The Religion of Islam: A Comprehensive Discussion of the Sources, Principles and Practices of Islam

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All educated people start looking down upon the forcible conversions and even started objecting to their very basis. Since then some naturalist Mohammadis [Muslims] are trying, rather opposing falsehood and accepting the truth, to prove unnecessarily and wrongly that Islam never indulged in Jihad and the people were never converted to Islam forcibly.

Neither any temples were demolished nor were ever cows slaughtered in the temples. Women and children belonging to other religious sects were never forcibly converted to Islam nor did they ever commit any sexual acts with them as could have been done with the slave-males and females both. Mahatma Gandhi , the moral leader of the 20th-century Indian independence movement, found the history of Muslims to be aggressive, while he pointed out that Hindus have passed that stage of societal evolution:.

Though, in my opinion, non violence has a predominant place in the Quran, the thirteen hundred years of imperialistic expansion has made the Muslims fighters as a body. They are therefore aggressive. Bullying is the natural excrescence of an aggressive spirit. The Hindu has an ages old civilization.

He is essentially non violent. His civilization has passed through the experiences that the two recent ones are still passing through. If Hinduism was ever imperialistic in the modern sense of the term, it has outlived its imperialism and has either deliberately or as a matter of course given it up. Predominance of the non violent spirit has restricted the use of arms to a small minority which must always be subordinate to a civil power highly spiritual, learned and selfless.

The Hindus as a body are therefore not equipped for fighting. But not having retained their spiritual training, they have forgotten the use of an effective substitute for arms and not knowing their use nor having an aptitude for them, they have become docile to the point of timidity and cowardice.

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This vice is therefore a natural excrescence of gentleness. Jawaharlal Nehru , the first Prime Minister of India , in his book Discovery of India , describes Islam to have been a faith for military conquests. He wrote "Islam had become a more rigid faith suited more to military conquests rather than the conquests of the mind", and that Muslims brought nothing new to his country. The Muslims who came to India from outside brought no new technique or political or economic structure. In spite of religious belief in the brotherhood of Islam, they were class bound and feudal in outlook.

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  6. Iranian writer Sadegh Hedayat regarded Islam as the corrupter of Iran , he said:. Every aspect of life and thought, including women's condition, changed after Islam. Enslaved by men, women were confined to the home. Polygamy, injection of fatalistic attitude, mourning, sorrow and grief led people to seek solace in magic, witchcraft, prayer, and supernatural beings.

    Nobel prize -winning novelist V. Naipaul stated that Islam requires its adherents to destroy everything which is not related to it. He described it as having a:. Calamitous effect on converted peoples, to be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter'. Nobel prize -winning playwright Wole Soyinka stated that Islam had a role in denigrating African spiritual traditions.

    He criticized attempts to whitewash what he sees as the destructive and coercive history of Islam on the continent:. Let those who wish to retain or evaluate religion as a twenty-first project feel free to do so, but let it not be done as a continuation of the game of denigration against the African spiritual heritage as in a recent television series perpetrated by Islam's born again revisionist of history, Professor Ali Mazrui. Soyinka also regarded Islam as "superstition", and said that it does not belong to Africa. He stated that it is mainly spread with violence and force.

    Tatars Tengrists , criticize Islam as a semitic religion, which forced Turks to submission to an alien culture. Submission and humility, two significant components of Islamic spirituality, are disregarded as major failings of Islam, not as virtues. Further, since Islam mentions semitic history as if it were the history of all mankind, but disregards components of other cultures and spirituality, the international approach of Islam is seen as a threat.

    It additionally gives Imams an opportunity to march against their own people under the banner of international Islam. Originality of Quranic manuscripts. According to traditional Islamic scholarship, all of the Quran was written down by Muhammad's companions while he was alive during — CE , but it was primarily an orally related document.

    The written compilation of the whole Quran in its definite form as we have it now was not completed until many years after the death of Muhammad. Nevo argue that all the primary sources which exist are from — years after the events which they describe, and thus are chronologically far removed from those events. Imperfections in the Quran. Critics reject the idea that the Quran is miraculously perfect and impossible to imitate as asserted in the Quran itself. Critics, however, argue that peculiarities can be found in the text.

