We all have misconceptions about other religions. Our thoughts are influenced by what we see in the media or the society around us even though the books teach us something else about the certain religion. For example, I used to think kissing in the church, right after you say ‘I do’ is part of Christianity belief. But I found out from my protestant christian friend that it is actually cultural thing rather than religious. People have misconceptions about Islam too, which I will try to clarify in this blog.
Just incase if you do not know anything about islam, Here is a brief description of what islam is: Islam means ‘submission’ or ‘surrender’ voluntarily to the will of God (Allah in Arabic). People who follow Islam are called Muslims, they have a holy book called Quran-e-Pak (pure Quran). The Quran-e-pak states the way of life that will help muslims to live a better life, it does not guarantee good life but it does make muslims believe that they will have the best time after life in heaven. Quran recognises that humans have free will to choose between obeying or disobeying God, but eventually God will hold them accountable for their deeds. God has 99 names one of them is Ar-Rahman (In Arabic) which means Merciful , if you spent your whole life doing sins but if you repent with honest heart, God forgives you and promises better life after death.
- Lack of understanding: People not understanding Islam is understandable, the Quran is written in Arabic which means Muslims who are not Arabic speakers need to make an extra effort to not just read but to translate the words. The Quran is written in poetic way, which makes it difficult for muslims and non muslims to understand. It can be very easy to misinterpret the words according to your level of understanding. Most people do not go through the efforts to understand what exactly does the Quran say. Some children from muslim families start reading Quran from the age of 4 and finish by 7. Some children memorise the whole Quran but they do not understand it. In order to understand the words, you have to keep an open mind wiling to understand and accept the truth.
- Not willing to understand and accept: This basically links to the first point, Some people do not want to understand in order to do what their heart desires. They will not accept the words of the Quran no matter how logical it is.
- Some people don’t like the idea of a God & having to obey someone: There are some people who just like to question every little thing in this world for example why do we need to breathe, why cannot we be alive without breathing. They will question God as well that why do we need God, why did he create us if he knew if are going to hell or heaven (He is all knowing). If anyone else had this question in mind, then God created us to Worship him just because he knows our future does not mean he will control it even though he can. But humans have something called free-will. We decide how we want to behave, if we want to go to heaven or hell. He will judge us according to our deeds but he does not want us to got hell. There are many signs, information he sent down to us but it is us humans who fail to acknowledge it.
- They are too caught up in this world and they will obey their desires: We all have desires, we all wish to do something which would be either against the society, against our religions, against our families. Some people want to do what they want, not what a book tells them to do. There are also some people who knows that their desires are wrong and would rather do what is right.
- God theory is quite shaky and there is no proof: This is the truth, in the era we are living now there is no proof of what happened years ago. There are books but there are so many books now it can be difficult to know what is the truth. People rather follow science because it does not have any variations while religion does. In Islam it self there are so many different types of muslims that believe in different things. At the end of day, it will be about your own choice and what you want to follow. The biggest proof of Islam is the Quran which has be preserved for over 1400 years, Quran has not been changed, it still remains intact. Plus it is a miracle it self that 7 year olds have memorised the whole Quran. People who want to see miracles, they will even consider the sea as a miracle of God, but for others it will be just hydrogen and oxygen.
- Some people are brainwashed by media and see Islam as backwards as they don’t support LGBT. Or most Muslims are Jihaadi: Yes there are such type of people that are like this but if few groups of people are like this, it does not mean all are like this. Media has a huge impact on what you think of other religions, like I mentioned one of my misconception about Christianity. Some people would rather leave Islam due to influence of the media than to understand Islam. Media only shows what it wants others to see, but if you want to know the truth it can only be found in a Quran. Just to clarify we do not hate the people who are LGBTQ or those who support it, we do not like the deed. We will not hesitate to be friends with them, we will not let them feel isolated or different. We will like the person but not the deed they are doing. Thats what my religion teaches. Respect others regardless of their religion, race, background or deeds.
- Some get confused by the many many sections in Islam that have come about. And honestly they leave it and say “why should I believe in something that has so many contradictory groups”. Like i mentioned in point 5, there are many different types of muslims: the 2 main are sunni and shias. The confusion made by the families, society, culture has an impact on the Muslim. Some people would just leave in order to avoid all this, they will start doubting Islam when infact they should doubt the people that have implanted the wrong information in their minds.
- Some people are genuinely looking for the right path and most of the time these people come back to Islam anyway
- Sometimes people get wrong friends group, preachers who mislead them and give them wrong image or example of the religion. There are many preachers out there who try to connect with the audience through social media. Not all of them will give the right information. They interpret the Quran according to their understanding and will give out wrong information. People who are genuinely trying to find out about Islam, they will watch these preachers and get wrong/Bad image of Islam.
- Too much guilt, they feel like completely throwing everything away and starting new: Following what your heart desires, doing sins while practising Islam can get frustrating. You do not feel at peace because of the sins but instead of leaving the sins, some Muslims end up leaving Islam.
- Too much pressure from the world (other religions hating on islam for practising their faith in Public): Some Muslims practise Islam even outside their homes by wearing hijab or dressing modestly or saying Salam (Hello) even to strangers. Many other ways but because of wrong group of people that are so-called Muslims. Other religions hate Muslims. Obviously no one wants to be hated, so to make their lives easier by leaving Islam. Instead of supporting muslims for their own decisions, they get targeted and not accepted.
- They like living without rules: Islam does have some rules to follow which is entirely your choice. Some people do not like that, they like living freely without any rules. But again it is your choice, your future is in your hands, how you live your life now will modify how you spend your life in future.
- Some families are more strict than others: This could be more of cultural thing than religious. Being a Muslim Pakistani girl, I never felt restricted. I did what my heart wanted to do. I do sins and not proud of it. But at the end of the day I know My God will forgive me. In other families, in other countries maybe girls are more restricted. An information is implanted in their minds that If you do not do what God tells you to do, you will go in Hell. Which is true, but Gods mercy is way more powerful than our sins. Some people do not like to live in such fear that their family has implanted. Not only they distance away from their families but also from their religion.
Basically all of these things mean that the person lacks faith in the existence of God. They do not have enough faith to back up the religion and trust Gods powers. I am not trying to say my faith is the right one, it is what I feel. Feelings cannot be right or wrong. If you feel, christianity is right then maybe it is. If you think being atheist is right then maybe it is. It is what YOU feel.
- Say, “O disbelievers,
- I do not worship what you worship.
- Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
- Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
- Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
- For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”
^ 6 verses from the Quran that brings peace between Islam and other religions
Thank you readers and people who helped me to find out this information. I am sure you know who you are.