Islamic Morality: The Source of
Peace and Security
Eat and drink of God's provision and do not go about
the earth corrupting it. (Qur'an, 2:60)
Some of those who say that something is
done in the name of religion may, in fact, misunderstand that religion
and as a result, practice it wrongly. For that reason, it would be wrong
to form ideas about that religion by taking these people as an example.
The best way of understanding a religion is to study its divine source.
Terrorists aim to create a world of violence,
conflict, chaos, and fear.
Islam's divine source is the Qur'an, which is based on concepts of morality,
love, compassion, humility, sacrifice, tolerance and peace. A Muslim who
lives by those precepts in its true sense will be most polite, careful
of thought, modest, just, trustworthy and easy to get on with. He will
spread love, respect, harmony and the joy of living all around him.
Islam is the Religion of Peace
Terror, in its broadest sense, is violence committed against non-military
targets for political purposes. To put it another way, targets of terror
are entirely innocent civilians whose only crime, in the eyes of terrorists,
is to represent "the other side".
A society in which Islamic moral values are
truly honoured is a society characterised by peace, forgiveness,
love, compassion and mutual support and joy.
For this reason, terror means subjecting innocent people to violence,
which is an act bereft of any moral justification. This, as in the case
of murders committed by Hitler or Stalin, is a crime committed against
The Qur'an is a Book revealed to people as a guide to the true path and
in this Book, God commands man to adopt good morals. This morality is
based upon concepts such as love, compassion, tolerance and mercy. The
word "Islam" is derived from the word meaning "peace" in Arabic. Islam
is a religion revealed to mankind with the intention of presenting a peaceful
life through which the infinite compassion and mercy of God manifest on
earth. God calls all people to Islamic morals through which compassion,
mercy, peace and tolerance can be experienced all over the world. In Sura
Baqara, verse 208, God addresses
believers as follows:
O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam).
Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.
As the verse makes clear, security can only be ensured by "entering into
Islam", that is, living by the values of the Qur'an. The values of the
Qur'an hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim
or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent
and "preventing the dissemination of mischief". Mischief comprises all
forms of anarchy and terror that remove security, comfort and peace. As
God says in a verse, "God does not love corruption".
Murdering a person for no reason is one of the most obvious examples
of mischief. God repeats in the Qur'an a command He formerly revealed
to Jews in the Old Testament thus:
...if someone kills another person - unless it is in
retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth -
it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another
person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind... (Qur'an, 5:32)
As the verse suggests, a person who kills even a single man, "unless
it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the
earth", commits a crime as if he had murdered all mankind.
In Sura Ma'ida, verse 32, God says that if
anyone kills someone unjustly, it is as if he had murdered all mankind.
To murder even one person is totally opposed to the moral teaching
of the Qur'an.
This being the case, it is obvious what great sins are the murders, massacres
and attacks, popularly known as "suicide attacks", committed by terrorists.
God informs us how this cruel face of terrorism will be punished in the
hereafter in the following verse:
There are only grounds against those who wrong people
and act as tyrants in the earth without any right to do so. Such people
will have a painful punishment. (Qur'an, 42:42)
All these reveal that organising acts of terror against innocent people
is utterly against Islam and it is unlikely that any Muslim could ever
commit such crimes. On the contrary, Muslims are responsible for stopping
these people, removing "mischief on earth" and bringing peace and security
to all people all over the world. Islam cannot be reconciled with terror.
Just the contrary, it should be the solution to and the path to the prevention
God has Condemned Wickedness
God has commanded people to avoid committing evil: oppression, cruelty,
murder and bloodshed are all forbidden. He describes those who fail to
obey this command as "following in Satan's footsteps" and adopting a posture
that is openly revealed to be sinful in the Qur'an. A few of the many
verses on this matter in the Qur'an read:
But as for those who break God's contract after
it has been agreed and sever what God has commanded to be joined, and
cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will
have the Evil Abode. (Qur'an, 13:25)
Eat and drink of God's provision and do not go
about the earth corrupting it. (Qur'an, 2:60)
Do not corrupt the earth after it has been put
right. Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. God's mercy is close to the
good-doers. (Qur'an, 7:56)
Those who think that they will be successful by causing
wickedness, upheaval and oppression, and by killing innocent people are
committing a great error. God has forbidden all acts of wickedness involving
terrorism and violence, condemned those who engage in such acts and said
"God does not uphold the works of those who cause mischief." in
one of His verses. (Qur'an, 10:81)
There are apparently many reasons for the
acts of terror which have now claimed perhaps hundreds of thousands
of lives. Those who perpetrate such acts have no fear of God. To
them, the morality enjoined by religion is completely alien.
