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Tolerance in Christianity and Islam (1/2)

By Editorial Staff

Tolerance in Christianity and Islam

The statements of Jesus quoted by Christians to indicate to which extent Christianity is tolerant do not constitute a Christian law but just moral and ethical commandments and teachings

Controversy sometimes breaks out between Christians and Muslims over which divine message is more tolerant. Some Christians argue that Christianity is more tolerant than Islam.

Therefore, we will indicate how tolerant those two divine messages are without bias towards Islam for we, Muslims, believe in both two messages and their two prophets, but, in our belief in them, we just take into consideration the fact that the former message (Christianity) was associated with a certain place, time and nation, whereas the latter (Islam) one applies to each nation every time, everywhere.

We will make clear that both messages are characterized by tolerance without discrimination. Yet, each message had its own circumstances relating to space, time, environment and empowerment. Therefore, it is not fair to claim that one message is more tolerant than the other given the difference in the circumstances of each of them.

We will explain how tolerant those two messages are towards the fellow followers of the same message on the one hand and towards the followers of the other faiths and religions on the other hand.

Tolerance towards the Followers of the Same Message

We often hear some Christian friends arguing that Christianity is more tolerant than Islam and that Christians are more tolerant towards one another than Muslims are. They support their argument with some statements attributed to Jesus in the New Testament.

According to those Christians, such statements reflect matchless tolerance towards the fellow followers of the same message.
The following statements of Jesus cited in the New Testament are usually offered by Christians as evidence for the unique tolerance among Christians.

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” (Luke 6:27-30)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:38-44)

However, upon hearing the above verses of the New Testament, the following questions arise quite directly and automatically: must each Christian always put those verses into practice? Can he put them into practice on the ground? Do those verses mean that it is lawful to take a Christian as an enemy and so he may be hated, cursed, mistreated, slapped, stripped of his clothes and property, and even persecuted?

Must a Christian always tolerate enmity, hate, curse, mistreatment, and beating and allow the other to strip him of his clothes and property without any claim for recovery and to persecute him and refrain from resisting evil in general? What if a Christian cannot tolerate that? Can he sue the other?

Of course, it is crystal clear that the above verses do not introduce binding or incumbent legal rulings for Christians, given their apparent inapplicability. Those and similar verses just communicate such exhortations, admonitions, morals, ethics and values which believers in Jesus are recommended to put into practice.

Those verses cannot be put into practice by most people, nor can they underlie a law binding on all people for a law is supposed to be such a feasible law to which everybody can adhere no matter how faithful or devout a person may be.

It is well-known that Christians follow the law of Prophet Moses, that is to say the rulings of Moses’ law mostly apply to Christians according to Jesus himself. In the New Testament, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

Accordingly, a Christian may appeal to Moses’ law, avenge himself and protest against injustice. This law provides: “Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life.

Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death.” (Leviticus 24:17-21)

Therefore, supposing that Jesus actually made the statements first written above as cited in the New Testament, those statements should not be understood as abrogating the rulings of Moses’ law. Rather, they just served as a call for moral development and spiritual excellence. It was such a call to which not each Christian could respond, nor could it serve as a practical lifestyle given the fact that it was not put into practice anywhere or any time.

We have never heard of a Christian or another society which bound its members to tolerate enmity, hate, curse, mistreatment, and beating and allow the other to strip them of their clothes and property without any claim for recovery and to persecute them and refrain from resisting evil in general.

The following are statements offered as evidence for the fact that Jesus did not abrogate many of the rulings of Moses’ law and that he just called for moral development and spiritual excellence:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-29)

We may ask here: do the above verses mean that he who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment literally? Is he who looks at a woman lustfully deemed to have committed adultery with her and does he become liable to judgment literally? Is it permissible to gouge an eye out and throw it away instead of looking at a woman lustfully?

The answer is that it is the killer and the adulterer only who are liable to judgment. He who is angry with his brother should not be liable to judgment, nor should he who looks at a woman lustfully be deemed to have committed adultery with her or become liable to judgment. A person may in no way gouge his eye out or throw it away in accordance with all divine messages, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The reported statements of Jesus do not serve as legal injunctions or rulings but spiritual commandments and teachings.

Thus, the statements of Jesus quoted by Christians to indicate to which extent Christianity is tolerant do not constitute a Christian law but just moral and ethical commandments and teachings recommended by Jesus as well as other prophets including Prophet Muhammad.

In this sense, the message of Prophet Muhammad does not differ from that of Jesus. Islam has such a law that guarantees justice among Muslims and even between Muslim and non-Muslims. At the same time, Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah and the Qur’an had such teachings and commandments calling for moral development and spiritual excellence, like those of Jesus.

Like a Christian, a Muslim should be characterized by moral development, spiritual excellence and behavioral civilization when dealing with the other as far as possible. However, he can still appeal to the Islamic law if he can show no more toleration and then seeks justice, equity and redress.

The Qur’an stated that the Torah provided for retaliation. We read:

Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light…And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him…And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. (Al-Ma’idah 5:44-46)

About retaliation in Islam, the Qur’an says:

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment. And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:178-179)

As for the teachings and commandments related to good manners, high morals, and lofty ethics, they are frequently enjoined in the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah.

For example, the Qur’an orders doing good to enemies. We read:

And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. (Fussilat 41:34)

Prophet Muhammad prohibited hate and hatred. He said: “Do not boycott each other, do not contrive against each other, do not hate each other, and do not be envious of one another. Be all of you brothers to one another, O servants of God. It is not lawful for a Muslim to avoid speaking with his brother beyond three days.” (Al-Bukhari)

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad prohibited cursing and even angry reaction to cursing. Abu Huraira reported that a man reviled Abu Bakr while Prophet Muhammad was sitting down and he was impressed by Abu Bakr and smiled. When the man kept reviling Abu Bakr, he reviled the man with the same words as him. Then, Prophet Muhammad became angry and stood to leave. Abu Bakr went to Prophet Muhammad and said, “O Messenger of God, the man reviled me and you were sitting, but when I responded, you became angry and stood up.” Then, Prophet Muhammad said, “Verily, there was an angel with you responding on your behalf, but Satan appeared when you responded with the same words as him and I would not sit in the presence of Satan.” Then Prophet Muhammad said, “O Abu Bakr, there are three things which are right all. No servant is wronged by an oppressor and he overlooks it except that God, the Exalted, will support him. A man does not open the door of charity to strengthen family ties except that God will increase his wealth. A man does not open the door for begging to usurp wealth except that God will increase his poverty.” (Ahmad)

The Qur’an commanded doing good even to those who do evil to us. We read:

Repel, by [means of] what is best, [their] evil. We are most knowing of what they describe. (Al-Mu’minun 23:96)

The Qur’an usually praises those who keep patient and do good to those who do evil to them. We read:

And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good – those will have the good consequence of [this] home. (Ar-Ra`d 13:22)

We also read:

Those will be given their reward twice for what they patiently endured and [because] they avert evil through good, and from what We have provided them they spend. And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, ‘For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant.’ (Al-Qasas 28:54-55)

The Qur’an orders helping those who ask for help. We read:

But [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help.] (Al-Baqarah 2:177)

The Qur’an frequently praises those who succor the needy and promises them great reward. We read:

Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs, accepting what their Lord has given them. Indeed, they were before that doers of good. They used to sleep but little of the night, And in the hours before dawn they would ask forgiveness, And from their properties was [given] the right of the [needy] beggars and the deprived. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:15-19)

The Qur’an prohibited repelling the beggar. We read:

And as for the beggar, do not repel [him]. (Ad-Duha 93:10)

Prophet Muhammad urged lending the needy, alleviating their hardships and making it easy for the indebted to repay their debts. He said: “If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” (Muslim)

The Qur’an prohibited usury and urged giving more time to the indebted to repay their debts, keeping patient with them and giving them charity by canceling their debts. We read:

O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal – [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged. And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew. (Al-Baqarah 2:278-280)

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- Sahih Muslim

4- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

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Tolerance in Christianity and Islam (2/2)

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Tolerance in Christianity and Islam (2/2)

Tolerance in Christianity and Islam (2/2)

By Editorial Staff

In this article, we will see how tolerant Christianity and Islam have been towards the followers of other faiths and whether Jesus was really more tolerant than Prophet Muhammad.

Tolerance towards the Followers of the Other Faiths

Tolerance in Christianity and Islam

Jesus could not engage into jihad to support his cause. He could only call to God quite peacefully

Many people claim that Christianity has been more tolerant than Islam when preaching to and dealing with the followers of other faiths in general and that Jesus was more tolerant than Prophet Muhammad.

Those people support their allegation with the following and similar statements attributed to Jesus in the New Testament:

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgment, than for that city.” (Mark 6:11)

They argue that Jesus did not confront disbelief in him and his message with the logic of power and violence as Islam and Prophet Muhammad did.

However, we may ask: was Jesus’ message purely peaceful and totally free from jihad (struggle)? The answer to this question may be deduced from the following statements of Jesus himself:

“But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me” (Luke 19:27)

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:49-53)

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:13-17)

“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 9–11)

The above verses indicate that the intention of jihad was cherished by Jesus simply because each cause needs forces to protect and defend it. But, was Jesus capable of jihad as Prophet Muhammad was?

