Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you], MANKIND IS DIVIDED:
Mankind seems to be divided by religious categorization. Some religious groups are more exclusive in their approach than others. However, the approach of condemning people belonging to other faiths, although it has become a much less pronounced problem in recent times, has not vanished completely.
There have been many approaches adopted by religious scholars belonging to different faiths to check the tendency of growing bigotry amongst religious people. The Vatican adopted the policy of Religious Inclusivism through its decree of 1967 which expressed sentiments of cordiality for other important world religions. Words of sympathy were also reserved in the decree for those who have chosen to follow the approach of atheism.
There are, however, some Christians scholars who believe that Religious Inclusivism, even though it is a welcome improvement on Religious Exclusivism, still falls short of being fully convincing. What has been presented by William Rowland, John Hick, and Paul Badham is an approach to justify what they describe as Religious Pluralism. According to this approach, all important religions are genuine human responses to the same Transcendental Reality, even though influenced by the respective cultural environments of the religious leaders. Thus all of them are simultaneously correct, and all offer important insights into the understanding of the Ultimate.
Both Religious Inclusivism and Religious Pluralism promise more religious tolerance amongst those who choose to adopt these points of view, although the latter seems to be more capable of engendering true respect in the hearts of believers of one faith for the believers in the other faiths.
Muslims have normally been considered Religious Exclusivists, who would not hold people of other faiths worthy of being offered respect for their religious commitments. There is, therefore, felt a need to present an Islamic point of view on how Islamic teachings propose to tackle the issue of religious plurality. ISLAMIC POINT OF VIEW ON RELIGIOUS PLURALITY
Islam, on the one hand takes a firm position in confirming the authenticity of its teachings, on the other hand it also calls for genuine respect for all non-Muslims. Even though there seems to be apparently a contradiction in the approach, a further understanding of the various verses of the Qur'an on the subject would suggest that it is not necessarily so.
- First, Islam teaches that there should be no compulsion in religion. which means faith is a matter of conviction. we must never try to force people to believe in what they don't accept. the God Almighty said:
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ
"Let there be no compulsion in religion..."translation of 2:256
- Second, Islam teaches Muslims to never start hostilities and to never be the transgressors. the God said:
وَقَاتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.translation of 2:190
- Third, the God almighty tells Muslims that he doesn't forbid them from being nice and friendly to the non-Muslims who do not harm the Muslims. he said in the final testament:
لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.translation of 60:8
- Fourth, in matters of interfaith dialog, the God instructs Muslims in the Qur'an to invite people to Islam through beautiful preaching and through peaceful and rational arguments and proofs. and not through force and violence:
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.translation of 16:125
- Fifth, the God tells us that we can't force people to believe. it's their choice and freedom. the God himself didn't want to force mankind to believe in one religion:
وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ
And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, would you compel the people in order that they become believers?translation of 10:99
- Sixth, the God instructed Muslims to never vilify or insult the gods of other religious people. He said in the Qur'an:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge...translation from 6:108
From an Islamic perspective, many non-Muslims are not yet been properly convinced about the authenticity of the divine origins of the teachings of Islam. It is for the Muslims to deliver the correct message and allow the non-Muslims to appreciate the truthfulness of the Islamic teachings. That would require not only intelligent preaching on their part but, perhaps more importantly, a behavior of respect for the fellow human beings, irrespective of their faith. The absence of that behavior on the part of some Muslims has been an important reason for their failure to present Islam as a message which is worthy of being taken seriously by the non-Muslims. Thus, from an Islamic perspective, true religious tolerance is at the heart of a proper respectful behavior. Thus all Muslims are required to be extremely tolerant of other faiths.
The Muslim has to be respectful to the non-Muslim even if this last one rejects Islam after knowing it. after all, there should never be compulsion in religion and there should never be hostilities because of the differences in opinions.
I hope this was beneficialfrom [link] with some changes IN THE DRAWING:
from top right:
Chinese traditional religion
Amerindian Primal-Indigenous religion
African Primal-Indigenous religion
For more on Islam and interfaith-tolerance:
If I am right, it's from the God Almighty. If I'm wrong, it's from myself.