Conflict & Dialogue Islamic Perspective

  • Lectures
  • March 6, 2020

* Translated material


Conflict Strategy


Apparently the people, in particular in their primitive state, are likely to be possessed by the inclination to mutual aggressiveness & enmity. As the feelings of mutual aggressiveness & enmity build up, the active conflict & physical clashes among the involved people become more prospective, more frequent, intense & fierce. Thus, the conflict has emerged as a striking phenomenon in the life of the human beings since, as history tells, the outset of their existence & continued, as the existing reality confirms, up to now. This phenomenon of conflict has been very costly & damaging. The armed forms of the conflict have usually resulted in extra number of casualties, vaster destruction & more deep & extended repercussions.


The Heavenly Books also noted & averred that the conflict among the people is a deep- rooted fact. The story narrated by the Heavenly Books about murder of one of Adam’s sons by a brother of him, shows that the conflict among people has reached its climax at a very early stage of human history.


The conflict has remained to be a distinctive feature of human life throughout the history despite the good wishes of many people & the peaceful efforts made by some. Consequently, the conflict was widely understood as an inevitable predestination which the mankind can’t avoid, overcome or raise above it. Such a surmise or inference was taken by some as a basis for various assumptions & theories all of which justify & promote the conflict & advocate conflictive strategies in dealing with other people at both individual & collective levels. Seemingly, the conflict-centric literature which advocates conflict-based interpretations & orientation had represented & is representing a prominent aspect of the Western thought &, occasionally, Western jurisprudence. Nevertheless, the Islamic thought &, to some extent, the Islamic jurisprudence has also shown an undeniable focusing on conflict-centric approaches & attitudes.


Repulse Strategy


Islam acknowledges that the conflict not only does exist but it also pervades the various levels of human relations or interactions. Rather, according to the prevailing understanding of its revealed texts, Islam hints that the conflict has its origin inside the human being. Every individual experiences occasionally an internal conflict between the intrinsic motives of good & kindness & the inherent urges of evil & cruelty. This inclination to conflict often displays itself outwardly in manifold forms of the conflict which continue to mar or disrupt the human multi-layered relations from the levels of self & family relations to the levels of regional & international relations.


Moreover, the Islamic revealed texts indicate that God has informed the mankind in advance of the conflict which they will experience on the earth “He said:Get ye down both of ye, – all together, from the Garden with enmity one to another” [1]. The Qur’an points out that the angels’ beforehand awareness of the prospective conflict & blood shedding among the mankind had made them confused & prompted them to ask God at the creation time “Wilt thou place therein one who wilt make mischief herein &shed blood?” [2]. The contemplation on the stories which the Qur’an related, confirms that the conflict is of manifold nature. It can display itself in many forms, involve many parties & have various causes or sources. The dominant or direct cause may be religious (as in story of Adam’s two sons), social/family (story of Josef &his brothers), political (story of Talut &Goliath) or economic (story of two brothers’ dispute over an ewe).


The Qur’an also draws the attention to the fact that the conflict is not confined to man – man relations only but it does occur also, though may be through different means & ways, in man’s relations with some other creatures. In this connection, the Qur’an often focuses on the conflict which marks the relation between the human & the Satan who, according to the Qur’an, harbors to the former a strong enmity &always attempts through different means to divert him away from the path of peace & dialogue to the path of conflict & fighting. God has forewarned the man against the focal role of this third party-the Satan- in the conflicts taking place among the people “Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity& hatred between ye” [3].The Heavenly Books have quoted some actual cases of how the Satan encouraged the mankind to opt for the path of fighting & conflict “Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them and said:No one among men can overcome ye this day while am near to ye” [4]. Indeed the Qur’an often emphasizes on the invisible, though very serious, role of the Satan in human conflicts. Most probably this Satanic role might have never been noticed let alone ascertained had not God disclosed it. However, insomuch as it emphasized on the seriousness of the Satan’s role, the Qur’an emphasized also on denial of the ineluctability or irresistibility of the said role. “As for my servants no authority shalt thou have over them” [5]. & “Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan” [6]. It made clear that the Satanic role has its effect only through the will & the voluntary consent of the man “His authority is over those only take him as patron” [7]. Thus, denying that the Satan has any invincible or compelling power or authority over the man, the Qur’an has clearly confirmed the human origin of the man- man conflicts without overlooking or playing down the seriousness of Satan’s role in those conflicts.


