Islam: Tolerant or Intolerant?
Despite the fact that Islam is often branded as a religion of “intolerance”, it is in fact one of the world’s most tolerant religions because it acknowledges that most of the world’s major religions – especially Judaism and Christianity – also originally came from God. Therefore, Muslims do not believe that someone is automatically going to Hell just because they are a Jew or a Christian (although they do believe that if a religious truth becomes available to someone and he insists on ignoring or denying it, he will be held accountable). The basic Islamic world view is this: out of His mercy, God sent prophets to every people. He sent some prophets to guide a particular group of people, and some to guide all of humanity. Some of the most important prophets whom He sent to guide all people were: Prophet Adam (the father of humankind), Prophet Noah (as in Noah’s ark), Prophet Moses (who brought a revealed text akin to the Torah), Prophet David (who brought the Psalms), Prophet Jesus (yes, ProphetJesus), and Prophet Muhammad. Because people would not follow a corrupt prophet just like they would not follow a corrupt leader, all of the prophets were of perfect moral character and did not commit sins. The last of the prophets was Prophet Muhammad, and, after him, no more revelations are necessary. It is up to human beings to choose to follow or reject the message – a choice that everyone must make in a responsible way.