Tolerance among Muslim brothers

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For the survival and the peace of healthy personal and social life, maintenance of unity in the Muslim society, a healthy spiritual life among Muslims, there is desperate need to prevent dispute, discord, partisanship, obstinacy, and envy because they cause rancour and enmity among believers. There are many aspects that these are harming social and spiritual life, and

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poison personal life; they are against the truth and wisdom, as well as Islam (the viewpoint of supreme humanity).

First aspect, it is wrong to cherish rancour and enmity to Muslims from the viewpoint of truth. Muslims have many innocent acts and sides such as belief, Islam, and neighbourliness. Because of making a small mistake, or one criminal attribute you do not like, and you want to fight with that person created by God, your crime would be most atrocious.

Second aspect, “love and enmity are opposites, like light and darkness, and so their true nature cannot be combined in a single heart. If love is truly felt, hostility assumes the form of pity. Believers should love -and indeed do love- their coreligionists and be pained by any evil seen in them.”[1] They should try to improve their coreligionists only with gentleness, for a Prophetic Tradition states: “Believers should not be angry with each other, nor refuse to speak to each other for more than three days.”[2] If the causes producing enmity predominate and hostility invades the heart, love becomes merely formal and no more than pretence and flattery.

“Both of you serve the same One Creator, Sovereign, Object of Worship, Provider… so there are as many ties between you as there are Divine Names. Your Prophet, religion [Islam], and qibla are one and the same, and the number of such ties amount to almost a hundred. Your town, country, and state is one, and tens of things are one and the same for you. These ties require unity and oneness, union and concord, love and brotherhood. Such immaterial chains are strong enough to link all planets together. Preferring something as frail and trivial as a spider’s web, which causes dispute, discord, rancour, enmity, and grudges toward fellow believers, shows your great disregard for such ties. You seriously offend those causes of love and transgress against those brotherly relationships!”

Third aspect, according to the divine justice “No soul bears the loads of another[3] we cannot wipe out or condemn both all of his innocent good deeds and qualities because of one criminal act and his relatives. Since truth and Islam’s law and wisdom warn us against such a great injustice, “People are much given to wrongdoing”[4] We need to consider how great an offense it is to harbour enmity toward innocent fellow believers who are worthy of love, or toward their relatives because you do not like individual believers.

The other aspect, “If you want to nurse your hostility, direct it against the enmity in your heart and try to remove it. Fight your carnal self and its fancies and try to reform it, for it is your dost dangerous enemy. Those who indulge in rancour and enmity wrong and transgress their own souls, fellow believers, and Divine Compassion. They condemn their souls to painful torment, inflict anguish upon themselves whenever they see their enemies obtain a blessing or advantage, and suffer pain because they fear their enemies. Enmity arising from envy is the severest torment; for envy consumes and destroys the envious while leaving the one envied untouched (or largely untouched).”[5]

Moreover, obstinacy and partisanship only harm social life. Partisanship in the name of truth can be a refuge for those seeking their rights. But the current biased and self-centred partisanship is only a refuge and a focus of support for the unjust. If devilish people support those engaged in biased partisanship, such

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partisans will call God’s blessings upon them. Additionally to this, “if angelic people join another side, the same partisans will call God’s curses upon them. If their conduct is not based on exalted principles, loving, disliking, and judging for God’s sake alone, dispute and discord will result. If one ignores these principles, attempts to do justice will result in injustice. This can be seen in the following incident: Imam ‘Ali once felled an unbeliever. He was about to kill him, the unbeliever spat at him. ‘Ali released him. When the unbeliever asked why, ‘Ali replied: “I was going to kill you for God’s sake. But I became angry when you spat at me, and so my intention’s purity was clouded by my soul’s inclinations. So, I did not kill you.” The unbeliever replied: “I spat at you so that you would become mad and kill me instantly. If your religion is so pure and disinterested, it must be truth”.”[6]

Lastly, “enmity and rancour spoil spiritual life and worship, for they spoil your intention’s purity -the means of salvation. Biased partisans seek superiority over the enemy while performing good deeds and so do not act purely for God’s sake. Slanting their judgments and dealings toward their supporters, they cannot be just. Their intention becomes impure, and their justice becomes injustice, both of which void their good deeds. This aspect could be elaborated upon, further, but we keep it short to reserve space for other matters.”

All in all, we, Muslims, should control our passions and hostile partisanship; otherwise our strength will weaken so much that even a small force can beat us. If we have any commitment to a collective life of social harmony and solidarity, make the principle of “the believers are together like a firm building, one part of which supports the other” your guiding principle in Life!”[7] This will deliver you from humiliation in this world and wretchedness in the next.


[1] Nursi, Bediuzzaman Said, Letters(Huseyin Akarsu),282

[2] Bukhari, “Adab,” 57; Muslim, “Birr,” 23; Abu Dawud, “Adab,” 47.

[3] Quran, Al-Anaam-6: 164

[4] Quran, Ibrahim -14:34

[5] Nursi, 285

[6] Ibid, 287

[7] Bukhari, “Salat,” 88; Muslim, “Birr,” 65; Tirmidhi, “Birr,” 18.