Deccan Chronicle

Mystic Mantra: Respect our differences

Deccan Chronicle| ghulam rasool dehlvi

Published on: October 2, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

Religious pluralism is the expression of the will of God

A person reading the Holy Quran

A person reading the Holy Quran

Have we ever stopped to really think as to why the Almighty chose to create only Adam and Eve in the beginning? Why did He spread humanity from their seed while He could have created multiple families instead of Adam and Eve? The holy Quran has illustrated it in one of its verses. It says: "O mankind, indeed We have created you from one male and one female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you".

Clearly, Allah created mankind from one male and female to imbibe the fullest spirit of unity in diversity in our souls. We have been made into different communities, traditions, tribes and nations to learn to accommodate and respect our differences, not to fight over them. Prophet Muhammad greatly stressed universal brotherhood of mankind. With an aim to foster it, he gave a farewell address in his last Haj pilgrimage: "O people, remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab. A black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (taqwa). Indeed, the best among you is the one with the best character."

One of the universal truths enshrined in the holy Quran is that we human beings did not come into existence by chance or by our own will. It is Allah who created us and willed that we inhabit the earth in a way where we could peacefully co-exist albeit our diametrically different creeds. This is patently clear from His saying in the Quran: "If your Lord had so willed, all who are on the earth would surely have believed, all of them. Would you, then, force people until they become believers?" Our diversity is the will of God. Therefore, He prepared the earth in a fine and perfect balance to make our peaceful coexistence possible. If we were to recall this universal Quranic truth, we would go in the right direction. We would not deny others their free will to profess and practice their faiths.

Religious pluralism is the expression of the will of God. It is His design and desire for humanity. If God wanted he could have created all of us within one religious mould. Therefore, we should respect the will of God and as far as our role is concerned vis-à-vis our religions we should communicate, whatever is truth according to our perspective.

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