Islam stands for peace. Ahmadiyya Muslim community presents the real picture of Islam.

The true victory of Islam, as is evident from the word 'Islam' (submission) itself, lies in our complete surrendering our selves to God and freeing ourselves of our egos and our passions. No idol, whether it is the idol of our desires, our our intentions, or the idol of creature worship, should stand in our way, and we should submit ourselves entirely to the will of God. After reaching this state of Fana (self-annihilation), we will attain baqa (the life of eternity) which will give our eyes a new light, our minds a new passion; and we will become a wholly new being and the same Eternal God will become for us a new God. This is the true victory, and one aspect of it is Divine ammunion.(the green announcement p. 28)

Sunday, January 30, 2011


(Zahid Malik)
The sole purpose of this article is to explore possible foundations for international peace in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran and to demonstrate a practical possibility of putting an end to the phenomenon of global hostilities and warfare on a well founded basis. In an essay like this it is not possible to claim either extensiveness or intensification. I can only hope to discuss a few of the problems involved in restoring and maintaining international peace. I shall, however, try to develop the argument logically to prove the superability and indispensability of the eternal and immutable principles of religion and morality in transforming conditions of enmity into conditions of amity and in achieving a lasting democracy of nations - the ideal of all men and women of conscience.

The history of mankind, starting from the murder of Abel, is replete with instances of organised warfare, torture and persecution. It is no exaggeration to say that the history of mankind is a history of bloodshed. At the very early stage of evolution, man started creating psychological barricades on the basis of geography, clan, religion, colour of the skin, socio-economic philosophies and other such grounds and until now has managed to maintain such artificial segregation, ironically, at the expense of his own existence. History tells us that blood was shed, in due course, on every possible ground, no matter how trivial, and it was shed always in vain. The point can be supported by scores of examples ancient and modern. The Assyrian's atrocities, the Crucifixion, the Catacombes, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Spanish civil war, the Russian Revolution, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, the Concentration camps, the two Great wars, the Vietnam War, the Great Depression, Failure of the League of Nations etc; are the facts which stand out like gravestones and remind us of our failure to achieve the ideal of a peaceful international co-existence.