In the present age, however, acts of terrorism, genocide and massacres
occur all over the world. Innocent people are being savagely killed, and
countries where communities are being brought to hate each other for artificial
reasons are drowning in blood. These horrors in countries with different
histories, cultures and social structures may have causes and sources
peculiar to each. However, it is evident that the fundamental cause is
a moving away from morality based on love, respect and tolerance that
religion brings with it. As a result of lack of religion, communities
emerge that have no fear of God and believe that they will not be called
to account in the hereafter. Since they believe that, "I will not have
to account for my actions to anyone," they can easily act with no compassion,
morality or conscience.
The existence of hypocrites who emerge in the name of God and religion,
but actually organise themselves to commit wickedness condemned by God,
is indicated in the Qur'an. One verse talks about a gang of nine men who
planned to murder the Prophet by swearing in the name of God:
There was a gang of nine men in the city causing corruption
in the land and not putting things right. They said, "Let us make an oath
to one another by God that we will fall on him and his family in the night
and then say to his protector, We did not witness the destruction of his
family and we are telling the truth." They hatched a plot and We hatched
a plot while they were not aware. (Qur'an, 27:48-50)
As this incident described in the Qur'an reveals, the fact that people
do things "in the name of God" or even swear in His name, in other words
that they use the kind of language designed to show themselves as very
religious, does not mean that what they do is in conformity with religion.
On the contrary, what they do can be quite against the will of God and
the morality of religion. The truth of the matter lies in their actions.
If their actions are "causing corruption and not putting things right",
as the verse reveals, then you can be sure that these people cannot be
truly religious, and that their aim is not to serve religion.
It is quite impossible for someone who fears God and has grasped the
true morality of Islam to support violence or wickedness, or to take part
in such actions. That is why Islam is the true solution to terrorism.
When the sublime morality of the Qur'an is explained, it will be impossible
for people to connect true Islam with those who support or join groups
that aim at hatred, war and chaos. That is because God has forbidden wickedness:
Whenever he holds the upperhand, he goes about the earth
corrupting it, destroying (people's) crops and breeding stock. God does
not love corruption. When he is told to have fear of God, he is seized
by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell will be enough for him!
What an evil resting-place. (Qur'an, 2:205-206)
As can be seen from the above verses, it is out of the question for someone
who fears God to turn a blind eye to even the smallest action that might
harm mankind. Someone who does not believe in God and the hereafter, however,
can easily do all kinds of evil, since he thinks he will not have to account
The first thing that needs to be done to rid the world of the present-day
scourge of terrorism is to use education to do away with deviant irreligious
beliefs that are put forward in the name of religion, and to teach people
true Qur'anic morality and to fear God.
The Responsibility of Believers
who have no concern for events unless they directly affect them
are bereft of the insight that espouses unselfishness, brotherhood,
friendship, honesty and the service that religion bestows upon people.
Throughout their lives, such people try to satisfy their own egos
by merely wasting their means, totally unaware of the threats humanity
faces. In the Qur'an however, God praises the morals of those who
strive to bring good to their surroundings; those who are concerned
about the events that take place around them and who call people
to the right way. In a verse from the Qur'an, a metaphor is given
for those who offer no good to others and those who always act on
the path of goodness:
God makes another metaphor:
two men, one of them deaf and dumb, unable to do anything, a burden
on his master, no matter where he directs him he brings no good,
is he the same as someone who commands justice and is on a straight
path? (Qur’an, 16:76)
As the verse points out, it is obvious that those who
are "on a straight path", are those who are devoted to their religion;
fear and heed God, hold spiritual values in high regard, and are
filled with eagerness to serve people. In general, such people are
there to serve humanity and bring with them great benefits to mankind.
For this reason, it is very important for people to learn about
the true religion and live by the morals explained by the Qur'an
- the final Revelation from God. In the Qur'an, God defines those
people who live by such high morals:
Those who, if We establish them firmly on the earth,
will keep up prayer and pay the welfare due, and command what is
right and forbid what is wrong. The end result of all affairs is
with God. (Qur’an, 22:41)
God Commands Us to Do Good Deeds
A Muslim is someone who abides by the commands of God, tries scrupulously
to live by Qur'anic morality, peace and harmony, which make the world
a more beautiful place and lead it to progress. His aim is to lead people
to beauty, goodness and well-being. The Qur'an says:
Those who threaten the lives of civilians,
and especially those of children, must ask themselves: What crime
did these children commit? Is committing cruel acts against innocent
people something that will go unaccounted for in the presence of
... And do good as God has been good to you. And do not
seek to cause corruption in the earth. God does not love corrupters. (Qur'an,
Someone who adopts the Islamic faith wishes to earn God's pleasure and
compassion and to enter heaven. He has to make strenuous efforts to do
this, and to adopt a morality acceptable to God while he is in this world.
