Tolerance, Pluralism & Truth

Someone once told me:

The Islamic expansions were to force non-Muslims to embrace Islam.

I told him:

Who forced the Tatars to convert to Islam while they were the victors in the battle?

Does the victor embrace the religion of the vanquished?

Did the Copts of Egypt not welcome the Muslims and consider them liberators from the persecution of the Romans and helped them to get rid of this persecution?

Who restored his churches to the Coptic Patriarch in Egypt and lifted the injustice imposed on him by returning him to his work when the Romans persecuted him?

Isn’t the companion “Amr ibn al-Aas” who recognized by this noble act the freedom of religion that he learned from the Messenger of God Muhammad?

The questioner said:

But the Muslims have imposed the tax (Jizya) on the Copts. You have two different laws (tax).

I told him:

Islam teaches that non-Muslims who live under the Muslim land can live by their own laws. Muslims can not force their religion on non-Muslims. The Islamic state can not force non Muslims to pay any religious duty which Muslims have to pay. They have to respect that non-Muslims have a different religion.

The Creator said:

Say, “O disbelievers, ۝ I do not worship what you worship. ۝ Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. ۝ Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. ۝ Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.

According to the new Testament, the tax must be given to those who are entitled to it.

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans13:7)

Therefore, when the non-Muslims use the government functions they have to pay the tax for using the streets, security, etc, for the government to run and to give the non-Muslim services. In addition to that, if the Islamic government can not provide security, for example, to them, in this case, it can not take the tax from n9n-Muslims.

If they imposed the tax (jizya) on the Coptic warrior only but not on his family members, it was a tiny amount in reality compared to the amount of jizya (poll tax) they were paying on behalf of all family members, by paying huge sums to the Romanian state.

(Jizya) is in return for protection and exemption from waging wars with them, and it is similar to the tax approved by international law today in return for providing services and protection from the state to its citizens.

While the Muslim pay 2, 5 % from his savings on each family member, which is much more.

Dutch historian “Reinhardt Dozy” said:

“The majority of Christians in the East belonged to various sects. These sects had been subjected to persecution and assistance from the Constantinople government, which exhausted its followers. When Islam came – and because of its tolerance and brotherhood – it gave them complete freedom to remain in their religion, shaded them with its protection, and equalized them in rights of different sects. Since they were obliged to pay heavy taxes to the Roman Emperor, Islam exempted them from it and imposed only a tribute, moderate, don’t tire anyone.”

I also told him:

Didn’t Calif Omar “Ibn Al-Khattab”, after his complete control over the city of Jerusalem, refuse to pray in the Church of Sepulcher so that Muslims would not think that it was a permission to convert the church into a mosque?

Is not the key of this church in the custody of a Muslim family to this day?

A member of this family says:

“My family has been honored with this sacred mission since 1187, when the Conqueror, “Salah al-Din”, followed in the footsteps of Caliph “Omar Ibn Al-Khattab” after liberating Jerusalem from the hands of the Crusaders. He wrote with his hand the assurance of safety to the people of Aelia (known as al-ʿUhda al-ʿUmariyya‎). A covenant shows the tolerance of the Islamic religion, which gave the Christians a covenant that guaranteed to practice their religious rituals in Jerusalem.”

The practice of non-Muslim rituals in accordance with the ‘Umar’s Covenant was subject to conditions, including: “Not to harbor spies in their churches or homes, not to deceive Muslims, not to strike their bells except lightly in the hollow of their churches, along with other conditions.

The questioner said: Isn’t what the Muslims did to replace colonialism with another?

I told him:

At that time, the rule of the Islamic state was not colonialism, as the Muslim conqueror’s group turned into a group guarantor of the Jews’ and Christians’ rights. This means that the ideal situation required Muslims to monitor and protect the Jews and Christians and grant them full citizenship in its contemporary sense. This, on the scale of the Middle Ages, is a very significant advance.

The non-Arab nations that embraced the religion of Islam still celebrate the holidays of Muslims because of their firm adherence to the religion of Islam.

The nations that succumbed to colonialism made decolonization day a national holiday (the holidays of evacuation and independence in Arabic countries, the Islamic world, and others).

We must understand that colonialism is economic and strategic exploitation for the benefit of the colonial state. That is why we see the colonial countries rose at the expense of the colonies.So, there is a vast difference between the conditions of the two parties.

For example, We note the peoples’ reactions after the end of the colonial era (France and Algeria, Egypt and Britain, India and Britain, and so on). As for Muslims, the basis of their conquest is the inclusion of others into their world (sharing the same rights and obligations), with disparities in the application tainted by human defects, which in later eras sometimes took a political character due to human weakness.

The Jews and Christians lived under the protection of Islam, enjoying their rights. This is what the world is calling for today, the Islamic religion, which has given non-Muslims rights to it, and has defined the true meaning of peaceful coexistence for all of humanity.

It is worth noting here the importance of differentiating between the ideal religion of Islam and the non-ideal Muslims. But no pluralism in the absolute truth, which states:

True religion is one religion: To believe in the Creator, Who has no partner or child. The Creator does not incarnate in a human, animal or an idol form. Humans have to worship Him alone, not through a priest or saint.

God said about the true religion:

The Messenger believes, and so do the believers, in the guidance sent down upon him from his Lord: each of them believes in God, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers. They say: We make no distinction between any of His Messengers .

Islam is based on accepting all God’s prophets and messengers.

God said:

Say, [O believers], We have believed in God and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.


The Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Middle East use the word “Allah” to refer to God, which refers to The Only True God.


A Global Religión

Faten Sabri

Book: Insights into the history of Islam

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