I used to be very cautious when it comes to discussions (or debate) about religion, because I was afraid that it might give my iman (faith) a negative impact. I was afraid that I might find and realize the negative side of religion, and as a result, I might leave Islam behind. And yes, the discussions did bring up questions, in my mind, some of them are very difficult to answer at the time. And yes, the questions damaged my iman, a little.

Now, I realize why those questions damaged my iman. It’s simply because of ignorance and I didn’t care enough to find real answers. When somebody told me that hijab is an oppression to women, or when somebody told me that Islam gave no positive contribution to the world, or when somebody told me that Muhammad (pbuh) was a liar, or even when somebody misquoted the Qur’an, I took that information, tried to process it, but there were missing ingredients and one of them was knowledge. When the processing is done, the result was iman damage, for certain.

My iman, weakened, by my own ignorance…

When you replace ignorance with curiosity, you will find knowledge, and when you have knowledge, you will look at things differently. You will look at the world through the glasses of knowledge, and things will be so much clearer. Now with that knowledge in possession, discussions regarding religion becomes a media to strengthen the iman rather than to weaken it. You now know how to separate blasphemy from the truth.

There are some bits and pieces of information about Islam that, without proper knowledge, perspective, and idea of the whole picture of the religion, are easy to manipulate and they can be used against Islam itself.

Some of them are bits and pieces of the history of Islam, some are from the shari’a (law of Islam), and some from Muhammad’s (pbuh) life story and sayings.

There are some issues in Islam that some people call controversial, but when you look deeper into it, it makes perfect sense. If you need some examples, you can start with this book (or free ebook available) called “Answers To Non-Muslims’ Common Questions About Islam” by Dr. Zakir Naik. In that book, Dr. Zakir Naik gives very logical explanations to some of the common questions like polygamy, the veil, and sects in Islam.

Da’wah is a duty

Da’wah, or to invite others to Islam, is our duty as Muslims. In the Qur’an it says:

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” 16:125.

Now, how in the world can we do that without enough knowledge. How can we invite people to Islam when we ourselves have doubts?

Defending our faith

Today it’s so easy to post something anonymous on the internet. Muslim-haters from all over the world write and publish hate posts and spreading lies about Islam. We as Muslims need our knowledge to defend our faith, or at least to guard our own iman.

Acquiring knowledge

There are so many resources you can pick, some are even for free. You can spend more time with your ustadz or Islamic teacher, ask questions in your local Muslim community, read more books, download free lectures available on the net (so many!,) or you can use one of my favorite resource, and that is, believe me, alhamdulillah, our brothers and sisters has made ready for us videos worth watching.

The Qur’an encourages Muslims to learn and acquire knowledge. “He has taught you that which [heretofore] you knew not.” (2:239)

Shadaqallaahul aziim. Wallaahu alam.