The Trade and Industry Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at a seminar on 30 April 1989 that the Government is considering drafting a law to ensure that Singapore’s religious harmony is preserved, in response to increasing evangelical zeal amongst various religious groups. However, the decision will only be made after due consultation has been made with various religious leaders. Bro. Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail, a religious teacher at "The Muslim Converts’ Association, Singapore" tells The Muslim Reader of what he think of the proposal.
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
لَآ إِكۡرَاهَ فِى ٱلدِّينِۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ ٱلرُّشۡدُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَىِّۚ فَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِٱلطَّـٰغُوتِ وَيُؤۡمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱسۡتَمۡسَكَ بِٱلۡعُرۡوَةِ ٱلۡوُثۡقَىٰ لَا ٱنفِصَامَ لَهَاۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Islam recognizes and values the inherent rational faculty bestowed upon each individual and that in the choice given upon men, he should sincerely strive towards the truth. And in the matters of accepting a religion no one should be subjected to any form of compulsion or coercion.
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: Whosoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah has grasped the trustworthiest handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.
(Qur’an: Surah Al-Baqarah: 2: 256)
It is profound principle, which Islam, from its very inception strives to establish so as to elevate the ranks of mankind towards being sincere Truth seekers- the ultimate Truth is in the Reality of One God. Islam has always recognized that there has all along been one religion revealed for mankind and that the subsequent coming of the last Prophet and messenger Muhammad (s.a.w.) does not invalidate the Truth brought by those other prophets before, but rather it substantiates the fact that Truth is universal and each succeeding prophet served to preserve this Truth and to purge man’s understanding of it from all corruptions, as well as to further illuminate Truth according to the need of time.
Mankind was one single nation and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in Truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the people of the Book, after sign came to them did not differ among them, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace guided the Believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guides whom He wills to a path that is straight.
Islam holds the premise that basically man is good and capable of doing good, and that he should be encouraged towards being the best. Yet, man is also exposed to counteractive forces that may undermine his progress towards developing this and Islam therefore exhorts that all forms of compulsion, oppression, coercion and deception should be removed so as to allow man to exercise his natural capacity in the search for the Truth. Thus it has been demonstrated by Islam that there can be peaceful co-existence of people form different faiths as long as inter-religious dialogue is kept open and free of all kinds of compulsion- whether it be direct aggression or subtle deception- for Truth is distinct from error. Islam advocates righteous living as being the foremost way towards inviting mankind to Truth, followed by propagation through discussions and exchanges but it warns that these should neither be not for mere disputations nor does it allow any form of coercion or deception.
Mutual co-existence can only be established upon the basis of justice and tolerance, but tolerance is something that may mean differently to different people. Perhaps with regard to differences of faith, this would certainly mean forbearance, that is, the recognition of the right of private judgment in the liberty to uphold one’s religious opinions or forms of worship. One should not expect another’s belief to be compromised nor does one compromise one’s own. Each should be left to decide based on sincerity.
Yet for the sake of harmonious social co-existence, tolerance should extend further than just merely an attitude of “live and let live”, without regard to the need to understand what the other holds dear because it would only be mere co-existence devoid of respect for each other’s right; one which includes the right to be heard. Thus to tolerate should not be misconstrued as consenting or agreeing to another’s differing views but rather it can be said to be merely an agreement for another’s right to differ.
On the other hand, tolerance is not a license to be abused so as to sanction one’s ambition in the name of religion. Islam appeals to devotees of all faiths to rely upon the pristine sources of their particular religion for it recognizes the inherent truth in the original teachings of each religion. It sees the differences only where these pristine teachings are tampered with by innovations that have crept into them and which in due course become institutionalized.
Truth is universal and for truth to be perceived, mutual exhortation towards Truth, sincerity and the absence of oppressive or unfair means are necessary conditions. Although the sincerity is left to each individual to determine for himself in whom judgement is ultimately left for the Hereafter, it is in the other conditions that Islam strives to ensure its establishment. And Islam is confident that with the dialogue opened for the mutual exchanges of what each faith holds as the Truth, and without having to resort to coercion or deception, mankind shall be able to arrive at the Truth based on sincerity, without upsetting the harmonious co-existence of the society.
