Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik
Da’wah is a duty
Most Muslims know that Islam is a universal religion, meant for all mankind.
Allah (swt) is the Lord of the entire Universe, and Muslims have been entrusted
with the duty of conveying His message to all mankind. Alas, most Muslims
today have become callous towards this duty! While accepting Islam as the best
way of life for ourselves, most of us are unwilling to share this knowledge with
those to whom the message has not yet been conveyed.
The Arabic word Da’wah means a call or an invitation. In Islamic context, it
means to strive for the propagation of Islam.
The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Ah! Who is more unjust than those who conceal the testimony they
have from Allah? But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do!”
Twenty Most Common Questions
In order to convey the message of Islam, dialogue and debate become
inevitable. The Glorious Qur’an says:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord, with wisdom and beautiful
preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most
In conveying the message of Islam to a non-Muslim, it is usually not sufficient to
highlight only the positive nature of Islam. Most non-Muslims are not convinced
about the truth of Islam because there are a few questions about Islam at the
back of their minds that remain unanswered.
They may agree with your contentions about the positive nature of Islam. But,
in the same breath, they will say - “Ah! But you are the same Muslims who
marry more than one woman. You are the same people who subjugate women
by keeping them behind the veil. You are fundamentalists, etc.”
I personally prefer asking the non-Muslims upfront, with their limited
knowledge, whether right or wrong, from whichever source it may be, what they
feel is wrong in Islam. I encourage them to be very frank and open and convince
them that I can take criticism about Islam.
In the past few years of my Da’wah experience, I have realized that there are
barely twenty most common questions that a common non-Muslim has
regarding Islam. Whenever you ask a non-Muslim, “what do you feel is wrong in
Islam?”, he poses five or six questions, and these questions invariably fall
among the twenty most common questions.
Logical replies can convince the majority
The twenty most common questions about Islam can be answered with reason
and logic. A majority of non-Muslims can be convinced with these answers. If a
Muslim memorizes or simply remembers these answers, Inshallah he will be
successful, if not in convincing non-Muslims about the complete truth of Islam,
then at least in removing misconceptions about Islam and neutralizing the
negative thinking about Islam and Muslims that the non-Muslims have. A very
few non-Muslims may have counter arguments to these replies, for which
further information may be required.
Misconceptions due to media
The common misconceptions about Islam arise in the minds of a majority of
non-Muslims, because they are constantly being bombarded with
misinformation about Islam. International media is mainly controlled by the
western world, whether it is international satellite channels, radio stations, news
papers, magazines or books. Recently the Internet has become a powerful
medium of information. Though it is not controlled by anybody, one finds a large
amount of virulent propaganda about Islam on the Internet. Of course, Muslims
too are utilizing this tool to portray the right image of Islam and Muslims, but
they are far behind as compared to the propaganda against Islam. I hope the
efforts by the Muslims will increase and continue to be pursued.
Misconceptions change with time
The most common questions about Islam are different in different periods and
eras. This set of twenty most common questions is based on present times.
Decades earlier, the set of questions was different and decades later too, the
set of questions may change depending upon how Islam is projected by the
Misconceptions are the same throughout the world
I have interacted with people in different parts of the world and have found these
twenty most common questions about Islam to be the same everywhere. There
may be a couple of additional questions depending upon the locale, the
surrounding or culture. For instance in America, the additional common
question is - “Why does Islam prohibit taking and giving of interest?”
I have included among these twenty most common questions, certain questions
more common among the Indian non-Muslims. For instance, “why do Muslims
have non-vegetarian food?” The reason for including such questions is that
people of Indian origin are spread throughout the world and constitute about
20% i.e. 1/5th of the world population. Thus, their questions become common
questions asked by non-Muslims throughout the world.
