Frequently Asked Questions On Islam, Dr. Adel Elsaie
Islam is the only religion that declares Mary as the holiest woman ever (The Quran, Chapter “Surah” 3, verse “Ayah” 42) - not Muhammad�s (Pbuh) mother, daughter, or wife. One complete Surah in Quran is devoted to Mary with her name as the title of Surah 19. Surah 3 has a title of the family of Imran (the father of Mary). The Bible does not give Mary the same honor. It is important to note that Judaism does not recognize Mary or Jesus.
The three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam originated in the Middle East.
While there are differences between Muslims and Christians about the nature of Jesus,
(Pbuh i.e. Peace be upon him) there is no disagreement in the Middle East about the Name of God,
or the status of many of the common prophets in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Noah, Abraham,
Moses, and Jesus are also prophets in Islam. Jesus is recognized as the Messiah and one the top
five prophets in Islam. Moreover, Muslims expect the second Coming of Jesus.
The differences in the stature of the common prophets involve only Jesus and Mohammed,
Peace Be Upon Them. Jews do not recognize Jesus and claim that he was a false Messiah,
and Christians do not recognize Mohammed and claim that he was a false prophet.
Do you remember the Hollywood movies of Jesus? Do you remember how the Virgin Mary was dressed?
She had a headscarf! This is the religious dress for women since Adam. This is the dress of nuns.
It is not that nowadays because women appear almost naked that this nudity is a western value.
The next myth is the nonexistence of women rights in Islam. What comes to your mind when you think
of a Muslim woman? A mysterious, veiled victim of male oppression, awaiting Western liberation?
A slogan-shouting terrorist? An uneducated foreigner with whom you have little or nothing in common?
Unless your social circle includes Muslim friends and acquaintances, the chances are that your
impressions of Muslim women have largely been formed by negative media stereotypes - images that
usually have little to do with real life, and may have been designed to attract more viewers,
sell more products, or gain support for an interest group or someone's political agenda.
But did you know that the majority of European and American converts to Islam are women -
not men? Would it surprise you to learn that many women in the Muslim world feel sorry for
Western women and view them as being victimized? Have you ever stopped to consider why Muslim
women who immigrate to the West usually maintain their identity and strive to pass it on to their
children? A thinking person may well ask if Islam is as oppressive to women as some western
media would have us believe, why aren't Muslim women throwing away their veils in the west?
What it is about Islam that attracts any followers outside its heartlands? Women in the West
are the majority of the converts to Islam, why?
First of all, women are portrayed positively in the Quran and the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet
Muhammad). The Quran is the only book of world Scripture in which women are frequently referred
to alongside men and both are described as being friends and partners in faith. There is one long
chapter in the Quran with women as the title of the chapter, an honor that no other religion has.
This shows the dignifying status of women in Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad was an extremely successful social reformer as well as spiritual and political
leader, who championed the rights of the weak and oppressed. The verses of Quran referring to women
had the effect of vastly improving the status and rights of women at the time they were revealed.
Muslim women were granted the right to own, inherit and dispose of their own property as they saw
fit; reject forced marriages; keep their own names and identities after marriage; initiate divorce;
and obtain an education - back in the 7th century. In contrast to the dismal situation affecting
many women in developing countries today, early Muslim women were noted for their learning and
accomplishments. The Prophet declared, “To seek knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim, male
and female,” and his own wife Aisha was responsible for transmitting thousands of his sayings to
later generations. Aisha was also renowned for her knowledge of poetry, medicine, and Islamic law,
as well as her personal qualities of character and intelligence. When she led a battle after the
Prophet's death, no one objected on the grounds that she was a woman. Many Muslim women in the
medieval period enjoyed positions of respect as scholars and religious authorities. Therefore,
Muslims seeking to improve the position of women in society have usually focused their efforts on
getting men and women to simply practice Islam, rather than trying to 'reform' it, as happened
with other religions. The main obstacles to Muslim women achieving the rights guaranteed to them,
then and now, have been persistent un-Islamic cultural traditions (usually dating to the period
before people accepted Islam in a given locality), inadequate religious education, and the bad
side of human nature.
