Ikram is a father of three who's passionate about writing his thoughts. He writes about wide range of topics from fatherhood to economy, or even comedies. Ikram works from home and also offers his freelance services. If you want to know what are the services he is offering, please visit the TAA Consulting page in this website.
I hope that this can be done. Diplomatic discussions should begin immediately and there should be a two-state solution to this. Because, as I said, Muslims naturally are peaceful and forgivable ummah. They can consider forgetting the past misbehaviour of your grandparents, occupying their lands if you can fulfil your promises and let the Palestinians return to their lands.
Great grandparents of young Palestinians today had allowed ungrateful refugees from Europe to settle in their homeland 70 years ago, in return, they are now chased out from their homeland, by the refugees.
Then, now, the refugees self-proclaim themselves as owners of illegally possessed land and behave like they own the land. They keep trying hard to prove this illegitimacy by propagating their one-sided views via western controlled media and pressuring their proxies worldwide.
These amazingly shameful but very dominant and confident refugees, who don’t have any shame whatsoever, seizing Palestinian lands, rewarding the cowards and seeking “normalisation” agenda worldwide.
The so-called impartial united nations (UN) has been very supportive of their actions since day one, leaving the Arabs and those who are supporting the Palestinian with very limited choice, more often than not, only one choice; in the end, to give in to those tyrant self proclaim owners of illegally possessed lands of the Palestinians.
But there is one special land, owned, not by the Palestinians.
It is called, the Al Aqsa Mosque. This is a very sensitive land, passed down to our generation from our beloved Prophet Muhammad saw and his sahabah (companions), since more than 1400 years ago. It is a worship place, shared peacefully with others, when Muslims were in control over the lands around the Al Aqsa Mosque. This sacred land, is not owned by Palestinians alone, mind you. It is the holy land, owned by the Muslims worldwide, and its surrounding is blessed by Allah, only when it is still under the protection of the Muslim nations.
But, when the believers worship in the House of Allah, peacefully, and then attacked unceremoniously, by the self proclaim illegal and tyrant security forces, who not only occupied the land of Palestinians but wish and dream to also occupy the holy land of the Muslim Ummah.
Therefore, this is the sensitive line you see why this matter escalated to the way it is now.
The ignorant western journalists ask their readers and viewers, why the tensions escalate in the illegally occupied land of Palestine (I do not want to mention the name of an illegal nation or country)? My answer is simple, “please do not touch the land of all Muslims.” That is when even people in Gaza would retaliate. That is when, people in Indonesia would get upset, even if not all of them.
You see, when you kill the women and children or making them widows or orphans, that could already spark tensions, as it is already cruel on its own. But, to add fuel to your arrogant behaviours, you send mortars, gasses, bullets and stormed into the Al Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadhan, while limiting the Muslims from visiting the place most times! That is when you created a sensation at the wrong time and place, angering the Muslims worldwide.
You see, Muslims are peaceful people by nature. But, they are also sensitive, such as matters related to their faiths. If someone purposely targets these matters to invite conflicts and battles, what kind of a person you think he or she is? The same goes when Charlie Hebdo purposely frustrates Muslims by drawing cartoons of our beloved prophet, the same goes when you purposely attack worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque during Ramadhan.
Not only you haven’t apologised, but you arrogantly continue attacking civilians and spread lies throughout mankind.
Remember, Allah swt said in Holy Quran verse Al Isra, ayah 4-7:
“And We warned the Children of Israel in the Scripture, “You will certainly cause corruption in the land twice, and you will become extremely arrogant.” (4)
“When the first of the two warnings would come to pass, We would send against you some of Our servants of great might, who would ravage your homes. This would be a warning fulfilled.” (5)
“Then after your repentance, We would give you the upper hand over them and aid you with wealth and offspring, causing you to outnumber them”. (6)
“If you act rightly, it is for your own good, but if you do wrong, it is to your own loss. And when the second warning would come to pass, your enemies would totally disgrace you and enter the Masjid (Al Aqsa) as they entered it the first time, and utterly destroy whatever would fall into their hands.” (7)
Allah has warned you not to be arrogant and do injustices on the land after He had helped you from the enemies like during the past wars. Now, when He had aided you with wealth and power because Allah loves to help the weak and needy, you became arrogant and do mischievous acts on earth.
Then, after you have done this for the second time, Allah has promised in the Holy Quran, that “your enemies” (doesn’t mean that they are bad people) will enter the mosque, like they have entered the last time, destroying what you have possessed before.
So, this is the last chance, as Allah said, if you want to peacefully co-exist with others, you have to do good. Return the lands and homes of the Palestinians, and let them continue to live there peacefully with you, and install a justice system immediately.
I hope that this can be done. Diplomatic discussions should begin immediately and there should be a two-state solution to this. Because, as I said, Muslims naturally are peaceful and forgivable ummah. They can consider forgetting the past misbehaviour of your grandparents, occupying their lands if you can fulfil your promises and let the Palestinians return to their lands.
But I guess, your dream is beyond taking over the land. It is far greater than just occupying Palestinian lands.