Misconceptions of non-Muslims who have studied Islam
There are many non-Muslims who have studied Islam. Most of them have only
read books on Islam written by biased critics of Islam. These non-Muslims have
an additional set of twenty common misconceptions about Islam. For instance,
they claim to have found contradictions in the Qur’an, they contend that the
Qur’an is unscientific, etc. There is another set of additional replies clearing
these twenty misconceptions among non-Muslims who have studied Islam from
distorted sources. I have also given the replies to twenty additional less
common questions among the non-Muslims in my public talks and book on
“Answers to Common Questions about Islam by Non-Muslims who have some
knowledge about Islam”.
Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i.e. why is
polygamy allowed in Islam?
1. Definition of Polygamy
Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one
spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries
more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries
more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted; whereas polyandry
is completely prohibited.
Now coming to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than
2. The Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says,
“marry only one”.
The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the
phrase ‘marry only one’. There is no other religious book that instructs men to
have only one wife. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the
Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta, the Talmud or the Bible does
one find a restriction on the number of wives. According to these scriptures one
can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and
the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple
wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had
In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished,
since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few
centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.
Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had
three wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives. The practice of polygyny
continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (960 C.E to 1030 C.E) issued an
edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim countries
continued the practice till as late as 1950, until an Act of the Chief Rabbinate of
Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.
(*Interesting Note:- As per the 1975 census of India Hindus are more
polygynous than Muslims. The report of the ‘Committee of The Status of
Woman in Islam’, published in 1975 mentions on page numbers 66 and 67 that
the percentage of polygamous marriages between the years 1951 and 1961
was 5.06% among the Hindus and only 4.31% among the Muslims. According
to Indian law only Muslim men are permitted to have more than one wife. It is
illegal for any non-Muslim in India to have more than one wife. Despite it being
illegal, Hindus have more multiple wives as compared to Muslims. Earlier, there
was no restriction even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives
allowed. It was only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it
became illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the Indian
Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and not the
Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife.
3. Qur’an permits limited polygyny
As I mentioned earlier, Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the earth
that says ‘marry only one’. The context of this phrase is the following verse from
Surah Nisa of the Glorious Qur’an:
“Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that
ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one.”
Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and
many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit
of four wives. Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women,
only on the condition that he deals justly with them.
In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says:
“Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women....”
Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the
misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one wife.
Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:
(i) ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory
(ii) ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged
(iii) ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed
(iv) ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged
(v) ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden
Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be
said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as
compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.
4. Average life span of females is more than that of males
By nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. A
female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the
germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, during the
pediatric age itself there are more deaths among males as compared to the
During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women. More men die
due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females
is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in the
world than widowers.
5. India has more male population than female due to female
foeticide and infanticide
India is one of the few countries, along with the other neighbouring countries, in
which the female population is less than the male population. The reason lies in
the high rate of female infanticide in India, and the fact that more than one
million female foetuses are aborted every year in this country, after they are
identified as females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have
more females as compared to males.
6. World female population is more than male population
In the USA, women outnumber men by 7.8 million. New York alone has one
million more females as compared to the number of males, and of the male
population of New York one-third are gays i.e sodomites. The U.S.A as a whole
has more than twenty-five million gays. This means that these people do not
wish to marry women. Great Britain has four million more females as compared
to males. Germany has five million more females as compared to males. Russia
has nine million more females than males. God alone knows how many million
more females there are in the whole world as compared to males.
7. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not
Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than
thirty million females in U.S.A who would not be able to get husbands
(considering that America has twenty five million gays). There would be more
than four million females in Great Britain, 5 million females in Germany and nine
million females in Russia alone who would not be able to find a husband.
Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA, or
suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA. The
only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who
already has a wife or becomes 'public property'. There is no other option. All
those who are modest will opt for the first.
Most women would nto like to share their husband with other women. But in
Islam when the situation deems it really neccessary Muslim women in due faith
could bear a small personal loss to prevent a greater loss of letting other Muslim
sisters becoming 'public properties'.