It may be now clear that Islam unmistakably acknowledges the reality & actuality of the conflict & considers the conflict one of the main phenomena of the existence. However, to evolve a proper understanding of Islam’s perspective of the conflict one needs to take into consideration the following points:


  1. The acknowledgement by Islam of the conflict in human life comes as an acknowledgement of an actual fact or existing reality. The fact that Islam, as already explained, correlates causally between the human conflicts & human will &, therefore, holds the human responsible of the conflict. This confirms Islam’s unequivocal rejection to the dictum which claims that the conflict among the human beings is an inevitable fate or predestination.


  1. Islam dispraises all forms & levels of the conflict including its mere psychological forms such as the envy & hatred “Do not exchange hatred or envy” [8], disdainful or intimidating attitudes “ No people should scoff at other people” [9]& “No Muslim may frighten another Muslim” [10] & the physical conflict forms such as the assault & fighting “ But do not transgress limits for Allah loveth not transgressors” [11]. In fact contrary to the wrong common belief, the Muslim is advised to refrain from wishing or being eager to fight even the non-Muslim enemy “Do not wish encountering of the enemy” [12]. The fact that Islam allows & sometimes encourages or enjoins counteraction of fighting by fighting does not necessarily challenge or render questionable the dispraise or ban of fighting by Islam. The counter fighting is approved or legalized as an indispensable measure for securing self- defense or defending the oppressed defenseless people coming under physical attack.


  1. In keeping with the previous points, Islam proposes a complete & integral approach to deal with & contain the conflict phenomenon mainly through drying up its sources, tackling its causes & peaceful settlement of its cases. This approach is based on:


  • Preventive policy consisting of mainly educational course of action aiming at cultivating & augmenting the human innate incentives & disincentives relevant to consolidation of the spontaneous declination to the conflict & strengthening the spontaneous inclination to the dialogue. This policy depends on & acts through refining & uplifting the human soul, ridding the human being of the psychological sources & motives of the conflict such as the hatred, enmity, envy & greediness, upbringing him on good qualities such as the altruism, forgiveness &reciprocation of good for bad, tolerance, respect of the others & their rights & commitment to the peaceful ways in settlement of the disputes with others. A characteristic means of this policy is to keep on reminding the human being of the need to resist the Satan & counteract his role in triggering of the conflicts among the people.


  • Remedial policy consisting of practical arrangements designed to ensure proper workable measures & mechanisms for addressing the existing or prospective cases of conflict.


The preventive policy & the remedial policy form together the core of the repulse strategy set forth & upheld by Islam for the comprehensive addressing of the conflict issue.


The remedial repulse of the conflict can be achieved through different means. These include, from Islamic perspective, the prayer or seeking help of another force (repulse by means of a third party), appealing to dialogue, negotiation or law (verbal repulse) & use of body or armed force (physical repulse). Generally the remedial repulse is allowed in Islam only for the legitimate or permitted purpose of prevention or removing the cause of the detriment or mischief “Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief but Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds” [13]. According to Islam the oppression, in particular religious oppression which involves violation of the religious freedom & breach of the religious coexistence & tolerance, is one of the worst detriments “For tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter” [14]. Islam, therefore, has specifically cited prevention/removal of the oppression as a legitimate purpose of remedial repulse “Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, then would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated” [15]


