Islam: A Tolerant Religion
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
"Times New Roman";
So far as
Islam is concerned, it is an entirely tolerant religion. Islam desires peace to
prevail in the world. The Qur’an calls the way of Islam ‘the paths of Peace’
(5:16). The state of peace can never prevail in a society if a tolerant
attitude is lacking in the people. Tolerance is the only basis for peace; in a
society where tolerance is absent, peace likewise will be non-existent.
the religion of the universe. Peace should, therefore, be the religion of man
too, so that, in the words of Bible, the will of the Lord may be done on earth
as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
similar vein, the Qur’an tells us that: "The sun is not allowed to
overtake the moon, nor does the night outpace the day. Each in its own orbit runs"
created heaven and the earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform
its function peacefully without clashing with any other part. For billions of
years, therefore, the entire universe has been fulfilling its function in total
harmony with His divine plan.The universe is following this path of peace—which
is known in science as the law of nature as it is imposed upon it by God,
whereas man has to adopt this path of peace of his own free will. This has been
expressed in the Qur’an in these words: "Are they seeking a religion other
than God’s, when every soul in heaven and earth has submitted to Him, willingly
or by compulsion? To Him they shall all return" (3:83).
no external factor to be artificially imposed upon man. Peace is inherent in
nature itself. The system of nature set up by God already rests on the basis of
peace. If this system is not disrupted, it will continue to stay the course set
for it by the Almighty. But the only way to keep humanity on the path of peace
is to rid it of corruption. That is why the Qur’an enjoins: "And do not
corrupt the land after it has been set in order" (7:85).
to preserve the peace, established by nature, from disruption, two important
injunctions have been laid down by Islam. One, at the individual level,
stresses the exercise of patience, and the other, at the social level, forbids
taking the offensive.
1. Negative reaction on the part of the
individual is the greatest factor responsible for disrupting peace in daily
life. It repeatedly happens that in social life one experiences bitterness on
account of others. On such occasions, if one reacts negatively, the matter will
escalate to the point of a head-on collision. That is why Islam repeatedly
enjoins us to tread the path of patience. The Qur’an says: Surely the patient
will be paid their wages in full without measure (39:10).The reason for the
rewards for patience being so great is that patience is the key factor in
maintaining the desired system of God. In the words of the Qur’an the patient
man is the helper of God (61:14).
2. The other injunction, designed to
maintain peace in human society, forbids the waging of an offensive war. No one
in Islam enjoys the right to wage war against another. There are no grounds on
which this could be considered justifiable.There is only one kind of war
permitted in Islam and that is a defensive war. If a nation, by deviating from
the principles of nature, wages war against another nation, defense in such
circumstances, subject to certain conditions, is temporarily allowed.
To sum up,
Islam is a religion of peace. The Arabic root of Islam, ‘silm’, means peace.
The Qur’an says: ‘...and God calls to the home of peace’ (10:25).
basic to all religions. Let us all strive then to establish peace in the world,
for that is the bedrock on which all human progress rests.