Does Islam Tolerate Other Beliefs?
Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?
The Qur’an says: God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just. [Qur’an, 60:8]
It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance toward other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.
Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.
What do Muslims think about Jesus?
Muslims respect and revere Jesus [PBUH], and await his Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as ‘Jesus’, but always adds the phrase ‘upon him be peace’. The Qur’an confirms his virgin birth [a chapter of the Qur’an is entitled ‘Mary’], and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation. The Qur’an describes the Annunciation as follows:
‘Behold!’ the Angel said, ‘God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous.’ She said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’ He said: ‘Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, “Be!” and it is.’ [Qur’an, 3:42-47]
Jesus [PBUH] was born miraculously through the same power which had brought Adam [PBUH] into being without a father: Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was. [Qur’an 3:59]
During his prophetic mission, Jesus [PBUH] performed many miracles. The Qur’an tells us that he said: I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it and it becomes a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God’s leave. [3:49]
Neither Muhammad [PBUH] nor Jesus [PBUH] came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in One God, brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Qur’an Jesus [PBUH] is reported as saying that he came: To attest the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. [3:50]
The Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] said: Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. [Hadith from Bukhari].