I’ve been Muslim since April 2007, and I get a lot of questions about what it’s like to be a Muslim. Some of the questions are thoughtful, while others are more accusatory and xenophobic. However, with the all the media bias and misinformation taking precedence over the haqq (truth), I wanted to put this short list together for others to dig deep on what comes very natural to many Muslims around the world. I have also provided links that point to evidences on each ruling. For any learned Muslim brother or sister that can provide better links as evidences, please comment or send me a message via Facebook.


1. Men and women have to purify after going to the bathroom
Have you ever seen someone walking toward the rest room with a empty water bottle and said to yourself, “Eww, that person is going to drink water in that bathroom?”. Chances are they probably weren’t refilling to get a drink and more than likely are going to “wash up” after they go to the bathroom. Why? As Muslims, we are required to be pure and clean for prayer. Keep in mind we pray five times a day. You are praying in front of Allah, so isn’t it only right that every part of your mind, body, and soul be purified? I probably don’t have to get into the details of how this is done, but with a bit of imagination I’m sure you can figure out how water is used to purify oneself after going to the bathroom.
Evidence: Taharah (Purification)

2. We believe in Jesus..yes and Moses too.
Contrary to popular belief, Muslims believe in Isa (Jesus). As a matter of fact you cannot be a true believing Muslim if you don’t believe in Jesus as a prophet of Allah (SWT). He is one of the most well respected prophets and is mentioned many times in the Quran. As Muslims, we believe he is a prophet, just like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was responsible for delivering the word of God via the Quran, Isa delivered the word of God via the Injeel. (the original Bible)
Evidence: Muslims Hate Jesus (a misconception)

3. Eroticism is allowed, but only with your wife or husband
That’s right, there isn’t any boyfriend or girlfriend stuff in Islam. Many people gasp when they find out this fact. However, there is strong scientific evidence that suggests (meaning no silver bullet) that having “serial” sexual relationships before building a loving bond with your significant other can emotionally compromise the future of your relationship. For about a year, I’ve been working on a 4 part “Science of Relationships” post that will give some food for thought.
Evidence: Marriage and the importance of marriage in Islam

4. There is no Islamic ruling that allows you to beat the living sunshine out of your wife
Contrary to “ignorant” belief, you cannot beat your wife or any other women you know. The first thing that usually comes out of someone’s mouth is “What about Surah 4.34? It says you can beat your wife?”. No, you must have beat your head against a wall too many times. Unfortunately, you misinterpreted the verse.
Evidence: On Beating One’s Wife

5. Men and women must lower their gaze.
As a Muslim (especially men) you are not allowed to look another women up and down unless she is your wife. Same goes for women. You can look at your husband, but not other men. In the summer time, it’s not easy because many women and men are half-naked anyway, but you do your best. I actually started wearing shades because women (even though they see I’m married) try to make eye-contact with me to flirt. I’m not talking about an innocent gaze where you are looking at your surroundings. I’m talking about a “Yo, that girl got a fatty (nice body)” (while you elbow the dude next to you). It’s disrespectful and haram (prohibited).
Evidence: Hadith of the Guarantee by Abdur Rahman

6. Most forms of Music is prohibited
This is a highly contentious topic, even among Muslims. This topic is too deep for me to elaborate in several sentences but for the sake of time, I’ll provide several links that will give you food for thought. As a person who adored hip hop like a first son, this is not an easy task for me. Over the years it’s become easier for me to let go, and I can spend time on more important matters.
Evidence: Is Music Haram (prohibited) by Dr Zakir Naik, Music in Islam prt1 by Yusef Estes, Music in Islam by Yusef Estes prt2. Here is a post I did on music called the True Cost of Music by Malik

7. Most Muslims are NOT of Arab descent
The bulk of the Muslims (roughly 52%) are actually in the South, South East, North, Central Asia part of the world. Comprising around 50% of the entire Muslim population. Indonesia, which has the larget location of Muslims in any one area has a whooping 200 million Muslims! A close second and third, is Pakistan (167 million Muslims) and India (156 million). About 17% of all Muslims are of Arab descent.

34% of Muslims in America are of African Descent (African American and African)
Although the total number of Muslims in America has varied from year to year, but many staticians put the number somewhere between 5 to 7 million Muslims total where 30% are African American and around 4% are native Africans.
Evidence: List of countries by Muslim population

8. We are not interested in interest.
For Muslims, participating in making money off of money is completely prohibited. It’s actually a grave sin. For sake of this brief post, I’m not going to get into all the details but adding on money on top of already existing loan is akin to theivery in Islam. Profit is okay, but not from interest (Ribaa). In most forms of business, all transactions have to have a shared profit. Why? The risk is balanced on each person who is taking part in a business transaction. Handling business in this manner protects both business partners.
Evidence: Part I and Part II of The Case Against Interest By Abu Ubaydah Andrew Booso. If you have extra time you can read my scathing article against interest called Casino Capitalism. | VIDEO: Interest and Islamic Banking by Bilal Philips

