Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Q & A About Islam

It’s already known that when thinking of Islam, the first things to come to many people’s minds are discrimination, violence and terror. And without digging deep in Islamic history or referring to correct and reliable interpretations and translations of Quran, they believe these claims and take them for granted. Not only this, but they go as far as creating an impression about Muslims they encounter based on their false information giving these Muslims no chance to prove them wrong.
Of course Muslims, just like any other people belonging to any religion, or even non-believers, they have the good and the bad among them. They have the moderate and the extremists. Therefore Islam shouldn’t be judged by the way it’s applied –although that plays a very big role in creating its reputation- because the application is mostly affected by both the personal environment and mentality. This is no justification for the misapplication of Islam, in fact, I wish Muslims who are giving Islam a bad name would get back to their senses and read the Holy Quran again, so that they’d know they’re way off track and no where even close to being Muslims.

Anyway, for the sake of the real Muslims who are treated as if they’ve committing a crime by being Muslims, and for all real Muslims who are suffering prejudgments and mistreatment for nothing wrong they did, I thought I’d share the following information I came across by My Divine Comedy, who found few questions posted by a Muslim and the answers to her questions provided by a Muslim preacher.

Q.1. Why does Islam consider women inferior to men?
A.1. Islam considers men and women equal. Anyone who thinks that Islam gives an inferior position to women does not know Islam. It is true that in some Muslim communities women are treated as if they were inferior, but this is due to local tradition, which may be inherited or imported from local or neighboring culture. Unfortunately people associate this with Islam, but Islam has nothing to do with it. Reflect, if you will, on the duties Islam requires of men and women. You will find these the same, and the reward promised for doing them is the same. If you have some employees and you assign the same duties to them but give them different salaries, then you do not treat them equally. Likewise, if you give them the same salaries but you assign lighter duties to some of them, then those with lighter duties are given a preferred status. This is not the Islamic way. Men and women are equal in the sight of God and they must be treated equally in Muslim society, and indeed within the same family.

Q.2. Since we cannot do anything except by God’s will, why are we accountable when we commit sin?
A.2. There are certain things that we do by nature, such as breathing, reaction to weather conditions and natural elements, etc. But God has given us free will and a good range of choice over other matters. He has also given us our minds to judge matters and choose what is right and proper. He did not leave us, however, to our own thinking so as to determine right from wrong. He sent us messengers who delivered His guidance, and He bestowed the Qur’an as a permanent guide for us. Thus, He has given us everything we need to know what is right and what is wrong. When we choose to do wrong and commit sin, it is only right that we should be held responsible for our deeds, which we have chosen. Still He forgives us whatever wrong we commit if we regret it, repent and resolve not to repeat it.

Q.3. Is it really Islamic to kill unbelievers? Should not all people be allowed to practice what they believe in?
A.3. Under Islam, all people are free to practice whatever beliefs they have. Islam does not allow Muslims to kill unbelievers who do not fight Islam. It is only when they launch an aggression against Islam or Muslims that we should fight them. When Muslims fight back, they are only repelling aggression. Still, when Muslims fight, they must abide by Islamic rules, never killing anyone who is not engaged in the fight against them. Thus, they must not kill or injure innocent people or passers by.

Source: ArabNews