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The Prophet wanted peace

The Prophet said, "A true Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue people are safe."

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 19:50 IST
INNER VOICE | Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
INNER VOICE | Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Today is the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib, who was born in Mecca in 570 AD and died in Medina in 632 AD. The divine book revealed to him is known as the Quran, while his teachings are preserved in the Hadith in the original Arabic. A study of both shows that there are two basic Islamic principles: worship of God and compassion to others.
The Prophet said, “A true Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue people are safe.” This means a Muslim is a peaceful, harmless member of society.

This oft-recited invocation reflects his sentiments: “O God, You are peace, peace is from You, peace returns to You. O God, let us live the life of peace. O God, let us enter into the House of Peace.” Living in peace himself, he longed for a society where the culture of peace prevailed. The Prophet gave a workable formula for peace in a multi-religious society: " For you, your religion and for me, mine". It meant simply: "Follow one faith and respect all."

The Prophet never engaged in war of his own volition. He would say: “Don't wage war against your enemies; always ask God for peace." His concept of peace and war was based on sulh, that is compromise and adjustment.

Aggressive war, undeclared war, guerilla war, proxy war or any other war are prohibited in Islam. Only defensive war is permitted. Moreover, only a state may go to war. No other organization is permitted to do so. If Muslims were unable to elicit good conduct from others, they had nevertheless to refrain from acting against wrongdoers.

The Prophet thought it essential to differentiate between an aggressor and an enemy. A defensive war might be waged against enemies only if they were attackers. His followers were not allowed to fight against passive enemies. The problem of enmity had to be solved through love and tolerance. In other words, he wanted Muslims to learn the art of peaceful enmity management.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 14:57 IST