Islam is a religious of peace. People especially in the west have a wrong concept of Islam. Most people in the west blindly believe that Islam encourages people to be fanatical, intolerant, and violent.1
The reality is that Islam is the most tolerant religion in the world.
Various passages in the Quran emphasize that human rights should be respected. In the Holy Book of the Muslims, people are encouraged to practice adl (Arabic: عدل) and ehsan (Arabic: إحسان).
The Concept of Adl – Justice
Adl is an Arabic term that means justice or fairness. Muslims are required to treat each other fairly. The Quran teaches that Adl is not determined by race, color, gender, wealth, or religion. Every person should treat other person with justice.
The above verses of the Holy Quran clearly show that Muslims are required to act with justice even when dealing with non-believers and hypocrites. They should not oppress other human beings irrespective of their faith and religion.
The Concept of Ehsan – Kindness
In the Quran, Allah Almighty has encouraged Muslims to treat each other with kindness and generosity. Every Muslim is required to treat others with compassion.
Islam teaches Muslims to act with fairness and justice. The religion admonishes people who follow their desires and act unjustly towards others. Moreover, religion teaches people to act with kindness and show compassion to others – both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Women are honored and respected in Islam. There is a whole surah or chapter in Quran – (Surah Al Nisa) that is dedicated to the topic of women’s rights. Islam is the only religion to give a share of inheritance to women. Allah Almighty has outlined punishment to those who treat women unjustly and with disrespect.
The beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had considered girls to be a blessing and treating them rightly is considered a means to attain a high position in Paradise.
Muslims are encouraged to treat everyone regardless of religion or race with fairness. They are not allowed to fight those who do not oppress them or drive them out of their homes.
Islam places great emphasis on respecting the rights of all individuals. Every person irrespective of religion, gender, or race should be treated with fairness, compassion, and justice. There is no compulsion in Islam. Everyone has the right to believe on one’s own free will.
After taking Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187 CE, Muslims treated Christians, Jews, and people of other religions with honor and respect. Christians were allowed to visit the holy lands without any fear. During the Muslim rule in Spain, the city of Cordova had become the intellectual capital of Europe where people of all faiths lived in harmony. The treatment of non-believers by Muslims stood in stark contrast to the treatment meted out by the Christian rulers when they had overtaken Spain in 1492. Spanish rulers used force to convert people to Christianity and expelled Jews from Spain.
Allah Almighty has forbidden the killing of innocent men and women. Suicide bombings are not allowed in Islam. The actions of a few fundamental fanatics groups are not representative of Islamic teachings. Every life is considered sacred in Islam and the killing of even one life is as if the person has killed all mankind.
1. Pew Research Center. (2006, June 22). The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2006/06/22/the-great-divide-how-westerners-and-muslims-view-each-other/