Muslims do not worship Muhammad.


Thus, Islam is not a new religion.  According to the Quran, it was the religion of all the prophets, peace be upon them all.  They all submitted to God and they were all Muslims.  They all brought the same central message; worship God alone, do not join any other deity with God, and to do good deeds.


A Brief life history of Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him & his progeny


Muhammad was born in Mecca, Arabian Peninsula, in the year 570 AD.   At the age of 40 Angel Gabriel brought God's first revelation to Muhammad and thus bestowed the Prophethood on him.


At that time, Arabia was pagan.  Idolatry, sin and immorality were rampant.  Women were ill-treated, sold, and traded freely.   Muhammad for the first three years of his ministry preached about one God secretly and thereafter by divine inspiration preached openly.  Upon teaching the new faith, he was initially mocked and later on abused, persecuted, and tortured.  The first converts were told to emigrate to Abyssinia under the protection of the Christian ruler in order to save their lives and properties.


In 622 AD, at the age of 52 years, Muhammad left Mecca for Medina, to save his life, because the pagans of Mecca had plotted to kill him.  This migration is called Hijra, and this year constitutes the first year of the Muslim calendar.  In Medina, Muhammad was welcomed with open arms by its people and amongst them he found many friends and supporters.  In subsequent years Muhammad successfully fought off many attacks by the pagans of Mecca who wanted to root out the new religion and kill him.  Muhammad defended himself with a small and ill-equipped band of his supporters against overwhelming odds.


The Meccans had repeatedly violated the peace treaty, so Muhammad and his followers marched towards Mecca, his homeland, and took control without struggle.  The people of Mecca offered no resistance. The inhabitants of Mecca feared revenge by Muhammad for the atrocities committed against Muhammad and his followers, but    Muhammad declared general amnesty.  He gave orders that no one should loot or plunder.  Soldiers were forbidden to enter any house that was inhabited.  No one was to be attacked unless he refused to lay down arms.  The Meccans were moved by Muhammad's generosity and compassion and hastened in throngs to swear allegiance to him. Kaba, the house of God was cleared of Idols.


Deputations from all parts of Arabia came to Medina to swear allegiance to the prophet and to hear the Holy Scripture, Quran.  The prophet sent emissaries to neighboring countries to convey the message of Islam.


The prophet, in fact, had become "the ruler of Arabia".  His life style, however, remained as simple as ever. In the tenth year of Hijra, after performing the last pilgrimage, called Hajj, Muhammad addressed his followers who had gathered in the thousands his forthcoming death, and declared that the religion of God was complete.  On that occasion, he received the final revelation from God brought by the angel Gabriel.  In the same year he died after a brief illness, at the age of 62 years.


Thus, in a brief span of 22 years Muhammad had abolished idolatry in Arabia and had established God's religion, Islam.  He brought civilization, law, order, and decency to a land and a people known for lawlessness, idolatry and sin.


Beliefs and Observances


A Muslim believes in: One supreme deity, (Allah or God), the prophets of God, the angels, and the life after death, the Day of Judgment, the concept of heaven and hell (reward and punishment for our deeds.)


 The Fundamentals of the Beliefs are:


·        Absolute oneness of God. God has no partners, no associates, no helpers, no consorts, and no sons. When He intends a thing He only says “Be” and it is.

·        Justice of God. God is just in His dealings with His creation.


·        Belief in all the prophets of God, including the last prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon them all.   Also recognize the Imams (spiritual guides) from among the descendents of the prophet.

·        Day of Judgment. Every soul shall experience death. There will be resurrection and accounting on the Day of Judgment. God will reward, punish or forgive as He sees fit. 


The Obligatory acts of Worship include:

·        Obligatory Prayers (Salat) Five prayers a day; morning, mid-day, afternoon, evening, and night.

·        Fasting (Siyam) in the month of Ramadan.

·        Charity (Zakat, Khums.)

·        Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Kaba (symbolic House of God in Mecca) at least once in life time. 




