A Monograph on Islamic Toleration
Rawaa Mahmoud Hussain
Islam runs in history for more than fourteen centuries ago, i.e., to the era in which the Prophet Muhammad lived. Since receiving the revelation, he began to deliver the divine message, to call for the unity of God, to declare the importance of Prophethood for humankind, and to advocate the need for faith in the last day. From that period, Islam appeared and spread throughout history to arrive at our present time. Therefore, we see that interest grows in understanding the teachings of Islam, day after day, in different areas of knowledge, especially religious and social ones. Toleration is a fundamental value that underlay of human existence in different historical eras witnessed by different civilizations. Islamic toleration is considered one of the most prominent contemporary Islamic issues. I have attended several conferences, symposiums, workshops, and published several books, articles, and refereed researches in Contemporary Islamic philosophy and thought, which is my main specialization. However, there is an assured need for further studies, particularly for the book that I am proposing to achieve.
The book's idea goes back to many years ago, and perhaps the beginning associated with the first moments in which I decided to specialize in the study of Islamic thought. Conflict and active differences among Islamic sects are an essential problem that faces Muslims today. It gave me an early conviction that there is a necessary need to find an indispensable solution for the issue of religious controversy going on in Islamic civilization. Before graduation, and after it, especially the doctoral period, I did not have a full concept about how the ideal solution to this problem could be submitted. The decisive moment came during writing my doctoral thesis when I found the book of John Locke's 'A Letter Concerning Toleration,' then, I said to myself, finally, I have found the solution; it is toleration. When the idea of toleration unfolded in my mind, I began to develop a plan to start for the project of Islamic toleration. It is, in principle, like the book of Locke about the same subject, though it differs in content because Locke's plan is a part of European culture. At the same time, mine belongs to Islamic thought, culture, and civilization itself. Still, the two projects meet in the goal, which could be summarized by ending the humanitarian conflict, bring peace to the world, and to be a contribution to global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance. Moreover, this book is intended mainly to declare the real message of Islam as being a religion of resilience, peace, and coexistence with all human beings, and to remove the uncertainty surrounding this fact.
I have achieved several studies in the Islamic religion, theology, philosophy, and thought. In a brief overview, my book titled 'The Problem of Text and Mind in Islamic Philosophy: Selected Studies' (2006), as an answer to the fundamental question in Islamic thought: How Islamic mind, represented by Islamic theology 'Ilm Al-Kalam, philosophy, mysticism, and contemporary Islamic thought, dealt with the religious text in Islam, basically the Qur'an and ?adith whereas my other book discussed 'The Ambiguity of Recency in the Modern Islamic philosophy: Study & Criticism' (2010). I have indicated in this book that the problem of modernity in contemporary Islamic philosophy obtains its importance because it is a dynamic issue raising inside religious, philosophical, sociological, and theological Islamic structure and representing a way of progress. It is also an exceeding of underdevelopment and its complex problems, interference between the religious principles and reality, and confirmation of spiritual mind ability and activity. I have also founded a new science in Islamic studies called the science of Islamic wisdom, to be an Islamic equivalent to pure philosophy. I achieved this mission in my book 'The Most Trustworthy Handhold: An Introduction to Islamic Wisdom Science' (2013).
My second book, titled: 'The Law and the Method: Assets of Methodology in the Science of Islamic Wisdom' (2014), also laid the methodological foundations of the science mentioned.
Therefore, my proposed book of 'Islamic toleration' is an essential addition that may provide an additional context. This book aims to discover toleration in Islamic origins, i.e., the Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islamic thought, by submitting a new survey concerning this conception too. However, it is a new re-shaping to Islamic understanding about toleration and its relationship with its origins and necessary standards. My book will take into consideration the religious, philosophical, and theological principles shaping cultural policy. Many factors may explain the basic concepts of the book, such as 1) the text for specialists and readers engaging in the ideas of Islam, philosophy, issues of tolerance, coexistence, and peace. 2) It focuses on a particular topic, i.e., toleration within a larger field, Islam. 3) Undergraduate and postgraduate students also can benefit from the book. 4) However, it could be interesting to general readers.
The book paradigm focuses on analyzing the concept of toleration, in general, and of Islamic one. The book will benefit from the most recent methodologies in different topics in Islamic studies. Its material is references, researches, and articles. They have a relation to the primary field of the book. Testing procedures will be performed according to their origin, history of ideas, and Islamic thought, in comparison with the genuine prospect, as an ethical standard in its relationship with Islamic principles. The data collection method will use the essential references in Islamic thought that relate to Tafsir, ?adith, etc. The analysis has a critical and religious reconsideration of the collected materials, opinions, conceptions, and ideas. The book will investigate questions and answered are as follows: What is Islamic toleration? Does the concept of toleration in the globalized context have a relationship with the tolerant system in Islam, itself?
It is an attempt to establish a new project of toleration in Islamic thought, to solve extremism, intolerance, fanaticism, prejudice, and narrow mildness, which could cover the Muslim mind and practice. It tries to eliminate the confusion of the absence of tolerance in the real principles and teachings of Islam, thus contributing to expose any violence that may exercise in the name of religion. In this methodology, the book is one of the few leading attempts that study the concept of tolerance in Islam. It implements a precise method by the return to the original religious texts in the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed to illustrate the central issue in the book, i.e., Islamic toleration. In my view, this case is significant for re-orienting the Islamic mind toward more moderation and objectivity. Toleration is something that derived from the Islamic religion and thought. Thus, this kind of knowledge is a new addition to historical and contemporary theories about it.
Furthermore, this book is a contribution to global dialogue to promote the values of tolerance in the whole world and to renounce violence and disseminate peace among human beings.
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