Jesuit School of Philosophy and Humanities
Religions of the World APH 205
Some people have described Islam as a religion of ‘hate and violence’. Using your study of this religion, assess this statement.
Name : Hazard
Lecturer: good one
Date : 19/10/2013
Islam is one of the most controversial and most misinterpreted religions in the world. For many years Islam has been termed a religion of hatred and violence. Islam is accused of promoting and advocating for violence. These misconceptions have come out as a result of misinterpretation of the Qur’an by those who sought to suppress the religion. Some of the misinterpretations comes from the name Islam itself, jihad, just wars and Islamic view of justice, the notion of Islam towards war, the assertion that Islam was spread by violence, the recent bombings in many countries by Islamic groups, the high rate of Islamic suicide bombs among others. This paper seeks to outline the aspects which are frequently referred to by many misinterpreters of Islam and try to illumine their peaceful aspects. However, one cannot deny the existence of some form of violence in Islam but that does not submerge the peaceful nature of the Islam religion.
The first misconception is mostly on the name of the Islamic religion. Many scholars agree that Islam means ‘submit’ but some uses the term submit to claim that it was aimed at those of other religions that they should submit to Islam. However, this is not the case as Islam means, ‘means submission to Allah the Almighty, the Creator and Lord of all creation, with the entire soul and body, by obedience to what He commanded and prohibited in His Revealed Law, by compliance and willful yielding of one’s will to His Will and Judgments, and by acceptance of all that Allah has predestined for man on earth.’ according to Dr.Abdur-Rahman Abdul-Kareem Al-Sheha in his article Islam is the Religion of Peace. BBC also maintains that, ‘the word Islam means 'submission to the will of God'. And according to J. F Haught in his book What is Religion? ‘Islam means surrender to God.’ (45). Many scholars also concur with this definition of the word Islam. This can be argued to be the reason why many people have misconceptions about this religion.
Furthermore, according to Imam Sulayman S. Nyang interviewed by Peter Standring on National Geographic Today on September 25, 2001, "The Koran is saying to humans, this is the final guidance from your Creator, for the specific purpose of worshipping him and creating a civil society where you can live in peace with one another." He went on to say that the Koran is God's unfiltered message—teaching them (Moslems) how to lead a good life and become a better, more moral person. The Koran, for the Moslems is very specific with regard to the nature of human struggle, because in order for a human to be at peace with himself, they must control their base instincts. Some of the base instincts include greed, lust, and cruelty and hence a person has to seek spiritual purity and this is what they call greater Jihad which is an internal struggle. Rollin Amour, Sr in his book Islam, Christianity and The West: A Troubled history also concurs with this assertion saying that the most important Jihad is the one that is internal and the lesser jihad is that of defending themselves from their enemies who would seek to undermine their religion. Amour says, the spiritual struggle is mentioned in the Qur’an as, ‘struggle in the way of God’ (9 verse 24) and the lesser jihad ‘is not mandatory for all people’ (31). BBC religion states that, ‘the phrase internal Jihad or greater Jihad refers to the efforts of a believer to live their Muslim faith as well as possible… For most people, living God's way is quite a struggle. God sets high standards, and believers have to fight with their own selfish desires to live up to them, no matter how much they love God.’ This outlines the fact...
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