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Tolerance in Islam

Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam. It 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. Sometimes it is advocated that people are tolerant of things that they do not care about. But this is not the case in Islam. Islam is a religion of compassion and preaches tolerance for all, irrespective of their cast colour and creed. Tolerance is manifest in every aspect of Islam as well as in every measure taken by the Messenger (PBUH). Allah says:

ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Thus, We have ordained a law (shari’a) upon you in the matter, so follow it and do not follow the whims of those who know not.” (Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:18)

Tolerance means ‘’to bear.’’ As a concept, it refers to respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance and patience are traits of the soul of every Muslim, a part of his Iman (belief) in the religion of Islam, acknowledging the unparallel sovereignty of our one and only true creator, called in Arabic as “Allah.”

يَسِّرَا وَلَا تُعَسِّرَا وَبَشِّرَا وَلَا تُنَفِّرَا وَتَطَاوَعَا وَلَا تَخْتَلِفَا

“Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Give glad tidings and do not repel people. Cooperate with each other and do not become divided.” (Sahih Bukhari 2873)

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. Our interactions with people should be replete with acts of tolerance, patience, kindness, and leniency in accordance with the overall good character. Tolerance is needed in our communities. In this way, e can portray the real and very good image of our religion Islam.

We should tolerate human differences, here are some ways to  be tolerant:

  1. Tolerance allows personal freedom of self-determination
  2. Tolerance is a belief to be true, in the light  you disagree
  3. Tolerance not accepting unacceptable behaviour
  4. Tolerance is to hold beliefs that without a doubt
  5. Tolerance is a critical analysis of all you know
  6. Tolerance is needed among our communities
  7. Tolerance means ‘putting up with the error
  8. Tolerating others in difficult situations
  9. Try to appreciate and value difference
  10. Try to remember change is imminent
  11. Tolerance is a basic principle of Islam
  12. Tolerance is patience toward a practice
  13. Tolerance is respect, while you disagree
  14. Tolerance is relevant to opinion, not fact
  15. Tolerance is not philosophical indifference
  16. Tolerance means to refrain from discriminating
  17. Tolerance is the virtue that makes peace possible
  18. Try to care for thought and behaviour among humans
  19. Try to cultivate centeredness that will be there inside you
  20. Tolerance means that one’s views are not imposed on others

Toler2ance 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.  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 that you show kindness and deal justly with those who did not fight you in your religion and did not drive you out from your homes…” (Surah Al-Mumtahinah 60:8)

Muslims have been generally very tolerant people. We must emphasize this virtue among us and in the world today. Muslims must be kind to every individual, regardless of their race or religion. Muslims are allowed to keep good relations with non-Muslims.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “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)
  • “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)
  • “Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us in hope and in fear.” (Quran, 21: 90)
  • “The truth is from your Lord, so whosoever wants to let him believe and whosoever wants to let him deny.” (An-Nahl 16:29)

Tolerance and patience are characteristic 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.

Tolerance is Islam’s cardinal principle:

  • The Quranic Emphasis on Tolerance: The holy Quran does not approve of the forceful conversion. 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.
  • The Quran advocates religious freedom: One of the most important aspects of the Human Rights issue is the respect and tolerance which society must show towards the religions of other people; this, of course, includes the issue of freedom of reli­gion.
  • Avoid bad deeds: Allah orders people to avoid committing bad deeds and prohibits them from unbelief, sins, rebellion, oppression, tyranny, killing and shedding blood.
  • Treat others with respect: Muslims should always treat others with respect, kindness, and patience. Islam was revealed to make life easier and to encourage good relationships between people.
  • Islam supports tolerance: No doubt, Islam supports tolerance on a societal level. Muslims ought to peacefully coexist with any group that desires peaceful coexistence.
  • Provide a Firm Understanding of Your Own Beliefs: If your family practices, inform your child from an early stage as to not only the fundamental ideas and beliefs of your faith.
  • Aim Higher than Mere Tolerance: As virtuous as tolerance appears, though, it may hide an attitude of indifference. So we must press on to the even higher ground.
  • Learn to Live with Mystery: Love itself is a mysterious force that compels us to trust and not enforce. There are some things that we can strongly believe provide deep assurance to us. There are also uncertainties best entrusted to God.

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلًا سَمْحًا إِذَا بَاعَ وَإِذَا اشْتَرَى وَإِذَا اقْتَضَى

“May Allah have mercy on a man who is tolerant when selling, buying and seeking repayment.” (Sahih Bukhari 1970)

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. Thus tolerance is the need of the hour today as it was yesterday. We must emphasize the need for this virtue among us and in the world. Alla says:

قُل لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يَغْفِرُوا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ أَيَّامَ اللَّهِ لِيَجْزِيَ قَوْمًا بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“Tell those who believe to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of God: It is for Him to recompense each people according to what they have earned.” (Surah Al-Jathiya 45:14)

We should more concentrate on this virtue of tolerance so that we can live a peaceful and happy life. 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. Every one of human beings has a right to choose their religion and see the rights and wrongs themselves.