Outline Peace is a natural state which attracts each and every individual.
Meaning of peace Peace and countries Peace and Religion Islam is the religion of peace Islamic teachings of peace Peace and Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) Muslims and peace in todays world Injustice to Muslim world Peace in Muslim countries Muslim terrorists portray a bad image of Islam Peace can be achieved by dialogue and Justice Forgiveness can promote peace Tolerant and peaceful Muslim society must have true understanding of the Islam Islam created a society more free from prevalent cruelty and social tyranny than any ociety that has ever been in the world before.
The peaceful atmosphere is required for the spiritual and moral progress of the individual. A good society can be developed in the atmosphere of peace. Islam does not permit rampant violence. But there is considerable prejudice against Muslims and they are viewed with suspicion. Peace is a natural state which attracts each and every individual. It is a condition that everyone is looking for. Good person do not like to create turbulence that affects the peace.
Peace is disturbed when the balance of rights and responsibilities between individuals and societies is lost. The lack of fulfillment of responsibilities and encroachment of rights can lead to deep wounds. These irreparable rifts can ultimately lead to full-fledged war. Normally the meaning of peace is understood by individuals according to their culture, interest, benefits, and wishes. In every culture the meanings of peace are understood differently.
The universal meaning of peace defines a state that provides inner satisfaction which in turns has a positive influence or impact on the outside environment. The dilemma in todays world is that every country claims peace but indirectly every country somewhere somehow supports other countries that are orking against peace or want to look at peace according to their benefit. It is interesting to note that the world has been under the influence of different socio- political ideologies over time. Every concept gained popularity on the basis of peace.
However the result was an enigma. Democratic states or republics like United States of America, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, or India, engage in international bloc politics since they need help from peace gets chosen only for particular regions, nations, groups and states. ‘Peace for all’ is Just a slogan and is used Just as a modern terminology. So, promotion of peace s now benchmarked by aid or benefit from another state and is purely meant for the interest of the nation and it could also be used for the expansion of illegitimate power.
The world in the recent past was a bi-polar system with the standing powers of USSR and USA. However with the defeat of the former in Afghanistan, the single power now rests with the USA making for a uni-polar system. However world politics is again changing faces. China is another emerging power, a strong contender soon to change the political topography to bi-polar again. China is strengthening its economy with massive world trade. It does not send its troops into any of the peace keeping missions or recent wars. This way it is preserving, protecting and strengthening its republic.
Another challenging contender is the Islamic Republic of Iran. There has been an historic gulf between Iran and USA, perhaps related to the American hostage history. Currently, Iran has pressure from the world to stop nuclear production. However, Iran wants to continue its research and production of nuclear technology. It argues that it is doing so for peaceful purposes. The countries making demands on Iran to curb its nuclear industry are themselves profusely engaged in it. If China talks about peace then it has its own interest in it.
If USA talks of peace then it has its own interest in it. Similarly, if India or any other country talks about peace, they have their own vested interests in it. Peace is therefore being promoted for one’s own interest and not for humanity. It has been true that many things done in the name of God would be hateful to a gentle deity. But, with terrorists attacking innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq and Muslims shot down in Kashmir, Palestine and in other countries; this seems like an especially bad period for the abuse of religion.
Religion is like a knife that can be misused to unjustly kill an innocent person, or rightfully employed to cut bread to feed the hungry. It is not the religion that is to blame; but the people who implement its Laws. The Laws are Divine, however the implementation is human. And it is the implementation of any law that dictates its effectiveness, not the theoretical law itself. The religion cannot be blamed for any unwelcome changes and for violent acts that disturb the peace of the society. Islam is the religion of peace. The word “Islam” in Arabic is “Salama” which means submission of desires to the will of Allah.
Personal peace can be attained by totally submitting of oneself to God. As Allah says in Holy Quran: “And we were ordered to submit to the Lord of the worlds”. Even the greetings favored by Muslims means “May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you. ” Prayer itself is completed with the announcement of peace, once to the right and once to the left. The spirit of this religion is peaceful submission to the Lord of the worlds: As Allah says in Holy Quran: reward is with the Lord, on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”.
