Islam & Turning the Other Cheek

by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

“You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Jesus Christ: Matthew 5: 38–44

The biblical doctrine of “turning the other cheek” is the point of pride for Christians. This doctrine as is known originates from words attributable to the Biblical personality and venerable Prophet Jesus—God’s peace be upon him.  Although it is not known to many in light of the violent images of Islam in the media, Islam—believe it or not—also has a doctrine and history of passive resistance similar to that taught by Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible.

This fact should not be a surprise to any Muslim or non-Muslim, since Islam “proper” is nothing more than the final phase in a continuum of divine revelation. Consequently, the teachings of Muhammad and Jesus — God show them mercy and peace —are similar in many ways by necessity of both law codes coming from one single source.

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