How Does Islam Promote Peace in the World? Part 2

In the previous part of this topic, we emphasized that advertising peace and educating peaceful followers are of the main purposes of Islam. Here we review some more Islamic pieces of advice and lessons on having a balanced life and being in peace with other people of either the same religion or other.  

 

Being Good-Tempered

 

 

Being equable and good-tempered, and avoiding irascibility and harsh words are continuously advised to in the Islamic teachings such that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is invited in the Quran to “argue with them (unbelievers) in a way that is best” (16:125). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Imams (AS), as role models for Muslims, have demonstrated these acts in a way that the Quran says about the Prophet (PBUH): “And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (68:4). That is why the Quran says about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “So by mercy from Allah, you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you” (3:159).

 

 

 

Imam Sadiq (AS) has described being good-tempered as: “using friendly words, nice behavior and receiving your brother happily” [1]. Imam Ali (AS) said that the best and most important deed of a “believer” is behaving nicely with people [2]. Even in the case of facing ignorant people, it is encouraged to treat kindly: “And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace” (25:63). 

 


These examples and many other Islamic pieces of advice demonstrate how much Islam cares about one’s behavior towards others. 

peace in Islam


Moderation in All Affairs 

 


This is true that moderation can develop peace. Islam recognizes moderation as the most efficient and pleasant approach in life and interaction with others. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that: “the best of every affair is the middle of it” [3]. The Quran describes Muslims as a moderate community and says that: “we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you” (2:143). This means that the nation and people who are educated based on the Islamic teachings and the Quranic guidelines will avoid extremes; neither they are radical, nor conservative [4]. 

 


However, whenever the truth (Haq) and falsehood (Batil) are clear and apparent, there is no place for moderation. An example is the holy struggle (Jihad); i.e., when land is attacked by others, there should be no moderation and defense becomes obligatory. 

 


The Rights of Non-Muslims

 


Islam has considered the rights for every being, from parts of the body to neighbors, parents, etc. Then, it is not surprising if Islam also considers some rights for non-Muslims over Muslims. Of the rights of non-Muslims are to believe in the promises they have given the Islamic state; not to bother them about what they want or on what they are obliged to; to judge among them just as God has ordered; not to oppress them since Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that he would be against anyone who oppresses a non-Muslim1 [5]. Imam Ali (AS) was sensitive to any harm or injustice to whether Muslims or non-Muslims. He (AS) said that: “if someone is not of your religion, he is still a human being like you.”, he (AS) was therefore against any harm or damage to non-Muslims [6].

peace in Islam


Dealing with Others in the Early Ages of Islam


After the rise of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) adopted the approach of moderation and fairness with the followers of the previous Abrahamic religions. 


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) defended boldly Muslims and himself whenever needed. He (PBUH) opposed any violence to Muslims, but he (PBUH) still cared about the prisoners of the wars. He (PBUH) had ordered to treat them with moderation, mercy, and humanity, to do good to them and to forgive them. Prisoners were usually kept in the mosques or proper and clean homes. The troops of Islam, following the manner of Prophet (PBUH), preferred prisoners to themselves such that they provided prisoners with better foods and clothes. If a prisoner did not want to reveal the secrets of the enemies, he would not be beaten but whoever did so would be released [7].    

 


Considering the points mentioned above about how Islam educates peaceful followers and how it considers rights for non-Muslims, the role of Islam in promoting peace can be fully grasped. However, this should not be confused that a Muslim must endure every situation or the violation of his\her rights or the rights of the Muslims in general. The key point is that a Muslim chooses the moderation and peace as the first solution to his social affairs as long as it does not require the violation of the rights of one or several people. 

 


1 Here, the term “non-Muslim” refers only to a non-Muslim who is the citizen of an Islamic state or a non-Muslim who lives in a non-Muslim country which is in agreement with Muslims. 

 

References:

[1]. Ibn Babawayh, "Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih," vol. 4, p. 412.
[2]. Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, "Tuhaf al-'uqul," p. 200.
[3]. Allama Majlisi, “Bihar al-Anwar,” vol. 74, p. 383.
[4]. Reference to: “How and why did Islam spread very quickly throughout the world? – Part 4: Islam and its moderate views.”
[5]. Imam Zayn al-'Abidin (AS), “Treatise On Rights (Risalat al-Huquq).”
[6]. M. al-Kulayni, "Kitab al-Kafi."
[7]. http://www.hawzah.net/fa/Article/View/88832