Another important point to note is that the Islamic concept of “Tasamuh” or tolerance is not a one-way exercise. Whatever Islam holds out to others is also what it expects in return, because the most essential aspect to this concept is the underlying need for Justice.
INJUNCTIONS FROM THE QUR’AN AND AS-SUNNAH
Islam is primarily based upon the teachings of the last Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w) which are still available, contained in the Book revealed to him from Allah, called the Qur’an as well as in the records of his Sunnah (traditions or exemplary way). To understand further the stand of Islam, one must refer to these sources and not rely on mere opinions or confuse attitudes of certain Muslims to be representing that of Islam. Let me quote a few relevant examples:
وَلَا تَسُبُّواْ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ ٱللَّهَ عَدۡوَۢا بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ۗ كَذَٲلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمۡ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّہِم مَّرۡجِعُهُمۡ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
Revile not ye those unto whom they pray beside Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus We have made alluring to each people in his or her ignorance. In the end will they return to their Lord, And We shall then tell them the Truth of all that they did. —
(Qur’an: Surah al-An’am:6: 108)
Islam forbids insults and reviling what others hold as saced just as it would not expect others to adopt this practice towards it. This could only lead to enmity rather than bringing people to the Truth. Everyone claims to be sincerely seeking the Truth, and since foremost to mankind is the endowment of the faculty to reason, let reason then be the subject of appeal, rather than emotion. In fact emotion can be volatile and if not controlled by reason, is blinded and constructive.
وَلَا تُجَـٰدِلُوٓاْ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنۡهُمۡۖ وَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيۡڪُمۡ وَإِلَـٰهُنَا وَإِلَـٰهُكُمۡ وَٲحِدٌ۬ وَنَحۡنُ لَهُ ۥ مُسۡلِمُونَ
And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): But say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and that which came down to you; Our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we
bow (in Islam)”.—
(Qur’an: Surah an-Ankabut: 29:46)
The need to share Truth is recognized by Islam as afundamental principle, but it stresses that there must be etiquette in doing it, not merely entering into futile disputations. From the Islamic concept of the Unity of God, Islam strives to unite mankind rather than to further divide them. Thus, the need for caution in the ways of Da’wah.
ٱدۡعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِٱلۡحِكۡمَةِ وَٱلۡمَوۡعِظَةِ ٱلۡحَسَنَةِۖ وَجَـٰدِلۡهُم بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦۖ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ
Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious; for Thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.—
(Qur’an: Surah an-Nahl: 16: 125)
The way allowed by Islam is that it must be with wisdom and discretion, by using convincing arguments and fair exhortation. The manner of inviting people must not be offensive but gentle and considerate. Displaying the most courteous and most gracious manners, rather than by haughty highhandedness and arrogance; always motivated by the Truth and the love of God and for fellow men.
Alas for such to be established, the most crucial factor is that of justice. Islam foresees that mere idealistic notions could and would, be trampled by those who have no regards for tolerance. In a world where sometimes might be construed as being right, and where those with power to oppress deem pacifist approach fair game, Islam permits the right of defence, in the name of justice.
أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَـٰتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ ظُلِمُواْۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصۡرِهِمۡ لَقَدِيرٌ ٱلَّذِينَ أُخۡرِجُواْ مِن دِيَـٰرِهِم بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّآ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُۗ وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَہُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬ لَّهُدِّمَتۡ صَوَٲمِعُ وَبِيَعٌ۬ وَصَلَوَٲتٌ۬ وَمَسَـٰجِدُ يُذۡڪَرُ فِيہَا ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ ڪَثِيرً۬اۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۥۤۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily Allah is Most Powerful for their aid; - (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, -(for no cause) except that they say, “Our Lord is Allah.” Had not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause; For verily, Allah is Full of Strength, exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). —
(Qur’an: Surah al-Hajj: 22: 39-40)
For some who feels that perhaps Islamic teachings are contradictory because it permits the use of force in the same breath when it upholds the concept of tolerance, let him ponder over the above. Those with noble notion “that if someone strikes your left cheek, give him your right”, would realize that most of the time in history, this has not been practical. Perhaps if I may be permitted to sum up Islamic parallel, it is, “If someone strikes your left cheek, restrain him from unjustly striking you or anyone else again.”
وَقَـٰتِلُوهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ وَيَكُونَ ٱلدِّينُ لِلَّهِۖ فَإِنِ ٱنتَہَوۡاْ فَلَا عُدۡوَٲنَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. But if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression. —
(Qur’an: Surah al- Baqarah: 2: 193)
As a rule, Islam advocates peace and friendly relations with people. It abhors and is totally against oppression and injustice. Islam is firm and uncompromising towards anyone who indulges in them and regards them as open adversaries unless and until they cease. Therefore, anyone with pure intentions should never fear Islam, for Muslims are duty bound to deal kindly and justly towards all.
لَّا يَنۡهَٮٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمۡ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَلَمۡ يُخۡرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمۡ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمۡ وَتُقۡسِطُوٓاْ إِلَيۡہِمۡۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُقۡسِطِينَ إِنَّمَا يَنۡہَٮٰكُمُ ٱللَّهُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ قَـٰتَلُوكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ وَأَخۡرَجُوڪُم مِّن دِيَـٰرِكُمۡ وَظَـٰهَرُواْ عَلَىٰٓ إِخۡرَاجِكُمۡ أَن تَوَلَّوۡهُمۡۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُمۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes, form dealing kindly and justly with them; for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith and drive you out of your homes and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong. —
(Qur’an: Surah al-Mumtahanah:60: 8-9)
As for all non-Muslims who have covenanted peace and friendship with the Muslims, the attitude of Islam to them has been clearly expressed by Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) when he said these words concerning the Dhimmis (i.e., such non-Muslims of Medina who have made such covenant):
Behold! Whosoever oppresses a Dhimmi (covenanted non-Muslim), or does some harm to him, puts hardship on him beyond his capacity, or takes away something from him without willful consent, I shall be his disputant on the Resurrection Day. –(Hadith reported Abu Daud)
BETWEEN RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND DA’WAH
In da’wah (calling), the main concern is “inviting all towards righteousness, forbidding of wrongdoing and believing in Allah”. One may argue then, that “how can da’wah be upholding religious tolerance if it sees the need to forbid actions of others which may be viewed by Islam as wrong?” the tendency to generalize an aspect of Islamic teachings may cause one to make such a remark without clarifications. Even some Muslims, in their zealousness to carry out da’wah fall prey to their own ignorance of the overall principles in da’wah, thereby aggravating this misconception.
It is important firstly to note that Islam, as a way of life does not hide what it propounds to be the Truth. Its teachings are based on the Absolute Truth, revealed by Allah to His Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w). Thus, what is right and wrong, from the point of view of Islam is absolute, based upon well-defined principles, not subjects for experimentation. It is because of our strong belief in this Truth; motivated by genuine concern for all mankind to benefit from it that Muslims are enjoined to do da’wah.
Manners of carrying out da’wah also have to conform to certain absolute principles, most important of which is “adaalah”(justice). To let mankind to remain in ignorance is not in keeping to this principle. On the other hand, as have been stated above, the freedom for each individual to choose whatever religion is tolerated and respected by Islam. No one ought to be coerced of forced in matters of choosing a religion, but tolerance does not mean to turn a blind eye to certain things like injustice, nor does it means to tolerate ignorant actions of self-destruction. Especially when these actions harm the society, no one can expect others to remain tolerant. Similarly, tolerance must always be subservient to the primary concern for the establishment of justice, and personal right does not take precedence over the right of society whenever it conflicts. It is because of these factors that da’wah principles have been laid down. In short, the tolerance of Islam must always be balanced with its principle of justice. Tolerance—would be impossible without justice.
