Justice and Tolerance in Islam
"Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly as witnesses to God in fair dealing. And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve from justice. Be just: that is next to piety, and fear God." (Qur’an-5:8)
One of the many important things in Islam is justice. Islam teaches us to treat everyone fairly. Even if we dislike a person or group, Islam teaches us to be fair and just to all people, even to our enemies.
The life, honor and property of all citizens are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not. Racism and sexism are incomprehensible to Muslims.
There has been a misconception that Islam is intolerant of other religions. However, God states in the Qur’an: "There is no compulsion in religion." and "For you is your religion and for me is my religion."
Jews and Christians are referred to as: "The People of the Book" in the Qur’an.
In 623 C.E., in Prophet Muhammad’s time, there were Jews in Madina. The Prophet made a written agreement with the Jews, defining the rights and duties of both the Jews and Muslims. It was the first Written Constitution of the world, which showed that Muslims respect other people’s religions and their rights.
In 634 C.E., in Jerusalem, shortly after Prophet Muhammad’s death, Omar, the second leader of Islam, under the agreement called the "Covenant of Omar," guaranteed safety to Christians and Jews and protection for the people, their holy sites, and for their property. Omar withdrew the Roman decree banishing Jews from Jerusalem and also promised to protect their freedom of religious practice. This was the first international guarantee for religious freedom.
History provides many examples of Muslims’ tolerance towards other faiths. For instance, before the Spanish Inquisition, Jews and Christians lived and prospered in Spain for many centuries under Muslim rule.
O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know each other (not that you may despise each other).