Islam: A Religion of Peace?
By Medha Dwivedi
The very first line of the Quran begins with the lines-
"In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate."
This shows that Islam has a great bevel toward mercy, compassion, and peace. A perusal of the Quran shows that most verses of the Quran are based on peace and kindness, either directly or indirectly. According to the Quran, the ideal society is Dar As-Salaam which means the house of peace (Quran: 10:25).
If we rummage in the Holy Quran then we’ll find that the principles of Islam believe in the sustenance of peace in this world. The ideal society, according to the Quran is the house of peace and it presents the universe as a model, which is characterized by harmony and peace. Islam nowhere promotes violence and wars. In fact, like any other religions, it is a religion which preaches the world, peace, and harmony. It is just because of some misguided Muslims, who in the name of religion promotes terrorism and violence, this religion is becoming infamous.
As a developed and open-minded society, we need to catch sight of both sides of the coin before making any prejudice. Just because some sections of Islamic people are proliferating terrorism, we can’t make prejudice towards Islam as a source of terrorism. We have to understand the difference between the Islamic terrorist and the peace-loving and non-violent Muslims. After the attack of 9/11 in the USA, people used to describe Islam sarcastically as “A religion of peace”. They used to argue that the underlying cause and motivation of the September 11, 2001 attacks was the doctrines and beliefs of Islam, and Islam is intrinsically violent.
The maxim “Let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but one innocent should not be convicted” holds its beauty in the present case, as in, no one here is denying the fact that most of the terrorist belongs to Islam, but what is the fault of those Muslims who are innocent and peace-loving, who without any fault are prejudiced as a terrorists. Not every Muslim is a terrorist.
The key believes or the five pillars of Islam are-
1. Shahadah (Declaration of Faith),
2. Salat (Prayer),
3. Saum (Fasting),
4. Zakat (Alms Giving / Charity), and
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah).
How can any religion having such impeccable pellucid intentions can be declared as a violent and hawkish religion? Today, people usually misunderstood Islam as an adverse religion. It is amongst those religions which are wretched with so many misunderstandings and of course, for the same we cannot blame anyone specifically because the reasons for such prejudices are very strong and undeniable. They are too strong that they can manipulate anyone. Some examples of it can be- It has been said that the religion of most of the terrorists is Islam, there is a concept of polygamy in Islam, which they continue even today also.
In some of the countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc, several political issues are there because of which some dissatisfied people were manipulated by some group of people and they are charged with the thoughts that those political issues can be solved by the way of violence only and if they resolve those issues then their god will bless them in heaven. All because of these things everyone overlooks those real problems and political issues and instead we start looking at the religion of those people and blame their religion for all those terrorist activities.
The practice of polygamy is misunderstood by people as something bad related to patriarchy because they observe only one side of the coin, however, in reality, this concept was introduced in earlier days when so many wars were going on and then this concept originated so that after wars, no women should left widow in vulnerable condition and no child should left orphan. In order to protect them, care them, it was the custom in Islam for men to marry as many women as they liked, regardless of their ability to take care of them and strictly to treat them equally. However today, some misguided Muslims started abusing this pure and bonafide system.
These are some of the reasons how and why people misconceive Islam.
This needs to be made very clear that here it has not been contended that Islam is the flawless religion and nothing wrong is there with it. Instead, it has been stated that there may be some flaws but solely just because of some bad incidents and misunderstandings we cannot claim that the whole religion is a flaw. Every religion has more or less some flaws but we don’t judge them as a flaw, which we are doing with Islam. The same can be proved by the example, as the earlier state, after the 9/11 attack, people used to describe Islam sarcastically as a peaceful religion. However, in order to make people aware about the reality that there is a huge difference between the Islamic terrorists and the peace-loving and non-violent Muslims, many world leaders gave speeches and statements where they made it very clear that Islam is a religion of peace and its true followers never promote any kind of violence.
“The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: "In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that, they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule." The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.”
“They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people... they boast of their brutality... they claim to do this in the name of Islam, that is nonsense, Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”
“There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature.”
“Clearly Islam the religion is not the cause of terrorism. Islam, as I said, is a religion of peace. However, through the centuries, deviations from the true teachings of Islam take place. And so [people who call themselves] "Muslims" kill despite the injunction of their religion against killing especially of innocent people.”
So, after seeing the above statements, we can say that the problem is not with the Islam but with some misguided Muslims who are manipulated by some groups and misinterpreted the true teachings of Islam and use them for accomplishing their mala fide intentions.
India itself is the best example where 201 million Muslims are living peacefully. There are over a billion Muslims in the world, the great majority of them are peaceful and moderate practitioners of mainstream Islam. The fights and violence which are done by misled Muslims are just because of the political reasons and everyone is blaming their religion for these fights. Islam like any other religion is a peaceful religion and do not support or promote any kind of violence and wars.