Many non- Muslims believe they know what Islam is and know what it stands for. Mainly because of the media, Islam is made out to be a violent and horrible religion, which is nowhere near true. This article is to help clear up all the misconceptions of Islam, and of course help any non- Muslim who wants to find out more about the religion.
Now I'm pretty sure you've all heard the horrible stereotype, 'Muslims are all terrorists' or 'Muslims condone terrorism'. Especially after 9/11 Muslims have become the world's biggest enemy. Being a Muslim myself and studying the Quran, I've never found one verse in the Quran that condones terrorism or encourages the killing of innocent people. In fact what I've found is verses that speak against it.
The Prophet Muhammed (P.b.u.h) clearly said, "A believer remains within his religion, unless he spills blood illegally." It is a huge sin to kill innocent people in Islam. So if a so-called Muslim bombs innocent people in the name of Allah, Muslims are the first people to say that it is forbidden. What Islam allows is that if the two armies meet, then you have the right to do what you have to do on the battlefield. Firstly in Islam you cannot commit suicide, secondly you cannot kill innocent civilians.
In Islam we also believe that Allah hates the starters of war. People constantly go around saying "Muhammed killed innocent people, Muhammed started war," which is again not true. During the Prophet Muhammed's time his enemies in Mecca hated him. A female companion of the Prophet called Sumaya had a spear driven through her, just because she was Muslim and believed in Allah. Bilal Ibn Rabah was the first black man to enter Islam, he was given rights at a time where there were no rights for these people. Even in U.S.A black people were only given rights about a hundred years ago, black people weren't even treated like human beings. After many years of Muslims being tortured finally Allah gave Prophet Muhammed the right to fight back.
The first war was called 'The battle of Badr'. The Muslims did win this battle. However Quarish wanted revenge and started another war 'The Battle of Uhud.' The Muslims were defated in this battle. People expected the Muslims to begin another war in revenge. However they didn't because like I said before we believe Allah hates the starters of war.
Another thing I always hear people say, "It says on the Quran to kill the non believers, if they don't convert to Islam." Actually it says in the Quran in Surat Al Bakara, "La Ikraha fil deen." Basically meaning that there is no compulsion in religion, there's no force in religion. So Muslims are taught to respect all religions, and God will judge everyone rightly.
Rights of Women
Another huge misconception 'Muslim women are opressed' 'Muslim men beat their wives.' Again this is an ignorant misconception.
'O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr (bridal money) you have given them,'
This is a beautiful verse from Surat Al Nissa in the Quran. This is a beautiful Surah it brings out the rights of women in Islam.
We believe men are also the protectors women. A man in Islam regardless of whether his wife works or not he must work and provide for his wife and family. Women in Islam can work too and the money they earn is for them to keep and do whatever they want with it.
A couple of beautiful quotes by the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) about the women,
"God enjoins you to treat women well, for they are your mothers, daughters, aunts."
"A Muslim must not hate his wife and if he be displeased with one bad quality in her, then let him be pleased with another that is good."
"Admonish your wives with kindness."
Moving on. The Burka. Okay just to clear this up, the Burkah is optional. It is not forced upon anyone some Muslim women choose to wear it, others simply wear the hijab while others just dress modestly. Some argue that the hijab is obligatory but that is a different subject.
Women are told to dress modestly in Islam and cover their adornments from non Mahram men. The only people who should only be allowed to see your beauty are 'Your fathers, your husband, your uncles, your sons, your brothers, your nephews, your husband's father and of course women.' This is so women won't be used as a tool and the true beauty should be shown by their actions and not their physical features.
I hope this has cleared up some misconceptions of Islam. Don't judge Islam but the actions of some Muslims, rather read and study the Quran yourself. Islam is a religion just like any other religion, Muslims are people just like everyone else. It is not fair to judge all of us based on the acts of some because I could say all Jews are Zionists but their not. If you have any other questions on Islam simply ask me and I'll try to answer them.
Author's Note: Please be respectful when discussing this.