The Islam teaches the Muslims that peace is achieved through tolerance, forgiveness, esponding to evil with good and proactive good deeds that bring happiness to others. The Holy Quran calls the Muslims the people of the ‘middle path’. It says, “There is no compulsion in religion. ” The Quran calls for coexistence with other religions in the verse which says: To you your religion and to me mine. ” The Quran clearly tells Muslims to protect the Christian church, the Jewish synagogue, and places of worship of all other peoples as much as they defend their mosques.
This is clear evidence of the emphasis that Islam has laid on tolerance and co-existence with other religions and civilizations. The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: mfou are all born of Adam and Adam was made out of clay. An Arab has no superiority over the non-Arab. Neither does a white man enjoy superiority over a black man, nor a black man over a white man except by piety. Remember that your lives and properties are sacred and inviolable among one another. ” Islam also gives a distinct system of human love, which relates to the dealings of Muslims with the whole world.
In this regard, the Quran says: “The believers are brothers to each other; therefore make peace between your two brothers and fear Allah, so that you ay gain mercy. ” A western scholar Mr. James Michener said: “More than most religions, Islam preaches the brotherhood of all races, colors and nations within its fold. Muhammed (peace be upon him) himself probably had the same skin coloring as Jesus, a very suntanned white, but today his followers embrace all colors: black men from Africa, yellow men from China, brown men from Malaya, white men from Turkey. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was described as “mercy for the two worlds. ” In his conduct, he was tolerant, ever merciful and forgiving. He signed treaties of peace with the Jews and the Infidels. The history books detail the treatment of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) by the community in Mecca when they were brought the blessing of the message of Islam. In the early years, majority of the Meccans were against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). They inflicted much pain, performed numerous open transgressions and oppressions against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions.
They had been boycotted to the point that no one was allowed to trade with them. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his companions the patience and forbearance that is needed whenever one is engaged in doing what is right. During the incident at Taif when the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him) blessed feet were injured and his (peace be upon him) blessed sandals were filled with blood and his (peace be upon him) blessed skin was separating with it. At this point, the angel Gabriel came to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) saying that he could crush these people if he (peace be upon him) so commanded.
However, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) having the full power and authority to make this happen, instead, chose to forgive these transgressors and said, “l sense the fragrance of belief from their generations. ” And he (peace be upon im) prayed for them. This is why it is said in the Quran: “Forgive the mistakes of The atrocities of the rejecters of the message of Islam reached their heights when they exiled the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and Muslims out of their birth town, Mecca. However, when the tides turned and the Muslims were granted clear victory over infidels, and returned to Mecca.
During their entry into the blessed city, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions did not display any signs of revenge. No one was killed, no transgressions were committed, no women or children were harmed, and no old enmities were brought out. Instead, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) announced a general amnesty in Mecca. It is important to keep in mind that the atrocities and transgressions that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions had been subjected to by the disbelievers of this city were not trivial.
The Victory of Mecca is a unique example in human history of a non-violent, bloodless, peaceful conquest that had no casualties, no collateral damage, and no fallout, except one of creating a universal example of forgiveness and returning evil with good for the world to follow. It seems that these Islamic ualities of compassion and tolerance have been all but forgotten, and even negated, by some of those who have lately assumed the mantle of champions of Islam. They represent a revengeful Islam.
Some of them carry a permanent frown on their faces and their language is harsh and threatening. It is also surprise that these people have so greatly tarnished the image of Islam in the world. It is unfortunate that extremists like Osama bin laden have come to represent Muslims even though they actually represent the lunatic fringe amongst the Muslims. Ever since the fall of the Soviet-led communist bloc, terrorism has emerged as the umber one enemy for many countries. Unfortunately, in their perception, much of the terrorist activity is associated with Muslim groups.
In particular, after the terrorist attacks in New York on September 1 1, 2001, the US-Ied war against terrorism has already targeted two Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq. This in turn has fuelled unprecedented anti-Americanism in the Islamic world. There has been talk of a clash of civilizations and religions, even a new crusade, giving rise to the perception amongst some Muslims that the Islamic world in under siege. It is evident that the West and other countries are concerned about the growth of errorism in some Muslim circles.