As shown in many verses of Quran, women are considered to be the spiritual equals of men, and they
have the same religious duties. This is all the more important when we consider that the main goal
of a Muslim is to serve God, and that this world is regarded as no more than testing-grounds to
prepare oneself for eternal life after death. Therefore, worldly accomplishments, fame, wealth
and power simply do not have the same attraction for a Muslim, whose main focus is on the Next World.
The Quran repeatedly draws our attention to the fact that the time we spend in this world is short
and unpredictable, and what really count is our character, how we treat others, and what we do
with the blessings God has given us. In this context, home and family are of paramount importance,
since stable families are essential to the nurture of well-adjusted children who will transmit
their faith and values to the next generation. According to a well-known Arab proverb, “the mother
is a school.”
Islam supports the traditional division of labor whereby women assume the main responsibility for
home while men are responsible for their financial support, but with an important difference:
motherhood and homemaking, like a Muslim's inner life, are not considered to be less important or
rewarding than a professional career. Indeed, motherhood is one of the most important professions,
and competent mothers who can successfully run a warm and welcoming home, and raise a family of
happy, confident and well-disciplined children are becoming increasingly harder to find. Muslim
wives and mothers are granted the respect due to all women for the struggles and sacrifices they
make for the sake of their families. Furthermore, Muslims consider it unfair to burden women with
both the physical and emotional demands of motherhood and the professional demands of the workplace,
which end up exhausting so many women and destroying family life for the sake of economic gain.
Muslims often express sympathy for women in the West, who often suffer from sexual exploitation
and abuse at home and in the workplace, while being unappreciated in their traditional roles.
Western women who seek to be respected must often dress and behave like men, and are expected in
practice to neglect their children's needs for the sake of their careers. In Islam, femininity is
appreciated, and Muslim women may seek a higher education, work outside the home or volunteer their
services to benefit the community as long as their primary responsibilities are taken care of. Any
income that a Muslim woman earns or inherits is her own, to spend as she likes; men remain solely
responsible for supporting the family and the wife even if she has her own income.
Although Muslim parents traditionally play an important role in arranging introductions and helping
to choose marriage partners for their children, both husband and wife must freely agree to the
marriage. The Prophet granted girls who had been forced into marriages against their will the right
to have their marriages annulled.
The relationship between husband and wife in Islam is an interdependent one, based on love and tranquility. The Quran says,
Surah 30, Ayah 21 “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect..”
Both parents should strive to establish a stable, loving home and partnership. Major family
decision-making should be through consultation and discussion. As the provider, the husband
is expected to take the lead, as he is accountable to God for his care of the family. If no
agreement can be reached, the wife should be supportive as long as her husband does not ask
her to do anything that contravenes religious law. This works well as long as each spouse behaves
maturely and treats the other with respect, kindness and consideration.
In order to safeguard the moral integrity of family and society, Muslim men and women are expected
to observe certain guidelines of behavior that Westerners may find restrictive. Both sexes are
expected to dress modestly in loose, non-transparent clothing and avoid situations that would put
them alone with members of the opposite sex, or lead to temptation or misunderstandings. Muslim
women additionally cover their hair, since women are ordinarily considered to be the more attractive
of the sexes. These restrictions are not observed at home among close family members, but serve to
protect women's honor in public and draw attention to their personal qualities rather than their
looks. Do you remember one of the movies about Jesus, and how the Virgin Mary and Christian women
were dressed up? Aren�t theirs the same cover as that of Muslim women? It is the same modest dress
that women used during the times of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. In Islam, the sexual urge is considered
to be natural and desirable as long as it is confined to expression within marriage. However,
Muslims are saddened by the rise in the vulgar exploitation of women and the human body for
marketing purposes and pornography, which inevitably result in a cheapening of sexuality and the
undermining of family and spiritual life.
Many people are aware that Muslim men are permitted to marry more than one wife. What is not generally known is that strict conditions of equal treatment in terms of time and money are imposed on men who do, or that women may stipulate in their marriage contracts that they have the right to divorce if their husbands take another wife. In reality, monogamy is the norm and polygamy the exception; it has never been common among Muslims except in areas where it was already practiced, and it is seldom successful unless the first wife agrees. Islam did not introduce polygamy; in reality, some form of polygamy - whether with legal marriages, mistresses, prostitution or extra-marital affairs - occurs in every society. Rather, it allowed and regulated it in order to protect the women and children who might otherwise be taken advantage of. In certain cases, such as when the first wife is chronically (or mentally) ill or unable to bear children; when there are many widows and orphans due to war; or when a marriage has effectively broken down but the wife would prefer to remain married; open and legalized polygamy can be a workable second-best solution.
