THE DYNAMICS OF PEACE IN ISLAM
A. Lineage: A man's lineage must never be mixed with another's. This means that no one is allowed to commit adultery or fornication which will produce illegitimate offspring. There are many homes today where the man of the house is oblivious of the fact that those he calls his own children were fathered by others.
This is one of the nasty side effects of adultery not to mention the broken homes and the rapid spread of evil acts and incurable diseases on Earth. There is considerable evidence to support the fact that a lot of the corruption we hear about is due to the quest for extra money to sustain extra-marital affairs. People would do anything to have illicit affairs.
Islam punishes this severely as it is a severe blow to the moral fabric of society and the home units. Where it is adultery between unmarried people, it will be punished by flogging each a hundred strokes in public and banishment to separate lands for a year.
If it is between two married people, they will be stoned to death. To some, this is barbaric, including some that are Christian.
This is despite the fact that it is in the Bible too:
'And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death' (Leviticus 20:10)
Lest the verse above is seen as obsolete, the New Testament quotes Jesus (PBUH) as saying: 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.' (Matthew 5:17). In other words, all the extant laws before he arrived were still in force. Besides, even if it is obsolete, it was still God's commandment then. Unless anyone is irreverent enough to say God made a barbaric law (Allah forbid!).
b. Property/Wealth: Another thing which Allah has made sacred is the wealth and property of a man. No one shall acquire it illegally. Stealing, robbery and embezzlement are punishable crimes under Allah's Law.
This is when it has been ascertained that the culprit had no other reason to steal than sheer greed and covetousness. Cutting of the hand only applies where the man is neither poor as to need the money nor in debt as to be desperate. It must also be a significant amount of money.
C. Dignity: This is equally important in Islam. No one may insult another, humiliate another or enslave him/her. Slander, libel and false testimony against anyone are forbidden. The women are especially vulnerable in our current society.
Their God-given charm entices men who now use them as sex tools and as marketing mascots. No advertisement is complete in this decadent era until there is an image of scarcely dressed lady. In some, the lady is entirely nude. Even if the product is a bucket of emulsion paint, a lady has to 'model' somewhere in the video or image!
This use of a woman as a mere toy is no doubt dignifying. There are great efforts to reduce more and more what a lady can wear. It used to be that the woman's underwear covered her private area; now it is the privates that cover the underwear, Subhaanallah!
Through so much media hype, the lawful is now unlawful and the shameful is now in vogue. Islam has given women all the dignity they can hope for; it brought them back to the status of humans and not objects of sex and mere desire. It veils them in dignity and makes the women distinct and ennobles them.
D. Intellect: This is protected by ensuring that the normal brain functions of a man work correctly. Intoxication is completely forbidden. Thus, a man gets 40 to 80 lashes for drinking or for using drugs. Selling these items is also forbidden.
The vast majority of lives lost on highways today are lost to drunk driving. Intoxication impairs the senses and makes a man worse than animals.
If we have carefully followed the trend, we will notice that Islam is more or less guarding against anything which will disturb the peace in the society. It gives rights and apportions duties to individual and community alike. It sets limits and enforces them.
It is perfectly normal to find that these laws are not obeyed. When this happens, it breaks the equilibrium which Islam always maintains. All the prescribed punishments are God's way of re-establishing that equilibrium.
Peace is so important in Islam that Allah would not mind that violence be used to preserve it.
Here are some verses which put into clearer perspective what Muslims believe and try to uphold:
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.”(Q60 (Mumtahinah):8)
'Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them.
Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.' (Q2 (Al-Baqarah):190-193)
'Permission to fight is granted to those who are attacked; and Allah is able to assist them. Those who were unjustly expelled from their homes just because they say our Lord is Allah. If it were not that Allah repels some people with others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allah is mentioned would have been demolished… ' (Q22 (Al Hajj):39-40)
When these verses are misapplied by an ignorant Muslim or quoted out of context by mischievous non-Muslims, you have a picture of a violent, intolerant and bloodthirsty religion which wishes to annihilate those who are not Muslims. This cannot be farther from the truth!
Much of the problems in today's world are caused by secularists who see no place for God in the affairs of men. They plot day and night to remove the people from God-consciousness and the press is a willing tool in the hands of these enemies of humanity at times.
Islam is the only religion that has made it mandatory for its adherents to greet each other with the words of peace: 'Assalaamu alaykum' which means Peace be upon you. How come such would never wish to be at peace with their neighbours? Or could it be that the neighbours wish to have their way and any resistance to that is called violence? The answer is yes and no.
There are things done in the name of Allah and His religion from which He has distanced Himself entirely. Killing the innocent, raping and looting cannot be called Islamic acts even if the people doing them claim to be Muslims or say they are doing so in Allah's name.
Just look at the IRA in Ireland and the KKK in the US; read up the history of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisitions; inquire about the so-called reprisal attacks on Muslims in Nigeria; you would find individuals and indeed the Church doing many unchristian things in the name of the God. No one says it is their religion that taught them to act so violently and cruelly.
We know they are unchristian because of the following verses:
2 Ti 2:22 So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.
Ro 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another
De 20:10-12 “When you go near a city to fight against it then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you.
Now if the city will not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it.'
You would also find in the Bible words attributed to Jesus (AS) which seem to suggest that he advocated violence for the sake of violence, but on careful scrutiny, it can be seen in its right context; that of self-defence:
Mt 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword”
Lu 22:35 “And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.”
Lu 22:36 “He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. ”
Lu 22:37 “For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was reckoned with transgressors; for what is written about me has its fulfilment.”
Lu 22:38 “And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
But see here, he shows what he meant earlier was not wanton violence:
Mt 26:52 “Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword”
Many often refer to the Jihad of Muslims past and present. They seem not to know that these were wars fought to preserve their lives, their religion and their territories. Muslims are some of the most persecuted people on earth till date. Allah granted the permission to fight as we quoted earlier. He gave the rules of engagement and encouraged peace in all cases.
“But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace” (Q8 (Al-Anfaal):61)
I leave you with this quote from a non-Muslim about Islam and its peaceful nature:
“The sword indeed: but where will you get your sword! Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one. In one man's head alone, there it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it; there is one man against all men.
That he take a sword, and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must first get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can. We do not find, of the Christian religion either, that it always disdained the sword, when once it had got one. Charlemagne's conversion of the Saxons was not by preaching.” -Heroes and Hero-Worship by Thomas Carlyle p. 80.