8. Marring a married man preferable to becoming 'public property'
In Western society, it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple
extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful, unprotected
life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having more than one
wife, in which women retain their honourable, dignified position in society and
lead a protected life.
Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to
marry a married man or to become 'public property'. Islam prefers giving
women the honourable position by permitting the first option and disallowing the
There are several other reasons, why Islam has permitted limited polygyny, but
it is mainly to protect the modesty of women.
If a man is allowed to have more than one wife, then why does Islam prohibit a
woman from having more than one husband?
A lot of people, including some Muslims, question the logic of allowing Muslim
men to have more than one spouse while denying the same ‘right’ to women.
Let me first state emphatically, that the foundation of an Islamic society is justice
and equity. Allah has created men and women as equal, but with different
capabilities and different responsibilities. Men and women are different,
physiologically and psychologically. Their roles and responsibilities are different.
Men and women are equal in Islam, but not identical.
Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4 verses 22 to 24 gives the list of women with whom
Muslim men can not marry. It is further mentioned in Surah Nisa’ Chapter 4
verse 24 “Also (prohibited are) women already married”
The following points enumerate the reasons why polyandry is prohibited in
1. If a man has more than one wife, the parents of the children born of such
marriages can easily be identified. The father as well as the mother can
easily be identified. In case of a woman marrying more than one husband,
only the mother of the children born of such marriages will be identified and
not the father. Islam gives tremendous importance to the identification of
both parents, mother and father. Psychologists tell us that children who do
not know their parents, especially their father undergo severe mental
trauma and disturbances. Often they have an unhappy childhood. It is for
this reason that the children of prostitutes do not have a healthy childhood.
If a child born of such wedlock is admitted in school, and when the mother
is asked the name of the father, she would have to give two or more names!
I am aware that recent advances in science have made it possible for both
the mother and father to be identified with the help of genetic testing. Thus
this point which was applicable for the past may not be applicable for the
2. Man is more polygamous by nature as compared to a woman.
3. Biologically, it is easier for a man to perform his duties as a husband despite
having several wives. A woman, in a similar position, having several
husbands, will not find it possible to perform her duties as a wife. A woman
undergoes several psychological and behavioral changes due to different
phases of the menstrual cycle.
4. A woman who has more than one husband will have several sexual
partners at the same time and has a high chance of acquiring venereal or
sexually transmitted diseases which can also be transmitted back to her
husband even if all of them have no extra-marital sex. This is not the case
in a man having more than one wife, and none of them having extra-marital
The above reasons are those that one can easily identify. There are probably
many more reasons why Allah, in His Infinite Wisdom, has prohibited polyandry.
3.HIJAB FOR WOMEN
Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?
The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media.
The ‘hijab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the
‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning
behind the religiously mandated ‘hijab’, let us first study the status of women in
societies before the advent of Islam
1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust
The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of
women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied
basic human dignity:
a. Babylonian Civilization:
The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian
law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife
was put to death.
b. Greek Civilization:
Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations.
Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and
were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called
‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks
considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of
women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks
were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution
became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.
c. Roman Civilization:
When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the
right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common
amongst the Romans.
d. Egyptian Civilization:
The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.
e. Pre-Islamic Arabia:
Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and
very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.
2. Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them
to maintain their status.
Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years
ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.
Hijab for men
People usually only discuss ‘hijab’ in the context of women. However, in the
Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijab’ for men before ‘hijab’ for the
women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard
their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is
well acquainted with all that they do.”
The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought
comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.
Hijab for women.
The next verse of Surah Noor, says:
“ And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and
guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and
ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they
should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty
except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their
3. Six criteria for Hijab.
According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing
The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is
different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male
is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the
extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face
and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these
parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands
are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijab’.
All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.
3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through
4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.
5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.
6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they
should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the
4. Hijab includes conduct and behaviour among other things
Complete ‘hijab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral
conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only
fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijab’ in a limited sense.