The determination of the proper means of remedial repulse in a specific case is not left for the personal/factional whims or interests. The two main factors to be observed in determining the proper means are, 1st, the means should be appropriate to the detriment to be repulsed or its means in terms of the lenience & severity or gentleness & roughness &, 2ndly, the use of the appropriate means, especially if it involves use of physical or armed force, should be in proportion to the force used to inflict/maintain the detriment to be repulsed i.e. without exceeding the minimum required force “The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree)” [16] & “If then any one transgresses the prohibition against ye, transgress ye likewise” [17]. Islam has stipulated these two conditions, in addition to the condition of legitimateness of the purpose, for they are essential requirements for fulfillment of Islam’s absolute & unconditional commitment to justice. Another criterion that the Muslim is strongly urged to take into account while considering determination of the proper means of remedial repulse is the Islamic teachings which assert that the justice of good turn is preferred to the justice of parity “Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, but turn away from the ignorant” [18] & “Repel (evil) with that is better, then will he between who and thee was hatred become as if were thy friend and intimate” [19].


Thus, it is safe to say that the strategy of repulse that Islam advocates differs a great deal from the strategy of conflict which some maintains. The strategy of conflict is founded on an unproved assumption, which presumes that the conflict is an inevitable, ineluctable & inherent law of nature/society while the strategy of repulse is based on that the conflict among people is certainly a fact or an actuality, nevertheless the conflict is not an inherent or imperative universal law. As regards the intended purpose(s) of the conflicting parties, the conflict strategy encourages adoption of the aim of overpowering the other party &, just as in any wrestling match, bringing him to the ground in order to ensure & show his full control & hegemony over him. Contrary to that the repulse strategy encourages adoption of the aim of fighting off the detriment but without causing harm to the detriment-doer except when &only as much as necessary. In other words, the repulse strategy concentrates on bringing an end to the conflict but without insistence on causing harm to either party of the conflict. This is readily understood from a couple of Islamic teachings which assert that enmity (conflict) is best tackled or addressed not through apparent overpowering of the enemy but through converting the enemy or the foe to a close friend.


As the tow strategies are founded on different bases & maintain different purposes, it is only natural that they also require different means & are used or applied in accordance with different regulations & considerations.


Originality of the Dialogue


Normally, the variation in the conflict concepts entails variation in the respective views & stances on the dialogue. It may be evident that while being absorbed in tracking & listing the conflict manifestations in the life in order to prove the inherence or originality of the conflict, the conflict theory/strategy has failed to pay proper attention to, or might have sometimes intentionally overlooked, the so many manifestations of the dialogue in the existence & hence failed to realize the originality & deep-rootedness or inveterateness of the dialogue.


Most likely one does not need more than a little contemplation to ascertain the originality of the dialogue in the existence. It is a unanimously accepted fact that the conflict among the people, whatever may be its conceptualization or ideological explanation, is a social phenomenon. This means that the conflict among the people is causally linked to their grouping or gathering in such a manner that the conflict comes or ceases to exist depending on grouping or non grouping of the people. However, inasmuch as the conflict among people prerequisites existence of some kind of human grouping or a social mode of life, the materialization of such human grouping prerequisites existence/ occurrence of some form of the dialogue. It is inconceivable to expect genesis/start or continuity of a human grouping or community in absence of some form, or a minimum degree, of dialogue among the concerned people.


Thus, it is clear that the dialogue- not the conflict- is the basis & origin of the human grouping/ gathering. Furthermore the dialogue is the main means of development of the human society. Most likely, the fact that the sub-human communities have remained in general – as far as we understand- undeveloped, has something to do with these communities’ limited or little ability-to the best of our knowledge- to have proper (wordy) dialogue among their individuals & groups.


Based on the foregoing points, one may conclude that the dialogue is the origin & basic rule of the human society while the conflict, which frequently surfaces this society, is almost an exception or a deviation from that basic rule. Therefore, the focusing by some on the conflict as if it were the basic rule, inevitable path & predestined destiny of the human society is most likely amiss idea.


