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  Peace in Islam  

Peace is the religion of the universe. Peace should, therefore, be the religion of man too, so that, in the words of Jesus Christ, the will of the Lord may be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

When God created heaven and the earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other part. The Qur’an tells us that “the sun is not allowed to overtake the moon, nor does the night outpace the day. Each in its own orbit runs.” (36:40) For billions of years, therefore, the entire universe has been fulfilling its function in total harmony with His divine plan.

While God has imposed upon the universe the law of nature, in submission to which all of the things making up the universe follow the path of peace, there remains just one exception—that of man. Man has been endowed by God with the free will to make moral choices. He may, or may not follow the path of peace which is so uniformly followed by the rest of the universe.

If human beings, with their freedom of choice, are to be kept on the path of peace, society must be kept free of corrupting elements. That is why the Qur’an enjoins men “not to corrupt the land after it has been set in order” (7:85). The system of nature devised by God already rests on the basis of peace; if this system is not disrupted, it will continue to stay the course set for it by the Almighty. Peace is actually inherent in nature and, as such, cannot be artificially imposed upon man as if it were an external factor.

In order to preserve the peace established by nature from disruption, two important injunctions have been laid down by Islam. One, at the individual level, stresses the exercise of patience, and the other, at the social level, forbids taking the offensive.

The greatest factor responsible for disrupting peace in daily living is negative reaction on the part of individuals. It repeatedly happens in social life that one experiences bitterness on account of others. On such occasions, display of resentment could cause matters to escalate to the point of a head-on collision. That is why Islam repeatedly enjoins us to tread the path of patience. The Qur’an says: “Surely the patient will be paid their wages in full without measure” (39:10). The reason for the rewards for patience being so great is that patience is the key factor in maintaining the desired system of God. In the words of the Qur’an, the patient man “is the helper of God” (61:14).

The other injunction, designed to maintain peace in human society, forbids the waging of an offensive war. No one, in Islam, enjoys the right to wage war against another. There are no grounds on which this could be considered justifiable.

There is only one kind of war permitted in Islam, and that is a defensive war. It is only if one nation, by deviating from the principles of nature, wages war against another, that a defensive war may be waged by the country under attack. Even then, it must be of temporary nature, and subject to humanitarian considerations.

To sum up, Islam is a religion of peace. The Arabic root of Islam is ‘silm’ which means peace. The Qur’an states: ‘... and God calls to the home of peace’ (10:25).

Peace is the basic of all religions. Let us all then strive to establish peace in the world, for that is the bedrock on which all human progress rests.

Islam Updates
  Quran Foundation is founded under the aegis of CPS International