Principles governing Muslim conduct

By Fathy El Shazly, Cairo (member of the Committee of Honour of MWNF)

 Principles that govern the conduct of relations between Muslims and the followers of both Christianity and Judaism as taught by the Holy Quran:

1)      Islam regards all people as one single nation descending from one single father and one single mother. In Surat Al-Hujurat, verse 13, The Holy Quran says:

 “O mankind! We created you from a single pair of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other. The most honored of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.”

2)      Muslims believe that all three monotheistic religions came from the same source, i.e. the same God. A true Muslim should equally believe in all prophets and holy books of both other religions. Those who do not are not Muslims even if they believe in Allah, His Angels, Prophet Mohammad, and the Day of Judgment. Therefore, Islam’s stance towards Christianity and Judaism transcends mere tolerance to accepting and believing in the respective prophets and scriptures of both religions. This belief is an integral part of the Islamic faith. In verse 84 of Surat Al-Imran, the Holy Quran says:

“We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in the books given to Moses, Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one and another among them and to Allah we do bow our will”

3)      The Original state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims is peace. War is an exception that should not be resorted to except in extreme cases and only to repel aggression. Preaching should be made peacefully and with politeness. In Surat Al-Ankabut, verse 46, the Holy Quran says:

“… and dispute ye not with the people of the book except with means better than mere disputation, unless it be with  those of them who inflict wrong and injury, but say, we believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you, our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we bow.”

            And in Surat Al Nahl verse 125, the Holy Quran says:

Invite all to the way of the Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.

4)      In the exceptional case of war, Muslims are ordered to immediately stop hostilities and resort to peace if the enemy stops fighting. In Surat Al Anfal, verse 61, the Holy Quran orders Muslims:

But if the enemy inclines towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace and trust in God.

5) Another rule of conduct regarding the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims is the obligation of Muslims to honor the pacts and accords concluded between them and others. Islam does not allow Muslims, under any circumstances, to breach their commitments. In Surat Al Nahl, verse 91, the Holy Quran says:

Fulfill the covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it and break not your oath after ye have confirmed them. Indeed ye have made Allah your surety, for Allah knows all that ye do.

The Quran prohibits breaking the commitment even if it were for the sake of Islamic solidarity. Verse 72 of Surat Al Anfal says:

But if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them except against a people with whom ye have a treaty, and Allah sees all that ye do”.


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