Ancient Wisdom: Sound Advice to Our Civilization
August 8, 2005
At a time when rhetoric promotes hatred and/or urges a violent response to hatred it was refreshing to hear the voice of reason as expressed in this cameo from the Iranian Quran News Agency this weekend.
Islam's Record in Religious Tolerance Undeniable
A universal worldview and open acceptance (as opposed to tolerance, which suggests grudging approval) of other religions is not something new to Islam.
One of the greatest Muslim Sufis of the Middle Ages, Mohiuddin ibn El-Arabi (1165-1240) once wrote:
'Now I am called the shepherd of the desert gazelles,
Now a Christian monk,
Now a Zoroastrian,
The Beloved is Three, yet One:
Just as the three are in reality one.'
'My heart has become capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
and a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Kaa'ba,
and the tables of the Torah and the book of the Quran.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take,
that is my religion and my faith.'
Arabi, like Rumi, Farid ud-Din Attar and other Sufi philosophers and poets, are held in high regard by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, even to this day.
They weren't attacked by angry mobs for their controversial ideals, and neither were their writings extinguished in flames.