Diversity by default
Dear my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
This is in response to Pope’s most welcomed unified religious position.
We are blessed to know that there have been tremendous efforts being made by enlighten and peacemaking Muslim religious and political leaders in recent time; scholars from all over the Muslim world refuting the barbaric religious narratives being promoted by extremists devoid of knowledge and wisdom. From Cairo’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights to King Abdullah’s Interfaith Harmony push as well as the recent gathering of Muslim scholars from all over the world in Morocco to revive the Prophet’s famous inclusive ‘Madinah Constitution’, shows the much needed seeds of proper Islamic understanding are being planted by these peacemakers.
“Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” 2:62
“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” 5:48
“If it had been thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!” 10:99
“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” 5:8
These statements of human unity without uniformity from the Holy Quran must be our source of religious peaceful coexistence, not the fabricated and divisive ideology that had been promoted by religious bigots.
The goal of religious diversity, as stated in these Qur’anic verses, is to compete for virtues as in a race by religious communities. Unfortunately our deadly religious encounters are caused by religious scholars who have erroneously taught that in order to be considered true faithful people have to adhere to one religious practice, theirs. Yet the Holy Quran specifically stated that each religion is given a guidance and an open way (how to worship) in order to compete for virtuous and noble deeds.
Finally, it is Allah (SW) who created the human diversity and made the commandment to those following the Torah to worship according to guidance from the Torah, those who follow the Bible to worship according to the commandments therein, and Muslims and others to worship according to guidance of their respective Holy Books.