The Prophet Muhammad was married to his first wife, Khadijah, for 25 years, and he did not take other wives until after her death. His marriages to several widows and divorcees in later years were primarily contracted for political and humanitarian reasons, as was expected of a man in his position. His home life was characterized by love, consideration, kindness and respect.
Again the human right of Muslim women to wear Islamic head covering or hijab is been denied to many women in most Muslim countries. TV news anchor women are fired from their jobs if they insist of wearing hijab on TV while half-naked women are more than welcomed. The story of a Turkish Muslim lady received international attention few years back. The 35-year-old Merve Kavakci was elected as Member of Parliament for the Islamic Virtue Party in 1999 in Turkey. She was precluded from taking the oath of office and was booed out of parliament by members of the ruling Democratic Social Leftist Party for walking into parliament wearing hijab. Ten days after being heckled out of Parliament, Merve was stripped of her citizenship, allegedly for not disclosing her dual Turkish-U.S. citizenship. This is despite the fact that more than 20 Turkish MPs, including the then-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, one of her strongest critics, hold such dual citizenship.
The courageous Turkish ladies like Merve Kavakci certainly won�t forget the country�s roots. The burden of human rights violations falls squarely on the shoulders of Muslim women in Turkey, and Merve has made it her mission to fight for Turkish women, almost 70 percent of whom wear hijab. Her passion for the hijab issue was ignited back in the 1980s, when her mother was forced to leave her faculty position at a Turkish university, and was reinforced in 1988 when she herself was forced to leave medical school due to pressures to remove her hijab. Turkey�s powerful secular generals, who see their mission as ensuring the secular nature of the state, regard the hijab as a symbol of political Islam, and its banning is part of a strategy to combat the Islamic revival. Following recommendations in 1997 by the military dominated National Security Council the ban has been intensified. That same year, the Islamic Refah Party was forced from power and its leaders, including then-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, were prosecuted for attempting to overthrow the Constitution by introducing Islamic rule. Erbakan and other leaders have been jailed and/or banned from politics. Some of the banned Refah Party�s former members have joined the successor Islamic party, the Virtue Party. Later, this party was also declared illegal in the democratic system in Turkey!
The above story of Merve is a real story with real name. I know her father and her mother. Her father Professor Dr. Yusuf Kavakci is a close friend of mine. He was the Dean of the College of Islamic Studies, Ataturk University in Turkey before he decided to move with his family to USA. He is the current religious leader of Dallas central mosque. I met Merve, and I cannot express my respect, appreciation, and love to this young courageous Muslim lady nearly enough. This story shows how a Muslim committed to his or her religion and trying to practice the internationally accepted human rights can live as a second class citizen in secular Muslim countries.
In a recent poll two thirds of Americans surveyed believe that Muslims should adopt Western values instead of Islamic values. This poll shows that Americans has very little knowledge about Islam. Islam as a monotheistic religion, like Christianity, believes in the Divine Values of Justice, democracy, and freedom .
No one really believes that any Muslim does not advocate Democracy. However, real democracy is hard to find in Islamic countries. In many Islamic countries, such as Turkey, Egypt and Algiers, moderate Islamic parties are declared illegal, and are subjected to prosecution. These Islamic parties struggle to get into parliaments by democratic means. Their authoritative governments always prevent them from any elections. Israel has religious parties but Muslims have no such right. Due to the restrictions imposed on those parties, militant Islamic groups develop as a result of this oppression. Secret services are usually quite strong in Muslim countries, where anyone remotely suspected to have religious values of Justice, democracy, and freedom is subjected to terrible torture in prisons.
