Does Religion promote love or hatred?


There is an ever increasing need for world religions to become leading sources of interfaith tolerance and world peace. After all, one of the basic goals of any religion is to promote welfare of all mankind.

The Holy Qur’an introduces Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) as mercy for all. It says:

And we have sent thee not but as a mercy for all peoples” [21:108].


According to the true Islamic teachings, religion is a matter between man and God. So everyone is free whether or not to choose a particular faith.

And if God had enforced His will, He would surely have made you all one people; but He lets go astray him who wishes it, and guides him who wishes it” [16:94].

The Qur’an states that there are no people to whom a Divine Messenger has not been sent [35:25]. Thus, belief in all prophets of God whether or not they have been mentioned by name in the Qur’an is one of the fundamental articles of faith for Muslims.  This is because all prophets, who were sent to any nation, were from the same God and delivered His message to the people. Similarly, belief in all revealed books that they were originally from God is another important article of Muslims’ faith.

Muslims make no distinction among all prophets sent by God. The Holy Qur’an says:

Say, we believe in God and in that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and other prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit” [3:85].

Islam teaches mutual respect. It is very unfortunate that battles fought in the early years of Islam are mostly misunderstood. Fact of the matter is that those battles were only defensive in nature. Moreover, there is no permission to start any fight in the name of God or just because the other party does not share the same faith. This is NOT Islam.

The Holy Qur’an says:

Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged -and God indeed has power to help them” [22:40].

This permission to defend was important to safeguard the freedom of thought and belief not just for the sake of Muslims but rather for people of all faiths. The Qur’an exhorts the Muslims not only to protect mosques but cloisters, churches, and synagogues. That’s why when it comes to protection of places of worship; those of other faiths are mentioned even before “mosques” in such a verse of Holy Quran.

Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft commemorated” [22:41].

It is the responsibility of Muslim governments to protect places of worship of all and it is also equally important for Muslims to respect/protect such worship houses just like they respect mosques.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been promoting interfaith dialogue through hosting “Religious Founder’s Day” worldwide, every year. This day is observed through organizing events where representatives of different faiths come together and enlighten the audience on teachings of the founders of their respective religions. The Qur’an lays importance in such events as demonstrated in verse 65 of chapter 3 which states:

Say, O People of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you — that we worship none but God, and that we associate no partner with Him” [3:65].

Such interfaith events promote understanding of each others’ faiths and highlight commonalities rather than differences. The Holy Qur’an supports this notion by stating:

Surely, those who have believed, and the Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians- whoso believes in God and the Last Day and does good deeds, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve”[5:70].

Earlier this month, on Nov. 16, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Virginia Chapter organized an interfaith peace conference at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Auditorium in  Woodbridge, where representatives of different faiths were invited to share their perspectives on promoting world peace and tolerance. Representatives of Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism spoke on the occasion.

It’s important to have more of such events where everyone is welcome and joins in the spirit of “love for all- hatred for none”- motto of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.  

Shehla Ahmad, a Stafford County resident, is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and strives to promote peace and understanding through her writings. She can be reached at

Leave a Reply