The answer is “no,” for Jesus lived under direct rule by the pagan Roman Empire and he had not such followers who could support, protect or defend him. Jesus foreknew that his disciples would disown, fail, let him down and even deliver him to his enemy. The New Testament quotes Jesus as saying:

“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. (Matthew 26:31-35)

Therefore, Jesus could not engage into jihad to support his cause. He could only call to God quite peacefully. He did not think for even a moment to struggle against the then authority. According to the New Testament, he called for submission, surrender and obedience to this authority though it was pagan and did not believe in God as the Deity or in him as a prophet and messenger or even as a teacher and messiah.

We read: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But He detected their trickery and said to them, “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:20-25)

We also read: “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)

Insofar as Prophet Muhammad is concerned, besides his peaceful preaching, he was ordered to prepare as much armed forces as possible to defend himself and his cause. In this regard, God says in the Qur’an:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom God knows. (Al-Anfal 8:60)

Not only was Prophet Muhammad ordered to engage in jihad to defend himself and his mission, but also he was ordered to encourage the believers to engage into jihad with him. In the Qur’an, God says:

So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of God; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And encourage the believers [to join you] that perhaps God will restrain the [military] might of those who disbelieve. And God is greater in might and stronger in [exemplary] punishment. (An-Nisaa’ 4:84)

God also says:

O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand. (Al-Anfal 8:65)

Unlike the disciples who failed Jesus, the Companions responded to, defended and ransomed Prophet Muhammad with their souls and property. About that, God says in the Qur’an:

Those [believers] who responded to God and the Messenger after injury had struck them. For those who did good among them and feared God is a great reward – Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is God, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.” So they returned with favor from God and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of God, and God is the possessor of great bounty. That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers. (Aal `Imran 3:172-175)

Thus, God supported Prophet Muhammad with such faithful followers who protected and defended him. In the Qur’an, God says:

O Prophet, sufficient for you is God and for whoever follows you of the believers. (Al-Anfal 8:64)

He also says:

But if they intend to deceive you – then sufficient for you is God. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers (Al-Anfal 8:62)

Therefore, the Qur’an often praises Prophet Muhammad’s Companions and promises them great reward. For example, the Qur’an says:

But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of God and those who gave shelter and aided – it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision. (Al-Anfal 8:74)

In spite of Prophet Muhammad’s empowerment on earth and support with large military forces from sincere, faithful believers, Prophet Muhammad remained tolerant even at war and towards his polytheistic enemy.

Prophet Muhammad was inclined to peace and would not go to war unless he had to. He was commanded to incline to peace whenever the enemy inclined to it.

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon God. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Al-Anfal 8:61)

Prophet Muhammad used to give captives good treatment and then pardon and release them by virtue by a commandment from God. God says:

O Prophet, say to whoever is in your hands of the captives, “If God knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and God is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Al-Anfal 8:70)

He also says:

Say to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility], then the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place. (Al-Anfal 8:38)

Finally, it is safe to say that Jesus did not have the opportunity to engage into jihad, nor did God enable him to establish a state for himself and his mission where the law of God could be enjoined. Therefore, only peaceful preaching was available to him.

When it comes to tolerance, it is a big mistake to draw a comparison between Jesus and Prophet Muhammad or Jesus’ message and Muhammad’s though we believe in both, on an equal footing. God empowered and even commanded Prophet Muhammad to prepare for and even engage into jihad. Moreover, He supported him with faithful followers who defended and protected him.

Thus, Prophet Muhammad was capable of peaceful preaching like Jesus, and what is more he was supported with the necessary armed forces. So he could defend himself and his mission and establish a state where he could enjoin the law of God.

However, Prophet Muhammad always showed tolerance. But, it was the tolerance of the victorious conqueror that chose to be tolerant rather than the tolerance of the armless herald that was failed and had no choice but to be tolerant given the lack of support and protection.

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

Read Also:

Tolerance in Christianity and Islam (1/2)

Soucre Link
Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (2/2)

Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (2/2)

Freedom of Religion

Islam prescribes dialogue before penalization unlike the previous two divine messages

Many people think that Islam is the only faith which imposes death sentence on apostates, and were it not for this punishment, many Muslims would have abandoned Islam. So let’s figure out the truth about such allegations in the light of the Bible and the Qur’an.

First: the Bible

Uncountable verses in the Old Testament indicate that death sentence was the punishment prescribed for he who proceeded to abandon Judaism or Prophet Moses’ message. Moreover, the same punishment would be imposed also on not only an apostate but also he who would urge Jews to renounce the religion of the Children of Israel.