The clearest manifestations of this morality are compassion, pity, justice,
honesty, forgiveness, humility, sacrifice and patience. The believer will
behave well towards people, try to perform good deeds and spread goodness.
In His verses, God commands:
We did not create the heavens and earth and everything
between them, except with truth. The Hour is certainly coming, so forgive
[men's failings] with fair forbearance. (Qur'an, 15:85)
... Be good to your parents and relatives and to
orphans and the very poor, and to neighbours who are related to you and
neighbours who are not related to you, and to companions and travellers
and your slaves. God does not love anyone vain or boastful. (Qur'an, 4:36)
... Help one another in benevolence and piety.
Do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity. And fear God. God is
severe in retribution. (Qur'an, 5:2)
As the verses have made clear, God wishes those who believe in Him to
behave well towards people, to cooperate with each other when it comes
to goodness, and to avoid wickedness.
In the moral teachings of Islam, the most
important qualities are love, compassion, mutual support, self-sacrifice,
tolerance and forgiveness. In a society where this morality is lived
as it should be, it is impossible to find the foundations of violence
In Sura Anam,verse 160, God promises that "anyone
who comes with a fine deed will have ten more like it. But those who produce
a bad action will only be repaid with its equivalent and they will not
In His book, God describes Himself as He who knows "the secrets of men's
hearts", and warns people to "avoid all kinds of evil." A Muslim therefore,
which means "one who surrenders himself to God" must evidently be someone
who does his best to fight terrorism.
A Muslim does not remain indifferent to what goes on around him, and
never adopts the mentality that nothing matters as long as it does not
harm him. That is because he has surrendered himself to God. He is His
representative, and an ambassador of good. He cannot, therefore, remain
indifferent in the face of cruelty and terrorism. In fact, the Muslim
is the greatest enemy of terrorism, which kills people who have done no
wrong. Islam is against all forms of terrorism, and tries to prevent it
right from the beginning, in other words
on the level of ideas. It demands peace between people and for justice
to prevail, and commands people to avoid discord, conflict and wickedness.
God Commands Us to Be Just
The true justice described in the Qur'an commands man to behave justly,
making no discrimination between people, to protect peoples' rights, not
to permit violence no matter what the circumstances, to side with the
oppressed against the oppressor and to help the needy. This justice calls
for the rights of both parties to be protected when reaching a decision
in a dispute, assessing all aspects of an incident, setting aside all
prejudices, being objective, honest, tolerant, merciful and compassionate.
For instance, someone who cannot assess events in a moderate way, and
who is swayed by his emotions and feelings, will fail to arrive at sound
decisions and will remain under the influence of those feelings. However,
someone who rules with justice needs to set all his personal feelings
and views aside. He needs to treat all parties with justice when they
ask for help, to side with what is right under all circumstances, and
not to diverge from the path of honesty and truthfulness. A person should
incorporate the values of the Qur'an into his soul in such a way that
he may be able to consider other parties' interests before his own and
maintain justice, even if this harms his own interests.
God commands the following in Sura Ma'ida, verse 42:
"... if you do judge, judge between them justly." In Sura Nisa,
God commands believers to act justly even it is against themselves:
O You who believe! Be upholders of justice, bearing witness
for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives.
Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do
not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. If you twist or
turn away, God is aware of what you do. (Qur'an, 4:135)
In the Qur'an, God gives a detailed description of justice and informs
believers of the attitude they have to adopt in the face of incidents
they encounter and of the ways to exercise justice. Such guidance is a
great comfort to believers and a mercy from God. For this reason, those
who believe are responsible for exercising justice in an undivided manner
both to earn God's approval and to lead their lives in peace and security.
The justice God commands in the Qur'an is the justice that is exercised
equally among all people, with no consideration of language, race, or
ethnicity. The justice in the Qur'anic sense does not vary according to
place, time and people. In our day, too, there are people being subjected
to cruel and unjust treatment because of the colour of their skin or their
race in all corners of the world.
