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Tolerance – Our Pathway to World Peace

Tolerance - Peace - islamictribune.org

If you are on social media or updated on current affairs, I am sure you are aware of the riots happening in Delhi which has claimed lives of many people, predominantly Muslims. Such incidents regardless of the place they happen or the religion & ethnicity of victims and perpetrators makes one shudder.

What kind of world do we want to leave for our future generations?

Is this the kind of world we want to leave for our future generations? The one filled with hate, intolerance, violence and anger? Why can’t we all be brothers and sisters in humanity? Why can’t we respect each other faiths, political affiliations and personal choices? Why can’t we understand that no two humans are alike? Why can’t we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and look at the world from their perspective?

These are some of the questions that fill my mind and make my heart quiver whenever I hear of any case of intolerance and hate.

What is the solution? What part can we play, as Muslims to put a stop to all of this?

Be Empathetic

Everyone in this world is different. They were born in a different family, culture, religion. They had different experiences, education and thoughts. How can every human agree on everything? We cannot. So instead of passing judgement on people, we should place ourselves at their place. Where would we be if we were born in their place and had the experiences they had? Probably the same place they are now.

Just because someone is at a different place with different opinion and actions, who are we to call for their death. Whenever you see any kind of riots either based on race or religion, it is so disheartening because on both sides, there are humans, humans who just want to have a good life. Who want safety for their families? But the brainwashing by so-called leader push them on the path of extremism where they are ready to kill people.

Islamic Point of View

Islam is accused of being intolerant because of the actions of a few. Some people with extremist mindset misinterpret the teachings of Islam and use it for their own personal and political agenda.

In Quran, Allah says:

لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

There is no compulsion in religion.

Al-Baqarah 2:256

This shows us that Islam doesn’t allow anyone to forcefully convert a non-Muslim into a Muslim. In fact, Islam honours all religions as the following verse shows.

Allah said:

وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا

And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned.

Surat Al-Hajj 22:40

Mercy Towards Humanity

Prophetic saying tells us that mercy towards humanity is necessary for having a good relationship with Allah.

Amr ibn Abi Habeeb reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A servant has failed and lost if Allah has not placed mercy in his heart towards humanity.”

Tarikh Dimashq 19863 (Grade: Hasan, Al-Albani)

Prophet pbuh stood up for Funeral Procession of a Jew

Messenger of Allah told us to stand up for a funeral procession.

Amir ibn Rabia reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ الْجَنَازَةَ فَقُومُوا لَهَا حَتَّى تُخَلِّفَكُمْ أَوْ تُوضَعَ

When you see a funeral procession, then stand up for it until it passes or the deceased is placed in the grave.

Sahih Bukhari 1245, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

And in this hadith, Prophet peace be upon him stood up for funeral procession himself and when he was told that it’s a funeral of a Jew. His response is ‘Was he not a soul?’

Qays ibn Sa’d reported: A funeral passed by the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he stood up. It was said to him, “It is a Jew.” The Prophet said: Was he not a soul?

Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1250, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

This shows us that in Islam we are not allowed to look down on people if they have different beliefs. We must be respectful to them so that we can coexist in a peaceful world. Lets all promise that we will be respectful and loving to people from all ethnicity and religions and we will teach our children the same.

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