No Place for Xenophobia and Violence in Islam

No Place for Xenophobia and Violence in Islam

Allah introduces himself as the Rabb of all creation of the world in the Qur’an. He makes no distinction in providing for the sustenance of human beings and other creatures. Humans, though, are said to be His special creation fashioned by His own hands. He declared a tremendous confidence in humans and angels expressed their concern about the human lot. Allah is beautiful, compassionate, wise, merciful, forgiving, benevolent, and kind. He requires humans to cultivate the same qualities. As He loves all his creation and wishes that every single human being of His must attain salvation and live in peace with their fellow beings, He expects that the same be done by humans in their world.

Hatred, jealousy, and backbiting are vices that have been strongly condemned in both Quran and Hadith. They have been declared as the destroyers of faith, relationships, and good deeds. Among such vices, hate is often born out of suspicion and apprehension. In chapter 17, verse 36 of Quran, Allahs says, “Don’t follow that of which you have no knowledge and refrain from groundless assertions and conjectures. Surely the hearing, the sight, and the heart – each of these is subject to questioning (on the day of judgement)”. In a Prophetic Hadith, recorded in Muslim, it is reported that it is enough for a person to fall in the category of liars that he narrates everything that he hears. He passes on the things based on hearsay and rumours. Qur’an and other revealed scriptures have strongly denounced reports not based on evidence and proof. Qur’an (49:06) says, “If an evil person brings you the news [that requires taking action], verify it carefully [before you believe and act upon it], lest you harm a people in ignorance and then become regretful for what you have done.” The Prophet (pbuh) as recorded in Adad al-Mufrad said that the worst of the people are those who slander, cause mischief, and desire to lead the innocent into wrong action.

The Prophet (pbuh) broke up with the age-old tradition of punishing the whole community for the crime of a single person. He prevented his followers from making generalisations and stereotypes. When he was stoned, taunted in the streets of Taif, he instead of cursing the wicked, prayed to Allah that their progeny may accept the message and meaning of Islam. The Prophet had great faith that every single human being can turn into a pious being who may serve humanity. He strongly believed and impressed upon his followers that Allah may guide anyone at any time and they should never underestimate anyone. When Qur’an warns Muslims about a particular group of people and calls them as enemies of Islam and Muslims, it does so under a particular context and circumstance. The general spirit of Qur’an and the Sirah of the Prophet is to extend one’s compassion and mercy to all men and women inhabitating the planet.

In the contemporary world when Muslims within and without are seen with suspicion, hated, disliked, bullied, stereotyped, they require to rise up to the challenge. If every single Muslim is seen as a terrorist, Muslims should never develop the same type of mentality. Good and humane souls are present in every society. Muslims must avail the services of such unbiased men. The habit of tit for tat is strange to a true believer of Islam. Islam stresses upon forgiveness and amnesty, not on revenge. Quran (41:34) urges its followers, “And not equal are the good and the bad deed. Repel evil by that which is better; and thereupon, the one whom between you and him is enmity will become as though he was a devoted friend.” When efforts are being made from various corners and through multiple means to manufacture hate against Muslim community, worldwide, Muslims being the true guardians of Quranic teachings and Prophetic precepts must not do the same. They can’t afford to cultivate hate for other communities. Muslims have a great role in bridging the gaps between communities; they can’t disfigure their image by partaking in violence and bloodshed.

 

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