However, God informs us in the Qur'an that the purpose in the creation
of different tribes and peoples is "that they should come to know each
other". Different nations or peoples, all of whom are the servants of
God, should get to know one another, that is, learn about their different
cultures, languages, traditions and abilities. In brief, the purpose of
the creation of different races and nations is not conflict and war but
cultural richness. Such variation is a bounty of God's creation. The fact
that someone is taller than someone else or that his skin is yellow or
white neither makes him superior to others nor is it something to feel
ashamed of. Every trait a person has is a result of God's purposeful creation,
but in the sight of God, these variations have no ultimate importance.
A believer knows that someone attains superiority only by having fear
of God and in the strength of his faith in God. This fact is related in
the following verse:
O Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and
made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other.
The noblest among you in God's sight is that one of you who best performs
his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Qur'an, 49:13)
As God informs us in the verse, the understanding of justice recommended
by Him calls for equal, tolerant and peaceable treatment of everyone,
with no discrimination between them.
Hatred Felt Towards a Community Does Not Prevent Believers
From Exercising Justice
Hatred and anger are the major sources of evil, and are likely to prevent
people from making just decisions, thinking soundly and conducting themselves
rationally. People can readily inflict all kinds of injustice on people
for whom they feel enmity. They may accuse these people of acts they have
never committed, or bear false witness against them although their innocence
is known to them. On account of such enmity, people may be subjected to
unbearable oppression. Some people avoid bearing witness in favour of
people they disagree with, although they know they are innocent, and they
keep evidence which would reveal their innocence hidden. Furthermore,
they take pleasure in the misery these people face, their encounters with
injustice or great suffering. Their greatest worry, on the other hand,
is that justice should be done and these peoples' innocence proved.
For these reasons, it is very hard for people in corrupt societies to
trust one another. People worry that they can fall victim to someone else
at any time. Having lost mutual trust, they also lose their human feelings
such as tolerance, compassion, brotherhood and co-operation, and start
hating one another.
However, the feelings someone holds in his heart towards a person or
community should never influence a believer's decisions. No matter how
immoral or hostile the person he is considering may be, the believer sets
all these feelings aside and acts and makes his decisions justly and recommends
that which is just. His feelings towards that person cast no shadow over
his wisdom and conscience. His conscience always inspires him to comply
with God's commands and advice, and never to abandon good manners, because
this is a command God gives in the Qur'an. In Sura Ma'ida, it is related
O You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of God,
bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you
into not being just. Be just. That is closer to faith. Heed God (alone).
God is aware of what you do. (Qur'an, 5:8)
If your Lord had willed, all the
people on the earth would have believed. Do you think you can
force people to be believers?
As is related in the verse, displaying a just attitude is what most complies
with having fear of God. A person of faith knows that he will attain the
pleasure of God only when he acts justly. Every person who witnesses his
or her good manners will trust this person, feel comfortable in their
presence and trust them with any responsibility or task. Such people are
treated with respect even by their enemies. Their attitude may even lead
some people to have faith in God.
Islam Defends Freedom of Thought
Islam is a religion which provides and guarantees freedom of ideas, thought
and life. It has issued commands to prevent and forbid tension, disputes,
slander and even negative thinking among people. In the same way that
it is determinedly opposed to terrorism and all acts of violence, it has
also forbidden even the slightest ideological pressure to be put on them:
There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance
has become clearly distinct from error. (Qur'an, 2:256)
So remind them! You are only a reminder. You are
not in control of them. (Qur'an, 88:21-22)
Forcing people to believe in a religion or to adopt its forms of belief
is completely contrary to the essence and spirit of Islam. According to
Islam, true faith is only possible with free will and freedom of conscience.
Of course, Muslims can advise and encourage each other about the features
of Qur'anic morality. All believers are charged with explaining Qur'anic
morality to people in the nicest manner possible. They will explain the
beauties of religion in the light of the verse, "Call
to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition..." (Qur'an, 16:125),
however, they must also bear in mind the verse, "You
are not responsible for their guidance, but God guides whoever He wills."
No matter what another person's religion or
belief may be, be they Jew, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu, Muslims
are called on in the Qur'an to be tolerant, forgiving, and to act
justly and humanely towards them.
They will never resort to compulsion, nor any kind of physical or psychological
pressure. Neither will they use any worldly privilege to turn someone
towards religion. When they receive a negative response to what they say,
Muslims will reply along the lines of: "To you your
religion, and to me, mine" (Qur'an, 109:6)
The world we live in contains societies with all kinds of beliefs: Christian,
Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, deist and even pagan. Muslims living
in such a world must be tolerant of all beliefs they come up against,
no matter what they may be, and behave forgivingly, justly and humanely.