‘Hijab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijab’ of the eyes, ‘hijab’ of the
heart, ‘hijab’ of thought and ‘hijab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person
walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.
5. Hijab prevents molestation
The reason why Hijab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the
following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:
“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women
that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when
abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such)
and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
The Qur’an says that Hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are
recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being
6. Example of twin sisters
Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down
the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijab i.e. the complete body is
covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is
wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is
a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he
tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini?
Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an
indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation. The Qur’an
rightly says that hijab prevents women from being molested.
7. Capital punishment for the rapists
Under the Islamic shariah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is given
capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence. Some even
say that Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion! I have asked a simple question to
hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God forbid, someone rapes your wife,
your mother or your sister. You are made the judge and the rapist is brought in
front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said they would
put him to death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to
death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you want to put
him to death. But if the same crime is committed on somebody else’s wife or
daughter you say capital punishment is barbaric. Why should there be double
8. Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women
Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of
exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour.
Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually
degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies
who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers,
hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.
9. USA has one of the highest rates of rape
United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries
of the world. It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any country in the
world. According to a FBI report, in the year 1990, every day on an average
1756 cases of rape were committed in U.S.A alone. Later another report said
that on an average everyday 1900 cases of rapes are committed in USA. The
year was not mentioned. May be it was 1992 or 1993. May be the Americans
got ‘bolder’ in the following years.
Consider a scenario where the Islamic hijab is followed in America. Whenever
a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his
mind, he lowers his gaze. Every woman wears the Islamic hijab, that is the
complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist. After
this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment. I ask you, in such
a scenario, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or
will it decrease?
10. Implementation of Islamic Shariah will reduce the rate of rapes
Naturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is implemented positive results will be
inevitable. If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it
is America or Europe, society will breathe easier. Hijab does not degrade a
woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.
4.WAS ISLAM SPREAD BY THE SWORD?
How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword?
It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have
millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of
force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the
sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible
for the rapid spread of Islam.
1. Islam means peace.
Islam comes from the root word ‘salaam’, which means peace. It also means
submitting one’s will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is
acquired by submitting one’s will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).
2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.
Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace
and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested
interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for
this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and antisocial
elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the
same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The
fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam force
can only be used to promote peace and justice.
3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O’Leary.
The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given by
the noted historian De Lacy O’Leary in the book “Islam at the cross road” (Page 8):
“History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping
through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races
is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.”
4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.
Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the
sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to
Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who
could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.
5.14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.
Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British
ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia
for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians
i.e. Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there would
not have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian.
6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.
The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had
the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today
more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-
Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the
7. Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world.
The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, “Which Muslim
army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?”
8. East Coast of Africa.
Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again
ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, “Which Muslim army went to the East
Coast of Africa?”
9. Thomas Carlyle.
The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book “Heroes and Hero worship”,
refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: “The sword indeed, but
where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in
a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man
alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he
takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get
your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”
10. No compulsion in religion.
With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use
it to spread Islam because the Qur’an says in the following verse:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from
11. Sword of the Intellect.
It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of
people. The Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:
“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.”
12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.
An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of
the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century
from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At
the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased
only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted
millions of people to Islam?
13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.
Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing
religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept
Islam in such large numbers?
14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.
Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, “People who worry that nuclear
weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the
Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was
5.MUSLIMS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS AND
Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?
This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any
discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in every
form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims.
In fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to discrimination and
acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the
American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to
declare a ‘Middle Eastern conspiracy’ behind the attack. The culprit was later
identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.
Let us analyze this allegation of ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘terrorism’:
1.Definition of the word ‘fundamentalist’
A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals of
the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor, he
should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of medicine. In other words,
he should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to be a
good mathematician, he should know, follow and practise the fundamentals of
mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of mathematics. For a
person to be a good scientist, he should know, follow and practise the
fundamentals of science. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of science.
