Islam and World Peace
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
Assalamo Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu! Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you!
The pace at which peace is fast disappearing from the world today has caused each sane and sensible person to worry. This includes religious people, and also those people who do not believe in any religion. It includes believers in God whether one God or many gods, and atheists who deny the very existence of God. Each group has its own arguments.
Whatever their personal beliefs, they all have valid concerns about peace. Man, who considers himself to be educated and civilized, is reverting back to the period of ignorance when personal ego and false pride, led people to cut each other’s throats so much so that whole tribes and dynasties indulged in such barbaric acts.
If for the sake of our personal gain or loss or for the sake of our own rights, or for the rights of our dear ones, we fight only for our rights, but neglect the rights of other people, or usurp their rights in the process, we can never establish peace. In short, to establish true peace, we must understand the spirit of true justice.
God Almighty tells us in the Holy Qur’an that peace will only come about with justice and benevolence.
‘O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise that with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah, Surely Allah is aware of what you do.’ (5:9)
The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has explained the meaning of this verse as follows:
Allah the Almighty says about justice that it cannot be achieved without truthfulness, that your enmity towards enemy nations should not hinder you from dispensing justice. Remain just, because righteousness lies in it. Now you know that those nations that unjustly harm and hurt and cause bloodshed, chase and murder women and children, like the unbelievers of Makkah, and do not desist from waging wars, how difficult it is to deal with such people. But the Holy Qur’an has not taken away the rights of even such mortal enemies and has enjoined justice and truthfulness. I say to you in truth that it is easy to deal with an enemy with hostility; but it is very difficult to safeguard the rights of opponents and to deal justly with your enemy.
So, this is the way to establish peace. Do justice! And if you want to establish real peace, then not only do justice, but the strong should treat the weak with equity and treat them in the same manner as one treats one’s dear and beloved ones and ignores some of their defaults. Every problem cannot he solved with force, but good and just treatment fosters a feeling of bonding and trust. The urge for real peace comes from the heart and the voice that comes from the heart is the only one that establishes real peace because it is based on love and warmth.
When man spreads disorder on earth, peace and security declines and righteousness all but disappears, God sends his Prophets to save the world. Over 1400 years ago, when righteousness had completely vanished from this world and disorder was at its pinnacle, God sent his final message through the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and thus facilitated the saving of the world from complete disaster. Through the message of Islam, man was taught ways to honour the rights of God and the rights of mankind, which had either been forgotten by those who had believed in the earlier Prophets, or because these were new commandments of excellence which had not been revealed before.
The Holy Qur’an addresses all nations of the world on the basis of humanity:
‘0 mankind We have created you from male and female; and We have made you into clans and tribes that you may recognise one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the Sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All Knowing, All-Aware.’ (49:14)
This is the Islamic teaching of brotherhood. A righteous believer is enjoined to adhere to this teaching and indeed to propagate it. This alone can foster love, affection and equality. Peace and security can only be guaranteed in the world when the false and oppressive notion of supremacy for some nations is eradicated. Peace and security cannot be established until people of each race and nation are able to recognize that they are indeed the children of Adam and created by a male and female and are therefore equal. If one is better than the other, it is in terms of righteousness alone. However, whose righteousness excels others, only Allah knows. No one can judge this for oneself.
Islam says that all mankind is like a family and it can only look after the peace and security of each member, only if it lives like a close-knit family. The apparent differences in mankind are only for identification as to who is European, who is Asian and who is African. As humans we are all the same and therefore a person in Africa has the same sentiments as those of a person in Europe or America or a person living anywhere else in the world. Peace and security can only prevail when each other’s sentiments are cared for. These are the measures for durable peace and security that Islam presents. Otherwise, no matter how many United Nations or Security Councils are formed, durable peace cannot be maintained.
Those countries who want to be the standard-bearers of peace should sit down together and work how the world can be saved from destruction. When thinking of that, they should remember their Creator and then think for the betterment of His creation. But remember that the path which the world has chosen today, the effect of instability will not be confined to just one country but will spread all over the world. It is quite possible that we will witness many examples like Hiroshima and Nagasaki even worse.
Therefore, my request to you is search inside yourself and look at the Benevolent Creator. We must not leave our next generation handicapped and disabled because of our mistakes. Today we must establish peace and save our future generation from a life of disability. We must not let our future generation sink into that pit of darkness from which our ancestors brought us out to where we are today. It will be a height of selfishness if for the sake of our false pride or for a temporary gain, we forget the future of our future generations.
It is my fervent prayer that Allah the Almighty makes the world understand this reality. Amin.