Illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News

What you need to know:

  • Cultural diversity is a core idea of Islam

Cultural diversity is one of the basic characteristics of a human society and is an asset indispensable to the progress of humanity. Cultural diversity is to show the respect to the beliefs and practices of the adherents towards different religions. It is the basic tenet of Islam. The Quran assures us that we can live together in peace and harmony, with people of other faiths.

Islam advocates the utilisation of cultural dialogue and commonalities for maintaining peaceful co-existence. Peaceful co-existence is favoured by knowledge, learned from other cultures and supported by multi-culturalism.

Diversity is one of the laws of Nature; it is not something human beings can claim is man-made. The Quran states that diversity is created by God for us to benefit from. The book acknowledges people of other faiths on the recognition that all humanity has been created in the nature of the divine.

Madina, during the time of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] consisted of a diverse society where there were many Arab tribes living together. This society was regarded as the first Islamic society, which was shaped on the basis of cultural diversity. The Prophet [PBUH] has encouraged maintaining unity to his companions, establishing brotherhood, promoting justice, preserving equality and looking forward to living in peace. The guidance left by Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] in the form of his speech and actions, is sufficient for Muslims as well as non-Muslims all over the world.

Diversity is a natural phenomenon created by God and we are bound by the laws of Nature to this diversified world, where religions and cultures exist next to each other in the same lands and countries. The Quran assures us that we can live together in peace and harmony with people of other faiths. Islam is a religion that maintains peaceful co-existence and integration within a society by putting disputes aside and emphasising more on the concept of unity and brotherhood.

- The writer is an assistant professor at a university based in India.