2.Not all ‘fundamentalists’ are the same
One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot
categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization of
any fundamentalist will depend upon the field or activity in which he is a
fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief causes harm to society and is
therefore undesirable. A fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, benefits
society and earns much respect.
3.I am proud to be a Muslim funda-mentalist
I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows and
strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslim does not shy away
from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim
because, I know that the fundamentals of Islam are beneficial to humanity and
the whole world. There is not a single fundamental of Islam that causes harm or
is against the interests of the human race as a whole. Many people harbour
misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to be
unfair or improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect knowledge of Islam.
If one critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an open mind, one cannot
escape the fact that Islam is full of benefits both at the individual and collective
4.Dictionary meaning of the word ‘fundamentalist’
According to Webster’s dictionary ‘fundamentalism’ was a movement in
American Protestanism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It was
a reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not only in
matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. It stressed on
belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism was a word
initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible was the
verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.
According to the Oxford dictionary ‘fundamentalism’ means ‘strict maintenance
of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, especially Islam’.
Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a Muslim
who is a terrorist.
5.Every Muslim should be a terrorist
Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror.
The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist
for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial
elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an
anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word
‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common
people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. antisocial
elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim
should be a source of peace for innocent people.
6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action,
i.e. ‘terrorist’ and ‘patriot’
Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of
India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the
British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the
same activities and hailed as ‘patriots’. Thus two different labels have been
given to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a
terrorist while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that Britain
had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who
were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and
It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing.
Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be analyzed,
and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account,
and then the person can be judged accordingly.
7.Islam means peace
Islam is derived from the word ‘salaam’ which means peace. It is a religion of
peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote peace
throughout the world.
Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the
fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a terrorist only towards
the antisocial elements in order to promote peace and justice in the society.
6.EATING NON-VEGETARIAN FOOD
Killing an animal is a ruthless act. Why then do Muslims consume nonvegetarian
‘Vegetarianism’ is now a movement the world over. Many even associate it with
animal rights. Indeed, a large number of people consider the consumption of
meat and other non-vegetarian products to be a violation of animal rights.
Islam enjoins mercy and compassion for all living creatures. At the same time
Islam maintains that Allah has created the earth and its wondrous flora and
fauna for the benefit of mankind. It is upto mankind to use every resource in this
world judiciously, as a niyamat (Divine blessing) and amanat (trust) from Allah.
Let us look at various other aspects of this argument.
1. A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian
A Muslim can be a very good Muslim despite being a pure vegetarian. It is not
compulsory for a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food.
2. Qur’an permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food
The Qur’an, however permits a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food. The
following Qur’anic verses are proof of this fact:
“O ye who believe! Fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are
all four-footed animals with the exceptions named.”
“And cattle He has created for you (men): from them Ye derive warmth,
and numerous benefits, And of their (meat) ye eat.”
“And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: From within their
bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides),
numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat.”
3. Meat is nutritious and rich in complete protein
Non-vegetarian food is a good source of excellent protein. It contains
biologically complete protein i.e. all the 8 essential amino acid that are not
synthesized by the body and should be supplied in the diet. Meat also contains
iron, vitamin B1 and niacin.
4. Humans have Omnivorous set of teeth
If you observe the teeth of herbivorous animals like the cow, goat and sheep,
you will find something strikingly similar in all of them. All these animals have
a set of flat teeth i.e. suited for herbivorous diet. If you observe the set of teeth
of the carnivorous animals like the lion, tiger, or leopard, they all have a set of
pointed teeth i.e. suited for a carnivorous diet. If you analyze the set of teeth of
humans, you find that they have flat teeth as well as pointed teeth. Thus they
have teeth suited for both herbivorous as well as carnivorous food i.e. they are
omnivorous. One may ask, if Almighty God wanted humans to have only
vegetables, why did He provide us also with pointed teeth? It is logical that He
expected us to need and to have both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian
5. Human beings can digest both vege-tarian and non-vegetarian
The digestive system of herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. The
digestive system of carnivorous animals can digest only meat. But the digestive
system of humans can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. If
Almighty God wanted us to have only vegetables then why did He give us a
digestive system that can digest both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian
6. Hindu scriptures give permission to have non-vegetarian food
a. There are many Hindus who are strictly vegetarian. They think it is against
their religion to consume non-vegetarian food. But the true fact is that the
Hindu scriptures permit a person to have meat. The scriptures mention
Hindu sages and saints consuming non-vegetarian food.
