- Learning About Islam
For many years, the author of this article has believed that Islam presents a grave danger to all non-Islamic countries and, in fact, to all people everywhere. About a year or so ago he was sitting chatting with his daughter about this belief and she challenged him with a very valid question. She asked him if he had ever read the Koran. She wondered how he could judge the ideology of Islam without reading its guidance documents. At that time, he could not say that he had read the Koran from cover to cover although he had read many excerpts from it. Nor was he very familiar with the Hadith and Sira. He decided that his daughter was correct in suggesting that he could not judge Islam if he had not actually read the guidance documents for that ideology. So, he decided to start by reading the Koran from cover to cover. This started him on a quest for knowledge about the subject that has resulted in this website.
He decided that, while it would be a good objective to know what Muslims believe, this was impossible. Reason told him that, with over a billion Muslims in this world, nobody can say definitively what all Muslims believe because there must be a huge variety in the belief systems of those who profess to be Muslim. He decided it is also impossible to know Muslims simply by reading a document. With over a billion Muslims in the world, it is simply impossible to "know Muslims". However, in the end, he decided that the most reliable and truest source of information about Islam simply must be its guidance documents.
It seemed to the author that reason dictates that, if we want to understand what Islam believes, we absolutely must inquire into what Muslims are taught. He found that virtually all Muslims are taught that the Koran is the word of their god and that Mohammad was the best example for a Muslim. There is certainly much more to be learned about the additional belief systems of the various Islamic sects, but these two points seem to be as universally believed by Muslims as it is reasonably possible to be. The author now believes that, if we ask virtually any practicing Muslim about Mohammad and the Koran, they will confirm their belief in these two essentials (assuming they answer honestly).
So, if we want to understand Islam, we must at least have a basic understanding of Islamic scripture and about Mohammad.