Peace in Islam

It is a fact that there is violence being witnessed all over the world. Every person wants the situation to be reformed. According to the law of nature, we cannot change people. There is only one option before us, that is, to educate people about the teaching of tolerance. This teaching is universally accepted as coexistence. The need of the hour is to apply this principle in the field of religion as well. Peace and harmony are the greatest need of the times.

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I Indian Currents I 13-19 January, 2014 I Page 15, 16

I am thankful to the organizers of this conference for giving me the opportunity to share my views with this learned audience. The topic for the present discussion is Peace. It is a very good topic, there is no doubt about it. Regarding myself, I would say that I am a born pacifist. I would say that I was born with peace, I live in peace and I want to die in peace. Also, I want to be buried in the graveyard of peace. Peace is very important in every religion. There is no exception to this.

The greatest problem facing Islam today is, as I see it that Muslims have almost totally forgotten the sunnah (Prophet's way) of non-violence. In latter times when the Ottoman and Mughal empires disintegrated and problems like that of Palestine have had to be confronted, Muslims all over the world have fallen a prey to negative reaction on a colossal scale; they have failed to remember that the policy of Islam is not that of violence but of non-violence. It is the result of this deviation, that despite almost a 100-years of bloody wars, Muslims have achieved no positive gain.

Under the scheme of the divine trial of human beings, God has granted man freedom. Due to this freedom, enmities may develop between people (20:123), which sometimes lead them to war. But Islam makes a clear difference between enmity and war.

Believers do not have the right to wage wars against their enemies. What the believers have to do as regards their enemies is far from waging war. Their duty is to peacefully convey to them the message of Islam. The Quran gives a clear injunction on this subject:

In Islam, war is not the prerogative of the individual but of an established government. Only an established government can declare war. In other words, individuals can pray on their own, but they cannot wage wars of their own accord. Only when a war is declared by the ruling government, can the public join in and support it, and not before that. Islam does not sanction individual actions on this issue. Therefore no Non Governmental Organization or NGO can declare a war.

“God calls to the Home of Peace.”

(The Quran, 10:25)