    For example, critics note that a sentence in which something is said concerning Allah is sometimes followed immediately by another in which Allah is the speaker examples of this are suras xvi. Many peculiarities in the positions of words are due to the necessities of rhyme lxix. Judaism and the Quran. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia , "The dependence of Mohammed upon his Jewish teachers or upon what he heard of the Jewish Haggadah and Jewish practices is now generally conceded. Some of this negative reaction is undoubtedly due to its radicalness Wansbrough's work has been embraced wholeheartedly by few and has been employed in a piecemeal fashion by many.

    Many praise his insights and methods, if not all of his conclusions. Bernard Lewis describes this as "something like what in Christian history was called a Judaizing heresy. Mohammed and God as speakers. According to Ibn Warraq , the Iranian rationalist Ali Dashti criticized the Quran on the basis that for some passages, "the speaker cannot have been God. Furthermore, it is also known that one of the companions of Muhammad, Ibn Masud , rejected Surah Fatihah as being part of the Quran; these kind of disagreements are, in fact, common among the companions of Muhammad who could not decide which surahs were part of the Quran and which not.

    Critics point to various pre-existing sources to argue against the traditional narrative of revelation from God. Some scholars have calculated that one-third of the Quran has pre-Islamic Christian origins. Hadith are Muslim traditions relating to the Sunnah words and deeds of Muhammad. They are drawn from the writings of scholars writing between and CE, more than years after the death of Mohammed in CE.

    The four schools of Sunni Islam all consider Hadith second only to the Quran, although they differ on how much freedom of interpretation should be allowed to legal scholars. The Shi'as accept the Sunnah of Ali and the Imams as authoritative in addition to the Sunnah of Muhammad, and as a consequence they maintain their own, different, collections of Hadith.

    It has been suggested that there exists around the Hadith three major sources of corruption: political conflicts, sectarian prejudice, and the desire to translate the underlying meaning, rather than the original words verbatim. Muslim critics of the hadith, Quranists , reject the authority of hadith on theological grounds, pointing to verses in the Quran itself: " Nothing have We omitted from the Book ", [] declaring that all necessary instruction can be found within the Quran, without reference to the Hadith.

    They claim that following the Hadith has led to people straying from the original purpose of God's revelation to Muhammad, adherence to the Quran alone. A fatwa , ruling, signed by more than a thousand orthodox clerics, denounced him as a 'kafir', a non-believer. John Esposito notes that "Modern Western scholarship has seriously questioned the historicity and authenticity of the hadith ", maintaining that "the bulk of traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad were actually written much later. Orthodox Muslims do not deny the existence of false hadith, but believe that through the scholars' work, these false hadith have been largely eliminated.

    The traditional view of Islam has also been criticised for the lack of supporting evidence consistent with that view, such as the lack of archaeological evidence, and discrepancies with non-Muslim literary sources. They tried to correct or reconstruct the early history of Islam from other, presumably more reliable, sources such as coins, inscriptions, and non-Islamic sources.

    The oldest of this group was John Wansbrough — Wansbrough's works were widely noted, but perhaps not widely read. The German scholar Gerd R. Puin has been investigating these Quran fragments for years. His research team made 35, microfilm photographs of the manuscripts, which he dated to early part of the 8th century. Puin has not published the entirety of his work, but noted unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare styles of orthography. He also suggested that some of the parchments were palimpsests which had been reused.

    Puin believed that this implied a text that changed over time as opposed to one that remained the same. Kaaba is the most sacred site in Islam. In her book, Islam: A Short History , Karen Armstrong asserts that the Kaaba was officially dedicated to Hubal , a Nabatean deity, and contained idols that probably represented the days of the year.

    The others also allegedly had counterparts of the Black Stone. There was a "red stone", the deity of the south Arabian city of Ghaiman, and the "white stone" in the Kaaba of al-Abalat near the city of Tabala, south of Mecca. Grunebaum in Classical Islam points out that the experience of divinity of that period was often associated with stone fetishes , mountains, special rock formations, or "trees of strange growth. This idol was one of the chief deities of the ruling tribe Quraysh. The idol was made of red agate and shaped like a human, but with the right hand broken off and replaced with a golden hand.

