(International Day of Peace)
By: Mr Ahmad
Since time immemorial, humanity has searched for an ideal society to lead a happier, more dignified and more fulfilling life. The ideal society is to be built by humanity which could be spiritually beautiful, materially rich and humanly rewarding. This can only be possible if there is peace and security in the world. The importance of peace for any society is obvious and without peace no nation and no individual can advance. Only in a peaceful atmosphere can humanity reach greater heights, and as such, everyone professes a desire for peace as their ultimate goal.
Every year, the International Day of Peace is celebrated around the world on September 21. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this day dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day offers a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and contribute to building a culture of peace. At a time when war and violence often monopolize our news cycles, the International Day of Peace is an inspiring reminder of what we can create together.
“Islam” literally means peace, Almighty Allah in the Quran encouraged the establishment of peace and told the followers of Islam to be moderate in their behavior and adopt the qualities of kindness, love and respect for others. Again “As-Salaam-Alaikum”, the Islamic greeting meaning “Peace be with you” is a greeting consistently deployed whenever and wherever Muslims have gathered and interacted, which is a pledge of non- violence towards the greeted person. Thus, it is obvious that the first principle of Islam is peace. Islam emphasizes peace in communication with all Muslims and non-Muslims in a society, and encourages its adherents to avoid war and violence. The Koran imposes limits on the use of force. The Quran recognizes the right of retribution, but states that “those who forgive injury and reconcile will be rewarded by Allah”.
The Quran says that “permission to fight is given to people who have been wronged… who have been unjustly expelled from their homes…”. Islam commands its followers to seek peace if the enemy seeks peace: “But if the enemy inclines towards peace, you (also) must incline towards peace and trust in Allah, for He is the One who hears and knows (all things). “The Quran teaches that enmity with a people or a group should not incite a Muslim to do them injustice. Allah says in the Quran that He does not like troublemakers. In another verse, the Quran says that killing one person is equivalent to killing all mankind and saving one person’s life is equivalent to saving all mankind.
Islam is a religion of universalism, tolerance, peace and reconciliation. Islam teaches that life is sacred and that the believer has the duty to uphold truth, justice and peace. Social justice is the fundamental principle of Islam. Pursuing justice in the face of oppression and suffering is the personal and collective duty of every Muslim.
In defensive battles, the Prophet (SAW) of Islam best practiced humane and moral principles, treating even his most vicious enemies with humane behavior. During the Hunayn War, he granted pardon to the majority of the captives and returned their property to them. During the conquest of Mecca, some Muslims used to sing that today is the day of revenge, but the Prophet told them that today is a day of mercy, then told the people of Mecca and to the leaders of their war, you are all free and there is no worry for you.
The Prophet of Islam during wars never deprived the enemy of drinking water. In the battle of Kheybar, he strongly opposed when offered the possibility of closing the waterway or poisoning the drinking water of the fortress, and forbade the spread of poison in the city of enemies and generally everywhere. During the war, the Prophet said: Do not kill women, children and old people and do not burn palm trees and crops. Never start a war with the enemy unless he starts, do not kill fugitives, do not attack the wounded, do not enter their houses, do not attack women and do not scold anyone.
One of the social problems of the contemporary world is constituted by the social conflicts which arise from political, cultural, ethnic, racial, geographical and religious conflicts. Nowadays, humans are tired of heartbreaking and devastating struggles and conflicts, and are looking for a way to have a peaceful and non-violent society. By analyzing the concept of peace and conflict, it is argued that religion provides valuable foundations for the culture of peace and the realization of a non-violent society.
The Holy Quran says, “If two parties among the believers quarrel, reconcile with righteousness and righteousness.” For Allah loves those who are righteous. Believers are one brotherhood; therefore make peace between your brothers”. The Quran teaches us that in the face of provocation, we must refrain from reacting and rather defuse the situation. Good and bad deeds are not equal, repel evil with what is better; then you will see that the one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend. If someone behaves ignorantly towards you, you must respond to their ignorance with tolerance.
