a. Why don’t Muslims condemn terrorism more? Can we provide examples of this?
1. Muslims have always stood for justice and peace and against oppression and terrorism. Muslim have condemned terrorism and stood for freedom, justice and freedom for centuries:
2. Quran, the divine book, condemns terrorism
1. whosoever killed a person – unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Quran 5.32)
3. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, condemned terrorism:
1. During wars to defend Muslim, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, found a woman killed, so he forbade the killing of women and children(Bukhari Volume4, Book 52, Number 258).
4. Muslims of Moracco were the first people in the world to stand with the USA against oppression and for freedom when USA was born:
1. President Obama in his famous ‘Cairo Speech’ mentioned: “The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco”. Morocco is a Muslim nation who recognized USA independence in Feb 20, 1778. – Video here
5. Muslim organizations in the USA, ICNA, CAIR, ISNA etc – Condemn terrorism, in press release, on TV, taking rallies and on websites.
1. “… We say most clearly, however, that the killing of innocent civilians, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, is always wrong and is forbidden in Islamic law and ethics. Illegitimate means can never be justified by a desirable or noble goal…’ – Full statement here.
6. Muslim leaders and nations from around the world condemned terrorism:
1. Read their full press release here
So, yes, Muslims have emphatically condemned terrorism. It is just that when individual Muslims commit terrorism it makes news, but when Muslims as a whole work for justice and peace and condemning terrorism, it is not news worthy.
b. Are women treated unequally in Islam?
1. Women are treated equally in the Islam but not so equally in some Muslim cultures. The religion of Islam places both men and women as equals in the eyes of God. Here is a relevant verse from the Quran:
1. O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; (Quran 4.1). Thus, both men and women have the same essence and equality in the eyes of God. Another such verse is in Quran 33.35.
2. Due to different physiological, physical, emotional make up of men and women, different responsibilities are placed on each gender. But when they each fulfill they assignments, equal reward if provided to them.
3. In the history of the Muslim nations, thousands of women with the highest caliber in all fields of human leadership, knowledge and scholarship were produced.
1. Aisha – Wife of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him– Best scholar of her time.
2. 859 CE – Oldest university in the world – University of Karaouine, in Fez, Morocco, was built by a woman by the name of Fatima al-Fahiri.
3. Tawakkol Karman – Muslim activists from Yemen, was one of the sparks of the Arab Spring.
4. Thus, in the religion of Islam, both men and women have different responsibilities but EQUAL accountability and reward with God.
c. Does the Qur’an condemn violence?
1. Quran’s main theme is to encourage humanity to work for justice, fight the oppressed in the process of establishing peace and security for all members of the society. This is exemplified in the example of the last Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him. Thus, Quran contains verses to this effect:
1. And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” (Quran 4.75)
2. Whoso ever killed a person – unless it is for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Quran 5.32)
d. Does Islam permit polygamy?
1. Yes, Islam permits limited polygamy, with justice, fairness and equality between of the wives. (see Quran 4.3)
2. Before Islam came to Arabia, unrestricted polygamy was rampant in all cultures and societies and abuse of women virtually no right for them. Islam was the first faith, and Quran the first scripture to condemn this oppression and inequality and restricted polygamy.
3. Islam’s guidance are applicable for all people, cultures, times and circumstances, thus there arises some acute situations in a nation in which more women are present than males, especially after war. Thus, in situations like these Islam want its women folks to be offered projects, family and support with marriage to more than one woman, up to four maximum.
4. Polygamy is allowed in Old Testament with some of the prominent personalities having more than one wife:
1. King David – 6 wives – 2nd Samuel 5.13
2. King Solomon – 700 wives – 1st King 11.3
3. King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam – 18 wives – 2 Chronicles 11.21
4. Prophet Abraham – 2 wives – Sarah & Hagar – Genesis 16.3
5. God of the Bible doesn’t condemn unlimited polygamy.
6. Jesus Christ in the New Testament approved all the laws of the Old Testament: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them
5. In the USA and some western countries, polygamy with full responsibility is prohibited, but polygamy in the sense of having more than one girl friend or mistresses WITHOUT responsibility is permitted and encouraged.
6. Thus, Islam allows, limited and restricted polygamy, with proper check and balances, to provide support, warmth and protection to the women.
e. How are Jews and Christians viewed in the Islamic faith?
1. Quran address the Jews and Christians with a title of honor ‘People of the Book’, which means divine books and Prophets were appointed to them by God.
2. The term ‘People of the Book’ occurs more than 200 times in the Quran.
3. Muslim are encouraged by the Quran to work with our Jewish and Christian neighbors for the betterment of the society.
4. Muslim males are allowed to marry women from the ‘People of the Book’, Jews and Christians.
5. Meat slaughtered by the People of the Book is permitted for Muslim. Mean slaughtered by groups outside of Muslims, Jews and Christians is prohibited for Muslims.
6. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, hosted about 60 Christian clergy in his Mosque for three days and had a mutual dialogue with them in faith related topics. He personally looked after their accommodation and served them for all their needs.
7. Almost all the prophets mentioned in the Old and New Testament (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus) are also mentioned in the Quran with high respect and honor and a Muslim have to believe in all of them as part of his/her faith.
f. Where do other religious figures fit into Islam? (Abraham, Mary, Jesus)
1. Almost all the prophets mentioned in the Old and New Testament (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus) are also mentioned in the Quran with high respect and honor and a Muslim have to believe in all of them as part of his/her faith.
2. Quran: “Say, We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.” (Quran 2.136)
3. Quran proclaims that each of these Prophets were human beings and were divinely appointed to deliver the message of oneness of God to their people.
4. Jesus is seen as a Prophet of God, and not a son of God or God.
5. Mary, the mother of Jesus is mentioned in the Quran (3.42) as the best of ladies that God has created. Islam believes in the virgin birth of Jesus and Quran mentions Jesus’s miracles.
6. Thus, Quran mentioned stories and people of previous Prophets as a lesson for us to obey and believe in one God and fulfill His commandments.
g. Why don’t Muslims drink alcohol?
1. Muslim don’t drink alcohol or any intoxicants because they were made forbidden by God. See Quran 5.90.
2. Quran mentions that there is some benefit in intoxicants, but the hard they cause is greater to the individuals and society.
3. Intoxicants have a profound and delirious effect on the person, psychologically, morally and spiritually. Numerous crimes, homicides, divorces, rapes, suicides are associated with intoxicants.
4. Thus, due to the divine wisdom, God has forbidden intoxicants and Muslims refrain from intoxicants to obey God commandments.