Islam, The Religion of Peace
Islam is nothing if not the religion of peace. The word “Islam” itself comes from the same root as “Salaam”- peace. Every Muslim salutes his brother: “Peace be unto you!” A Muslim, according to the Holy Qur’aan, is he who has made his peace with god, Allah, and man: with the former by complete submission to His will, and with the latter by being good in this life. Submission to the will of Allah gives man the most complete peace: his desires and ambitions no longer haunt him day and night, and his failures never trouble him. If a calamity befalls him, it is the will of the Almighty to which he has submitted, and which, in its immense wisdom and goodness, is never malicious. The Qur’aan puts the real definition of a Muslim very beautifully in the following verse:
“Yea, whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good to others, he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him, nor shall he grieve.” (II:112)
But “entire submission to Allah” does not mean any cheap fatalism, for the Qur’aan thus defines it:
“By the succession of Ages,
“Most surely man is in loss,
“Except those who believe, and do the right thing, and enjoin on each other Truth, and enjoin on each other patience.” (CIII:1-3)
Patience comes after endeavor, try your utmost, adopt the right methods, and then leave the result to Allah. All that man can do is to try to do his best, he seldom controls the results. “Every man and every woman shall have what he or she has earned”- yet how is it that we are sometimes disappointed? Here Faith comes in: shall we doubt the wisdom of the Almighty, the Beneficient, the Merciful, the Compassionate? Shall we doubt that He is ever kind to us, and therefore He does what is best for us? In such cases Islam- entire submission to the will of Allah- gives us peace, for our will, by submission, is identified with the Divine will, and thus by adopting Islam, we have made our peace with Allah. Peace with mankind is made by “doing good to others”- a dictum which few will doubt.
I have tried to show, in this treatise, how this side of Islam is very strong, how it teaches love of ones fellow beings and ensures good treatment of even those who are hostile to Islam provided they do not openly fight and persecute Muslims and thus break the Peace. “Those who make mischief in the land” are denounced and a Muslim’s first duty is to ensure peace where he lives- not only for himself but for others as well. He should risk his life in this noble endeavor. He is enjoined to fight for religious freedom and the protection of all places of worship- be they mosques, churches or synagogues.
A true Muslim’s life after death, as well, shall be perfect peace; for according to Islam, salvation is nothing but the attainment of complete peace. Paradise is “the abode of peace”- for the Qur’aan says:
“And their greetings in it shall be: Peace!” (X:10)
Paradise is nothing but peace:-
“They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourses except, Peace, Peace!” (LVI:25-26)
The ideal before Islam is peace: “And Allah invites to the abode of Peace”… In short, Islam is a structure of peace, and its master architect is Allah Himself who is the Author of Peace:-
“He is Allah besides whom there is no god; the Knower of the unseen and the seen; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful.
“He is Allah besides whom there is no god; the King, the Holy, the Author of Peace, the Granter of security, Guardian over all, the Mighty, the Restorer of every loss, the Possessor of every greatness. Glory be to Allah from what they put up (with Him);
“He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner; His are the most excellent names. Whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth declares His Glory and He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (LIX:22-24)