    When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used for divination. They depict it as a city grown rich on the proceeds of the spice trade. Patricia Crone believes that this is an exaggeration and that Mecca may only have been an outpost trading with nomads for leather, cloth, and camel butter. Crone argues that if Mecca had been a well-known center of trade, it would have been mentioned by later authors such as Procopius , Nonnosus , or the Syrian church chroniclers writing in Syriac.

    The town is absent, however, from any geographies or histories written in the three centuries before the rise of Islam. Muhammad is considered as one of the prophets in Islam and as a model for followers. Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf wrote a poetic eulogy commemorating the slain Quraish notables; later, he had traveled to Mecca and provoked the Quraish to fight Muhammad. He also wrote erotic poetry about Muslim women, which offended the Muslims there.

    Other sources also state that he was plotting to assassinate Muhammad. Muhammad ibn Maslama offered his services, collecting four others. By pretending to have turned against Muhammad, Muhammad ibn Maslama and the others enticed Ka'b out of his fortress on a moonlit night, [] and killed him in spite of his vigorous resistance. According to scriptural Sunni's Hadith sources, Aisha was six or seven years old when she was married to Muhammad and nine when the marriage was consummated. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari , born in Persia years after Muhammmad's death, suggested that she was ten years old.

    Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi , born about years after Muhammad's death, cited Hisham ibn Urwah as saying that she was nine years old at marriage, and twelve at consummation, [] but Hisham ibn Urwah 's original source is otherwise unknown, and Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi 's work does not have the high religious status of the Hadith. In the twentieth century, Indian writer Muhammad Ali challenged the Hadith showing that Aisha was as young as the traditional sources claim; arguing that instead a new interpretation of the Hadith compiled by Mishkat al-Masabih , Wali-ud-Din Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Khatib, could indicate that Aisha would have been nineteen years old around the time of her marriage.

    Colin Turner, a UK professor of Islamic studies , [] states that since such marriages between an older man and a young girl were customary among the Bedouins , Muhammad's marriage would not have been considered improper by his contemporaries. Marriages conducted in absentia to seal an alliance were often contracted at this time between adults and minors who were even younger than Aisha.

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    According to some critics, the morality of the Quran appears to be a moral regression when judged by the standards of the moral traditions of Judaism and Christianity it says that it builds upon. The Catholic Encyclopedia , for example, states that "the ethics of Islam are far inferior to those of Judaism and even more inferior to those of the New Testament" and "that in the ethics of Islam there is a great deal to admire and to approve, is beyond dispute; but of originality or superiority, there is none. In The End of Faith Harris argues that Muslim extremism is simply a consequence of taking the Quran literally, and is skeptical that moderate Islam is possible.

    Henry Martyn claims that the concept of the Houris was chosen to satisfy Muhammad's followers. Bernard Lewis writes: "In one of the sad paradoxes of human history , it was the humanitarian reforms brought by Islam that resulted in a vast development of the slave trade inside, and still more outside, the Islamic empire.

    Similarly, the practice of freeing slaves in atonement for certain sins appears to be introduced by the Quran but compare Exod The unique contribution of the Qur'an, then, is to be found in its emphasis on the place of slaves in society and society's responsibility toward the slave, perhaps the most progressive legislation on slavery in its time. Critics argue unlike Western societies which in their opposition to slavery spawned anti-slavery movements whose numbers and enthusiasm often grew out of church groups, no such grass-roots organizations ever developed in Muslim societies. In Muslim politics the state unquestioningly accepted the teachings of Islam and applied them as law.

    Islam, by sanctioning slavery, also extended legitimacy to the traffic in slaves. According to Maurice Middleberg, however, " Sura 90 in the Quran states that the righteous path involves 'the freeing of slaves. He did not set out to abolish slavery, but rather to improve the conditions of slaves by urging his followers to treat their slaves humanely and free them as a way of expiating one's sins which some modern Muslim authors have interpreted as indication that Muhammad envisioned a gradual abolition of slavery.