This responsibility placed on believers is to invite people to the beauty
of the religion of God by means of peace and tolerance. The decision whether
or not to implement these truths, whether or not to believe, lies with
the other party. Forcing that person to believe, or trying to impose anything
on him, is a violation of Qur'anic morality. In fact, God issues a reminder
to believers in the Qur'an:
If your Lord had willed, all the people on the
earth would have believed. Do you think you can force people to be believers?
We know best what they say and you [O Muhammad]
are not a compeller over them. But warn by the Qur'an whoever fears My
warning. (Qur'an, 50:45)
A model of society in which people are forced to worship is completely
contradictory to Islam. Belief and worship are only of any value when
they are directed to God by the free will of the individual. If a system
imposes belief and worship on people, then they will become religious
out of fear of that system. From the religious point of view, what really
counts is that religion should be lived for God's good pleasure in an
environment where peoples' consciences are totally free.
The history of Islam is full of the tolerant practices of Muslim rulers
who have respected all religions and built religious freedom with their
own hands. For example, Thomas Arnold, a British missionary employed in
the service of the Indian government, describes that Islam favours freedom
in these words:
But of any organised attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the
non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp
out the Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to
adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity
as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis
XIV made Protestantism penal in France, or the Jews were kept out of England
for 350 years. The Eastern Churches in Asia were entirely cut off from
communion with the rest of Christendom, throughout which no one would
have been found to lift a finger on their behalf, as heretical communions.
So that the very survival of these Churches to the present day is a strong
proof of the generally tolerant attitude of the Muhammadan governments
God Forbids the Murder of Innocent People
Killing a person for no reason is one of the greatest sins related in
if someone kills another person - unless it is in retaliation for someone
else or for causing corruption in the earth - it is as if he had murdered
all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he
had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear
Signs, but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth.
..those who do not call on any other deity together with
God and do not kill anyone God has made inviolate, except with the right
to do so, and do not fornicate; anyone who does that will receive an evil
punishment. (Qur'an, 25:68)
As the verse suggests, a person who kills innocent people for no reason
is threatened with a great torment. God informs us that killing even a
single person is as evil as murdering all mankind on earth. A person who
observes God's limits can do no harm to a single human, let alone massacre
thousands of innocent people. Those who assume that they can avoid justice
and thus punishment in this world will never succeed, for they will have
to give an account of their deeds in the presence of God. That is why
believers, who know that they will give an account of their deeds after
death, are very meticulous to observe God's limits.
God Commands the Faithful to be Compassionate and Merciful
Islamic morality is described in one verse as:
Then to be one of those who have faith and urge each
other to steadfastness and urge each other to compassion. Those are the
Companions of the Right. (Qur'an, 90:17-18)
As we have seen in this verse, one of the most important features of
the morality that will lead believers to salvation on the Day of Judgement
and to enter into paradise is "being one of those who urges each other
Islamic Morality Envisions
a Life Filled With Peace,
Well-being, Love and Joy For All People...
The true source of compassion is love of God. A person's love of God
gives rise to his feeling love for the things He has created. Someone
who loves God feels a direct link and closeness to the things He has created.
This strong love and closeness he feels for the Lord, who created him
and all mankind, leads him to display a pleasing morality, as commanded
in the Qur'an. True compassion emerges as he lives by this morality. This
model of morality, full of love, compassion and sacrifice, is described
in these verses:
Those of you possessing affluence and ample wealth
should not make oaths that they will not give to their relatives and the
very poor and those who have made emigration in the way of God. They should
rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love God to forgive you? God
is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur'an, 24:22)
Those who were already settled in the abode and
in faith before they came, love those who have migrated to them and do
not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer
them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people
who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful.
... those who have given refuge and help, they
are the true believers. They will have forgiveness and generous provision.
Be good to your parents and relatives and to orphans
and the very poor, and to neighbours who are related to you and neighbours
who are not related to you, and to companions and travellers and your
slaves. God does not love anyone vain or boastful. (Qur'an, 4:36)
Charity (zakat) is for: the poor, the destitute,
those who collect it, reconciling people's hearts, freeing slaves, those
in debt, spending in the Way of God, and travellers. It is a legal obligation
from God. God is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (Qur'an, 9:60)
…While terrorism longs for
a society where violence, fear, anxiety and chaos reign.
