“Islam Says Peace” - Says Who?
Assalaamo ‘Alaikum! Peace be on you!
We are living in an increasingly unjust, violent world that is forever moving closer and closer to greater violence and greater suffering wrought by human hands. This Ramadhan I reflect upon the current world situation with deep sorrow and pray to God, O Allah! Have mercy on the Muslim Ummah (community), and guide them, and bring them back to the paths of peace! Amen.
The religion of Islam has become synonymous with violence in the minds of many, so much so that an individual in the United States killed 2 others for standing simply they stood up to his anti-Islamic bigotry. Intolerance, lack of understanding, and having misconceptions about others are serious issues in our age. Sometimes, Muslims are mocked even for saying that Islam is a religion of peace and that 98% of Muslims around the world would agree with the assertion that Islam promotes nothing but peace and love for others.
This Ramadhan, I have hope for the greater good in our world. As His Holiness Hazrat Mirzā Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, states, “In order to maintain peace…the foremost requirement is justice”. This is strongly emphasized in Chapter 5, verse 3, of the Holy Quran. As such, I hope for justice to prevail in the end and for us to think of one another as one big family.
This Ramadhan, I also reflect on a title of Prophet Muhammad (sa), “Mercy for all of Mankind”. I ask, how did the Muslim Ummah (i.e. community) get here? How did it get to the point that Ramadhan barely begins and we hear news of killings and suicide bombings by so called “Islamic” terrorist organizations? When did we forget that teaching of the Quran that killing of one innocent person without reason is akin to killing all of mankind (5:33)?
When did we forget that definition of a Muslim that Prophet Muhammad (sa) gave us that a Muslim is one who does not harm any other person by his tongue or hands?
This Ramadhan, we turn to God with prayers for the Muslim community and the world community. We pray that God resolves all those issues that have resulted in so much death and destruction. We reach out to the poor around the world through our contributions to charity organizations like Humanity First (www.humanityfirstcanada.ca). And we reach out to our non-Muslim friends through a campaign titled, #FastWithMuslims (www.fastwithmuslims.com). Together, we can break down these barriers and foster an environment of love, tolerance, and peace.
Farhan Iqbal's reflection comes to the Parliament of the World's Religions as part of the 2017 Interfaith Ramadan series, empowering interfaith allies, Muslim and those of other spiritual and religious backgrounds from around the world, to share their stories of service, community and gratitude during the month of Ramadan. Please contact the Parliament at info@ParliamentOfReligions.org, or tag us at #RamadanPoWR to share your own story.