It is beyond the past cruelty of your predecessors and allies. It must have been thousands of years of hatred, which you have sown against the rest of Arab worlds and Muslims generally.
If this continues, we Muslims leave to Allah’s hand our fate.
Only from Him we came, and to Him alone, we shall return.
In this holy month of Ramadhan, I intend to improve myself further. I need to remind myself about my mistakes and learn not to repeat the same mistakes in the future. I also need to remain humble.
I know that I’ve wronged myself and others a lot in the past, so I want to remind myself how lowly of a person I am, and I shouldn’t be too overboard.
I have to always stay on the ground because I don’t know when I will go underground. I should not be too enthusiastic to think higher than I should be, as I know how insignificant I am comparing to others. I have already accepted the fact that I am insignificant long ago.
I remember when I first started working as a part-time operator at a factory in Bangi. I was waiting for the SPM result at that time. It was hard work, but the experience had taught me how vital are friendship, teamwork, and “respecting each other” in our lives. As a part-timer, I enjoyed learning new skills from the seniors, even if they were all about collecting garbage and cleaning the floors.
But, I had to choose between wanting to grow or remain in the comfort zone. I was fortunate that soon after, I got the opportunity to further my studies in Japan, so I chose to grow exponentially. I continued working as a part-timer (or arubaito) whenever the opportunities arise, without neglecting my studies, of course!
Fast forward; around early 2000s, I was asked to return home and started my professional career at a reputable multinational O&G company based in Kuala Lumpur. I was 25 at that time. Five years later, I got married, not knowing that the decision I made five years before had resulted me taking unpaid leave to accompany my wife, who had to complete her studies in the UK. At that time, I already had two kids, one year and a half son and a months-old daughter.
At that juncture, I tried to visualize and see my future self in the next 20-30 years. Perhaps I could become successful too in achieving my dreams? So I tried my luck by applying for an MBA studentship at the University of Sheffield, and luckily, I got a place there but not the scholarship.
Despite the situation, I now regret that I was not noticing and went overboard by asking my employer for a “sponsorship.” It was that moment of truth when I realized the actual value of myself at that time, in the eyes of my employer. Indeed, it was a devastating moment in my life, and I ended up losing a lot of my confidence, doubting myself ever since.
Now, looking back at the events that unfolded since that time, I thought maybe it was a real turning point for me. I believed that Allah SWT wanted to send His signals to me, to improve myself, and become a humble person instead. What’s more important, as a father and a husband, I must return to reality and be steadfast in regaining my faith.
But I was so determined to prove still that my “wishful thinking” was within grasp. I then applied for an executive position in London, as if I thought that they needed someone like me there. I was wrong, and soon, it was proven that the reality didn’t match my imagination. They instead selected a junior executive to fill up the position, and my heart sunk; while my feelings crumbled. So then, I began seeing the whole situation differently.
In the end, I settled with a full year leave without pay from my employer, doing nothing during the first few months until I was almost broke. I was still searching for a contract job as a marketer, salesperson or trader there, but I then realized that without a proper visa, or work-permit, and also as an unpaid leaver, I should not be aiming for higher than just the odd jobs.
I began to admit my weaknesses and accepted the situation I was in. It was 2008, and the European economy was not performing that well either. I started looking for odd jobs, and soon, luckily, I found work as a cleaner with a cleaning service provider there. I started my first job cleaning shopping complexes and primary schools, especially their toilets. That was when I realized, how Allah SWT wanted me to return to Him alone and start to be humble again. I learned how lowly of a person I was; even till now. I must admit, that I am just a mere dirty piece of cloth, only comparable to any of your foot mats.
I remember when I cried for the first time after many years because I had to clean up others’ impurities on the floor when I, too, remembered how impure I was and still am. That was the moment when I realized how Allah SWT wanted me to return to Him. And since then, I began my journey searching for my soul, looking for any tiny bits of blessings from the Lord of The Worlds, who is the Most Forgiving, The Most Merciful.
The world created by Allah SWT is indeed vast and immense. I traveled a lot, trying to understand the world better. I went to many places in the UK and Europe, and many parts of the world. When I traveled, I realized that people around me are looking at my status and my possession. A few instances when I visited the mosques whenever I traveled to perform prayers; there, I met sincere people with good hearts, offering pure smiles and help. I realized that, purity can only be found in purely holy places.
It is easier to share gratitude with others, especially the neediest, when you have purified your heart. I will never forget how I was treated as a cleaner, and that has taught me a lot, how to be grateful and (how to) be gentle and pleasant to others. Also, how to remain humble, and knowing that I am just a mere servant of Allah SWT, full of impurities, whilst trying my best to purify myself towards His blessings and Rahmah.
