Co-existence and unification of religions – What does Islam say?

QUESTION
Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.Respected Ulama e Kiram, I wanted to know the Islamic stance on peaceful co-existance of religions and how is it different from unification of religions into one religion?Jazakumullahu khaira.Wassalam

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, there is a distinct difference between peaceful co-existence between religions and unification of religions into one religion.

Peaceful co-existence is a policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc., despite fundamental disagreements.[1] However, unification means the bringing together of two or more things (religions etc.) so they become a one single thing (religion).[2]

Based on the above, Islam allows religious co-existence. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Quran:

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ (الممتحنة : 8)

Translation: Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the Deen or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. Allah loves those who are just.” (Al – Mumtahinah Verse 8)

However, it does not allow religious unification into one religion. This is due to one being compelled to give up ones beliefs by unification. Therefore, religious unification into one religion is HaramAllah Ta’ala mentions in the Quran:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ (آل عمران 85)

Translation: “(85) If anyone desires anything other than Islam as a Deen, it will not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he will be among the losers.” (Aal-Imraan Verse 85)

 

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ (1) لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ (2) وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (3) وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ (4) وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ (5) لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ (6) (الكافرون)

Translation: “(1) Say: O ‘Non-Belivers ! (2) I do not worship what you worship (3) and you do not worship what I worship. (4) Nor will I worship what you worship (5) nor will you worship what I worship. (6) You have your Deen and I have my Deen.” (Surah Al-Kafiroon)

We as Muslims should never compromise on the fundamentals of our Deen. We should always adhere to and uphold our fundamental beliefs. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to do so. Aameen.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 


[1] https://www.dictionary.com/browse/coexistence

[2] https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/unification

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