Dietary restrictions in Islam:


            Certain food items are prohibited to Muslims. These include pork and all pork products, blood from animal source.  Similar to Jewish law, only designated animals scarified in the prescribed manner are permitted to be used for food.  All forms of intoxicants are prohibited.



The Holy Quran


It is called "Koran" (not a preferred term) in English.  This is the Holy Scripture, the word of God.  The angel Gabriel brought the divine messages to Muhammad.  He repeated them to his followers who memorized them and also wrote them down.  The divine messages came over a period of 22 years.  To date, the Qur’an has remained intact in its original language, Arabic, unaltered by man or time.  The Quran contains laws and commandments governing all aspects of the life of a Muslim.  It also contains stories about the other prophets.  Quran and the traditions or sayings of the prophet constitute the guiding light for the Muslim in his/her day-to-day life.


The two most often recited collections of verses of the Holy Quran are: (1). The Opening Chapter (Fatihah). 

(2.) The Unity (Ikhlas).   Both are listed below.


Fatihah (Opening Chapter)


In the name of God, most Gracious, most Merciful.

Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;

Most Gracious, most Merciful;

Master of the Day of Judgment.

Thee alone we worship and Thee alone we ask for help.

Show us the straight way.

The way of those whom thou has favored.

The way of those who did not earn Thy anger, and of those who did not go astray.


            Ikhlas (Unity)


In the name of God, most Gracious, most Merciful.


Say:  He is God, the One and the only.

God, the Eternal, the Absolute.

He begetteth not, nor was He begotten;

And there is none equal unto Him.



     Some of the proofs that the Quran was divinely revealed:


   Muhammad was untutored and unlettered. He could neither read nor write.

   The wisdom, knowledge, and literary eloquence contained in the Quran are beyond the scope of a human being.  .

   Statements made in Quran about sciences, such astronomy, physics, biology, etc., reveal knowledge which did not exist with man at the time of Muhammad.  Those statements have been verified fourteen hundred years later.


Many Jewish and Christian scholars at the time of Prophet Muhammad recognized the holy scripture as the word of God and embraced Islam.  Since the time of Muhammad, the ranks of Muslims have swelled and the trend continues in all parts of the world.  Today, Islam is the faith of one-fifth of the population of the world.  Islam offers to mankind dignity, equality, justice.


God guarantees direct access to Him.   Says God in the Quran "I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls Me." (II: 186)


The authenticity of the Quran is undisputed.  The Quran holds a unique place among the scriptures because only one version exists from the very beginning.  Many faithful continue the tradition of memorizing the whole scripture, thus guarding it against any change.  Even a single letter of the original Arabic text has not been changed.


The Quran is free from any discrepancies or contradictions. This is particularly amazing, considering the fact that the messages were revealed over a period of twenty two years!


Western scholars’ reviews on the Qur’an.


"A work, which calls forth so powerful and seemingly incompatible emotions even in the distant reader -- distant as to time, and still more so as mental development. A work which not only conquers the repugnance which he may feel as he begins its perusal, but changes this adverse feeling into astonishment and admiration. Such a work must be a wonderful production of the 'human mind' indeed and a problem of the highest interest to every thoughtful observer of the destinies of mankind"

- Dr. Steingass, in T.P. Hughes’s Dictionary of Islam, p.526.


"The hypothesis advanced by those who see Muhammad as the author of the Quran is untenable.  How a man from being “illiterate” (untutored) could, become the most important author, in terms of literary merit in the whole of Arabia?  How could he then pronounce truths of a scientific nature that no other human being could possibly have developed at that time, and all this without once making the slightest error in his pronouncement on the subject?" - Maurice Bucaille, in The Bible, the Quran and Science, p.125.


