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August - September 2004
Islam is a Religion of Peace
IS A RELIGION OF PEACE
proof against those opponents who allege that
Secondly, what has given Islam a bad name is an ugly and awful image of extremism presented, whether knowingly or unwittingly, by some Muslim groups and organisations, and these groups unfortunately had personal vested interests.
In order to see a religion's beauties or its defects, justice requires that you should make its teachings or its holy scripture the anvil by which to judge it, otherwise everyone would accuse every other faith willy-nilly. For instance, the teaching of Christianity, according to the Holy Bible, is:
I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you
in Bosnia or Iraq or other countries, America and the other Western
powers, resorted or are resorting to aggression. If, however, we say
that the Christian teaching is that if anyone raises his head against
you, you should use all your might to trample it to death, this would
be a grave injustice. In the same way, to find out the true teachings
of Islam, we would have to study the Holy Qur'an and see what it says
and not base it on the actions of some Muslims who have
stand of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is that the teaching of the
Holy Qur'an promotes peace. We have to take this message to every corner
of the world. Therefore, I shall begin my message today by reference
to the Holy Qur'an. After that we shall examine the practice of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) to whom the teachings of the Holy Qur'an
were revealed. Did he ever
Anyhow, let us first see what the Holy Qur'an commands us to do in order to establish peace. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur'an:
killed a person - unless it be for killing a person or for creating
Explaining this verse, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community says:
person who kills a person unfairly or who kills someone who had neither
rebelled, nor became a source of violating peace amongst the people
nor created disorder in the land, it is as if he has killed the whole
of mankind. In other words to kill a person without any cause is, according
to God Almighty, like the murder of the entire human race. It is obvious
from this verse, how big a sin it
Thus, this is the beautiful teaching of Islam that the unlawful killing or the shedding of innocent blood of someone is like the killing of the entire human race, that is to say, the taking of a single life is like the massacre of thousands of innocent lives. Now, everyone can very well imagine what kind of sentence would be passed on someone who is found guilty of the taking of thousands of innocent lives. So this is the beautiful teaching given to us by God Almighty in the Holy Qur'an. Whosoever acts against this, acts against the teachings of Islam.
Then, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya community takes us further than this because it was after his true reflection and deliberation and his understanding of Islamic teachings that God Almighty provided him with the guidance. Commenting on this verse, he adds:
who abandons kindness abandons religion. The Holy Qur'an teaches
on this verse, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has drawn
an interesting conclusion that people think that Islam is an extremist
religion but this is a misunderstanding on their part. Islam is saying
that even if you are unkind in your treatment with your fellow human
being, you are a cause of destroying the peace and harmony of the world.
Forget killing anyone, you should always be kind in your dealings with
every person in the world and spread the
I shall briefly explain some of the countless examples of kindness we find in the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) and how concerned he was about the condition of his people.
someone is kind to some person and wants to see his or her betterment,
then the person will try his best to do something for him or her. The
Holy Prophet(sa) was so kind and anxious for his people and prayed
for them even though they believed in so many gods that it is beyond
our imagination. God Almighty has promised that He would most surely
punish those who associate
The Holy Prophet(sa) prayed for his enemies:
Allah! Guide my people because they know not (do not know the truth)'.
'O Allah! Guide the tribe of Dossan.'
So this was the anxiety in him for kindness and for humanity. He never said that he was going to compel them into belief by use of the sword but in fact refrained from any malediction or uttering any curse that an evil befalls his enemy.
pagans of Makkah exiled the Holy Prophet(sa) from Makkah and gave him
no respite in Madinah but whenever he met them, the Holy Prophet(sa)
dealt with gracious kindness towards them. After the migration of the
Holy Prophet(sa) to Madinah, the people of Makkah had to suffer a severe
drought so much so that they had to live on dead meat and bones. Then
in utter helplessness, Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Makkans, had to
approach the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) and said: "O Muhammad!
You command treating one's own relatives well. Your people are dying.
Pray to your God in our favour (that this famine passes away) and it
bring Abu Sufyan down to earth, the Holy Prophet(sa) remarked that
you are very brave and courageous that despite the transgression by
the Makkans, you demand a prayer on their behalf. But the Holy Prophet(sa)
did not refuse to pray because he was mercy personified and he could
have never wished that his people should perish. Then the people observed
that his hands went up in prayers immediately and the Holy Prophet's(sa)
prayers for an end to the famine and the
Now after this who can say that he gave a teaching of extremism and terrorism.
IS NO COMPULSION OF FAITH IN ISLAM
should be no compulsion in religion.
The full article is available in the print edition.