Tolerance is the appreciation of diversity

Importance of Tolerance in Islam

Islam teaches tolerance and puts great emphasis on the importance and benefits of tolerance with the aim to make this world a peaceful place. Islam does not ask you to settle for anything less rather tolerance here means to accept the fact that human beings are naturally distinct in their appearances, situations, perceptions, opinions, speeches, behaviours, and values. Intolerance is evil and painful, and it causes violence and destruction in relationships. Alla says:

مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ

“And as for My messenger, there is no (obligation) on him except to deliver (the. message). God knows what you expose and what conceal.” (Surah Al-Maidah 5:99)

Islam is the religion of tolerance and ease; it gives ample space for freedom of expression and does not suppress people. Islam teaches us to do our best in presenting and conveying the message of Allah to others in a decent way and to invite people towards the path of truth. After that, it is totally up to them to accept or to reject the invitation but we as Muslims are not allowed to impose our thoughts on people. Islam teaches love and compassion for every human being, no matter their religion. 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).

Tolerance is a necessary characteristic, especially in the times we live in today. A child learns the lesson of life in the manner it suckles in the lap of its mother. This always affects its mind, behaviour and culture. Only a healthy and cultured family can make a healthy and cultured nation which is necessary to establish peace, prosperity and security in the world which is the object of the UN. Society cannot be governed by law alone. Law has a relation with society. It suffers if society is rigid and intolerant.

Toleration, a refusal to impose punitive sanctions for dissent from prevailing norms or policies below are someone:

  1. Tolerance prompted by recognition of the universal human rights
  2. Tolerance means that one’s views are not imposed on others
  3. Tolerance justify infringements of the fundamental values
  4. Try to cultivate centeredness that will be there inside you
  5. Tolerance ongoing deliberation, conducted in good faith
  6. Toleration sustains civic order by promoting its debate
  7. Tolerance provides the space for a culture of dialogue
  8. Tolerance does not extend to aggressive intolerance
  9. Tolerance not accepting unacceptable behaviour
  10. Tolerance is the ability to live and let others live
  11. Tolerance is to hold beliefs that without a doubt
  12. Tolerance is a political and legal requirement
  13. Tolerance is not philosophical indifference
  14. Toleration promotes the free exchange of ideas
  15. Tolerance means to refrain from discriminating
  16. Tolerance not accepting unacceptable behaviour
  17. Tolerance is a replacement for the culture of peace
  18. Tolerance allows for spirited and principled debate
  19. Tolerance is consistent with your own moral behaviour
  20. Tolerance is freedom of thought, conscience and belief
  21. Tolerance helps move us toward truth, not away from it
  22. Tolerance continues to forge truth and advance human rights
  23. Tolerance respect the person as you disagree with their ideas
  24. Tolerance promotes dialogue and making space for critical thinking

Tolerance is the factor that shall spread peace and harmony around the globe. Islam teaches tolerance on all levels: individual, groups, and states. Tolerance is the structure that upholds human rights, cultural diversity and the rule of law. 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. Allah says:

قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلَا أَعْصِي لَكَ أَمْرًا

“You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.” (Surah Al-Kahf18:69))

Tolerance and patience are characteristics of true faith in Allah, good manners, and upright character. Islam, which is a religion that introduces and openly ensures freedom of thought and life, has introduced commands that prevent and prohibit tension, conflicts among people, talking against one another and even thinking of bad things about others. Let alone terror and violence, Islam prohibits putting even the slightest pressure on people’s thoughts. 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)

Tolerance is the gracious knot that 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 Almighty says in The Holy Quran very clearly: 

  • “There is no compulsion in religion…” (Quran 2:256)
  • “Allah knows what your hearts contain.” (Qur’an, 3:119)
  • “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Quran, 68:4)
  • “And God loves those who are firm and steadfast.” (Quran 3:146)
  • “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (Quran 109: 6)
  • “Allah is most knowing of what you do. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which you used to differ.” (Surah Al-Hajj  67-69)
  • “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)
  • “You cannot guide those you would like to but God guides those He wills. He has the best knowledge of the guided.” (Holy Quran/28: 56
  • “Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us in hope and fear.” (Quran, 21: 90)

Tolerance is a stepping stone that leads us to be good Muslims. Islam may tolerate anything but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression, and violation of the rights of other human beings. We can’t simply impose anything on them. The whole personality of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) demonstrates the implication of tolerance towards other minorities. Allah says:

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 in the religion and (do) not drive you out of your homes that you deal kindly and deal justly with them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”  (Surah Al-Mumtahanah 60:8)

Tolerance is the appreciation of diversity and the ability to live and let others live. It is the ability to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, religion, nationality, and so on differ from one’s own. Intolerance is the failure to appreciate and respect the practices, opinions and beliefs of another group.

Here are some guidelines that the Muslims for building tolerance and understanding among different religions:

  • Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam: Islam is a religious and moral duty. It does not mean concession. It does not mean a lack of principles or a lack of seriousness about one’s principles.
  • No one should be forced to believe in Islam: Conveying the existence of God and the morals of the Qur’an to other people is a duty for believers. “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned.” (Holy Quran: 2/ 256)
  • Freedom of thought and religion is paramount: The Quran provides an environment where people can fully enjoy the freedom of thought and freedom of religion and allows people to live by the faith and values they believe in.
  • Human dignity must be respected: Everyone is created by God Almighty, the Maker of all, humans must treat one another with full honour, respect, and loving-kindness.
  • The Quranic Emphasis on Tolerance: God Almighty says: There is no compulsion in religion. Islam believes in nonviolent ways such as discussion and dialogue and gives paramount significance to cogent argumentation.
  • Avoid bad deeds: Allah orders people to avoid committing bad deeds and prohibits them from unbelief, sins, rebellion, oppression, tyranny, killing and shedding blood.
  • Islam supports tolerance: No doubt, Islam supports tolerance on a societal level. Muslims ought to peacefully coexist with any group that desires peaceful coexistence.

Islam does not mean that we do not present the message of Islam to all Mankind. Islam teaches tolerance at all levels: between family members, between husband and wife, between parent and child, between groups and nations. Islam may tolerate anything but it teaches zero tolerance for injustice, oppression and violation of the rights of other human beings. Allah says:

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 in the religion and (do) not drive you out of your homes that you deal kindly and deal justly with them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.”  (Surah Al-Mumtahanah 60:8)

The Quran speaks about the basic dignity of all human beings regardless of their race, colour, language or ethnicity. The Shari’ah recognizes the right to life, property, family honour and conscience of all people. From the very beginning, freedom of religion has been guaranteed by Islam. The best conduct in Islam is to treat human beings with dignity, equality, fraternity and justice. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

“Only we feed you for (the) Countenance (of) Allah. Not we desire from you any reward and not thanks.”  (Surah Al-Insan 76:9)

Thus tolerance is the need of the hour today as it was yesterday. We must emphasise the need for this virtue among us and in the world. We must foster tolerance through deliberate policies and efforts. Our focus should be multiethnic. We should teach our children respect for each other irrespective of caste, creed, gender, nationality and ethnicity. Tolerance is the cordial knot that binds the family, society and keeps the nation intact.