Some of the verses in the Quran, which came in response to criticism by the unbelievers and the skeptics, are as follows:


"And if ye are in doubt concerning that we reveal unto our servant (Muhammad) then produce a Chapter of the like thereof..." (II: 23)


"And before this, was the book of Moses, as a guide and a mercy. And this Book confirms (it) in Arabic, to admonish the unjust, and as glad tidings for the righteous." (XLVI: 12)


The Quran confirms that the earlier prophets, including Moses and Jesus were true messengers of God.  The previous scriptures, the Torah and the Bible, in their original form were true messages from God.  The true purpose of the Quran is to correct and to restore the message of God in its totality.



Commandments.  This term is not specifically used in the Quran.  However, after reading the Quran one learns the injunctions contained therein.  A partial list is given below:


1.   Believe in one God.

2.   Honor and respect parents.

3.   Respect the rights of others.

4.   Be generous but do not squander.

5.   Do not kill except for justifiable cause.

6.   Do not commit adultery or fornication.

7.   Safeguard the possessions of orphans.

8.   Deal with others with justice.

9.   Be pure in heart and mind.

10. Be humble and unpretentious.

11. Do not backbite.

12. Do not be a scandalmonger.

13. Do good deeds for the love of God.

14. God loves those who forgive.


Jesus (peace be upon him) in the Quran:


"And when Jesus, son of Mary, said, 'O Children of Israel, lo!  I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was revealed before me and in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is "Praised One".'  Yet, when he has come unto them with clear proof, they say 'This is mere magic!'" (LXI: 6)


"And they say, 'God had taken unto Himself a son.'  Be He glorified!  Nay, but whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the earth is his.  All are subservient to Him." (II: 116)


"She [Mary] said (to the angel), 'My lord!  How can I have a son when no mortal has touched me?'  He said, 'So it will be.  God createth what He wills. If he decreeth a thing, He only says unto it, "Be," and it is.'" (III: 47)


"Lo!  The likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam.  He created him out of dust, then He said unto him, "Be!", and he was."  (III: 59)


"When God says, "O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favor unto thee and unto thy mother.  How I strengthened thee with Holy spirit, so thou speakest unto mankind into the cradle as in maturity and how I taught thee the scripture and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel." (V: 110)


The fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity is that Muslims believe Jesus to be a man, a chosen prophet of God, whereas Christians regard Jesus as "son of God."


In Qur’an, God strongly rebukes the notion of Trinity.


What Qur’an says about other prophets:


"Say:  we believe in God and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and which the prophets received from their Lord.  We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered." (II: 136)


What Qur’an says about other religions


God says in the Quran: "Lo! those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabeans.  Whoever believes in God, the last day, and does right, surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come unto them.  Neither shall they grieve." (II: 62)


The Quran and Science


In the following paragraphs some of the verses from Quran dealing with various scientific facts are presented.  For the sake of convenience these are, here, grouped under various headings.  For a more detailed study, the reader is referred to the book “The Bible, The Quran and Science” by Dr. Maurice Bucaille.



About the creation of the heavens and the earth


"Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then we clove them asunder and We got every living thing out of the water?  Will they not then believe?" (XXI: 30)


The above verse refers to the "Big Bang theory" of the origin of the universe.


"Moreover (God) turned to the heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth: Come willing or unwilling; they said: We come in willing obedience."

(XLI: 11)


The word "smoke" here refers to the gaseous material with particles suspended in it.  This corresponds to the concept of the "Primary Nebula" put forward by modern science, which consisted of hydrogen and helium.


"Your Lord is God who created the Heavens and the Earth in six days (periods)...In a day whereof the measure is as a thousand years of your reckoning." (XXXII: 5)


The creation of the Heavens and the Earth should not be taken in a literal sense.  As explained in the Quran, what we call a day by our earthly yardstick is not the same as a day by the heavenly yardstick.  This is consistent with modern scientific knowledge, which estimates the age of the Earth and sun in millions of years.


"Did you see how God created seven Heavens one above another and made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp". (LXXI: 15-16)


The number seven is not to be taken literally.  It refers to plurality.  It is well known to modern science that in the universe there are many galaxies and many suns larger than are ours.



