Correcting misconceptions about Islam has been wonderful journey
Over the past few months some startling misconceptions about Muslims were brought to light.
This caused us grave concern. Although Muslims have existed in Bermuda for more than five decades, many in the community knew nothing about who we were or what we represent.
This needed to be changed, as the unknown brings about conjecture and, ultimately, fear and hostility.
The Muslim women in particular felt duty-bound to correct any misconceptions hence we have been on a campaign to bring awareness and education to the Bermuda public on the religion of Islam. This endeavour has been a wonderful journey of interactions and interesting dialogues, resulting in better relations, understanding and mutual respect.
At the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, we continued our “know a Muslim/Islam” campaign by giving out literature and, most significantly, our Holy book, the Koran. Muslims believe the Koran to be the word of God (referred to as Allah) and thereby consider it the Holy Scriptures, likened to that of the Torah and Bible. We believe that the Koran is the last revelation to mankind, there will be no more. The Koran is the divine book of guidance.
The Oxford dictionary states that the Holy Koran is “the Islamic sacred book”.
“[It is] believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel, written down in Arabic. The Koran consists of 114 units of varying lengths, known as suras. The first sura is said as part of the ritual prayer. These touch upon all aspects of human existence, including matters of doctrine, social organisation, and legislation.”
Indeed this is the belief of the Muslim.
The first five verses of the second chapter (Sura Baqara) in the Koran read as follows:
“In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful …
1, Alif. Lam. Mim.
2, This is the Book. In it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;
3, Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them;
4, And who believe in the revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.
5, They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.“
Surely Allah’s word is true!
Because Muslims want for their brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves. We want all to know about the peace and contentment that Islam brings to the believing men and women. I can testify for myself, that being Muslim has sustained me during the many trials and tribulations I’ve encountered over many decades. Alhamdulilah!(All praise is due to God).
You may have been a recipient of one of the many Korans we have been distributing over the past month. We pray that you have not let dust accumulate on it but have read, enjoyed and gained invaluable insight from our noble Koran.
Did you know that there is a protocol to be followed when handling this Holy Scripture? We all know that the word of God is sacred and thus must be given its utmost respect and reverence, therefore the Koran must be handled by clean hands and placed only in clean places. Never must it be taken in the bathroom or unscrupulous, unclean places. It should be placed in a high position atop the bookshelf.
Muslims only handle the Koran whilst in a state of Wudu. Wudu is a cleansing ritual or ablution that is an important part of purity and cleanliness in Islam before performing worship. It follows a process to wash hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, face, ears, hair and feet.
This ritual is unusually strict when the Koran is written only in Arabic, as Arabic is believed to be the language of the Angels. However if it is in part or all English, a clean state is preferred but not to the extent of Wudu according to some scholars, but under no circumstances at all must the Koran be in the bathroom or among dirt and uncleanliness. The Koran is the word from God and must be respected as such, that is our belief.
We will be hosting an open house/dawah expo in June. Dawah means “to invite or call” and we invite you to attend as our special and esteemed guests. It’s a greet, meet and get to know sort of event. Please join us. We eagerly await your attendance. A special treat awaits you!
Back to the topic of handling our Divine and Holy Koran … the Koran is not just a book, but “the“ book, given to us as a mercy and a guide from Allah whom completed His favours upon us when the Koran was sent down and revealed to us during the blessed month of Ramadan.
We must give the Koran its due; handle it only when we are in a state of purity both in body and mind. Keep it in only clean and purified places, resting nothing on top of it – simple but significant protocols.
Let us always remember that “this Koran is an insight for humanity – a guide and mercy for people of sure faith”. 45:20
Bermuda as usual, I leave you with well wishes for a happy, healthy and loving upcoming week.
May it be filled with peace.
As salaam alaikum.
Join Bermuda’s Muslim community on Saturday, June 3 at 11am at Masjid Muhammad on the lower level. 32 Cedar Avenue, Hamilton.
• Linda Walia Ming is a member of the Bermuda Hijab Dawah Team, a group of Muslim women who reside in Bermuda and have a goal of educating the community about the religion of Islam
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