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Qur'anic Morality Forbids Extremism

As mentioned earlier, Islamic societies have been centers of mutual acceptance and goodwill toward non-Muslims throughout history, particularly in our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) time. Islamic history is full of examples of Christians and Jews seeking and finding refuge with Muslims. Bearing this reality in mind at a time when the world so desperately needs peace, Muslims must develop a model based on the Qur'an's morality and our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) life that will set the standards for the rest of the world.

Radicalism is wholly incompatible with God's prescribed way of life. God describes Muslims as those who speak nicely, refrain from conflict and fighting, are friendly and moderate toward even the fiercest opponents, and modest, patient, compassionate, and loving. The Qur'an reveals that all of the Prophets were moderate, gentle, and accepting of others. For example, God describes Abraham (pbuh) as: "tender-hearted and forbearing" (Qur'an, 9:114) and Prophet Mohammed (may God bless him and grant him peace) as:

It is a mercy from God that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. (Qur'an, 3:159)

Since Muslims are only responsible for announcing the Qur'an's morality, and since they are prohibited from being bullies or enforcers and are required to be softly spoken to even the cruelest tyrant, they cannot be extremists or radicals, for such groups advocate that which violates the Qur'an's morality.

Radicalism is an ideological movement and political approach that is foreign to Islam. When radical groups are examined, it gradually becomes clear that they are, in reality, using a compilation of communist slogans and methods or that they have adopted the "fanatical rage of the Time of Ignorance" (Qur'an, 48:26). One of the common characteristics of such ideologies is their emotional force, an underlying cause of radicalism that is totally incompatible with God's commands. The Qur'an describes Muslims as people who control their anger and who are reasonable, moderate, and tolerant. They always prefer reconciliation in order to reach solutions within the framework of mutual acceptance and optimism. They show their calming and peaceful sides in all situations. One verse reveals these attributes:

Those who give in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon other people - God loves the good-doers. (Qur'an, 3:134) Muslims must be polite and respectful when interacting with people of different beliefs and ideologies. They never resort to force or threats, for their responsibility is limited to teaching others about the Qur'an's morality. The rest is up to the conscience of those people. The following verse describes this approach:

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Qur'an, 16:125)

God commanded Prophets Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) to speak with Pharaoh, and to do so softly:

"Go to Pharaoh; he has overstepped the bounds. But speak to him with gentle words so that, hopefully, he will pay heed or show some fear." (Qur'an, 20:43-44) Pharaoh was the worst denier and tyrant of his time. He rejected God, claimed divinity, and was a despot who killed and oppressed the believers (Israelites). Yet, God commanded His Prophets to speak with gentle words when they visited him. Notice that God's ordained method is to establish a friendly dialogue. Agitating words, expressions of anger, and heated protest are incompatible with His code of preaching and morality.

Therefore, all Muslims must refrain from a harsh, angry, and challenging approach, for these are contrary to the Qur'an's method and essence. Instead, Muslims must adopt the accepting, moderate, calm, and rational approach described in the Qur'an. In other words, they must be role models for humanity and earn people's admiration for the morality of Islam and themselves. Muslims should also make great progress and produce superb works of science, culture, art, and aesthetics, as well as live Islam in the best way, and thus represent it to the world.

Adapted from: "A Call for Unity" by: "Harun Yahya"

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