In da’wah, inviting others to Islam must always be with wisdom, beautiful and fair exhortation, not entering into senseless disputation except with the best means. Here the individual’s right to choose whatever faith is to be tolerated, no force, compulsion or deception must be used. Here is where tolerance is to be seen.
Another aspect of da’wah is, whenever injustice and harm is perpetrated, Muslims are told to forbid and remove them. The term used in Islam is “mungkar”(evil or wrongdoing). Here, the primary concern of Islam is not so much as to get people into its fold, rather to ensure that these harms and injustice are removed. These are the wrongdoings that have repercussion towards not only the doer but also the rest of society. And because this aspect of da’wah is confused with the first, which concerns individual right, the misunderstanding arose. In this regard, concept of tolerance is irrelevant. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) made a beautiful parable concerning this:
“The likeness of a man who remains passive in the prescribed crimes of Allah and of the man who commits them is like the people who are on board the ship. Some of them are in the lower deck and some the upper deck. Those who are below received water from those above and thus they have to inconvenient the other. So they (in the lower deck) took a hatchet and began to make a hole in the bottom of the ship. Then those of the upper deck came to them and said, “What are you doing?” They replied, “we have troubled you, so we have decided to choose another alternative method of getting water.” If those from the upper deck restrain the hands of those wielding the hatchet, they will save them as well as their own lives. And if they leave them (to do as they please), they will be destroyed along with them.” –(Hadith reported by Bukhary)
The extent to which each Muslim is expected to strive in da’wah is with the utmost of his ability. He may have a certain limitation of authority accorded to him in the context of social order, yet he is not expected to cower and look for excuses in exercising his duty as best as possible, the least expected of him by word of mouth. This was recognized by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) in a hadith:
“Whosoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hands; if he is not able, then with his tongue; and even if that he is not able, then with his heart, and that is the weakest form of faith”. –(Hadith reported by Muslim)
RIGHT OF COGNIZANCE
Every religion should be given the right of cognizance over its adherent. This primary right should be stressed, when we speak of tolerance. This is important because quite often, the tendencies amongst some people with alien standards to impose them upon another religion have sparked many violent reactions. We have to realize the sensitivity of such behaviour. As long as the practices of a particular religion are based upon its own fundamental teachings, it ought to be respected. Even this prerogative is best left to the particular faith to define.
As regards to cults and deviant teachings, it is the main religion from which they claim to come from that have cognizance and the right of judgement is based upon clear evidence. To sympathise or give credence to such cults or deviants is displaying intolerance to the main religion. Except on question of ultravires, all such judgement should be respected. The concept of tolerance should not be allowed to be abused by opportunists seeking recognition (of their deviant ways) by unjustly using the credibility of any religion.
Islam, as a complete way of life (Ad-deen), has been able to demonstrate the concept of tolerance in history, when it held the rein of power. It teaches that tolerance must always be tampered with justice. The main responsibility of any government, whether secular or otherwise, should be that of upholding justice. Legislation on any matter touching the religion sentiments of its citizens must only be for ensuring that justice prevail, and not for any other reason. If it is for justice, then Islam is a religion that stands by it:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَٱلۡإِحۡسَـٰنِ وَإِيتَآىِٕ ذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَيَنۡهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَٱلۡمُنڪَرِ وَٱلۡبَغۡىِۚ يَعِظُكُمۡ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Lo Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to
kinfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed. –
(Qur’an: Surah an-Nahl: 16: 90)
The Meccan Experience
Ever since the early period, Islam has shown exceptional forbearance in propagating the Truth. Since the Meccan period, it utilizes sound and rational arguments to open the dialogue towards establishing Truth. It appeals to the inherent faculty in man to realise faith to be something that has to be perceived firstly with the intellect and man should remove the veil or yoke of ignorance and blind fanaticism that has interposed his search for the Truth.
From the early history of Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w) we see, that in spite of the peaceful ways and most rational arguments, Islam was met with brutish oppression, persecution and sufferings. It was not the manner of propagation that brought this about, for Muhammad (s.a.w) noble character and exemplary disposition was well known amongst the Meccans. There was nothing in his teachings or the manner of his call that justified such mistreatment. Rather it was the attitude of intolerance, fuelled by ignorance and blind fanaticism of the Quraish and spearheaded by the influential amongst them who felt their positions threatened and were thus concerned to preserve the status quo, even with violent means.