The Bible tells us that Jews were commanded to kill one another after worshipping the calf. In the Old Testament, we read: And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” (Exodus 32:27)

In the Old Testament, the Bible often commands killing those who abandon the religion of the Children of Israel. We read:

“If there is found in your midst, in any of your towns, which the LORD your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, by transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, which I have not commanded, and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death. On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” (Deuteronomy 17:2-7)

As for the New Testament, we find it quoting Jesus as ordering the killing of those who do not want him to reign over them whether or not they once believed in him. We read: “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” (Matthew 19:27)

Thus, it becomes clear enough that the Bible, including the Old Testament and the New Testament, imposed death sentence on those who disbelieved in the message of Prophet Moses or Jesus Christ.

Second: the Qur’an & the Sunnah

Coming as an extension to the message of Moses and Jesus, Islam prescribes the same punishment for the apostates. Ibn `Abbas reported that Prophet Muhammad said: “He who changes his religion, then kill him.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn Mas`ud also reported that Prophet Muhammad said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, but in one of three cases: the married adulterer, a life for life, and the deserter of his Din (Islam), abandoning the community.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

However, though Islam as Muhammad’s message came as an extension to the message of Moses and Jesus, it did not impose death sentence on those who want to abandon it immediately like Judaism and Christianity. It rather adopts dialogue, understanding and persuasion as an approach to apostasy.

It is reported that when Prophet Muhammad sent Mu`az to Yemen, he said to him: “If a man abandons Islam, call on him (to come back to Islam). If he comes back, (this will be ok). Otherwise, behead him! If a woman abandons Islam, call on her (to come back to Islam). If she comes back, (this will be ok). Otherwise, behead her!” (Recorded by At-Tabarani Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir)

`Urwah reported that `Aishah said: “A woman apostatized on the day of Uhud Battle. So, the Prophet ordered that she should have been asked to repent. If she repents, (this will be ok). Otherwise, she should have been killed.” (Recorded by Ad-Daraqutni in As-Sunan)

Jabir reported that a woman called Um Marawan abandoned Islam. So the Prophet ordered that Islam should have been reintroduced to her. If she comes back, (this will be ok). Otherwise, she should have been killed. (Recorded by Ad-Daraqutni in As-Sunan)

Thus, since Islam is a religion of dialogue, reason, logic and persuasion, it does not resort to violence or penalty as an immediate remedy for apostasy. It rather prescribes dialogue and understanding as a cure for this problem. If dialogue and understanding do not help, the punishment prescribed by the previous divine messages will apply to an apostate.

After all, we may conclude that all divine messages imposed death sentence on apostates, but Islam prescribed dialogue before penalization unlike the previous divine messages.

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Azim, by Ibn Kathir

3- Sahih Al-Bukhari

4- Sahih Muslim

5- Sunan Ad-Daraqutni

6- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

7- Biblehub

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Read Also: 

Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (1/2)

Should Apostates be Killed in Islam?

Soucre Link
Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (1/2)

Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (1/2)

Freedom of Religion

Islam is the only Abrahamic religion which maintains the freedom of religion

Nowadays, the freedom of religion is often raised as a key topic. Islam is usually criticized allegedly for curtailing the freedom of religion without consideration of the true attitude of Islam as well as the previous heavenly messages (Judaism and Christianity) towards this freedom according to the Qur’an and the Bible, including the Old Testament and the New Testament.

So, let’s find out the true position of Judaism, Christianity and Islam on the freedom of religion.

Freedom of Following & Practicing Religion

It is widely believed that Islam has been spread by the sword and people have been coerced into accepting Islam without investigation of this claim or the stance of the previous divine messages on professing them according to the Bible.

First: the Bible

In the Old Testament, the Bible tells us that the message of Prophet Moses and the other prophets from the Children of Israel was exclusive to the Children of Israel only.

The Children of Israel did not call on the other peoples and nations to believe in the message of Prophet Moses. Rather, they fought against those peoples and nations to enslave them. Should they refuse to serve the Children of Israel, the Bible tells us that the Children of Israel would kill males and plunder women, children and animals according to God’s command to the Children of Israel.

In the Old Testament, we read: “When you advance to a city to fight against it, you shall [first] offer it terms of peace. If that city accepts your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you. However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall lay siege to it. When the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike down all the men in it with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the children and the animals and everything that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the Lord your God has given you. That is what you shall do to all the cities that are very far away from you, which are not among the cities of these nations nearby [which you are to dispossess]. Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they will not teach you to act in accordance with all the detestable practices which they have done [in worship and service] for their gods, and in this way cause you to sin against the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 20:10-18)

The Old Testament abounds in numerous verses which relate to us how many people from non-Jewish peoples and nations were tortured and killed at the hands of the Children of Israel.

