Diversity, breeds Tolerance and Inclusivity
After my ethics classes are finished for the day, I summarize what we have discussed and/or completed in class for the sake of review, continuity, and if a student was absent who could then review the content discussed in that class. In addition to summarizing each class, I add quotations that reflect the diversity of various belief and philosophical systems which are fundamental to ethics to further enhance good choices and right behavior whether one believes in a higher power or not.
Presently, there are 4 students in class that are of the Islamic belief system – thus I took the opportunity to include quotations (which for me are like laser beams which penetrate the heart of the matter) from Islam for the sake of the 4 students, and for the exposure to and better understanding of others relative to diversity and inclusivity. The 4 students, previously mentioned, were surprised and delighted that these quotations were included in the class summary which prompted one of the four students to send an email stating the following: “I really appreciate it. Thank you so much! Have a nice rest of the week.”
Here are some of the quotations that represent Diversity breeds Tolerance and Inclusivity and promote right reason and good conduct for all —–
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98.
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
… Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
… Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
… Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
… Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
… Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
… Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
… Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
… Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
The Muslim . . . “bears witness” in his life and in every single one of his actions that his chief priority is Allah and that no other “gods”—which include political, material, economic, and personal ambitions—can take precedence over his commitment to God alone. —Karen Armstrong
Mature religions and individuals have great tolerance and even appreciation for differences. When we are secure and confident in our oneness—knowing that all are created in God’s image and are equally beloved—differences no longer threaten us.
An important and oft-quoted tradition (hadith) has Muhammad say on his way home after a battle: “We are returning from the Lesser Jihad and going to the Greater Jihad,” the far more important and difficult struggle to reform one’s own society and one’s own heart. —Karen Armstrong
In the Islamic tradition, we are considered to be an amazing weave of heaven and earth [spirit and matter]. Islam does not see us as sinful beings to be redeemed, but as neglectful and forgetful beings endowed with the primordial light. —Avideh Shashaani
Everything in the realm of nature and human existence is a sign—a manifestation of God’s divine names and attributes. . . . As it is said in the Qur’an, “Wherever you turn, there is the Face of God” (2:115). —Avideh Shashaani
Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts of our body is death. . . . “Die before you die,” said the Prophet Muhammad. . . . I was born when all I once feared—I could love. —Rabia
For Further Study:
Karen Armstrong, The Case for God (Alfred A. Knopf: 2009)
Jordan Denari Duffner, Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic (Liturgical Press: 2017)
Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West(Penguin Compass: 2002)
Avideh Shashaani, “An Islamic Perspective on Transgression: Oneness,” “Transgression,” Oneing, vol. 2, no. 1 (CAC Publications: 2014)
Mirabai Starr, God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Monkfish Book Publishing: 2012)