    Critics say it was only in the early 20th century post World War I that slavery gradually became outlawed and suppressed in Muslim lands, largely due to pressure exerted by Western nations such as Britain and France. By legitimizing slavery and — by extension — traffic in slaves, Islam elevated those practices to an unassailable moral plane. As a result, in no part of the Muslim world was an ideological challenge ever mounted against slavery. The political and social system in Muslim society would have taken a dim view of such a challenge.

    However, In Islamic jurisprudence , slavery was theoretically an exceptional condition under the dictum The basic principle is liberty al-'asl huwa 'l-hurriya , so that for a foundling or another person whose status was unknown freedom was presumed and enslavement forbidden. The issue of slavery in the Islamic world in modern times is controversial. Critics argue there is hard evidence of its existence and destructive effects. Others maintain slavery in central Islamic lands has been virtually extinct since mid-twentieth century, and that reports from Sudan and Somalia showing practice of slavery is in border areas as a result of continuing war [] and not Islamic belief.

    In recent years, according to some scholars, [] there has been a "worrying trend" of "reopening" of the issue of slavery by some conservative Salafi Islamic scholars after its "closing" earlier in the 20th century when Muslim countries banned slavery and "most Muslim scholars" found the practice "inconsistent with Qur'anic morality. Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri of Karbala expressed the view in that the enforcement of servitude can occur but is restricted to war captives and those born of slaves.

    In a issue of their digital magazine Dabiq , the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women. According to Islamic law apostasy is identified by a list of actions such as conversion to another religion, denying the existence of God , rejecting the prophets , mocking God or the prophets, idol worship, rejecting the sharia , or permitting behavior that is forbidden by the sharia, such as adultery or the eating of forbidden foods or drinking of alcoholic beverages.

    The kind of apostasy which the jurists generally deemed punishable was of the political kind, although there were considerable legal differences of opinion on this matter. Laws prohibiting religious conversion run contrary to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which states that "[e]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Bosworth suggests the traditional view of apostasy hampered the development of Islamic learning, arguing that while the organizational form of the Christian university allowed them to develop and flourish into the modern university, "the Muslim ones remained constricted by the doctrine of waqf alone, with their physical plant often deteriorating hopelessly and their curricula narrowed by the exclusion of the non-traditional religious sciences like philosophy and natural science," out of fear that these could evolve into potential toe-holds for kufr , those people who reject God.

    At a human rights conference at Mofid University in Qom , Araki stated that "if an individual doubts Islam, he does not become the subject of punishment, but if the doubt is openly expressed , this is not permissible. In 13 Muslim-majority countries atheism is punishable by death. This principle was upheld "even in extreme situations", such as when an offender adopts Islam "only for fear of death", based on the hadith that Muhammad had upbraided a follower for killing a raider who had uttered the shahada.

    The penalty for apostasy in Islamic law is death. Islam is conceived as a polity, not just as a religious community. It follows therefore that apostasy is treason. It is a withdrawal, a denial of allegiance as well as of religious belief and loyalty. Any sustained and principled opposition to the existing regime or order almost inevitably involves such a withdrawal.

    The four Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence , as well as Shi'a scholars, agree on the difference of punishment between male and female. A sane adult male apostate may be executed. A female apostate may be put to death, according to the majority view, or imprisoned until she repents, according to others. The Quran threatens apostates with punishment in the next world only, the historian W. Heffening states, the traditions however contain the element of death penalty.

    William Montgomery Watt , in response to a question about Western views of the Islamic Law as being cruel, states that "In Islamic teaching, such penalties may have been suitable for the age in which Muhammad lived. However, as societies have since progressed and become more peaceful and ordered, they are not suitable any longer. Some contemporary Islamic jurists from both the Sunni and Shia denominations together with Quran only Muslims have argued or issued fatwas that state that either the changing of religion is not punishable or is only punishable under restricted circumstances.

    Montazeri defines different types of apostasy. He does not hold that a reversion of belief because of investigation and research is punishable by death but prescribes capital punishment for a desertion of Islam out of malice and enmity towards the Muslim. According to Yohanan Friedmann , an Israeli Islamic Studies scholar, a Muslim may stress tolerant elements of Islam by for instance adopting the broadest interpretation of Quran "No compulsion is there in religion Similarly neither Judaism nor Christianity treated apostasy and apostates with any particular kindness".

    What is the essence of Islam?

