Promoting Tolerance in the Society | Javed Ahmad Ghamidi

Promoting Tolerance in the Society | Javed Ahmad Ghamidi


People who immigrate to America
from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh have a mindset of less tolerance and
are more judgmental towards others. What effective methods can be adopted to make
these people more accommodating and tolerant? When a person is born, he carries some natural instincts.
He receives training and education from society. Unfortunately our education and training
system (in that part of the world) is quite flawed. It does not teach us
anything as knowledge. It neither teaches us the method of expressing differences
nor that of engaging with a person with views opposite to us. It does not teach how a civilized and polite
person expresses his difference of opinion. In our society, many learned
scholars lack this training. You can see that people get up to fight
within minutes and attack their opponents. You cannot talk to such people politely. There are many
people who look very polite unless you differ with their opinion. You will soon find it hard to save yourself and your honor.
This is the flaw of training which comes from ignorance. We need to understand that the
basic issue of Muslims is ignorance. This word, ignorance, carries
two meanings in Arabic language. The first meaning is lack of knowledge because not
enough knowledge has been given to the masses. In our society, not even scientific knowledge
is given with the proper scientific method. Geography is not taught in a way it should be.
Religious education is a far more important issue. Knowledge is not given in
the way it should be given. The other aspect of ignorance is that (such an
untrained) person is overwhelmed by his emotions. He sees everything with emotions. I have seen many
people talking animatedly as if they have just killed someone. But if you ask them if they have directly heard
the views of someone they are talking about, they will say they
heard it from so and so. This is the ignorance that creates such attitude in our people.
We should learn the divine book as a source of knowledge. We should teach our children to
speak every word with caution particularly when they know that they
have a different view from the other person. You can see that the population of the entire world exceeds
6 billion. How many people among these 6 billion are Muslims? They are no more than 1 to 1.5 billion. Despite the prophethood of Muhammad (Peace
be upon him), all mankind did not embrace Islam. It means that disagreement is the reality
of this world and will continue to exist. We have to learn to
live with these differences. That cannot happen unless we learn to express ourselves with
mutual respect, rationale and knowledge and not with emotions. We should learn to listen to others. We should not
be in a mode to debate with opponents all the time. Instead, we should hold dialogues and discussions and
learn to express difference with others in a civilized manner. We must remember that those who believe they can
undo all differences, actually declare a war against God. It is because God did not create this
world based on the principle of uniformity. You can read the Quran to see that God repeatedly addresses
the Prophet saying that He is the creator of this world. He could have made all mankind the same. He did not make
them same and gave them freedom to have differences. They can use this freedom and choose on their
own if they want to be believers or rejecters. Our duty is to make the path of guidance clear.
They can choose to believe or reject this guidance. This has clearly been stated in
the Holy Quran. It has declared: There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.
The right course has become clear from the wrong (Q 2:256). Allah has distinguished the right from the
wrong through His messengers. That is enough. Otherwise, the messengers never
forced anyone to convert to their religion. So, the differences will remain in this
world. We have to admit this reality. These differences will exist at
international, political, social and cultural level. They will also exist in matters related
to religion and religious interpretations. The real target is to become true learners of religion
and continue our journey to acquire knowledge. We should avoid forcing our opinions upon
others and issuing fatwas against them. We have to learn to express ourselves in a polite and civilized
manner and listen to others with patience and tolerance. We need to learn to explain the mistakes
in others’ views through proper reasoning. As long as we do not learn these etiquettes, every other day
will hasten our decline. This is the greatest need of Muslims. We and our future generations also
have to learn that we live in a world where thousands of differences exist and these
differences add to the beauty of this universe. The real duty of man is to try to discover the truth and
get the right knowledge from these conflicting opinions. It is not our duty to take
others to heaven and hell. It is not our jurisdiction to decide who is a believer
or disbeliever and who deserves heaven or hell. Out duty is that we should politely explain with
arguments and evidence what is right in our opinion. We should listen to others with patience. We should always
be ready to thank others for pointing out our mistakes. It is because a good student humbly thanks a
person, who corrects his mistake, for the guidance. We should teach this attitude to the people of our society.
Our education has been limited to information only. The real education is civilization. It should make our
scholars, teachers, and journalists polite and civilized. Let me tell you honestly and painfully that when I
observed the personal life or talked to the people whose articles, writings, and poetry we read, I found
that their works have no effect on their real lives. It is a very painful reality. The greatest duty should be that when a
person tells something good to the world, if he tells 10 good things, he should have 100 in his
own personality. This should be the real target for us. How polite and civilized we have become and how much
civility have we learnt from our religion and education? A person should be judged on these standards. We
should personally learn it and educate our children also.

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3 Replies to “Promoting Tolerance in the Society | Javed Ahmad Ghamidi”

  1. bartaniya uzma jab app khetey hain shak to lazmi hona hai aqir intney izaat us muluk keliye humko gulam banekey rakha 200 saaltak

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