Tolerance in Islam – by Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam

There are five divine guidelines that the Qur’an clearly presents to Muslims for building tolerance and understanding among differing religions.

• Everyone’s God-given human dignity must be respected, regardless of his or her faith, race, ethnic origin, gender, or social status (ref. Qur’an, 17:70). Because everyone is created by God Almighty, the Maker of all, humans must treat one another with full honor, respect, and loving-kindness.

• Islam teaches it is by Divine Will that God’s human creation follows different religions, or no religion at all — no religion is nevertheless a faith, or belief-system (ref. Qur’an, 10:99). But God Almighty is not pleased when some humans choose not to believe. (ref. Qur’an, 39:7)

• The Qur’an states clearly that freedom of religion is a God-given right. (ref. Qur’an, 2:256)

• The final judgment of all humanity lies in the hands of God, the One Almighty, their Creator, to whom we all ultimately return. (ref. Qur’an, 22:68-69 and 42:15)

• God loves justice and those who strive to practice it, especially toward people who are different from them in any way, including in matters of religious belief. (ref. Qur’an, 5:8 and 60:8)

A Muslim ‘Eid postage stamp by master calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya, has brought a message of tolerance into millions of homes in the US. On it is a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which translates to: “There is no facilitating or reciprocating harm.”

Folk-pop legend Cat Stevens has been known as Yusuf Islam since he became a Muslim in the 1970s. After a long absence, he is making his comeback with a world tour that attempts to reconcile his dual identity. | LEON NEAL via Getty Images

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