New to Islam? 30 Facts About Islam

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 21) Terrorism, unjustified violence, and the killing of innocent people are absolutely forbidden in Islam. Islam is a way of life that is meant to bring peace to a society, whether its people are Muslim or not. The extreme actions of those who claim to be Muslim may be, among other things, a result of their ignorance or uncontrolled anger. Tyrant rulers and those who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam are simply not following Islam. These people are individuals with their own views and political agendas. Fanatical Muslims are no more representative of the true Islamic teachings than Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh are of Christianity. Extremism and fanaticism is a problem that is common to all religious groups.

22) The word "jihad" does not mean "holy war". Instead, it means the inner struggle that one endures in trying to submit their will to the will of God. Some Muslims may say they are going for "jihad" when fighting in a war to defend themselves or their fellow Muslims, but they only say this because they are conceding that it will be a tremendous struggle. But there are many other forms of jihad which are more relevant to the everyday life of a Muslim such as the daily struggles against self-desire, the struggle against a tyrant ruler or against the temptation of Satan, etc., etc.

23) Women are not oppressed in Islam. Any Muslim man that oppresses a woman is not following true Islam. Among the countless teachings of Prophet Muhammad which protected the rights and dignity of women is his saying, "...the best among you are those who treat their wives well." (Related by Tirmidhi)

24) Islam grants Muslim women numerous rights in the home and in society. Among them are the right to work and earn money, the right to financial support, the right to an education, the right to an inheritance, the right to being treated kindly, the right to vote and representation on a board, the right to a dowry, the right to keep their maiden name, the right to worship in a mosque, etc., etc.

25) Arranged marriages are allowed in Islam but are not required. The marriage decision is usually left to the individual. "Forced" marriages are cultural practices, not religious practices mandated by Islam.

26) Divorce is permissible in Islam, however, reconciliation is what is most encouraged. Indeed, if there are irreconcilable differences then Islam permits a fair and just divorce.

27) Islam and so-called "Nation of Islam" are two completely different religions. Islam is a religion that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century A.D. It is a religion for all races of people and enjoins the worship of the One unseen God who has no sons, daughters, or partners and who never took human form. The "Nation of Islam", on the other hand, is a movement geared towards non-whites for the elevation of minorities on a social scale. It teaches that God appeared in the form of Fard Muhammad in Detroit in 1930 A.D. and that Elijah Muhammad, a man who died in 1975, was a prophet of God. These beliefs clearly contradict the basic Islamic theology outlined in the Qur'an. The followers of "the Nation" adhere to some Islamic principles that are mixed with many other teachings that are alien to Islam. To better understand the difference between Islam and "the Nation", read the story about Malcolm X, his pilgrimage to Mecca, and his subsequent comments to the media. Islam teaches unity and equality amongst all the races (the Holy Qur'an 49:13).

28) All Muslims are not Arab. Islam is a universal religion and way of life which includes followers from all races of people. There are Muslims in and from virtually every country in the world. Arabs only constitute about 20% of Muslims worldwide. Indonesia has the largest concentration of Muslims with over 120 million.

29) In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the Kaaba in Mecca, Arabia. It is a cube-shaped stone structure that was originally built by Prophet Adam and later rebuilt by Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that the Kaaba was the first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god. Muslims do not worship the Kaaba. It serves as a central focal point for Muslims around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common belief, spiritual focus and direction. Interestingly, the inside of the Kaaba is empty.

30) The hajj is a simultaneous pilgrimage to the Kaaba made by millions of able-bodied Muslims each year. It is performed namely to commemorate the struggles of Abraham, his son Ismail, and his wife Hagar in submitting their wills to God.

Source: www.fisabilillah.org/

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