For example, we read: Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening. (Joshua 10:25-26)

There are uncountable pieces of evidence for the killing, slaying and annihilating non-Jewish peoples and nations by the Children of Israel, without inviting any such peoples or nations to believe in the message of Prophet Moses, simply because the Children of Israel believe that they are “the chosen people”, that the message of Prophet Moses and other prophets was exclusively intended for them, and that it is the same whether or not the other peoples and nations believe in Moses and other prophets from the Children of Israel.

As for the New Testament, we observe that coercion into conversion was not absent from Christianity either. For example, the New Testament quotes Jesus as saying: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief]. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not]. (Matthew 10:34-36)

We also notice that Jesus intimidated those unwilling to believe in him. He ordered his followers to kill any such people according to the New Testament. We read: “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” (Matthew 19:27)

Second: the Qur’an & the Sunnah

The freedom of following and practicing religion is guaranteed by the Qur’an. So, no Muslim can coerce anyone into embracing Islam according to many Qur’anic verses like the following verses:

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? (Yunus 10:99)

As for the Qur’anic verses which are misunderstood as promoting fighting or killing in the cause of God and the like, they do not really command fighting or killing non-Muslim individuals to compel them to embrace Islam. They rather have other meanings not related to coercion into Islam.

For example, some Qur’anic verses permit repelling aggression and fighting and even killing the aggressors. In the Qur’an, we read:

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. [Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him. (Al-Baqarah 2:190-194)

The Qur’anic verses also permit fighting those who break oaths. In the Qur’an, we read:

And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease. Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers. Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people (At-Tawbah 9:12-14)

Besides, other Qur’anic verses permit fighting the hypocrites who betray the believers and side with the disbelievers against the believers in case they do not repent and stop harming the believers. In the Qur’an, we read:

What is [the matter] with you [that you are] two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has made them fall back [into error and disbelief] for what they earned. Do you wish to guide those whom Allah has sent astray? And he whom Allah sends astray – never will you find for him a way [of guidance]. They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper. (An-Nisaa’ 4:88-89)

We also read:

You will find others who wish to obtain security from you and [to] obtain security from their people. Every time they are returned to [the influence of] disbelief, they fall back into it. So if they do not withdraw from you or offer you peace or restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you overtake them. And those – We have made for you against them a clear authorization. (An-Nisaa’ 4:91)

We further read:

If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumors in al-Madinah do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbors therein except for a little. (Al-Ahzab 33:60-61)

As for the other verses generally commanding fighting, any such command is incidental to the call to Islam which was peaceful and involved no fighting. It is worth noting that this call was peaceful in the very beginning as the believers were commanded to keep patient with the harm caused by the disbelievers and polytheists. However, such patience increased nothing but tyranny, disbelief and harm on the part of the disbelievers.

Therefore, fighting was permitted at a later point of time in the history of the call to Islam in order to put an end to the injustice done to the believers, as represented by physical harm to the believers and driving them out of their homes and property, and to empower the peaceful call to Islam with wisdom and good exhortation. In the Qur’an, we read:

Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory. [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. [And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters. (Al-Hajj 22:39-41)

However, the command to fight in defense of the believers and in empowerment of the call to God does not mean forcing people to profess Islam. It rather means confronting a disbelieving force with a believing one in order to protect the believers and pave the way for the call to faith. Once the victory is clinched by the believers, the freedom of religion is maintained under such a faithful authority which guarantees such freedom.

Within the context of the above Qur’anic verses which are the first verses to allow Jihad, God makes clear that were it not for fighting in the cause of God “were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others”, the places of worship of the followers of the three divine messages, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, would have been demolished because Islam, unlike any other faith, commands the preservation, protection and maintenance of the places of worship. Thus, Muslims’ victory involves the protection of the places of worship and their defeat means the demolition of the same.

Prophet Muhammad prohibited attacking the places of worship, specifically hermitages, or the worshippers therein. Ibn Abbas reported that if Prophet Muhammad dispatched an army, he would instruct: “Go out in the name of God to fight in the cause of God against those who disbelieve in God, but do not act treacherously or dishonestly, do not commit mutilation, do not kill children or hermits.” (Recorded by Imam Ahmad)

The directives to protect and not to attack the places of worship and worshippers therein lasted even after the demise of Prophet Muhammad, especially during the caliphate of the four rightly-guided caliphs.

Upon dispatching Usamah ibn Zayd in command of an army to the Levant, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, the first Muslim caliph, instructed: “… do not kill a young child, an old man or a woman. Do not chop down or burn palm trees. Do not cut down a fruitful tree. Do not slaughter an ewe, cow or a camel except for eating. You will pass by peoples retiring at hermitages. So leave them to what they are retired for.” (Ibn `Asakir 50/2)

Thus, after a Muslim conquest, non-Muslims had full freedom to adhere to their religions or revert to Islam if they willed. Their abstention from accepting Islam does not mean that there would not have been affection between them and Muslims any longer. On the contrary, affection will continue to exist between Muslims and non-Muslims so long as the latter do not fight Muslims because of religion or drive them out of their homes or assist with that. In the Qur’an, we read:

Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Al-Mumtahanah 60:7-9)

The Qur’an urges Muslims to continue to show affection to non-Muslims to the extent that it commands Muslims to protect non-Muslims in case they turn to Muslims for protection. In the Qur’an, we read:

And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know. (At-Tawbah 9:6)

No wonder, the command to fight non-Muslims is justified by their injustice and aggression. Whenever they give up such injustice and aggression, Muslims will refrain from fighting them. Therefore, affection towards those non-Muslims who do not wrong or assault Muslims is something quite intuitive. In the Qur’an, we read:

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah. But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. (Al-Baqarah 2:192-193)

However, if non-Muslims choose to revert to Islam after a Muslim conquest, they, by so doing, become fellow Muslim brothers without discrimination. In the Qur’an, we read:

But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.(At-Tawbah 9:11)

At last, to sum up, in the Old Testament, the Bible tells us that Jews did not fight other peoples and nations to invite them to convert to Judaism, but they rather fought them to enslave them or otherwise kill their males and capture their women and children, and it is the same whether or not they have the same beliefs as the Jews. In the New Testament, the Bible quotes Jesus as commanding his followers to slay those who refuse to believe in him.

As for Islam, there is no compulsion to accept it. Fighting is only intended for warranting the freedom of religion. So, after a Muslim conquest, everybody can freely choose to embrace or not embrace Islam. Thus, he who reverts to Islam becomes a fellow Muslim brother without discrimination. He who refuses to do will continue to be shown affection, fairness and justice by Muslims provided that they are safe from his evil.

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References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad

3- Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Azim, by Ibn Kathir

4- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)

5- Biblehub

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Read Also: 

Freedom of Religion in the Bible and the Qur’an (2/2)

Concept of Jihad in Islam 

Are There Verses in the Qur’an Promoting Violence?

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Infighting in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Infighting in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Infighting in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Killing and fighting are prohibited in all religions, but Islam is more cautious of them

Though the various Abrahamic religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity and Islam, prohibit man from killing and fighting one’s coreligionists, history did and does witness infighting among coreligionists for some reason or another.

Since such infighting is something inevitable, it cannot be deemed grounds for belief in the falsehood of some faith or another for it is the scriptural texts rather than the practice of some followers which may be used for judging faiths.

As neither Judaism nor Christianity nor Islam was immune to infighting, it is unfair to vilify Islam only, simply because some of its followers fight one another.

As indicated above, it is the scriptural texts only which constitute the constant basis on which a faith can be judged as false or true. As for the practice of followers, it is changed according to time and space, ranging between adherence to scriptures and deviation from the same. So, let’s have a look at infighting in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Infighting in Judaism

Though Judaism prohibits a Jew from killing one’s fellow Jew, in the Old Testament, the Bible cites many instances of infighting among Jews.

For example, the Old Testament relates that Abimelech put many of his brethren from the children of Israel to the sword. About that, we read in the Bible:

“And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, with which Abimelech hired vain and light persons, who followed him. And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone. Notwithstanding, yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself.” (Judges 9:4-5)

We also read: “And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entrance of the gate.” (Judges 9:39-40)

We further read: “And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people who were therein, and beat down the city and sowed it with salt.” (Judges 9:45)

The Old Testament also cites the infighting which took place between the children of Benjamin and the rest of the children of Israel and the massacres which ensued.

About that, we read in the Bible: “And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite some of the people and kill, as at other times, in the highways (of which one goeth up to the house of God and the other to Gibeah in the field), about thirty men of Israel.” (Judges 20:31)

We also read: “Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them; and those who came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them. Thus they enclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them and trod them down with ease opposite Gibeah toward the sunrising. And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men. All these were men of valor. And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon; and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men, and pursued hard after them unto Gidom and slew two thousand men of them.” (Judges 20:42-45)

Those are just a few instances. There are still so many other examples of infighting among Jews in the Old Testament, which are not given for the avoidance of lengthiness.

Infighting in Christianity

Though Christianity prohibits a Christian from killing one’s fellow Christian, the Christian history, both ancient and modern, abounds in many instances of infighting among Christians since the dawn of Christianity.