    The real predicament facing modern Muslims with liberal convictions is not the existence of stern laws against apostasy in medieval Muslim books of law, but rather the fact that accusations of apostasy and demands to punish it are heard time and again from radical elements in the contemporary Islamic world. Some widely held interpretations of Islam are inconsistent with Human Rights conventions that recognize the right to change religion.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion of his choice.

    The right for Muslims to change their religion is not afforded by the Iranian Shari'ah law , which specifically forbids it. In , the Iranian representative to the United Nations , Said Rajaie-Khorassani , articulated the position of his country regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by saying that the UDHR was "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.

    The prosecution of converts from Islam on the basis of religious edicts that identify apostasy as an offense punishable by death is clearly at variance with this obligation. Abul Ala Maududi , the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami , [] wrote a book called Human Rights in Islam , [] in which he argues that respect for human rights has always been enshrined in Sharia law indeed that the roots of these rights are to be found in Islamic doctrine [] and criticizes Western notions that there is an inherent contradiction between the two. The September 11 attacks on the United States, and various other acts of Islamic terrorism over the 21st century, have resulted in many non-Muslims' indictment of Islam as a violent religion.

    On the one hand, some critics claim that certain verses of the Quran sanction military action against unbelievers as a whole both during the lifetime of Muhammad and after. The Quran says, "Fight in the name of your religion with those who fight against you. Orientalist David Margoliouth described the Battle of Khaybar as the "stage at which Islam became a menace to the whole world. Montgomery Watt mention another reason for the battle. He believes Jews' intriguing and use of their wealth to incite tribes against Muhammad left him no choice but to attack.

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    Jihad , an Islamic term , is a religious duty of Muslims. Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving for the sake of God al-jihad fi sabil Allah ". A minority among the Sunni scholars sometimes refer to this duty as the sixth pillar of Islam , though it occupies no such official status. The Quran calls repeatedly for jihad, or holy war, against unbelievers, including, at times, Jews and Christians.

    The Quran: : " Another aim and objective of jihad is to drive terror in the hearts of the [infidels]. To terrorize them. Did you know that we were commanded in the Qur'an with terrorism? Allah said, and prepare for them to the best of your ability with power, and with horses of war. To drive terror in the hearts of my enemies, Allah's enemies, and your enemies.

    And other enemies which you don't know, only Allah knows them So we were commanded to drive terror into the hearts of the [infidels], to prepare for them with the best of our abilities with power. Then the Prophet said, nay, the power is your ability to shoot. The power which you are commanded with here, is your ability to shoot. Another aim and objective of jihad is to kill the [infidels], to lessen the population of the [infidels] David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad , said "In reading Muslim literature — both contemporary and classical — one can see that the evidence for the primacy of spiritual jihad is negligible.

    Today it is certain that no Muslim, writing in a non- Western language such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu , would ever make claims that jihad is primarily nonviolent or has been superseded by the spiritual jihad. According to Fawzy Abdelmalek, "many Muslim scholars speak of Islam as a religion of peace and not of violence. They say that the non-Muslims misunderstand the Quran verses about Jihad and the conduct of war in Islam. Dennis Prager , columnist and author, in responding to a movement that contends that Islam is "a religion of peace," wrote: "Now, Islam has never been a religion of peace.

    It began as a warlike religion and throughout its history, whenever possible, made war on non-Muslims — from the polytheists of North Africa to the Hindus of India, about 60 to 80 million of whom Muslims killed during their thousand-year rule there. Neuman, a scholar on religion, describes Islam as "a perfect anti-religion" and "the antithesis of Buddhism. Charles Mathewes characterizes the peace verses as saying that "if others want peace, you can accept them as peaceful even if they are not Muslim.

    Beheading was a standard method of execution in pre-modern Islamic law. Though a formerly widespread execution method, its use had been abandoned in most countries by the end of the 20th century. Currently, it is used only in Saudi Arabia. It also remains a legal method of execution in Iran, Qatar and Yemen, where it is no longer in use. Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International , condemn Islamic laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime.

