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Does Islam Say Muslims Should Respect Other Religions?

04 October, 2021
Q As-Salamu alaykum. Should Muslims respect other religions?

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

Muslims ought to respect other religions in their pristine form as revealed by Allah.

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Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

As Muslims, we ought to respect all religions in their pristine form as revealed by Allah. The Quran reiterates the fact that God has blessed every nation by sending prophets and messengers proclaiming the perennial message of Divine Oneness: Worship one and only God and renounce false gods.

The Quran further teaches that the messengers spoke to people in their own languages. Moreover, every single prophet also taught people to pray, to be charitable, to observe fasting, to establish justice and compassion, and to command good and strive to rid society of vices and corruption.

Common Ground

Therefore, a Muslim should find common ground with all great religious traditions. For all of them in one form or another contain the above essential teachings. For sure, the symbols and forms are different; however, the soul and spirit is the same.

If there is a single phrase to sum up the message of all religious traditions, it is the golden rule: Love God and love your neighbor or put differently love God’s creation.

Having said this, a Muslim can never tolerate the corruption and exploitation that have crept into various religions whereby a priestly class or classes play gods and pose themselves as gods or incarnations or intermediaries in worship.

However, while preaching against them we need to observe wisdom. The Quran tells us that we are not supposed to revile or mock them.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.