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Answering Tough Questions about The Prophet

Questions asked anonymously, answered by Theresa Corbin, and originally published on Al Jumuah

There are so many untruths spreading through the Western world (and have been for centuries) about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For those of us who love and deeply respect the Prophet, these egregious fallacies can be hard to fathom, much less refute. But we must answer the hard questions for those who are curious and have been wading through the mountain of ignorant cant about this noble man.

Answering Questions about The Prophet

 

And recently, I had the honor to do just that for one brave person who chose to ask a Muslim –and not the number of unreliable sources out there– honest questions that were born out of research into Islam. I hope that sharing the following Q&A can help others clear up some of the misconceptions and malicious errors about the Prophet (PBUH), his example, and the message of Islam.

Q: Why would Muhammad send followers to loot and raid caravans travelling through Madinah? OK, so it was an accepted practice at the time, but you kind of wish that your prophet could rise above stuff like stealing and killing.

A: This is one weapon Islamophobes use to paint the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a war monger. But they don’t seem ever to talk about the context: that would put a damper on the claims they are trying to make.

The polytheists of Makkah during the time of Revelation tortured, killed, starved out the Muslims. When the Muslims made their exodus from Makkah for Madinah, they had to do so in secret for fear of being murdered. And that meant they would escape only with what they could carry for a safer place to live and to worship God alone.

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Let’s Stop Sugar-Coating The Muslim Community

written by Kaighla Um Dayo

Ladies and Gentlemen, have I got an excellent deal for you! But Hurry! It’s only for a limited time. Act now and don’t miss out on this incredible offer!!

How would you like to leave your current religious community and join mine, for free? Our community is made up of only the best-quality people.

Imagine how you’d feel in THIS beautiful religious community! No more broken hearts, no more frayed nerves. Bye bye frustrating unanswered questions! Sayonara, pew-brain!

You can kiss those pesky fellows good-bye, because in my 100% certified authentic religious community, there are absolutely no fillers, no artificial people, and no annoying preserved traditions!

And if you act fast, we’ll even throw in a tacky hijab or kufi AND a poorly-translated Quran, all for FREE, but only today! 

No, But Seriously

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An American Islam?

written by Theresa Corbin

originally published on aboutislam.net

Recently, I came across an article written by Reza Aslan on Foreign Policy, entitled, “There Is No Divide Between Islam and American Culture”. In fact an American woman, who recently converted to Islam shared it with me.

It seemed to be a lifeline to her as a new Muslim. Even a beacon of hope for her in a tough situation-being attacked by most people in her life for her choice of religion. To me, it was another way of saying the same thing I have been writing about for years.

In many ways, I emphatically agreed with Aslan’s piece. I usually do as he has a great way of correcting people’s misconceptions about Islam that is urbane with a touch of “duh, you guys! this is so obvious”.

When Aslan called people who think culture and faith are incompatible, naive; I laughed literally out loud. It was fitting. When he put people on notice that they are being emotional when they think Islam clashes with being American, I thought of all the people who have harangued me through the years with this uneducated and unsophisticated understanding.

I thought of the engineer who assumed I was not allowed to go to a baseball game. The doctor who told me I was giving up my identity when I told her I converted to Islam. The countless people who are brave enough to ask where I am from and then refuse to believe my answer.

I thought of all these people who have come in and usually quickly out of my life. No matter how educated or how well-traveled, they all have an emotional reaction to my existence as an American Muslim. And when plied for their reasons, they can only produce hearsay, anecdotal evidence, and regurgitated propaganda.

This reaction to culture and religion is naive and this reaction to Islam is emotional because those who believe Islam is un-American have never measured this conception against facts.

‘Urf and Deen: Culture and Religion 

The fact is that being as American as apple pie and as Muslim as five-times-daily-prayer is not only NOT incompatible, it is natural and a continuation of Islamic tradition.

As Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah writes, “For centuries, Islamic civilization harmonized indigenous forms of cultural expression with the universal norms of its sacred law. It struck a balance between temporal beauty and ageless truth and fanned a brilliant peacock’s tail of unity in diversity from the heart of China to the shores of the Atlantic.

Continue reading on aboutislam.net

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Does Islam Tell Us Some Are Inferior to Others?

written by Theresa Corbin

Originally written for and published on Al Jumuah.

“Those people are easily swayed by their emotions.” “They are illogical creatures.” “Those people can never reach the status of my people.” Imagine that you are told these things your whole life. Imagine you are told that your capacity is inferior. Now imagine that those who tell you all this also claim that they say so only because God says so.

