January 25, 2020
In the time of the Prophet of Islam (sa), the Prophet of Islam’s (sa), family and friends were driven out of their homes for belief in Islam. Thus, lifelong friendships and relationships were torn apart. Despite the merciless abuse and vicious torture, the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) urged them to show restraint and to endure the horrific violence with patience. He neither instructed them to retaliate and nor did he invite his other followers to come and fight back against the non-Muslims; rather, he called on his followers to remain peaceful, even if it meant they lost their lives, and he reassured them that their reward lay in the Hereafter in the loving arms of Allah the Almighty.
Thereafter, the Prophet of Islam (sa) and his companions continued to endure the relentless oppression for many years, until finally they migrated to the city of Medina so that they could practice their religion freely and live in peace. At every moment of his life, the Prophet of Islam (sa) sought peace and promoted interfaith dialogue, mutual understanding and respect between the people of different communities. For example, after migrating to Medina, he formed a treaty with the Jewish community and together they formed a system of government in which the Prophet of Islam (sa) was mutually chosen as the Head of State. During the time of the Prophet of Islam (sa) and his four rightly guided Caliphs, the rights of non-Muslims were never usurped and nor were they pressured into accepting Islam or abandoning their traditions and beliefs.
The prohibitory injunction of friendship contained in the following verse instructs Muslims not to have friendly relations with those who drove out the Prophet (sa) and the Muslims from their hearts and homes for belief in Islam. In such circumstances, between two people at war, it was absolutely necessary to prevent the extermination of the early Muslim community. Love for the friends and relations was putting in jeopardy the safety of the whole Muslim community, since their messages could be intercepted and passed on to the enemy forces easily. Thus we read in the Holy Quran:
“O ye who believe! Take not My enemy and your enemy for friends, offering them love, while they disbelieve in the truth which has come to you and drive out the Messenger and yourselves from your homes merely because you believe in Allah, your Lord. If you go forth, to strive in My cause and seek My pleasure, take them not for friends, sending them messages of love in secret, while I know best what you conceal and what you reveal. And whoever of you does so, has, surely, lost the right path.” Holy Quran 60:2
The verse makes clear that love and affection is forbidden for such people, not because they are not Muslim, but because they, being enemies of Islam, participated in driving “out the Messenger and yourselves from your homes merely because you believe in Allah”. As if this clarification was not enough, the Quran goes on to make the explanation explicit:
“Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable. Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors.” Holy Quran 60:9-10
Thus, the Quran goes further than any religious teaching in this matter, by explicitly commanding Muslims to be kind to non-Muslims who do not persecute Muslims for their faith. There is no equivalent clear teaching in any other religious scripture.
Indeed, looking at the broader attitude of Islam to other faiths, one is struck by the fact that it is the only religion in the world to teach that every other religion was true at its origin. It is the only religion of the world that mandates belief in the holy figures of other faiths.
Further, the fundamental teachings of Islam and one which every Muslim cultivates in his heart is that of brotherhood and equality of all human beings. Islam respects the diversity of people and nature as God’s creation. To ensure that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and the people of other faiths and beliefs had the right to worship as they pleased . Muslims are commanded to safeguard their right to worship and their places of worship, a command that has been historically followed, as is evidenced by the existence of pre-Islamic churches and synagogues throughout the Muslim world in places like Turkey, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Bosnia. Contrary to the common stereotype, Islam was not “spread by the sword”, nor people being forced to convert, a fact again borne out by the existence of non-Muslim populations throughout the Muslim world. This same respect and tolerance was extended to people of other faiths.
Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was sent as “a Mercy for all the worlds,”  and that he brought a perfect and everlasting religion for all humanity. The very first leaf of the Holy Quran praises the Lord Who is the Sustainer of all the worlds, and its last passage urges us to pray to the Lord of mankind. Thus both the first and the last words of the Holy Quran present the concept of a God of the entire universe, and not merely that of a God of the Arabs or the Muslims.
The Promised Messiah (as), founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said: “The principle to which we adhere is that we have kindness at heart for the whole of mankind. If anyone sees the house of a Hindu neighbour on fire and does not come forward to help extinguish the fire, most truly I declare that he does not belong to me. If anyone of my followers, having seen someone attempting to murder a Christian does not endeavour to save him, I most truly declare that he does not belong to us.” 
And: “I proclaim to all Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Aryas, that I have no enemy in the world. I love mankind with the love that a compassionate mother has for her children; even more so. I am only the enemy of the false doctrines which kill truth. Human sympathy is my duty. My principle is to discard falsehood. I reject paganism, wrongdoing, misconduct, injustice and immorality.”