Islam calls humanity to the service of the One, Omnipotent Creator. It instructs people on how they may live together in peace and harmony regardless of race, class, or belief.
The unity of purpose brought by all previous religious guides is highlighted as well as traditional morality, the equality of the sexes before God and the virtues of patience and humbleness.
“Mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware” (Translation of the Qur’an 49:13).
A former professor of Religious Studies and Management at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia summarizes the epistemology of the word “Islam” in the following manner:
“Islam is a term that is derived from two meanings. The first is ‘salam’ which simply means “peace.” The other is ‘submission’- a conscious submission to the Will of God. In fact the two meanings are not dissimilar because putting both roots together, it follows that Islam is the attainment of peace through voluntary submission to the will of God. In that sense, when we’re talking about peace here, we are talking of both internal peace within the individual and peace without it (Islam). It is important to indicate that submission here is not just lip service but rather a submission that manifests itself in the actual life of a Muslim; the deeds and actions of the individual. In other words, it manifests itself in the love of God and in following the commands and injunctions that have been given by Him.
If you observe how Islam plays out for the vast majority of Muslims, you will find it being played out in the following manner. Islam is about striving to be the best you can be. Islam is being hospitable to one another. That hospitality is not just about housing people and feeding them; it is about listening and understanding.
This is the essence of Islam that has allowed Islam to flourish around the world gathering a billion and more followers.
Islam was not conquered by the sword, although some groups may represent it as such. Islam was brought into hearts by actions that freed the minds, hearts, and spirit. It was not brought into the hearts by actions that destroyed those things.
The best representation of Islam on Earth is one whose mannerisms have been hijacked by those who claim to love him the most. Anyone who has read the biography or studied the life of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) would be perplexed as to who exactly these people are honoring.
I can’t speak to the Muhammed that ISIS or the like honour, but I wholeheartedly testify that I honour the Muhammed who said, “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure” (Sahih Bukhari).
The Muhammed who consoled a young boy whose bird died. The Muhammed who, after years of persecution, finally conquered Makkah and instead of enacting revenge on those who persecuted him declared, “Go, You are all free!” (Sahih Albani). I testify to honour the Muhammed whose very character was the Qur’an.
With ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the like dominating their twisted version of who Muhammed (PBUH) was, it is necessary for us Muslims to take back the narrative and remember the true example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
So Trent Muslim Students’ Association brings you “Islam Awareness Week.” A week where you can come ask your questions and decipher the truth. This year we will be covering the most common misconceptions: Jihad, Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), hijab, and Qur’an respectively beginning Monday March 2, to Friday March 6 at Bata.
Join us for our various activities and events (see below)!
And make sure to follow our conversations with our various hashtags!
Schedule of Events:
Monday: Misconceptions of Jihad
2-4pm, Bata Library room 103
Students will be asked their understanding of jihad and then told the actual meaning (I.e to struggle). They will then be asked to write what their inner struggle (jihad) is.
There will also be an online hashtag #MyJihad where students can share their struggles with us on Twitter or Facebook. In the evening there will be a lecture on the meaning of jihad.
Tuesday: Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)
5-7pm, Bata Library room 103
We will talk about the personality and significance of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). There will also be a hashtag #WhoIsMuhammed.
In the evening we will have a lecture on the life and times of the Prophet (PBUH)
Wednesday: Hijabi Diaries
6-8pm, Otonabee College room 204
This will be our discussion on hijab and its significance.
In the evening there will be an event called “Hijabi Diaries” which will be a light hearted discussion on hijab and Muslim women’s experiences wearing hijab and their motivations etc.
Thursday: The Qur’an
6-8pm, Bata Library room 103
People will be able to drop by our booth and ask any questions they have about the Qur’an.
In the evening we will have an event with recitation of the Qur’an and a short lecture on its significance.
Friday: Prayer and Wrap-up
We will talk about prayer in Islam and will generally be open ended where people can come ask any questions they have from the week.