Can there be equality between Muslims and non-Muslims?


QUESTION: How will all be equal, including the non-Muslims among us?

ANSWER: Equality is in law, not in virtue or honor. In the sight of law, a king and a slave are the same. How can the Shari‘a, which forbids treading on an ant, neglect the rights of human beings? This is not possible! But we have not been able to obey it perfectly.

The court trial of the fourth Caliph ‘Ali’s with an ordinary Jew, while the former was caliph, and that of Salahaddin al-Ayyubi’s62 with a Christian will correct your mistake in this matter.

Victory at the present is possible through reason, positive nationalism, progress, and justice. If one uses a sword to defeat others, their orphans (children or grandchildren) will be the target of the same sword. At the present, the sword is in the hand of reason. Our real enemies, who are destroying us, are the chieftain of ignorance, his son the gentleman of neediness, and his grandson Sir hostility. If the Armenians have treated us as enemies, they have done so under the command of these three corrupters.

(From Munazarat [“Discussions”])

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

62 Salahaddin al-Ayyubi (1138–1193). He was one of the Sultans of the al-Ayyubis and most renowned statesmen and commanders in history. He ruled over Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Hejaz, and Yemen. He led Islamic opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant, and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Salahaddin’s chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders, he won the respect of many of them; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry. (Tr.)