    In May , the sexual rights lobby group Lambda Istanbul based in Istanbul , Turkey was banned by court order for violating a constitutional provision on the protection of the family and an article banning bodies with objectives that violate law and morality. In 10 Muslim-majority countries homosexual acts may be punishable by death, though in some the punishment has never been carried out.

    The ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq has noted that the Quran's condemnation of homosexuality has frequently been ignored in practice, and that Islamic countries were much more tolerant of homosexuality than Christian ones until fairly recently. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term.

    Ibn Kathir writes that "[t]here's no doubt that in the outset of Islam, Mut'ah was allowed under the Shari'ah". No other school of Islamic jurisprudence allows it. For example, it has been narrated from Muhammad al-Baqir and Ja'far al-Sadiq that they said "regarding the [above] verse, and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed.

    Most Sunnis believe that Umar later was merely enforcing a prohibition that was established during Muhammad's time. Women must observe a period of celibacy idda to allow for the identification of a child's legitimate father, and a woman can only be married to one person at a time, be it temporary or permanent. Some Shia scholars also view Mut'ah as a means of eradicating prostitution from society.

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    7. Misyar has been suggested by some western authors to be a comparable marriage with Nikah mut'ah and that they find it for the sole purpose of "sexual gratification in a licit manner" [] [] According to Florian Pohl, assistant professor of religion at Oxford College , Misyar marriage is controversial issue in the Muslim world, as many see it as practice that encourages marriages for purely sexual purposes, or that it is used as a cover for a form of prostitutuion. Professor Yusuf Al-Qaradawi observes that he does not promote this type of marriage, although he has to recognise that it is legal, since it fulfils all the requirements of the usual marriage contract.

      They agree that the wife can at any time, reclaim the rights which she gave up at the time of contract. For Al-Albani , misyar marriage may even be considered as illicit, because it runs counter to the objectives and the spirit of marriage in Islam, as described in the Quran: "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts …" [] Al-Albani also underlines the social problems which result from the "misyar" marriage, particularly in the event that children are born from this union.

      The children raised by their mother in a home from which the father is always absent, without reason, may suffer difficulties. Ibn Uthaymeen recognized the legality of "misyar" marriage under Shariah , but came to oppose it due to what he considered to be its harmful effects. Many scholars [] [] claim Shari'a law encourages domestic violence against women, when a husband suspects nushuz disobedience, disloyalty, rebellion, ill conduct in his wife.

      One of the verses of the Quran relating to permissibility of domestic violence is Surah Shari'a is the basis for personal status laws in most Islamic majority nations. These personal status laws determine rights of women in matters of marriage, divorce and child custody. In legal proceedings under Shari'a law, a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's before a court.

      Islam, Judaism, and Christianity - A Conversation

      Except for Iran, Lebanon and Bahrain which allow child marriages, the civil code in Islamic majority countries do not allow child marriage of girls. However, with Shari'a personal status laws, Shari'a courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code. The religious courts permit girls less than 18 years old to marry.

      As of , child marriages are common in a few Middle Eastern countries, accounting for 1 in 6 all marriages in Egypt and 1 in 3 marriages in Yemen. However, the average age at marriage in most Middle Eastern countries is steadily rising and is generally in the low to mid 20's for women. Sharia grants women the right to inherit property from other family members, and these rights are detailed in the Quran.

      The status of women in classical Islamic law compared favorably to their status under laws of other contemporaneous cultures such those of pre-modern Europe, both in terms of financial independence and access to divorce, but the situation is different if it is evaluated against modern conceptions. Sharia recognizes the basic inequality between master and women slave, between free women and slave women, between believers and non-believers, as well as their unequal rights. Slave women under sharia did not have a right to own property, right to free movement or right to consent.

      However, manumission required that the non-Muslim slave first convert to Islam. Starting with the 20th century, Western legal systems evolved to expand women's rights, but women's rights under Islamic law have remained tied to Quran, hadiths and their faithful interpretation as sharia by Islamic jurists. The immigration of Muslims to Europe has increased in recent decades. Friction has developed between their new neighbours. Conservative Muslim social attitudes on modern issues have caused controversy in Europe and elsewhere. Scholars argue about how much these attitudes are a result of Islamic beliefs.