b. It is mentioned in Manu Smruti, the law book of Hindus, in chapter 5 verse 30
“The eater who eats the flesh of those to be eaten does nothing bad,
even if he does it day after day, for God himself created some to be eaten
and some to be eater.”
c. Again next verse of Manu Smruti, that is, chapter 5 verse 31 says
“Eating meat is right for the sacrifice, this is traditionally known as a rule of
d. Further in Manu Smruti chapter 5 verse 39 and 40 says
“God himself created sacrificial animals for sacrifice, ... , therefore killing in
a sacrifice is not killing.”
e. Mahabharata Anushashan Parva chapter 88 narrates the discussion
between Dharmaraj Yudhishthira and Pitamah Bhishma about what food
one should offer to Pitris (ancestors) during the Shraddha (ceremony of
dead) to keep them satisfied. Paragraph reads as follows:
“Yudhishthira said, “O thou of great puissance, tell me what that object is
which, if dedicated to the Pitiris (dead ancestors), become inexhaustible!
What Havi, again, (if offered) lasts for all time? What, indeed, is that which
(if presented) becomes eternal?”
“Bhishma said, “Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, what those Havis are which
persons conversant with the rituals of the Shraddha (the ceremony of dead)
regard as suitable in view of Shraddha and what the fruits are that attach to
each. With sesame seeds and rice and barely and Masha and water and
roots and fruits, if given at Shraddhas, the pitris, O king, remain gratified for
the period of a month. With fishes offered at Shraddhas, the pitris remain
gratified for a period of two months. With the mutton they remain gratified
for three months and with the hare for four months, with the flesh of the
goat for five months, with the bacon (meat of pig) for six months, and with
the flesh of birds for seven. With venison obtained from those deer that
are called Prishata, they remaingratified for eight months, and with that
obtained from the Ruru for nine months, and with the meat of Gavaya for
ten months, With the meat of the bufffalo their gratification lasts for eleven
months. With beef presented at the Shraddha, their gratification, it is said ,
lasts for a full year. Payasa mixed with ghee is as much acceptable to the
pitris as beef. With the meat of Vadhrinasa (a large bull) the gratification
of pitris lasts for twelve years. the flesh of rhinoceros, offered to the pitris
on anniversaries of the lunar days on which they died, becomes
inexhaustible. The potherb called Kalaska, the petals of kanchana flower,
and meat of (red) goat also, thus offered, prove inexhaustible.
So but natural if you want to keep your ancestors satisfied forever, you
should serve them the meat of red goat.
7. Hinduism was influenced by other religions
Though Hindu Scriptures permit its followers to have non-vegetarian food, many
Hindus adopted the vegetarian system because they were influenced by other
religions like Jainism.
8. Even plants have life
Certain religions have adopted pure vegetarianism as a dietary law because
they are totally against the killing of living creatures. If a person can survive
without killing any living creature, I would be the first person to adopt such a way
of life. In the past people thought plants were lifeless. Today it is a universal fact
that even plants have life. Thus their logic of not killing living creatures is not
fulfilled even by being a pure vegetarian.
