Over the years I have experienced a vast array of different ideologies regarding Islam. There is one particular mentality that I have found primarily in ‘The West’ that is bothersome to me and in this article I hope to bring out this mentality and correct what I believe to be a very sad and potentially detrimental ideology. As to what I am referring to, it is what I call the “Apologist” Muslim mentality.
An apologist Muslim is usually a well intentioned Muslim who feels he must defend Islam against non-believers but usually does so with self-defeating mentality attempting to show how Islamic beliefs are no different or are at least very similar to those of the western world. If we are accused of having totalitarian regimes running our countries, they try to show how democratic Islam is. When confronted about Jihad they try to explain how Muslims were only defending themselves. When told women are treated poorly in Islam, the apologist attempts to rationalize polygamy with restrictions, they offer rationale regarding how kind and gentle Muslims are.
To these well intentioned people I must say one thing “No apology needed” – We as Muslims have the perfect religion which needs no justifications, which needs no defense. Take pride in Islam. The uniqueness of Islam was revealed when Allah said:
"This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as your religion Islam." Surah Maida 05:03
Completed his favor and Perfected our religion. Where else has Allah said this? To whom else has he said this? Moreover how and why do we need to justify Islam? Simply said, we do not. We need to be proud of our Islamic legacy. Islam is Perfect and free of flaws as evidenced by the following surah:
“This Qur'an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.” Surah Yunus 10:37
We should not be living to satisfy any other then Allah; we are not here to pacify the sensibilities of those who differ from us; we are here to follow the path that Allah has laid out before us; we are here to please Allah. We need no justification for those who know, we do need comparisons. When confronted about what the Muslims are doing around the world – terrorism, polygamy, and tyranny – I say to them ‘Judge the people by book (al-Quran) not the book by the people’. Most confrontations and following justifications are coming from ignorance; people with an outside perspective judging from what they have heard about Islam. Ask them this before responding ‘What do you know about Islam? Not what have you heard about Islam, but what do you know’ and you will find most do not know much about the topic they are attacking.
“And have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble (dignity).” Surah Al-Muzzammil 73:10
Do not be harsh in your response. It is our responsibility to go forth and educate them about what Islam really is because you can not have an effective dialogue with the uniformed. Islam is not something for the casual observer, it is a way of life, and to understand it in context we must educate ourselves as well. We need not apologize for our beliefs, we need not justify them, all we need is to look towards the perfect revelation, the living miracle known as the Quran and the example for all mankind who was our beloved prophet Muhammad. It is within these boundaries that will find our reason and rationale; it is here we will know the truth and have no doubts. To doubt, or justify Islam, is to doubt or justify Allah whose attributes include Malik Al-Mulk (The Eternal Owner of Sovereignty) so let us take pride in Islam and not hide behind a veil of apologetic assimilation.