Apologetics, from the Greek term ‘apologetikos’ (ἀπολογία) means to be speaking “in defense of”, in this case, in the defense of Islam. Contrary to popular belief, although it sounds like the term “apologizing” they do not share the same meaning. While this term is more in use by Christians, the equivalent Islamic term would be ‘mutakallim’ (المتكلم) which means “logician or rationalist”. In Islamic history, this title has been attributed to sects within the delimits of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah and groups which have gone beyond those limits. Therefore, to avoid any confusion with the usage of the Arabic term, it would be more appropriate to refer to this field as apologetics. Traditionally, the persons who find themselves in this field are scholars who posses the requisite knowledge and who know the delimits of reason and intellect. They are the ones whom we rely upon to defend Islam against criticism.
However, we currently live in the information age. This means that discussion about religion and faith related topics has become very common between individuals of different ideologies. These discussions are usually either arguments or quarrels, and today’s Muslim finds themselves having to defend Islam against criticism quite often. The series of links below, is a road map into “Muslim apologetics”. They specifically deal with what the Muslim needs to know, if they are to find themselves speaking in defense of Islam. While the road map allows the Muslim lay man to familiarize themselves with the necessary knowledge needed to discuss common interfaith related topics, it is not a substitution for studying Islam full time, or for learning from the scholars. It is only a guide for those who find themselves in faith based discussions and who want to learn how to respond to criticism of Islam on a lay man’s level. Studying, reading or perusing the works mentioned in the guide, does not qualify anyone to extract rulings from the Qur’an or Sunnah, and it does not qualify them as a scholar.
The guide is here to help the lay Muslim, respond to criticism and to provide them with the knowledge needed to engage in such discussion.