Tolerance in language comes from Latin “tolerare”, it means patience and restraint as an attempt to discriminate in Islam. Tolerance can also mean an attitude of mutual respect between groups or between individuals in society or in other spheres. Tolerance can avoid discrimination, although there are many different groups within a community.
Tolerance has been described in the Quran comprehensively as the basis of Islamic law, included in Allah explanation about the letter of Al-Kafirun from verses 1 to verse 6. Asbabun-nuzul is about the beginning of the Quraysh’s request of the Prophet Muhammad for mutual respect between religions, and then the leader of Quraysh requested that the prophet instructs the Muslims to take turn in worshiping two Gods: today worship the Muhammad’s God and tomorrow worship the God of the Quraysh. (Al-Maraghi, Mustafa. Tafsir Al-Maraghi. Beirut)
Along the existence of justice and virtue that is fair to oneself in carrying out the worship of the two religions, according to the leaders of Quraysh, there will be inter-religious tolerance. God opposed this decision by releasing the letter Al-Kafirun verses 1 – 6. It turns out that in religion, there should be no confusion of beliefs, the field of tolerance is only in muamalah. It can be seen from the reference of the commentaries, including Tafsir Al-Maraghi, juz 30 concerning the interpretation of the letter of Al-Kafirun.
Of course, from the story, it can be concluded according to the sources of Islamic Shari’a that there are things which are permissible. Here are 15 types of tolerance in Islam.
- The Principle of Tolerance
It says “Let Every Muslim Do Good Things to Others As Long As It Has Nothing to Do With Matters of Religion”
“God does not forbid you to do good things 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.
Verily Allah only forbids you to make your friends those who fight you because of religion and drive you out of your land and help (others) to drive you away. And whoever makes them friends, they are the wrongdoers.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah: 8 – 9)
- Do Good Things and Be Fair to Every Religion
Ibn Kathir rahimahullah said about the law belittling the morals of others, “Allah does not forbid you from doing good to non-Muslims who do not fight you like doing good to women and weak people among them. Do good and be fair because God likes those who do justice.” (Al-Qur’anic Interpretation of Al ‘Azhim, 7:247)
- Islam Teaches Us to Help Anyone, Both the Poor and the Sick
From Abu Hurairah, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Helping sick people who are still alive will get reward rewards.” (Narrated by Bukhari no. 2363 and Muslim no. 2244)
- Stay in Touch With Relatives or Non-Muslim Parents
Allah Ta’ala said, “And if both of them force you to associate with me something that has no knowledge of you, then do not follow them, and associate both in the world well.” (Surat Luqman: 15). Forced shirk, but still, we are told to do good to parents.
- Treat Old People and Siblings Well
See an example of Asma’ binti Abi Bakr radhiyallahu ‘anhuma, he said, “My mother had come to me at the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in a state of hating Islam. I also asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to keep in good relations with her. He replied, “Yes, you may.” Ibn Uyainah said that when the verse came down,
“Allah does not forbid you to do good and be fair to those who do not fight you…” (QS. Al Mumtahanah: 8) (HR. Bukhari no. 5978)
- Allowed to Give Gifts to Non-Muslims
Even more so to make them interested in Islam, or want to preach to them, or want them not to harm the Muslims.
From Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallahu ‘anhuma, he said,
Umar had seen clothes bought by someone and he said to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, “Buy clothes like this, wear it on Friday and when there are guests who come to you.” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “Indeed, those who wear such clothes will not get the slightest part in the hereafter.”
Then the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam brought in some clothes and he also gave some of it to Umar. Umar said, “Why am I allowed to wear it while you said that wearing clothes like this will not get a part in the hereafter?”
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied, “I do not want to wear this clothing so you can wear it. If you do not want to, then you just sell it or keep wearing it.” Then, Umar handed over the clothes to his brother in Mecca before his brother converted to Islam. (Narrated by Bukhari no. 2619)
- The Principle of Condemnation of Wa Liya Diin
Islam teaches us tolerance by allowing worship and non-Muslim celebrations, not participating in celebrating or congratulating because Islam teaches the principle “For you, your religion, and for me, my religion.” (Surah Al-Kafirun: 6)
- According to the Circumstances of Each
The principle is in accordance with the situation which is to stick to the creed, “Say: “Each person acts according to his own circumstances.” (Surah Al-Isra: 84) “You are released from what I do and I will be released from what you do.” (Surah Yunus: 41) “For us, our deeds and for you, your deeds.” (QS. Al Qashshash: 55)
- Do Not Sacrifice Religion
Ibn Jarir Ath Thobari explained that ‘you are inaugurated by the law,’ for you your religion, do not leave it forever because that is the end of your chosen life and you have difficulty releasing it, so you will die within that religion. As for me, it is me. I also did not leave my religion forever. Because since long ago it was known that I would not move to a religion other than that. (Interpretation of Ath Thobari, 14: 425)
- Not Related to Non-Muslim Celebrations
Ibnul Qayyim rahimahullah said, “It is not permissible for Muslims to attend non-Muslim celebrations with the agreement of the scholars. This has been confirmed by the fuqoha in their books.” Narrated by Al Baihaqi with the authentic sanad from ‘Umar bin Al Khottob radhiyallahu‘ anhu, he said,
“You must not enter non-Muslims in their churches during their celebrations because, at that time, the wrath of God was coming down.” Umar said, “Stay away from the enemies of God in their celebrations.” That is what Ibnul Qayyim mentioned in Ahkam the Dzimmah Expert, 1: 723-724.
- Not Related to Immoral Events
Also the nature of ad ibadurrahman, that is the servant of Allah who is a believer yet does not attend the event which contains immorality. Christmas celebration is not an ordinary immoral because the celebration means celebrating the birth of Jesus who is considered a child of God whereas we are commanded by Allah Ta’ala to speak away from the immoral event especially the Kufr event,
“And those who do not give attend az-zuur and when they meet (people) who do deeds that are not beneficial, they pass (only) by maintaining their honor.” (QS. Al Furqon: 72) What is meant by attending the az-zuur event is an event that contains immorality. So, if there are kyai or descendants of the kyai who attend Christmas Mass, it is a disaster.
- Not Imposing Will
- Do not force others to follow our religion;
- Do not denounce/insult other religions for any reason; and
- Do not prohibit or disturb other religious people to worship according to their religion/belief.
- Respect Others
Among other things: Respect opinions about the thoughts of others who are different from us and help each other among fellow humans regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, and between groups.
- Tolerance is Limited to the Area of Muamalah
Tolerance, also known as tasamuh, is a principle in Islamic religion. In other words, Islam is aware of and accepts differences. However, in practice, the tolerance of Islam also has a tolerance or tolerant limits. Tolerance in Islam is limited to the area of muamalah and not in the area of ubudiah.
- Tolerance is Not Related to Aqidah and Worship
Islam is a religion that realizes the importance of interaction, so in Islam relations with non-Muslims are not only permissible but also encouraged. As the prophet said, “Demand knowledge even in China.” Science is a part of you. Then, muamalah aspects such as trade, social life, industry, health, education, and others, are allowed in Islam. And what is forbidden is with regard to aqeedah and worship.
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