For example, after Constantine had professed and adopted Christianity as a faith within the Roman Empire, infighting took place among his children, each with a view to ruling the empire alone, just a few years after their profession of Christianity.

Such infighting ended up in the defeat and killing of Constantine II in 340 A.D. and the division of the Roman Empire between his brothers, namely Constans and Constantius II.

Moreover, during the reign of Emperor Valens, though just a few decades elapsed after the profession of Christianity by the Roman Empire, tremendous wars broke out between the Christian Eastern Roman Empire under the rule of Emperor Valens on the one side and the Christian Western Goths under the leadership of Fritigern on the other side.

On 9 August 378 A.D., the Battle of Adrianople took place between the Eastern Romans and the Western Goths though both were Christian, and the battle ended in the defeat of the Romans and the annihilation of about two-thirds of the Roman army and the killing of Emperor Valens.

Those are only a few instances of infighting in which the ancient, not to mention modern, Christian history abounds since the dawn of Christianity.

Infighting in Islam

Though Islam prohibits a Muslim from killing one’s fellow Muslim, such infighting God predestined for Jews and Christians has extended to Muslims as well. This is such a fate which cannot be averted by caution. `Amir bin Sa`d reported on the authority of his father that Prophet Muhammad said: “I asked my Lord for three things and He has granted me two but has withheld one. I begged my Lord that my community should not be destroyed because of famine and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that my community should not be destroyed by drowning (by deluge) and He granted me this. And I begged my Lord that there should be no bloodshed among the people of my community, but He did not grant me this.” (Muslim)

However, unlike the previous heavenly faiths, Islam included, in its practicable, elaborate, exquisite teachings and injunctions, a mechanism for the unification of Muslims, the prevention of their division and dispute, disengagement and reconciliation.

Islam did not content itself with mere prohibition of killing and fighting like the previous Abrahamic faiths. It rather preempted infighting by the commandment of unification, prohibition of division and dispute and such effective solutions for the settlement of any engagement between any two or more Muslim parties:

  • About unity and unification, we read in the Qur’an:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided…And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment. (Aal `Imran 3:103-105)

  • About the obligation of keeping together and the referral of disputes to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet for decision, we read in the Qur’an:

O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. (An-Nisaa’ 4:59)

  • About the prohibition of difference, division and dispute, we read in the Qur’an:

He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. (Ash-Shura 42:13)

  • About the dispraise of division and factionalism both from inside and outside the Muslim community, we read in the Qur’an:

Surely you have nothing to do with those who have made divisions in their religion and become factions. Their matter is with Allah and He will indeed tell them (in time) what they have been doing. (Al-An`am 6:159)

We also read:

[Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has. (Ar-Rum 30:32)

  • About the dispraise of dispute and the ensuing failure, we read in the Qur’an:

And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (Al-Anfal 8:46)

We also read:

And Allah had certainly fulfilled His promise to you when you were killing the enemy by His permission until [the time] when you lost courage and fell to disputing about the order [given by the Prophet] and disobeyed after He had shown you that which you love. Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter. Then he turned you back from them [defeated] that He might test you. And He has already forgiven you, and Allah is the possessor of bounty for the believers. (Aal `Imran 3:152)

We further read:

[Remember, O Muhammad], when Allah showed them to you in your dream as few; and if He had shown them to you as many, you [believers] would have lost courage and would have disputed in the matter [of whether to fight], but Allah saved [you from that]. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts. (Al-Anfal 8:43)

  • About making peace among Muslims and subduing the oppressive Muslim party/ies, we read in the Qur’an:

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy. (Al-Hujurat 49:9-10)

About reconciliation and settlement and being required by the fear of God, we read in the Qur’an:

So fear Allah and amend that which is between you and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you should be believers. (Al-Anfal 8:1)

Conclusion

Though God foreordained infighting for the followers of all Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, we notice that the previous heavenly messages only prohibited their respective followers from killing one another, whereas Islam prescribes an effective course of action, which if adopted, infighting will be unlikely, and if it actually takes place, it will be stopped shortly.

Reasons for Infighting among Muslims

Here is a question which may arise: if Islam is really so cautious of infighting like this, why did infighting break out among Muslims?

