All Muslims must embrace the moderate, gentle, compassionate, calm and kind style Allah depicts in the Qur’an.
Radicalism means supporting sudden revolutionary destructive changes in any sphere and applying a strict uncompromising policy in order to achieve them. Radicals are characterized by their desire for revolutionary change and the stern, sometimes aggressive attitude they adopt.
In this, as in every sphere of life, the guide for the Muslim is the Qur’an. When we look at radicalism in light of the Qur’an, we see that it has nothing to do with the way in which Allah commands the believers to behave. When Allah describes a believer in the Qur’an, He depicts him as a loving, soft-spoken person, shunning conflicts and arguments, approaching even the most hostile people with warmth and friendship.
An example to guide us in this matter is the command given by Allah to Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and speak gently to him: “Go to Pharaoh; he has overstepped the bounds. But speak to him with gentle words so that hopefully he will pay heed or show some fear.” (Qur’an, 20:43-44)
Pharaoh was one of the most cruel and rebellious unbelievers of his time. He was a despot who denied Allah and worshipped idols; moreover, he subjected believers (the Israelites of the time) to terrible cruelties and murder. But Allah commanded His Prophet to go to such a hostile man and speak to him gently.
You will notice that the way shown by Allah was the way of friendly dialogue, not the way of conflict with sharp words, angry slogans and agitated protests.
If we examine the Qur’an you will see that a warm, gentle and compassionate disposition characterized all the prophets. Allah describes Abraham (peace be upon him) as “tender-hearted and forbearing.” (Qur’an, 9:114); and in another verse, the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) moral principles are described in this way: “It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.” (Qur’an, 2:159)
An obvious characteristic of radicalism is its anger. This disposition can be clearly seen in the speeches, writings and demonstrations of radicals. However, anger is not an attribute of Muslims. When Allah describes believers in the Qur’an, he describes, “those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon other people, Allah loves the good-doers.” (Qur’an, 3:134)
Therefore, it is the duty of a Muslim only to explain the facts and to invite people to accept them. Whether or not people accept the invitation is completely up to their own conscience. Allah reveals this truth in the Qur’an when He says that there is no compulsion in religion.
There is no compulsion where deen is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. (Qur’an, 2:256)
Therefore, there is no coercion to make people believe and become Muslims, or to make Muslims perform prayers and beware of sin. There is only advice. Allah reveals in a few verses addressed to the Messenger (peace be upon him) that Muslims are not oppressors: “We know best what they say. You are not a dictator over them. So remind, with the Qur’an, whoever fears My threat.” (Qur’an, 18:45)
Muslims are responsible only for explaining their religion, they apply no pressure or coercion on anyone and are enjoined to speak gently to even the most tyrannical deniers. Such persons cannot be radicals.
There is no radicalism in Islam, which commands to be moderate, temperate and compassionate, and prohibits extremism. In one verse Allah relates thus: “Say: ‘People of the Book! Do not go to extremes in your religion, asserting other than the truth, and do not follow the whims and desires of people who were misguided previously and have misguided many others, and are far from the right way’.” (Qur’an, 5:77)
When the social phenomena, depicted as “radicalism,” are examined, it will be seen that they are actually a compilation of the methods and statements formerly employed by communists.
Muslims must refrain from a harsh, angry, and challenging approach, for these are contrary to the Qur’an’s method and essence. Instead, Muslims must adopt the accepting, moderate, calm and rational approach described in the Qur’an. In other words, they must be role models for humanity and earn people’s admiration for the morality of Islam and themselves. Muslims should also make great progress and produce superb works of science, culture, art, and aesthetics, as well as live Islam in the best way, and thus represent it to the world.
– Excerpts from Harun Yahya’s book: ‘Justice and Compassion in the Qur’an’