In the Name of Allah…
In a recent lecture in Egypt, controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes, spoke on the topic of “Tolerance in Islam”. Shocking the panel of “scholars”, organizers, and the local and international audience, Estes claimed that Islam is not tolerant at all, going so far as to say that Allah, the Gracious Lord of the Universe, has 0% tolerance! The following is a precise transcript of his exact words:
…They asked me to talk on the subject of tolerance. The last time that happened I was in a university somewhere in America, and they said, “Sheikh, talk about tolerance – how tolerant is Islam.”
So when I took the microphone I said, after the introduction, “Islam is not tolerant at all.” And all of the people – most of them not Muslim – they’re like, “Ah, ah, I knew it! I knew it!”
I said, “It’s not tolerant. Islam is not about tolerance. Even the word is not about tolerance, is it? NO! Islam is about surrender, submission, obedience, sincerity, and peace with Allah. This is the meaning of the word! How did you get tolerant out of that?
And Allah is not tolerant at all! ZEEROOO!!
Chapter four, verse 48 of the Quran, Allah said (slamming his hand on the table): “I DO NOT FORGIVE SHIRK!! But anything less than that I could forgive.”
So, is that tolerant? No! It’s not tolerant at all. But Islam is very forgiving. Islam is so fair, it’s so just. It is absolutely perfect.
Islam does not tolerate murder. Islam does not tolerate terrorism. Islam does not tolerate taking people’s rights away from them. Islam does not tolerate rape. Islam does not tolerate alcoholism, drug addicts, or any of the rest of the things that the people want you to tolerate. And that’s the real truth… (applause)
There are some extremely important matters that need to be understood here:
1) Muslims speak about Allah with the highest terms of respect and reverence. Denying Allah’s tolerance, even out of ignorance, is not from the speech of a Muslim. This statement is severe apostasy – and the contrived examples of when Islam is not tolerant could never justify such filthy and unwarranted speech about Allah, the Exalted and Most High.
﴿ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا ﴾
( Glorified be Allah, He is highly exalted far above what they say. ) [17:43]
2) Explaining that Allah is not tolerant by quoting a Quranic verse that negates forgiveness for polytheism is repulsive and blatantly self-contradictory. The verse is about forgiveness (which is one manifestation of tolerance). He uses the lack of forgiveness for the great crime of polytheism to prove the lack of Allah’s tolerance, while He is al-Ghafoor (the All-Forgiving), al-Ghaffaar (the Continuous Forgiver), al-‘Afuww (the One who excuses), ar-Rahmaan (the Most Mercilful), ar-Raheem (the Ever Forgiving), whose Mercy overtakes His Anger and His Punishment. If tolerance is understood through forgiveness, then Allah must be considered tolerant, since He forgives ALL SINS (except for polytheism). He even forgives polytheism when people repent from it! So, there remains NOTHING that Allah, the Gracious and Tolerant Lord of the Worlds, does not forgive for those who seek His abundant Forgiveness.
( قل يا عبادي الذين أسرفوا على أنفسهم لا تقنطوا من رحمة الله إن الله يغفر الذنوب جميعًا إنه هو الغفور الرحيم )
“Say: O My Servants who have transgressed against themselves – Do not lose hope in the Mercy of Allah! Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful.” [39:53]
3) Allah provides for His creation, day and night, whether they thank Him or not. Pagans who direct their worship to His creation, atheists who deny His existence, and disobedient Muslims alike enjoy His provisions and Mercy in this life. They could spend their whole lives rejecting His command, insulting and denying Him, yet whoever seeks His Forgiveness earnestly – even after all of that – shall be forgiven and granted entrance to Gardens of Paradise to abide therein forever. If forgiveness is tolerance according to Yusuf Estes, how could he dare utter such a despicable lie against Allah – that “Allah is not tolerant at all – ZEEROOO!!” May Allah protect the Muslims from this man’s filth.
4) While Islam is very tolerant in general, including gracious concessions of ease in all acts of worship, special rules for the disabled, orders to be lenient and graceful, etc., there are some issues which Islam does not tolerate. From the most essentially well-known issues is that a Muslim NEVER speaks about Allah without knowledge, nor does he EVER speak about Allah with words unbefitting to His Majesty. Many of the lectures of Yusuf Estes – like this one – contain very offensive and baseless speech about Allah, as is documented here at this website. (Review this informative PDF for examples.)
5) Allah sent His Messenger (may He raise his rank and grant him peace) to exemplify tolerance, forbearance, patience, leniency, graciousness, kindness, and all forms of good manners. While he fought his enemies on the battlefield sternly, he also graciously accepted them as his brothers in Islam and even gave them special preferences to receive zakaat after they accepted his message, despite their previous hatred and animosity. Tolerance is an essential manner of Islam to be exercised in its right place. While there are examples of issues that Muslims are not allowed to be tolerant in (terrorism, distorting the Religion, etc.), to blanketly negate tolerance in Islam is an unacceptable misrepresentation of the Religion and a serious deviation from it.
6) His affirmation that “Islam is very forgiving” is completely contradictory to his previous words. He tried to prove that Allah is not tolerant at all because He does not forgive polytheism, equating forgiveness with tolerance. So no forgiveness means no tolerance to him. Then he says, “Islam is very forgiving!” This nonsensical talking in circles is something he is well-known for.
While his most fanatical supporters might try to find an angle in this statement to defend him somehow, the fact remains that Yusuf Estes has openly spoken about Allah with words of disbelief, and an irrational contradiction (the natural result of all deviation) is not a back door to escape from accountability. Wal-hamdulillah, there is a growing trend in his fan base – So many people are waking up and identifying the false beliefs he spreads so commonly now.
The severe statement of disbelief that “Allah is not tolerant at all” only adds to the long list of painful (but natural) results of giving ignorant people like Yusuf Estes platforms to speak about Islam from. To learn about his many grave errors in basic Muslim beliefs, be sure to read the following informative e-book: