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IslamQA: How should a moderate Muslim treat conservative, liberal and Islamist Muslims?

Salaam. Brother, do you have any advice on how a moderate Muslim should behave towards the conservative, the liberal, and the Islamist Muslims? I seem to see them in a negative light and I know it's not the right attitude towards those who have different perspective in faith and life in general. Also, I hope you would give a glimpse of history of why they are that way now. Thank you very much and have a good day.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Just see them as humans doing their best to make sense of things. You do not have to like them but you can love them. What distinguishes a saint from an ordinary person is the way their loving connection with God spills over until it includes everyone on earth. In God’s presence you see everyone as their mothers saw them when they were infants. This is of course difficult to achieve and maintain, but it is an ideal we can all work toward. The point of Islam is to always work toward the highest ideal. And once people know that your main attitude toward them is love, they will be much more likely to soften their hearts and attitudes toward you and to be convinced that something they are saying or doing is wrong.

Unfortunately I cannot go into their history in an answer. Different circumstances and personalities lead to different understandings of religion. People can always force a text to say what they want it to say.

And God knows best.
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