ISLAM: The Religion of Peace
Islam aims to build a peaceful society at all costs. It is because higher human objectives cannot be achieved in the absence of peaceful circumstances. The spiritual as well as moral progress of the individual is possible only in a peaceful atmosphere. Hence the atmosphere of peace is essential for the building of good society. Academic research too is possible only in peaceful circumstances. The task of the propagation of truth too can be performed only in a peaceful atmosphere. That is why one of the teachings of Islam is reconciliation. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “Reconciliation is the best.” (4: 129)
In this regard Islam enjoins us to establish peace even at the cost of unilateral sacrifice and patience. An event of the first phase of Islamic history provides us with an example of this unilateralism. It was in actual fact a no-war pact which was secured by accepting all the demands of the rival group.
'Do No Harm to Anyone'
To bring about an atmosphere of peace within the society, Islam has given a number of commandments. For instance, the Holy Prophet of Islam observed: “A believer is one from whom people feel secure as regards their lives and property.” (Tirmidhi). Another Hadith has this to say: “By God, he is not a believer from whose nuisance his neighbour is not safe.” (Bukhari)
Islam aims at making all individuals peace-loving to the ultimate extent. That is why we are enjoined to greet one another by saying “Assalam-u-alaikum”, that is, peace be upon you. According to another saying of the prophet, the best Islam is to greet everyone you come across, whether or not you are acquainted with the person. The frequent reiteration of this phrase ‘peace be upon you’ is in actual fact an external manifestation of the desire for peace within. Islam wishes to inculcate this feeling within every individual that he should become a true lover of peace, to the point that this feeling starts welling up in his heart, finding expression wherever he meets a person.