Sunday, May 9, 2010
What is Islam?
What in fact, is Islam, what does it teach, what do Muslims really believe? Most westerners (including myself previously) won't know the accurate answers. Or they have a picture of Islam created by biased western media. They were taught according to modern western religious studies in school that Islam is a violent religion. I know now that some of the main, most important points were (deliberately?)left out to give Islam a negative image. The image is unfortunately very wrong and distorted.
Some common misunderstandings westerners have of Islam/Muslims:
-Islam is a religion made up by a man called Mohammed.. (pbuh!)
-Muslims bow to a black meteorite in Saudi-Arabia
-Mohammed wrote the Quran
-Muslim women are treated as slaves and forced to cover in thick black clothes by their husbands
-Allah is a god created by muslims (astaghferallah!)
These are only some of the many quite ridiculous perceptions people have. Im not sure if the majority of muslims are aware how western people percieve their religion.
In short, Islam is the belief that there is a God, only one God, there always has been and always will be. God in arabic language is Allah, today arabic speaking Christians use the word Allah too. Allah is not a different, "made-up" god, it is in fact the same only God Christians and Jews belive in.. These three faiths are called "the Abrahamic faiths". What this means is, all three are eachothers succesions, with the same roots. The basic belief system is the same.
Think of it as a metaphore of a tree of life. Judaism is the trunk of the tree, Christianity is the branches, and Islam is the leaves and flowers :) The roots are the same. Without Christianity and Judaism, the tree will not grow leaves and blossom, and the leaves will not survive if they dont get water from the trunk and branches.
God created the earth, the heavens, and everything in it. He sent prophets to humans of all nations and times, beginning from Adam, to Moses, Jesus and the last of prophets Muhammed. The prophets were sent to teach people the right way to live our life, the path to follow to be succesful, in this life and the next one. Their message was always the same. During the course of time men, culture and environment changed and distorted the original message. What purpose would God have created us for if He didnt let us know of Him and of our purpose in life? That in my opinion would just be illogical.
So Muslims believe in Jesus(pbuh)? Yes they do indeed. This is usually a great surprise to westerners/ christians. Wonder why they "forgot' to mention that to us in western school? Oh and also they forgot to mention that Jesus actually predicted his follower will be Mohammed, and this can be found in the Bible! And in Virgin Mary, Angel Gabriel and John Babtist too? If they would have let people know these things in western schools, I bet it would make people more curious and inshallah some would start finding out and getting interested in Islam. But thats not what the church wants of course.
The difference in how muslims view Jesus is that he is a Prophet, not a son of god! Jesus never taught that he is to be worshipped. It cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, on the contrary the Bible refutes this over and over by saying there is only one God. Jesus always emphasized: pray to God, trust God, it is God who makes these miracles, not me, I am just a human being. It was only after his death that the doctrine of the "Holy Trinity" was invented. The Holy Trinity, as a formal doctrine, was adopted by the Council of Nicaea only in 325 CE. It was a political move which went against the teachings of Jesus himself.
Mohammed (pbuh)was the last in the line of messengers, he was sent to ALL nations, to all times. Not just to arab people, the message is universal. The allegation that Mohammed wrote the Quran is just silly, because first of all he was an illiterate man! So how would he even be able to? And there are many facts in the Quran that have been proven to be scientifically correct only in modern times. So how did Mohammed know 1400 yrs ago for example; how the universe was created from nothing and then from gases and that it continues to expand, the sun and the moon float in orbits, that all living things came from water, how the human embryo develops (only seen by microscope) or how the earth is protected by the ozon layer? Just to mention a few of the hundreds of geological, astronomical, anatomical, biological or chemical scientifically proven facts mentioned in the Quran.
Regarding muslim women covering and veiling, most westerners tend to think the husbands are forcing the wife to cover. This could not be farther from the truth! Muslim women choose to cover for modesty out of their own will and respect for their bodies. This is such a broad and complicated subject I will have to write a separate post on it altogether.
This is just a very brief general description of Islam in my own words, I hope it would erase some negative images of Islam.