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Humanity, Religion, & Peace: Finding Common Ground

Photo All Alone in this World, by StealthMode

Photo All Alone in this World, by StealthMode

By Mufti Shuaibullah Khan [1]

Edits and Footnotes by Faraz Abdul Moid

The religion of Islam is the religion of peace and tranquility, and this fact stands out clearly in the teachings of the Holy Qur’an which preaches that it is the religion – the complete way of life – that has been perfected by Almighty Allah (God) in the pages of the Holy Qur’an. [If truly followed by mankind], it is a religion of peace, tolerance, harmony, and tranquility for all human beings on this earth. It is for this reason that Allah (SWT) has called this religion “Islām” in the Holy Qur’an, His last testament to mankind, which finds its source from the root word “Salām” which means “Peace” in Arabic.

It is a well-known fact in history that Islam appeared at a time when the people of the world were enveloped in clouds of ignorance. They fought incessant wars against one another and terrorized other nations into submission for the sake of conquest, false pride, and self-glory. They inflicted great cruelties upon one another, and acts of barbarism and brutality were common among them. Among them were those who believed in racial superiority, considering all the other races of the world as inferior to their own, which gave them the right to plunder the weak and the helpless. Mass slaughter, plunder, genocide and other acts of brutality became commonplace on a daily basis, and the people of the world despaired for better lives in a forest where the people behaved worse than the beasts of prey left loose in a jungle.

So when the whole world stood in need of a Prophet, Allah (SWT) sent Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم on this earth to bring about a new world order on this earth. Soon, with the advent of Islam, the world witnessed a remarkable change in the attitude, mindset, and the character of people. The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, through the Divine teachings of the Holy Qur’an began to preach the Divine commands and in a short span of ten years the people of the Arabian Peninsula accepted Islam as their religion. Under the rule of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the message of Islam illuminated itself to the neighboring countries [and emerged as as] an Islamic empire that stretched to cover one-third of the world’s population who were among the strongest adherents of Islam to this present day.

The Divine teachings of the Holy Qur’an took hold over the hearts of the people and fashioned their minds in such a way that the world witnessed for the first time an era of peace and tranquility that was unknown in the centuries before them. As the teachings of the Holy Qur’an took a firm hold on the minds and hearts of men, people who were earlier fearful under the tyrannical rule of their tribal chiefs, kings, and monarchs began to breathe freely in the peaceful atmosphere that reigned in the different corners of the Islamic empire.

In brief, the religion of Islam saved the people of the world from the brink of extinction as a human race. The teachings of Islam presented to the world for the first time the idea of peace that all people stood equal before the Divine Law of God irrespective of a person’s position, or whether he was a friend or a foe, rich or poor, ruler or the ruled, people of distinction or the working class, both high and low, and placed them all on an equal footing.

The Holy Qur’an announced, “Whoever kills a person not (to retaliate) for a person killed nor (to punish) for spreading disorder in the earth, is as if he has killed the whole mankind, and whoever saves the life of a person is as if he has saved the life of the whole mankind. And, certainly, Our Messengers have come to them with clear signs. Then, after all that, many of them are there to commit excesses on the earth.” (Qur’an 5:32)

The Holy Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم had announced time and again in his various sermons, “One of the great sins is to kill someone.” For this reason, Islam strongly unequivocally denounces all acts of terrorism and killing; and teaches all human beings to become united against all forms of injustice and intolerance, practiced in whatever form around this globe in the present day. Islam commands its adherents to imbibe the qualities of love, mercy, and peace which are taught to them in the Holy Qur’an. Terrorism and extremism, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite of what is taught by this Divine religion. The people who give pledge to the communist and fascist ideology, and those who have a narrow racist outlook of life should be suspected as potential perpetrators of intolerance and injustice across the globe.

Terrorism is violence committed against non-military targets to attain certain political objectives. For this reason, terrorism means making innocent people victims of acts of violence without any provocation or moral justification. Among the victims, there could be those people who do not approve and condone the acts of injustice done by their respective governments, and making them the targets of any act of violence goes against all norms of civilized behavior. The criminals who carry out these acts are guilty of spreading mischief and violence on this earth irrespective of their religious labels. The Holy Qur’an, which is a universal book revealed to all of mankind acts as a guide for human beings, leading them to the true path that leads a person to win the pleasure and approval of Allah by our good deeds. In His book, Allah commands all human beings and Muslims to adopt good morals. This morality should be based upon positive concepts such as love, compassion, tolerance, harmony, and mercy to those from other religions. Islam is a religion revealed to mankind with the purpose of constructing a peaceful and harmonious life.

The values set by the Holy Qur’an hold a Muslim responsible for the way he treats all people whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim. Additionally the Qur’an absolutely forbids every Muslim from committing any act of mischief and misconduct, which comprises all forms of anarchy, chaos, and terror that threaten the security, comfort, and peace of their surroundings. The Holy Qur’an clearly states, “Allah does not love corruption.” (Qur’an 2:205)

Wickedness in all forms has been plainly condemned in unambiguous terms, and Allah has commanded all human beings and Muslims to avoid committing all kinds of evils: murder, bloodshed, oppression, and cruelty amongst themselves and upon others. In the present age when acts of terrorism, genocide, and massacres occur all over the world and where innocent people are being savagely killed; and countries which are unsafe, ought to be made secure and safe by upholding the morality preached by the Holy Qur’an. For a Muslim who fears Allah, believes in the Last Day, and has grasped the true morality of Islam, it is impossible to support violence or terror or to take part in such actions in a direct or an indirect manner. And that is why the religion of Islam is the true solution against the acts of terrorism that are practiced by people on one another.