The preceding conclusion which shows that it is the dialogue, not the conflict, is the basic rule of human society is seemingly sustained by Islam. Islam upholds the originality of the dialogue not only at the level of the human society but also at the level of the entire existence. In this connection, the Qur’an tells us that the ever first & basic relation in this existence namely the Creator- creatures relation was established, run & preceded, at least on the part of the Creator, on the basis of the dialogue alone. The Qur’anic verses repeatedly relate some parts of the quadripartite dialogue took place at the very beginning of creation of the man between God on the one hand & the angels, man (Adam) & Iblees (Lucifer) on the other hand. Some of these verses read as follows “Behold thy Lord said to the angels:Iam about to create man from clay” [20], “Behold thy lord said to the angels :I will create a vicegerent on earth. They said wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood” [21] , “Allah said :O Iblees what is your reason for not being among the prostrated themselves. (Iblees) said:Iam not one to prostrate myself to man whom thou didst create from sounding clay” [22], “We said:O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the garden” [23]. These verses & the likes convey to us some of the statements, conversations or discussions that took place between God & three of his creatures. It goes without saying that the statement, conversation & discussion are originally some forms of dialogue.


Worthy notice here, the establishment of God – creatures relation on dialogue was not confined or restricted to God’s relation with only some of his creatures. The Qur’anic verses make clear that as He had have discussions or dialogue with those commonly known as rational beings, namely the man (Adam), the angels & the jinn, God had have discussions or dialogue with also the so-called – to the best of the human knowledge so far – irrational beings such as the earth & the heaven “He said to it and to thy earth:Come ye together willingly or unwillingly. They said:We do come (together) in willing obedience” [24] & “We did indeed offer the trust to the Heavens and thy earth and thy mountains but they refused to undertake it” [25].


Moreover, the God’s relation with His creatures not only was, as just explained, established on dialogue basis but it was also maintained & proceeded on the same basis, namely the dialogue, exclusively. God continued the dialogue with the creatures, in particular the mankind, by revealing a series of dialogic messages right through the middle of His angelic & human messengers. Though God messages/responses are usually communicated indirectly but mostly in the language of the addressees, it has been always possible for the human being to address God & convey his messages to Him directly & in whatever language he prefers. Obviously such providential arrangements were meant to facilitate & make easier the dialogue process between God & the human being.


God has opted for the dialogue with His creatures throughout the history though the responses of many of them, especially of the mankind, were often negative. This persistence on the dialogic approach clearly signifies God’s intention & will to teach us practically, & through setting good exemplar, that the proper approach to establish & manage the relations in this world is the dialogic approach. Such a conclusion is likely to induce the Muslim to be keen on establishing his relations with the others, be they Muslims or non-Muslims, on the basis of the dialogue. However, the matter of adherence to the dialogic approach was not left to such an implicit conclusion which may or may not be easily reached or agreed to by all. God, instead, revealed many Qur’anic verses ordering the Muslim explicitly & directly to establish his relations with all other people, including the non- Muslim, on the dialogue basis “Speak fair to the people” [26] & “And dispute ye with people of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflicted wrong (and injury):But say we believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which come down to ye” [27].


Pursuant to God’s teachings & orders & with a view to explaining & demonstrating them practically, the Prophet Mohamed, may peace be upon him, pursued & remained committed throughout of his life to the dialogic path. He maintained a dialogic approach in conveying & getting through the message of Islam, in addressing not only the public issues but also the family matters & in managing his relations with both the Muslins & the non-Muslims. Sometimes he had to go ahead with the dialogic approach in the face of the non-consensus of some & perhaps most of his companions & at times he approved suggestions contrary to his own viewpoint just out of respect to the outcomes of the dialogic approach in addressing the public issues. Furthermore, he urged his companions to keep to the dialogue path & taught them much of the good manners & basic ethics of the dialogue.


