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This book represents a comprehensive ijtihad on the subject of "The Other" within an Islamic framework.
The Arabic word "ijtihad" means the practice of the greatest possible intellectual effort to interpret and implement the divine guidance. This includes considering the sources in their entirety and recognizing their structure and their inter-relations.
God has created humankind with a disposition towards diversity. Individuals and societies are distinct based on the objective environmental circumstances of the time and place in which they live, their own subjective motivations, and the interaction between the two elements. However, human beings – in all their diversity – are equal in their human origin. Religious faith cannot mean exclusive and permanent rightness for a certain individual or group, and the opposite for all "others." After all, human beings have their free will and intellect, and no human is errorless, except those individuals who were entrusted by God to convey His message to people, and were protected by Him against making any error in delivering that divine message.
Our hope is that this book will enhance the understanding of the Islamic conceptualization of relations between the rulers and the ruled, the haves and the have-nots, the national and the universal, different genders and generations, and Muslims and non-Muslims.
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