There has recently been a great upheaval in the Islamic world. Civil wars and invasions have grown, and Muslims continue to be oppressed. Some people point to the wickedness in the Islamic world and foolishly seek to ascribe this to Islam itself. Yet, Islam is a religion of peace and love that prohibits corruption, killing and dispute. It is vitally important that this fact is well explained to everyone with verses from the Quran, and the month of Ramadan is an excellent time for doing it.
People are more loving and forgiving in the month of Ramadan, and those, who have fallen out, are reconciled. The moral values that prevail in the month of Ramadan facilitate a better understanding of the fact that Islam is a religion of love.
Islam calls for peace and respect
Our holy book, the Quran, is a true Book sent down by Allah (swt) to lead people to the true path and to moral virtues. The moral values commanded in the Quran are based on love and understanding. The word ‘Islam’ comes from the Arabic word ‘Salam’. Allah (swt) sent down Islam so that people might see the manifestations of His infinite love and compassion in the world and to lead lives based on peace:
“O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaytan (Satan). Verily! He is to you a plain enemy.” (Al-Baqarah 2:208)
In this verse, our Lord explicitly states that Islam is a faith built on the foundations of love and affection. The Quran teaches us a conception of love that stems from faith and has a profound effect on the soul. Feelings of altruism, courage, generosity, love and protectiveness represent the essence of the conception of love in the Quran.
That is why Islam calls people to peace and encourages a life based on complete sincerity and honesty in the sight of Allah (swt). It is therefore, very important for every individual to accept and act on Allah’s (swt) provisions and commands respectively; in order to live by Islam in a sincere manner.
This is the basis of Islam, and is set out as follows in a verse: “There is no compulsion in the religion.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256)
As Allah (swt) explicitly commands in this verse, nobody can compel anyone else to live by Islam. The responsibility of believers is to tell people of the existence of Allah (swt) and the moral values of the Quran. Muslims, who wish to discharge that responsibility, tell other people about Islam in order to be instrumental in their salvation. They obey Allah’s (swt) command about “enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil” and summon others to His path with all sincerity. In discharging that responsibility, however, they never resort to compulsion, and they know that it is Allah (swt) alone who will lead people to salvation. This is set out in the Quran in the following verse:
“Verily! You (O Muhammad(sa)) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.” (Al-Qasas 28:56)
Islam offers freedom of religion and belief
The moral values of Islam offer freedom of thought and religion, and thus environment of liberty. In the eyes of Islam, everyone has the right to live by his own beliefs, or lack thereof. One can worship in a church, in a synagogue or in a mosque, as one wishes, or live a life of no belief at all. Freedom of religion and belief, are therefore another basic element of Islam.
Muslims, therefore, regard people of all faiths, races and nations as manifestations of Allah (swt) in this world and feel a profound love and affection for them. This is a fact that constitutes the foundation of societies that live by Islamic moral values.
Islam – a gateway to peace and security
The most important feature of a society, in which peace has been established, is security; there can never be peace without security. From that point of view, Islam provides the precondition for peace, and the only way to ensure security is to “enter Islam,” to live by the moral values of Islam.
According to the Quran, a Muslim has a duty to treat everyone with kindness and affection. Every Muslim has a responsibility to aid the needy, protect the weak and prevent the spread of corruption. And corruption means all forms of anarchy and acts of terror that might threaten security and peace. As Allah (swt) says in one verse: “…and Allah likes not mischief.” (Al-Baqarah 2:205)
The love taught in the Quran is true love; based on the love of Allah (swt) and His approval. That love is never weakened in the face of difficulty, and grows even deeper; despite time and errors. The words of our Prophet (sa) always contain advice concerning the increase in love.
Let the love flourish
Ata Al-Khursani relates: “Rasulullah (sa) said: “Shake hands to that the hatred leaves your hearts. Give gifts so that love is born among you and enmity ends.” (Muwatta, Husnu’l Khulq)
Lovelessness is one of the greatest problems of our time. When there is no trust, people regard one another as a threat, or as dangerous. They may easily attack one another in the street or they may suddenly explode in anger; but where there is trust, there is also love. When people are valued and where there is love and forgiveness, love will flourish there. It is important to seek the beauty and goodness in everything. Let us not forget, that only then, we can love to the maximum and enjoy the greatest delights of brotherhood.