Short Answer: Muslims who read the Quran with understanding do not hate non-Muslims; that is not the teaching of the Quran. Muslims should hate Satan (who is the embodiment of every incitement to turn away from God). Muslims should have such love and sympathy for non-Muslims as to desire for them too, the same kind of blessings they hope to have from God.
Peace be with you brother,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
The Quran is a divinely revealed Book of Guidance for mankind.
It is comparable to the Torah of the Jews and the Gospels of the Christians.
In fact, Muslims believe that the Quran completes the progressive revelation of God’s Guidance revealed through the earlier scriptures.
A Book of Guidance
The divine Guidance embodied in the Quran (as well as in other books of God) is meant to guide people along the Straight Path towards God.
The Quran clearly declares that there is no compulsion in religion:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)
Indeed it is up to each one of us to accept or reject that Guidance.
But it is made absolutely clear that those who accept that Guidance and live by it will be rewarded, while those who reject it will be punished:
“As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise.” (Quran 18:107)
“But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.” (Quran 2:39)
We need to understand in the first place that God in His infinite wisdom has given humankind freedom of choice (though within limits).
Thus, He has honored mankind over the rest of His creation:
“We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of our creation.” (Quran 17:70)
The greatest honor He has bestowed on humanity is their creative power as well as the freedom to use that power for their own good.
Man in his arrogance may consider himself “the measure of all things,” and misuse his God-given talents and freedom for ruin and destruction leading to never-ending pain and misery.
Hence, God out of His infinite Mercy has sent down His Guidance (in the form of His Book) to lead man along the Straight Path of happiness.
Understanding the Quran
You have cited the following verse in your question:
“And most certainly have We destined for hell many of the invisible beings and men who have hearts with which they fail to grasp the truth, and eyes with which they fail to see, and ears with which they fail to hear. They are like cattle -nay, they are even less conscious of the right way: it is they, they who are the [truly] heedless!” (Quran 7:179)
In this verse, men who do not use their God-given faculties like sight, hearing and understanding to grasp the truth are compared to animals. Because, animals follow only their natural instincts and are not conscious of a need for moral choice.
The verse is not meant to denigrate non-Muslims as such; it refers to all those who do not use their senses and reason properly.
Certainly we find in the Quran strong praise for those who follow God’s Guidance and words of disapproval and rebuke for those who follow their own lusts seeking immediate gratification in derogation of their eternal well-being.
Those who follow God’s Guidance and live by it are called Muslims (those who submit to God) and those who refuse to do so are non-Muslims (those who refuse to submit to God).
In the Quranic scheme of things, there is this opposition between good and bad, and naturally the Quran’s stand is emphatically on the side of good and opposed to bad.
For this reason, the negative statements we find in the Quran about those who reject its Guidance should not be viewed as God deliberately discriminating against a section of His own creation.
Because these verses are meant to urge humans to move away from the path of eternal pain, and to hasten toward Paradise.
Therefore the warnings and admonitions aimed at the Non-Muslims are actually part of God’s Mercy striving to save them.
Do Muslims Hate Non-Muslims?
You asked: “Doesn’t this prove that reading the Quran makes Muslims hate non-Muslims?”
In fact, Muslims who read the Quran with understanding do not hate non-Muslims; that is not the teaching of the Quran.
Muslims should hate Satan (who is the embodiment of every incitement to turn away from God).
Muslims should have such love and sympathy for non-Muslims as to desire for them too, the same kind of blessings they hope to have from God.
It is also worth remembering that those who love truth cannot love falsehood at the same time.
And Allah knows best.
I hope that this answers your question.
Salam. Please stay in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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