In 2009, when I came back from a one-year leave, people were shocked seeing me as a “transformed individual“. I was not so impressed with myself, though, despite the new principles I embraced at that time, and many others believed the same. They thought it was normal for a person to change during one year away from work, where moments will come when I would be doing again all those impurities. Nothing was impossible at that time; even Barrack Obama won the presidency using the slogan “Yes We Can” and “Change.“
When I told some of my friends why I changed, they said that nothing’s so strange about cleaning public toilets! They said (that) they clean their bathrooms at home too, and so? That was not a big deal for them? I thought, yes, me neither. I changed because I wanted to, and it is for Allah’s sake and not for others’ approval. Became a cleaner is just a turning point in my life, nothing so special about it.
I understand that it is not really about telling my experience to my friends or anyone. It doesn’t matter whether people know I have changed or not. What matters the most is that I have grown mature, in the process of becoming a better person: like wanting to be a wiser father, a caring husband, a loving son, and a responsible eldest brother to my nine other siblings. At least, I wanted to have one, if not all, of these as my attributes.
As a result, since I returned home in 2009, I stopped making a lot of negative habits. In turn, I tried to create new positive habits, like growing my knowledge and observing my obligations towards my family. So, I decided to enroll in an MBA program at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) which is closer to home, regardless of its standing in the eyes of society. I studied there not because of pride but because I wanted to learn and improve my skills and knowledge. I paid for the program from my savings because no one will bother thinking about my progress, except for myself. Even if I obtained the certificate or degree from any other institution, what’s more important is how the knowledge I acquired can help the nation, people, and the organization I work for, achieve their goals. Not really about how it can bring benefits to me.
I continued to work hard; I tried to be a better person by learning new knowledge, unlearn bad habits or understandings, and relearn. I know that I am just a mediocre person who is still insignificant, requiring little or no recognition from anyone. It is now a new habit of me, who will remind myself about my past mistakes and the consequences of being overboard. I will keep bemoaning or repent for my past mistakes and all the wrong things that had happened to myself and others around me. God Willing.
I now realized that I have written quite a lengthy write-up. So, let’s stop this article at this. InshaAllah, I will share the other experience I have again next time, such as working as an odd-job worker at OCS and as packer at Amazon’s warehouse in Glasgow, Scotland, between 2014 till 2018. Or perhaps about selling Takoyaki or developing new digital AI applications for the future. And how those experiences had helped me understand the true meaning of friendship, teamwork, and survival.
I hope that this year’s Ramadhan is better than last year’s for all of us. Thank you and all the best. Take care and be safe!
I want to contribute to the ‘ummah’ (people) and continue doing so as long as I live. God Willing.
I want to uphold the principles of an ‘insignificant small bird’, who rose to the occasion, during the trials and tribulations faced by the Prophet Ibrahim peace be upon him.
The small bird was asked, “Why do you want to put just a little drop of water in trying to extinguish huge blazing fire waiting to burn Prophet Ibrahim? You wouldn’t be able to change anything! You could even probably die in the process?”
That historically famous wee bird explained, “I do not know whether what I am doing would have any meaningful impact. However, I am very sure that Allah (God) will never overlook a tiny bit of my efforts, regardless of its result. He, the All-Knowing and All-Seeing, will provide me with great rewards with whatever that I have done. That’s more important to me than thinking whether my efforts will change anything.”
So! The first thing that I am going to do is to spread as many words as possible about the truth: the real truths, and nothing but the truth!
The most important subject which I want to make sure all readers out there understand is: The existence of a Supreme being, a Creator.
Okay, let’s take a step back.
Why do we need to be told about God? Why can’t we live our happy life, and enjoy living as much as possible without being questioned with a heavy discussion like this? Let’s move on to other issues, shall we!?
Yes, before we go any further, let us ponder a straightforward question.
When we do whatever things we need to do in life, do we have 100 per cent confidence that it will succeed? Do you feel that you have full control over all the things you do in life?
Let’s take a penalty shootout by a super striker in a football match as an example. Ronaldo is up against an unknown goalkeeper from Malaysia?!
That is ridiculous! What is the relationship between taking a penalty shooting and a discussion about God’s existence, you may say?
It is because we must first understand the meaning of “control”. Who has better control over things?
As football fans, we assume that Ronaldo, as a top striker, should score. On paper, Ronaldo should be scoring goals with his eyes closed.
But not if we ask himself at that crucial moment. Every striker, if you ask every one of them, whether they are 100 per cent sure that they would be scoring goals, even if they play against school children, they wouldn’t be saying with 100 per cent surety. Though if the goal is widely open.
We do not know what is going to happen next, even within a couple of hours or minutes later. What more tomorrow?
This unsure feeling that we have in our mind is normal, and it is part of our life. None of us is sure with what we do, but we will try our best to move towards perfection, and we are not perfect. We will never be.
God exists. He created us and created all other matters. In all over existed, existing and to be created realms and the worlds. God must be there. Definitely. Without any doubt.
God must be All-Powerful and shouldn’t be equal with any other beings. Otherwise, confusions will arise, and the one who needs help from the others should not be categorised as a Supreme being. Any being who needs help from another is a weakling. God is not weak, but He is the All-Mighty and Powerful. When He says, “Become (anything He wants it to become)!”, then it shall happen (precisely as what He wanted it to become).
