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Understanding Tolerance in Islam

Understanding Tolerance in Islam


Definition of Tolerance

In general, tolerance can be interpreted as a human attitude to mutual respect and respect for existing differences.


Tolerance needs to be raised in each group to foster a sense of peace in the diversity around the environment.


Etymologically or linguistically, tolerance comes from the Latin tolerate which means patience and restraint. Meanwhile, in terms of terminology, tolerance is an attitude of mutual respect, respect, expressing opinions, beliefs, and views of fellow human beings which are contradictory to oneself.


Linguistically, tolerance can also be interpreted as a person's ability to be patient and refrain from various things that are not in line with him. With the presence of this sense of tolerance in each individual, various kinds of conflicts or differences that exist will no longer occur.


It is undeniable that tolerance plays an important role in maintaining peace. Of course, this attitude of tolerance is very much needed in Indonesian society which has a very diverse cultural background, such as religion, ethnicity, race, and skin color.


Some experts also have their views about this tolerance. According to Tilman, tolerance is an attitude of mutual respect for maintaining peace. According to him, peace is created from this attitude of tolerance.


Later, Max Isaac Dimont also expressed his opinion on this tolerance. Tolerance according to Dimont is an attitude to recognize peace and not deviate from recognized and applicable norms.


Tolerance also has the meaning of mutual respect and respect for each other's actions. Meanwhile, Friedrich Heiler said that tolerance is the attitude of someone who recognizes the existence of plurality in religion and respects the opinions of adherents of that religion. According to Heiler, every religious adherent has the right to receive equal treatment from all communities.


Tolerance itself is important to define, to maintain harmony in a pluralistic society like Indonesia. Where our country, is a unique country with cultural diversity in it. As the majority, Muslims themselves have the responsibility to guide tolerance in this country as discussed in the book Fiqh of Tolerance.


Understanding tolerance in Islam

As previously explained, tolerance is an attitude of mutual respect for the opinions of others.


In Islam itself, tolerance is called tasamuh. Tasamuh or tasahul means ease. Thus it can be interpreted that Islam makes it easy for anyone to carry out what is believed to be by their respective teachings without any pressure or not disturbing the beliefs that have been lived by others.


Then, in the context of society and religion, tolerance can be defined as an attitude or act that prohibits discrimination in certain communities that have differences or cannot be accepted by people in general.

Therefore, in religious tolerance, society allows the existence of other religions. In Islam itself, the concept of tasamuh contains the concept of rahmatan Lil Alamin.


Although the Qur'an does not explicitly explain the definition of tasamuh, in the holy book of the Qur'an there are several themes related to this tolerance. Some of them are mercy or compassion in QS al-Balad verse 17 or greetings and safety in QS al-Furqan verse 63.


Tolerance between religious communities contained in the Qur'an is First, being responsible for beliefs and actions, Second, freedom to choose and practice beliefs without coercion, Third, mutual respect and respect for beliefs, Fourth, be fair and do good to fellow human beings.


Forms of Tolerance in Islam

Islam highly upholds the values of tolerance. The Qur'an itself has explained how to regulate relations between other religious communities. Therefore, every Muslim must have a tolerant attitude towards people of other religions. The forms of tolerance taught in Islam are as follows.


1. Be fair to everyone

Ibn Kathir Rahimullah once said regarding the law of belittling or demeaning non-Muslims, Allah does not forbid you from doing good to non-Muslims who do not fight you as well as doing good deeds to women and the weak among them. Therefore, do good and act justly, because Allah loves those who do justice.


In the Qur'an Surah Al Mumtahanah verses 8-9 it has also been explained that in fact, Allah SWT only forbids you to make as your friends those who have fought you because of religion and expelled you from your country and helped others to expel you.


And whoever takes them as friends, then indeed they have been among the wrongdoers. From this verse, it can be concluded that congratulation that people of other religions do not fight, divide and distance Muslims from the rules of their religion, so as Muslims, we are obliged to continue to do good and act fairly.


2. Respect each other's religious principles

In Surah Al Kafirun which means "For you is your religion, and for me is mine", we can conclude that Islam always teaches us to be tolerant of any religion whatsoever.


We must understand that the God we worship as Muslims is certainly different from the God of other religions. So is the case with the places of worship that we use. Therefore, we must not force followers of other religions to adhere to the teachings of Islam that we believe in. Likewise, we should not insult or disturb people of other religions who have different beliefs from ours.


In addition, mutual respect between religious communities is important so as not to cause division in the community. Living in harmony and tolerance between each religious community does not indicate any interference between the teachings of one religion and another. However, an attitude of tolerance amid these differences will further strengthen the sense of togetherness and peace between communities.


Religious traditions belonging to a group can unite diversity among adherents of other religions. Thus, religious values and attitudes of tolerance taught from an early age to children can be a controller in their lives in the future. Especially when it comes to finding the differences around it.


3. Tolerance in trade and justice

In matters of trade and justice, Islam also teaches about tolerance, especially in buying and selling transactions. As Muslims, we are taught to measure or weigh honestly so as not to harm others for personal gain.


As in Surah Hud verse 85 which means "And Shuaib said: O my people, suffice the measure and the scales fairly, and do not harm people for their rights.


This verse explicitly invites mankind not to act fraudulently in trade matters. Of course, buying behavior by asking for more scales and selling behavior by doing fewer scales is not justified in Islam.