The answer is that not all Muslims fight one another. Rather, just some of them fight one another for such reasons against which Islam warned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah as follows:

The first reason: the ignorance of the Islamic teachings and the unwillingness to put them into practice as a way of life. About that we read in the Qur’an:

And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (Taha 20:124)

The abovementioned deviation from the way of God has given rise to the wreckage of havoc on earth and severance of brotherhood relationship among Muslims. About that we read in the Qur’an:

So would you perhaps, if you turned away, cause corruption on earth and sever your [ties of] relationship? (Muhammad 47:22)

Therefore, the blessing of unity among Muslims has been taken back though God once said about it:

And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise. (Al-Anfal 8:63)

About stripping this blessing, we read in the Qur’an:

That is because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (Al-Anfal 8:53)

The second reason: strong inclination to this worldly life and disinclination to the Hereafter. About that we read in the Qur’an:

And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss. (Al-Hajj 22:11)

We also read:

Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds? [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.” (Al-Kahf 18:103-104)

The third reason: Muslims’ siding with non-Muslims against their fellow Muslims, and allowing non-Muslims to sow the seeds of discord and dissension among Muslims. About that we read in the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, do not take as intimates those other than yourselves, for they will not spare you [any] ruin. They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs, if you will use reason. Here you are loving them but they are not loving you, while you believe in the Scripture – all of it. And when they meet you, they say, “We believe.” But when they are alone, they bite their fingertips at you in rage. Say, “Die in your rage. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.” If good touches you, it distresses them; but if harm strikes you, they rejoice at it. And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all. Indeed, Allah is encompassing of what they do. (Aal `Imran 3:118-120)

We also read:

O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way. If they gain dominance over you, they would be to you as enemies and extend against you their hands and their tongues with evil, and they wish you would disbelieve. (An-Anfal 60:1-2)

We further read:

And those who disbelieved are allies of one another. If you do not do so, there will be fitnah on earth and great corruption. But those who have believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided – it is they who are the believers, truly. For them is forgiveness and noble provision. (Al-Anfal 73-74)

Finally, the Islamic teachings, if put into practice, preclude and contain any infighting among Muslims. However, the aversion of most Muslims to Islam and their preference of this worldly life to the Hereafter account for the main reasons for infighting among Muslims.

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References:

  1. The Glorious Qur’an
  2. Sahih Muslim
  3. The Holy Bible
  4. st-takla.org
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Islam and Its Relation to Christianity Throughout History

Islam and Its Relation to Christianity Throughout History

Peaceful Treatment

From the starting point, Islam proved its reality as the religion of all humanity by its creeds which urged peaceful treatment of Christians whom it called “The Bearers of the book (Bible)”. Throughout the nearly fifteen centuries of Muslim-Christian encounter, individual adherents of both traditions often have lived peaceably with each other under the umbrella of Islam.

When the Meccan community intensified torture on Prophet Muhammad and his companions, he ordered them to migrate for a Christian ruler who was well-known to be a just and those who accompany him are not wronged. The latter received them and promised to protect them. Upon listening to the words of the Quran, the Christian king felt the close relationship between his religion and Islam to adopt Islam.

Islam Defends Weak ChristiansIslam and its Relation to Christianity Throughout History    

Throughout history, Islam defended weak Christians and their places of worship. They were treated justly and kindly as any other fellow human. The Quran orders Muslim to deal kindly with those peaceful Christians, “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah love those who are just” (Quran 60:8). Regarding the protection of churches, Allah says, {Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause)} (Quran 22:40).

One historical example of Muslims living up to the standard of Islam can be found from the time of the Spanish Inquisition. During that disaster sprung by misguided Catholics, some Spanish Jews fled to Muslim Turkey and to this day, there is a community of Spanish-speaking Jews in Turkey. Another example may be found during one of the Crusader invasions from Western Europe. Some of the Catholic Western European knights were so likely to rape, murder, and pillage the Jews and Orthodox Christians, that when the Muslims won, they were treated as a liberating force by those non-Muslims.

There is a well-known incident in the Quran that a Jewish man called Tumah ibn Ubayriq was wronged be a Muslim man who accused him of theft. The Quran declares the Jewish to be innocent and condemns the Muslim community who mistakenly and apparently sided with the Muslim man. It says,

“We have revealed to you the Scripture, with the truth, so that you judge between people in accordance with what God has shown you. And do not be an advocate for the traitors. And ask God for forgiveness. God is Forgiver and Merciful.  And do not argue on behalf of those who deceive themselves. God does not love the deceitful sinner.They hide from the people, but they cannot hide from God. He is with them, as they plot by night with words He does not approve. God comprehends what they do.There you are, arguing on their behalf in the present life, but who will argue with God on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Or who will be their representative? Whoever commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores God for forgiveness, will find God Forgiving and Merciful. And Whoever earns a sin, earns it against himself. God is Aware and Wise. And whoever commits a mistake, or a sin, and then blames it on an innocent person, has taken a slander and a clear sin. Were it not for God’s grace towards you, and His mercy, a faction of them would have managed to mislead you. But they only mislead themselves, and they cannot harm you any way”. (Quran 4:105-113)

 

 

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