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Tolerance in the Teaching of the Great Prophet (s) and in Liberalism: A Contrastive Analysis (Part 2)

Jan 6, 2012, 1:57 PM

Tolerance in the Teaching of the Great Prophet (s) and in Liberalism: A Contrastive Analysis (Part 2)

The Imam’s resolve in safeguarding public wealth was so great that he withstood his brother Aqil’s repeated appeals to be given a greater portion from the treasury due to his extreme need and turned his brother’s hope into despair (ibid, sermon 224).

In a latter to one of his commanders, he wrote thus:


Fear God and return the property of these people. If you do not and God gives me the power to do so, I will perform my duty to God regarding you and with this sword, with which I have struck no one save that they entered Hell, I will strike you…..by God, if Hasan and Husayn (his sons) had done his they would receive no favoritism from me and they would not sway resolve until I had retrieved the rights they had misappropriated and had repelled their wrongful oppressions… (ibid, letter 41. Sees also: letters 20, 43 and 53).

Regarding the administration of rights and justice, Imam ‘Ali has declared:

The commandments of God may only be carried out by those who are uncompromising and unbiased, and do not follow their desires (ibid, wisdom 107).

The holy Prophet (s) dispatched Noble ‘Ail (‘a) to Yemen to invite the people to Islam. On his way back, he collected some fine silks from the people of Najran by way of the tax specified in the treaty of the Day of Mubahliah (mutual curing) and then went on to Medina. On the way, he was informed that the Prophet has set out for Mecca to take part in Hajj, so he handed the command of the soldiers over to one of the officers and hastened toward Mecca. He reached the Prophet near Mecca whereby, after conversing with the Prophet, he was commanded to return to his forces and bring them to Mecca. When he got back to his troops, he saw that they had divided the silk cloth among themselves to use them as pilgrim’s garb for Hajj. Noble ‘Ali was deeply angered at this act of his deputy and commanded that all the fabric be returned and packed. Some became upset about his decisive command and expressed their anger about Ali’s (a) behaviour to the Prophet (s) when they reached him. He replied:

Stop your tongues from speaking ill of Ali for he is strict in the path of God Almighty and does not compromise in His religion (Majlisi vol. 21, p.385; also vol. 41, p. 115)

The strict decrees in Islam about insurrectionists [muharib], those who create corruption on Earth [mufsid fil-ard], thieves, bandits, fornicators, and those who falsely accuse others of fornication indicate the decisiveness of Islam in maintaining public security and safeguarding the rights of the general public (see: Ma’idah 5:33, 38; Nur 24:1-4, 6, 23; and Hurr Amili, 1990, vol. 28, p. 310)

5. Resoluteness of the Government in Executing Divinely Decreed Punishment [HUDUD/HADD ILAHI]

Regarding divinely decreed punishment or hadd, two distinct issues must be clarified: substantiation and execution. Islam is lenient regarding the substantiation of the necessity of punishment. In other words, it intends that to the extent possible no hadd be established. Therefore, firstly, Islam had specified difficult conditions for the establishment of hadd. For instance, for the substantiation of fornication and its hadd the testimony of four just individuals is necessary, such that if the group of four is incomplete not only will the necessity of the hadd of fornication remain unsubstantiated, but the hadd for slander of fornication [qadhaf] will be executed upon the insufficient witness. Moreover, for the hadd of theft, other conditions have been stipulated in addition to the testimony of two just witness. Secondly, with the slightest of doubt the hadd is dropped. The rule of ‘hadds are dropped in case of doubt [al-hudud tadra’ bish-shubuhat] has been ratified by all jurisprudents. Thirdly, not only does Islam not advise sinner to confess to crimes relating to the rights of God (vis-à-vis the rights of peoples) but rather it advises them not to confess. Furthermore, as opposed to advising us to endeavour in proving the perpetration of sins, Islam forbids us from seeking out and revealing the mistakes of others.

On the other hand; in the execution of divinely determined punishment after substantiation, Islam is adamant and brooks on flexibility or nonchalance. Concerning execution of the hadd for fornication the Quran declares:


As for the fornicatress and the fornicator, strike each of them a hundred lashes, and let not pity for them overcome you in Allah’s law, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let their punishment be witness by a group of the faithful (24:2)

In some Narrations about the execution of divine punishment it had been cited that some persons went to the Prophet (s) or noble ‘Ali (a) to intercede on the behalf of the offenders but were ignored (see: Nuri, 1986, vol, 12 p. 48). Many Narration indicate that we should not be affected by sentiments in the implementation of divine punishment and through negligence, underpin the foundations of corruption in the society.

6. Resoluteness against the Subversive Enemies of Islam and Muslims


Describing the Islamic umma, the Holy Quran states:

…are hard against the faithless and merciful amongst themselves

The Holy Quran likens a Muslim to a seed that sprouts from under the earth, gradually develops, grows to have a robust trunk-standing firm on its own-and incites the anger of the unbeliever with his strength and firmness (ibid). About enemies that violate or incite sedition, the Quran declares:

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress. Indeed Allah does not like transgressors. And kill them wherever you confront them, and expel them form where they expelled you, for faithlessness is graver than killing. But do not fight them near the Holy Mosque unless they fight you therein; but if they fight you, kill them; such is the requital of the faithless (2:190-191).

In addition, it states:

O Prophet! Wage jihad against the faithless and the hypocrites and be severe with them. (9:73).

The severe conduct of the holy Prophet (s) with the Jews of Bani Qurayzah-after they violated treaty mentioned in the Quran in verses 26 and 27 of surah Ahzab-and also with Jews of Bani Nazir-after their trickery and breach of treaty-are indicative of Islam’s decisive, harsh, and inflexible treatment of conspirators and pledge-breakers (see: Sirah ibn Hsiham, vo. 3, p. 252; and Ayati, pp. 365,413)

The Holy Quran strictly forbids friendly relations with the enemies of Islam and reproaches hypocrites who endeavour to establish relations with them.

You will not fine a people believing in Allah and the Last Day en Dearing those who oppose Allah and His Apostle even though they were their own parents, or children, or brothers, or kinsfolk (58:22).

O you who have faith! Do not take My enemies and your enemy for friends (60:1).


The faithful should not take the faithless for allies instead of the faithful; and whoever does that Allah will have nothing to do with them. (3:28)…


To be continued