Forgiveness Toward Humankind

Abdulaziz Sachedina

in The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780195139914
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848935 | DOI:
Forgiveness Toward Humankind

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In Muslim culture, the restoration of relationships has traditionally required some measure of retribution, tempered with pardon. The Koran and the Tradition have treated retribution as a prerequisite for restoration. In creating and maintaining relationships that would lead to a just society, the principle of coexistence among individuals and communities requires Muslims to rediscover and implement a missing dimension in a political society: restoration through forgiveness and compassion. In spite of its emphasis on forbearance and forgiveness, the Koran permits the use of force under specific circumstance in keeping with pre-Islamic Arab tribal culture, which had institutionalized the military to defend tribal security. In introducing the injunction legitimizing the limited use of force through the instrumentality of jihad, the Koran was thus responding to moral-religious and political conditions prevalent in 7th-century Arabia.

Keywords: Muslim culture; Koran; tradition; coexistence; Jihad; 7th-century Arabia

Chapter.  13733 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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