Today, I came across the following lines in your translation of the Quran: 'Indeed you have an excellent example in Abraham and those who followed him, when they said to their people, ‘We disown you and whatever you worship besides God. We renounce you. Enmity and hatred shall endure between us and you, until you believe in the one God.’' (60:4) In many of your writings, you have stressed that Islam does not preach hatred and enmity for others, that it calls for even one-sided love and concern for the welfare of people of other faiths. In this context, how do you interpret the sentence, 'Enmity and hatred shall endure between us and you, until you believe in the one God.'? Does it mean that Muslims must hate others and treat them as enemies until they come to believe in the one God?
In this Quranic verse, the words enmity and hatred are not in their active sense, rather they are in the passive sense. Prophet Abraham used these words as kalima-e-bara'at (words of disowning). After this declaration, Prophet Abraham left Ur (Iraq) and went to the place which is today known as Mecca. He never engaged himself in any negative activities against the people of Ur. The fact is that Prophet Abraham lived up to about 190 years. He carried out his peaceful preaching for a long time until his people threw him into the fire. But God saved him, and after this, he left his people. At that time, he said the words that have come in the above mentioned verse. This shows that his words were not meant in the negative sense, they were meant in the following sense: 'I am leaving you and now there is no relationship between me and you'. In fact, Prophet Abraham's words were not in the literal sense, but they were in the sense of doing hijrah, that is, leaving those people and migrating to some other place. Thus, these were words of hijrat (kalima-e-hijrat) and not words of hatred (kalima-e-nafrat).