Dialogue Requirements:


Perhaps it is now clear how strongly Islam promotes & insists on commitment to the dialogical attitude in the human conduct. Nevertheless, the people’s acceptance to adhere to the dialogue in their interactions with each other would always remain dependent on, inter alia, the efficiency &success of the dialogic approach in helping them achieve their urgent practical needs & advance more rapidly & steadily towards realization of their goals, aspirations & expectations. The efficiency of the dialogical approach depends on a number of factors in absence of which it does not fulfill the success requirements. The most important ones of such factors include the proper definition of the ultimate end & objectives of the dialogue, concurrence on the frame of reference or the authority to which the dialoguing parties should appeal in case of points/details in dispute & maintaining by the involved parties of sufficient flexibility & good credibility.


Dialogue Objective


The immediate planned objective(s) of the dialogue is/are usually the same as the aim(s) that the involved parties seek to achieve regarding the subject matter. Nevertheless, such aims are often contradictory insomuch that the insistence by the relevant parties on them may bring the dialogue to a stalemate or even a total collapse. This shows the importance of proper & careful specification of the objective(s) of the dialogue by the relevant parties. Perhaps, the most important parameter in specifying the objective(s) of the dialogue among some disagreeing parties is to avoid the special or personal/factional objectives which usually provoke the other parties’ resistance or anti reaction. Instead, the possible common interests which can serve as shared or, at least, non-conflicting objectives for the dialoguing parties should be sought & pursued.


The appropriate specification of the objectives gains more significance in case the subject matter of the dialogue is a public or an international affair such as the potential topics of discussion at any inter-civilization dialogue. Considering the present growing congestion in the relations between the civilizations while there is urgent need for peaceful coexistence & cooperative relations among them, it is extremely important that each & every inter- civilization dialogue should seek as its top invariable common general end the promotion of good relations among the world’s civilizations, cultures & religions, in a manner that helps address & check the negative aspects of those relations & enhance their positive & constructive aspects & potentialities. The parties to any specific inter-civilization dialogue are required to make sure that none of their aims may be inconsistent with the said ultimate general end. Obviously, seeking achievement of objectives such as hegemony, exclusion, exploitation or penetration cannot help make the present calls for inter- civilization dialogue a success.


Dialogue’s Frame of Reference


Definitely, no dialogue between two or more parties may be fruitful or even just sensible without being established on, conducted according to & governed by an authority or a frame of reference. Such a frame of reference is indispensable for it is the only way or means by which the dialoguing parties can secure for themselves the commonly acceptable facts & the uncontested axioms required to help them decide on the differing arguments or contradicting views, regulate & control the discussions & maintain the dialogue on the right track. Presumably, there should be no dispute over deciding on the frame of reference in case all parties to the dialogue hold & uphold the same frame of reference(s) which main axioms & bases are acceptable to all of them. Therefore, the dialogue between, for instance, a Muslim & other should not necessarily provoke the question of frame of reference if the other is a Muslim for they will be sharing the same frame of reference namely the revealed texts of Islam. But when the parties to a dialogue are maintaining different frames of references, as in cases of the inter-civilization or interreligious dialogues, it becomes necessary that these parties should first agree on the frame of reference to which they should appeal for verification of each other’s arguments. Evidently, the most appropriate frame of reference &, perhaps, the only one potentially acceptable to all in such cases is the human reason or logic. The human reason is believed to be the common component or aspect shared, though to different extents, by all the frames of references maintained by the different sects or groups of the mankind.


A knowledgeable Muslim would not feel it embarrassing or difficult to accept the human mind as the frame of reference for the dialogue with the non-Muslims. Such acceptance does not contradict with the Muslim’s supreme frame of reference i.e. the revealed texts of Islam. In fact the Islamic revealed texts as such regard the human mind as the second to Islam’s only pair bases the first of which is the revelation. The human mind, therefore, is certainly part & parcel of the Islamic frame of reference.


