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(part 1 of 3): An Introduction

 

Islam and the followers of Islam, the Muslims, are very well known in the media these days. Various Islamic issues are discussed around the world, or issues that inevitably affect Muslims. Almost constant presence in the media means that there can hardly be anyone in the world who has not read or seen anything about Islam or Muslims, or both. Most people also have a view. Many of their views are based on misconceptions or misunderstandings. Many base their views on the actions or statements of people who describe themselves as Muslims, but who actually have little knowledge of their religion.

Fortunately, many of them form their opinions through healthy knowledge and research. Because of God’s mercy, the truth of Islam is triumphant over media speculation and disinformation. However, in a century saturated with media, it is only justified to ask whether all Muslims represent Islam?

The answer is: of course not! Let’s think a minute. Would we ask someone the question: do all Germans represent Germany? Do all Indonesians represent Indonesia? Do all Catholics represent the Catholic faith, all Hindus the Hinduism? No of course not! While a religion or country is not generally reviled for the act of fewer people, it is sadly done for the fall of Islam, especially after 9/11.

It is a sad fact that many great crimes by individuals, groups and countries have been committed in the name of Islam. When these abominations occur, it has somehow become the norm to blame Islam instead of the perpetrators themselves. When Sikhis, armed in Punjab in India, opened fire on Hindu bus passengers in 1987 and killed 38 people, the media do not have the religion of Sikhs declared bloodthirsty and automatically condemned all Sikhs.

In Spain, ETA (the Basque separatist movement) has been responsible for over 800 unlawful deaths since 1968. Even though Spain is 94% Catholic, as mentioned in the CIA World Fact Book, these atrocities have not been attributed to Catholics or the Catholic Church has been condemned as widespread. If a person commits a crime and then calls himself a Muslim or shouts the words Allahah Akbar (God is great), it does not make him a representative of Islam.

However, knowing that not all Muslims represent Islam does not solve the problem. What is this religion called Islam and how is it that many people who describe themselves as Muslims misrepresent their own way of life? Unfortunately, many Muslims around the world are marginalized and struggle to deal with the colonial and imperialist backgrounds. Military conquest, economic exploitation, and cultural mutation embedded in colonialism from the 15th to 20th centuries have left generations of disaffected, impoverished, and marginalized Muslims struggling to cope with a globalized world.

However, this is not an excuse for bad behavior or atrocities against innocents. There is no excuse for crimes like this. Background information helps us understand why some people commit crimes and atrocities against humanity, themselves, and their religion. When we see or read about a person who calls himself a Muslim and commits a crime that is too cruel to be imagined, it is important to understand that that person does not represent Islam. The same can be said of all other religions. Throughout history, mankind has used the name of God to justify indescribable deeds.

In Islam it is not possible for one person to speak for all Muslims or to act for all Muslims. When differences arise, Muslims turn to the only credible sources, the Quran and the authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace be upon him.

One of the problems that the world faces today in particular is that unqualified people think that it is possible to read a book that has been poorly translated into a language other than Arabic and that is immediately able to be religious To be able to issue regulations on topics about which they have no knowledge at all. People with very little real Islamic knowledge suddenly become experts, while the real experts are unable to make their views heard. Extreme groups preach extreme ideologies that have no place in the way of life of Islam. Islam is in the middle, extremes cannot be found in the teachings of Islam.

When Islam is called the religion of peace, it is meant literally. Islam comes from the root: „sa-la-ma“, as does the word Muslim (one who follows the message of Islam) and what among other things also indicates the meanings of peace, security, as well as submission and devotion to the Almighty God. Peace and security reside in submission to the One God. When a person submits to God’s will, he or she experiences an innate sense of security and peace.

Not all Muslims represent Islam and not all Muslims understand and follow their religion. Culture often dictates actions. With this knowledge, it becomes essential to recognize that just because a person, group, or country is known as Islamic does not mean that it automatically follows the laws that God has established. The Quran was sent down for all of humanity and Prophet Muhammad was appointed as a grace for all of humanity. One person is no more worthy of peace and security than another. Everyone has a right to food, protection and security, and if some are denied their God-given right, it is the responsibility of the rest of humanity to restore these rights and not to take them unabashedly.

In the following articles we will discuss the role of cultures and customs, learn what Islam says about violence and war, and see how ignorance overshadows the true Islamic teachings.

(part 2 of 3): Islam demands justice, even when under threat

Trying to convince people that Muslims are not terrorists or that Muslim women are not oppressed or that not all Muslims represent Islam is becoming increasingly difficult. A Muslim man with a bushy beard is assumed to be planning an attack – on anything. When a Muslim woman decides to dress properly, it is naturally assumed that she is forced to wear such clothes. Even if you can hardly hold a newspaper or watch the news without hearing anything about Islam or Muslims, it is usually a gross misinterpretation or misrepresentation.

