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The Image of Islam – Part I

I was once asked this question:

“If the image of Islam is as God would have it be, then there is no reason for concern. If the image has been tainted, because Islamist Fascists have hijacked and perverted the faith, then where is the Jihad against that?”

image n. 1 representation of an object, e.g. a statue. 2 reputation or persona of a person, company, etc. 3 appearance as seen in a mirror or through a lens. 4 mental picture or idea. 5 simile or metaphor [Latin imago imagin-]

The question raised an important issue – that of the image of Islam. How Islam is represented and perceived is a complex issue; an issue which should be looked at in context.

First, Islam – the basics.

Islam in the form which it was delivered from God, via the archangel Gabriel, to the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is said to have been absolutely perfect. The holy Prophet is considered to be the final in a long line of messengers and accordingly his position is that of the Seal of the Prophets. The Qur’an as the final Testament completes the covenant between God and Mankind; the same covenant agreed upon with Abraham and the same message as conveyed by all the Messengers of God. Islam is therefore considered by Muslims as the culmination of thousands of years of Prophethood and the final windows update – the last in the trilogy of the Torah, the Bible and Qur’an. A perfection of God’s chosen religion for mankind.

If there is one thing that is clearly common ground amongst the People of the Book, it is on the treatment that those Messengers received throughout their lifetimes. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus outlines the traits of the believers and states

“…for thus did they persecute the prophets who were before you…” [5:14]

From the earliest examples, true believers have been persecuted and oppressed – the greater the degree of belief (Iman) seemingly, the greater the proportionate persecution. From the times of Cain and Abel, through Abraham, Moses, Jesus to Muhammad (peace be upon them all). Since the earliest of times, Islam and the Muslims have been misrepresented, denigrated and persecuted.

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This entry was posted on 15/04/2006 by in History, Religion and tagged , , , , , .

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