Astronomy in the Quran


"God is the one who created the night, the day, the sun, and the moon. Each one is traveling in an orbit with its own motion." (XXI: 33)

Modern scientific knowledge has shown that our galaxy revolves on its own axis.  The sun is located eccentrically and thus revolves in an orbit around the center of the galaxy.  This was not known to man 1400 years ago.


"Has thou not seen how God merges the night into the day and merges the day into the night." (XXI: 29)

"He coils the day upon the night and coils the night upon the day." (XXXIX: 5)


Astronauts have described the appearance of the Earth from space.  The sun lights up half of the earth facing it and the other half is dark.  As the earth rotates on its axis, the darker areas come to light, and the light areas merge into darkness.  This is easy to understand at the present time.  However 1400 years ago this knowledge did not exist.  In those days the earth was mistakenly thought to be flat and at the center of the universe.  Modern scientific data are in full agreement with the Qur’anic description.


"God subjected the sun and the moon, each one runs its course to an appointed term." (XXXIII: 2)


Modern science has estimated the age of the sun and has also estimated when it will run out of hydrogen and will cool off.  Modern astronomy has discovered that the solar system is moving towards a point in the constellation of Hercules, named the Solar Apex.



About the expansion of the universe


"The heaven, we have built it with power. Verily, we are expanding it." (LI: 47)


The gradual expansion of the universe is one of the most important discoveries of modern times.



About the conquest of space


"O Assembly of Jinn (spirits) and men, if you can penetrate regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate them!  You will not penetrate them save with a power." (LV: 33)


This refers to man's entry into space and the exploration of the depths of the Earth.



About the water cycle


"We sent down water from the sky in measure, and lodged it in the ground. And we certainly are able to withdraw it. Therewith for you, we gave rise to gardens of palm trees and vineyards." (XXIII: 18-19)


"Has thou not seen that God sent water down from the sky and let it through sources into the ground?  Then He caused sown fields of different colors to grow." (XXXIX: 21)


The water cycle as we know today was described 500 years ago.  Before that, many people believed that water from the ocean was thrust into soil which formed springs and underground reservoirs.  It was also thought that moisture in soil condensed to form water.  The Quran gave the correct view in an authoritative way 1400 years go.


About the mountains


"We have placed in the ground (mountains) standing firm, so that it does not shake with them."

(XXI: 31)


"Have We not made the earth an expanse and the mountains stakes?"

(LXXVIII: 6-7)


According to modern theories, mountains played a key role in the formation of landmass.  They also contribute to the stability of the earth’s crust, which is relatively very thin.  Beneath the crust are molten rocks at very high temperatures.  Qur’anic description and modern scientific discoveries are in agreement.



About the effects of high altitude


"Those who God wills to guide, He opens their breasts to Islam.  Those who He wills lose their way, He makes their breasts narrow and constricted, as if they were climbing the sky." (VI: 125)


This refers to breathlessness or "air hunger", due to decreased concentration of oxygen in the air at high altitudes, particularly when climbing rapidly over mountains.




About the origin of life on earth


"God created every animal from water." (XXIV: 45)


"And We got every living thing out of water. Will they then not believe?" (XXI: 30)


Modern scientific data indicate that life is of aquatic origin and water is the major component of the living cell. Man did not know this in Muhammad's time.



About the Vegetable kingdom


Balance in the vegetable kingdom...


"The earth...We caused all kinds of things to grow therein in due balance." (XV: 19)


Reproduction in the vegetable kingdom...


"God is the One who sent water down from the sky and thereby, We brought forth pairs of plants each separate from the other." (XX: 53)


"Glory be to Him who created components of couples of every kind: of what the ground caused to grow, of themselves (human beings) and of what you do not know". (XXVI: 36)

The last two verses above clearly indicate the two sexes, not only in the vegetable kingdom but in other creatures not known to man at the time of Muhammad, but discovered later on.


About the Animal kingdom


"God fashioned the two of a pair, the male and a female, from a small quantity of liquid, when it is poured out." (LIII: 45-46)


In the above verses the reproduction of the animal kingdom is stated in a general but precise way.  The word used in Arabic signifies sperm.