9. Even plants can feel pain
They further argue that plants cannot feel pain, therefore killing a plant is a
lesser crime as compared to killing an animal. Today science tells us that even
plants can feel pain. But the cry of the plant cannot be heard by the human
being. This is due to the inability of the human ear to hear sounds that are not
in the audible range i.e. 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. Anything below and above
this range cannot be heard by a human being. A dog can hear up to 40,000
Hertz. Thus there are silent dog whistles that have a frequency of more than
20,000 Hertz and less than 40,000 Hertz. These whistles are only heard by
dogs and not by human beings. The dog recognizes the masters whistle and
comes to the master. There was research done by a farmer in U.S.A. who
invented an instrument which converted the cry of the plant so that it could be
heard by human beings. He was able to realize immediately when the plant
itself cried for water. Latest researches show that the plants can even feel happy
and sad. It can also cry.
10. Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime
Once a vegetarian argued his case by saying that plants only have two or three
senses while the animals have five senses. Therefore killing a plant is a lesser
crime than killing an animal. Suppose your brother is born deaf and dumb and
has two senses less as compared to other human beings. He becomes mature
and someone murders him. Would you ask the judge to give the murderer a
lesser punishment because your brother has two senses less? In fact you would
say that he has killed a masoom, an innocent person, and the judge should give
the murderer a greater punishment.
In fact the Qur’an says:
“O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good”
11. Over population of cattle
If every human being was a vegetarian, it would lead to overpopulation of cattle
in the world, since their reproduction and multiplication is very swift. Allah (swt)
in His Divine Wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His creation
appropriately. No wonder He has permitted us to have the meat of the cattle.
12. Cost of meat is reasonable since all aren’t non-vegetarians
I do not mind if some people are pure vegetarians. However they should not
condemn non-vegetarians as ruthless. In fact if all Indians become nonvegetarians
then the present non-vegetarians would be losers since the prices
of meat would rise.
7.ISLAMIC METHOD OF SLAUGHTERING
ANIMALS APPEARS RUTHLESS
Why do Muslims slaughter the animal in a ruthless manner by torturing it and
slowly and painfully killing it?
The Islamic method of slaughtering animals, known as Zabiha has been the
object of much criticism from a large number of people.
One may consider the following points, which prove that the Zabiha method is
not only humane but also scientifically the best:
1. Islamic method of slaughtering animal
Zakkaytum is a verb derived from the root word Zakah (to purify). Its infinitive is
Tazkiyah which means purification. The Islamic mode of slaughtering an animal
requires the following conditions to be met:
a. Animal should be slaughtered with sharp object (knife)
The animal has to be slaughtered with a sharp object (knife) and in a fast
way so that the pain of slaughter is minimised.
b. Cut wind pipe, throat and vessels of neck
Zabiha is an Arabic word which means ‘slaughtered’. The ‘slaughtering’ is
to be done by cutting the throat, windpipe and the blood vessels in the neck
causing the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord.
c. Blood should be drained
The blood has to be drained completely before the head is removed. The
purpose is to drain out most of the blood which would serve as a good
culture medium for micro organisms. The spinal cord must not be cut
because the nerve fibres to the heart could be damaged during the process
causing cardiac arrest, stagnating the blood in the blood vessels.
2. Blood is a good medium for germs and bacteria
Blood is a good media of germs, bacteria, toxins, etc. Therefore the Muslim way
of slaughtering is more hygienic as most of the blood containing germs,
bacteria, toxins, etc. that are the cause of several diseases are eliminated.
3. Meat remains fresh for a longer time
Meat slaughtered by Islamic way remains fresh for a longer time due to
deficiency of blood in the meat as compared to other methods of slaughtering.
4. Animal does not feel pain
The swift cutting of vessels of the neck disconnects the flow of blood to the
nerve of the brain responsible for pain. Thus the animal does not feel pain.
While dying, the animal struggles, writhers, shakes and kicks, not due to pain,
but due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles defecient in blood and
due to the flow of blood out of the body.
8.NON-VEGETARIAN FOOD MAKES MUSLIMS
Science tell us that whatever one eats, it has an effect on one’s behaviour. Why
then, does Islam allow Muslims to eat non-vegetarian food, since eating of
animals could make a person violent and ferocious?