Allah enjoins believers to amicably reconcile their mutual differences and conflicts and forbids them to quarrel with each other, and warns them if they do not, they will become weak as a community and their strength will be lost . And do not quarrel with each other, then you will lose heart by being demoralized and your strength will be lost. And if two factions of the Believers manage to fight, make them reconcile. Then, if one of these (factions) commits injustice and aggression against the other, fight (the one) who commits aggression until he returns to the command of Allah (to establish the peace). When they return and submit, make peace between them with equity. And make justice work. Surely Allah loves those who do justice.
War in Islam is fought as a case of last resort. In Makkah, where the Prophet (SAW) spent the first 13 years of his prophetic mission, he did not allow his followers to resort to violence or even revenge despite a continuous barrage of crimes against his companions. Those who could not tolerate the persecution were asked to migrate to Abyssina (Ethiopia) and later to Medina.
After the migration of the Prophet (SAW) to Medina due to persecution, the Quraish with the help of their allies continued to attack Madina time and time again (Badr, Uhud, Ahzab etc.) and this eventually led the Prophet (SAW) and his followers to march to Mecca in January 630 CE and conquer it in an expedition where no drop of blood was shed.
After the capture of Makkah, the leaders came and lined up before the Prophet (SAW) who said, “What do you think I will do with you?” The Prophet (SAW) replied: “O, you are all free”. It was the leaders who persecuted him and his followers in Makkah, expelled him and his companions from Makkah, and repeatedly attacked Madinah with their Arab followers and allies. But the most generous behavior of the Prophet (SAW) after the conquest of Mecca closed a long chapter of violence.
Islam says to its followers: “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight you and do not transgress the limits. Verily, Allah does not love those who transgress the limits”. Allah says in the Quran: “Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliates against him to the same extent as he committed against you. And be aware of Allah and know that Allah is with the righteous”. The teachings of Islam invite people to live a peaceful life based on theism, justice and purity. Therefore, peace in Islam is an eternal constitution. Even the nature of war in Islam is defensive and not offensive, because the principle of Islam is peace and coexistence, not conflict, violence and war. In many verses of the Quran, God allowed Muslims to fight only to defend themselves. Therefore, war in Islam is a secondary principle, not a primary principle.
Islam does not encourage war. The Quran says: “O who believe, enter into peace with all your heart”. He describes the Prophet as “Mercy to the worlds”. The Quran allows war only when there is no alternative and when it is in defence. Force was not used and cannot be used to spread Islam because the Koran clearly states in more than one place that “there is no compulsion in matters of faith”. Therefore, only pre-modern Islam allowed followers of other faiths to live peacefully within its borders without interference in their religion and customs.
Everywhere else, subjects had to follow the faith of the ruler. Islamic teachings attempt to invite people to world peace and a peaceful life based on theism, justice and piety. Thus, in Islam, peace is an immortal and primordial law. Allah does not like aggressors. This interpretation of peace based on Quranic teachings can develop widespread peace in the world and end conflicts.
The Prophet (SAW) fought many wars and killed many people, but the reality is that in all his defensive wars waged for ten years in which he personally participated or sent forces led by others, only 756 people were killed. were killed on both sides (Muslims and non-Muslims). Contrast this with the First and Second World Wars in which it is estimated that millions of people were killed.
“Do not boycott each other, do not turn away from each other, do not hate or envy each other. Be slaves of Allah, brothers. And it is not permissible for a Muslim to avoid another for more than three days. (Prophet SAW-Al-Bukhaari, Muslim)
In conclusion, we could say that “Islam has something of unique value in contributing to international peace and human dignity. It requires building societies where all members feel they can thrive. It’s about creating a world where people are treated equally, regardless of race.
(Mr. Ahmad writes regularly for this newspaper and can be contacted at [email protected])