Freedom of speech
No one really believes that any Muslim does not advocate freedom of religion. The freedom of religion in most Muslim countries is only guaranteed within the boundaries set by governments! Thus, Muslims believe in freedom of religion, but cannot exercise it in their countries. The boundaries of the freedom of religion are applied on both the Muslim majority and the other religion minorities. A Christian in a Muslim country declares on a national TV in USA that building a church in that Muslim country requires a government approval. He chooses not to mention that building a mosque requires government approval!
Freedom of sex
The freedom of sex in Islamic countries is exactly the same as that of the orthodox Christianity and
Judaism. While the freedom of sex that includes teenage pregnancies and extramarital affairs is rampant in
the western counties, there are still many western citizens that detest this phenomenon. This freedom of
sex destroys families and children. In Islam, sexual fidelity is sternly demanded, and proven adultery
is punishable in an Islamic country that adopts the Islamic laws.
Following Islamic law, illegal intercourse is defined as that between a man and a woman without the legal
relationship of husband and a wife. Historically, all social systems, that have been close to human nature
have always considered illegal intercourse a serious crime and have prescribed severe punishment. But with
the deterioration in moral standards, the western society has become more and more liberal. The first common
lapse in this matter was caused by the distinction between adultery and fornication. Fornication was taken
as an ordinary offense while adultery was taken as a punishable crime. For many reasons, this distinction is
a direct outcome of the erroneous conception formed by the Christians resulting from the incident of the
Jews asking Jesus (Pbuh) to pronounce judgment on a case of adultery and his reply to them:
John 8:7 “He that is without a sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”
The above statement by Jesus could well mean that the accusers should be sinless and should start by themselves first before accusing someone else. It does not mean that Jesus supported adultery.
Freedom of using drugs
The freedom of using drugs in Islamic countries is exactly the same as that of the orthodox Christianity and Judaism. While the freedom of using drugs is rampant in the western counties, there are still many western citizens that detest this phenomenon. The number of alcoholic and drug addicts in the west is frightening.
After September 11, TV Evangelists discovered that the problem of the Muslims is the Quran! Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and others turn to the TV to educate the people. Graham announced that the God of the Muslims is not the God of the Christians, because Muslims do not believe in the trinity. Of course he did not say that many Christians do not believe in that either. Also the Jews and all other religions do not believe in the trinity
Another Evangelist was attacking Islam on TV and associating Islam and terrorism. He quoted a verse in the Quran, Surah 2:191, saying “kill the infidels everywhere.” He also complained that each time he confronted a Muslim with this verse, he always get the answer that this verse is taken out of context. So he has the conviction that Muslims are trying to cover up on the terrorism in Islam. Now let us see what the Quran says in Surah 2:191-192:
Surah 2:191-192: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you. But do not transgress limits; for Allah does not love transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them. And turn them out from where they have turned you out.”
Any reasonable person would understand the above verses as a call for the Muslims to defend themselves against oppression and injustice. It is clear from the above verses that Muslims were attacked first, and they did not start the aggression. And Allah states clearly that he does not love transgressors. Any verse in the Quran that ordered the Muslim to fight is in the context of defending themselves against aggression.
Another TV show had Pat Robertson showing a verse in the Quran that asks the Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as Friends. The correct translation of the word used in the Quran is “Mawla” which means religious authority. So Muslims are not supposed to consider Christians and Jews as authorities in Islam. And that is exactly why Muslims should ignore the Islamic religious claims of the TV Evangelists.
During the last two decades the concept of "Islamic terror" has been introduced and publicized in the western media. It appears that this concept started with the first uprising of the Palestinian children against the Israeli occupation. It is interesting to note that the only weapons of the Palestinian children were rocks and stones against the complete arsenal of the Israeli army that includes machine guns, Apache helicopters, F-16 fighters, and bulldozers. Those children opposed the lack of human rights and hopes under the terrible conditions of the Israeli occupation. However, we are asked to believe that youths who blow themselves up do so because they hate the western freedom! Somehow that sounds farfetched and not unlike the motives attributed to the enemy in Vietnam. Most of the present population on earth have not been subjected to foreign occupation and, thus, have no idea about the resulting daily suffering. Can you imagine the life of one of those children and how did he grow up? I will call him X because his dreams and hardships are largely unknown to the rest of the world.