1. Only eating of herbivorous animals allowed
I agree that, what a person eats has an effect on his behaviour. This is one of
the reasons why Islam prohibits the eating of carnivorous animals like lion, tiger,
leopard, etc. who are violent and ferocious. The consumption of the meat of
such animals would probably make a person violent and ferocious. Islam only
allows the eating of herbivorous animals like cow, goat, sheep, etc. that are
peaceful and docile. Muslims eat peaceful and docile animals because Muslims
are peace loving and non-violent people.
2. The Qur’an says Prophet prohibits what is bad
The Qur’an says:
“The Prophet commands them what is just and prohibits what is evil”.
“He allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them
what is bad (and impure),”
[Al-Qur’an 7: 157]
“So take what the Messenger assigns to you and deny yourselves that
which he withholds from you.”
[Al-Qur’an 59: 7]
For a Muslim, the Prophet’s statement is sufficient to convince him that Allah does
not wish humans to eat some kinds of meat while allowing some other kinds.
3. Hadith of Mohammad (pbuh) prohibi-ting eating of carnivorous
According to various authentic Ahadith narrated in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih
Muslim including hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas in Sahih Muslim, Book of hunting
and slaughter, Hadith No. 4752 and Sunan Ibn-I-Majah chapter 13 Hadith no.
3232 to 3234, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) prohibited the eating of:
(i) Wild animals with canine teeth, i.e. meat eating carnivorous animals. These
are animals belonging to the cat families such as lion, tiger, cats, dogs,
wolfs, hyenas, etc.
(ii) Certain rodents like mice, rats, rabbits with claws, etc.
(iii) Certain reptiles like snakes, alligators, etc.
(iv) Birds of prey with talons or claws, like vultures, eagle, crows, owl, etc.
There is no scientific evidence that proves beyond doubt that eating nonvegetarian
food makes one violent.
9.MUSLIMS WORSHIP THE KAABA
When Islam is against idol worship why do the Muslims worship, and bow down
to the Kaaba in their prayer?
Kaaba is the Qibla i.e. the direction Muslims face during their prayers. It is
important to note that though Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, they do
not worship the Kaaba. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.
It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah:
“We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall
We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the
direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that
direction.” [Al-Qur’an 2:144]
1. Islam believes in fostering unity
For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible that some
may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south. In order to unite
Muslims in their worship of the One True God, Muslims, wherever they may be,
are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba. If some Muslims
live towards the west of the Kaaba they face the east. Similarly if they live
towards the east of the Kaaba they face the west.
2. Kaaba is at the Centre of the World Map
The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the
map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The Kaaba was at
the centre. Later, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the
north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet, Alhamdullilah the Kaaba is at
the centre of the world map.
3. Tawaf around Kaaba for indicating one God
When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaf or
circumambulation round the Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship
of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one
Allah (swt) worthy of worship.
4. Hadith of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)
Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a hadith (tradition), attributed
to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah
be pleased with him).
According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675.
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I know that you are a stone and
can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and
kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you”.
5. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhaan
At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Kaaba and gave the
‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that Muslims
worship the Kaaba; which idol worshipper stands on the idol he worships
that is only 1.6% of the actual rapes committed. Out of those
20.NON-MUSLIMS REFERRED AS KAFIRS
Why do Muslims abuse non-Muslims by calling them Kafirs?
Kafir means one who rejects.
‘Kafir’ is derived from the word ‘kufr’, which means to conceal or to reject. In
Islamic terminology, ‘Kafir’ means one who conceals or rejects the truth of Islam
and a person who rejects Islam is in English called a ‘non-Muslim’.
If a ‘non-Muslim’ considers being called a ‘non-Muslim’ or ‘Kafir’, which are one
and the same, an abuse, it is due to his misunderstanding about Islam. He or
she needs to reach out to proper sources of understanding Islam and Islamic
terminology, and not only will he not feel abused but appreciate Islam in the