God could never be challenged, compared to or measured. He is the only one God, who has all the necessary powers and requirements needed to be acknowledged as God.
But the atheists say that human is made through the evolution theory. My answer is that evolution is just a theory. There is no scientific evidence to support this. The opinion will remain as theory until it is proven. Because, if monkeys can speak up like (the) humans (do), they would probably complain that we humans are crap as we have all the scientific achievements so far, but still unable to speed up their evolutionary processes (to also become human). The same will apply to fishes and other animals. Then, all beings will complain to us, because we left them there like animals, and not human. You are not saying that animals decided for themselves whether they wanted to remain as animals or continue the process and eventually became humans, aren’t you?
The atheists would say that they (the monkeys and fishes) should remain as animals. Because we need to eat (steaks and sushi made of seafood)! The left-behind animals would then say, “Hey, be vegetarian then, we all together eat some veggies, and we all can then believe that the Darwin theory is the truth!” But then, the lions would start to feel irritated and same goes for the tigers, leopards, snakes, hyenas, crocodiles and the rest. They all would stage a revolt, and this could make the whole world in chaos!
How can the world live with a flawed theory like Darwin’s?
This is a no joke, man! Human being has a much higher degree of intelligence which is non-existence amongst other creatures. The only reason for this intelligence must be because of something valuable (that our creator wanted us to see and understand).
If we look around us, there are no other beings in this world that have better needs for intelligence or thinking capabilities than us humans. Monkeys do not need higher IQ than a sleeping or an eating person. Dolphins do not need higher IQ than a swimming person. We cannot impose higher interest of knowledge to other beings, except us human beings. Only humans want to learn and improve their lives and not other beings.
So, the next question is, if there was a God, who created everything, including us, human? How do we know that this is true?
The answer lies in three primary instinct:
Curiosity, Thinking and Knowledge.
Let us talk about this further some other time, shall we?
Thank you for reading my previous entry entitled Answering 10 Most Glaring Misconceptions About Islam. I was so surprised by the higher-than-usual traffic according to the WordPress’ statistical report. I hope that it answers most of the questions, especially for the non-Muslims who wish to learn more about Islam.
Today, I plan to answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posed by internet users in their quest to search for the truth about Islam.
As a start, we have to acknowledge that we are living in the era of the open world, or the borderless world. We can get any information about anything from the internet and social media. Youtube, for example, would suggest more videos according to our past activities and preferences. Therefore, we are more likely to receive suggestions for videos that suit our liking.
But, how about those who want to get more information about something that is related to “the truth about Islam“? Can they still get the right answers to their questions despite the geographical barriers and boundaries?
Here, I plan to pen down some explanations to the three most frequently asked questions by the “truth seekers” within the online social media platforms. We sometimes can get better answers from famous scholars on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, but I would like to provide alternative explanations for their inquisitiveness.
Q1. If “hidayah” (or spiritual guidance) is from Allah, then why are the people who did not get the hidayah are sent to hellfire or being penalized, whereasit is not their fault for not getting the guidance?
First, we have to understand that humans are born together with the “tools to receive” the hidayah. Similar to utilizing a compass in a quest to get to the right destinations, our main tool to receive the hidayah is actually called “the brain“.
Let say if we had to find our teacher, and we are given a GPS or a Google Map app on our mobile phone, what should we do?
We, of course, must first and foremost have the desire “to seek for the truth” which in this case, the sense of urgency “to find a teacher.”
What do we need to do? Do we just sit back and do nothing though we know that we must find a teacher let say for the purpose of preparing for an examination?
If I were a guy who’s told to find a teacher but just simply goes around using the GPS and asks for help from the wrong people, like a madman or an unknown stranger, then I would probably be sent to a wrong place.
But if there was a guy who is clearly smart and can use his own “brain and thinking faculty” by asking the right people, in the end, he might be given an answer like the coordinate of his teacher’s place or a specific address.
Even, if it is possible, by asking the teacher himself, he might get the answer quickly and positively. On top of that, the teacher would feel very happy that the student is working so hard in searching for an answer.
It is also similar to our daily lives. We should use our ears to listen, our eyes to read, our hands to make use, our feet to walk or to move, our hearts to feel and our brain to think.
But, the real guidance is about using all the above “correctly“.
The best way to know about the truth is by asking our creator Himself on how to use this equipment. We can ask by just talking to him like, “Oh my creator, I know that you always listen. So please guide me to the truth, to you.”
Actually, the art of talking to God is very easy. You just simply talk, because He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing. That was what happened to the famous revert from the United States of America, Syeikh Yusuf Estes. He was a Christian priest, but then he asked God for an answer not long after he met an Egyptian Muslim who told him about Islam.
When you want to know the truth, you can straight away realize that you are on the right path or you aren’t. But if you are not looking for the truth, all you can see and think of are the excuses.
Take for an example you want to find a place at a foreign land. You don’t know whether the Google Map is showing you to the right place (or not). Because, based on your logic, the place should not be that far, but Google Map says it should take 4 hours to reach the destination. In that case, what should you do?