While X was growing up, he used to live in a refugee camp, not a city or a village but a refugee camp, where there is not enough clean water, food, and electricity and where the streets are 6 feet wide. His father used to point out to one direction and tell him that his family used to live on the other side in a house with a farm and lots of trees, before the Israelis expelled them. X looks at the other side and sees Israeli children going to schools, playing with swings, and singing cheerful songs. As he grows up, he has strong memories of his father and older brothers being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers when they voiced an opposition at many of the humiliating check points that they have to go through every day. The trip that takes an hour in the West Bank of Palestine actually may take 20 hours because of the frequent stops at check points. He remembers his father and brothers screaming and he remembers the blood covering their faces and bodies as they were beaten up by the Israeli soldiers. He remembers his mother when she was sick and in pain and she needed to go to hospital in the nearest village, and again she had to be stopped and humiliated for hours. He remembers that his mothers died at the check point because she was prevented from going to the hospital fast enough. He remembers the frequent curfews, when they did not have enough food or water. He remembers that he could not go to school except for few weeks every year because the school was closed by the Israelis. He remembers his oldest brother when he joined the freedom fighters to stop this degrading occupation. Another terrible day, he watched his bother fighting and was hit by a targeted missile and was torn to pieces. The following day, the occupation army came in to search his place and turned everything upside down, beaten up his father and his sisters, the asked them to leave their place. Few minute later, their place was demolished.
When he was 18 years old, he did not finish high school. Over half the Palestinians are unemployed and many lives in extreme poverty. He does not have hope for employment. He does not have hope for love and making a family. He does not have any hope for the future, which is a basic human right. This X is not a single case in Palestine; he actually represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children. What would you do if you were this X? If you say that you would act like a true Christian or Muslim and forgive your enemies, then you are deceiving yourself because this level of injustice never happened during the time of Jesus or Muhammad. This is the ugly face of occupation that the western media choose to ignore completely. This is a terrible case of human injustice. On the other hand, Muslims watch everyday on their satellite TV the daily suffering of the Palestinians. They watch the daily demolishing of houses and trees. They watch the daily humiliation of the Palestinians at military check points. They watch the daily Palestinians blood on the ground, in the cars, and in the rubbles.
However, when a suicide bombing, or an attack on an illegal settlement, happens in Israel the whole world has to watch it on TV for few days. It is important to note that the Arabic satellite TVs show the suicide bombing and do not ignore it. Some western politicians have to condemn this terrorist act that is committed by a Muslim. Then those politicians start addressing the issues of global terrorism and Islamic militants, and the need to get the 3 years road map into action. No one really explains why this road map should take 3 years and add more killings and more atrocities. It should take 3 minutes. The Israeli government should declare or be forced by the international community to declare that they will end their occupation, dismantle the check points, allow certain time frame for the illegal Israeli settlement to dismantle, arrange for financial aid to build the Palestinian�s infrastructure that the Israelis bombed and destroyed. There are over 70 Security Council decisions to urge Israel to end its occupation or to respect the human right of the Palestinians. But Israel has been always above the international law. President Eisenhower stopped the British-French-Israeli aggression on Egypt in 1956 almost immediately. He did not take 3 years to do that. In the present time, there are Israelis that advocate granting the Palestinians their freedom and their state. Even some conscientious Israeli military officers and pilots actually refused to engage in this ugly war, targeted assassination of Palestinian activists, and demolishing Palestinian houses.
The Palestinian resistance is considered a freedom movement in Palestine against an obnoxious occupation. The Palestinian freedom fighters are considered terrorists in Israel. So who is right? It really depends upon which TV channel you watch! If you don�t see the daily suffering and humiliation of the Palestinians, and see only the suicide bombing, you would say that Palestinians and Muslims are terrorists. If you see the daily atrocities of the Israeli army in Palestine, you would say that these soldiers are terrorists. But if you watch both TVs, in all fairness, you would say that the occupation has to stop immediately.
