During a symposium on Tolerance in Islam in Al-Azhar Mosque, Gustave Le Bon was quoted as saying, "Muslims set the finest examples of coexistence and peace".
Under the patronage of Al-Azhar Grand Imam, Prof. Aḥmed Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, Al-Azhari Ruwāq (Class Court) held a symposium entitled, Tolerance in Islam. Lectures of the symposium were presented by Dr. Abdel Mun‛im Fu’ād, Professor of Creed and Philosophy, Al-Azhar University, General Supervisor of the Al-Azhari Ruwāq, Prof. ‛Abdul Fattāḥ El-‛Awwāri, Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Theology in Cairo, and Prof. ‛Abdullah Sarḥān, former Dean of the Faculty of Post-Graduate Studies.
At the beginning of the symposium, Prof. El-‛Awwāri said that when looking at the Muslim conquests and the conduct of the Muslims in the countries they entered, we know very well how they behaved with the highest tolerance and manners with the indigenous people of these countries. Without tolerance, the hearts of the people would not have been opened to them even before they entered these countries.
The principle of the Islamic Shari‛ā is tolerance and forgiveness, not fighting or war. This is mentioned in Gustave Le Bon's book “The Civilization of the Arabs”, in which he states that Muslims, in the countries they conquered, set the finest examples of coexistence and peace.
On his part, Prof. ‛Abdullah Sarḥān stressed that Islam is a religion of reason and wisdom. It orders us to abide by justice and good treatment with the non-Muslims, as it is a comprehensive religion. It is the religion of tolerance and compassion when the situation requires that, and the religion of power against those who attack it. The difference in religion requires us to accept the others and coexist with them.
At the end of the symposium, Prof. Abdel Mun‛im Fu’ād stressed that we need young people who recognize the message of the apostles, as well as hearts that realize the meaning of the Divine messages. He explained that countries are built mainly on tolerance and love, not on divisionism or dispute.
Our culture is also based on the Qur’anic verse “[O Muslims,] do speak well to people]” (The Qur’an, 2:83), because our Prophet Muḥammad (p.b.u.h.) has ordered us to be tolerant with all creatures, even the animal. He pointed out that there are many stories in the biography of the Prophet Muḥammad (p.b.u.h.) which confirm this meaning. He called on the young people to renounce violence and adhere to the values of forgiveness, tolerance and friendliness.
The symposium is part of a series of seminars entitled Misconceptions Refuted, held by Al-Azhar Mosque, aiming to enhance positive communication between Al-Azhar scholars and the Azhari Ruwāq’s audience, to instill proper moral values and principles, and contribute to educating young people to maintain the stability of society.