A right-minded person would immediately ask someone he can trust. If that someone says, “yeah it is the right place that Google is showing. Google wouldn’t lie!”
But your logic still says that it doesn’t make sense. The next best thing is by calling the person you want to meet or perhaps the people who live in that country because they should know better.
This is the simplest way we can understand the terminology of “seeking for the truth” in theology.
Asking the person you want to meet (or the destination) in a foreign land means similar to asking Allah for His guidance to the truth or to be with Him.
If you cannot do this for whatever reason, you can ask the people of that land or the natives, to show you how to get to the place. It is the same as you ask the Muslims about their religion. Because they are the natives of the Muslim world!
Q2: Why Muslims in the past allow a child or a very young girl to marry an adult man?
First of all, no man should marry newborn babies, young children or even to force them to marry someone. Marriage must be due to the willingness of both the bridegroom and bride to become a husband and wife. Their parents must also be willing to allow their adult children to get married and be consented to do so. If they do not have parents who are still alive, they should be represented by a matured and wise adult to give blessings for the arrangement of marriage. This is the norm in any civilization or culture.
Human beings, must also live their life naturally and not against nature. It means that they must marry the opposite sex and not the same sex. So, if someone marries the opposite sex, then that is normal. What we are facing in this world today is that marrying the opposite sex is considered lame and boring, but the same sex is something that we must accept. This is absurd! If this is already happening, why are these people are complaining about child marriage?! These Donald Ducks can be only called “the confused people” actually!
Secondly, in the past, not only the Arab culture promotes arranged marriage, but also other cultures and religion. Sometimes, the Malay tradition also allows parents to conclude future marriages or to engage their children at a tender age to their relatives, cousins, friends, and people with stature. This is now considered as “backwardness” but not in the past. In the past, the loving and caring relationships can be developed after the marriage has been concluded, or perhaps even after they have tied the knot.
As time goes by, when the information is already made opened and the new generations are more exposed to the “modern concept of love“, then Muslims parents nowadays allow their young adult children to get to know their future partners before they can decide whom to be their future son or daughter in law. In most cases, Muslim parents still control the decision making of their children by giving them some boundaries or principles such as the ability to provide the family with good and stable income, the level of education, the understanding of cultures and so on so forth.
Therefore, there is no problem with the marriage principles as this is truly dependent on the culture of one society. If one person does not like one culture, he or she cannot force other people to follow his or her preference. On the other hand, Muslims cannot force other people to accept the openness of marriage in Islam such as polygamy and arranged marriage.
Q3: Why Islam allows the men to marry more than one wife or polygamy?
In the Quran, it says that men should marry one, two, three or four, but if you cannot bring justice to the wives, then marry only one!
Well, this is, of course, the principle. But, if you conduct a survey, Muslim men are not the type of creatures who like to find trouble and get married more than once. The majority of them are a very polite, responsible and good father and husband.
However, my view is that this should not be used as the opportunity to put Islam in a bad light. In Islam, marriage is a sacred institution and a man cannot by any means treating women unjustly. They also must put women higher than men, such as the saying that “heavens are at the feet of your mothers!” and “wives are the source of strengths of the prophet.”
In Islam, we have acknowledged the importance of women. One of such exemplary woman is Sayyadatina Khadija r.a. who was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. She was a leader in her community, a businesswoman and also the first one to embrace Islam. When she was alive, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w has never married to other women except her.
In this sense, we can understand the two example. As Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is a Prophet who was sent down as a blessing and also example to the mankind, Allah s.w.t with all of His Wisdom, allowed Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. to have two phases of marriage lives. One when he was married to only one most beloved wife, Sayyadatina Khadijah r.a., and then the next is when he was allowed to marry more than one wives although this was not due to his own wants (but merely due to Allah’s decree and in most cases, the requests by his companions). It was also the culture of the nobles during the past golden era of human civilization like 1,400 years ago, where Kings and Chieftains were seen as of higher stature in the society if having more than one wives!
So, the conclusion is that Islam allows you to marry more than one, but it is up to you to decide whether you want to commit yourself into the trouble (of managing the emotions of many wives) or just be peacefully living your life with just one wife. Haha!
If you ask me whether Islam is the truth? As a Muslim, of course, the answer is that Islam is the truth!
However, if you use a logical sense of your thinking faculty, you must be mad to ask the question about, “whether Islam is the truth or not?”
You should be asking, “why Islam exists in the first place?”
Also, you should ask, “why, after Judaism and Christianity existed more than 2,000 years ago, Islam is still the fastest growing religion? And it is probably the biggest religion in the world, which the majority of its followers are following the principles and the tenets of Islam?”
In my opinion, Islam is the final opportunity for mankind to accept the call from our creator whether we really want to be His servants or He can just simply replace us with other creations that can do what we cannot do. Ironically, compared to other religions, Islam is the only widespread religion that has now really reached the whole area of the world as Allah has promised in the Quran:
“And [thus, O Prophet,] We have sent thee as [evidence of Our] grace towards all the worlds.” (Quran 21:107) and “[Be patient:] for this is nought else but a reminder [from God] to all mankind.” (Quran 68:52).
