Islam and Peace – Can They Coexist?

Daniyal Ahmad

During times of perpetual fear and stress, it is very common to paint a sinister picture referring to the usual polemics against the true teachings of Islam. After all, at the slightest hint of an extremist incident taking place, the faith of extremist’s hits headlines. Given the toxic political parties that dominate contemporary media, and the rise of the third World War, the time has come for us to better judge what to do and how to do it.

A house divided among itself cannot stand. A world divided among itself cannot survive. And a world reliant on the misconceptions arising from sensationalist headlines, that Islam and peace are somehow alien to each other, is a terrifying one.

We cannot permanently endure a world that is half apathetic and half ignorant to the words of peace that the Almighty Lord has bestowed upon us.

Now, what are those peaceful teachings? 

The peace I wish to explore is one that surpasses the associations and the ideas that haunt the very word. It is a more positive peace, without the superficial resemblance of a dove or an olive branch. If one objectively approaches the teachings within the Qur’an, we are mesmerised that there is a golden message that runs throughout its entire fabric which is a more pragmatic way of peace. This is remarkably seen when God Almighty addressed the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), as mentioned in the Qur’an, when it says:

“Haply thou wilt grieve thyself to death because they believe not.” (Ch.26:V.4)

What a beautiful illustration of exceptional love and compassion for mankind that was felt by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). It is clear from this, that peace lies not in hollow symbols or in arbitrary agreements or in empty promises. Instead, peace is found in compassion, reconciliation and most importantly, love for those who suffer, and the principle to do good for them is what truly brings worldwide peace.

Justice and compassion are the ultimate key for a safer world.

We clearly find that within the 113 out of 114 Surahs (chapters) of the Holy Qur’an that start with the Lord of Magnificent Grace, and Everlasting Mercy. It says:

“…If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make you peace between them […] with justice and be fair. For God loves those who are fair. The believers are but a single brotherhood; so make peace between your brothers…” (Ch.49:V.10-11)

Moreover, total justice comes from the words of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him), as he says:

“I proclaimed to all Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Arias, that I have no enemy in the world. I love mankind with the love of compassion of a mother of her children, even more so, human sympathy is my duty.” (1)  

What beautiful words which come with a beautiful reason. 

Why would you want to hurt or maim someone you love? 

It is clear that conflict and violence are the root of everything evil, which otherwise crumbles at the hands of the compassionate teachings of the Qur’an. Was it not the founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who instructed Muslims to start their prayers with all praise belongs to God, the Lord of all worlds, all creations, all nations and all races

Do you see the extent to which Islam teaches one to control aggression, and instead approach everyone with harmony and peace?

On the same note, on Monday, 25th May 1908, the Promised Messiah, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him), published his last source of light that would illuminate for generations to precede, ‘A Message of Peace’. This was his last means to lay the cornerstones for the establishment of the true meaning of Islam: peace and submission.

On page 6 of this profound book, the Promised Messiah (as) writes:

My countrymen, a religion which does not inculcate universal compassion is no religion at all. Similarly, a human being without the faculty of compassion is no human at all.” 

The wisdom to which the Messiah of the latter days, a leader, and one of the greatest scholars and lovers of the Qur’an interpreted its teachings is absolutely remarkable. He embraced love and compassion, the only example we must follow to reach true, practical peace. Any modern atrocious cruelties are absolutely unjustifiable.  

The panacea for the ills of society lies within the peaceful teachings of the Holy Qur’an.

We need peace on every scale, beginning with the scale of the individual, which is the cornerstone for pragmatic practical peace.

History speaks that before Islam, the world was experiencing a time of moral defects, where prisoners of war were victims of disgusting forms of human cruelties. Yet, the Islamic injunction pertaining to violence falls within the modern doctrine of the ‘Just War Theory’. The International Humanitarian Law (Jus in Bello) by Mark Evans (2) consists of the right to engage into war in which all attempts must be exhausted in peaceful means to avoid conflict. It also revolves around the “discrimination in the selection of target”, “proportionality in the use of force required to secure the just objectives”, and “just treatment of prisoners”.

On a similar note, we find the same teachings have been implemented from the Qur’an, which was revealed 1400 year ago, as it states:

“And they feed the, for love of him, the poor, the orphan and the prisoner.” (Ch.76:V.9)

It is further recorded that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is known for treating his own prisoners with justice and fairness, to the extent he would give his own food to his prisoners and they would not accept it because of sheer embarrassment.

The Qur’anic verse and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) beautifully depict that positive, pragmatic peace is not achieved by showing superiority towards anyone, or by showing that our weapons are greater than theirs. 

Peace lies not in intimidation. 

No harmony can exist within the presence of fear. 

Every time we wake up, we open our phones and are confronted with the same sad news every day: war, violence, suffering and hatred. It seems like the world is falling apart. However, our benevolent God reassures us that living with love and harmony for everyone, and fulfilling the rights of God Almighty and the rights of God’s creation, shall attain a future without any fear, for behold the friends of Allah must have no fear nor shall they grieve. The Qur’an says:

“Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. Aye! It is in the remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort.” (Ch.13:V29)

This verse begins with the tranquillity of the heart where true peace is attained, extinguishing the fire of malice and catastrophe within our hearts, and then filling it with the love for the Creator and the creation. 

So, to everyone who despite suffering within our world and who cherish never-ending peace, this is my sincere appeal – global peace according to the Qur’an can only be found through love, peace, and justice. 


(1) Arba’in, Ruhani Khazain, Volume 17, Page 344
(2) “Just War Theory: A Reappraisal” by Mark Evans


About the Author

Daniyal Ahmad

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