Tolerance And Solidarity Through Process Of Education
There has since been persistent effort to break the barriers of strangeness among peoples and bring about fraternal bonds among religions, races, cultures, ethnicities and civilizations. Based on the premises of unity of God and faith, Islam has invited peoples of all hues and creeds to congregate together to usher in a better tomorrow for everyone. In this spirit of peace and justice, fraternity and affinity, and spirituality and amicability, Islam once again stands ready to remedy the maladies in which the contemporary world is badly entrenched.
The balanced growth of the total human personality can be achieved through the process of education. For Muslims, according to the Holy Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the ideal model, (Uswatul hasana). One way of teaching this concept has been to try to live in that sublime image. Believers get accustomed to this norm by emulating the best virtues. The Holy Qur’an and the revered Sunnah thus provide Muslims with a compendium and source of moral truth, which has a definitive and interpretable dimension. Education, teaching and preaching thus furnish one with applicable principles useful in individual and collective life.
In defining a believer, the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) said that in general he trusts in God, and in particular he adheres to a religion. Elaborating further, he explained that the believer is one with whom people’s lives, belongings, properties and monies are safe. With his gracious conduct, he would provide due protection and care to those who come into his contact and would not cause any harm to them.
Human values came from the first man and do not belong to Islam alone. Even a little child has an innate sense of right and wrong, an innate love for truth and mistrust for falsity, and repulsion to cruelty and hatred. This consciousness of justice and love for veracity cannot be a product of the physical self. Justice, truth, righteousness, honesty, love, beauty, mercy and compassion are in essence transcendent values. In every religion, civilization, culture and society, there are appreciable attributes. Islam completes them and therefore, by due recognition of others, it contributes and improves over them.
The Islamic approach to world peace is through the belief and establishment of the unity of all human beings. Another is through acknowledging all the Prophets of Allah and heeding their teachings, which boil down to the same message, i.e., the unity of the Almighty and faith in His injunctions. There are the two fundamental dimensions of Islam, i.e. moral excellence and global peace. In theory as well as in practice, Islam is the religion of tolerance, justice and coexistence. It does not compel people into its folds, as there is no compulsion in religion. Muslims treat others at equal footing and do not discriminate against them because of their color, creed, origin, status, race or language. But they also expect others to reciprocate likewise, as a matter of spiritual congeniality.
One should carefully note the ethics of peace, justice, cooperation, and tolerance in Islam. These aspects of harmony, in their various manifestations are alone what Islam desires on the face of the Earth. It harbors no ill will towards anybody and has no ulterior motives against anyone.
It does not approve of aggression, offense, violence and arrogance; but at the same time it wants to secure itself. “Anyone taking your land, persecuting you, killing your fellow Muslims, killing human beings generally, in that case, you have to act, defend the oppressed, the weak and the innocent.”
Similarly, when anyone is interfering in their way of life and their sovereignty, forcing injustices on them, Muslims have to fight for their cause. In Islam, the ethics of war prohibit the killing of civilians, women, children, priests and animals. It also interdicts torture, mutilation, cruelty, maltreatment or other inhuman perpetrations. Cutting trees, ruining property, destroying crops and food, poisoning water, or other scorched-earth measures are shunned. In fact, many current humanitarian provisions ought to be improved in the light of Islamic proprieties.
Like any other religion, Islam can be and should be judged only by its principles and the conduct of those who are the embodiments of them. Those who have gone astray represent neither the religion of Islam nor the community of the faithful. Peace and solidarity should be the goal of every religion, so that justice and harmony may be brought back among nations and the planet may bloom with the flowers of amicability and fraternity.
Let people forget their petty differences, revert to the essence of religion and rediscover the interrelationship between the spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional and physical aspects of human existence.
All the religious communities have to work jointly and unitedly for the promotion of human solidarity and world tranquility. It is possible for persons belongings to different religions and cultures to come together on common grounds to formulate an amicable paradigm to coexist as a global community, adhering to the norm of “unity with diversity.” Instead of working against one another, they should pool their resources for the advancement of mutual causes towards a better future.
Institutionally, for the suppression of disruptive forces and enhancement of enshrined goals, a world council on ethico-moral values may be established with appropriate organizational and operative criteria. In the sublime interest of humanity, such efforts ought to be continued with genuine sincerity and vigor.