Therefore, since it is already fulfilled (which was considered impossible in the past as the Quran was not heard in New Zealand or Iceland 1,400 years ago); but now with the internet and borderless world concept, anything is possible!
There you go! The truth is already here. It is up to you to decide whether you want to seek further the truth, or just ignore and put this aside.
As a Muslim who lives the life according to the fundamental Islamic teachings, I find it strange that there are still misunderstandings about my religion. The level of dispute amongst the majority of the global population is real, but more often, purposely if not glaringly put forward into the discussion as a fictional version of Islam.
The media, which is controlled by those who have the capitals (or easily translated as money), can sometimes provide falsification facts with a twisted explanation to support their illogical arguments. The discussion about Islam from far left to right is not going to end easily until the Muslims follow what the Non-Muslims believe as the correct version of a religion.
Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say; “Surely Allah’s guidance, that is the(true)guidance”. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper(2:120).”
So, let’s dive down to 10 most glaring misconceptions about Islam which I have full intention to counter argue using the intellectual instruments of logical thinking and facts, on top of mainly using the miraculous wisdom from the Holy Quran.
10. Islam Promotes Humbleness (Zuhd) to the level of becoming Wealthy is like committing a Sin.
First and foremost, becoming wealthy through valid means and according to the Islamic principles is not a sin, but moreover, is an instruction from Allah s.w.t. for all Muslims to work hard and become successful in this world and hereafter. That means Islam encourages Muslims to be wealthy through legitimate means.
Abdul Rahman Auf r.a. is an example of a productive and successful Muslim who had been guaranteed a place in Jannah or Paradise. Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) had said that Abdul Rahman Auf r.a. was amongst those who have been promised a ticket to heaven as he donated almost all of his wealth to the cause of Islam.
Not only that, there were previous Prophets before the time of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) in the Islamic history who were bestowed by Allah s.w.t. with the Kingdoms, Power and Wealth such as Prophet Sulaiman a.s. (King Solomon) and Prophet Daud a.s. (King David).
And most of us failed to recognize that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) himself was a successful business person and came from a noble and pious family background. He frequently traveled to Sham and other places during the era of pre-Islamic to trade together with his beloved wife, Saiyadatina Khadijah r.a.
They remained resourceful with adequate funds and assets during the early years of Islam.
The misconception that becoming wealthy is haram in Islam should be corrected. Instead, Muslims should work harder to become pious and a God Fearing wealthy person or even a billionaire.
9. Wearing A Hijab is a Prove of Iman (Attestation of Faith)
Most people, Muslims included believe that wearing a Hijab is equivalent to becoming a good Muslim. It is a very fashionable headgear nowadays, and even there are hijab swim-suits for Muslim women selling in the store.
I find it strange as there are no specific fashionable clothes and headgear or customized wear for Nuns and Monks. Perhaps they do not have much freedom to choose what to wear, and the Muslim population is much bigger than the community of practicing Christians and other religionists. Therefore businesses in the Muslim World have encouraged these misconceptions about protecting the Muslim Women’s honors.
Due to this false understanding of Hijab, the fashion designers have designed many types of Hijab where it does not meet the original purpose of Hijab.
In the Quran, Allah s.w.t commanded all Muslims including men to cover their most private parts, and to women, to close more parts of their body including the head. It is because of Allah s.w.t. says that some men, not all, have the disease or sickness in their hearts as they cannot control their gaze.
Unfortunately, we are living in the era of social media where personal ideas and interpretation of Islamic understanding can influence others.
Recently, we hear news of some celebrities who takes off her hijab, and some even wear the hijab in a more sophisticated manner, strange to the level that they wear the hijab while showing their necks and shoulders.
In my personal opinion, if they cannot wear the hijab properly such as controlling their actions while wearing the hijab, and cover all sensitive parts of their body adequately, they might as well take off the hijab and be free. In that sense, it won’t create any confusion about Islam in the eyes of non-Muslim or those who are trying to understand this most sacred and beloved religion in the sight of Allah s.w.t.
8. Islam Promotes Conversion or Reversion to the fold of Islam through compulsion methods.
We first have to understand that Hidayat or the signs are from Allah s.w.t. alone. Only Him alone who can show us the straight path, and without His guidance, we will go astray.
Apart from promoting people towards Islam, the religion also encourages Muslims to practice religious values according to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and the Quran. This is supposed to be the correct way, promoting the real sense of Islamic understanding which is very fundamental to the success of all Muslims.
However, no one, even an ulama (scholars) can forcefully ask another person to accept his or her views of Islam. They can simply tell the truth, and pray to Allah s.w.t. so that the audiences would be granted the blessings and guidance from Him.
However, Islam allows those who have the authority to force the people under their watch to obey and follow their directions. This is important in all aspect of the successful management of an organization or a state. That is why a father or mother has every right to teach and tell their children what is right or wrong from their perspective and understanding of their religion. They will have to answer to God when the resurrection day comes, and those who have neglected their role as parents will be penalized heavily for their own mistakes, regardless of any religion.
