Islam and other religions - Wikipedia
Photo via IBN Live, taken by Reuters. The Buddhist –Muslim relationship in Sri Lanka is centuries old. It grew from the pre-Islamic Arab. PDF | On Aug 27, , G H Peiris and others published A study of Contemporary Buddhist-Muslim Relations in Sri Lanka. Revisiting the centuries of interaction between Buddhism and Islam forces us to and intolerance still often characterize relations between Islam and Buddhism.
Surah Al-Ma'idah verse 48 states: If Allah so willed, He would have made you a single People, but His plan is to test each of you separately, in what He has given to each of you: The goal of all of you is to Allah.
It is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.
And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you.
And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him. They say, if you want to be guided to salvation, you should either become a Jew or Christian. What about the religion of Abraham, he also worshiped no one but Allah.
Islam and other religions
We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, to Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes of Israel, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah. So, if they believe, they are indeed on the right path, but if they turn back, Allah will suffice them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. This is the Baptism of Allah. And who can baptize better than Allah. And it is He Whom we worship.
Will you dispute with us about Allah, He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and you for yours; and that We are sincere in Him? Do ye know better than Allah? But Allah is not unmindful of what ye do! That was a people that hath passed away.
They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case.
Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. Come to what is common between us and you: That we worship none but God, that we associate no partners with Him, that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords other than Allah.
If then they turn back, say: Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore him as a protector. Any kind of idolatry is condemned in Islam.
Muslims believe that Allah sent the Qur'an to bring peace and harmony to humanity through Islam submission to Allah. The Khilafat ensured security of the lives and property of non-Muslims under the dhimmi system. This status was originally only made available to non-Muslims who were " People of the Book " Christians, Jews, and Sabiansbut was later extended to include Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Hindus, Mandeans Sabiansand Buddhists. Dhimmi had more rights than other non-Muslim religious subjects, but often fewer legal and social rights than Muslims.
Some Muslims, however, disagree, and hold that adherents of these faiths cannot be dhimmi. Dhimmi enjoyed some freedoms under the state founded by Muhammad and could practice their religious rituals according to their faith and beliefs.
It should be noted that non-Muslims who were not classified as "people of the book," for example practitioners of the pre-Muslim indigenous Arabian religions, had few or no rights in Muslim society. Muslims and Muslim theologians attend at many interfaith dialoguesfor example at the Parliament of the World's Religions with whom in also Muslim theologians signed the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.
Pre-Islamic religious minorities continue to exist in some of their native countries, although only as marginal percentages of the overall population.
Over the centuries, several known religious debates, and polemical works did exist in various Muslim countries between various Muslim sectsas well as between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Many of these works survive today, and make for some very interesting reading in the apologetics genre. Only when such debates spilled over to the unlearned masses, and thus causing scandals and civil strife, did rulers intervene to restore order and pacify the public outcry on the perceived attack on their beliefs.
As for sects within Islam, history shows a variable pattern. As a result, the relationship that originated as commercial links extended beyond to other areas like internal and external trade, defense, diplomatic relationship and Arab-Muslim settlements and domicile etc.
This relationship with Buddhism developed and nurtured with trust and good understanding between these two communities. Islamic culture and values embraced Buddhist culture and values where it did not impinge with core Islamic beliefs. This helped to cement further the communal bonds between the two communities.
Apart from linguistic and some cultural and religious differences, bulk of the ethos of life of Muslims in Sri Lanka had confluence with the Buddhist community.
Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? - BBC News
The inherently strong Buddhist philosophy of life built on love, compassion, belief in impermanence, abstemiousness, renunciation of materialism and uprightness accorded very well with the Islamic value systems that built a common chord between them.
See here The Historical Interaction between the Buddhist and Islamic Cultures before the Mongol Empire by Alexander Berzin, Similarly, on the economic and political front, the Sinhala-Buddhist sense of independence, freedom and love for Buddhist virtues and ethics were found to be complimentary with their Muslim counterparts, in their sense of independence and freedom, moral virtues and ethics. Hence this commonality of values bonded both communities to stand together against western imperialism that was threatening the nation from time to time.
Commendably, the Muslim response was instructive. They requested the colonial administration to leave Sri Lanka and that the Muslims standby with the Sinhalese in their quest for Independence and that the Muslims would mutually resolve any outstanding issues between the Sinhalese and Muslims.
During the Middles Ages and up to the time of the 1st World War, the Muslims were a global power and they had the capacity and the reach to influence pressure regionally and globally. Remarkably, the conquest of India was spurred by an incident where Hindu pirates attacked a ship travelling from Sri Lanka with Sri Lankan passengers on Hajj pilgrimage carrying token gifts from the Sinhalese Kings to the governor of Iraq of the time.
The Muslim empire which extended from North Africa in the West to India in the East and from the south of France in the North to the Southern parts of Africa in the south during the Middle Ages, considered Sri Lanka as the most favoured and friendly nation.
Therefore they had no ill intentions of conquering Sri Lanka. It was also evident historically that whenever there were internal feuds within the empire among the higher echelons of power, there were instances of political refugees choosing Sri Lanka as the favoured destination for their escapade and some of who domiciled here.
These historical factors show the presence of a two-way relationship. This two-way relationship helped both communities to nurture a sustained relationship that stood the test of the vagaries of time. This time tested relationship is the bedrock of understanding between these two communities that neither is a threat to the other and that the sustainability and security of both lies on the strength of the bond between them.
This paradigm of relationship has brought about bond that carries an unwritten pact on each other to protect and guarantee mutual security. This as a result has built asymmetrical security to both communities. The Sinhala Buddhist community as the majority in the country accord mutual respect, recognition and protection to the Muslim minority community which is a part and parcel of a global majority.
On the other hand the minority Muslim community being a part and parcel of global Muslim community stands by the local majority Sinhalese and garners mutual respect, recognition and support of the Muslim world. Due to this factor, Sri Lanka commands respect and reciprocity in the Muslim world. Incredibly, this special relationship of the Muslim world with Sri Lanka should be viewed in the historical perspective of the Muslim minority role as outlined above.
By virtue of Muslim presence and their vibrant link with the Muslim world, Sri Lanka gains an asymmetrical advantage compared with other non Muslim countries of similar profile in respect to population, social and economic development, size and geopolitics etc.
Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?
The Muslim community being part and parcel of the Sri Lankan social fabric, their historical bond with the country and particularly their relationship with the Sinhalese power structure and the Maha Sanga made the social psychology of the Muslims accord with the mainstream majority Buddhist community. This common bond between them starkly contrasted with their diametrically different religious fundamentals and yet the time tested relationship was strong as ever.
However, deplorably, this religious difference was exploited by the British colonialist and their affiliates of the time to put a wedge in the time tested Buddhist-Muslim relationship as a strategy of divide and rule.
To a lesser extent, the British colonial administration and their affiliates of the time somewhat succeeded in dividing these two communities as a strategy to prevent the communities from becoming a challenge to western imperial grand plan of exploiting and controlling resources in the colony. In spite of this external machination causing division, the relationship was resilient.