The constitution of Madinah formulated by the Prophet reveals the identity of pluralism in Islam. The following features can be noted in the constitution:
- The central authority was with the Prophet. He had all the judicial, political and military authority over all the citizens of Madinah.
- Full religious freedom to all citizens was guaranteed.
- Those who constituted the body politic of Madinah were granted social, cultural, judicial and legal freedom.
With this one example we can come to the conclusion that neither the Qur’ān nor the historical traditions of Muslims have ever been against religio-cultural diversity, plural co-existence and mutual co-operation. The society under Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) in Madinah and the constitution framed for that society is a perfect indicator of this fact.
The main obligation of the Muslim community is to strive to change the minds of the people so that they are made aware of Allah and restructure their lives according to His will. The path to bring change is not by conflicts or totally ignoring or withdrawing from the affairs of the society. But a pluralistic approach is the key to initiate this change. The examples of our prophet’s life and his companions are before us to lead us to this goal and we have nothing to do but to follow their footsteps.