Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tolerance in Every Religion

Religion is a sensitive subject for everyone, no matter what context it comes up in and where it’s being discussed. There have been many instances where it’s been easy to be tolerant of others and the ideas. However, we are not ready to listen and pay any attention. What happens to educated, intellectual human beings that the second it comes to our religious beliefs, we are blinded by complete irrationality.


Many of you might find my explanations of religion and people who follow certain beliefs offensive. But I don’t mean to offend. I am just trying to point out the inaccuracies in our behaviors versus the behavior in which our religion, no matter what we follow, has asked us to act. I have not heard of a religion that tells us not to be patient towards those that are not like us, that tells us to call them out and tell them that because what they are doing is different; therefore, it is less important than what we choose to practice.

Most wars are started because humanity deems each-other better than one another. Those men believe in something; A God, a supreme power that gives them purpose. That tells them it’s okay to make others feel a certain way about their beliefs. Usually, it ends up making others not feel good about how they choose to live their lives.

It’s okay to be proud of who you are and what you choose to believe in. it’s not just okay, It’s a beautiful thing to find something worth living for and, in terms of religion, something worth dying for. What can be better than having that one true thing that no one can ever take away from you? The faith is coursing through your veins; it’s deep inside your brain. You know it’s beyond any other strength. It’s The ultimate truth, so what have you got to fear. At least, that’s how it should be until we find someone who denies our reality in front of us. If we are true believers, then why should it matter that someone is denying it? If we are who we are and we are logically and faithfully absolutely convinced of its truth, then why does it matter that someone is saying that it is not the absolute truth? Shouldn’t we be able to ignore that person?

There is a difference between a person wanting to know about us and wanting to start a fight. Sure, that person deserves our time and our efforts. That person we should spend time with. By all means, sit down take the time. Even if they stop you on the streets and ask you questions, answer them. They might get one of two things from the encounter.

  1. They are likely to become more tolerant towards you and your religion. They will see your people in a different light. They will know the kind and generous people that you are. They will know that you take the time and effort to talk to people and explain what your religion and customs are all about.
  2. They might be someone who are interested in becoming a part of your religion, so you might be doing your faith an excellent service and helping someone really understand their own life choices in the process.

You see, that is the right way.

Now you’re thinking, okay, crazy woman, so now you’re suggesting I just stand by and do nothing when someone insults my way of life? Something I believe in, something I have grown knowing to be true and real? Yes, yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Because that is what the right thing to do, hands down. People who insult and talk down are looking for a fight. They are not trying to understand. It’s best to find your way and take your leave. You will not do yourself, your faith or them any favors by engaging with them.

I’m a proud Muslim. I have never shied away from making sure that everyone knows my identity. However, I have tried my best to respect others for who they are and what way of life they choose to follow. At the same time, I have made sure just like I respect them I ask them to tolerate and respect me on the same level. I don’t allow anyone to make fun of me and the things that are a complete “no nos” for me, you know completely Haram ones. I ask my non-Muslim friends and colleagues to politely steer clear of them in front of me.

Most of them have never had a problem with that. They have been respectful and extremely careful. Those who have said things like, “what’s the big deal? It’s just pork. Dude come on one sip won’t kill you”. I didn’t get into an argument with them I just didn’t see them again. It’s not that the others didn’t ask questions, but their questions didn’t come from a place of insult and trying to tell me that I was wrong. Those came from a place of wanting to know.

I can’t tell you how many times Ive heard, “you’re in America now you don’t have to wear that scarf. You are free.” Those people are not the people I respond to. I walk away without answering. People have come up to me on the streets, stopped me and asked, “Hey can I ask you why you wear this?” I took the time to answer and give them as much detail as I could.

See they just wanted to understand. I’m not going anywhere, they are not going anywhere might as well get to know each other so we can live in harmony with one another. Sorry, I guess I forgot to mention I spent a better part of my life in the U.S as a Pakistani brown Muslim girl/woman. Attending middle school, high school and university over there. That makes for an interesting life. Makes for some very interesting stories which I will definitely tell you as we get to know each other.

Let’s not even pretend that we as Muslims don’t do this exact thing to other religions living in Pakistan and I saw a lot of it growing up towards religions in the West. We somehow believe the only way to protect ourselves from the devil is to shun everyone. We think we need to make everyone feel bad for their life choices and make them feel they are doing everything wrong.

This problem can easily be solved if we would just pick up the Quran and start reading it with translation or read the Sunnah of our last Prophet (PBUH). The history is filled with stories about how he respected and loved his fellow humans no matter what race, color or religion. He gave rulings in favor of non-Muslims against Muslims to the dismay of the Muslims of the time only because it was the right thing to do.

When Allah talks about the rights of mankind being greater than HIS rights in the Quran. When HE says that I will forgive sins committed against ME but the sins committed against your fellow humans can only be forgiven by the person you have wronged. Look deeper my dears, it doesn’t specify whether that person should only be Muslim or not. it just says “mankind.”

When Allah mentions taking one life is as though killing entire humanity. Allah does not distinguish between Muslim or non-Muslim. You just don’t kill. You don’t hurt Allah’s creature. You don’t commit crimes against people that Allah has asked you to protect. They don’t have to agree with your way of life, they don’t have to have the same opinions as you. They are still human beings, and they are your fellow humans walking this earth and living it same as you. Have some respect, have some compassion. Most of all, be a Muslim as we are supposed to be.

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Category: Religion

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