This high level of morality that is demanded from believers, described
in the Qur'an, stems from their deep love of God. Thanks to their devotion
to Him, they scrupulously abide by the morality revealed by Him in the
Qur'an. Believers never try to make people feel indebted because of the
compassion they demonstrate and the help they offer people, and do not
even expect to be thanked. Their true aim is to try to gain God's good
pleasure by means of the morality they exhibit, because they know that
they will be called to account for that morality on the Day of Judgement.
In the Qur'an, God has expressly revealed that hell will be the outcome
for those who knowingly refuse to live by the morality of the Qur'an:
"What has brought you into hell-fire?" They will
say, "We were not among those who prayed and we did not feed the poor."
Seize him and bind him, and then expose him to
hell-fire, then fasten him with a chain seventy cubits long! For he did
not believe in God Almighty, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor.
Have you seen him who denies the religion? He is
the one who harshly rebuffs the orphan and does not urge the feeding of
the poor. (Qur'an, 107:1-3)
...nor do you urge the feeding of the poor (Qur'an, 89:18)
Islamic morality commands Muslims to protect
the rights of orphans and those in poverty and need, to mutually support
one another, and to be well-disposed towards one another.
As we have seen in these verses, the Muslim described in the Qur'an possesses
a most loving and compassionate nature. Nobody who possesses this morality
can of course consent to terrorism or acts of violence directed at innocent
people. Terrorists' characters are the exact opposite of Qur'anic morality.
A terrorist is a ruthless person who looks with hatred on the world, and
wants to kill, destroy and shed blood.
A Muslim raised in the morality as revealed by the Qur'an, however, approaches
everyone with the love expected by Islam, respects ideas of all kinds,
always tries to bring harmony where there is discord, lower tensions,
embrace all sides and behave with moderation. Societies consisting of
people like this will be ruled by a more developed civilisation, and enjoy
greater social morality, harmony, justice and plenty than can be seen
in even the most modern nations today.
God has Commanded Forgiveness and Tolerance
The concept of forgiveness and tolerance, described in the words, "Make
allowances for people" (Qur'an, 7:199) is one of the most fundamental
tenets of Islam.
When we look at the history of Islam, the way that Muslims have translated
this important feature of Qur'anic morality into the life of society can
be seen quite clearly. As we shall be considering in later parts of the
book, Muslims have always brought with them an atmosphere of freedom and
tolerance wherever they have gone. They have enabled people whose religions,
languages and cultures are completely different from one another to live
together in peace and harmony under one roof, and provided peace and harmony
for its own members. One of the most important reasons for the centuries-long
existence of the Ottoman Empire, which spread over an enormous region,
was the atmosphere of tolerance and understanding that Islam brought with
it. Muslims, who have been known for their tolerant and loving natures
for centuries, have always been the most compassionate and just of people.
Within this multi-national structure, all ethnic groups have been free
to live according to their own religions, and their own rules.
In societies where Islamic morality is followed,
churches, mosques and synagogues co-exist peacefully. This view
of three sanctuaries in an institution for the homeless shows the
tolerance, justice and striving for peace inculcated by the teaching
of Islamic morality.
True tolerance can only bring peace and well-being to the world when
implemented along the lines set out in the Qur'an. Attention is drawn
to this fact in a verse which reads: "A good action
and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better
and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like
a bosom friend." (Qur'an, 41:34)
In the verses of the Qur'an, God has always described forgiveness as
a superior quality, and in one verse, He has given the good news that
such behaviour will be rewarded: "The repayment
of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts
things right, his reward is with God. Certainly He does not love wrongdoers."
(Qur'an, 42:40) In another verse, He has described believers as:
"those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control
their rage and pardon other people - God loves the good-doers" (Qur'an,
3:134) God has revealed in the Qur'an that it is virtuous behaviour
to forgive someone even if he has done wrong. One verse on the subject
... You will never cease to come upon some act of treachery
on their part, except for a few of them. Yet pardon them, and overlook.
God loves good-doers. (Qur'an, 5:13)
All of this shows that the morality that Islam recommends to mankind
brings to the world the virtues of peace, harmony and justice. The barbarism
known as terrorism, that is so preoccupying the world at present, is the
work of ignorant and fanatical people, completely estranged from Qur'anic
morality, and who have absolutely nothing to do with religion. The solution
to these people and groups who try to carry out their savagery under the
mask of religion is the teaching of true Qur'anic morality. In other words,
Islam and Qur'anic morality are solutions to the scourge of terrorism,
not supporters of it.
…God is All-Gentle, Most Merciful to mankind.