Human Tolerance and Civilizational Progress
Diversity in culture, intellect, belief and desires of people is part of the innate characteristics bestowed on them by the Almighty. God says, ‘Among His proofs are the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors. In these, there are signs for the knowledgeable’. (Al Room: 22). The wisdom behind such diversity is exchange of expertise, communication, and acquaintance in the framework of tolerance to realize collaboration and human development. Modern studies demonstrate that the human serving civilizations were the ones that based on tolerance, respect of basic human principles, moral values, human rights, freedom and happiness. Similarly, historical texts depict that societies experienced the most prosperous civilizations under the umbrella of tolerance yielded beacons of learning and development. Notably, Andalusia, which extended to several centuries, witnessed great development and harmony among various beliefs to become a great example with regard to religious tolerance, human relations and coexistence based on respect and compassion. The said historical experience reflects the necessity of tolerance to all human communities to build civilizations and guarantee their progress in terms of morals and prosperity. That drove researchers to study Andalusia, its community, arts and both its humanities and applied sciences. Such as religious dialo gues, poetry, religious comparative studies led by Ibn Hazm, and other intellectual contributions by scholars and jurists with regard to architecture, agriculture, and various social, scientific, administrative and economic fields denoting progress and development reached by virtue of dominant human tolerance then. Another good human experience led to cultural development was that of east Asia, exemplified in Confucianism, which emphasized morality and sincerity to bring happiness to humankind, respect and closer social relationship by focusing on education as a tool for reform, tolerance and morality as a vehicle for human progress. In conclusion, the thriving experience of the Islamic civilization related to religious tolerance and cultural dialogue, would not have been possible had it not been for Islam, its humanitarian values, its perspective towards various human needs and inclination to build the surrounding world.