Animal Communities


"There is no animal on earth, no bird, which flies on wings that (does not belong to) communities like you. We have not neglected anything in the Book (of decrees.) Then to their Lord they shall be gathered." (VI: 38)


Existence of true communities amongst animals, insects, etc., has been established only in the last few decades.



About formation of milk


"Verily in your cattle, there is a lesson for you!  We give you a pure milk to drink, excellent for its drinkers; (it comes) from what, inside their bodies, is between digested food and blood." (XVI: 66)


The above verse describes in general but accurate terms the formation of milk from the product of digested food, which mixes with blood and is carried to the mammary glands which secrete it. Man did not know this at the time of prophet Muhammad.  In fact, the discovery of the circulation of blood was made some ten centuries after the verse was revealed.


About human reproduction


Quran has made many references to various facts about human reproduction in precise and accurate terms. Professor Keith Moore, who has written a well known book on embryology (study in human reproduction), has verified the accuracy of the Qur’anic statements.  Scientific knowledge about human reproduction was incomplete until recent time.  Use of the microscope was indispensable for the study of development of a baby in the mother's womb.  The sperm and the ovum (egg) are so small; they are invisible to the naked eye.  The microscope was invented in the 17th century AD


"He makes you in the womb of your mother in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness." (XXXIX: 8)


The three veils of darkness or layers have been identified by biologists as (1) Abdominal wall, (2) Uterine wall, and (3) Amniochorionic membrane (a sac filled with fluid in which the fetus floats).


"Man We did create from a quintessence of clay, and then We placed as a drop of sperm, in a place of rest, firmly fixed.  Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a leech-like lump.  Then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature.  So blessed be God, the best to create." (XL: 13-14)


"Then out of a morsel (chewed up) of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed." (XXII: 5)


According to Professor Keith Moore, the above is a surprisingly accurate description of human development in the uterus.  The word "chewed up flesh" and "leech-like clot," precisely describe the appearance and characteristics of the developing embryo and of conception.


"And He made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised." (XXXII: 8)


"Verily We created man from a drop of mingled sperm in order to try him, So, We give him (the gifts) of hearing and sight." (LXXVI: 2)


The word 'despised' refers to the fact that semen comes out through the same route as does the urine.  "Mingled" fluid refers to the various secretions that semen is made up of.  Also, semen mixes with fluids in the female genital tract.


"That He did create in pairs, male and female, from a seed when lodged in its place." (LIII: 45)


The above verse refers to the fact that sex is determined at the time of fertilization.  This discovery was made only sixty years ago, when sex chromosomes were discovered.


Thus it is clear that the information in the Quran about human reproduction is of divine origin, and was beyond the knowledge of a human being at the time it was revealed.


The translation of Qur’anic verses given above is by Doctor Maurice Bucaille

Schisms in Islam


Several schools evolved among Muslims.   The majority of Muslims belong to the school called Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaat.   Shiites Muslims constitute the largest minority.


      The former follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as interpreted by the four Imams: Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmed bin Hambal, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi. The latter follow the interpretation of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, interpreted by Imam Ali and Imams from his family.


The differences among Muslims occurred after the death of prophet Muhammad, in regard to his succession, and were of a political nature.  The Sunni Muslims believe that the succession to Muhammad was left up to the people to decide, whereas the Shiites Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad had designated his cousin and son-in-law Ali as his successor. Since then kings, rulers, religious leaders have exploited these differences in order to achieve their selfish and material objectives.


It must be emphasized that he fundamentals of the faith are common to all Muslims.  All Muslims believe in One God.  All Muslims follow one book, the Qur’an.  All Muslims believe in Prophet Muhammad and strive to emulate him.  All Muslims agree upon the basic tenets of Islam.


Islam, a misunderstood religion


Islam has been largely misunderstood in the west.  The reasons can be traced back to the era of the Crusades.  Ignorance, fear, suspicion etc. prevented the followers of other major faiths from an objective and impartial study of the religion.  The result was that numerous misconceptions, false stories, and biased accounts about Islam came to be accepted as true, even by Christian scholars and historians.