How would you see yourself? How would you react to those passing this judgment on you? How would you view a faith that tells you that you are inferior? The quotes above are from a prominent Islamic question and answer website. I have only changed the words “women” and “men” to more ambiguous words or phrases, which could refer to various groups of people, more generally.

Women are the target of this kind of humiliation. Because of these and similar belittling remarks from scholars and lay people alike, Muslim women are experiencing a crisis of identity and faith.

Those who understand Islam and know it to be an egalitarian religion will brush these claims off as a cultural misunderstanding and distortions of Islam. And that is certainly part of the problem. But the other part of the problem is that even if these claims are brushed off, they still impact the lives, psyches, and faith of Muslim men and women.

How Did We Get to this Point?

Please continue reading on Al Jumuah

Follow us (upper right of the page). Like our face with your face on Facebook (facebook.com/islamwich). Pin with us (pinterest.com/islamwich).

Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.

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Haters Gonna Hate: Teaching Children How to Handle It

Written by Stephanie Siam

Originally published 1 year ago … sadly, relevant now more than ever. 

Our children are suffering. They may not say anything, or they may say a lot. But they hear the news. They see the headlines. They catch the sideways glares in public. But they don’t understand. They don’t comprehend why:

“Why did the store clerk watch me while I walked around the gas station?”

“Why does the airport security always stop Mom when we go on a trip?”

“Why doesn’t Donald Trump want me in my own country?”

Teaching Children how to handle hate

The knee-jerk reaction is to explain it all away by saying, “They’re wrong. They’re misinformed.” But that’s not good enough. It doesn’t get to the core of the issue.

And the core of the issue is hate. Hate bred by fear. Hate bred by violence. Hate bred by the need to be included in “us” vs. “them”.

Everywhere we turn these days, we’re bombarded with tirades of hate. Each news article is heavy-laden with comments that induce indigestion, made by people who have one thing on their mind: “us vs. them”.

It has become an almost daily exercise in patience and creativity for many Muslims. Should I wear this outside? Should I go to this place alone? Should I stop for gas in this neighborhood? Can I get a job? Will I find housing?

But even if we can’t change the reality of the way things are, we can strive to teach our children how to better deal with the world around them. And to do this, we have to start a “conversation”: the word that sends shivers down the spines of parents with kids of all ages. But it doesn’t have to be fear-inducing.

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Are We Guilty of Racializing Islam?

Written by Theresa Corbin

Originally published on Al Jumuah.

You will never be like them, no matter how hard you try. So a relative told me soon after I converted to Islam, thinking my conversion was an attempt to become an Arab.

You know you won’t go to heaven. So a heritage Muslim wrote in an email to me, saying that because I am white that Jannah is not open to me.

Go back to your country. So a passerby shouts as I cross a street which generations of my family have crossed before me. Memes splashed across the internet extol the “hilarious differences” between Muslims and white people.

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The Sharia Creep

sharia

Written by Theresa Corbin

I wrote what follows almost 2.5 years ago. Today, it is still relevant because apparently some of us in the US believe in Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, a Sharia take over, and other made-up things.

It is still relevant because tomorrow, July 29th, an anti-sharia march will take place in the city I was raised in and around–New Orleans, La. 

I will not be a part of any counter rally/march because when ignorant people protest something that isn’t actually a threat, a counter protest is kind of useless, a counter protest would only affirm their delusions.

Instead, today, I am re-posting some reality about the fictitious Sharia creep or take over of the US. Please pass it along so more people can overcome this mass delirium gripping the US.  


Can a Sharia creep? Is their a creep(er) named Sharia? Is the Sharia creep a newfangled dance the kids are doing? No, it is just the way some people lose their minds to unfounded fear and hype.

I guess I am pretty late to the Sharia debate, or farce, really. But I thought that the American people would snap their brains back into their heads and just laugh off fearmongers, extremist nutters, and media personality with big mouths and little credibility.

I guess I just believed in the American people, believed that my fellow citizens’ logic would override emotional pleas to believe in the boogeyman.

This seems really familiar
This seems really familiar

And while many, many of my fellow Americans have made me proud and dismissed the rhetoric. Still a few have been thoroughly caught up in the anti-Sharia frenzy and have been pretty loud about it.

The debate is interesting to watch. Most amusing are the baseless accusations Islamophobes fling while trying to “educate” the American people about the alleged take over of Sharia law.

But they fail to 1. say what Sharia is, 2. say how exactly it will “take over”, and  3. explain how religious laws (Christian, Jewish, and Islamic, etc.) have always been taken into account by courts within the frame work of the constitution.

Well, let’s talk about it.

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