When the magnificent morality of the Qur’an is explained to people in its precise form – in the language in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed along with its translations – then it will be impossible for people to connect the message of true Islam with those who support or join extremist groups that aim at spreading hatred amongst people and aim for chaos to reign in the place of peace and harmony on those people co-existing together in a society.

The first thing that needs to be done to rid the world of the present day insecurity that exists among people and root out terrorism in all its forms, wherever it is practiced on this earth, is to educate people on the teachings in the Holy Qur’an in order to do away with deviant beliefs that are put forward in the name of religion and to teach people the true Qur’anic morality that should be practiced by all believing Muslims, and acquaint them with the basic Islamic principles.

Every Muslim should strive to bring good to their surroundings for a Muslim is he who abides by the commands of Allah, tries scrupulously to live by Qur’anic morality, peace, and harmony which makes the world a more beautiful place than what it was before and leads it on the path to betterment and progress, and not to work towards destructive ends. His aim should be to lead people to beauty, goodness, and well-being based upon the principles which are taught in the Holy Qur’an and he should strive to do his utmost to reach out to those members of the non-Muslim community and acquaint them with the basic tenets of Islam and its lofty teachings. The following steps should be taken to establish peace in the world:

The world community must take the opportunity to [lessen] the widening gap – increasing by the day between Muslims and non-Muslims – and find common grounds where there can be a free exchange of thoughts between the members of different communities and attempt to bridge the gulf by trying to find common grounds between the followers of different religions. They should attempt to study the religious books and history of other nations to find out the best examples from them through which people can learn to live with one another setting aside their differences and peacefully interchange with each other their views, learning from one another the fears and apprehensions that divide them, and shed away all prejudices once it becomes clear that there is a lot of room left in the world for people to happily co-exist with one another while respecting all those beliefs found in the various religious doctrines of the world by gathering the word of God – His Universal Message – that is still extant among the other religious doctrines of the world.

The presentation of true Islamic faith must become widespread among Muslims who should consider themselves duty-bound to present to the non-Muslims the message of Islam in a positive light in order to get rid of the myths, the age-old beliefs, prejudices, and hatred that is nursed in the hearts of people by pseudo-intellectuals and the self-styled experts of the Holy Qur’an. The basic Qur’anic teachings should be preached in such a way that they should see them as a lasting solution to many of the problems plaguing the world community in areas of human rights, high morality, spirituality, and social justice.

Every Muslim should strive to lead his life in action on the teachings preached by the Holy Qur’an, and as it was demonstrated to them during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم – the last Messenger of Allah and the Benefactor of the entire humanity – and painstakingly documented by other Muslims to the last detail in the numerous books of Hadith and the Sīrah (biographies) written on his life by leading Islamic scholars of the past and the present days.

Islamic education should be made a part of every school curriculum and efforts must be made towards educating the world community at large about the basic tenets of the religion of Islam.

Bigotry and prejudice must be removed from the minds of all communities after attempting to find common grounds which the final religion of Allah – Islam – shares with other religious doctrines and it should be taught that peace and stability among different civilizations may be attained only through living by the good values that Islam shares with the other religions of the world.

It should be attempted to convey the beautiful teachings of Islamic religion to the whole mankind. Every Muslim should try to disseminate the true teachings of Islam to all non-Muslim friends and colleagues and present before them the true face of Islam, and they will be surprised to find that they [share many common grounds…].

All these solutions [are in hopes] that people will grasp Islamic values and be able to rid themselves of any prejudices they hold against Islam. Thus people will truly acknowledge that the dissemination of Islamic values is an excellent way of attaining the much sought-after world peace.[2]

 

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Footnotes:

[1] Mufti Shuaibullah Khan was born in 1381 AH/1961 CE. Originally from Bangalore, India, Mufti Shuaibullah completed his primary, secondary, and matric education there. During his secondary schooling, he memorized the Qur’an within one year under Hafiz AbdurRahman Katki. He went on to study at Jāmi’ah Miftāh al-Ulūm in Jalalabad, India and Ashraf al-Ulūm in Gangoh, India. He completed his specialization in Islamic Law at Miftāh al-Ulūm under Mufti Naseer Ahmed. In the meantime, Mufti Shuaibullah kept the company of and progressed in sulūk under Mawlana Maseehullah Khan Sherwāni, Shaykh Abrār al-Haq Hardoi, Hazrat Meharbān Ali of Badoth, and Mawlānā Muzaffar Ali Hussain. The latter two Shaykhs granted him ijāzah in the science of Tasawwuf. In 1984 CE, he founded the seminary Jāmi’ah Islāmiyyah Masīh al-Ulūm for higher studies in Arabic and Islamic sciences, for which he serves as the principal. He also established a government accredited institute that goes up to grade 7, with an integrated curriculum of Islamic studies alongside the standard syllabus of the Department of Education. In addition to this, Mufti Shuaibullah supervises many seminaries and is an influential advisor on the board of the reputed seminary Mazāhir al-Ulūm of Saharanpur. Aside from educational projects, he is on the advisory panel of Islamic Tijaara, an Islamic finance consulting company based out of Mumbai. An influential writer, Mufti Shuaibullah has authored over 50 books, most famous amongst them being an Arabic work entitled نفحات العبير في مهمات التفسير  discussing the rulings of Qur’anic commentary. He is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Islamic Vision, a monthly English periodical and the president of Islamic Vision Academy.

[2] Khan, Shuaibullah. “Let Us Come To Common Terms.” Islamic Vision 7.5 (2012): 9-12. Mufti Shuaibullah. Islamic Vision Academy. Web.

 

Courtesy of Islamic Vision Academy and the Official Website of Mufti Shuaibullah Khan

Note: This article was edited for spelling, grammar, and style in addition to a new title and footnotes.

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