It may be a common fact that Non-Muslims have no rights when it comes to Islam as the religion is only for Muslims. However the way your fellow human beings are treated is an important element in the religion of Islam.
Muslims are taught everything from how to treat our parents, children, extended family, spouses, neighbours, the people around us, colleagues and our friends. Islam even goes into the detail of how to treat animals.
In contrast to that, Islam teaches us how to deal with our fellow Muslim Brothers and Sisters and even the rights of non-Muslims around us. There are several ahadith in the Quran in which Allah has guided us on how to treat non-Muslims. The religion of Islam is truly a religion of peace and justice and there is no discrimination within the religion of Islam.
Kindness Towards Non-Believers
Allah has instructed us to be just to all mankind and even treat non-Muslims with respect. Even if your Parents are not Muslims you still have to show your kindness, gentleness and carry out your duty towards them.
Allah says in the Quran 17:23 :
“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”
The Prophet (PBUH) and Kindness
During the first years of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) mission to invite people into Islam, his closest family members including an uncle, did not only refuse his invitation but also persecuted and ill-treated him. Nevertheless, he was very well mannered and kind towards people and even his enemies, that’s why Islam spread so fast in every corner of the world.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also forgave people that no one else would even consider forgiving due to their ill-mannered actions. A great example is of one of the leaders of Quraish Abu Sufyan, was one of the Prophet’s (pbuh) most zealous enemies in Makkah. He was responsible for leading many armies against the Prophet and the Muslims, including many campaigns that resulted in the persecution of Muslims.
After the Muslims Conquest of Makkah, Abu Sufyan accepted Islam and asked for sincere forgiveness from the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) not only forgave him but gave him a great honor by openly stating “Whosoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe”
Allah (swt) also praised the Prophet’s (pbuh) good temper and tolerance in the following verse:
“So, by mercy from Allah [ O’ Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And you had been severing and harsh-hearted with them, they would have disbanded from about you. So, pardon them and ask forgiveness for them.’’
[ Quran 3:159]
His mercy and kindness were all-inclusive, and he would treat with forgiveness those who had practiced hostility against him for years, including the pagans of Mecca. He saw everyone non-muslim as a potential to become Muslim and that played a key part in his treated of non-muslims. This is why he was such a great role model for Muslims and even non-Muslims who actually have studied into this life.
The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of 40 years (of traveling).”
Source: Sahih Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 83, Hadith 49
Equality for Everyone
Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in his final sermon:
‘’All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also, a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action”.
Islam spread the message of equality in every corner of the world, raising its slogan of equal rights whether it is black or white.
Allah is kind towards everyone. To him, only his Worship matters. He does not discriminate between people. Islam offers full security to Non-Muslims.
The Prophet Was A Mercy
“And we have not sent you except as a mercy to the world.’’
Quran [ 21:107]
The holy prophet (PBUH) used to show mercy for everyone. He never cursed anybody and always advised his followers to be kind.
Not only do the above facts enlighten us about some of the principles in Islam, but we should take note that we need be kind towards others as this was the common practice of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). We interact with people in our daily lives that do not necessarily have the same beliefs as us, but it doesn’t mean that we do not treat them with respect. You never know that your good manners may even bring someone towards Islam
Please also see this beautiful message by Mufti Menk in regards to the treatment of Non-Muslims