Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Islam: a discussion of prayer and rights

The last time I wrote a column I decided to change the way that I wrote. I will write more substantive, informative pieces where you, the reader would actually be able to learn something. I decided to dedicate my columns for the rest of the semester to addressing misconceptions about Islam and give a brief overview of the religion.

I began by talking about the first pillar of Islam, faith; what it was and what it translated to in English. I also debunked a few misconceptions about what the faith truly stands for. After my column, a few people who had questions had the courage to email me with them, for this I was very happy. That meant people were reading and had more questions. I encourage everyone who is reading this to ask questions if you have them.

A number of the questions following my column regarded the treatment of women and the use of violence in Islam. As a result I’ve decided to address these concerns.

Preemptive use of violence is not allowed in Islam. Islam only allows for defensive wars, but just as with other religions, people hijack religions and do whatever they want. Just like with Christian and Jewish extremists, Muslim extremists have used religion to justify whatever they want to do. Islam does not allow the killing or use of violence against innocent people. In Surah (chapter) Ma’idah (the table spread with food) Allah says, “and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.”

There is an incredible amount of emphasis on the spreading of peace and the prevention of war or harm in Islam. But just like with other religions’ causes, people take things to the extreme and misquote and misinterpret to push their own political agenda. It is important to note that their agenda in no way reflects the agenda of 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.

The other main misconception was about violence against women, mainly about female genital mutilation. Let me begin again by saying this is not in the religion. Islam does not allow for violence against any person especially women and doesn’t allow mutilation. People have made culture into religion in many places, so they portray their cultural actions as being part of the religion when it clearly isn’t. People at times try to justify ridiculous things by using the name of religion, when they know nothing about the religion, which they claim to represent.

During my last column I went over the first pillar of Islam – faith. This time I’ll do the second – prayer. There are five prayers per day for Muslims: fajr (dawn), zuhr (noon), asr (afternoon), maghrib (sunset), isha (night). Muslims pray towards Mecca and pray to Allah. In Muslim tradition, there are differences in each prayer but each has its reasons.

It is important for people to look into what Islam is really about rather than focusing on what Fox News or any other news agency is saying. It is important to look for the truth behind rumors. I encourage everyone to ask questions of me or of the Muslim Students Association on campus to clear up other misconceptions or questions you may have. Through learning and fixing misconceptions, we have the ability to spread the truth and truly get to know other people.

Subhan Tariq is a Collegian columnist.  He can be reached at stariq@student.umass.edu.

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