Some of the misconceptions are given below:


Misconception #1 - "Allah is God of the Muslims"


Many Christians believe that Allah is different from the God of Jesus, or Yahweh, described in the Bible.  The fact is that Allah (proper name of God), and Yahweh refer to the same one God, the omnipotent and the omnipresent Deity, the creator, sustainer and cherisher of the universe. 


Misconception #2 - "Muslims worship Muhammad" 


It is a common misunderstanding that Muhammad was 'divine', and Muslims worship him, like Christians worship Jesus.  The truth is that to Muslims Muhammad (peace is upon him) is no more than a messenger of God.  He died like any other mortal.  Muslims do not believe that Jesus was divine, either.  They regard him as a chosen prophet of God.


Misconception #3 - "Women are given an inferior status in Islam"


Nothing can be farther from the truth.  The status of women in Islam is the most misunderstood aspect of the religion.  According to the holy scripture Quran as well as the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, women enjoy an honorable status.


In the Quran, God says this about Mary, mother of Jesus, “‘Behold! the angel said, 'God hath chosen Thee above the women of all nations.' “(III: 42)


Islam gives women separate legal rights as individuals.  Fourteen hundred years ago at the very inception of the Islamic faith, by divine decree  women were given the right to divorce, the right to own property in their own name, separate from the husband, the right of inheritance, the right to make a will and many other rights.  These rights were not available to women in the western societies until the 19th century.


Quran says: "Men shall have the benefit of what they achieve and acquire, and women shall have the benefit of that which they similarly achieve and acquire." (IV: 32)


A saying of the holy prophet Muhammad is recorded as follows: "If a daughter is born to a person and he brings her up, giving her good education and training in various arts of life, I shall myself stand between him and hellfire."


According to another saying of prophet Muhammad: "Paradise lies under the feet of the mother."


God says in the Quran about women: "They (women) have rights similar to those against them,…”


Misconception #4 - "Polygamy is conducive to loose moral behavior"


Islam permits a man to have more than one wife under certain circumstances, but it does not encourage this practice.  In fact polygamy is discouraged. 


The Quran says this about polygamy: "And if you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, and four, but if you may not do justice to them, then marry only one." (IV: 3)


Islam permits polygamy as an alternative to situations, which may force a husband to immoral acts.  A husband may be forced to seek a second wife in the following situations:

A.  Inability of the wife to bear children and the couple choose not to seek divorce.

B.   Prolonged debilitating illness of the wife, where she is unable to provide sexual satisfaction to her husband, or carry on her responsibilities in relation to the family.

C.  Prolonged physical separation due to war, travel, etc.


Polygamy was practiced by all the prophets of the old and their followers. In the early days of Islam, as a result of successive wars against pagans, there was a great shortage of men and an over supply of women.  Polygamy was the only honorable way to provide the women, particularly the widows and orphans, with food, shelter, and protection.  Thus, many moral and social ills were avoided.



Misconception #5 - "Islam was spread with the sword"


In the past Muslim kings, or more appropriately, kings who happened to be Muslims, conquered many lands; but a distinction has to be made between lands conquered by these kings and  imposition of Islam on its people.  Islam does not believe in force, coercion, or lure of material benefits to spreads the faith.  Muslims believe that God alone can put faith into the heart of a person.


God says in the Quran: "If it had been thy Lord's will, they would all have believed, all who are on earth!  Wilt thou then compel mankind against their will to believe?" (X: 99)


"No soul can believe, except by the will of God..." (X: 100)


There are several examples of Muslims’ toleration towards other religions.  Muslims ruled over Spain for many hundreds of years.  The Christians and the Jews there were free to practice their own religion in their places of worship.  In fact Christians and Jews are regarded as privileged people and are mentioned with respect in the Quran as "People of the Book".