They deemed it imperative to eradicate this movement with whatever method. They employed peer pressure, bribery, and social boycott. When these failed, they resorted to physical abuse and killings. It is in this context of unjust and at times violent oppression that the early Muslims underwent two migrations (Hijrah). Even after the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) has settled in Medina, the Quraish were still adamant and determined in their attitude of intolerance. It was arising from this that wars against the Muslims were waged. The right of defence was the only reason and final choice for the Muslims, for they were threatened with extermination.
It is interesting to note that later in the truce that was achieved due to the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, even though the terms were so drafted to leave the Muslims with so many disadvantages yet Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) signed that Treaty. There was open resentment amongst the ranks of the Muslims, but Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) overruled and pacified them for his mission was one of mercy, and that war was never the means of his propagation (one of the meaning of “Islam” is, after all, Peace).
وَإِن جَنَحُواْ لِلسَّلۡمِ فَٱجۡنَحۡ لَهَا وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ
But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One that hearth and knowth (all things). –
(Qur’an: Surah al-Anfal: 8: 61)
The Muslims’ desire for peace was shown even when some amongst them had to suffer from the disadvantages of the terms of the Treaty. The conquest of Mecca was not brought about by any military desire but it was because of the savage massacre on a caravan of Muslim traders by the Quraish, thereby breaking their solemn pledge for truce in the Treaty of Hudaybiyah. It was tantamount to a declaration of war.
أَلَا تُقَـٰتِلُونَ قَوۡمً۬ا نَّكَثُوٓاْ أَيۡمَـٰنَهُمۡ وَهَمُّواْ بِإِخۡرَاجِ ٱلرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَءُوڪُمۡ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍۚ أَتَخۡشَوۡنَهُمۡۚ فَٱللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخۡشَوۡهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay; it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe! –
(Qur’an: Surah at-Taubah: 9: 13)
Even in this march into Mecca, the Muslim army demonstrated much restraint. When Mecca eventually fell into his hands, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) went further to magnanimously forgive the Quraish for their past actions against the Muslims.
The Medinan Experience
Another example worth noting from the Seerah (life history) of the prophet of Islam (s.a.w) was when he established Medina in what was previously called Yathrib. They were already, living amongst the Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj, some Jews and yet they were left to follow their own ways. Although the message of Islam was conveyed to them, the choice of whether to accept Islam or not, is entirely left up to them and they were free to practise their own religion. Islam even showed much respect for the right to their religion.
In one instance when the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) was asked to judge certain matters amongst them, he asked them concerning what was written in their Book (Taurah) and when told, he admonished them to follow that ruling contained in their books of revelations that had come upon their prophet.
In Medina too, there were dialogues made by the Muslims to the Christians. Noteworthy amongst these was when a delegation of Christians from Najran (Yemen), headed by a Bishop, was welcomed to Medina. There occurred a peaceful dialogue that went on for several days in the mosque of the Prophet. At the end when all has been said, for the conclusion of it, the Prophet (s.a.w) as commanded by Allah in the Qur’an, offered a “Mubahalah”.
فَمَنۡ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ فَقُلۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ نَدۡعُ أَبۡنَآءَنَا وَأَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ وَنِسَآءَنَا وَنِسَآءَكُمۡ وَأَنفُسَنَا وَأَنفُسَكُمۡ ثُمَّ نَبۡتَہِلۡ فَنَجۡعَل لَّعۡنَتَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَى ٱلۡڪَـٰذِبِينَ
If any one dispute in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, say: come! Let us gather together, our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then let us
earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!” –
(Qur’an: Surah aali-‘Imran: 3: 61)
Although the Prophet (s.a.w) stood ready with members of his household comprising of Fathimah, ‘Ali, Hassan and Hussain (may Allah bless them all), the Christians declined to this mubahalah; and they were respectfully allowed to return to Yemen, in the spirit of tolerance with their safety being guaranteed by the Muslims.