Peace and Love – the Basis of Islam

Islam-Peace-ReligionThere 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.

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Anam 2

Pearl-in-a-shell1Previously, we discussed standing up for what’s right, even if others around us are content with whatever is happening.

Prophet Ibrahim (as) – the devoted friend of Allah (swt)

Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) entire nation was drowned in Shirk. But he was not of those who blindly followed his tribe. He said: “Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa and I am not of Al-Mushrikun.” (Al-Anam 6:79) His family kicked him out, his people threw him in fire; but his heart was filled with peace. Why? It was because he had turned his attention and devotion to Allah (swt). As a consequence of his open declaration of truth Allah (swt) chose Ibrahim (as) as His friend – Khalilullah. What an honour!

Who are the secured ones?

Therefore in verse 81 Allah (swt) asks us, “(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know?” The two parties mentioned here are the monotheists and the polytheists. He answers this question in verse 82, “It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” May Allah (swt) keep us firm on Tauheed. Ameen.

Respect all religions

As we talk about polytheism, an important point to mention here is that if Allah (swt) chose us to be Muslims, then we have no right to scoff those who worship whatever pleases them. He says, “And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.” (Al-Anam 6:108) If we make fun of them, the obvious retaliation would be ridiculing our religion. Think of others’ reaction before you take any action. Do not become the reason for causing damage to your own religion.

Leaving inner and outer sins

Allah (swt) then wants us to examine ourselves internally – the dual lives that we live. There are people who apparently seem pious and righteous, but they are engaged in sins that only they know of. Allah (swt) says, “Leave (O mankind, all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit.” (Al-Anam 6:120) Quit immediately. Give them up. Learn to control your Nafs. Cleanse yourself internally. Our Prophet (sa) taught us a beautiful Dua: “O Allah! Give my heart its piety and purify it, for You are the best who can purify it; You are its Protector and Guardian.”

Would you like to share your good deeds with anyone?

To do a good deed is not as difficult as preserving that deed is. We may be doing a lot of good deeds in our lives, but sometimes we hurt one person and back bite another. We spread rumours about people without verifying the source of information. All these people will be coming on the Day of Judgement to take a portion from our good deeds. Do we wish to give our Salah to other people when we will be the neediest ones? Allah (swt) says, “Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged.” (Al-Anam 6:160) What a loss it would be if our deeds are added to someone else’s scale! Repent and protect other people’s rights.

Do’s and don’ts for staying on the straight path

Towards the end of Surah al-Anam, there is a list of prohibitions and commandments that is similar to what Prophet Moosa (as) was given in Torah. Allah (swt) instructs Muhammad (sa) to say, “Say (O Muhammad (sa)): Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand. And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allah, This He commands you, which you may remember. And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun.” (Al-Anam 6:151-153)

Why were the above prohibitions mentioned?

It is because if we engage in them, our peace will be snatched both in this world and the hereafter.

1. Shirk – no forgiveness without repentance

The first thing that Allah (swt) mentions is Shirk. That is because there is no forgiveness for Shirk if one dies without seeking repentance. Right after, He mentions kindness to parents because they have the greatest right on an individual.

2. Infant killing

Then we are warned against killing children out of the fear of poverty and hunger. The Arab pagans used to bury their daughters alive; today we have abortions. We are told immorality is unacceptable- don’t even come near it. We should be upright in our character and have high morals.

3. Rights of humankind

Murder and suicide is absolutely prohibited in the Shariah. Then the rights of the orphans are mentioned. If one has spent anything on them. He can recollect his honest share; otherwise handover their property as it was received. We continue to cheat the women when it comes to inheritance and do not give them their share. May Allah (swt) help us. Ameen

4. Bless your business

The discussion moves on to business dealings. People cheat one another for petty prices. The Prophet (sa) said that if one is honest in his business dealings then Allah’s (swt) blessings will descend. But when we misquote our prices and scheme deceitful plans, how do we expect the Barakah in our wealth?

Value the Deen – spread it with love

This brings us to another aspect of our lives. When we have to sell something of this world, our mind can think of all sorts of strategies to lure the customer. We are polite, kind, friendly and respectful. But when it comes to calling people to Allah’s (swt) Deen, we can come up with all the excuses that one can think of. The energy that drives our business marketing skills has vanished. Our time becomes limited. Our tongues become sharp and bitter. We forget all our manners and etiquettes. We will not humble ourselves for the grandeur of the hereafter, but we will open our hearts to accommodate the customers for paltry gain of this world.

Brothers and sisters, the Deen is more valuable! It can result in Paradise for you as against the momentary benefit of this world.