Shaykh Faiyaz Jaffer talks about "Walking with Quran: “Lessons from Surah Luqman”, Sayyid Kashmiri explains…
IMAM’s Statement on the Occasion of the World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7
We welcome the United Nations timely and inspiring initiative based on the principles and values of the Quran, the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUH) school in naming a World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Some of the Islamic principles, values, and teachings that encourage us to live in harmony and co-exist with followers of other religions, and to behave justly even with non-believers in the One God, are as follows:
“(Muhammad) Tell them: O people of the Book, come to a common word between you and us: that we will worship no one except God, nor consider anything equal to Him, nor regard any of us as our Lord besides God.” However, if they turn away from (the Truth), tell them, “Bear witness that we have submitted ourselves to the will of God.”1
Therefore, Muslims’ coexistence with the followers of the holy books, based on monotheism and not seeking superiority, is a Quranic principle:
“God does not forbid you from being kind and acting justly towards those who did not fight over faith with you nor expelled you from your homes. God indeed loves those who are just.”2
The most evident principle is the following verse, in which God orders believers to treat their enemies justly, and they have no right to oppress them:
“O you who believe, stand up as witnesses for God in all fairness and do not let the hatred of a people deviate you from justice. Be just: This is closest to righteousness, and beware of God. Surely God is aware of all you do.”3
Another excellent example of Islamic commands in coexistence with fellow human beings, regardless of their faith and beliefs, is Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib’s order:
“Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them. Do not behave with them like a barbarian, and do not appropriate to yourself that which belongs to them. Remember that the citizens of the state are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind.”4
We believe that the coexistence, harmony, and cooperation of leaders and followers of all religions are very effective in solving problems and curbing the current crises of human society. War and insecurity, environmental crisis, global warming and threats to biodiversity, discrimination, economic and social inequalities, the crisis of the meaning of life, stress, and mental health crises are examples of current crises that religious institutions can and must play a role in curbing.
We all need to work closely together toward Breaking the cycle of humanitarian crises, protecting civilians in conflict, and confronting shared global risks. We welcome any initiative and plan to strengthen the coexistence of the followers of religions and humankind, and we are ready to expand our activities in this field.
Congratulations on the World Interfaith Harmony Week!
1. The Holy Quran 3:64.
2. The Holy Quran 60:80.
3. The Holy Quran 5:8.
4. Nahj al-Balaghah, Letter 53.
١. ((قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ ))
((لايَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ)) .٢
٣. ((يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ ))
٤. وَأَشْعِرْ قَلْبَكَ الرَّحْمَةَ لِلرَّعِيَّةِ، وَالمحبة لَهُمْ، وَاللُّطْفَ بِهِمْ، وَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبُعاً ضَارِياً تَغْتَنِمُ أَكْلَهُمْ، فَإِنَّهُمْ صِنْفَانِ: إِمَّا أَخٌ لَكَ فِي الدِّينِ، وَإمّا نَظِيرٌ لَكَ فِي الْخَلْقِ
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