Peace Way To Heaven

Peace For Humanity - The First Step

By: Dr. Siddique M. Jaferi,
Chairman, International Seerah Academy, Bangalore

S.J. Marks Cathedral celebrated the ecumencial festival of peace on the 30th of November, 2003 at the St. Marks Cathedral, M.G. Road, Bangalore. The programme commenced at 6 o'clock in the evening. The stage was all set perfectly for the occasion. There was a seating arrangement on the lawn for approximately 1,500 people. It was an ideal place to celebrate this festival of peace, as the environment created was just perfect. I was invited by the organizing committee to talk about peace. I was the only Muslim in the gathering. The programme started with the invocation by the United Theological College, Primrose Road, Bangalore. It was started by the choir singing hymns. The uniformity and discipline with which the choir per-formed was matchless. It was my turn to address the gathering. The audience was very curious to know what a Muslim could speak about peace. I started by saying "I am going to talk about Islam and not about a group of Muslims. I must say that Islam is the most misunderstood religion by non-Muslims and misrepresented by a small group of ignorant Muslims." I would like to share this message of peace with all the readers of REFORMS.

The very first sentence a Muslim pronounces from his mouth when he meets another person is, "Assalamu-Alaikum" which literally means "Peace be upon you". These enchanting words work wonders on the mind of the listener. They intend to be auto-suggestions to the innner self, suggesting "I wish peace for you ; I would never want to harm you by my words or by my deeds in any given situation". Accordingly, when the person is greeted by "Assalamu-Alaikum" he has to reply to the greeting in a similar fashion "Walaikum-us-Salam" meaning "Peace be upon you too".

This universal message keeps spreading continuously and an everlasting atmosphere of peace and tranquility is established. Greeting each other ensures love, establishes fraternity and demolishes hatred from the ever-loving heart and soul. Islam is an act of submission to the will of the Creator.

If a person is repeatedly called by the name Muslim, then these words suggest to his subconscious mind that he is an apostle of peace and tries to establish global harmony in an atmosphere of tranquility. As a Muslim, a person is reminded during every moment of his life that he loves peace and should be an image of peace and harmony which is the basis of his religion, Islam. His religion subconsciously compels him to act like a Muslim i.e. to conquer hatred and let peace rule the world by changing his whole personality.

Spread peace, let your love embrace this world, give a pure innocent smile filled with sincerity to all with no discrimination. Islam teaches universal brotherhood. The Holy Qur'an says "O Man-kind, We created you from one man and one woman and then divided you into nations and tribes so that you may recognize each other. Indeed the most pious of you is the most blessed. Surely Allah is all knowing, all wise". (Al-Qur'an 49: 13) In this verse, the whole of mankind has been addressed to reform itself of the great evils that have caused universal disruption and divisions in the world i.e. the prejudices due to religion, race, language, and country or nationality.

A Muslim derives utmost pleasure by being a peace maker. The other important doctrines of Islam are tolerance, patience and selflessness. Never in the life time of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) did a war or destruction take place for selfish reasons or for the motive of power.

The belief of a Muslim as a peace maker lies in the control of anger, not in revenge. The Prophet's way of life taught us to love our neighbours in spite of all the atrocities and injustice inflicted on us by them. War in Islam is given the last place and war is to be waged only when the enemy is equipped with arms. Innocent killing, mass destruction, destroying of crops and farms, slaughtering of innocent children and women, harming a sick or weak person, harming monks, stabbing an unarmed person are anti-Islamic and banned in Islam.

Prisioners of war were treated with the greatest concern by the Prophet (PBUH). His policy of war was to weaken the enemies and never to destroy them. According to the Qur'an killing one person is equal to killing the whole of humanity. It is one of the chief objectives why Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) permitted war for self defence, to unite human beings. When this objective was achieved even his worst enemies were pardoned. Even those who had killed his beloved uncle, Hamza (RA) mutilated his dead body, ripped it open and chewed a piece of his liver, were also pardoned.

In this context, a question may be raised as to why today a small group of Muslims are involved in non-Islamic activities which go against Islamic teachings. Some Muslims are tortured and deprived of their basic human rights and out of emotions they react badly and blindly which goes against Islam and the preachings of the Prophet (PBUH). Thus they are committing a sin by maligning the Islamic teachings. The principle of universal brotherhood and the doctrine of equality of mankind represents a very great contribution of Mohammed (PBUH) to the social upliftment of humanity and peace. All great religions have also preached the same doctrine, but the Prophet of Islam had put this theory into actual practice and its value will be fully recognized, perhaps, sometimes later, when international consciousness is awakened, racial prejudices would disappear and a stronger concept of the brotherhood of humanity will come into existence. In the words of Prof. Hurgronje "The league of nations founded by the Prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and brotherhood on such universal foundations, as to show a candle to other nations." He continues " The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations". It remains yet to be seen if history could produce a man equal to Mohammed (PBUH).

An incident of our Prophet's life which we call as "Hadith" narrates: Once a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) started a small shop in the city of Medina. By Allah's mercy, he was doing well. One day a person came to buy some goods from his shop, the Prophet's companion requested the man to go and buy the goods from the shop' next to his, which belonged to a jew, in spite of all the things being available in his shop. On being asked why he did so? He said "He is my neighbour and no one has visited his shop since morning. I have to share with this person, as the Prophet has stressed that you must take care of your neighbour irrespective of his religion and if I don't, my Lord will be angry with me." The thing to be noted here would be that the other shop keeper was a Jew. Can you believe that the person who taught and practiced peace and brotherhood, could teach terrorism?

I would like to add one more incident of a lady (non believer) in Mecca who used to throw garbage on the Prophet (PBUH) whenever he passed by her house. One day, on realizing that the garbage was not thrown, the Prophet (PBUH) visited her. The lady was petrified, fearing that she might be harmed, she questioned him why he had entered her house. He replied : " Today when I was passing by your house you did not throw the garbage. Out of concern I came to en-quire about your well being and thought that I could be of any help to you". On hearing this she accepted the truth of his mission and embraced Islam.

These incidents clearly signify the importance of caring and loving your neighbours. Being a Muslim a person should abstain from inflicting hurt on another person, both by deeds and by words. Hurting another person's feelings is like hurting Allah Himself. Does enemity, revenge and hatred have any place in Islam? My belief lies in the mere fact that when the whole universe which was created by the Almighty, functions and performs so peacefully, then man has no right to destroy this eternal harmony. As a Muslim I am peace loving by nature and extend a very open mind and heart to all those who believe in this doctrine of peace. Islam was, is and will never be a religion of injustice. Justice for all has been its motto. "The peace you get by serving others is the best. That satisfaction derived by making a difference in another person's life is amazing".

Courtesy: UEF Bulletin / Federal News Bureau


You are listening the "Assalamu Alaikum - Peace Be Unto You" Song (Real Player)

Holy Quran

Holy Quran

O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honourably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of all wants, and worthy of all praise. [Holy Quran 2:267]

There is No God Except Allah, and Muhammad is the Last Messenger and Prophet of Allah.

Peace Prayer