Our Beacon Forum

Islam's Tolerance
By:Yasin T. al-Jibouri, Iraq
Date: Tuesday, 21 April 2020, 4:07 pm

April 21, 2020

Assalamo Alaikom

Attached is a PDF file which gives you a glaring evidence for Islam being the most exemplary tolerant way of life. Such tolerance unfortunately no longer exists. What now exist are religious controversies, intolerance and even hostilities. Islam has suffered a great deal during the past centuries, and if we, Muslims, do not spend an effort to find out how and why all this happened, we will be repeating the mistakes, the grave errors, of men who took advantage of people being simple-minded or needy to install themselves as their religious leaders. Such leaders exist now just as they existed in the past, and they will not lead themselves and others anywhere except into the pits of hell, that is for sure…

In both Mecca and Medina, the Prophet of Islam (P) came across Christians and Jews who were engaged in business and trade. He maintained the best ties with them, never hurt their feelings or attacked their faith, so much so that some of them embraced Islam with a full conviction that it is the true faith, the best faith, the most practical faith that brings Salvation to the individual and to the nation. In Medina, sometimes the Prophet (P) used to borrow money from Jews there. This led to some of those Jews embracing Islam. They were not many in number, but numbers mean nothing while quality is everything. Some Muslims brag about their numerical superiority, not knowing how many times the “majority” of people is condemned in many verses of the Holy Qur’an. The Almighty tells us in His Qur’ān that most people hate the truth, love this world, worship their ego, love power, control, money, deception, cunning, the hoarding of the good things of this life… and a lot more; so, quality counts, not numerical superiority. We, Shi`a Muslims, are a minority for the simple fact that we were slaughtered throughout the Islamic history at the hands not of non-Muslims but of those who claimed to follow Islam, those who were and still are holding on to the peels of the Islamic faith while leaving its pith.

In Kūfa, where Imām Ali alaihis-salam ruled the Islamic world, Muslims coexisted with Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and followers of a number of primitive creeds. He never hurt the feelings of any non-Muslim individual under his rule. Gradually, those non-Muslims embraced Islam and started practicing it as taught by Ali alaihis-salam and those who hold on to the pith rather than to the peels. Go to Kūfa now and see if you can find a single non-Muslim individual living there.

I remember what once my American wife, Zainab, said to me: “You can attract more people with honey than with vinegar.” Let us attract people to Islam through the plenty of honey it contains. It is all honey, but some ignorant Muslims have turned that honey into poison…, and they will be dealt with by the Almighty Who will judge what they did and said, how they distorted the Sunnah of His Prophet and Messenger, peace and blessings of the Almighty be upon him, his family members and true companions, in their bid to power, wealth and control. They sold their souls to Satan and lost the good of this life and of the life to come.

We, Muslims, must respect the beliefs of all non-Muslims and never hurt their feelings in any way. When I once needed help while studying for my graduate degree in Atlanta, Georgia, not a single Muslim individual helped me whereas a local church urged those good Christians to donate spoons, forks, dishes, sheets and even food to me. I had nothing to sleep on, so a carrier covered with blood and urine was donated to me which I had to wash and cleanse before sleeping on it, leaving some of my legs in the air because it was too short... Not a single Muslim individual who used to pray behind me offered any help. Is this your concept of Islam? I used to lead the Friday Congregational Prayers at the Canterbury House on the campus of my school, then Atlanta (now Clark Atlanta) University... And I pleaded to those who used to pray behind me to help me and my good Sunni Indian roommate, Aziz. I told them how dire our need for help was. And I put all of this on paper, I included it in my Memoirs... Islam is not prayers, fast, pilgrimage and other rituals. Islam is about manners, ethics, good conduct, respecting and helping others, and these "others" include all human beings regardless of their creeds. At least this is Islam as I know it, and let others adopt a different version of it if they choose...

Please circulate the attachment to this email so you may earn rewards of the Almighty, may He bless you and yours and guide your steps to what He loves and prefers.

May the Almighty protect us from the mischief of imāms that lead themselves and others nowhere but to the pits of hell, and may He expose the true nature of these self-imposed imāms who know a little while being ignorant of a lot, Allahomma Aameen, Wassalamo Alaikom.

Yasin