9. Are most African Americans Muslims members of the NOI? (Nation of Islam)
I actually get this question a lot. Are you from the Nation of Islam? The best way I can frame this would be this. Is every green plant with a stem a piece of basil? If you can’t answer this question, then I will answer it for you: No. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t African Americans who are still members of the NOI. The majority of African Americans Muslims are not affiiated with NOI.
Evidence: Wiki: Nation of Islam

10. Jihad and Allah u Akbar does not mean I want to KILL you
Uh oh, did someone say the word “Jihad” and “Allah u Akbar”? Unfortunately the media has miscontrued the true meaning of the word “Jihad” and “Allah U Akbar” and most people have associated it with some type of code word for Islamic terrorism. Jihad is the Arabic word for struggle. A good Muslim friend of mine has the name Jihad. For Muslims, Jihad is to struggle to do the just and righteous things for the sake of Allah. This dedication to do what is required of you as a Muslim is our Jihad. Allah u Akbar means God is Great. Not “Let’s kill people” or “lets blow ourselves up”. During any 1 of our 5 daily prayes, “Allah U Akbar” is mentioned at least a dozen times. It’s very common word in Islam and merely reinforcing the greatness and beauty of Allah.
Evidence: VIDEO: Islam and Terrorism | What is Jihad? by Brian Handwerk

11. We get up before the roosters.
As I said earlier Muslims pray 5 times a day. One of the prayers is known as the morning prayer, Fajr. Fajr is supposed to be prayed before the light of sunrise hits the sky. I’ll be honest, it’s not the easiest prayer to catch, but when you do, the feeling is amazing. My day actually starts off better when ever I make Fajr on time. I’m actually utilizing this Ramadan to be better at catching Fajr on time, Inshallah (God willing)
Evidence: VIDEO: Importance of Fajr Prayer. This video is pretty long, but here is a shorter description that explains the Fajr prayer.

12. My ribs are touching
Yes if you ask any Muslim, their ribs will definitely be touching as Ramadan has just begun. Once a year, Muslims fast for one month. Known as Ramadan, we fast from sunrise to sunset. We are allowed a meal (suhoor) before the morning prayer (Fajr), then we break our fast with a meal (fatoor) at sunset at the beginning of the evening prayer (Maghrib). During this month, Muslims reflect on the greatness of Allah, ways that we can improve ourselves within the guidelines of Islam, and do our best to carry out good deeds that will postively benefit society. It’s also a time to reflect on the poor and sometimes forgotten souls of society. (which we should do all the time) Keep in mind that there are hundreds of millions of people around the world who are not as fortunate as ourselves (those of us who have the comforts of food, clothing, and shelter) and it is our duty as Muslims to help those who need assistance and guidance. At least 80% of the world live on less than $10 dollars a day. In addition most Muslim use this opportunity to fulfill one of the obligatory pillars of Islam, Zakat. Every Muslim (who has the means) is obligated to give at least 2.5% of their wealth (minus your debts) to the poor every year.
Evidence: What Are You Required To Do During Ramadan?

13. Sharia Law Does Not Mean “Get Rid of Non-Muslims, Chop Peoples Arms off or Enslave non-muslims”.
I’ve specifically added this new addition to this list because I keep hearing the “alarm bell” go off in this country from certain groups who believe that Sharia Law is the Islamic version of Mein Kampf or it some fringe set of laws that only the likes of religious extremist love. No. No. No. No. I was recently reminded of this ignorance by an interview where Herman Cain felt that Americans have the right to ban mosques because JUST Muslims are violating the constitution with their institution of Sharia Law. A couple things:

  1. Herman Cain and anyone else who believes this garbage does not understand the 1st Amendent
  2. Muslims are not interested in some national Americana Sharia Law initiative. How do I know? Because I’m Muslim and I talk with Muslims every day. This isn’t some type of bate and switch initiative. We build Mosques to pray, not take over the world.
  3. If Herman Cain and others actually believe that other faiths do not intermingle their faith in public places (not that I have a problem with this), then he is either naive, playing politics (likely), or just scapegoating Islam (playing the xenophobic card).

Evidence: The Myth of Sharia Law in America | CFR: Governing Under Sharia Law | BOOK: Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari`a by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im

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5 Responses

  1. Farha

    Haha i really like this post and i reread it a zillion times! i love how you put all of Islam’s things summerized, in a serious AND funny way, i laughed so hard at these, rock on bro!! ^________^

    Reply
  2. g whelers

    Staying awake all night so you can stuff yourself full of food, till the point that you could not possibly eat another thing before daybreak, well that’s not fasting you twats

    Reply
  3. melvin

    Ohhh i see i didnt know only 80%percent of those things thanks for letting me know also i know all the things about being a muslim but other things that some nonmuslims believe i dont know but thanks for telling me them also im a muslim too!

    Reply

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