      Some critics consider Islam to be incompatible with secular Western society, and that, unlike other religions, Islam positively commands its adherents to impose its religious law on all peoples, believers and unbelievers alike, whenever possible and by any means necessary. Statements by proponents like Pascal Bruckner [] describe multiculturalism as an invention of an "enlightened" elite who deny the benefits of democratic rights to non-Westerners by chaining them to their roots.

      They believe this allows Islam free rein to propagate what they state are abuses, such as the mistreatment of women and homosexuals , and in some countries slavery. They also state that multiculturalism allows a degree of religious freedom [] that exceeds what is needed for personal religious freedom [] and is conducive to the creation of organizations aimed at undermining European secular or Christian values.

      Emigrants from nearly every predominantly Muslim country have immigrated to Canada. In the United States , after the Boston Marathon bombings , the immigration processes in the country are assumed to be harder. In , speaking to the Acton Institute on the problems of "secular democracy", Cardinal George Pell drew a parallel between Islam and communism : "Islam may provide in the 21st century, the attraction that communism provided in the 20th, both for those that are alienated and embittered on the one hand and for those who seek order or justice on the other.

      Writers such as Stephen Suleyman Schwartz [] and Christopher Hitchens , [] find some elements of Islamism fascistic. Malise Ruthven , a Scottish writer and historian who writes on religion and Islamic affairs, opposes redefining Islamism as " Islamofascism ", but also finds the resemblances between the two ideologies "compelling". French philosopher Alexandre del Valle compared Islamism with fascism and communism in his Red-green-brown alliance theory. Raymond Leo Burke , a Cardinal-Deacon of the Catholic Church has stated that Islam is not a religion but a totalitarian political system with religious elements which is dedicated to the conquest of the whole world.

      John Esposito has written a number of introductory texts on Islam and the Islamic world. He has addressed issues including the rise of militant Islam , the veiling of women, and democracy. He thinks that "too often coverage of Islam and the Muslim world assumes the existence of a monolithic Islam in which all Muslims are the same. Watt argues on a basis of moral relativism that Muhammad should be judged by the standards of his own time and country rather than "by those of the most enlightened opinion in the West today.

      Karen Armstrong , tracing what she believes to be the West's long history of hostility toward Islam, finds in Muhammad's teachings a theology of peace and tolerance. Armstrong holds that the "holy war" urged by the Quran alludes to each Muslim's duty to fight for a just, decent society. Edward Said , in his essay Islam Through Western Eyes , writes that the general basis of Orientalist thought forms a study structure in which Islam is placed in an inferior position as an object of study.

      He argues the existence of a very considerable bias in Orientalist writings as a consequence of the scholars' cultural make-up. He states that Islam has been looked at with a particular hostility and fear due to many obvious religious, psychological and political reasons, all deriving from a sense "that so far as the West is concerned, Islam represents not only a formidable competitor but also a late-coming challenge to Christianity. Cathy Young of Reason Magazine writes that "criticism of the religion is enmeshed with cultural and ethnic hostility" often painting the Muslim world as monolithic.

      While stating that the terms " Islamophobia " and "anti-Muslim bigotry" are often used in response to legitimate criticism of fundamentalist Islam and problems within Muslim culture, she argues that "the real thing does exist, and it frequently takes the cover of anti-jihadism. In contrast to the widespread Western belief that women in Muslim societies are oppressed and denied opportunities to realize their full potential, most Muslims experience their faith as liberating or fair to women, and some find it offensive that Westerners criticize it without fully understanding the historical and contemporary realities of Muslim women's lives.

      Conservative Muslims in particular in common with some Christians and Jews see women in the West as being economically exploited for their labor, sexually abused, and commodified through the media's fixation on the female body. Media related to Criticism of Islam at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Criticism of the current or historical Islamic religion, its actions, teachings, omissions, structure, or nature. For other uses, see Anti-Islam disambiguation.

      Profession of faith Prayer Fasting Alms-giving Pilgrimage. Texts and sciences. Culture and society. Related topics. By religion. By religious figure. By text. Religious violence. This article needs editing for compliance with Wikipedia's Manual of Style. In particular, it has problems with This article consists primary of lists, quoting persons, who spoke against Islam, without providing further contexts and does not explain that exactly is critisized.