More recently events in Cambodia, Lebanon, Germany, Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Indonesia and numerous other places show just how desperately far away we are from peace. People are still persecuted for no other reason than the colour of their skin, their supposed racial origin and the shape of their belief. The Jewish-Muslim conflict in Middle East, the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India, the Iran-Iraq war, the Indo-Pak war, the Apartheid and other such events dominate the headlines which reflect the present day socio-economico-political climate. Moreover, the organised persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan, the Gulf War and the brutal treatment of the Bosnian Muslims are too well-known and too fresh to deserve any more comment and have left a deep scar on the face of humanity. The phenomenon is still going on.
Add to this recurrent famines in many parts of the world and near to destitution conditions in many others. Morality has sunk so far that even in this field, man has failed to do what is necessary to alleviate the situation. The phenomenon of occasional TV coverage of the plight of the famine-stricken areas intervalled by an advertisement for "Pedigree-chum" without causing the slightest stir in the minds of people, sufficiently indicates that men have become indifferent spectators of human affairs.
The plight of the famine-stricken areas of the world is not something, it must be emphasised here, which is beyond the control of man for this lies against the scheme of human creation.
The fact of the matter is that plight of famine stricken people lies within man's reach, but the will and determination to do so is not there. Given the needed spirit of sacrifice, will and determination, holds Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Community in Islam:
If only a few states of the Gulf had joined hands to relieve the immense sufferings of humanity at large, they would have resolved the problem of hunger and drought in Africa without feeling a pinch.[1]
What is, therefore, actually needed is dynamic positive spirit to eliminate the suffering of the deprived and the plight of the exploited and recover for them the freedom and dignity which the present social system has denied them. Without such a spirit, a large proportion of the human race cannot be prevented from perishing from hunger and as matters stand, the world without hunger and war seems to be a very distant ideal. In complete contrast to the historical experience, the purpose of man s creation was that he should become the manifestation of God's attributes. Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad has beautifully described the object of creation and his description contains a powerful message for practical implementation:
The ultimate purpose of creation was to create a conscious being of the highest order who would not only voluntarily submit to the most consummate beauty of God as reflected in His creation directly but would also lead fellow creation of the highest order (i.e. mankind) to this ultimate goal of creation or at least make it possible for those among them who desire to follow Him.[2]
There is no gainsaying that war runs counter to the object of creation. The Holy Quran has, therefore, repeatedly condemned war, declaring it to be a destructive fire:
Whenever they kindle a fire of war Allah extinguishes it, and they strive to create disorder in the earth, and Allah loses not those who create disorder. (5:65)
Accordingly, the only form of war which is allowed in Islam is the war which is waged in order to extinguish war itself-a defensive war. Whenever war becomes inevitable, as it does at times, Islam urges Muslims to extinguish the conflagration at the expense of least possible damage to life and property:
And had it not been for Allah's repelling men, some of them by the others, the earth would have become filled with disorder. But Allah is Munificent to all people. (2:252)
The keystone, therefore, of the Islamic philosophy of war, lies in adopting a lesser evil when there is a choice. Islam knows of no other war. If we are going to meet the challenge of constant warfare, it is important that we should tackle the problem at its root and not disperse our efforts by dealing with its manifestations. Let us, therefore, look at certain economic and social consequences of war as well as at the philosophy underlying it. It is only after precisely knowing the causes working under the surface, that the problem of war can be rooted out.
War is the most obvious obstacle to economic growth. It is no exaggeration to say that unless war is brought under control, there can be no possibility of establishing stable prosperity or of abolishing poverty. The milieu of lasting peace is necessary for stable economic growth, for expanding trade throughout the world, for greater confidence in the future, for maximum investment and risk taking and for voiding unproductive investment in war-related industries as well as preventing the wasteful destruction of the existing capital. The truth is that economic advantages of peace and economic disadvantages of war can never be exaggerated.
Viewed from a different angle, the institution of war can easily be manipulated by the great powers in order to seek new markets and consequently, to enrich their own economies. The World War II, for example, greatly enriched the United States and converted it from a debtor to a creditor nation. At the end of the war, the Allies became totally dependent upon U. S. foreign investment just to keep circulating in the vicious circle. The beneficial effects of the Gulf War can, accordingly, be very well visualised. Thus viewed, war is treated like a commodity which can be exported at an asking price with the result that the warring countries are tied down to the exporting country for ever and ever.

In spite of the fact that economic forces are of great importance in interpreting the phenomenon of war, it is a political problem. It is true that economic interests are involved in wars, but to suppose the economic conflicts, or even economic difficulties, are the sole cause of wars is to shoot very wide of the mark. The truth is that, on the whole, war exists not because of the existence of conflicts but because of the existence of independent nations - war is the price we pay for independence or at least for irresponsible independence (extreme nationalism). The presence of economic conflicts between New York and Pennsylvania, or between England and Scotland coupled with the absence of war between them is a case in point. The reason for the absence of war between them is the fact that New York and Pennsylvania, on the one hand, and England and Scotland, on the other are not independent nations, but are parts of a larger political unit. As long as England and Scotland were separate nations there was constant war between them. The union of crowns in 1603 and the union of parliaments in 1707 abolished international wars between them.

It is important to realise that war is only one form of conflict, the form that conflict takes when it runs across the boundaries of independent nations. The abolition of war would not mean the abolition of conflict. It is not even desirable to abolish conflicts; conflict conducted in a decent and responsible manner is essential to any form progress, whether in knowledge, in ideas, or in material things. Competition, as is said, is the child of progress - no new idea can come into the world without knocking out an outworn notion and no new method can come into use without destroying the old. The case against war, be it noted, is not that it is a conflict, but that it is an indecent and irresponsible form of conflict which does not seem to result in progress, but rather in waste of lives and resources. Success in war comes not to the virtuous or the right but to the strong, and unfortunately virtue and strength go by no means always hand in hand. [read more]

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