Opinion: Criticizing the followers or the faith

Fiza Shah

Fiza Shah

Fiza Shah is a freshman news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Satan, before he became the definition of evil, was a creation of God. While Christians believe that Satan used to be an angel, Muslims believe he was a jinn (a creature made of fire).

According to Islam, Satan was a very devout follower of God (he prayed five times a day, fasted, pondered on the Magnificence of God, etc).

In Islam, Satan’s disobedience and punishment came at the creation of Adam and Eve. God told all the angels and Iblis (the jinn name for Satan) to bow down in front of Adam and Eve. Iblis, out of arrogance, refused to bow. And so, he was banished. But, before leaving, the Quran says in Chapter 38, verse 82: “Satan then said to God, ‘By Your might, then I will surely mislead them all … ”

Muslims believe that Satan’s purpose is to derail people from following Islam. That is why we have free will: to choose between good and evil.

There are a few points I’d like to extract from this anecdote.

First of all, Satan appeared to be very religious. He did everything that God asked, except for genuine submission to the will of God and the right intention. Likewise, there are people in this world who appear to be very religious. They use their ability to manipulate religion to achieve their own motives.

Secondly, Satan’s purpose is to derail one’s faith. Even if you don’t believe in Satan, you’ll still accept the fact that there are good people in this world and bad people. Not all Muslims are good. Not all Muslims are bad.

While those that promote terrorism might look religious in appearance and action, they only manipulate the religion to fit their own motives.

In order to guide people so they may not succumb to the tricks of Satan, God sent Prophets with messages, more than 100,000 total.

If one looks at the dominant Abrahamic faiths, there is a question that comes to mind: Why didn’t God just send down the Holy Books, show a couple of miracles to get people to believe and then command them to read and follow the Book?

There is a reason why Jesus plays such an important role in Christianity, Moses in Judaism and Muhammad in Islam, as well as all the other Prophets: They are living, breathing examples of how to follow the commandments of God.

Therefore, to say that one should simply read the Quran without looking at context is absurd because that is removing two of the main sources of knowledge Muslims use. In that case, there would be no need for Prophets.

In a few of the comments of my previous articles, my criticizing the practice of some Muslims was criticized. When I say that they don’t follow Islam properly, I am not judging based on how I practice. I am in no way a perfect Muslim. I am comparing to what the Quran, Hadith and Sunnah say regarding the issue. All of these resources condemn the terrorist acts, such as suicide bombing. There are very simple examples of misinterpretation of the Quran that lead people to commit such horrendous crimes.

For example, fringe groups commonly use suicide to promote terror. However, Islam generally forbids suicide, no matter the circumstance. Please see my article on Jihad for more detail.

Another example is that Islam forbids attacking civilians, women, children, old people and any soldier who surrenders. This is the complete opposite of what terrorist groups promote today.

Even if you don’t believe them to be legitimate sources of knowledge, in a discussion about Islam one cannot completely rule out the Holy Book, teachings of the Prophet or the practice of Muslims. Such a discussion would be absurd.

If you want to criticize Islamic teachings, bring forward evidence from something in the Quran, Sunnah or Hadith in order to point out the specific hatred that Islam supposedly teaches.

To simply list a bunch of Muslims who have given statements supporting terrorism or hatred is not enough, because I can bring forward just as many, if not more, people who will give testimony to the exact opposite.