Tolerance towards other faiths and lifestyles

Tolerance and diversity
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Islam is a religion of peace, social justice, and tolerance. These values have been preached in the Holy Quran and the Hadith, they have been proclaimed by the imams at mosques and by the jurists in their rulings, they are actively professed by Muslims throughout the world and the world becomes a better place for this. Whatever matter it may be, we must always remember these basic and fundamental principles on which to build the edifice of practical conclusions.

Islam is a living organism, its interaction with other religions and the outside world fosters new outlooks, offers a choice of new values which need to be tested against the Halal principles. The word of Allah as delivered by the Prophet shall remain intact. The Holy Quran shall remain the ultimate reference book for any support in anything we may encounter. It is but a matter of drawing upon it in full to be guided in anything that requires guidance.

Muslims in the West have greater challenges to address for they live in a world where they are confronted with a different set of religious beliefs and lifestyles. However, this confrontation should not weaken their faith, on the contrary, it can strengthen it. Islam is a universal religion. It ensures that Muslims may be an integral part of any society in any parts of the globe. Basically, Islam teaches them to open up their arms and embrace whatever Allah gives them.

“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.” (6:108) In not uncertain terms Allah says to us that He alone is the Judge of men. Judgment is His; ours is love for our neighbour. Issues which may prove controversial to Muslims arise daily, yet they are not at all daunting for those who draw answers from the Holy Quran or, for ease of learned interpretation, from the scholars of the Hadith. Guidance is close at hand, all you must do is reach out and get it.

The treatment of controversial issues like feminism and LGBT rights are the things which Muslims must face because of their widespread promotion in Western societies. The way to meet the challenge is to learn to be tolerant of other people’s values. Do not court the promotion of them, yet do not decry them. There is a difference between censure and punishment. Censure is admonition. Admonition is love. Punishment is hatred. Of the two, the former shall work. So says our faith.

Do not blame those who are different. Treat them with tolerance. Be it the American President slamming Muslims for all it’s worth, or men and women seeing their existence in a different light, the Muslim answer is love. The Muslim reply is tolerance. This is something earning commendation from the Lord.  And the Lord’s support is always a guarantee of victory.