Allah has chosen a man, has favored him and has fully endowed him. He has sent down to him Messengers and Holy Books. He also set rules and commands. Allah, the Almighty, says:
“And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-Isra , verse 70).
Islam was sent down as mercy and guidance to mankind. In a world that has become smaller and interdependent, in a world seeking peace and stability, mankind are in crucial need, now more than ever, to learn the true principles and essence of Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His Noble history represents the best practical model of coexistence in society and among different communities on the basis of fraternity and righteous cooperation. Islam asserts and recognizes diversity and multiplicity as part of the Divine intention and purpose in creation. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ. Except whom your Lord has given mercy, and for that He created them. But the word of your Lord is to be fulfilled that, “I will surely fill Hell with jinn and men all together.” (Al-Quran, surah Hud , verse 118‐119)
Islam has laid the foundations of peaceful coexistence in society and even in the world at large. Islam calls for peaceful cooperation which leads to a better life for everyone. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was exhorting Muslims to support the newly established Muslim community in Medina, He signed the Constitution that embodied the Islamic principle of reaching contractual peaceful coexistence with adherents of other religions. Based on the Islamic principles, Muslims all over the world live in peace in diverse societies irrespective of differences in religion, race or culture.
Islam prohibits any form of coerced (forced) conversion to Islam. Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, says in the Holy Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion” Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called for Islam with gentle approach and wisdom. “It is reported from Abu Huraira that the Prophet, may Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, sent riders towards Najd. They brought a man of the bani Hanifa, whose name was Thumama ibn Uthal, and tied him to one of the pillars of the mosque. Then the Holy Prophet came out to him and asked him three times to cover. When the man refused, the Prophet asked them to let him go. The man went to a date tree close to the mosque, had a bath and came back and said: ‘I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.’”
Islamic teachings call for Muslims to respect and cooperate with people from all walks of life regardless of difference in religion. Islam stands firm for the principle of non‐coercion. It even emphasizes the importance of honoring one’s parents irrespective of their faith. Asma’ bint (daughter) of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them, said:”My mother came to visit me at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and she was a nonbeliever. I inquired from the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said:”Continue to do good to your non‐believing mother.”
Islam stands firm for justice in society. The reluctance of some people to convert to Islam should not be by any means a pretext to assault or hurt them or forgo their rights. Allah, the Almighty, says in the Holy Quran:
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Quran, surah Al-Ma’idah , verse 8).
Muslims must keep and honor their treaties, covenants or agreement because disloyalty and betrayal are two abhorred attributes in Islam. We ask Allah, the Almighty, to help us obey Him and obey those He has ordained us to obey. Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Al-Quran, surah An-Nisa’ , verse 59).