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Books and Documents

Islam and Pluralism

Islamic Concept of Tolerance—an Essential Prerequisite for Peaceful Coexistence
Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

Tolerance in Islam, rightly understood, is patience toward a practice or opinion one disapproves of. This understanding may come as a surprise to many people who interpret tolerance simply as a synonym for the words ‘acceptance’ or ‘agreement’. Islamic tolerance entails disagreement yet a firm moral commitment to the decent treatment of the person with whom one disagrees. So tolerance in Islam can be understood as a patient forbearance against something which is disliked or disapproved of.... 

Here, thanks to God given freedom, humans can continue to be atheists (I recall a famous statement, “Thank God, I am an atheist.”) or theists. Lord is conceived by/addresses every believer in his own way and Personal God is not the Absolute. It is God understood in trans-theistic context as Absolute and One that we find religions from Buddhism to Islam in agreement. So-called non-believers have problems mostly not with the Absolute but with theism presented with anthropomorphist tinge. Theologies as human attempt at formulating divine science can’t but differ...

 

What Brought the fall of the Muslim Golden Age and Jewish-Muslim Relations
Ejaz Naqvi

In the nineteenth century there was nearly universal consensus that Jews in the Islamic Middle Ages—taking al-Andalus , or Muslim Spain , as the model—lived in a “Golden Age” of Jewish-Muslim harmony, an interfaith utopia of tolerance and convivencia. It was thought that Jews mingled freely and comfortably with Muslims, immersed in Arabic-Islamic culture, including the language, poetry, philosophy, science, medicine, and the study of Scripture—a society, furthermore, in which Jews could and many did ascend to the pinnacles of political power in Muslim government...

 

Mecca and Jerusalem Are Central to Our Religious Inspiration, One God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac
Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Christians and Jews believe the hill is Jerusalem. Muslims believe the valley is Mecca.I believe they are both right and God willing, someday everyone may see these two cities and their sanctuaries as a pair of spiritual lungs; that are central to our religious inspiration by, and connection to, the One God of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac....

 

God Is Most Kind and Most Compassionate, Why Should We Fear Him
Ejaz Naqvi

The Old Testament too has been a target of same type of criticism: “The God of the Old Testament is harsh and full of vengeance, and the God of New Testament is loving and kind.” Once again, reading the scripture, it becomes clear that the God of these scriptures indeed has the same attributes, for He is the same God....

 

The Qur’an Considers Jews and Christians, As Well As Pre-Muhammad Prophets, As Muslims
Ejaz Naqvi

The similarity of Quran verses 3:190–191, quoted above, and Deuteronomy 6:4–9 is striking: Both command the followers to remember God in all phases: sitting, standing, and lying. In addition to submitting to Him, the constant remembrance throughout the day is meant to encourage one to do good deeds and eschew bad deeds as ordained by God....

On Pluralism, Intolerance, and the Quran
Ali S. Asani

The idea that God's message is universal, but its manifestations plural, provides the basic underpinning to the manner in which the Quran relates itself and the faith that it preaches with the religious traditions that preceded it in the Middle East, namely Judaism and Christianity. Far from denying the validity of these predecessor traditions, the Quran repeatedly affirms their essential truth, acknowledging that their message comes from one and the same God, and that it (the Quran) is only the latest of God's revelations to affirm and confirm the revelations that preceded it....

Muhammad (ﷺ) was married to Safiyya – a Jewish lady. On one occasion she came to Muhammad (ﷺ) in tears after being taunted for being Jewish by Arab women. After consoling her he said, “If they discriminate you again, tell them that your husband is Muhammad, your father was the prophet Aaron and your uncle was prophet Musa. So what is there in that to be scornful towards you”. It is well documented that Muhammad (ﷺ) had Jewish wives, friends and many subjects. And it is the treatment of these Jewish subjects in lands under his control that laid the blueprint of tolerance and protection that Muslim rulers have shown Jews throughout the centuries....

 

For here is the possibility of turning every moment of our life into an act of worship through a change in our intentions. For example, when a believer goes to his place of work with the intention of fulfilling his religious responsibility to provide for his family and earn Halal living, he may be engaged in the same physical activity as the next person but his outlook is very different. And so is his reward! Through this small effort we could really be living for a higher purpose, and at a higher level....

 

While speaking about Islam, we are aware that it is capable of rational interpretation. In spite of several interpretations of religious texts at present, we believe there is room for re-interpretation in the light of new knowledge in disciplines of sociology, politics and history through which we could review traditional understanding of sacred texts, in order to promote the spirit of tolerance and respect for pluralism and human rights.

 

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: September 2017
Soeren Kern

Online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in Britain than in any other European country and the main internet companies are failing to curb it, according to Policy Exchange, a think tank. The report, "The New Netwar," said that the Islamic State is still producing, at a conservative estimate, about 100 items of new content each week, including execution videos and bomb-making instructions, reaching an audience of, at minimum, tens of thousands, including large numbers of users in the UK....

 

We Are All Humans Regardless Of Who We Are and What We Believe In
Hussam Al-Mayman

Water will also wash away fear of Islam, as the storm hit and the flooding ensued, the mosques in the greater Houston area have been providing cots and food to displaced people who may have otherwise never stepped foot inside the venue of Islamic worship. At least five area mosques had been turned into shelters. To quote Shazia Ashraf, the chairwoman of a committee for the Islamic Society of Greater Houston the mosques serving as shelters are “completely stocked with supplies” including coffee, a hug, a smile anything that can help.”...

The Current Trial of Islam: Heroes who’re at Constant War with Prejudice
Maria Kari

“Muslims should not have to [apologise for and publicly condemn terrorist attacks] and should continuously be pointing out the hypocrisy in holding us to that standard,” says Hashmi who also thinks asking Muslims to apologise does more harm than good because it perpetuates an unfair label even though almost all Muslims are equally horrified by the brutality of terrorist attacks....

Pluralism under Threat in Indonesia
Endy M. Bayuni

These two organizations, with their massive influence among Muslims in Indonesia, have been responsible in developing the more tolerant and moderate version of Islam in the country, and in the past have been counted on to fight against the rise of radical Islam. And now Widodo is turning to them once again. Has the President done enough to stop the creeping Islamism in Indonesia? Time will tell.....

 

Such are even the ‘Believers’ in the creed laa ilaa haa illaa Allaah- There is no earthly gods, that is, monarchs, kings, Khalifahs, Imams, Muftis, custodians of holy places, or graven images but only the Supreme Being, the Creator of universe as the father-figure. To Him mankind is but one nation… one large family; but alas of their own freewill they differed and divided themselves into tribal communities to fight wars across the borders and regions.....

The Quran and Acceptance of Other Religions
Waris Mazhari

Had your Lord pleased, all the people on earth would have believed in Him, without exception. So will you compel people to become believers? (10:99) […]and had God so willed, He would have made you all a single community, but He did not so will, in order that He might try you by what He has given you (5:48)The Quran, as is readily evident from this discussion, reflects a universal notion of religious tolerance. If this is not reflected in Muslims’ behaviour, the fault lies with Muslims themselves, and not with the Quran....

Islam Has a Pluralist Vision with a Variety of Faiths Coexisting With Each Other
Adnan Adil

The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” The Quran exhorts the fact that God has given freedom to individuals in choosing their faith. Verse 149 of al-An’am says: “Say: “With Allah is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His will, He could indeed have guided you all.”....

 

Understanding Islam in the Context of Interfaith Harmony
Waris Mazhari

For Muslims to become a force for peace and goodness in the world, they simply have to rethink several deep-rooted traditional views regarding relations between Muslims of different schools of thought and between Muslims and people of other faiths, engage in practical efforts to promote intra-Muslim and inter-faith dialogue, understanding and harmony, and recover and highlight, including through practical efforts, the message of peace that is basic to the Quran and that exemplified the life of the Prophet Muhammad. ....

Pluralism In Peril: Is Indonesia's Religious Tolerance Under Threat?
Jewel Topsfield

The mayor told fishermen they had been deceived into not voting for him by his opponents who cited verse 51 from the fifth Sura, or chapter, of the Koran, al-Maida. Some Muslims interpret al-Maida as a prohibition on Muslims living under the leadership of a non-Muslim. Others say the scripture should be understood in its context – a time of war – and not interpreted literally.....

 
Religious Pluralism is God’s Will
Rabbi Allen S. Maller, New Age Islam

This means that religious pluralism is the will of God. Yet for centuries many believers in one God have chided and depreciated each other’s religions and some believers have even resorted to forced conversions, expulsions and inquisitions. Monotheists all pray to the same God and all prophets of monotheistic faiths are inspired by the same God.....

The Little-Known Story of the Islamic Christmas Tree
Mariam Sheikh Hakim

What many Muslims don’t reflect on (or know about) is the concept of an Islamic Christmas tree. What I mean by this is the tree featured in the Quranic account of Jesus’ birth in chapter Mary (Surah 19). In this narrative, Jesus is born under a tree, which is an integral part of the Islamic “nativity scene” and story. This is an Islamic Christmas tree of sorts; a tree that can be used to remind us of the story of Jesus’ birth....

Reflections on Relations between Muslims and Others
Waris Mazhari

Interpreting certain Quranic verses in a very wrong way, several so-called Ulema wrongly argue that Muslims must not have friendly love in their hearts for people of other faiths. This is a really very wrong claim and has no sanction in the Quran, if the Quran is understood properly....

Islam Is Not Intolerant Of Other Religions
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

One of his companions said, ‘O Prophet, it was a funeral procession of a Jew!’ meaning that he should not demonstrate such respect for a non-Muslim. The Prophet replied: ‘Alaisat Nafsan’: ‘Was he not a human being?’ This ‘humanitarian’ outlook was typical of the Prophet’s vision of life. He was able to see everyone basically as a human being.....

Lessons From The Hadith ‘All Creatures Are [Like] A Family Of God…’
Sheima Salam Sumer

“Nowhere in the Quran is changing people’s religion given as a cause for waging war. The Qur’an gives a clear instruction that there is no compulsion in religion (Quran 2:256). It states that people will remain different (Quran 11:118), they will always have different religions and ways and this is an unalterable fact (Quran 5:48) – God tells the Prophet that most people will not believe ‘even if you are eager that they should’ (Quran 12:103).”....

 

Sufis have been important examples for such travellers. The cosmopolitan character of the scriptural languages that they learned was responsible for the development of an illuminating exchange between them and the native speakers. Ibn Batuta, the Moroccan traveler who roamed from Tangier to the extreme southern parts of the known world, has conceptualized the cosmopolitan utility of the Arabic language, as he could even serve as a judge in the royal court of Muhammad bin Tughlaq in India during the 14th century CE. The ability he possessed in many languages (he is often credited with learning fifteen languages) helped him to engage in dialogue with different cultures. It is said that he even learned Sanskrit during his stay in India.....

 
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  • I fully agree with Prof.Sajjad. Coercive intrusion into the behaviors of others is....
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  • The Quran does not speak about tolerating what is different. The existence of diversity in languages, colour, beliefs is described as facts....
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