Muslim organizations have conducted many surveys, and have concluded that “those who know Muslims tend to have normal relations with Muslims.” Indeed that is the case with all people, if you know ‘enough’ people from among Atheists, Bahai, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Wicca, Zoroastrians, and others you will not be biased against them either.
Yes, that is true! If you know me, you would not let anyone tell you false things about me.
Some people are hardcore haters of others, and facts don’t matter to them, it is in their genes to hate someone or the other. If it is individual they hate, I understand, but to hate anyone affiliated with that individual be it the entire town, entire country, or entire community, ethnicity, race or religion does not make sense. It is our duty to correct their misperceptions about us through a variety of good things. Once they know you are a good human, a good citizen also known as Amin- (Prophet Muhammad the Amin, a model citizen) their hearts will soften, bit by bit and we can look forward to living in harmony with all. No human has to live in fear.
Prophet Muhammad did not hate the lady who threw trash on him when he walked by her house, instead, he went to inquire how she was doing when she had not thrown the trash on him that day. He cared about fellow humans. She could not believe that the man she did not like cared about her, after knowing him, she became his supporter. When the urchins pelted rocks at him in Taif, he did not want his associates to retaliate, instead, he prayed that God gives them good sense.
The Quran is a book of guidance to build cohesive societies, remember, the guidance is for all humanity, it was not delivered to Muslims, but to all humanity. Here God guides humanity on how to deal with misguided people.
Based on the wisdom in verse 41:34 that I have experienced success multiple times. Even the hardcore haters have seen the value of being good. I am pleased to share a few translations and one of the many examples I have cherished.
Safi Kaskas, “Good and evil are never equal. Repel Evil with good, and your enemy will become like an intimate friend.”
Pickthall, “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! he, between whom and thee there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.”
Edip Yuskel, “41:34 Not equal are the good and the bad response. You shall resort to the one which is better. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy may become your best friend.”
Yusuf Ali, “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!”
And here is the biggest surprise from a man whose “made up” translations have been fodder for Islam haters. I am really surprised to see such a good translation from Hilali Khan, “The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.”
Here is one of the few success stories I have encountered believing in the Wisdom of the Quran.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism. He is a speaker, thinker, author, community consultant, pluralist, activist, news maker, and an interfaith wedding officiant. Mike is deeply committed to Free speech, Human Rights, and Pluralism in Religion, Politics, Societies, and the workplace. His latest book, The American Muslim Agenda, is available on Amazon, Kindle, and the bookstores. He has dedicated his life to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to the media and the policymakers. More about him at www.TheGhousediary.com.