Basic definitions of ‘tolerance ‘in Islam
[ November 13, 2015 ]
In Islam the word ‘tolerance’ literally means both submission to Almighty Allah and peace. Religious tolerance has always been a necessary law of life which cannot be neglected except at great hazard to human society. It is as such imperative to refer to a few examples of the spirit of tolerance which lies at the very heart of the Islamic faith.
First of all a muslim has to understand that Islam very clearly explains the basic values of humanity. Islam emphasizes that the origin of all people is one, as all human beings were created from a single soul. The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran ‘O mankind, revere your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single Person, created of like nature,(His) mate, and from them twain scattered countless men and women’ T.Q. Sura 4, The Women, verse 1. Islam insists that there is absolute human equality and respect between all human beings. Neither race, color, ethnicity, nor privilege (but only righteousness) can be the sole standard of value in Islam. In the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah addresses all humanity with the words: ‘O humankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you’ T.Q. Sura 49, The Inner Apartments, verse 13. Human variety and diversity is viewed as part of the blessing and bounty of Almighty Allah. People are urged to go beyond mere coexistence and to actively seek mutual understanding and relationships of cooperation with one another. The Holy Quran insists on a conception of justice which is not limited by race, color, belief, or nationality. Almighty Allah says: ‘When you judge, between people, judge with justice: verily how excellent is the teaching which Allah giveth you! T.Q., Sura 4, The Women, verse 58.
In Islam, the unity of Allah implies unity of true belief and religion. The basic message which all of the prophets were entrusted to deliver was timeless and universal: to call humanity to the worship of Almighty Allah alone.
The Almighty Allah furthermore tells all believers: ‘O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do’ T.Q. Sura 5, The Table Spread, verse 8. Islam is universal in nature, embracing all previous divinely-inspired messages and religions. Just as Almighty Allah is one, so is the essential message of faith with which Almighty Allah sent to all the prophets and messengers. The Holy Quran says: ‘Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in Religion, and make no divisions therein.’ T.Q. Sura 42, The Consultation, verse 13. In Islam, the unity of Allah implies unity of true belief and religion. The basic message which all of the prophets were entrusted to deliver was timeless and universal: to call humanity to the worship of Almighty Allah alone. Allah makes it clear in the Holy Quran that all people of faith, those who truly submit to Almighty Allah and his truth, will see the unity of Allah"s messengers and their respective revelations, and thus accept them all.