Friday, 27 May 2011

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"There is no compulsion in [accepting] religion. The
right course has become clear from error." (The
Quran 2: In fact, Islam through the course of its
history has granted the people of other faiths the
highest degree of tolerance by allowing them to
follow their way, although some of their practices
might have been in conflict with the religion of the
majority. It was this degree of tolerance that the
Muslims adopted towards their non-Muslim citizens.

There is another aspect of this matter which cannot
be found in the written laws, nor can it be enforced
by courts or governments: it is the spirit of
tolerance which underlies upright attitudes,
benevolent dealings, respect for one's neighbors,
and all the sincere sentiments of piety, compassion,
and courtesy. Execution and report of such attitudes
are required of every Muslim and cannot be obtained
through constitutional legislation or court

Many Quranic teachings have emphasized dealings with
non-Muslims with justice and respect, especially
those who live in peace with the Muslims and do not
raise enmity against them. "Allah does not forbid
you concerning those who do not fight you because of
religion and do not expel you from your homes from
being righteous towards them and acting justly
towards them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act
justly." (The Quran 60:8)

"And they give food in spite of their love for it to
the poor, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying]: We
feed you only for the acceptance of Allah. We wish
neither from you reward nor gratitude." (The Quran
76: 8,9)

Although Muslims might disagree with other
ideological systems and religious dogmas, it should
not prevent them from demonstrating the correct
manner of discussion and interaction with

"And do not argue with the People of the Scripture
(Christians and Jews) except in a way that is best,
except for those who commit injustice among them,
and say we believe in that which has been revealed
to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God
is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."
(The Quran 29: 46)

this context, it seems appropriate to raise the
question: Is tolerance of other religions as
preached by Islam a matter left to the Muslims to
decide about? As a matter of fact, tolerance in
Islam has ideological basis in the Quran and the
teachings of Prophet Muhammad, and it is not subject
to any human interference. Therefore, it is a
constant Islamic principle that does not change over
time or place. According to the Quran, every human
being is to be honored as Allah has honored him/her:

"And we have certainly honored the children of Adam,
and carried them on the land and sea and provided
for them of the good things and preferred them over
much of what We have created with [definite]
preference." (The Quran 17:70)

Islam is the final revelation of Allah the Almighty
and it is the religion of universal truth for all
mankind. All of its doctrines can withstand any
challenge. Therefore, the existence of various
religions--man-made or supposedly revealed
religions--is only to allow the human intellect to
choose. The following excerpts of the Quran
emphasize these principles:

"Allah witnesses that there is no deity except Him,
and [so do] the angels and those of knowledge -
[that He is] maintaining [creation] in justice.
There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might,
the Wise. Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah
is Islam." (The Quran 3:18-19)

Islam spread to all part of the world in order to
transcend and elevate humanity above racism,
ignorance, superstitions and injustice. Therefore,
there was no need for forced conversion to the true
religion of God. It is basically up to people to use
the intellect with which God has bestowed them and
make their choice. This is the reason as to why
hundreds of thousands of people keep reverting to
Islam as soon as they find out the truth about it.
People embrace Islam by their own free will and
without any seduction or compulsion. Many among them
are scientists, politicians, lawyers, evangelists
and even people of fame: Cat Stephen (now Yusuf
Islam), the former famous pop singer; M. Hoffman,
the German Ambassador to Morocco; who has recently
written an eye-opening book titled, Islam is the
Alternative; Morris Bucaille, the well known French
scientist accepted Islam after his long research in
science and religion that is summarized in his book,
The Bible, The Quran and Science; Mr. Olson, the
Danish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia who declared in a
radio interview that : "If the people know the
reality of Islam, millions will embrace it" . The
list of those who have sought the truth of Islam is
too long to be mentioned here. It includes people
from all walks of life

In his article “When the Moors Ruled Spain”, Thomas
J. Abercrombie (The National Geographic staff
writer), revealed many facts about the contributions
with which Muslims had presented the West. He also
alluded to the justice of the Islamic rule and
tolerance: where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived
peacefully side by side for more that seven
centuries. Then he shifted 180 degrees to talk in
brief about atrocities committed by the Catholic
Christians afterwards:

was here, long after Alfonso VI that the first
victims of a growing Christian bigotry perished at
the stake. In 1469 Prince Ferdinand of Aragon wed
Princess Isabella of Castile. While waging war
against the Moors to the south, they would view as a
threat the Muslims and Jews in their own lands. In
1480, they established the Spanish Inquisition.
Before it was over, three centuries later, thousands
of Muslims and Jews had died; an estimated three
million people were driven into exile. Short of its
leading businessmen, artists, agriculturalists, and
scientists, Spain would soon find itself victim of
its own cruelty.