Muslim clerics are required to clarify the universal message of Islam and the Prophetic models which encourage peaceful coexistence with all communities. They are required to do so in the best way both in words and actions, in order to curb the rising hatred and disorder [Fasad] in the land. Based on the established major maxims of Islamic jurisprudence supported by the Quran and Sunnah, as they learn in their Islamic seminaries, they should step to the fore and help the multi-cultural society live with positive mindset.
The role model that Muslims must follow for developing coexistence is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as God Almighty says about him in the Quran “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often”. (33:21)
Historically analysing we find that the beloved Prophet has left Muslims with four significant models of developing coexistence with non-Muslims whether they live in minority or majority, in or out of Islamic country. We find the first model in the Makki period where patience and coexistence were characterized as the major rules of conduct. The model of Abyssinia is the second model where loyalty was the dominant value. The third model can be seen in the first stage of Medinian period which featured pluralism and peaceful coexistence. The fourth exemplary model is the second stage of Medinian period where justice and intellectual insight were striking features of this model.
These four models are completely ignored in the methodology adopted by the extremist think-tank living in our modern time. Strange as it is that these extremist mindsets take refuge in Non-Muslim countries and enjoy protection, yet they repeatedly stick to using ill words directing to the original natives of such countries. Such extremists make much negative speech and persistently express their hatred and bigotry towards them for not being Muslims. This is the main reason that incites negative feelings of hate, prejudice and bigotry against Muslims and Islam.
Such extremists are actually working against the Quran which asks to follow in the footsteps of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), as God Almighty says, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often”. (33:21). This Quranic verse teaches to follow the Prophetic models but sadly enough, the extremists who claim to follow the Quran do not follow the four main models of the beloved Prophet as discussed above.
It is also important for the Muslim clerics and scholars to tell their followers that after the Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Medinah, the Muslims not only achieved religious freedom but also ensured that freedom and security for all Medinian communities including Muslims, Jews, Hypocrites and Pagans. They must keep in their mind that the beloved Prophet established what is popularly known as the Meethaq-e-Madina (the Constitution of Medinah). This Constitution focused mainly on four principles; 1) peaceful and secure environment for all regardless of religion, caste, culture etc, 2) protection of religious freedom for all communities, 3) equal opportunity for public participation in the spheres of economy, military and politics, and 4) an affirmation of individual responsibility. This inspired the groundwork for a “social contract” comprising a commitment to equal treatment to all the Medinian citizens.