Islam is one of the five major religions and is followed by one billion people around the world. The Arabic term “Islam” means to surrender which really highlights the fundamentals of the religion, that the believer surrenders to Allah.
Allah is God and is viewed as both the creator and the restorer of the world. The word of Allah is known through the sacred test which is the Qur’an, which is the equivalent to the Bible for Christians. Allah delivered the scriptures to Muhammad, his messenger and Muhammad is believed to be the last of the prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Solomon, Jesus).
However, with every religion, people have misconceptions about Islam. Speaking to Yassine Maadini, a Muslim man living in Ireland, he said, “There are so many. When it comes to relationships, there are so many misconceptions, same with beliefs.”
He said that when he came to Ireland from Morocco to study in Athlone, he was faced with many questions about his religion and where he came from. “When I came from Morocco, he got asked “do you really want four wives?” He explained that 99 per cent of people have one wife and that some people believe there is a common belief that Muslims objectify women.
“We don’t do that,” he said. “We believe that women are life itself” and that there are a small group of Muslim people that don’t have these rules in countires where violence is rife. “There are many who think that Islam is a religion of terrorism. It’s a religion of one billion people so there wouldn’t be many people alive if we were.” He said there are a number of people in countries that believe you must hurt yourself to be accepted which is a form of extremism such as cutting their own hands off for their religion.
Maadini mentioned that Muslim people are very open compared to other religions and that is why the rate of suicide and depression is so low in Muslim countires. Speaking of Morocco, he said, “the country is poor but despite this, there are very low rates of suicide because religion brings people together.” He said that the Irish “don’t know their neighbours” which makes it a very lonely country however in Morocco, no one is left alone even if they live alone. “You don’t see that here. You don’t see a bond between two people even if they see each other often” he said.
Religion is a delicate subject but if we all tried to understand another person’s religion, there would be more unity. Whether it is Wicca or Judaism, there is a lot of learning to be done.
Image Credit: Sonja Tutty