Islam and Peace

We find negative articles in media about Islam or Muslims which is biased. What efforts should we put to overcome the negativity spread by media?

The media is not a mission, it is an industry of reporting what is happening in the world. What you have referred to as "negative articles", is nothing but objective reports by the media of Muslim activities. If Muslims are involved in militancy, it is but natural that the media would report it as violence. It is not possible that Muslim themselves be active in perpetrating violent activities and the media report it as a peaceful news.

Who is responsible for violence in Palestine?

There is a verse in the Quran: "Whatever misfortune befalls you is of your own doing." (42:30). This verse gives us a universal law of nature. According to it, you have to do introspection and find out our own fault. According to my experience, all the responsibility lies with the Arabs. They are going against the divine scheme of things. God wants them to engage in the dawah culture, but they have engaged themselves in the fighting culture. So, they are paying the price of this. A verse of the Quran relevant in this regard is: "Believers!

Why do we need peace in the world?

We need peace as all positive activities can take place only in an atmosphere of peace. As such an atmosphere enables normal relations to be established between people. It makes it possible for feelings of love and friendship to prevail. In a favourable atmosphere constructive activities flourish and the existing resources can be used for development or other creative activities. A positive bent of mind will prevail which will help develop academic and intellectual advancement.

What is the difference between peace and war?

The greatest ill effect of war is that it limits human endeavour, whereas the greatest benefit of peace is that to the ultimate extent it opens up opportunities for improvement. War invariably results in further loss, while peace invariably results in further gain. That is why Islam teaches us to avoid war and confrontation at all costs and commands us to establish peace to the greatest possible degree.

How do you explain Quranic verses like: ‘Kill them wherever you find them.’ (2:191)

Referring to such verses, there are some who attempt to give the impression that Islam is a religion of war and violence. This is totally untrue. Such verses relate in a restricted sense, to those who have unilaterally attacked the Muslims. The above verse does not convey the general command of Islam. The truth of the matter is that the Quran was not revealed in the complete form in which it exists today. It was revealed from time to time, according to the circumstances, over a time span of 23 years.

How has the act of suicide come to rate so highly as a solution to political problems?

The reason is not traceable to some special devotional attachment to Islam, but is due rather to an inimical attitude towards man. As the suicide bomber ties the bombs on to his body, it is not pro-Islamic, but rather anti-humanity sentiments, which motivate him to adopt such a deadly course. This is a reality that no one in his senses can deny.

Is there any condition in which Islam allows war?

Islam does give permission to do battle. But such permission is given only in the case of an attack by opponents in spite of the policy of avoidance being followed by the Muslims, thus creating a situation where self-defense is required. The Quran has this to say: “Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked because they have been wronged” (22:38). At another place the Quran gives a valid reason for fighting: “They were the first to attack you” (9:13).

Is non-state warfare allowed in Islam?

This Islamic principle is that there is no room for non-state warfare, which is what we generally call guerrilla war. A guerrilla war is fought by individuals and individual organizations, not by the State.

As a general principle, the Quran tells us that, even where an external attack is feared, the common man should not act independently, but should take the matter to the ruler, and then under his guidance take proper counter measures. (4:83).

The Hadith also states that ‘the ruler is a shield, fighting is done under him, and security is attained through him.’

Are there any conditions for a state to wage war?

As far as the state is concerned, if it wants to wage a defensive war against any country it has first—in obedience to the Quran—to issue a proper declaration. Only then can it wage a lawful war (8:58). In Islam, there is only ‘declared’ war. Therefore, in accordance with this principle, no proxy war in Islam can be lawful.