How To Present A True Picture Of Islam?
Muslims going to America and Europe are faced with a flood of questions about Islam. People have many ways of asking these questions and different motivations for doing so, but their questions are essentially as follows:
Why does Islam permit polygamy?
Why is a woman counted as half a man in matters of inheritance and when she gives testimony?
Why does Islam “belittle” women?
Is Islam a religion of terror since it prescribes jihad
Questions like these are what occupies their minds when they think about Islam since the Western media has actively maligned Islam as a religion of lust and blood and nothing else. When our Muslim youth go to Western countries, they often find such questions awkward and try to evade them.
In many cases, Muslims will come across a strange opinion on a matter and promote it simply because it is more conciliatory.
Many Muslims who did not have correct or sufficient Islamic knowledge suffered from such difficulties. They really did not know what to do. I used to tell them the following: Why should we be on the defensive? Why don’t we adopt a more assertive attitude? If they confront us with one question, we should respond with 10 of our own.
If they ask you about polygamy, ask them about the sexual promiscuity that is rife in their societies that has brought humiliation to so many women and allowed men to absolve themselves of their responsibilities towards them and towards their children.
If they ask you about inequalities in inheritance, ask them about the reality in their own country where a woman earns only 60% of what a man earns for doing the exact same job.
I do not mean that we should be evasive.
However, it is not good for you to respond when you are in a state of weakness and difficulty where there is a danger that you might answer wrongly and misrepresent Allah’s religion in order to appease someone else.
You can move on to a more advanced level of discourse and demonstrate that Islamic teachings are the solution to the problems that they are suffering from.
For instance, according to some assessments, there are 119 women for every 100 men in the United States. In some states, the number is more like 160 women for every 100 men. Polygamy is the solution to the problems that ensue under such circumstances since it requires some men to assume responsibility for more than one woman and to be as just as humanly possible in doing so.
We can stress how Islam treats all people equally.
There is no preference for anyone over anyone else except for a person’s piety and virtue. This is the way to do away with the problem of racism that people in the West suffer from.
The Islamic teachings about jihad are what uproot oppression and guarantee people the freedom to think and to choose their religion for themselves without being under any compulsion. Islam seeks to have people freely submit themselves to their Creator and not be placed under the subjugation of any worldly dictator, race, tribe, or nationality. We don’t need to fancy that the whole world will convert to Islam at our hands.
However, we must be eager to guide them and we must seek to do so in every possible and permissible way. We should perfect our way of presenting Islam to them, taking into account the age, circumstances, and level of knowledge of those whom we are addressing.
We must present to them the noble Islamic values of freedom, justice, and human dignity and prove to them that Islam is superior to everything that they already know.
Above and beyond all of this, we must conduct ourselves in the best ethical manner and present our own lives as a practical example of moral virtue.
Unfortunately, many Muslims call people to Islam with their tongues while pushing them away from it with their ignoble, contradictory conduct and with their narrow-mindedness.