In the name of God, the Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful
O you who have attained to faith,
when you go forth in God’s cause, use your discernment,
and do not — out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life —
say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace,
“Thou art not a believer”: for with God there are gains abundant.
You, too, were once in the same condition —
but God has been gracious unto you.
Use, therefore, your discernment:
verily, God is always aware of what you do.
Qur’an, An-Nisa, 4:94
This verse from the Quran reminds us to look toward unity rather than exclusivity. We must be aware how we subtly separate ourselves on the basis of whether others share our beliefs, practices, or orientation. Our own inner conviction and certainty should not be turned into an excuse for causing separation from others who appear to be on a different path, as long as that path is not one of injustice or evil. If God had willed, we would be all one people, but diversity is necessary to this spiritual ecology within which we search for Truth. Allah will settle all differences between us in the end. Allah knows. We may believe that we are on a most beautiful way, but if we allow that to subtly separate us, to increase our self-importance and self-righteousness, we have begun to stray.
Image: ‘Innerconnectedness of life’ by Casey Kotas