After the unfortunate happening of nine-eleven 9/11 which took the lives of hundred of innocents in the United States and even prior to that, a well-orchestrated campaign has been launched in the world fora against Islam. It’s been distorted as the religion preaching violence with its violent followers. Even Pope did not remain behind in this virulent propaganda and went to the extent of maligning Islam as the breeder of violence and disorder in the society. This apart, the world media dominated by the disbelievers in Islam have also missed no chance in giving bad presentation to this religion as being the haven of violence and terrorism. But this canard too has proved blessing in disguise as many more non-believers in the world started reading the Islamic literature to know what exactly the message is given in this religion to its followers. Is their any religious sanction for violence and terrorism? Interestingly when they studied themselves, reality started dawning on them.
Notwithstanding to these obnoxious allegations against Islam, it is a religion of peace, harmony and tolerance. Here is an attempt to briefly analyze Islam with regard to its message of peace.
The word “Islam” has come from the root word “Silm” which means peace and as per the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)” Peace is Islam”. Therefore, the very first note with which the religion takes its shape is the message of peace. And defining the true Muslim the prophet said that from whose tongue and hands people are safe. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) further defines the sublime character of a Muslim in these words:-
“Never debase your character by saying that if people treat you well, you will treat them well, and if they harm you, then you will do worse to them. Rather become accustomed to being good to those who are good to you, and not wronging those who harm you”. He further said” I have been sent to perfect good moral character”. And adding more sanctity to good moral character Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) observed that on the Day of Judgment good moral character will be the supreme factor in tipping the scales of divine justice in our favour”.
Even prior to his proclamation as the messenger of Allah and religion Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had earned the appellation “Al-Ameen” (an absolute faithful custodian) from his people. After attaining Prophethood at the age of forty, he thereafter lived for twenty three years and in this short span he propagated the message of Islam which reached every nook and corner of the world. The entire life span of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is pregnant with umpteen anecdotes and sayings which reflect the most sacrament status of Peace and tolerance in Islam. And the total conflict time in the entire span of Prophethood is just equivalent to one and half day which consists of three battles in which he himself participated and inspite of exhausting all means of avoiding conflict, the war was imposed upon him. It was always Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) principle to adopt the easier and peaceful course rather than complex and confrontationist. The famous “Hudabiyya Treaty” is an eye opener in this regard. In the early period of Islam, it was a knee-jerk reaction being faced and tolerated by prophet and his companions. And at one stage to avoid conflicting situation the prophet entered into a treaty with his arch rivals and the treaty popularly called “Hudabiyya Treaty”. Prophet accepted their all stringent and adverse conditions which though apparently jeopardizing the interest of Islam and unacceptable to his companions. But ultimately this treaty itself became the source of immense success for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Holy Qur’an described it as the clear victory. Another important event of Islamic history called Hijrat i.e. emigration. Here again to avoid direct confrontation which can take lives of many people, the prophet (PBUH) who was living in Makkah emigrated to Medina and this event marked the beginning of Islamic Calendar.
These two important events very explicitly and in an unequivocal terms give a message to its followers to adopt the principle of co-existence and proximity rather violence and confrontation. Apart from these major events there are hundred and thousands of such traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which give message of peace and harmony to his followers. He in his totality was message of peace and blessing for entire humanity and not for the Muslims alone. In all spheres of life he set such an indelible prints that humanity to its end will take him as its role model. His entire life was the practical demonstration of his peace loving policy and principles which changed the course of history in the short span of 23 years. It was in this backdrop that a renowned scholar Dr. Michal Hart while compiling his book “One Hundred” where in he mentioned the names of hundred personalities of the world who revolutionized the world and influenced human history, kept Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the top Commenting on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) he remarked “He (PBUH) was the only man in the history who was supremely successful on both religious and secular levels” and for English Historian Thomas Carlyle He (PBUH) is the Hero of the Prophets”.
–To be concluded
(The author is Lawyer in J&K High Court and a Human Rights Activist)