Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
16 December 2022 / 21 Jamadilawal 1444H
Being Tolerant: A Characteristic of a Successful Community
My beloved brothers and sisters in Islam,
Let us continue in our efforts to elevate our taqwa towards Allah (s.w.t.), by obeying all His orders, and by abstaining from all His prohibitions. With our efforts, we pray that we will be among His servants with whom He is pleased. Amin
Brothers and sisters,
This week’s sermon invites us to reflect upon the value of tolerance, also referred to as Tasamuh.
Islam is not only limited to religious rituals. In fact, our religion puts great emphasis on the values of courtesy and compassion in our actions and interactions with others. The characteristic of tasamuh or tolerance is a trait that should be displayed to all regardless of religion and race. Allah (s.w.t.) said:
Which means: “And We have not created the heavens and the earth and everything in between except with wisdom and purpose. And the Hour is certain to come, so treat them graciously.” [Al-Hijr: 85]
"Al-Safh Al-Jameel" as mentioned in this verse means treating others gracefully by exhibiting a beautiful act of forgiveness. Notice how Allah (s.w.t.) associates the act of forgiving with beauty; which means that we must strive to portray the beauty of our character when interacting with others, by being open and forgiving towards them.
Brothers and sisters,
The value of tolerance was exemplified by our Prophet (s.a.w.) throughout the history of his lifetime, such as during the Conquest of Mecca, or better known as Fathu Makkah. Imagine the state of our Prophet (s.a.w.) after going through various hardships and challenges posed by his own people. He was cursed and reviled by many of them, where some even threw filth on the Prophet (s.a.w.) and he was eventually expelled from the city. Even so, our Prophet (s.a.w.) still forgave the Quraysh even though they did all those terrible things to him.
In fact, our Prophet (s.a.w.) not only forgave them for their mistakes, but he was being very kind by freeing them from slavery. This is what is meant by Al-Safh Al-Jameel as mentioned in the verse just now, which is an act of forgiveness that is filled with so much beauty. The Prophet (s.a.w.) continually reminds us, his followers, to always be forgiving, even towards those who have seriously wronged. Such was the advice given by our Prophet (s.a.w.) to one of his companions named Uqbah. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:
يَا عُقْبَة بن عَامِر! صِلْ مَنْ قَطَعَكَ، وأَعْطِ مَنْ حَرَمَكَ، وَاعْفُ عَمَّنْ ظَلمَكَ
Which means: "O Uqbah ibn 'Amir! Build ties (silaturrahim) with those who break them and build ties with those who hinder you. And forgive those who wronged you." (Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad)
Brothers and sisters,
We must strive to be tolerant at all times. We should be thankful for having the chance to live in a pluralistic society that is peaceful and safe, which is a result of making compromises and showing tolerance towards others.
The realities of life in this pluralistic society are that we are not free from things that we dislike or disagree with, but any issue can be overcome by being tolerant towards others.
For example, when performing acts of worship, we should not hurt or cause inconvenience to others. When we perform our ablutions in a public place, we should maintain the cleanliness of the area.
If we are tested with actions or practices done by people of other faiths that we are not comfortable with, we should not react by being provocative or insulting.
This is the real Islamic da'wah, or teaching, which is far from being extreme or excessive. Rather, it is wasatiy (moderate), and tasamuh (tolerant). These qualities are important values in fostering unity and harmony in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.
We ask Allah (s.w.t.) to grant us success in showing tolerance towards others, as taught by the Prophet (s.a.w.). May our families, communities, and country that we love continue to be blessed by Allah (s.w.t.) and remain in peace and harmony, as well as protected from all disasters and threats. Amin Ya Rabbal 'Alamin.
أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِي هَذَا وَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ العَظِيْمَ لِي وَ لَكُمْ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْم
الحَمْدُ للهِ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا كَمَا أَمَرَ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ الله، اِتَّقُوا اللهَ تَعَالَى فِيمَا أَمَرَ، وَانتَهُوا عَمَّا نَهَاكُم عَنْهُ وَزَجَرَ.
أَلَا صَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى النَّبِيِّ الْمُصْطَفَى، فَقَدْ أَمَرَنَا اللهُ بِذَلِكَ حَيْثُ قَال فِي كِتَابِهِ العَزِيزِ: إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَـا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسلِيمًا. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَ بَارِكْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ.
وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ المَهْدِيِّينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيِّ، وَعَن بَقِيَّةِ الصَّحَابَةِ وَالقَرَابَةِ وَالتَّابِعِينَ، وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ، وَعَنَّا مَعَهُم وَفِيهِم بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالمُؤْمِنَاتِ، وَالمُسْلِمِينَ وَالمُسْلِمَاتِ، الأَحْيَاءِ مِنهُم وَالأَمْوَاتِ. اللَّهُمَّ ادْفَعْ عَنَّا البَلَاءَ وَالوَبَاءَ وَالزَّلَازِلَ وَالمِحَنَ، مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، عَن بَلَدِنَا خَاصَّةً، وَسَائِرِ البُلْدَانِ عَامَّةً، يَارَبَّ العَالَمِينَ. رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
عِبَادَ اللهِ، إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي القُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاذكُرُوا اللهَ العَظِيمَ يَذْكُركُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوهُ مِن فَضلِهِ يُعطِكُم، وَلَذِكرُ اللهِ أَكبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعلَمُ مَا تَصنَعُونَ.