Therefore, it is vital for us to understand that every Muslim has their rights. And so every other person, living or dead. We all have our right to think, to decide for ourselves, and that is why, in the hereafter, Allah s.w.t. will only judge us all based on what we had done in the world when we lived our life. We will not be answerable to the actions of others, except to those who have the knowledge but did nothing while seeing others around him do wrongs.
7. Islam is a very rigid and hard religion to practice.
Islam is very easy. All you need to become a Muslim is just profess with the conviction that “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger and Servant.”
Then, of course, you need to do a lot of other things, but most religion would require you to worship God, to do some extra things like fasting and donate some from your wealth, or even perform a pilgrimage if you are capable. Apart from that, all you need is to be kind and gentle, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of The Worlds.
We have to understand that becoming a follower to a belief is very simple, but to be the best, of course, is not easy. This is the same in anything we do in our life.
Let say if I decided today to follow the people who have just form a marathon running club, and these people encourage me to join the club and say that, all I need to do is to pay a fee, register and then run. Sound simple. But it is up to me whether I really want to run, or perhaps just sit back and enjoy my junk food at home while watching movies.
But the one who runs the fastest and the fittest runner in the club would feel that you are a failure and a disgrace to the name of the club. Some other runners might just see you and persuade you to join their activities, or some even suggest that you have to be expelled from the club!
So, taking the above spirit into the context of religion, it is not strange for Islam and Muslims to strive to become the best member of a Muslim club. Anyone is welcome to the club. Some maybe have an automatic membership because their parents are members, but they can either choose to be the best member or just a mediocre. They can judge their own performance by themselves.
6. Islam is too strict, and those who are very strict are close to extremism.
First and foremost, Islam promotes peace and freedom. You are free to choose and act, but you must be responsible for your own doings. The scholars, for example, have their own obligatory job to remind us of the consequences for some of our actions. They teach us how to become a better Muslim and the more good things we do following the Quran and Islamic Traditions, the more wholesome person we will become.
Islam also promotes peaceful actions in our daily life. We do not penalize people for nothing, but we do punish those who have wronged others such as in murder and bribery. This is also considered a crime in any other religion and even the rule of law of any country or state.
Perhaps, the freedom that all people want in their life is defined as that they can do whatever they like such as adultery, drugs, entertainment, and method in worshipping God.
Human is designed by God to be free (of course not like the angels who have been created as the most submissive to God) and at the same time, actions must be within specific guidelines.
Free within a guideline you say?!
Yes, you are free, but there are laws! Otherwise, the world would be in chaos. If you say that with laws then you feel that you are not free, then live in Mars or Amazon jungle then, where there are no other human beings.
Freedom is about you who control your own actions, have a free will of choosing your ultimate actions. However, laws such as in committing adultery is a sin and to be whipped a hundred times, is to save people from living in a chaotic society. You can debate the method of penalizing the criminals, but having a law in place is a must. The best law, of course, is the law from God.
That is why we can see that those who are living a free life not obeying the commandments of Allah would find themselves that their life is not peaceful and happy. Some would go to the extent of suicidal and commit more serious crimes.
Indeed, Allah, as our Lord, knows better about ourselves than we do. We can say whatever we like, but logically speaking, we have to admit that only our creator knows what is best for us.
5. Muslims are arrogant, selfish and lack of discipline.
First, we have to differentiate between those who follow and believe in the Islamic article of faiths and those who are called Muslims but do not support and fully understand the articles of Islamic faith.
Second, there are millions if not billions of type of Muslims worldwide. There are races, tribes, countries, states, governments, scholars, sects, and many more in Islam. So, just to associate one action as representative of one whole Islamic faith is unfair.
Third, Islam is a religion of 1400 years old. Despite that, the fundamentals of this religion remain intact according to the Quran and Hadiths, the Prophet’s traditions. However, within this period of 1400 over years, we cannot guarantee that all Muslims would be practicing the original version of Islam; moreover, we are living in the modern world where Azan (Muslims’ calling for prayer) is executed using a microphone and loudspeakers. What more Dakwah is done through social media and many other strange things can happen during this era of trials and tribulations.
So, Islam as a religion that teaches all of us to be humble, kind, polite, disciplined and to strive for success in this world and hereafter. In fact, Islam is amongst the most successful religions which converted an illiterate tribe of Arab from nothing to one of the biggest superpowers in recent history.
Therefore, we cannot just associate certain individuals actions as Islamic teachings. We should read and investigate this beautiful religion by ourselves. Please come to Malaysia and Indonesia, and see the impact if this religion to these people here in term of their actions, working style and wealth.
4. Islam promotes violence and wages war against the infidels.
Islam did not go to war, and religions do not enter any war. Only people that go to war. Even animals go to war or perhaps we can say that they go hunting.
Mankind goes to war for many reasons, but people with faith go to fight for their own beliefs. Some want to protect their religion, some want to force others to accept their views.
