Knowing the History of Tolerance in Islam
Mutual respect among religious people is one of the traits that must be held by a Muslim. It is because regardless of what our religion is, respecting the teachings of others is also part of the knowledge taught to us. That is why tolerance needs to be maintained.
Allah said in QS. Al Kafirun verse 6:
لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِىَ دِينِ
“For you your religion and to me mine.”
The content of the verse above does not have a meaning in which every religion that is not in line with us must be fought. Rather, it has the intention of having the tolerance to other beliefs because our religion will not affect other religions, just as other religions will not affect ours.
For example, if a non-Muslim decides to give alms and in the calculation of their alms, it is more than a Muslim, then Muslims will not suffer losses from it. Because according to Islam, Fastabiqul Khoirot or competing in goodness is a race that no one loses. All of them win, depending on God who judges who is the best.
On the other hand, people who do not have tolerance are wort to fight with.
Allah SWT said in QS. Al Muthaharah verse 8:
لا ينهىكم ٱلله عن ٱلذين لم يقتلوكم فى ٱلدين ولم يخرجوكم من ديركم أن تبروهم وتقسطوا إليهم إن ٱلله يحب ٱلمقسطين
“God does not forbid you to do a good deed and be fair to those who have not fought you because of religion and do not (also) drive you out of your land. Indeed, Allah likes those who are just.”
From the verse above, it is explained that there is no reason to fight people unless they fight because of religion and do colonialism.
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Tolerance in the Age of the Prophet
Knowing the history of tolerance in Islam, Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam himself taught his friends and followers to be tolerant. The Messenger of Allah never hated anyone just because his religion was different. Even during times of war, Rasulullah will not do anything that has an impact on intolerance based on Surah Al Muthaharah verse 8 above.
Here is an example of tolerance in the Age of the Prophet.
- Respect the Jewish Body
Allah said in Surah Al Baqarah verse 120:
ولن ترضى عنك ٱليهود ولا ٱلنصرى حتى تتبع ملتهم قل إن هدى ٱلله هو ٱلهدى ولئن ٱتبعت أهوآءهم بعد ٱلذى جآءك من ٱلعلم ما لك من ٱلله من ولى ولا نصير
“Jews and Christians will not be happy with you until you follow their religion. Say: “Verily Allah’s instructions are the (correct) clue.” And if you follow theirs, God is no longer a protector and helper for you.”
Imam al-Tabari expressed his opinion that the above verse was revealed because Jews and Christians claimed that those who would go to heaven were only their group, not a group that received new teachings from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
That is why the verse was revealed as a motivation from Allah SWT that the statements issued by Jews and Christians are only claims and they will continue to say so until the Prophet Muhammad wants to follow their teachings.
Even so, the Prophet never hated or antagonized them. The Messenger of Allah still considers everyone the same. Even the tolerance of the Prophet remained valid when there was a Jewish body that passed in front of him. This is explained in the Hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah which reads:
“(One time) we (the companions of the Prophet) passed by a corpse. Then the Prophet stood up (when the coffin passed us), and we also stood up as he did. “Apostle, that is the body of the Jews, why should we stand up?” asked the companions to the Messenger of Allah. “Death is very scary. Therefore, if you see the corpse (whatever its religion) is passing by, stand for a moment (so that you remember dead),” replied the Messenger of Allah to the companions.” (HR Bukhari, Muslim, an-Nasai, and Abu Daud)
- Say Greetings to Non-Muslims
This is often debate and the reason is simple. Often the opinion arises that answering greetings and saying hello to non-Muslims are a matter that is unlawful or not allowed. Of course, when viewed from the naked eye, this seems to neglect the nature of tolerance.
Imam Nawawi in the book Syarah Muslim argues that it should not precede giving greetings, Assalamualaikum, to non-Muslims. But this opinion is one of the many opinions expressed without ignoring the opinions of others.
According to Al-Baihaqi (quoted by Imam Nawawi), one of the companions of the Messenger of Allah, Abu Umamah, always gave priority to greetings, Assalamualaikum to non-Muslims. He argues that our greetings to fellow Muslims are a form of tahiyyah (immorality), while our greetings to non-Muslims are an effort to maintain peace with them (safe).
- Give Alms to Non-Muslims
An Nawawi in Al Majmu’ said that:
It is recommended that the alms be given to pious people, people who diligently do a good deed, keep their honor and need. But if there are people who give charity to the wicked, or unbelievers, among Jews, Christians, or majus, the law is permissible.
Some scholars argue that almsgiving to non-Muslims are limited to sunnah charity whereas charity must only be intended for people who have the right to receive it in syar’i.
In a history of Amr bin Syu’aib from his father, he said:
“I slaughtered a goat for Ibn Umar and his family. Ibn Umar said: “Have you given this goat also to our Jewish neighbor?” They said: “Not yet.” Ibn Umar said: “Give some to them because I have heard the Prophet Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam say: ‘Jibril always leaves me to do a good deed to my neighbors so that I almost thought the neighbors would get the inheritance.’” (Narrated by Tirmidzi 1943, shahih by Shaykh Muqbil bin Hadi Al Wadi’i in Shahih Al Musnad 797).
From the history above, it can be concluded that charity to non-Muslims is not haram and is permissible. This certainly shows that the attitude of tolerance is strong because of the teachings of Islam itself calling for not being hostile to every human being without reason and treating them equally. As for every court, God will determine it.