By Faisal Shafi Watt
06 January, 2015
Peshawar attack was no doubt an attack on humanity, soon after this callous attack that saw bullets showering and thereby snatching us of our beloved ones, many ill tempered people instead of condemning terrorism are trying to malign the religion of Islam by attributing radicalism to it.
In the weeks that followed, I received a good number of mails from non-Muslim friends. I do not doubt their intention but a cursory look at their content was enough to understand the confusion that is prevailing in their minds. Yes, they have asked me about the Islam that I proudly follow and talk about.
I intend to bring before them the clear massage of Islam. Islam in Arabic means submission, subjugation. The Arabic word for peace is Salam. Islam is an active form of Salam. A Muslim is one who submits. “slm” is the root out of which the words Islam and Salam (peace) are derived.
Muslims are the “peace making force” using argument, intrigue, commerce, and every other means possible. Salam is the word that is used for everyday greeting by the followers of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). The Holy Qur’an says: ‘Servants of Allah, the most compassionate are those who walk on earth in modesty and if ignorant people address them, they say, Peace’ (Holy Quran: 25:63). The Quran calls its way the path of peace (5:16).
It says that God abhors any disturbance of peace (2:205). The first verse of Quran breathes the spirit of peace. It reads, “In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.” This verse is repeated in the Quran not less than 114 times. It shows the great importance Islam attaches to such values as mercy and compassion.
One of the God’s names according to Holy Quran is As-salaam which means peace. It is clear that Islam lays emphasis on peace. Moreover Holy Quran states that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was sent to world as a mercy to mankind (21:107).
Quranic signs are based on peace, directly or indirectly. The ideal society, according to Holy Quran is Daras-Salam which is the home of peace. Peace has a very special meaning in the call that Prophet carried.
In Quran there are repeated references to the concept of peace. A person can achieve inner peace by creating harmony and balance between his main emotions (desire and anger) and his spiritual self and his conscience. Human being’s spiritual power or conscience is not a static phenomenon: it has the ability of growth as well as corruption.
Allah swears by the soul of human being and says, “He inspired to it to understand what is good and what is evil. Prosperous in the person who purifies it, and failed is he who seduces it.” (Quran; chapter: 91, verse 10)
Islam cannot afford not to be in a state of peace because Islam aims at spiritual progress, intellectual development, character building, social reform, educational activities, and above all Da’wah (missionary work) can be achieved only in a peaceful atmosphere.
According to Islam peace is not simply the absence of war, peace opens doors to all kinds of opportunities that are present in any given situation. It is only in a peaceful situation that planned activities are possible. It is for this reason the Quran says reconciliation is the best policy (4:128).
Unfortunately, some people bracket justice with peace, but Islam does not subscribe to this notion. Islam believes in peace and upholds peace as a mission. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) always took peaceful circumstances as an opportunity to work for justice and did not even attempt to divide justice directly from peace.
The peace treaty of Hudaybiya between the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and his opponents provides one such clear example, as there was no clause in it regarding justice. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) accepted this treaty because it paved way to work for justice.
According to Islam peace is the rule and war is only an exception. Jihad literally means to strive or to struggle. The Quran says that do great jihad with the help of Quran (25:52). The Quran is simply a book, and not a sword, so “do great jihad” means do great jihad with ideological powers of Quran.
In fact jihad is only another name for a peaceful activism. And peaceful activism is the only weapon by which Islam wants to achieve all its aims and objectives. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) waged war only to end coercive system of religious persecution and ushered humankind to the age of religious freedom.
However this operation was only temporary in nature. One of the duty prayers of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was, “O God, you are the original source of peace, from you is all peace and you return all peace.
So make us live with peace, and let us enter paradise, the home of peace.” Let us utilize the ideology of Quran and preaching of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) as a tool to achieve peace and prosperity.