Indonesia ranks as number one in the world for its Muslim population.  However, it was never invaded or conquered by any Muslim king or ruler.  Other countries like Malaysia have a Muslim majority.  There, Islam was spread when the local population came in contact with Muslim traders and merchants from overseas.


Today Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and elsewhere despite adverse publicity and negative stereotyping. The rich and the poor, intellectuals and the learned continue to enter into the fold of Islam. They encounter rejection, resistance, hostility from their families, friends, and the employers, but it does not deter them in pursuing their faith.


Misconception #6.  “Islam condones terrorism”


      Islam prohibits terrorism, unlawful acquisition of property of others, and causing harm to innocent human beings.  Islam rejects all forms of violence.


The terrorist attack on the world trade center in New York on September 11, 2001 was rejected by Muslims around the world. 


      The Quran says: “Any one who has saved one life, has saved the whole mankind, and any one who has killed a human being, except in case of murderer or mischief (maker) on earth, it is as if he has killed the whole mankind.”  (V: 32)


Misconception #7.  “Islam rewards suicide with paradise.”


      This misconception is held, unfortunately by a very small Muslim minority. Fortunately the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject this distorted and extreme view. Taking ones own life is no different than taking some one else’s life. It is a major sin which invokes extreme displeasure and wrath of God.


Misconception #8. “Hijab (the head scarf and the outer covering) is degrading to women.”


            In fact it is a sign of dignity and respect for women. It signifies that the worth and value of a woman is not in her looks and the form. It prevents the woman from being reduced to “sex object.” Islam prohibits women to participate in beauty contests, or to become professional fashion models, or to appear on the cover of magazines for monetary reward.


            Islam requires even men to practice “Hijab” which means to practice modesty in behavior, to cover and protect their private parts, and not gaze at women with lust.


In conclusion, Islam upholds the moral and ethical teachings of the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity and Judaism. In fact the teachings of the Quran as practiced by Prophet Muhammad require a higher code of moral and ethical conduct. If the Muslims fall short, they are to be blamed, not the religion.




Suggested Reading


1.  Islam, by Caesar Farrah.

Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

113 Crossways Park

Woodbury, NY 11797


2.  The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, by Mohammad M. Pickthall.

New American Library, Inc.

PO Box 999

Bergenfield, NJ 07621


3.  The Bible, the Quran and Science, by Dr. Maurice Bucaille.

American Trust Publications

7216 S. Madison Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46227


4.  Jesus, A Prophet of Islam, by Mohammed Ata-ur-Rahim.

MWH London Publishers

283 Seven Sisters Road

London, UK N42DA


5.  The Gospel of Barnabas.

Translated by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg

Published in Pakistan


6.  What the Bible Says about Mohammed, by Ahmed Deedat.


7.  The Spirit of Islam, by Syed Ameer Ali.


8.  The Status of Women in Islam, by Dr. Jamal Badawi.

The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada


9. God is One, the Way of Islam

      by R. Marston Speight

      ISBN: 0-377-00196-1

      Friendship Press, PO Box37844, Cincinnati, OH 45222-0844


10    Islam: the 25 most frequently asked questions. Library of Congress # Tx3651-273

By Shahid Athar, M.D.

Dawa Information group, 8424 Naab Rd, suite 2D

Indianapolis, IN 46260.

Tel: 317-872-5159, Fax: 317-872-5150, E-mail:


11.  Reflections of an American Muslim

By Shahid Athar, M.D.   ISBN: 0-934905-26-6

Distributed by Kazi publications, Inc. (address listed below)

12.  Islamic web site: “”


Most of these books may be ordered from Kazi Publications, inc. 3023-27 w. Belmont avenue, Chicago,   Illinois 60618.  Tel: (773) 267-7001. fax: (773) 267-7002.  e-mail:  Web:


For more information about Islam, in Austin call or write to Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association,  12460 Los Indios trail, Austin, TX 78729-7919. Tel: 512-291- 9855. Email: (Att: Sheikh Safdar Razi) or call  Syed Akhtar, Tel 512 301-4083.  Email:



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