This explosive mix comes from the Muslim himself, sometimes the Muslims are their own worst enemies. They often speak without knowledge or without even considering the effects of their words. Sometimes Muslims react without paying attention to the bigger picture. They often react to the misunderstandings without realizing that their behavior sometimes confirms the wrong ideas. Not all Muslims represent Islam.
We live in interesting times and according to an old Chinese proverb or maybe a western doctor, this is anything but a blessing. Muslims call this time Fitna (trials and suffering). Life rushes past, beckons us into the unknown, but in a strange way, everything has been done before. This is not the first time in history that Muslims are suffering from the effects of lies and misrepresentation. No matter how many lies and misunderstandings, the truth seekers of this world have a way to find the gold buried in the dirt. Islam is like this gold, it can lie still and it does not lose any of its beauty when it does so.

The far greater threat to Muslims and the Muslim way of life is the „war on terror“ and the subsequent demonization of the Muslims. The mainstream of the media focuses on the bad behavior of Muslims, who too often don’t understand much of their religion. The vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims condemn acts of terrorism and the unjustified murder of innocent civilians; just like the majority of Muslim scholars and leaders do, but unfortunately the religion of Islam is almost always associated with the thinking and behavior of criminals.

The wrongdoing of Muslims is often used to justify or fuel hatred of innocent Muslims or the religion of Islam itself. Again and again, verses from the Quran are taken out of context and criminals are said to follow Islamic dogmas, whereas in reality nothing could be further from the truth. In order to understand Islam’s position on violence, one has to look at the original sources, the Quran and the authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessings and peace are on him. It is not feasible to take a verse from the Quran and deduce its meaning without looking at the verse before and the verse after. A complete understanding of the depth and delicacy of the Quran is only possible

So what exactly does Islam say about war and violence?

Islam is a religion revealed by God for the benefit of mankind and it totally forbids harming innocent people in any way. This includes their bodies, possessions and honor. Islam teaches Muslims to treat everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, color or social status. Islam prohibits oppression and protects rights, and commands Muslims to live together in peace and harmony, and even to do justice to their enemies and in war. It is never allowed to kill a person who is not hostile or who has a peace treaty.

„God does not forbid you to be kind to those who have not fought you for faith and have not driven you out of your homes, and to treat them fairly; surely God loves the righteous.“ (Quran 60: 8)

When the Prophet Muhammad sent his companions to war, he said: „Go out in the name of God and kill no old man, baby, child or woman. Spread the good and do good because God loves those who do good. „[1]“ Do not kill monks in monasteries. “ or „Do not kill people sitting in places of worship.“ [2] Once after a battle, the Prophet saw a woman’s body on the ground and said, „She did not fight. How was she killed?“

This kind of wartime behavior was emphasized even more by Abu Bakr, the leader of the Islamic nation after the Prophet Muhammad. He said, „I command ten things to you. Do not kill women, children or the elderly, frail person. Do not cut fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy inhabited places. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn or scatter bees. Do not steal from the prey and do not be cowardly. “

If an enemy harms Muslims or drives them out of their homes and homes, God will ask Muslims to defend themselves, but even under the threat one must Stay Muslim.

„And fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Truly, God does not love those who transgress … and fight against them until there is no more confusion and the religion belongs to God. If but if they stop, there should be no hostility except to those who do wrong. “ (Quran 2: 190-193)

„O you who believe! Stand up for God and be witnesses to righteousness. And hatred of a group should not lead you to act differently than justly. Be just, that is closer to the fear of God. And fear God; truly, God is knowledgeable of your actions. “ (Quran 5: 8)

The message of the Quran is clear. Taking life, every life, unjustified, is a great sin. Both the Quran and the authentic teachings of Prophet Muhammad that God’s blessings and peace are upon him are steeped in an overwhelming sense of justice and forgiveness. The message of Islam is addressed to all people and Islam demands grace and wisdom in all relationships, even in times of war. When atrocities are committed that defy Islam’s beliefs and teachings, it is important to remember that not all Muslims represent Islam.

„That is why We have prescribed to the children of Israel that if someone kills a person without committing a murder or without causing a mischief in the country, it should be as if he had killed all mankind; and if someone sustains life to a human being, as if he had sustained the life of all humanity. “ (Quran 5:32)

 

Footnotes:
[1] Abu Dawud
[2] Imam Ahmad

 

(part 3 of 3): Weird exaggerations are not part of Islam

 

In the last two articles we discussed the fact that not all Muslims represent the Islamic religion. We have focused on Islam’s stance on war, violence and terrorism. We have found that Islam is a religion of peace and that unjustified killing or violence are absolutely prohibited. Unfortunately, many Muslims around the world have tarnished the name of Islam by committing acts and monstrosities that have no place in a religion based on the concepts of justice and grace. However, this is not the only thing that Muslims themselves misrepresent Islam.