If freedom fighters are called terrorists, then the whole human history has to be rewritten:
1. The American Indians should be called terrorists, because they fought the American settlers.
2. The Americans should be called terrorists, because they fought the British Army.
3. The French should be called terrorists, because they fought the German Nazis.
4. The South Africans should be called terrorists, because they fought the European settlers.
5. And so on, Also, George Washington, Charles De Gaulle, and Nelson Mandela should be called terrorists.
It is true that one of the distinctive characteristics of the times we live in is the overwhelming presence of violence in our societies. Whether it is the bombing of an hotel or an embassy, the Muslim�s mass graves in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, the hijacking of an aircraft where innocent people are held at ransom to achieve political goals, and the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington which caused the death of thousands of innocent civilians, we live in an age where the manipulation and loss of innocent lives has become commonplace. This kind of indiscriminate violence is considered as one of the prime threats to peace and security in our societies. One of the unfortunate results of this new terminology is that it limits the definition of terrorism to that perpetrated by small groups or individuals. Terrorism, in fact, spans the entire world, and manifests itself in various forms. Its perpetrators do not fit any stereotype. Those who hold human lives cheap, and have the power to expend human lives, appear at different levels in our societies. The frustrated employee who kills his colleagues in cold-blood, the right wing radical Timothy McVeigh who bombed the Oklahoma City, or the child who massacred school children for the thrill of it are all terrorists who provoke anger and disgust. Ironically however, the politician who uses age-old ethnic animosities between peoples to consolidate his position, the head of state who orders “carpet bombing” of entire cities, the governments that slaughter thousands of civilians by using weapons of mass destruction, are rarely punished for their crimes against humanity.
There is an urgent global need to define terrorism and to discern between terrorism and freedom fighting. In the absence of that definition, the whole world should be called terrorists and not only Muslims. All the Indians would be called terrorists, because some Indians killed many Muslims in Kashmir. All Christians would be called terrorists, because the Crusades killed thousands of Muslims in Palestine. All Catholics would be called terrorists, because they killed Protestants in Ireland. All Americans would be called terrorists, because they killed thousands of American Indians. All Serbs would be called terrorists, because they killed thousands of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. All Jews would be called terrorists, because they killed thousands of Palestinians. And so on. The number of Muslims is about 1.4 Billions on this earth. Now suppose that the number of “Muslim terrorists,” whatever the definition of terrorist may be, is 14,0000. Could this logically stamp 99.99% of all the Muslims as being terrorists? If this were the case, then the whole world would in a state of perpetual war and terror until we destroy each others.
True Judaism, Christianity, and Islam command love, mercy, justice and peace. In the absence of these Divine values, terrorism, whatever its definition may be, will produce hatred, cruelty, and more violence. The international community should eliminate the source of violence and not merely fight violence with violence. The terms "Islamic terror", “militant Muslims”, and “radical Islamic groups” should be abandoned, and the mass injustice should be stopped.
The following points summarize the position of Islam on the subject of terrorism:
1. Islam is the religion of justice and good deeds. Surah 16:90 “Allah commands Justice, the doing of good deeds, and giving of relative and kin. And He forbids all indecent deeds and evil and rebellion. He instruct you that you may receive admonition.”
2. Islam forbids injustice and considers it a great sin. Surah 14: 42 “Think not that Allah does not heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He but give them respite against a Day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror.”
3. Islam honors human beings above the brute creation. Surah 17:70 “We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors above a great part of Our Creation."
4. Islam calls Christians and Jews People of the Book. Surah 3:64 “Say O people of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah"
5. According to Matthew 10: 34 Jesus said: "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Does this means that Jesus, God forbids, was a terrorist. No Muslim can even start thinking about that. Yet our Christian brothers keeps of accusing Islam as a religion of terror.
Muslims are after presenting their case in any society that they live in. They especially would like to present their case to their Christian brothers, because Islam is the closest religion to Christianity. It is a fact that Muslims ruled Spain and India for eight and ten centuries respectively without forcing Islam on any one. The Jews had their golden time under the Muslim rule in Spain.
The Arabic root of the word Islam is S-L-M that means submit to Will of God or peace. The state of peace is called SaLaM (related to the Hebrew word shalom). In the Bible, there are many verses that address the submission to God. From that sense, Islam is mentioned in the Bible:
1. Ex 10: 3 so Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me.
2. Ps 68:31 let Ethiopia bow in submission to God
3. Ps 83:16 utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O LORD.
4.Eph 5:22 you wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.