The Misunderstood Religion of Islam

This article was co-written by Ehab Showlag and Yazan Musleh – Grade 11

Few weeks ago, Paris witnessed a series of attacks that killed about 200 people. This incident, among several others, has caused Islam to be so hated and feared by many, especially in the West. Before any group claimed its responsibility, the world as usual blamed us, Muslims. Just as to be expected, Muslims all around the world are put under pressure because of these events: they are being treated in ways that no human with any dignity can stand to face or see another person face. Now, I am not here to tell you of all the injustices happening to the Muslims in Burma, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. I am simply here to prove to all people out there that Islam is utterly, without a single doubt, NOT a religion of terrorism! The fundamental teachings of Islam disapprove such acts….

In more than one position in the Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Holy Quran, we are taught not to use violence unless it is of necessity. In several verses, Allah (SWT) teaches us how to give others advice and call them to our religion in a good way.

(ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّعَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ) (سورة النحل، اية 125)

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. (16:125)

As can be seen above, Allah orders us to invite others to the true path not through making a massacre and killing others with no right cause. Allah tells us to be wise and to use good instruction. More so, another verse clearly shows that one must not have a harsh nature.

(فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ ۖ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْلَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ ۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ) (سورة آل عمران، اية 159)

So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah . Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. (3:159)

Clearly form the two verses above, what happened in Paris had nothing to do with any Islamic teaching.     


Judging from the amount of killing that has been going around by “Muslims”, many may consider that Islam takes the case of murder lightly, but that is not the case! Listen to what Allah says to one who kills a believer.


(وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا) (سورة النساء، اية 93)

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment. (4:93)


This is when a Muslim kills another Muslim with no right cause. But, what happens when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim with no right. The following Hadith, from, is the answer.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr:

The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a person having a treaty with the Muslims, shall not smell the smell of Paradise though its smell is perceived from a distance of forty years.”

It just makes no sense, does it? Why would one go kill another who has done nothing wrong?


Religion doesn’t have to be violent for it to be spread and gain acceptance. Certain events from the history of Islam show a very good example that it is simply illogical for people to consider Islam as a religion of terror. When the Muslims went on to conquer a city, the Muslims, following the laws in the Quran and what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ordered, would abide by certain regulations. During their conquests, the Muslims did not simply ravage every city they passed by and kill all who were present: they offered choices to the city they wanted to conquer, and, once they did conquer, they were tolerant and did not force others to convert to Islam. One such example is about Caliph Umar Ibn Al Khattab and his opening of Jerusalem. The following is a text taken from

“As they did with all other cities they conquered, the Muslims had to write up a treaty detailing the rights and privileges regarding the conquered people and the Muslims in Jerusalem. This treaty was signed by Umar and Patriarch Sophronius, along with some of the generals of the Muslim armies. The text of the treaty read:

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the assurance of safety which the servant of God, Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, has given to the people of Jerusalem. He has given them an assurance of safety for themselves for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rituals which belong to their religion. Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed. Neither they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their property will be damaged. They will not be forcibly converted. No Jew will live with them in Jerusalem.

The people of Jerusalem must pay the taxes like the people of other cities and must expel the Byzantines and the robbers. Those of the people of Jerusalem, who want to leave with the Byzantines, take their property and abandon their churches and crosses will be safe until they reach their place of refuge. The villagers may remain in the city if they wish but must pay taxes like the citizens. Those who wish may go with the Byzantines and those who wish may return to their families. Nothing is to be taken from them before their harvest is reaped.

If they pay their taxes according to their obligations, then the conditions laid out in this letter are under the covenant of God, are the responsibility of His Prophet, of the caliphs and of the faithful.”

– Quoted in the Great Arab Conquests, from Tarikh Tabari”

Here is just a simple list that summarizes some of the teachings and orders of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) during war:


Islam is the religion of mercy. Islam even teaches us that we must treat animals with kindness.

Here,, a short story depicts what has been said previously.


Islam expects humankind to treat all animals (all living creatures – birds, sea creatures, and insects) with respect and dignity.  Prophet Muhammad continuously advised people to show kindness.  He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. If the Prophet saw, any animal over-burdened or ill fed he would speak mildly to the owner and say, “Fear God in your treatment of animals.”

Now, it all boils down to logic. If Islam were the religion of terrorism depicted in this time of ours, would I even be here! My ancestors would have probably been busy killing each other and you would not have been able to read this article! Would Islam be the fastest growing religion in the world if it taught terror? I believe that it would not have even spread past the Arabian Peninsula if that were the case. Do you know how Islam spread so quickly in its early days? Islam spread through the Asian continent, and eventually worldwide, because the Muslim merchants treated those they dealt with well. The Muslim merchants had exemplary attitude that was noticed and appreciated by the non-Muslims of those time. Just because of their good conduct, Muslim merchants were able to help spread Islam, and so we will again in this age!



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