Question:
How does the holy Quran define tolerance and leniency?

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Answer:
Literally Tasamuh means to get along with one another, compromise and overlook mistakes; Tasamuh means to treat others leniently. It means to reach an agreement and compromise with one another unconditionally. The History and purpose behind the theory and its theoreticians: Europeans first employed tolerance on their religious affairs when protestant sect and its followers` bloody struggle against the followers of catholic sect robbed the Europeans of their steady social progress. Finally there left no choice but to tolerate opposing beliefs so that a war of religion is hindered. Another origin of tolerance shall be sought through the Europeans` inclination to pluralism. The unity of religions for religious tolerance ought to be considered so that man`s role in decision-making and molding their future as they wish is more put into practice. We had better bear in mind that Divine Abrahamic religions have a lot in common and even Islam deems it appropriate to emphasize common points to develop a bond and relation with those that accept these common points. What advocates of tolerance claim is elements of diversity should be eliminated for the sake of unity. The main point in common should be preserved without arising any sensitivity. Their reasoning is based on this idea that promotes the eradication of differences of opinions and schism for impeding against war, tension and struggle so that all people can enjoy a peaceful life under the aegis of a common global religion. A Quranic reason for the proponents of tolerance: “Indeed the faithful, the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians. Those of them who have faith in Allah and the Last Day and act righteously, they shall have their reward near their Lord and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.”(1) As regards the above verse, the requirements for man`s felicity are two: A- Belief in God, prophecy, and sacred religions B- Sincere conformity and honest pursuit of those sacred religions Above verse does not mention any time; however, it cannot be employed to prove the righteousness of aforementioned religions at the era of the Prophet of Islam because this holy verse emphasizes only on the fact that mere appearance and slogan cannot be a reason of righteousness and being a Muslim, a Jew, Christian or Sabian in name will not deliver one from Divine Chastisement. Deliverance and felicity is anchored on two premises of true faith and pious acts. Pious act is evaluated based on Divine religion of the time and its code of conduct. The Noble Prophet of Islam(s) was the seal of the prophets and his sacred religion is the seal of Divine Abrahamic religions as is mentioned and emphasized in verse forty of surat al-Ahzab. As such, the advent of Islam annuls the pursuit of other sacred religions and declares them void and invalid, and God will not accept it. This decree has been issued on the expediency of the religion of Islam as the seal of Abrahamic religions and global mission of the Prophet of Islam. If we suppose other religions were to be still authorized and accredited, the generality of Islam and its being seal of Abrahamic religions would be meaningless whereas many verses and narrations prove the invitation of the Prophet of Islam as global and general. “And this Quran has been revealed to me that I may warn thereby you and whomever it may reach.”(2) The Repercussions of Ignoring Tolerance and Leniency: First, we shall glimpse at the repercussions of ignoring tolerance and leniency in religious principles and programs. They are as follows: 1-Restlessness and perplexity in straight paths 2- Defiling religious culture 3- Modification and marring to national independence and security 4- Domination of unreligious thought on society Repercussions of tolerance as regards divine bounds are as follows: 1- Distortion of Islamic values 2- Desecration of abstention from committing sin 3- Inclination to non-Islamic culture 4- Vilifying the compliance with values Sahla and Samha: Literally, it means soft and simple as is related from a hadith by the Prophet of Islam saying,” God did not appoint me to avert worldly pleasure and abide by austerity; rather, I was appointed to propagate straight Abrahamic religion which is simple and soft.” Sahla and Samha in the Holy Quran: As regards social issues, the Prophet of Islam(s) treated the sinners and wrongdoers leniently and generously. Neither did the Prophet treat them harshly. Concerning this issues, Almighty Lord states,” It is by Allah`s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, surely they would have scattered from around you.”(3) 2- Concerning Devotional Acts: As regards devotional acts like daily prayers of Muslims, the Holy Quran treats them in a loose manner like when Muslims are allowed to reduce its cycles to half while they are on a trip, or when Muslim women are allowed to quit daily prayer while suffering from menses, and also the interpretation of prayers` form in illness and enemy threats. As regards fasting, the Holy Quran takes on a considerate view concerning ill persons, passengers, pregnant women, women on their menstrual interval, the elderly and those who are ever-thirsty. The Holy Quran states,” O you who have faith! Prescribed for you is fasting as it was prescribed for those who were before you so that you may be God-wary. That for known days; But should any of you be sick or on a journey, let it be a [similar] number of other days. Those who find it straining shall be liable to atonement by feeding a needy person. Should anyone do good of his own accord, that is better for him, and to fast is better for you, should you know. The month of Ramadan is one in which the Quran was sent down as guidance to mankind, with manifest proofs of guidance and the Criterion. So let those of you who witness it fast [in] it, and as for someone who is sick or on a journey, let it be a [similar] number of other days. Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire hardship for you, and so that you may complete the number, and magnify Allah for guiding you, and that you may give thanks.”(4) Conclusion: That Islamic legislation is simple and undemanding means Almighty God as its Divine Legislator in charge of ordainment does not hassle His servants by assigning excruciating and burdensome decrees upon them. However, it should not be interpreted that servants are allowed to bend Divine decrees to more simple orders and attribute it to Divine legislation. The God who has granted mercy and grace upon His servants and absolved them from hard duties has also admonished His servants against the danger of leniency in attributing different decrees to Divine legislation. He warns His chosen servant of the repercussions of such occurrence. Almighty God states,” Had he faked any sayings in Our name, We would have surely seized him by the right hand, and then cut off his aorta, and none of you could have held Us off from him.”(5)

Refrence:

1- Surat al-Baqarah, verse 62 2- Surat al-An`am, verse 19 3- Surat Al I Imran, verse 159 4- Surat al-Baqarah, verses 183-5 5- Surat al-Haqqah, verses 44-7 ------------------------------ Source: www.andisheqom.com Translation by: AhlulBayt News Agency (a.s) (Abna.ir) Please refer to the text`s Persian version in order to view footnotes of this question and answer.


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