An essay donated by Hijab Al Faisal
Islam -- A true religion of peace, tranquility &
intellect: a moderate Islamic interpretation
Terrorism has surfaced as the biggest menace of the current times, particularly in past few decades. Unfortunately and unjustly, Islam and Muslims are deemed by most of the world population to be the root causes of this upsurge of terrorism all across the world.
There is no doubt that this is far from accurate. However, a considerable majority of the world's population still blames Islam and Muslims. This is mostly because of the “bad press” deliberately being created against Muslim by the big guns of world media.
The best way to authenticate or reject this claim for a common person is to see what the actual teachings of Islam are. Is it really a religion that promotes violence and terrorism, or is the reality totally opposite to this misconception? One convenient way of observing and analyzing all this is to learn what the Holy Qur'an, the religious Scripture of Muslims, has to say about this.
Meanings of "Islam:"
Let us start our conversation with the fact that the word “Islam” is derived from “salaam”, a word meaning peace. It also relates a person submitting himself to the will of The Mightiest in order to seek eternal peace and tranquility. The crux of this observation is that the very origins of Islam are inclined towards peace and harmony.
Islam prohibits violence and promotes peace and justice:
As mentioned earlier, the Quran -- the holy words of none other than Allah Almighty -- can best bear the witness for Islam’s inclination towards peace, justice, and harmony amongst human beings while negating and discouraging violence, terrorism, and injustice.
This becomes very evident if one vows to read the Qur'an and apply it on personal basis. Doing so in modern times is much more convenient as people can read the Qur'an online. Listed below are a few verses that support the claim that Islam is a true religion of peace and tranquility.
"O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." (Surah 4, Verse 135).
- "God advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed." (Surah 16, Verse 90).
- "And if ye do punish them, punish them no worse than they punished you: but if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient." (Surah 16, Verse 126).
These are just a few references from the Holy Qur'an. You may find many more of them that promote nothing else but peace and justice.
Historical evidences favoring the peace-loving attitude Of Muslims:
The peace-loving attitude and behavior of Muslims is not a myth. It is an absolute historical truth that is very evident from their deeds when they were in command of different areas of the world where multiple religions were practiced:
- Muslims ruled Spain for about eight centuries. No significance evidence is found that suggests Muslims used force or unnecessary means to oppress non-Muslims living there.
- India is another place that was once ruled by Muslims for a period of over 1,000 years. Currently, about 80% of the population is comprised of non-Muslims. If Muslims had used force to convert people from other religions, the stats would have been quite different.
- Arabia had been under Muslim influence for 1,400 years. Yet there are about 14 million Coptic Christians found in that region. Had Islam used the sword for its propagation, the situation would have been very different.
Islam believes in nothing but the sword of intellect:
As mentioned earlier, the best way to find the truth about teachings of Islam with regard to its propagation can be seen easily from the content of the Qur'an. All you need to do is search the Qur'an online and see countless verses verifying this claim. The only sword Islam believes in, as far as propagation of the religion is concerned, is of logic and intellect:
- "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error” [Al-Qur'an 2:256].
- "Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” [Al-Qur'an 16:125]
About this essay:
This guest article is by Hijab al Faisal, senior coordinator at QuranReading.com, which is an online tutoring program. It provides its clients the privilege of learning Quran online with experienced tutors and within the comfort of their homes. Quran Reading is the pioneering Quran tutoring academy based in Maryland, USA. They provide you with one-to-one Quran Learning, Quran Recitation and understanding, through professionally trained Quran tutors under the supervision of the American Islamic School. You can get more information on this at Quran Reading Blog.