Unfortunately, Islam, one of the world leading religions, with over 2.2 billion followers, is often misunderstood and misrepresented. While some associate it with terrorism and extremism, it is essential to question whether this portrayal is fair and accurate.

The term Islam signifies submission to Almighty Allah (Subhaanahu Wa ta’ala), encompassing belief in Allah, adherence to His commandments, and abstention from polytheism. Similarly, a Muslim—one who submits—follows Allah’s commandments and refrain from what He forbids.

Islam emphasizes monotheism, teaching the existence of one God, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa ta’ala), who sent as guides to mankind , prophets such as Nuh (Noah) , Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Yusuf (Joseph), IIsa (Jesus), and Muhammad . The Quran, revealed through Angel Jubril , contains Allah’s word, guiding humanity with lessons and instructions for justice, mercy, and compassion.

Verses in the Quran underscore Allah’s mercy, advocating peace, justice, and forgiveness.

Allāh says in the Surah-Al-An’am (Q 6:54):

When those who believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) come to you, say: “Salamun ‘Alaikum” (peace be on you); your Lord has written (prescribed) Mercy for Himself, so that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Also, in Surah-Al-Isra’ (Q 17:33), He says:

And do not kill the soul [i.e., person] which Allāh has forbidden, except by right.[1] And whoever is killed unjustly – We have given his heir authority,[2] but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law].

In Surah-Al-Mumtahanah (Q 60:8), He says:

Allāh does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allāh loves those who act justly.

Islam condemns violence, allowing it only in self-defence or defence of the oppressed. The religion rejects compulsion in accepting its teachings, inviting people to the truth with wisdom and good manners.

That is why We ordained for the Children of Israel that whoever takes a life—unless as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land—it will be as if they killed all of humanity; and whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity.” (Q 5:32)

Although the above verse was targeted at the Children of Israel, it is applicable to everyone at all times.

“Fight in the way of God those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed, God does not like transgressors.” (Q 2:190)

Prophet Muhammad’s teachings align with these principles, emphasizing justice, mercy, and protection of non-Muslims living in Islamic states.

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) says in his teachings:

“Beware, whoever oppresses a dhimmi/ mu’ahid (non Muslim living in an Islamic state) or degrades him or demands from him more than he can bear or takes something from him without his happiness then I will defend that dhimmi on the day of judgement.(A dhimmi/mu’ahid is a non Muslim citizen living in an Islamic state. He pays a tax and in return is guaranteed safety.)Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3052

‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever kills a Mu‘āhad shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling).” Sahih al-Bukhari

This Hadīth indicates that anyone who kills a Mu‘āhad will not be admitted to Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years of traveling. A Mu‘āhad is a non-Muslim who enters the lands of Muslims with a pact of security and protection, or a Dhimmi. The warning in the Hadīth proves that Islam is keen on preserving the lives of those who are given protection by Muslims, and that killing them is a major sin.

Jarīr ibn ‘Abdullāh (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “He who does not show mercy to people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” Sahih-Al-Bukhari and Sahih-Al-Muslim

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?’ The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘By preventing him from oppressing others.'” Sahih al-Bukhari 2444

The Hadiths further highlight Islam’s commitment to preserving life and opposing oppression.

Islam unequivocally rejects terrorism, violence, and oppression. Unfortunately, some individuals misuse its name for evil actions, deviating from true teachings. Islam encourages peace, caution, and respect toward all, regardless of faith or background.

The religion respects the freedom of choice and belief, rejecting forced conversions or violent preaching. Islam promotes tolerance, compassion, and dignified treatment of every human being. It seeks harmony with God, oneself, and others, aiming for the good of humanity and the establishment of lasting peace.

In essence, Islam is a religion of peace, mercy, justice, tolerance, and love, dedicated to the well-being of humanity and the establishment of lasting peace, as reflected in the verses of the Quran. It dissociates itself from terrorists and terrorism, and whoever commits a crime, hiding under the banner of Jihad, is only following his heart desires and not what Allah and His prophet expect from him. It’s Harãm and a great disbelief, attributing terrorism to Islam.

About Us

UNIFEMGA – Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim graduate Association is an organisation that caters for the needs of OAU muslim graduates.