In the age of social media and TRP driven media, negative contents gain traction within minutes. The subconscious mind after being polluted from loads of trash available on various media platforms often gets influenced by the narratives forwarded by the hate mongers. These days, a lot of people/organisations with ulterior motives are constantly trying to create a division between Muslims and non-Muslims. Their effort sometimes gets successful as is evident from the recent killing spree at Dakshina Kannada district and intermittent killings at Kerala. These acts are often carried out by people having little or no knowledge of their religion. Its important to analyse the Islamic perspective on behaviour of a Muslim with non-Muslims (lets keep the vice versa portion for some other writers having sound knowledge of religions other than Islam).
Once a delegation of Christians from Najran (a city in KSA bordering Yemen) came to Medina to meet Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad met them warmly and even hosted them. He even allowed them to offer their prayers as per their religion. Quran (16:90) says that ‘Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression’. As per Bukhari and Muslim, Asma was the daughter of first caliph Abu Bakr Siddique and her mother was a non-Muslim. When she visited Asma, Asma asked Prophet Muhammad whether she can treat a non-Muslim (her mother) in a cordial manner. Prophet Muhammad replied in affirmation. Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmed has confirmed one Hadees in which Prophet Muhammad once told Hazrat Abujar that wherever you are, behave nicely with peoples whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, behave in a good manner as good mannerism is not reserved for Muslims alone.
In one of his articles, Prof Akhtarul Wasey, ex-HoD department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia quoted Indian cleric Yahya Nomani saying that in today’s world, many Muslims are residing in non-Muslim countries and majority of non Muslims are behaving cordially with Muslims and even fighting for their rights. In such countries (like India), it is better to develop cordial relations with non-Muslims as it is mandated by Islam. Famous Indian scholar Muhammad Rajiul Nadvi, secretary Jamat e Islami Hind once said that in any civilised society, it is natural to mingle with each other, to participate in each other’s happiness and to share the sorrow, irrespective of religion. Any society devoid of such merits can’t be called as civilised.
Islam has always maintained the instance that there should be no interference and compulsion in religion. Practicing one’s own religion in a peaceful way is allowed as per the constitution of India. However, defaming other religions and pressurizing others to follow your religion is not only illegal as per law but also unacceptable as per Islamic scriptures. Muslims are the followers of such a noble person (Prophet Muhammad) who never discriminated between people on the basis of religion. Muslims are the followers of such a religion (Islam) which has written so much about the rights of neighbours (irrespective of religion). Lets not malign the image of Prophet Muhammad and Islam and promote the concept of ‘Neighbours First’.