ISLAM IS PEACE-FULL
It is not a strange news when we (especially those of us living in the West) wake up in the morning and on our way to various places, we are confronted by the negative and stereotypical news thrown on our faces when we glanced the first page of the daily newspapers, listen to or watched the morning news. It is nothing other than negative mention of the religion of Islam, but lets look at what is really the truth behind these negative images being promoted in the name of Islam.
In order to understand this, i am compelled to explain what the words “Islam and Muslim” really stand for in the following ways:
What is Islam?
The word “Islam” comes from the root word “s-l-m” which forms a large class of words wholeness, submission, safeness and peace. In a religious context it means “voluntary submission to God”, Islam, in a nutshell, means “submission” or “surrender” to almighty God, the Lord of all the worlds and creation. Islam therefore, means total submission to Allah(God Almighty)’s decrees or commandments and the messengers and prophets sent to mankind. Right from the beginning of creation, Allah(God) has sent many, including Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus (peace and blessings of God be on them all) and the last and seal of prophet-hood is Muhammad (saw). All of them also called the people to worship and submit to Allah (God) alone and not to associate any other gods with Him.
Who is a Muslim?
The word stands for an adherent of Islam, this means “one who submits” or “one who surrenders” wholeheartedly. A Muslim demonstrate his/her true belief through submission to the commandments of God by serving God, and rejecting polytheism or disbelief. The word Muslim sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Qur’an. In some verses, there is strong emphasis on the quality of Islam as an internal conviction: “Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.”. Islam, by its own inner logic, embraces every possible facet of existence, for God has named Himself al-Muḥīṭ, the All-Embracing.
Why is Islam the Right Way?
It is explicitly pointed out in every one of God’s revelation and messaged or commandments sent to mankind that they should “worship only One God” alone. Scriptural examples: It was mentioned in the Old-Testament “Thou shall not worship any or bow down to any other gods beside God, be it in the land, sea etc..2, in the Bible, it says “….” and also in the noble Qur’an, “.. Say, He Allah9god) is One, He begets not, nor is He begotten and there is none like Him”.
The following Qur’anic verses connect Islām and dīn (usually translated as “religion”): when Allah says “Today, I have perfected your religion (dīn) for you; I have completed My favor/blessing upon you; I have chosen/approved Islam as your religion.”. Some describe Islam as an process of returning to God, it is seen as more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān (faith), and ihsān (excellence), where islām is defined theologically as Tawhid, historically by asserting that Muhammad is messenger of God, and doctrinally by mandating five basic and fundamental pillars of practice.
Therefore, from my analysis above, we can see that any misrepresentation or negative presentation of Islam and Muslims by the majority of western press is nothing but pure evil intention and mischievous attitude. I am not saying that some of the actions of “some Muslims” are not to be condemned at all. It is absolutely correct tat there are very bad elements in every society and the Muslim community is not an exemption, but we should be fair in our criticism and castigation whereby, the western media intentionally rather than ignorance, condemns the religion of Islam and Muslims as evil.
Stereotyping, maligning of Islam and muslims have long become a real big tool in the hand of western politicians to win cheap votes, and they work in tandem with each other. As the saying goes, “Bad news spread fast”, this is true of the media as we have witnessed in recent years. While the media houses sells and make money through their fear mongering in the name of terrorism, many innocent lives were lost. Despite this fact, they fail to realize that the poor masses who gets caught up in this media war against Islam and Muslims, consequently, they are creating and aggravating hatred between people and communities who have lived side-by-side for centuries.
(by Abdulkarim Adetoro-Ipaye)