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The value of differences
MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN  6th Feb 2011

niformity is not the culture of the world. This lack of uniformity is observed all over the world. The Quran affirms this. It says that the stones of the mountains are different in colours (35:27), in plants there are diverse varieties (20:53), and the same picture is observable in the animal world. Regarding man, the Quran, in the chapter entitled Al-Rum (The Romans) has this to say: "Another of His signs is that He created the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours. There truly are signs in this for those who know." (30:22)

It is a fact that our life is full of differences. In fact, every man is Mr Different. Diversity is an integral part of nature and is immutable. What do we do in such a situation? The only option is to adopt the principle of tolerance. Maturity is the ability to accept things that we cannot change. Every man should prove to be a mature person in this regard. Everyone should learn the art of difference management, rather than eliminating the differences, for this can lead to failure.

Difference management is not difficult. In terms of the capacity of the human mind, it is certainly an easy task. About the capacity of the mind, it has been rightly said, "I am large enough to contain all these contradictions."

Difference is not an evil: it has a positive value. Difference invites discussion and dialogue; which, in turn, lead to intellectual development. Difference saves us from being a victim of intellectual stagnation.

There is a saying that "If all think alike, no one thinks very much." This aptly explains the value of difference. Diversity, and not uniformity is part of the scheme of nature.

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