Cooperation Not Confrontation

Cooperation Not Confrontation

Islam is the most outstanding amongst the spiritually-oriented civilizations and seeks to spiritualise all aspects of the individual and collective life of man.

The Charlie Hebdo mischief continues unabated. Some people believe, and not unjustifiably, that the mischief is ultimately related to the phenomenon of the clash of civilizations.

Samuel Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations is not altogether without substance in that an essentially materialistic civilization cannot easily reconcile with civilizations which have a spiritual basis.

Islam is the most outstanding amongst the spiritually-oriented civilizations and seeks to spiritualise all aspects of the individual and collective life of man.

Yet the idea of clash and conflict is foreign to the ideology and system of Islam. Its manifesto is exploration of the possibilities of co-operation with others. The Quran commands its adherents through Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to extend an open invitation of co-ordination to others:

Say (O Muhammad) ‘O people of the scripture, come to the terms which are common between us and you, that we worship and obey none but Allah, that we associate no partners with Him, and that we do not take, besides Him, one another as lords; but if they turn away, tell them to stand witness that we surrender in obedience to Allah’ (3:64)

 

It is an essential article of Islamic faith that no one can be a Muslim unless he believes in all the Messengers of Allah who were raised at all times and among all nations and communities:

 

Say (O Muhammad) we believe in Allah and in that which was revealed to us and in that which was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and (their) offspring, and in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and (other) Prophets from their Lord; we do not discriminate between one and another among them and to Him (Allah) do we surrender in obedience. (3:84)

 

Those who differ in faith from Muslims are to be treated generously in a spirit of tolerance and mutual co-existence. To them they are asked to gently declare:

 

To you your religion and to me mine. (109:6).

 

Polytheism is the sin of sins according to Islam but the believers are prohibited even from abusing the idols:

Revile not those whom they (the non-Muslims) worship besides Allah. (6:108).