Spirit of Tolerance in Islam

The word “tolerance” means “to bear.” As a concept, it means “respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human.”Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam. It is a religious and moral duty. It does not mean compromise. It does not mean a lack of principles or lack of seriousness about one’s principles. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally distinct in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour, and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. We can’t force others to accept our point of view and religion or faith. Allah says:

 

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

 

“Those who spend in [the] ease and (in) the hardship and those who restrain the anger and those who pardon [from] the people – and Allah loves the good-doers.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:134).

 

Intolerance is on the increase in the world today, causing death, genocide, violence, religious persecution as well as confrontations on different levels. Some times it is racial and ethnic, some times it is religious and ideological, other times it is political and social. In every situation, it is evil and painful. Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam. It is a religious moral duty. Islam teaches tolerance on all levels: individual, groups, and states. Tolerance is the mechanism that upholds human rights and the rule of law. The Qur’an says very clearly: Allah says:

 

ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ

 

“Then he is of those who believe and enjoin (each other) to patience, and enjoin (each other) to compassion.” (Surah Al-Balad 90:17)

 

Islam is the religion of mercy and kindness, the religion of tolerance and ease. Faith/Belief is from the first of the 5 pillars upon which Islam is based, they also consist of more than seventy branches (i.e. parts) and one of these parts is, “Tolerance”.The religion of Islam revolves around hope and fear of the one and only creator, so the believer is one who has hope and fear. Islam may tolerate anything but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression, and violation of the rights of other human beings.

 

There are some ways of Tolerance in Islam:
  1. Try thinking more about answers than questions
  2. Tolerance not accepting unacceptable behaviour
  3. Try to hold more or less incompatible views
  4. Try to flee from or avoid difficult thoughts
  5. Try to begin to negotiate a way forward
  6. Try open-minded outlook and exposing
  7. Try ignores the variety and complexity
  8. Tolerating others in difficult situations
  9. Try to appreciate and value difference
  10. Tolerating others is a tricky situation 
  11. Talk about differences respectfully
  12. Try to get a better understanding 
  13. Try to ignore your differences
  14. Try to become more tolerant
  15. Try to cultivate tolerance
  16. Think a difficult thought
  17. Encourage self-confidence
  18. Foster your self-esteem
  19. Promote openness and respect
  20. Remember Change Is Imminent
  21. Analyze your intolerant feelings
  22. Develop your ideas about gun control 
  23. Meditation can help cultivate tolerance
  24. Put aside your raw, emotional reaction
  25. Focus to agreeable aspects experience
  26. A tolerant person is to educate yourself
  27. Avoid making accusations or assumptions
  28. Care to thought and behaviour among humans
  29. Start by calmly describing what you find offensive
  30. Cultivate centeredness that will be there inside you

Islam emphasizes the establishment of equality and justice, both of these values cannot be established without some degree of tolerance. Islam recognized from the very beginning the principle of freedom of belief or freedom of religion. It said very clearly that it is not allowed to have any coercion in the matters of faith and belief.

 

Tolerance comes from our recognition of:

1. the dignity of human beings,
2. the basic equality of all human beings,
3. universal human rights, and
4. fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, and belief.

Islam may tolerate anything but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression, and violation of the rights of other human beings. It also means that one’s views are not to be imposed on others. We have to tolerate others according to their point of view we can’t just impose our point of view on others. Once the people asked Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that why Allah did not command hardships and forcefully flatten the false Gods to prove one true religion. Upon this Allah Almighty sent the following verse of Quran:

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا مِنكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُوا وَلَقَدْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

 

“Indeed, those who turned back among you (on the) day met the two hosts – only made them slip the Shaitaan for some (of) what they (had) earned. And surely Allah forgave [on] them, indeed, Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, All-Forbearing.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:155)

 

In modern usage, the word “tolerance” has come to signify mutual respect and peaceful harmony between conflicting religions and ideologies. No doubt, Islam supports tolerance on a social level. Muslims concern to peacefully coincides with any group that desires peaceful coexistence. Allah says:

 

خُذِ الْعَفْوَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْعُرْفِ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجَاهِلِينَ

 

“Hold (to) forgiveness and enjoin the good, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:199)

 

Tolerance is the gracious knot which binds the family, society and keeps the nation intact. We should impart to our children the quality of tolerance, and forgiveness because the family is the first school of privilege. We should more concentrate on this virtue of tolerance so that we can live a peaceful and happy life. Muslims are allowed to keep good relations with non-Muslims. Allah says:

 

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ فَمَا أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ

 

“Those (are) they who purchase[d] [the] straying for [the] Guidance, and [the] punishment for [the] forgiveness. So what (is) their endurance on the Fire!” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:175)

 

Muslims have been generally very tolerant people. We must emphasize this virtue among us and in the world today. Tolerance is needed in our communities. In this way, e can portray the real and very good image of our religion Islam. Islam teaches that fighting is only against those who fight.

 

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “There is no compulsion in religion…” (Quran 2:256)
  • “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (Quran 109: 6)
  • “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if you do turn back, know then that Our Messenger must proclaim (the Message) in the clearest manner.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:92)
  • “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (Al-Baqarah 2:190)
  • “If then they turn away, We have not sent you as a guard over them. Your duty is but to convey (the Message)…” (Ash-Shura 42:48)
  • “Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us in hope and fear.” (Quran, 21: 90)
  • “The truth is from your Lord, so whosoever wants to let him believe and whosoever wants to let him deny.” (An-Nahl 16:29)

Muslims have been generally very tolerant people. We must emphasize this virtue among us and in the world today. Tolerance is needed among our communities: We must foster tolerance through deliberate policies and efforts. Our centres should be multi-ethnic. We should teach our children to respect each other. We should not generalize about other races and cultures. We should have more exchange visits and meetings with each other. Even marriages should be encouraged among Muslims of different ethnic groups. Allah says:

 

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

 

“Certainly, (has) come to you a Messenger from yourselves. Grievous to him (is) what you suffer, (he is) concerned over you, to the believers (he is) kind (and) merciful.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:128).

 

Islam may tolerate anything, but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression, and violation of the rights of other human beings. Muslims have been generally very tolerant people. We must emphasize this virtue among us and in the world today. Tolerance is needed among our communities: We must foster tolerance through deliberate policies and efforts. Our centres should be multi-ethnic. We should teach our children to respect each other. We should inform them what is acceptable to us and what is not.

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