Quran Guidance of the Day

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Islam - The Religion Of Peace - 1


Today, many non-Muslims regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, terrorism and war. Unfortunately, they rely in their view of Islam on the general media, which is not always accurate in reporting the news. Many media outlets, such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, are influenced by their investors or owners who have certain agendas and who want to promote certain values and points of view. Other media outlets are simply after the "big story", in order to make more money and more profits. Others are simply "followers", who only gather news from other sources, re-package it and try to sell it again purely as a business.
In all these cases, the news reporting is not accurate, but is driven by ulterior motives or simply by profits. Only very few media organizations are committed to providing accurate and true information, regardless of financial gain. Therefore, people today should be very careful in what they take from the media.
Before blindly accepting what the TV, radio or newspaper is reporting, one should think critically about what is being reported. Is this being reported accurately, or is it being exaggerated or even completely fabricated? Who are these people reporting the news, and do they have vested interests to report the story in a certain way, or are they completely objective and fair? Critical thinking is very important in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to accepting the media reports about important and controversial issues.
Islam is in fact a religion that promotes peace and understanding among people of all faiths, and it strongly prohibits all forms of violence and aggression against all people regardless of their faith or race.


Islam Prohibits Violence and Aggression, and stands for Peace and Justice.
Islam clearly prohibits all kinds and forms of aggression and violence against anyone, except in self-defense. Islam is a practical religion, meant to be implemented in every aspect of our life. Therefore, it realizes the fact that a person who commits aggression and violence against others will not cease these actions unless they are deterred by similar actions taken against them.
Islam also places very high importance on justice, and allows for aggressors and unjust people be punished accordingly, unless they repent before they are brought to justice. At the same time, Islam encourages people to forgive those who have wronged them whenever possible.
Evidence of these ideals can be found in the Holy Qur'an, which is the word of God revealed to the messenger of God, Mohammad peace be upon him. It can also be found in the Hadeeth, the sayings of Mohammad peace be upon him, and in his teachings to Muslims. A few examples of this are shown below from the Holy Qur'an:
"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, and do not transgress; for Allah loveth not transgressors." (Surah 2, Verse 190).
"But if they cease (fighting you), Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah 2, Verse 192).
"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One that Heareth and Knoweth (all things)." (Surah 8, Verse 61).
"The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves." (Surah 2, Verse 194).
" ... and let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment." (Surah 5, Verse 2).
"Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!" (Surah 41, Verse 34).
"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).
The first three verses above instruct Muslims to fight those who fight them, and not to commit aggression first, as God does not like transgressors. They also instruct Muslims to stop fighting those who wish to cease fighting them, and to accept peace with the enemy who becomes inclined towards peace.
The fourth verse mentioned above instructs Muslims that if someone transgresses against them, they should respond to them likewise, and it reminds Muslims to fear God and to restrain themselves to this limit.
The fifth verse reminds Muslims not to let hatred of some people for past reasons to lead them to transgress against those people or be hostile towards them. It also instructs us to help each other in good and righteous actions, and not to cooperate in aggression and sin, and it reminds them finally of the strict punishment of God to encourage them to abide by these principles.
The sixth verse reminds us that goodness and evil are never equal, and that we should repel evil with good actions. This means that when someone is unjust to us or commits evil against us, we are encouraged to respond with kind and good actions, so that the hatred between us and that person will evaporate and will become an intimate friendship!
The seventh verse mentioned reminds us to stand up for justice, even if it is against ourselves or our family, and even if it is against those who are rich or powerful, because justice applies to everyone. It also reminds us that God knows everything we do, and so if we act unjustly even in our hearts, God knows what we did and we will be accountable for that.
The eighth verse informs us that God enjoins us to follow justice, and that God forbids us from committing evil, vice and transgression.
The ninth and final verse reminds Muslims that if they are punished, that they may only respond with the same punishment and not to go over this limit. However, they are reminded that forgiveness and patience is the best course of action.
These are the wonderful ideals of Islam:
To pursue peace with everyone including past enemies, except when they fight the Muslims and refuse peace, then Muslims are allowed to fight in self-defense.
To ensure that we always apply justice and never transgress against others even if they are our enemies.
To repel evil actions with good actions, in order to replace hatred with an intimate friendship.
To respond to punishment with the same punishment, but that forgiveness and patience is even better than retaliation. (Continued ...)


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