Allah has made all individuals without making any distinction between them.
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted
[AL-HUJURAAT 49:13] Consequently all human beings should be treated equally and presented with equivalent opportunities. Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) severely disliked all types of biases and dismissed the concept of segregation within societies. Our Prophet (PBUH) was a champion of propagating the concept of unity within a society. He was extremely tolerant towards people of other faiths.
“People, hear that your Lord is One, and that your father is one. You must know that no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab, no non-Arab has superiority over an Arab, or a red man over a black man, or a black man over a red, except in terms of what each person has of piety. Have I delivered the message?”
[AS-SAHEEHAH : 6/199] To learn more about the Seerat of the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) we recommend you to study the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) in detail. You can also do so by reading the Holy Quran with understanding. Our website, Online Quran Lessons, offers online Quran classes to all students who want to learn Quran online. Our expert online Quran teachers also help you learn tajweed online and teach you about Islam in detail. For details of the courses we offer please visit our website and register now for our free trial classes!
The general perception of Islam in the modern day and age is that it is extremely intolerant towards people of other faiths. However, our Prophet (PBUH) practiced the complete opposite through his actions and sayings. We Muslims take him as our role model, thus we must strive towards maintaining the same behavior that our Prophet (PBUH) adopted towards his brothers and sisters of other faiths.
There are many examples of the Prophet (PBUH)’s life when he displayed great character and tolerance when faced with adversities brought upon him by non-Muslims. During the battle of Uhud, which was declared by the pagans of Makkah after the first Islamic state was formed in Madinah, the Prophet (PBUH) was severely injured: his head was injured and his tooth broke as well. The prophet (PBUH)’s close companion Umar-bin-Khattab asked the prophet to curse the non-Muslims who had caused this suffering condition, however; instead our prophet prayed Allah to grant them mercy and guidance. This shows that even in the most extreme situations like war our Prophet (PBUH) was extremely forgiving and merciful.
Apart from the Makkan pagans, the Jews at that time were also great enemies of Islam. One of the neighbors of our prophet (PBUH) was a Jew who used to dump trash along the path of the Prophet each day. One day when the regular trash wasn’t present, our Prophet (PBUH) paid this neighbor a visit to ask him about his health suspecting he might be ill; the neighbor amazed by the kindness displayed by our beloved Prophet, embraced Islam. Another time at a funeral of a Jew man, the Prophet stood up in respect. One of the companions remarked that the funeral was not that of a Muslim. The prophet then replied: “Was he not a human being?” (Muslim).
“God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from dealing kindly and justly with them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly. God only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – (forbids) that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”
[QURAN 60:8-9] When the Islamic state was first formed in Madinah, the prophet (PBUH) was responsible for the state: he introduced a system whose foundations were built on the principles of humanity; all were citizens of the state irrespective of their faith, race or lineage. There was a peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians and Jews and idol-worshippers within Madinah; all were subject to one system of governance. The prophet (PBUH) strongly forbade any maltreatment of non-muslims within the muslim state. He (PBUH) is reported to have said:
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”
[ABU DAWUD] The constitution of the Muslim state declared:
“The Jews have their religion and the Muslims have theirs.”
Each individual was free to practice his/her beliefs without interference. Furthermore, their praying places like churches, synagogues, and temples were protected.
Each person was given full control on practicing their life the way they wanted except when it was in clear violation of the articles of the constitution, which was put in place to ensure peaceful co-existence of the society.
“There is no compulsion in religion”
[AL-BAQARAH 2:256] All non-Muslims were granted full civic rights; their Prophets were to be respected. The prophet (PBUH) even instructed Muslims to contribute towards the repair of their churches. Furthermore, other faiths had their religious centers which served as education centers and places of worships of them. For example, Jews had a school of learning to themselves named Bait-ul-Midras, where they could recite the Torah and teach it to others. An example of historic fundamental citizen rights and of enlightened toleration is the charter that the prophet gave to the Christians of Najran.
Furthermore, the Prophet (PBUH) often wrote his ambassadors that institutions of faith should not be harmed. He confirmed brotherhood relations and never implanted enmity. Each one was honored and respected disregard of their religion and judged fairly according to talent in worldly occupations. For example, Non-Muslims often acted as the prophet’s ambassadors to other nation.
“And let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety.”
[QURAN 5: 8] Such were his manners that even his enemies held great admiration for him. To learn more about the Seerat of the prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) we recommend you to study the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) in detail. You can also learn the teachings of Islam by reading the Holy Quran with understanding. Our website, Online Quran Lessons, offers online Quran classes to all students who want to learn Quran online. Our expert online Quran teachers also help you learn tajweed online and teach you about Islam in detail. For details of the courses we offer please visit our website and register now for our free trial classes! Dear Muslims, it is our duty to follow in our prophet’s footsteps: In this age of bitter religious discrimination and persecution it is our duty to be courteous and kind to people of other faiths. It is our duty to be a representative of the benevolent and just faith of Islam; thus all of us need to work towards tolerance and combat oppression from our world.