Is Islam Full of Hate, Intolerance, and Violence?

The word “Islam” is an Arabic word that comes from the Arabic root word "sa-la-ma," which means peace. So, Islam means ‘peace, purity, submission, and obedience to the will of Almighty God”. It is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents are known as Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad is the last and most perfect messenger of God. The Qur’an is the sacred scripture of Islam, which explores God’s revelations to Muhammad.

“Islam is built on five pillars: the testimony that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; establishing prayer; paying zakah; fasting in Ramadaan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka”bah).” [Bukhari, 8; Muslim, 16]. These Five Pillars of Islam sum up as (i) belief in God and his Prophet, (ii) obligations of prayer, (iii) charity, (iv) pilgrimage, and (v) fasting.

Islam, as a religion, unites both the spiritual and temporal aspects of life and regulates not only the believer’s relationship to God (through conscience), but human relationships in a social setting as well. This religious community is commissioned by God to bring its own value to the world through jihad—"holy war" or “holy struggle." It never permits drinking alcohol or eating pork, and it forbids gambling, usury, fraud, slander, and the making of images.

But it is often misunderstood and misrepresented, while its core value is determining the pathway to peace and harmony, and it advocates for compassion, forgiveness, and respect for human dignity. These are obviously essential to creating a peaceful society. In the Qur’an and Hadiths, it has been taught that peace can only be achieved through learning, accepting, and implementing peaceful Islamic ideologies and cultures for every step of life.

Unfortunately, believers of Islam (Muslims) may be obeying and following their religious duties and responsibilities, but they are often associated with indulgences, intolerance, violence, and terrorism, while the true essence of Islam is quite the opposite. The widespread misconception about this religion creates a different attitude towards Islam and its followers (Muslims). Muslims are afraid and hated for causing communal conflict, social and cultural disturbances, domination and discrimination against women, and so forth. The believers of Islam are involved in discrepancies and domination, as well as division among other religions. Muslims are in an inferiority complex for not being able to rule the world and for failing to convert all into Islam.

There are several reasons behind it.

(i) Islam believers believe that the world has been created by the ‘Allah’ so that it is their land and no religion can exist in this world. They are supreme, and they have the right to rule over the world. It means their religious and social culture must be established and followed by everyone. Otherwise, they will conduct ‘jihad’. So, they misused the act of ‘jihad’. Is it not the wrong teaching for Muslims?

(ii) The priests (Mawlawi) of Islam are less educated, and they use to teach their followers about religious extremism so that Muslims are not liberal toward other religions and the social and cultural lack of the Muslim society. Consequently, Muslims are socially backward and culturally lagging, matching the changing world society.

(iii) Muslims are educationally poor, and their education system and policy are within the religious realm;

(iv) In India, Muslims treat themselves as foreigners, where they are valuable and responsible citizens for national progress and development;

(v) Muslims are victims of the political politics of this multi-party democracy.

(vi) Lack of education and consciousness causes a section of Muslims to engage in various indulgences.

There is an urgent need for the reformation of the Islamic religious, social, and cultural rules. Regardless of their religious identity, Muslims should have a proper place in society. On the other hand, they should liberally access these opportunities. The good teachings of Islam should be applied for good purposes. They should come out of abuse from any corner. Altogether, all religious believers will surely rebuild India as a real secular nation practically. India would be exemplary as a nation of the universal religions of Ramkrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekananda.


More by :  Dr. Harasankar Adhikari

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