On the other hand, people who have a tolerant attitude in trade transactions will find it easy in Islam. Likewise, people who are always airy will also be given the ease in every problem they face.


4. Tolerance in accounts payable

For matters of debt, Islam also has its pre-determined provisions. In Surah Al Baqarah verse 280 means "And if the debtor is in trouble, then give him a respite until he has plenty.


And giving some or all of that debt is better for you if you knew about it.” This verse means that being flexible in giving debts or loans is a virtue.


So is the case with being open to people who have difficulty repaying their loans or debts. People who give opportunities to those who are experiencing difficulties have been promised by Allah SWT to get at ease in the hereafter when everyone is experiencing difficulties.


The Messenger of Allah once said, "There is a merchant who gives a loan to someone so that when the merchant sees those who are having difficulty, the merchant will say to his subordinates, 'Give him the time so that he has an ease, may Allah SWT make things easy for us'. So, Allah SWT also made it easy for the merchant.


Tolerance is an attitude of providing convenience and spaciousness to everyone. This attitude is included in the form of grace and affection between others. So do not be surprised if Allah SWT has indeed promised a return of grace to anyone who has this tolerant attitude toward others who are having difficulty paying their debts.


5. Tolerance in science

It is undeniable that science has a high position in Islam. People who know have also been guaranteed their position by Allah SWT. Likewise in terms of devoting knowledge or sharing knowledge with fellow human beings.


Devoting knowledge to the people is the main thing and exceeds wealth. Therefore, people who know should open wide to anyone to share their knowledge.


Either by discussing with each other or by teaching people who need this knowledge. A science expert should indeed pay attention to those who will ask about various things he needs.


For example, if someone asks a scholar a question, he should give a clear and clear description or explanation. If necessary, he must convey various sources of information such as the arguments, the as babul world, the asbabun nuzul to other things that must be conveyed to the questioner.


In a hadith sourced from Abu Hurairah, it is stated that "There was a man who asked the Messenger of Allah -peace, and prayer of Allah be upon him- and then said "O Messenger of Allah, we boarded a ship and brought only a little water, if we did ablution using it we would, of course, be thirsty. Can we perform ablution with seawater?”


Then the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wassalam replied, "The seawater is pure water and the carcass is lawful". From this hadith, it can be concluded that the Prophet Muhammad was very spacious when answering a question from his people.


If you look closely, the question is only about whether or not they are allowed to use seawater for ablution. However, the Prophet Muhammad SAW gave a broader and clearer explanation.


6. Tolerance in self-esteem

Everyone has self-esteem that must be maintained. Unfortunately, in today's society, there are still many people who like to drop or belittle someone's honor.


Of course, this kind of behavior will only embarrass the person concerned. Sometimes, someone who is being abused by his self-esteem will immediately respond with an emotional form to the perpetrator who lowers his self-esteem.


Of course, we often see incidents of angry or angry people around us because it is caused by this self-esteem problem. And in the end, it will lead to disputes and severance of ties of friendship.


At the time of the Prophet SAW there was a friend who had experienced a case like the one above. The friend was despised by the people he often helped. In a hadith narrated like this, Aisyah Radhi Allahu Anha said:


"Then the verse came down that freed me from the fitna." Abu Bakr As-Siddiq who always paid for the life of Mistah bin Usasah because he had family relations and also had poverty problems said:


"By Allah, after this, I will not provide any more support to Mistah forever after what he said to Aisha"


After that, Allah revealed the verse:


"And let not those who have advantages and spaciousness among you swear that they will never again assist their relatives, the poor, and those who are emigrating in the way of Allah SWT. And let them forgive and have mercy on them. Don't you want Allah SWT to forgive you? And verily Allah is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Surah An-Nur verse 22).


Abu Bakr then said:


"Yes, by Allah, I would love it more if Allah (SWT) had forgiven me. So Abu Bakr returned to provide for Mistah as before then he said: I will not stop providing for her forever..." (Narrated in the Hadith of Al Bukhari).


7 Tolerance in reacting to mistakes

Whoever it certainly has the intention to be a good person, especially if he has faith. However, it is undeniable that human beings are never separated from mistakes. Sometimes doing wrong or Munkar in his life. To respond to the wrong behavior of others, our basic attitude is as stated in Surah Al Maidah verse 54 which means it reads:


“.... Those who are gentle with the believers.” And it is also mentioned in the sura Asy Syu'ara verse 215 which has the meaning


"...and humble yourselves towards those who follow you, namely the believers".


From these verses, a lesson can be drawn that the characteristics of the believers are gentle, calm, not easily angered, and quick to think negatively towards each other.


Hadith About Tolerance In Islam

In addition to verses about tolerance, some hadiths discuss this tolerant attitude between people. The first hadith is


"The religion most loved by Allah is the one that is upright and tolerant." (Narrated by al-Bukhari).


In another hadith it is also stated that the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

From Anas bin Malik RA, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "By (Allah) in Whose hand is my life, a servant does not believe until he loves his neighbor as he loves himself." (Narrated by Muslim and Abu Ya'la: 2967).


Tolerance does need to be nurtured around us. Mutual love and respect among families of different beliefs is included in the attitude of tolerance. Therefore, this attitude of tolerance is expected not only to be grown in the family environment but also in the wider community.

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