The International Day of Non-Violence is observed each year on 2 October – the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. It is a befitting occasion to reflect upon the many ‘fires’ around our conflict-riven world where there is much violence, oppression and injustice. Many ‘powerful’ ones- nations/leaders/groups/entities- are steeped in arrogance and hostility against the ‘wretched of the earth’; seeking to suppress the legitimate interests and rights of the ‘other’ among them. In a special message, Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius calls our attention to the need for individual and collective efforts to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, promote just relations among communities and peoples and to uphold ‘Peace’ as an ethical imperative of our times: “It is my humble appeal to the national and international authorities to see to it that human rights are always respected at every step of the way….Each government, and each individual also at his own personal level should strive to help in building a peaceful society, and strive to fight all evils along the way”.
When God Almighty first created man, He did so with a great purpose. Indeed everything He has created and keeps creating has a purpose. In creating man in His image (i.e. from His essence, from His own Breath/ Spirit), God wanted to see him subservient to Him, to perceive the truthfulness of His existence and to worship Him alone. To test the mettle of man and his loyalty, God Almighty gave him the gift of freewill. He is the only creature among the whole creation to have got such privilege from his Maker. He has received the right to decide what to do with his God-given life and how to spend it.
To ensure that man always follows the right path, and remembers Him and the covenant he took before he was sent to earth, God Almighty sent law-bearing prophets, to guide their nations to His worship and to teach them how to live in society in peace and harmony.
One of God's attribute is Peace. He is Peace, and He has ordained peace for all His servants on earth, but unfortunately it is rare that man heeds the message of God. It is sad to note that he denies himself such good counsels as to benefit his own being in this very life and the hereafter.
God Almighty says in the Holy Quran: The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say words of peace. (25: 64).
Moreover, God's beloved elects have said: “If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow.” (Sayings of Gautama Buddha (pbuh), Dhammapada).
“When one is centered in the oneness of the Infinite, his actions are in harmony with this oneness and he lives in peace and harmony. However, when one perceives himself as separate from the Infinite oneness, he becomes confused in the pleasures of the senses and does not live in peace and harmony.” (Sayings of Krishna (pbuh), Bhagavad Gita).
“A perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe, and a true emigrant (Muhajir) is one who refrains from what God has forbidden.” (Sayings of Muhammad (pbuh), Bukhari & Muslim).
All prophets of God have received the divine commandments to invite people to Him in peace. Be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism among others, every known and unknown prophets of God have carried out their mission with the word of peace. For example, Jesus affirmed his affinity to his mission and to that of the past prophets before him: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5: 17).
All law-bearing prophets up till the prophet of Islam (pbut) have carried out their missions diligently with the foremost duty to guide the people to God in peace. It is only when the evil-minded plotted against them and their mission that God ordained them to fight back to ensure the survival of God's teachings and good servants. This happened only in extreme cases when they were left with no option to do otherwise.
Nowadays, we are witnessing how mankind is plunging head down and at full speed in the precipice of torment. And this torment is being self-inflicted. Everywhere there is unrest. Nations are fighting against other nations and menacing to unclench yet another war, this time much more powerful than the previous ones. The innocent and poor, those who find them in minority in their countries, such as the Royingya Muslims of Myanmar (Burma) are facing uncalled persecutions and the genocide in Myanmar and the testimonials against the Burmese army by the victims are heart-wrenching.
When we see how the world is being targeted by all forms of evils which are being perpetrated by the hands of man, the same "elite" man who has received the gift of freewill, then we come to realize that such free will can also become a curse for him if he does not follow the rules and limitations of God prescribed for his good living on earth. When he acts pompously, thinking highly of himself, leaving behind the sacred teachings of God and His prophets, then he shall definitely go to his loss. Despite being carved in God's image, yet if he follows the wrong path, then he loses all divine essence which God trusted to him at birth. He loses his innocence and he loses the love and blessings of God. All those who follow the same route and heed the evil advice of the Satan (the accursed one), their lot shall be the same pit of despair and desolation. They may think that they are powerful on earth and can wrong humans like themselves, but a time shall come when they shall be in a pitiable state, surrounded by God's wrath. Indeed, this has been the lot of the wrongdoers since time immemorial.
It is my humble appeal to the national and international authorities to see to it that human rights are always respected at every step of the way. Mauritius is a small island and is not safe also from calamities. We reap what we sow. If we sow good, we shall reap good. What is the use of labeling a special day for world peace, when no one is making the required efforts in this direction? Each government, and each individual also at his own personal level should strive to help in building a peaceful society, and strive to fight all evils along the way.
I do not say that we should take up arms (i.e. weapons) to this end, but we need to bear in mind that there is an Overpowering God Who is watching us and all our actions and knows our every intention. When we extend our hands in peace, and use the same hands to pray to God Almighty, then it is our Creator who shall couple our weaknesses with His might. It is Him Who shall inspire our hearts towards good. We are good for nothing without God. We are helpless without Him. If we leave Him and forget Him, He shall forget us also. But when we realize our mistakes and reform our conduct and re-establish our connection with Him, it is then that the impossible becomes possible, it is then that the miracles which were once manifested in the times of the prophets shall be manifested again to show God's all-power and the fidelity of His chosen servants to lead the world with His blessings in peace.
Peace be upon those who heed this message.
Hazrat Imam Muhyi-ud-Din Munir A. Azim
Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam
First Published by Le Mauricien, 03 October 2017. For the web-link to the Newspaper Article, click here.