      Furthermore, many quotes may fail notability. Please help improve it if you can. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Medieval Christian views on Muhammad. Main article: Criticism of Hadith. See also: Historiography of early Islam. Main article: Criticism of Muhammad. See also: Criticism of Muhammad Aisha and Child marriage. See also: Criticism of the Quran and Islamic ethics. Main article: Islamic views on slavery. Main article: Apostasy in Islam.

      See also: Sharia. See also: Human rights. Main article: Islam and violence. See also: Quran and violence and Islam and war. Further information: Beheading in Islam. Main article: Nikah Misyar. Main article: Women in Islam. Main article: Islam and domestic violence. See also: Multiculturalism and Islam. Islam portal Religion portal. See Migne. Patrologia Graeca , vol. Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out.

      Prometheus Books. Moshe Perlmann Berkeley and Los Angeles, , pp. Retrieved 16 April The New York Times. Retrieved 16 January Cambridge University Press. The Independent. Retrieved 15 March McDonald, Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22 April Islamic Imperialism: A History. Yale University Press. In John L.

      Introduction to Islam (article) | Khan Academy

      Esposito ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 23 February Retrieved 23 February The New York Review of Books. Ghosh claimed Muslim immigrants in India are now attacking Hindus and forcibly seeking to convert Hindu girls to Islam.

      He has demanded that the Indian government halt illegal immigration from Bangladesh and deport undocumented Muslims back to Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 15 December Archived from the original on 25 December Retrieved 25 March John of Damascus's Critique of Islam". Writings by St John of Damascus. The Fathers of the Church. Retrieved 8 July Harper San Francisco. Retrieved 13 July Justice and Democracy. University of Hawaii Press. UNC Press. Why I Am Not a Muslim , p. Prometheus Books, Retrieved 29 April Epistles of Maimonides: crisis and leadership. Jewish Publication Society.

      The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 2. Eerdmans Publishing. Tolan, Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam pp. Manuel II. Palaiologos: Dialoge mit einem "Perser. Vienna, for a Greek text with accompanying French translation see Th. Dialogue 7 , chapters 1—18 of 37 , translated by Roger Pearse available at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library here , at The Tertullian Project here , and also here. In Edward N. Zalta ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Summer ed. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 3 December Clarendon Press.

      Syracuse University Press. Published by E. Stanford in London. History of the Christian church. Not until the 20th century were the religious private and the secular public distinguished by some Muslim thinkers and separated formally in certain places such as Turkey. The period of Islamic conquests and empire building marks the first phase of the expansion of Islam as a religion. They were, however, required to pay a per capita tax called jizyah , as opposed to pagans, who were required to either accept Islam or die.

      A much more massive expansion of Islam after the 12th century was inaugurated by the Sufis Muslim mystics , who were mainly responsible for the spread of Islam in India , Central Asia, Turkey, and sub-Saharan Africa see below. Beside the jihad and Sufi missionary activity, another factor in the spread of Islam was the far-ranging influence of Muslim traders, who not only introduced Islam quite early to the Indian east coast and South India but also proved to be the main catalytic agents beside the Sufis in converting people to Islam in Indonesia , Malaya, and China.

      Islam was introduced to Indonesia in the 14th century, hardly having time to consolidate itself there politically before the region came under Dutch hegemony. The vast variety of races and cultures embraced by Islam an estimated total of more than 1. All segments of Muslim society, however, are bound by a common faith and a sense of belonging to a single community.

      With the loss of political power during the period of Western colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of the Islamic community ummah , instead of weakening, became stronger. The faith of Islam helped various Muslim peoples in their struggle to gain political freedom in the midth century, and the unity of Islam contributed to later political solidarity.

      Divided into suras chapters of unequal length, it is the fundamental source of Islamic teaching. The suras revealed at Medina at a later period in the career of the Prophet are concerned for the most part with social legislation and the politico-moral principles for constituting and ordering the community.

      In Islam it came to mean the example of the Prophet—i. Six of these collections, compiled in the 3rd century ah 9th century ce , came to be regarded as especially authoritative by the largest group in Islam, the Sunnis. Nevertheless, certain outstanding Muslim thinkers e. Article Media. Info Print Print.