From the beginning it is important to understand the basis of Islam – God is one. He has no partners, no sons, no daughters or helpers. He alone created and maintains the universe. Nothing happens without His permission.

„Say:“ He is Allah, only one, Allah-us-Samad (the absolute, eternally independent, whom all creatures need, he does not eat and does not drink). He does not father and has not been begotten and there is no one equal to him. „(Quran 112)

“ Does a God exist beside Allah? God is exalted above what they associate with him! „(Quran 27:63)

Muslims certainly believe that there is no god but Allah, and they believe that the prophets and messengers were sent by God to guide humanity to the truth that God is One. Therefore, there is no place for mediators of any kind in Islam. It is God alone that Muslims worship, and God Only ask for help in all efforts. This concept is known as Tauhid and it forms the basis of the religion of Islam.

Unfortunately, if we look at the behavior of some Muslims, we find practices and exaggerations that are actually prohibited in Islam. Sincere Adoration of God Alone has been changed by local customs and traditions, even if many Muslims are reluctant to admit that such corruption exists. The fact is that not all Muslims pray in the right way and not all Muslims are representatives of Islam.

It is one of the greatest sins to worship someone or anything other than God. This is forbidden in Islam, but these deep-seated cultural practices remain all over the world. Muslims who call the dead to intervene for them do not represent the religion of Islam. Muslims who assume that righteous people were able to mediate between ordinary people and God do not represent the religion of Islam. Muslims who wear good luck charms and amulets, believing that they can somehow ward off evil or bring good, do not represent the religion of Islam. These are direct contradictions to the unity of God.

Corruption in worship is common to many myths and traditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Many traditions involve the use of spells and amulets. But a Muslim knows that everything comes from God, and there is no luck and no coincidence. Strange exaggerations can do no harm or good. Islam teaches that there is no power or power except with God, it dispels these myths and exaggerations to free humanity from this kind of bondage.

With this knowledge, let’s examine the cultural practices that surround two fictional women. The women in these anecdotes are entirely fictional, but the practices are real and are only a small part of the hundreds of traditions and practices used across the Muslim world to ward off evil or achieve good.

In a small village outside of Mogadishu in Somalia, 18-year-old Nura has just given birth to her first child. A handsome, healthy boy. Nura and her family believe that the bracelet made of thread and herbs that he wears protects him from the evil eye. Most Somalis associate their identity with Islam, but a large number of pre-Islamic practices have survived. There is a strong belief in a person’s control through Ǧinn (devil) and tsar (a cult that women willfully possess) and most Somali Bedouins routinely wear protective amulets. Before Islam, the belief system in Somalia was largely animistic, it goes back to the Paleolithic era, in which every object, whether inspired or not, was assigned a soul

These traditions and practices usually formed around significant life experiences, such as birth and death, and often involve the use of plants and herbs, both because of their medicinal properties and the belief that such plants and herbs offer protection from malicious spirits. Therefore, an amulet is given to a newborn baby to protect it from harm. This practice denies the unity of God. These are traditions that make no sense, because the true nature of God is revealed through the Quran and the authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, that God’s blessings and peace be upon him.

Far away in Turkey, in the thriving metropolis of Istanbul, Ceylan’s mother and her aunts decorate the room where she will give birth with garlands of onions, garlic and blue pearls. They believe this will protect Ceylan and the newborn from the evil eye and wicked Ǧinn known in Turkey as the „baby kidnapper“. You will also find ribbons made from herbs hanging in the birth room in Turkey Blue pearls are common in many Muslim communities. People wear amulets, have them ready to give to guests, hang them next to their front doors or in their cars. The pearls are usually made of glass for misfortune or evil to reflect and the belief is that it pulls the positive energy away like a mirror and throws back the bad intentions. According to this false belief, if evil is too strong for the blue eye to push it away, it breaks and sacrifices itself.

The origin of the blue pearls is difficult to understand, but they can be found in all countries around the Mediterranean including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. They can even go back to ancient Egypt. The eye of Horus (ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and power) could be the origin of this widespread belief and the color blue has been used since ancient times to symbolize protection and healing. In Islam, however, it is clear that healing and protection only come from God alone.

Flawed acts of worship and exaggerated practices are common in Muslim communities around the world. Perhaps you have already noticed some in your community; however, they are not representative of Islam. Islam is the religion of informational knowledge, not blind belief and strange exaggerations. The power of God is almighty. If Muslims behave in a way that supports exaggeration and alien behavior, they do not represent Islam. The message of Islam is clear. There is no strength and no power except through God, and the Prophet Muhammad is His last Messenger.

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/reprsentieren-alle-muslime-den-islam