The study of comparative religion and appreciation of all faiths is my passion. I devote a lot of my time to do my personal research on the topic although this has nothing to do with my academic career. I'm a graduate mechanical engineer and now doing my masters by research in the same area. I believe that there is Truth in all the traditions and faith system. Its just veiled by the man made dogmas and wrong perceptions. If we turn to see the history of all religions we can see that this disharmony among religions started only when the original teachings of the great enlightened teachers were wrongly interpreted by later so called 'followers'.
This happened from Buddha to Moses to Jesus Christ to Muhammad (peace be upon all of them). We as a human race failed to give proper value and respect to their extra ordinary brilliance, intellect and inner understandings.
We now live in a time where certain faiths are tagged with certains conceptions or perceptoins which are mostly misconception. I would love to devote next few posts on the more common Misconceptions about Islam.
:: Misconception 1 :: Islam is `the religion of peace' because: the Arabic word Islam is derived from the Arabic word "Al-Salaam" which means peace.
It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is "al-silm" which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true. God says in the Qur'an (translated):
[2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in God and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered. [Arabic "Muslim" means 'who have surrendered']
The text of the Qur'an makes it clear that God has clearly intended the focus of this way of life to be submission to Him. This entails submission to Him at all times, in times of peace, war, ease, or difficulty.