Peace in Islam
Since we live with people of different faiths and beliefs therefore it is not possible for us to live an isolated life. Hence, it is essential to understand each other’s needs, aspirations, faiths, beliefs, and practices. Tolerance, reconciliation, justice, forgiveness, mercy, trustworthiness, etc. are significant measures that play an essential role in the development of Peace all over the world. This study will delineate the concept of peace in Islam, and how the Holy Qur’an promotes peace in the world, and establish the manner of Universal brotherhood.
The Holy Quran is the last message sent by Allah to His Final Messenger and the most sublime personality of the world, Muhammad (PBUH). It is the solution to all the problems related to human beings and humanity.
The very first verse of the Holy Quran reads, and which is repeated 114 times: ‘In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate’, clearly shows that the God of Islam is the God of Mercy and Compassion and the Holy book of this religion is the message of Mercy. Therefore, the people who belong to this religion must also possess the quality of mercy and compassion; otherwise, they could not be true followers.
If we want to portray a fair image of Islam, we have to consider its divinely inspired purposes, which yield, as a result, a just worldly order. The application of preventive measures to ensure the security of wealth, life, mind, religion, and reproduction, Islam aims to make a society of peace, serenity, friendship, collaboration, justice, and virtue.
The Interpretation of the Important Measures in the Holy Qur’an to make peace in the world: Tolerance, Reconciliation, and Justice
Islam means peace and peace can never be established without some form of tolerance. It is a tolerant and forward-looking religion that calls the entire world towards itself and is ready to tolerate all the religious beliefs of the world. The Holy Qur’an never teaches intolerance. In a number of places, the Qur’an denounces intolerance.
“There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break Allah is Hearer, Knower”. (Qur’an, 2:256)
The Holy Qur’an prohibits Muslims from forcing non-Muslims to accept Islam and they are required to be just in their treatment towards them.
“O Ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Aware of what ye do.” (Qur’an, 5:8)
There are various other verses in the Qur’an that are the foundation for tolerance in Islam.
The relationship with non-Muslims should be based on justice, mutual respect, morality, cooperation, and communication. The Holy Qur’an is very definite about the justice part of the relationship when Allah said in Chapter 60 and Verse 8.
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.”
Mercy and Forgiveness
Divine compassion and Prophetic mercy assign special importance to forgiveness. As God the Most Gracious is merciful to all people, His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is merciful and compassionate to all believers. (Qur’an, 9:128) Allah gave clear order to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to embrace forgiveness.
With the blessing of God, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) succeeded in establishing unity among people by acting with compassion and mercy. If he had treated the people around him severely and rudely, they would have left him and their unity would have collapsed.
“It was by the mercy of Allah that thou wast lenient with them (O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when thou art resolved, then put thy trust in Allah. Lo! Allah loveth those who put their trust (in Him)”. (Qur’an, 3:159)
Since Allah and His Messenger are merciful and compassionate to believers, those who take the divinely prescribed ethics and the Prophetic character as their example should obviously treat one another with mercy and compassion. Therefore, those who have received the Prophet’s (PBUH) message can never be severe, arrogant, antagonistic, or hostile.
The Qur’an also says: The guerdon of an ill-deed is an ill the like thereof. But whosoever pardoneth and amendeth, his wage is the affair of Allah. Lo! He loveth not wrong-doers. (Qur’an, 42:40)
Trustworthiness is a dimension that plays an important role in being a Muslim. All the Prophets in the Holy Qur’an are introduced with the noble quality of trustworthiness. If anywhere trust does not exist, then there, love, respect, and solidarity will also be absent. The absence of trust destroys family, as well as social, cultural, and economic life.
“It is not for any Prophet to deceive (mankind). Whoso deceiveth will bring his deceit with him on the Day of Resurrection. Then every soul will be paid in full what it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.” (Qur’an, 3:161)
Islam is the first voice in the world that sent an invitation for universal brotherhood and unity. Hajj is the most prominent example in this case, which is a duty of every Muslim who can afford this. The Holy Qur’an says: “The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy. (Qur’an, 49:10). They help each other to avoid what God forbids and to observe their religious awareness at every stage in their life. (Qur’an, 5:2)They carry out important tasks after Shura which is consultation. (Qur’an, 3:159, 42:38) The Holy Qur’an calls the people of the book (Jews, Christians, etc.) to the common principles which is the largest foundation and infrastructure for peace.
“Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him)”. (Qur’an, 3:64)The Holy Qur’an incites the people to help the poor and needy persons. According to it “Piety lies not in turning your face East or West in prayer…but in distributing your wealth out of love for God to your needy kin, to the orphans, to the vagrants, and to the mendicants; it lies in freeing the slaves, in observing your devotion, and in giving alms to the poor”. (Qur’an, 2:177)
This study concluded the importance of peace in Islam Islam, and describes that Islam calls its followers to love, compassion, brotherhood, justice, sacrifice, devotion, reconciliation, tolerance, and peace and prevents them from conflict, oppression, anger, fighting, compulsion, and hatred. A detailed study of the Holy Qur’an makes us know that this universe is a model of peace and harmony. There are uncountable astronomical bodies in space and all are in motion, but all follow their own orbits without the slightest deviation. By applying this phenomenon as an ideal, the Qur’an asks us to follow the same path of peace, i.e. to move in one’s orbit and not trespass. (Qur’an, 3:83) Thus peaceful living is not only for humans but it is also important for the universe.
- Ed: Dr. Mohammad Mubeen Saleem Nadwi Azhari, National Seminar on Peaceful Coexistence in Multi-cultural Societies: The Qur’anic Perspective, 8th – 9th March 2014, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh- 202 002, India.
- Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthal, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur’an: Arabic Text with English Translation and Surah Introduction, Kitab Bhavan, 1784, Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi, India.