1. We can eat pork……
depending on the circumstances. By default, the meat of pigs is haram(unlawful) in Islam. However, there are exceptions where it can be consumed ie dire circumstances. A clear example would be a “do or die” situation. Literally.
2. We can pray in Hebrew
or in Cantonese. Or in Russian. Or in sign language or just about ANY language in the world! Yes, as Muslims, you are encouraged to learn Arabic as the Quraan(Sacred Book) is written in Arabic (here’s why).
BUT the word is encouraaggeeeee. If you have a language disability or you are just really comfortable in your native language -relax. God gets it. Baby steps.
3. WE DECLARE JIHAD!!!! (On ourselves)
Pay attention to the simplest breakdown of this word that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Jihad = Struggle
Struggle = to strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance
The Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him – says “The greatest Jihad is the Jihad against yourself.”
A highly respected scholar defines this best –
” Declare your Jihad against 13 enemies you cannot see. Egoism, Arrogance, Conceit, Selfishness, Greed. Lust, Intolerance, Anger, Lying. Cheating, Gossiping, Slandering. If you can master & destroy them, THEN you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see. ” – Imam Al Ghazali
4. We dont follow the Shariah ALL the time
The Shariah is the law by which Muslims abide by. BUT, as much as it is law – it is also a guideline. To be
misUSED as and when in accordance to the situation and the context and background of the people. I suppose this is why we were created with brains?
Muslims are strongly encouraged to use their intellect, wisdom coupled with knowledge of the sacred texts and books to ascertain the right from wrong using the Shariah as guidelines.
5. Arabs are NOT Muslims.
Ok so maybe some are. But get this. Arab is an ethnic group. Not a religion.
There are different types of Arabs depending on where they are from – White arabs, Black Arabs, Lebanese, Moroccan, Sudanese – the works. And then, there are Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, Buddhist Arabs.
And wait, im not finished yet. There are Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, Scottish Muslims, African Muslims, White Muslims, Black Muslims, Brown Muslims, North Pole Muslims and did i mention Arab Muslims??
Islam does NOT belong to a particular ethnic group or language or country or race or type of people & it NEVER will.
ANYONE can enter its sphere.
6. We have 290786 different sects.
Relax. Keep Calm and Read on. Thing to remember before continuing from this point is –
NEVER confuse Islam(The Religion) with Muslims(the followers).
Moving on – Muslims are everrryyywherrreee. It is impossible to have 1 ring to rule them all.
Last night, over dinner – my friend gave a really wise analogy for this. Coffee!
It comes from..uhh.. the Coffee Plant. Cultivated in over 70 different countries. It is then processed and the seeds are roasted to varying degrees depending on the desired flavour. People drink it in a million different ways resulting in a million different taste that suits the individual. You may hate the coffee i drink and i may not fancy yours. But, its the same source! So. Compare this with the Muslims. You have people following Islam from all over the universe. 7 continents. 196 (recognized) countries. A million different races, cultures, background, history. It’s impossible to expect everyone to conform to being 1 type of Muslim.
So there are what we call Madhab(School of Thought) which has 4 different ..thoughts. Some Muslims (Not Islam) also have different sects. Shia and Sunni being the famous two.
What is amazing about this is the very fact that it is mentioned in the Quran. Diversity is to be celebrated and it is a Mercy from God 🙂
Ok wait, so how do you decide what or where to belong to?
In the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him – he says
I am leaving you with the the QURAN and my SUNNAH, if you follow them you will never go astray
As long as the Quran and Sunnah(practices/teachings of Prophet Muhammad) are heavily relied upon as examples and the way of life, i reckon you’re in safe hands.
And please, BRING YOUR BRAINS WITH YOU. If some guy tells you to bomb yourself & kill others so you will earn yourself 50 women fanning you while you sip on halal wine in paradise -then…. USE. YOUR. BRAINS.
7. Women Rights & Islam is a SYNONYM.
Surprise!! Here’s a rhetorical trivia! Guess the FIRST University in the world? The University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco. Founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859. SHE founded it. SHE founded the FIRST UNIVERSITY.
It was lawful. It was encouraged and heck yeah it was celebrated! Women(Muslims or Non) Rights existed over 1400 years ago. Our Lady Khadijah, peace upon her – was a successful entrepreneur. SHE HIRED the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to work for her.
The best scholar of hadith(traditions) was our Lady Aisha, peace upon her. The men had to go to her and study FROM her. When all of civilizations demeaned women with ideas of them carrying original sin, burying of female infants, treated as sex slaves,not allowed to pursue education, Islam removed ALL of that and was the FIRST to introduce fair distribution of wealth and property to women. The Sacred Book itself declares numerous versus of how women are integrating, equal halves of the human race.
Guess how Islam decides who is BEST in character??
The best of you are those who treat your wife best.
All ma ladies in the halal club put your hands up!
8.Prophet Muhammad LOVES you & he loves Jesus too!!!
When people tell me “But..Jesus loves you!” Im like..yeah, i know. I love him too. We ALL love Jesus, peace be upon him.
Thing is, do you know that Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him loves you too!? Unconditionally. Whether or not you hate him. or love him. or dont even know him. Don’t ask me how. That’s just how it is and you can’t run away from this. He was the epitome of humanity just like his brothers- the prophets, peace be upon them, before him. He loved ALL of creation. About the animals of the earth, he said,
Fear God of your treatment of these animals who cannot speak
My favourite example of his mercy is the following story.
After praying at the Kaabah(Sacred House) (Also quite possibly THE most sacred symbol in Islam) –the prophet and his companions sat nearby to rest. A bedouin passing by the village,went right up to the Kaabah and started urinating. The companions who were with the Prophet, started to draw out their weapons but the Prophet stopped them and said “No, let him finish” After the bedouin released himself, the Prophet walked up to him and introduced himself. They then got into a conversation of where he was from etc…small talk basically. At the end, the Prophet then explained to him the significance of the Sacred House to the Muslims.
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Lovveee. There are infinite more examples where this came from. 🙂
9.We want world peace as much as you do
All of our people have died in wars and evil agendas of sick minded humans. Our sisters have been raped and abused and killed. Our men have died in wars and have their throats slit alive and beheaded.
Hold up. If you read the above – ‘our sisters’ and ‘our brothers’ as our muslim sister/brother, you’re wrong.
I meant our Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim brothers and sisters. All of humankind. Every one from every religion and even those without a religion. Too many people have died in vain. Too many children have become orphans.
The media is doing a fantastic job at dividing us. And it does not help when a stupid do stupid things in the name of a certain religion or group thereby portraying all of the group as such.
I dont know who you are and i dont care where you are from. If you’re up to fight for world peace and destroying oppression and establishing justice and peace for all in the world- then I am with you. And i assure you, the lovers of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are with you too.
10. WE ARE A HAPPY BUNCH!
Despite the crazy shiz going on in the world – one must persevere.
Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, said
Which actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, feed the hungry, help the afflicted, lighten the sorrows of the sorrowful & to remove the sufferings of the injured.
So because i want you to get the right information, i’m going to leave you with some seriously amazing stuff and work from Muslims all over the world so you KNOW the REAL Islam. Here is a list of people, places, websites etc that you should follow, watch, visit, get information from and slowly learn that.. we are…pretty amazing. Heh.
People : Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Ahmed Saad, Karen Armstrong, Shaykh Nazim, Habib Umar al-Hafidz Habib Ali al-Jifri, Ingrid Mattson, Habib Kadhim As-Segaf, Timothy J.Winter, Yasmin Mogahed, Usama Canon, Imam Faraz Rabbani, Sherman Jackson, Mustafa Davis, Hosai Mojaddidi, Sami Yusuf
Places : Zaytuna College, Ta’leef Collective, Seekers Circle, SimplyIslam,
Follow/ Websites : Radical Middle Way, The Honesty Policy, CelebrateMercy, SeekersGuidance
There is a LOT more where that came from.. but since this is off my head, im going to need a few more days to work on this. Oh and you should check out this video.
Stay tuned for the Singapore version!!
The writer thanks you for reading and for thinking really carefully before you comment. She also wishes to clarify that this post is more for those with a truckload of horrible stereotypes on Islam. And the points given are based on her shock in her interactions with non muslims and how little they know or assume about Islam.
And (this goes ESP for my beloved Muslims) – if you have a thousand different opinions about how this should have been written or fatwas or anything really, i welcome you.
I also have a reply in advance. POINT 6. Over and Over again.
All my love, Noor.