FAQs non-Muslims ask Muslims and Muslims don't know the Answer
When Abu Bakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) paid money to Umayya ibn Khalaf to free Bilal ibn Al Harith (may Allah be pleased with him) from slavery, he paid a number of dinars. Umayya taunted him and said ‘I would have given him to you for 1 dinar. Abu Bakr replied ‘If you had asked me for 100 dinars, I would have paid you 100 dinars.’ Abu Bakr defended Islam and Muslims not only physically but also with his words.
Fast forward to over 1400 years later, the Muslims of today have no confidence in themselves even though their religion is the true way and even though there are more Muslims in the world than there were 1400 years ago. Whenever a non-Muslim asks them questions about their faith, most of them look like they just want to disappear.
Here are a few questions that non-Muslims frequently ask Muslims. Sometimes they are genuinely interested and other times, well let’s just say, not so genuine. We have also suggested some answers for reference.
Q1. Why the Prophet (SAW) marry Ayesha (RA) when she was so young?
A1. His first wife, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (RA), was 15 years his senior. There are narrations that his second wife, Sawda bint Zama (RA), was in her late 60s or early 70s. Ayesha was engaged to another man before being engaged to the Prophet (SAW). In those days, it was the culture that girls got married when they reached puberty, and doctors will tell you that it is normal for a girl to reach the age of puberty from the ages 8 – 14 years of age. Two hundred years ago, both in the UK and America, the age of consent was just 12. Ayesha (RA) was one of the greatest scholars of Islam. She narrated many hadiths but she never once said anything negative about her marriage to the Prophet (SAW) neither are there any reports of the non-Muslim Arabs at the time making this an issue.
The Qur’an (4.21) speaks about the marriage contract – in Islam, a contract has to be between physically and mentally mature parties (i.e. gone through puberty and not mentally insane) and Aisha (RA) fulfilled this criteria.
Q2. Why are Muslims terrorists?
A2. It is foreign policy that makes some Muslims commit horrendous crimes. This is not an excuse but reality. When any human being is oppressed they will sooner or later lash out. Today in many countries, i.e. Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, Muslims are being oppressed and killed. Many of the people killed are as a result of Western intervention. Injustice breeds injustice. US soldiers have even admitted to their horrendous crimes. Look up ‘Iraqi Veterans Against War’ on YouTube where they confess that they were the real terrorists.
Islam is against all forms of terrorism. Qur’an 5.32: “Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land.”
Q3. Why do Muslims encourage forced marriages?
A3. Forced marriages have nothing to do with Islam. They are cultural practices and have nothing to do with Islam. Unfortunately, some Muslims are not familiar with the following hadith:
Ayesha (RA) reported that a girl came to her and said, "My father married me to his brother's son in order to raise his social standing, and I did not want this marriage [I was forced into it]." Ayesha said, "Sit here until the Prophet (SAW) comes. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) came and she told him about the girl. The Prophet (SAW) sent for her father and then offered the girl a choice. She said, "O Messenger of Allah, I have accepted what my father did, but I wanted to prove something to other women." (Reported by al-Nisaa'i, 3217).
The Qur'an (4:21) refers to marriage as a mithaq, i.e. a solemn covenant or agreement between husband and wife and enjoins that it be put down in writing. Since no agreement can be reached between the parties unless they give their consent to it, marriage can be contracted only with the free consent of the two parties. The Prophet (SAW) said, "The widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until their order is obtained, and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained." (Al Bukhari).
Forced marriages are not a part of Islam as clearly shown in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Q4. Why can men marry 4 wives?
A4. In pre-Islamic traditions, men married as many women as they wanted to. Islam limits this to 4 wives. No one is forced to marry in Islam, in fact a forced marriage is not valid. If people want to get into this kind of relationship and they are not forced and happy with the situation, why is it anybody else's business?
The Qur’an (4.3) – “And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry (other) woman of your choice, two or three, or four but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one or (the captives and the slaves) that your right hand possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Q5. Why does the shariah law seem barbaric? Cutting off hands and stoning women to death?
A5. These punishments are deterrents. Stoning applies when a person commits adultery and also applies to men. Saying this, a person can only be punished for this sin if four independent witnesses come forward and testify that they have actually witnessed the act.
Cutting off hands only applies if a person steals items above a certain monetary level. If somebody is hungry and steals a loaf of bread, then this punishment will not apply to them. If a person is caught stealing it is likely that they have committed this crime many times. Hence, it is a deterrent that if they get caught then they will have to face a harsh punishment.
There is no country in the world where the Shariah law is fully implemented. Can you really judge something before witnessing the outcome? Shariah law is not like the time when Christianity ruled the country - it is about justice for all.
Q6. Why are Muslims anti-Semitic?
A6. Some Arabs are also Semites and Muslim too. Mary (Maryam) mother of Jesus (Isa - peace be upon him), is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an and she was Jewish. Muslims are not anti-Semitic. Jews are mentioned in the Qur’an as People of the Book, as they also have a holy book, the Torah. The Qur’an does mention Jews who went astray by disobeying God, but then the Qur’an also tells us about the Jews who were obedient, such as Mary. There is actually a whole chapter in the Qur’an entitled ‘Mary’.
Muslims (as well as many practicing Jews) are against Zionism as it is an evil ideology which spreads corruption by telling the world that Israel is the victim when it is Israel that is responsible for the deaths of many Palestinians, including children. Are the Orthodox Jews who oppose Israel anti-Semitic, too?
Q7. Why does the Qur’an talk about killing infidels?
A7. It doesn't - those verses refer to the battles that were fought at the time of the Prophet (SAW). The Qur’an must be read as a whole and not just sentences here and there like the Islamophobes do. For example, Qur’an 9.5 and 9.6:
“Then when the Sacred Months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As Salat and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This was regarding one of the battles that was being fought at the time of the Prophet (SAW). The enemy of Islam was attacking them and trying to kill them, however the verse goes on to say:
“And if any one of the polytheist seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur’an ), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not.”
Q8. Why are Muslims against integrating with the rest of society?
A8. They aren't. You can assimilate and be part of society whilst still practicing your faith. At the time of the Prophet (SAW), some Muslims fled to Abyssinia, a Christian country, as they feared persecution from the non-Muslims of Makkah. In Abyssinia, they lived peacefully amongst the Christians and had no problems there.
Read history books describing the time when Muslims were rulers of Spain. There are many reports that Jews were treated significantly better than when Spain was ruled by Christians.
Q9. Why do Muslims think it's acceptable to want Shariah law in Britain?
A9. Shariah law can only be implemented in a country with a Muslim ruler. No Muslim (unless they are insane) think that there can be Shariah law in Britain. Even Muslim countries today are not ruled by Shariah law, so it is absurd that anyone can think that Britain can have Shariah law when the majority of the people here are not Muslims. There may be Muslims who prefer to seek advice from fellow Muslims regarding matters such as divorce. There is no harm in that as it is also the case with many Jews who take advice from a Jewish legal perspective rather than the mainstream courts.
In London, many Jews frequently turn to their Jewish courts, the Beth Din,to resolve religious disputes such as business and divorce. If the Jewish community can turn to their Beth Din, then why can’t other faiths do the same?
Be confident – you are on the truth, the way that has been legislated by Allah, Lord of all the worlds.
Attend the Muslim Advocacy course that MPACUK is running to learn how to defend Islam and Muslims.