Volume 11, Issue 1, 2019
Tolerance and its Limits
Mohammad Hussein Ganji
A Look at Tolerance from the Viewpoint of Rumi
The deepening and development of epistemological issues on the one hand, and the unpleasant historical experience on the other hand, made modern humanity after the Renaissance gradually became tolerant and recognized "the Other." The epistemological basis for tolerance is the obscurity and complexity of truth and difference in the understanding of human beings. Its moral basis is not to see oneself as above others and to endure the intricacies of practicing morality. Tolerance is rational for two reasons: one is the epistemological basis that hinders the dogma of possessing absolute truth, self-knowledge, and repudiating others; the other is the advantages of tolerance for collective living. This article seeks to show that Rumi, while paying attention to the moral and epistemological principles of tolerance, goes beyond the rational tolerance of calculating profits, losses, and trading. According to his mystical view, his tolerance is a “loving tolerance,” a tolerance which is based solely on love and compassion towards human beings, rather than being based on calculations of profit and loss, with no expectation for reward.