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Pluralism in Islam

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Quran View on Religious Pluralism

Submited by: Muqadas Ghumman
Submitted to: Mame Amat-ul Rafi
Subject: Quranic View of other Religions
Introduction
While Islam stresses on the unity of humanity, it also recognizes human diversity and gives valuable principles to deal with ethnic, racial and religious differences in society. This paper discusses Religious Pluralism in the light of Quran and Hadith. Islam gives rights to all citizens of Muslim state; granting them protection and allowing them to co-exist in a multi religious society giving birth to the Religious Pluralistic society. Defining Pluralism

Religious pluralism is defined in different ways by a number of modern writers. The basic idea of the term encompasses the attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co existing in a society. It can be further understood as "respecting the otherness of others" and accepting the given uniqueness endowed to each one of us. In "Defining Religious Pluralism in America: A Regional Analysis," Mark Silka states that; Religious pluralism "enables a country made up of people of different faiths to exist without sectarian warfare or the persecution of religious minorities. Understood differently in different times and places, it is a cultural construct that embodies some shared conception of how a country's various religious communities relate to each other and to the larger nation whole."1 Base of Islamic Pluralism in the Light of Quran

Reference to Islamic views on religious pluralism is found in the Quran in a number of places. In order to understand Muslim attitudes towards other religions, a detailed study of Quranic verses is required. The most important principle Muslims have accepted and employed in reference to this issue throughout Islamic history in the light of Quran is there is no compulsion in religion. The Quran says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands outs clear from Error" (Al-Baqrah: 256). At another place Quran mentions “Say, The Truth is from your Lord. Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (Al-Kahf: 29). Both the verses of the Quran emphasize on the freedom of religion and rejection of forceful conversions. Neither the Qur’an nor the Prophetic tradition demands of Jews and Christians to give up their religious identity and become Muslims unless they freely choose to do so. "To you (non-believers) be your Way (Religion), and to me mine." (Al-Kafirun 109:6) Religious pluralism in Islam is derived from Surah Yunus, verse 99; “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?” Eliminating the idea of a religiously homogenous society rather allowing the co existence of different faiths as the plan of God. Quran emphasizes the point of diversity as plan of God and its lasting existence once again: “If Allah so willed, He would have made you a single People, but His plan is to test each of you separately, in what He has given to each of you: so strive in all virtues as in you are in a race. The goal of all of you is to Allah. It is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (Al-Maidah: 48). Quran emphasizes on the supremacy of Allah (swt); “And if they dispute with you, then say, “Allah is most knowing of what you do. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which you used to differ" (Al-Hajj: 68-69). Dispute within in different religions is natural. Quran orders Muslims not to get involved into disputes or quarrels and leave the decision up to God. Muslims are to allow other religions to follow their own path while Muslims follow the Quran. Quran says; “And if they deny you, [O Muhammad], then say, "For me are my deeds, and for you are your deeds. You are disassociated from what I do, and I am disassociated from what you... Show More

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