There are many non-Muslims who have studied Islam. Most of them have only read books on Islam written by biased critics of Islam. These non-Muslims have a different set of twenty common misconceptions about Islam. For instance, they claim to have found contradictions in the Qur'an, they contend that the Qur'an is unscientific etc. In this issue I shall deal with Vast difference between Islam and the Actual Practice of Muslims
Question: If Islam is the best religion, why are many of the Muslims dishonest, unreliable, and involved in activities such as cheating, bribing, dealing in drugs, etc.?
1. Media maligns Islam
a. Islam is without doubt the best religion but the media is in the hands of the Westerners who are afraid of Islam. The media is continuously broadcasting and printing information against Islam. They either provide misinformation about Islam, misquote Islam or project a point out of proportion, if any.
b. When anywhere any bomb blasts take place, the first people to be accused without proof are invariably the Muslims. This appears as headlines in the news. Later when they find that non-Muslims were responsible, it appears as an insignificant news item.
c. If a 50 year old Muslim marries a 15 year old girl after taking her permission, it appears on the front page but when a 50 year old non-Muslim rapes a 6 year old girl, it may appear in the news in the inside pages as News briefs. Everyday in America more than 1900 cases of rape take place but it doesnít appear in the news since it has become a way of life for the Americans.
2. Black sheep in every community:
I am aware that there are some Muslims who are dishonest, unreliable, who cheat, etc. but the media projects this as though only Muslims are involved in such activities. There are black sheep in every community. I know Muslims who are alcoholic and who can drink most of the non-Muslims under the table. Most of the Indian History books mention that Mohammed of Ghaznavi invaded India more that 25 times and looted temples. He is projected as a sample of how a Muslim is. Very few books mention that he even looted mosques. In fact he should be projected as a sample of a robber. Naturally, since more wealth was found in temples than in mosques, he more often looted the temples than the mosques.
3. Muslims best as a whole:
Inspite of all the black sheep in the Muslim community, Muslims taken on the whole, yet form the best community in the world. We are the biggest community of tee-totallers as a whole, i.e. those who donít imbibe alcohol. Collectively, we are a community which gives the maximum charity in the world. There is not a single person in the world who can hold a candle to the Muslims where modesty is concerned; where sobriety is concerned; where human values and ethics are concerned.
4. Donít judge a car by its driver:
If you want to judge how good is the latest model of the Mercedes and a person who does not know how to drive sits on the steering wheel and bangs up the car, who will you blame? The car or the driver? But naturally the driver. To analyze how good the car is, a person should not look at the driver but see the ability and features of the car. How fast is it, what is its average fuel consumption, what are the safety measures, etc. Even if I agree for the sake of argument that the Muslims are bad, donít judge a car by its driver! Donít judge Islam by its followers. If you want to judge how good Islam is then judge it according to its authentic sources, i.e. the Glorious Qurían and the Sahih Hadith.
5. Judge Islam by its best follower i.e. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh):
If you practically want to check how good a car is put an expert driver behind the steering wheel. Similarly the best and the most exemplary follower of Islam by whom you can check how good Islam is the last and final Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Besides Muslims, there are several honest and unbiased non-Muslim historians who have acclaimed that prophet Muhammad was the best human being. According to Michael H. Hart who wrote the book, ĎThe Hundred Most Influential Men in Historyí, the topmost position, i.e. the number one position goes to the beloved Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (Pbuh). There are several such examples of non-Muslims paying great tributes to the prophet, like Thomas Carlyle, La-Martine, etc.
Non-Muslims referred as Kafirs
Question: Why do Muslims abuse non-Muslims by calling them Kafirs?
Kafir means one who rejects.
Kafir is derived from the word kufr, which means to conceal or to reject. In Islamic terminology, Kafir means one who conceals or rejects the truth of Islam and a person who rejects Islam is in English called a non-Muslim.
(The author is the president of Islamic Research Foundation, mumbai. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.irf.net)