Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xv

This essay is essentially about a question, the question of tolerance as viewed from the point-of-view of a muslim.1 It may be that posing the question within clearly defined limits and giving a decisive explanatory role to those limits will produce an...

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1. I , Thou, and He

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pp. 1-6

Tolerance is a relationship between one human being and another or others.1 We tolerate the other or others, who are, as a result, tolerated. This is an inevitable aspect of human being, which is finite being (that is, both with and within...

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2. The One and the Many

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pp. 7-12

Looking at how an individual relates to self or an environment made up of both similar and different people, we can distinguish certain behavior as clearly unacceptable and undermining of that individual’s or of other people’s dignity...

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3. The Stranger

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pp. 13-19

As individuals, each of us is in relation with him- or herself, the countless multitude of other persons, and the world as a whole, which is made up of an indeterminable diversity of phenomena and levels of being. Both the individual...

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4. Self-Knowledge

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pp. 20-26

Our highest faculty is self-knowledge. This knowledge always meets its limit in the other or stranger. Knowing oneself entails knowledge of the other. But to know oneself also means to redeem oneself (through self-realization). This is possible...

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5. The Sense-of-Self and the Debt

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pp. 27-33

Islam is the key word in every muslim’s identity. It signifies a religious doctrine, its impact on history, and its potential future influence. That is how the term is used for the most part today, although its original (and authentic) meaning refers...

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6. Being-at-Peace

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pp. 34-40

Each of us is, as such, life, consciousness, will, power, and speech. But not that alone. We are much more, but nevertheless remain between void and the Absolute. Our life, consciousness, will, power, and discourse are conditioned...

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7. Faith

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pp. 41-46

As aspects of human wholeness, fear and will shape our relationship toward what we encounter as otherness. Fear is a response to the unknown. We may flee from the unknown or oppose it. Either course may involve measured or unmeasured response...

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8. Beauty

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pp. 47-52

Being-at-peace means willing acceptance, including acceptance of being separated from the apparent and passing for the sake of connection with the real and lasting. Being-at-peace is liberation from everything that is not God...

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9. The Hour

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pp. 53-58

Every self experiences the external world as an indisputable and clear reality. Insecurity in the self takes that externality for its object and expresses itself as the experience of mundane imperfection. The self undertakes to change the external world...

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10. Humanity

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pp. 59-65

All humanity was created of a single self or a single spirit in accordance with the Debt, as encapsulated in the tale of the meeting and conversation between the Angel Gabriel and the Prophet Muhammad.1 The meaning of that creation...

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11. The Other and the Different

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pp. 66-72

Humanity is an authentic whole. Its division into tribes, peoples, and races does not abrogate the original perfection of each individual or the possibility of our redemption in perfection. Each of us must present our own account and is responsible...

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12. Intolerance I

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pp. 73-79

The presentation of the Debt given here, as our being indebted for our existence to God the Creator of everything, has two levels. The first is being-at-peace, the second faith. The first belongs to the sphere of will but is not exhausted...

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13. Intolerance II

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pp. 80-86

It may be recognized that God’s addresses in the Recitation were directed to those who have accepted it as the call. They mention Jews, Christians, Sabaeans, Magians, and Arabs. These communities or peoples are definitively distinguished...

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14. The Muslim

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pp. 87-93

During the last two centuries of the second Christian millennium, that part of humanity which calls itself and others call ‘‘Muslim’’ has frequently found itself the subject of major suffering. The killing and persecution of Muslims...

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15. The Universality of Prophecy

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pp. 94-100

No aspect of the Jewish, Christian, or Islamic traditions can be discussed without recognizing the crucial role of prophecy for the viewpoint as a whole. All statements from the Recitation considered in this text as binding effective utterances...

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16. The Nation of the Just

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pp. 101-106

God is One. The revelation of Unity in creation is possible only in the many, which neither determines nor supplements that Unity. All existence— heaven, earth, and everything between—is an inexhaustible inscription of that...

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17. Dialogue

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pp. 107-113

Our intentions toward and dialogue with the other shape our consciousness of our Debt to God. We have nothing we have not received. Consciousness of that transforms all our property into debt and us into God’s debtors...

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18. Finding Fault with Others and the Self

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pp. 114-119

We always have the choice of right or wrong, good or evil, beauty or ugliness, and so on ad infinitum. This possibility is part of our nature as beings with free will. Given that our knowledge is limited, we cannot make final judgment...

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19. Free Will and the Covenant

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pp. 120-125

Our encounter with God is different from the relations of all other things in existence with their Creator, both jointly and individually, on the one hand, and with the Transcendental, on the other. As creatures, we are at both...

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Afterword: The Text and Its Power

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pp. 127-133

Every human question unfolds in the world and language. If we accept that the world is an expression and revelation of the One, then we should accept that different languages can show the One in the many and the many in the One...

Notes

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pp. 135-159

Bibliography

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pp. 161-164

Conceptual Glossary

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pp. 165-180

Abrahamic Dialogues

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p. 181