Life without tolerance becomes a living hell because everybody will be biased against other religions, races, nationalities, cultures, classes and points of view. Islam has paid due attention to this issue realizing how vital it is in the life of any society. In this article, I shall try to shed some light on this issue in light of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the ideal example of tolerance. He taught his Companions to respect human beings regardless of their religion, race, color, language…etc. and this is one of the characteristics that made people embrace Islam through its long history.

One of those who recently embraced Islam said that what it so attractive about Islam is that is accepts the other, although the other does not usually accept it for no logical reason.

He noticed that Muslims are ordered to believe in all the Holy Books and all Prophets and Messengers and honor them, “The Apostle believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believes in God, His angels, His books, and His apostles. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His apostles.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return of all.(Qur’an, 2:285)

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated to Madina, he found the Jews inhabiting part of it, he did not expel them out of the city. Instead, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) signed a treaty with them giving them the right to live in it peacefully, but they as usual did not abide by the treaty. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also used to receive delegations belonging to other religions like Christianity, dealing with them with due respect and courtesy.

Also we must realize that people are of different natures and backgrounds, cultures and languages and this is one of the norms of nature. This is clearly stated in the Holy Qur’an, “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).(Qur’an, 49:13)