Editorial: Islamic Concept of Peace
by Dr. Allah Bakhsh
The Light (Pakistan), 24th February 1983 Issue (Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 3–4)
“He it is Who has sent His Apostle (Muhammad) with the guidance and the religion of Truth that He may make it prevail over all other religions. Allah is enough for a witness.” (The Holy Quran, 48:28)
The prevalence of the faith of Islam has been prophesied in the above verse. And to add more vigour to it Allah has mentioned His own witness to it. Presently two news items are very much in discussion in world media: How to effect reduction in the Nuclear Armament and the report of the Committee appointed to give verdict on the massacre committed by Israel last year on the unarmed and innocent women and children Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Recent events and political developments in the world have once again vindicated the veracity of the Islamic concept of peace and its safeguards for guaranteeing freedom and basic human rights.
Nuclear weapons and their increasing destructive varieties have become so imminent danger to human existence that the very nations who are their producers have realised the necessity of checking further growth of this deadly menace. The two Super Powers, America and Russia, are foremost in this mad race and therefore they seriously wish to find ways and means of restricting and controlling these extremely destructive war devices. The American President proposed a plan which suggested abolition of long distance nuclear missiles but it was rejected by the Soviet Union. Now another proposal is in the offing and that is the abolition of the cruise missiles signifying removal of short range missiles. Human beings are going through a nightmare and very much banking their hopes on disarmament talks between the two Super Powers. There are strong rumours in the Western political circles that a reduction may be brought about unilaterally and it is being named as Unilateral Disarmament. But it is being strongly opposed by strategic experts in the West on the basis that it would amount to weakening oneself and providing an opportunity to the enemy to further strengthen its armament capabilities.
It is argued that the enemy is deterred by the defensive strength capabilities. If this deterrence is withdrawn, it is most likely to embolden the enemy. Thus unilateral disarmament instead of enhancing peace, would encourage the enemy. The two Super Powers have been drawn into a painful cold war which is the cause of the present economic crisis and political instability in most of the under-developed countries.
If the stock argument against unilateralism be regarded as valid that mischief and tyranny needs deterrent force in order to keep peace in the world, then obviously the Christian notion of non-resistance of evil proves impracticable. The Islamic principle of using force as a last resort for safeguarding human rights and freedom stands the test of the time. This was exactly the position during early Islamic wars. In Makkah the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions bore all the tyranny and torture with unique patience and forbearance. Consequently, the Holy Prophet with a few hundred of his Companions had to flee to Medina to save their lives and honour. But the Quraish pursued them even there and attacked Madina three times in order to crush the Muslims. In such circumstances an impartial historian would surely conclude that the defensive wars waged by the Holy Prophet were to end war and oppression in order to guarantee freedom and human rights. Thus it hardly lies in the mouth of a modern man to object to the Islamic principle of defensive wars.
The report of the Committee about the Lebanese massacre has given its unequivocal verdict against Israel and should serve as an eye-opener to the world as to the callousness of the Israeli army. The incident has outstepped all previous atrocities. It was this very nation with which the Holy Prophet had to deal with in Medina. Could they have allowed Muslims in Medina to live in peace and harmony especially when the Quraish were determined to annihilate the Muslims. The banishment given to them after repeated intrigues and conspiracies committed by the Jews in Medina against Muslims was the last resort in order to bring stability and peace in Medina. It is high time that the Jewish nation who inherit noble religious traditions of Prophet Moses (pbuh) should cooperate with the followers of other sister religions in creating peace in the world.
The powers of research and ingenuity latent in man, when used for the benefit of mankind brings tremendous human progress. But at the same time when man stoops down to greed, power and amassing of wealth then the tame human faculties are diverted towards conflict, confrontation and devastating wars. The moral sense in man plays a very important role. Faith rekindles the moral stamina in man. Man must now realise that only Faith Force — consciousness of God and welfare of mankind — can avert a nuclear catastrophe and bring happiness, progress and prosperity to mankind.