Unfortunately, it seems that the West and others have failed to understand that, in most cases, terrorism is bred by a deep sense of injustice. The Muslim world feels aggrieved over the injustice that has been done to the Palestinian people. Israel has disregarded UN resolutions. The US is seen as the protector and ally of Israel. Israel has unleashed state terrorism against the Palestinians almost on a daily basis. In a response, some Palestinians and Arabs have resorted to suicide bombings, leading to a inhuman circle of violence and counter- violence.
The terrorism of Osama bin Laden and other militant groups, and their virulent anti-Americanism, is the outcome of Arab and Muslim desperation over the continuing injustice to the Palestinian people. Similarly, there is a parallel in the Kashmir situation where India has been using force to deny the right of self- threat to peace as shown by the events of Ahmedabad, and the Babri Mosque. In Pakistan, Muslim sects such as Wahabi, Shia, Sunni, Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahle Hadith have fought against each other and have caused civil disturbance. Differentiation of Punjabi, Sindh’, Balochi, Pathan, MahaJir, Saraiki is also an obstacle to peace in
Pakistan. Iraq itself has seen constant civil unrest with conflicts between Sunnis and Shias occurring after the American invasion. Lebanon is facing social strife caused by differences between Muslim and Christian groups. In Afghanistan the language factor of Pushto and Persian further creates problems. Therefore language can become a barrier to peace as well. Some groups get themselves organized based on their language or region that can bring hatred among them. Personal Representative (Mr. Picco) of the Secretary-General for the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, has said: “History does not kill.
Religion does not rape women, the purity of blood does not destroy buildings and institutions do not fail. Only individuals do those things. ” It is really astonishing as to how, with the passage of time, these circles have come to occupy the center-stage in many Islamic societies. They exhibit an intolerant and rigid attitude. They are against the education of women and indeed against modernism in all forms. They are intolerant of religious minorities and even of the unorthodox groups amongst the Muslims themselves. They portray a merciless God Who is only interested in punishing man.
Even amongst Muslims, they find fault with everyone’s religious beliefs and practices. On the smallest of pretexts, they are willing to declare their opponents as being outside the pale of Islam. Their ideas are based on extremism, militancy and obscurantism. The image of Islam projected by such bigots is far from the Islam practiced by Muslims over the centuries. It is time for Muslim societies and governments to disown such extremists and project the humane and conciliatory face of Islam. There is a need of dialogue, understanding and compromise. There must also be tolerance and flexibility.
However, human experience shows that peace can be durable only if it is based on justice and fair play. The restoration of balance of rights and responsibilities is called justice. This is why the famous slogan “If you want peace, work for Justice” rings to one’s core. However there is a higher moral ground, one that goes beyond Justice. It is one that calls for forgiveness, generosity, beautification, pro-active love and compassion. It is the concept of turning the other cheek instead of taking an eye for an eye. The aspirants of this formula forfeit their rights for the benefit of others.
They ive out more than what is simply needed. They return evil with good. They are like the tree in the Islamic Sufi tradition, that when it is shaken, in response, sweet and nourishing fruits fall off from its branches for the perpetrator to savor. Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “The Merciful has mercy on the merciful. O people! Have mercy on the people on the earth and the Merciful of the skies will have mercy on you. ” Making peace among mankind is equated to virtuosity and piety pledging against being virtuous and pious, and against making peace among mankind; and Allah is All Hearing, All Knowing.
Also, making peace is highly encouraged as in the following verse: “And if they incline towards peace, you too lean towards it, and trust Allah; indeed He only is the All Hearing, the All Knowing. ” So, Muslims will have to discover higher standards of social values by developing the universal spirit and co-operation towards others. If the true understanding of the Islam is effectively spread, a broadminded and tolerant Muslim society can be charted out. The lives of Muslims should represent true essence of Islam that can connect with the rest of world in a way that promote peace for all. Amen.