It worth notice that contrary to the precedent religions & realizing that the physical miracles usually dazzle rather than to convince the human mind, Islam refrained from acceding to the ordinary people’s common demand for performing or showing physical miracles as a precondition for accepting the new religions. The reader of the Qur’an can’t but observe that the Qur’anic verses, in particular those address the non-Muslim, follow a very rational approach & logical argumentation in convincing the addressees. This clearly shows Islam’s keenness on enhancing the respect for the human mind & encouraging the people to appeal to reason.


Such being the case it is very natural that Islam allows rather urges the Muslims to appeal to reason within a certain purview. This purview covers the various intellectual issues & the matters that Islam left for the discretionary judgment of the man. The important potential topics of discussion between the Muslims & the non-Muslims mostly fall within the said purview.


Indeed, God has set the human mind as the frame of reference for God- man dialogue (through God’s messengers). All the heavenly messages including Islam, therefore, have addressed the human mind & considered it as the basis or prerequisite for the divine charging or commandment & the answerability to God. Therefore, all the heavenly messages refrained from charging or bringing to accountability all those who lack or lost the mind, like the mad people, or have not yet developed mature brain or proper faculty of thinking such as the children. If the human mind was set by God as the frame of reference for God-man dialogue, there should be no hesitation in accepting it as the most appropriate common frame of reference for the man- man dialogue.


Sufficient Flexibility


An essential requirement for making any dialogue a success is the display of sufficient flexibility by the involved parties. For the most part, the flexibility of a person or a party is determined by two main factors, namely the personal qualities & the frame of reference which rules & guidelines affect one’s general views of the others as well as his vision of how to settle his differences with them.


As a frame of reference for the Muslims, the Islamic revealed texts maintain a perspective of the other which is characterized by a positive attitude coupled with a vast flexibility. This reveals itself evidently in Islam’s keenness on growing up the followers along the line of such teachings which urge- or at least allow- them to seek acquaintance with the others, be they Muslims or non-Muslims “O people ! We created you from a (single pair of) male & female & made you into nations & tribes. You shall know each other” [28], talk to them nicely “Speak fair to the people” [29] and “Dispute ye not with the people of the Book except with means better” [30] , do favour to them & provide for their needs “Creatures are dependents of God & who is most advantageous to His dependents is the most liked by Him” [31], mix up with them through intermarriage & interdining “The food of the people of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time, “ [32], cooperate with & be kind & just to them irrespective of their religions “Help ye one another in righteousness & piety” [33] & “Allah forbids ye not with regard to those who fight ye not for (your) faith nor drive ye out of your homes from dealing kindly & justly with them” [34] & lend them a helping hand if they were wronged, oppressed or insulted “And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being week are ill-treated ( and oppressed) men, women and children who cries our Lord! Rescue us from this town where people are oppressors” [35], forgo their mistakes & oversights by the way of forbearance, waiver, forgiveness & reconciliation “but if a person forgives & makes reconciliation his reward is due from Allah” [36] & favour them more than the self “But give them preference over themselves even though poverty was their own lot” [37].


Advocating such a positive attitude towards the other, Islam imparts those who adopt it as their frame of reference the qualities & characters required to induce them display in their dialogues with the others a high level of flexibility & resilience. The presumed flexibleness of the Muslim is highlighted by a number of the Islamic texts such as the prophetic tradition which asserts “The believer is supple & flexible” [38]. If properly observed &materialized by the followers & reciprocated by the others/ counter-parties, the vast flexibility which the Muslim’s frame of reference-Islam- advocates can contribute a lot to making the relevant dialogues a success.


Virtual Credibility


The dialoguing parties’ convincedness of the credibility & trustworthiness of each other is an essential factor in ensuring continued dialogue. The continuity of the dialogue provides the involved parties with more time/chance to overcome the obstacles, settle the differences, strike-if required- a compromise &, finally, achieve success. The absence of such convincedness is usually an indication of an actual or presumed credibility gap & mostly results in lack of sufficient desire to continue or, sometimes, even just to start the dialogue. Thus, the lack of credibility by one or more of the dialoguing parties is most likely to produce, soon or later, the problem of lack of confidence in presence of which no dialogue may proceed well.


Islam , therefore, has put so much emphasis on enhancing & improving the credibility of its followers. Several of Islam’s revealed texts explicitly require conformability & identicalness of the deeds, words & belief & strictly forbid any discrepancy or inconsistency between them whether at personal or public level. Such texts include “saying with their lips what was not in their hearts” [39], “Why say ye that which ye do not. Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not” [40] & “Does the believer tell lie? Said:no” [41].


The imperativeness of keeping the promises, fulfillment of the undertaking & abidance by the covenants, irrespective of whether the other party is a Muslim or non Muslim, a friend or an enemy, is largely underlined by the revealed texts of Islam for the same purpose of reinforcing & ensuring the credibility & trustworthiness of the Muslim.


So, evidently a real commitment to Islam as a frame of reference is bound to enhance & ensure the credibility & thereby contributes to enhancement of prospects of the dialogues. Therefore, no dialogue should come to a stalemate or failure only because of a credibility gap on part of a Muslim party as long as he is a true Muslim.


The foregoing was about the essential requirements of the dialogue & Islam’s position on those requirements. It should remain clear that though Islam fulfills & meets all those requirements not all those who claim Islam as their frame of reference always satisfy or fulfill those requirements as Islam requires them to do.

Unfortunately such shortcoming or failure on the part of some Muslims is likely to give some non-Muslims a negative impression about Islam itself. However, as it may be attributed to several reasons including week commitment, the failure of some Muslim parties to satisfy one or more of the basic requirements of the dialogue should not be mistakenly construed or taken to mean that Islam itself lacks or is in want of the same.



* Paper presented at a Conference On “This Is Islam” held at Islamic Researches Academy,

Azhar University, Cairo on April 16-18,2002          


[1] Holy Qur’an, 20:133. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations of the Qur’nic verses in this publication are from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation of The Holy Qur’an.

[2] Holy Qur’an, 2:20

[3] Holy Qur’an, 5:94

[4] Holy Qur’an, 8:48

[5] Holy Qur’an, 17:65

[6] Holy Qur’an, 4:76

[7] Holy Qur’an, 16:100

[8] Prophetic tradition

[9] Holy Qur’an, 49:11

[10] Prophetic tradition

[11] Holy Qur’an, 2:19

[12] Prophetic tradition

[13] Holy Qur’an, 2:251

[14] Holy Qur’an, 2:191

[15] Holy Qur’an, 22:40

[16] Holy Qur’an, 42:40

[17] Holy Qur’an, 2:191

[18] Holy Qur’an, 7:199

[19] Holy Qur’an, 41:34

[20] Holy Qur’an, 2:38

[21] Holy Qur’an, 2:30

[22] Holy Qur’an, 15:23

[23] Holy Qur’an, 2:25

[24] Holy Qur’an, 41:11

[25] Holy Qur’an, 33:72

[26] Holy Qur’an, 2:83

[27] Holy Qur’an, 29:46

[28] Holy Qur’an, 49:13

[29] Holy Qur’an, 2:83

[30] Holy Qur’an, 29:46

[31] Prophetic tradition

[32] Holy Qur’an, 5:5

[33] Holy Qur’an, 5:3

[34] Holy Qur’an, 6:8

[35] Holy Qur’an, 4:75

[36] Holy Qur’an, 42:40

[37] Holy Qur’an, 59:9

[38] Prophetic tradition

[39] Holy Qur’an, 3:167

[40] Holy Qur’an, 61:202

[41] Prophetic tradition

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