Salam (peace) Marcus,
Thank you for contacting Ask About Islam.
Muslims believe that Islam is the natural religion of mankind. And that it has existed since the beginning of time. It is not just a religion for Arabs (who make up only 18% of the Muslim population).
But Islam is for all people. And if we present it properly to them, all people can see how relevant Islam is to their lives.
This same message of Islam has been delivered to mankind down through the centuries. It is true that the fullness of that message came with the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
But Allah’s message to mankind had been preached by Prophets for many centuries before that. This message is that there is One God Alone and that we should worship the One, True God.
So, to answer your question, the message of Islam has been constant since it was first revealed. The message of Islam doesn’t change.
What can’t be denied is that political events have changed the way many people view Islam and Muslims. There are even Muslims whose view of Islam has changed.
Islam, though, has not changed. Allah doesn’t change His mind. He certainly doesn’t change His mind because this group or that behaves in a certain way.
So, the message of Islam doesn’t change. But you are quite right in saying that Islam, or rather Muslims, have been affected by political events. And these have made people look differently at Islam.
It is perhaps true to say that Muslims have suffered the consequences of political events, just as non-Muslims have.
The world’s Muslim scholars and the overwhelming majority of ordinary Muslims have all condemned in the strongest terms the violence that has been falsely associated with Islam.
How sad it is that many people in the world think only of violence and terrorism when they hear Islam mentioned? How sad that the violent actions of a small few have affected the lives of so many?
Most Muslims would find that they have little in common with those who would kill and harm others while also calling themselves Muslim.
Islam is a blessing to any nation, not a threat to it. The challenge to Muslims is twofold. Firstly, Muslims must hold fast to their trust in God and unite.
Secondly, Muslims need to find a way to teach their neighbors about Islam. And to show in practice that Islam has nothing to do with those men of violence who would create divisions and fear in our world.
When the television is saying that you, as a Muslim, are a threat, it isn’t easy to live quietly as a Muslim.
Prophet Muhammad lived in a similar atmosphere. His enemies drove him and his community out of their hometown of Madinah. They were so destitute they live off of grass. This was because their enemies so hated the message Prophet Muhammad brought. They saw it as a threat.
His response, though, was not a violent one. He sought to convince the world of his message through good example.
In many countries, Muslims do face challenges and they even face injustice and oppression. But Islam does not encourage them to be unjust or to oppress others in return.
This is the challenge of Muslims today. Violent men may steal the headlines on the television news, making Islam seem harsh and uncompromising. But most men are not violent.
Some may have distorted the message of Islam to make it seem violent. But most Muslims go about their daily work, trying to earn enough money to put food on the table for their children, knowing nothing of violence or hatred.
Just as Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) drew others to Islam by his gentle and merciful character, Islam directs Muslims to do the same.
I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.
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