These are the actions of people and not the works of religion. What religion can only do to people is to guide them when they live their life in this world.
Islam is not new to us. This is because Muslims believe that Allah created Prophet Adam a.s. as our father and Eve as our mother. Therefore, Islam exists since Adam until now. This same religion is called Islam in the Quran only 1400 years ago, but other than that, the one who worships God alone and believes in all Prophets are also the people who submit to God. Islam means, submission to God, in the state of peaceful mind and soul, and believe all of His messages through His appointed Prophets and Messengers.
Having said that, Islam is a religion with colorful individuals professing it. You could come across people like Kublai Khan from the Mongols who embraced Islam but before that attacked and ransacked an Islamic empire.
You could also possibly meet an Al Farabi who was not only a scholar but also good at arts and music.
3. Biggest sins in Islam are eating pork and drinking alcohol.
I have non-Muslim friends who ask me about why are the Muslims very strict in eating and drinking but still do kinds of stuff like bribery and abuse of power?
I told them that these Muslims are a bit confused. They probably think that bribery is less sinful than drinking alcohol. Or perhaps they are misinformed or do not want the people to know what they eat or drink.
Islam prohibits all type of wrongdoings that can harm oneself, others and humanity. Islam also makes it very clear that the primary purpose of our creation is to submit to God alone and worship Him. That is why scholars have summarized the 70 major sins in Islam which associating Allah with false God(s) is positioned as the most massive sin ever committed by a person. In Arabic, the terminology is defined as Shirk, which includes believing in Trinity and rejection to belief in one or more Prophets.
Amongst all of these sins, those who bring the heaviest penalty are (those) related to faith and beliefs such as shirk, rejecting Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h), uttering the words of disbelief and committing suicide.
Then followed by those affecting the other people such as bribery, murder, slander, adultery, robbery, stealing, terrorism, tyranny and so on, so forth.
The next is followed by the sins affecting oneself such as drinking alcohol (which also can lead to harming others), eating pork and eating stolen food.
The last type of sins are those only committed due to desires but happened without anyone’s knowledge, except Allah s.w.t. These sins are related to feelings and actions leading to satisfying the desires but not affecting others such as playing computer games excessively, wasting time, watching porns and many more.
The main reason for the scholars to identify the type of sins and rank these sins according to its importance and the gravity of consequences is because Allah is the Most Merciful and loves to pardon His servants. Islam is not a religion that penalizes people, but it guides the humankind to act correctly so that we all can live happily in peace and harmony.
If a person sees another person who drinks alcohol, he or she can choose to advise or to keep quiet. The one who advices is closer to the truth. The one who ignores probably want to pray and hope, and let the sinner discover truths by himself or herself.
2. Islam promotes backwardness
Islam is the religion that supports the quality of life in this world and hereafter. There is no reason for any religion to promote backwardness in life. Islam is the only religion that asks people to marry, have a good family life, become wealthy, learn and read (study) until it led to the emergence of many great Islamic Civilization in the past. Therefore, it is nonsensical to say that Islam promotes backwardness.
Unless, if you want to say that, certain countries or cultures that inherently backward. But, that is not due to them professing Islam as religion, but due to their own choice and actions.
Therefore, it is not Islam that makes someone rich or poor, but it is due to one’s actions that lead to their actual fate in this world.
1. All terrorists are Muslims
This is the most tragic accusation against the Muslim ummah. The word terrorist means, someone who terrorize others through killing innocent people. The main method they use to commit to this scrupulous act is usually through a suicidal approach. This is clearly not an act supported by Islam, and surely against all the principles of Islam.
First, suicidal act even if the doer did not die at the end of the whole process, is considered as the heaviest crime and sin. A Muslim who died due to suicidal causes would automatically be sent to Jahannam or hellfire.
Second, killing innocent people, such as women, the elderly, children, and all other people during a peaceful time is an act of crime and sinful. Even murdering a person is already an enormous crime which in Sharia Law would send the criminal to the gallows or by other methods of heavy penalties. What more if a mass killing is committed. This is totally against the Islamic principles of peace and submission to Allah s.w.t. alone.
Third, tyrannical actions including fearmongering, terrorizing, propagating war and all sorts of criminal acts are against the Islamic principles. This includes even with an intention to hurt others, regardless if the other has already caused hurtful feelings towards yourself. In Islam, patience and steadfastness will grant a Muslim with a great reward. Unless if the whole Ummah or a Muslim country is entering into a war, then it is an entirely different context altogether.
Finally, any actions that have not been sanctioned by a majority of scholars and Muslim leaders are considered as an act of crime. This is because, the Quran and Al-Hadith have directed Muslims to obey Allah s.w.t., Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) and the Muslim leaders amongst them, provided that the leader is also following and obeying Allah and the Prophet.
We are living during the era of Fitna (trials and tribulations). It is not easy to digest all information with just a single click of the “subscribe me” or “follow me” button as social media brings you all kinds of information. You have to refer to the best source of knowledge and information for you not to go astray.
And that source is the Quran and Al-Hadith (the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h.)