Everyone is a Human Being
There is a great misunderstanding about the word ‘kafir’. Literally, ‘kafir’ means one who refuses. Generally, people take it as an equivalent of non-Muslim. This is incorrect. To think that those who are not Muslims are kafir is a wrong notion. According to Islam, everyone is simply ‘insaan’ or human being. There are hundreds of times when the Quran addresses people with words such as ‘an-naas’ or ‘al-insan’. So, everyone is basically a human being. The Prophet of Islam was born in Mecca and then migrated to Medina. At that time there were some Jewish tribes in Medina. One day the Prophet saw a funeral procession passing through a street in Medina. The Prophet was seated at that time. On seeing the funeral, he stood up in respect. One of his companions said, ‘O Prophet he was a Jew, not a Muslim.’ The Prophet replied: ‘Was he not a human being?’ Thus the Prophet discovered a commonality between himself and the non-Muslim. This is the true spirit of Islam.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan