Peace In Islam According To Muhammad Šarif Ahmad

MAKU, Hendrikus (2019) Peace In Islam According To Muhammad Šarif Ahmad. Penerbit Ledalero, Maumere. ISBN 978-602-1161-79-1

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People will not gather to remember God without angels surrounding them, mercy covering them, and peace descending on them Along with the ‘torch’ of the Prophet’s saying above, we hope to find some ‘light’ radiating from our discussion in this moment. In šā’a Allāh. 1. An Overview on the study of the Subject: What, Why, and How? The perception on Peace and War in the light of Islam is a very actual topic, not only because both, Peace and War, seem to be together as two sides of Islam. Numerous actions of Islamic fundamentalism have produced plenty of questions on Islam. But, the topic has also become very ‘hot’ since many people strongly doubt ‘whether Islam is a religion of war or a religion of peace’. Indisputably, Islamic terrorism (IT), i.e. acts of terrorism by Muslims who claim to conduct them in the name of Islam, has raised a number of questions among people. Does Islam really mean peace? What does Islam teach about peace? Does the Qur’ān really contain a number of verses promoting violence? Does IT represent Islam? Are Muslims allowed to fight against IT? And so on. Scholars are therefore obliged to respond, and their response should be intellectual. We consider that the selected topic: ‘Peace in Islam’ is an important area that needs to be explored more deeply, not only by the Muslims but also by scholars in general. The adherents of Islam must be made aware of the important teachings regarding war and peace that can be found in the foundational sources of their faith, namely the Qur’ān and the Prophet’s life (Sunna). The Qur’ān, as the eternal and infallible word of God, prescribes a humane conduct of war, e.g. “Allāh forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allāh loveth those who are just” . Moreover, Muḥammad, as he proclaimed and practised in Mecca and Medina, that is, searching for reconciliation and mutual understanding with Jews and Christians as well as with opponents and enemies, must be the model and source of inspiration for Muslims on how to be peacemakers, proclaiming Islam as a religion of peace (dīn al-salām) rather than reinforcing the notion that Islam is a religion established and propagated by the sword. This is the first and underlying reason for choosing to study this area of Contemporary Islamic Studies: to promote Islam as a religion of peace. The second reason is curiosity: to better understand Islam as a religion of peace by finding answers to certain fundamental questions, such as “what does Islam teach about war and peace, humanity and tolerance?” and “what motivates those Muslims who actively take part in peace-making?” This research does not attempt to explain why Islamic (or Islamist) groups engage in wars and other violent acts or how they ‘spread their religion through fire and sword’. Instead, my aim is to highlight the humanistic tradition of Islam, the spirit of tolerance and peace found in its traditions, and other aspects of Islam that contribute to peace. As Imam Ḥasan al-Bannā (1906-1949) puts it, Islam is the true manifestation of human brotherhood. This is not to deny the existence of conflicting interpretations arising from the main sources themselves, the Qur’ān and Sunna. I would argue that simply rejecting Islamic fundamentalism, e.g. the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as un-Islamic is not a very realistic approach . Scholars in general and Muslim Scholars in particular should be as objective as possible in dealing with competing claims, especially when touching doctrinal issues. Some Quranic verses are ambiguous and open to different interpretations which are often used to justify violence. Such verses should be studied with care and understood from the perspective of the common good of society. In this light, IT espoused by militant groups such as ISIS (ISIL), al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in East Africa, al-Iẖwān al-Muslimūn in Egypt, Ǧamā‘at Abū Sayyāf in the Philippines, Front Pembela Islam (FPI) in Indonesia, etc., is a real challenge to the Islam of peace of the vast majority of Muslims all over the world. Our work begins with the general introduction, choice and importance of the subject which include the scope and limit of work, the method used in the research and the plan of work followed. Chapter One deals with the presentation of the Arabic text: An overview on the Author, some points on Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and overview on the Iran-Iraq War, and a general idea on peace in the light of the Qur’ān and the life of the Prophet. Chapter Two is the translation of the Arabic text. Chapter Three contains a commentary on the translated text and the conclusion. The chapter begins with a detailed critical analysis of the text, i.e. appreciation notes and some critical comments. In addition, before the general conclusion of the whole thesis, a brief presentation on war in Islam and a short explanation on the terms salām and silm, which I included in order to complete the Arabic text on peace and war in the light of Islam. These are considered as my contributions, in order to supplement what the author says about war. At the end of the thesis is the bibliography followed by the indices (proper names, places, Quranic quotations, and a glossary of Arabic words in English transliteration), and the appendices. 2. General Idea on the Arabic Text: the Author and the Context of the text The text under consideration in this work emphasizes that Islam means complete submission and surrender to Allāh, the One God, and has been calling people to peace and the avoidance of bloodshed. The scholars and the intellectuals of the Islamic community (umma) have been striving to spread peace among the peoples by any means and institution, e.g. the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Dr. Muḥammad Šarīf Aḥmad, the author of this text, points out the context of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) which then leads him to explain the concept of peace in Islam. On the one hand, he calls the Khomeini regime as the regime of the dumb and the blind, for failing to understand and see, for refusing the appeal of Islam, and for despising sincere appeals to stop the war. According to him, the regime of Khomeini is a regime of blood and war. It is a regime of disorder (fitna) , superstition and deceit which offends Islam - its doctrines, principles, humanism and values. It insults the Muslims among the peoples for making them appear as if they are ‘disciples’ (ṭullāb) of war, destruction, devastation, and disorder. On the other hand, he affirms that the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is favored by God and is one who has exerted every possible effort to achieve peace, and has used various means and human channels that are generally recognized, islamically and internationally. For these reasons, the executive council of OIC has bestowed on him the title “man of peace” (raǧul al-salām). The main purpose of the selected text is to fight for establishing ideas that would restore the Islamic societies and the authentic and noble image of Islam (al-dīn al-ḥanīf) as the religion of peace, harmony, and love. It also aims to restore the historical image of the nation of the Qur’ān (ummat al-Qur’ān), as well as to expose the ways of Khomeini as immoral and offensive to Islam, and which leads to the distortion of the noble humanistic purposes and of enlightened history. Moreover, the topic “Peace and Islam” is chosen by OIC in order to counter the propaganda of the Khomeini regime which has created the bad image on Islam as a religion of war and blood. The author offers some verses from the Qur’ān, with some interpretations, which speak of peace. These Quranic ideas will help the readers to accept Islam as a peaceful religion (Islām dīn al-salām). “O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy” . 3. Some Critical Comments on Peace and War in Islam ‘Islam and its two faces’, whether peace or war, tolerance or coercion, forgiveness or revenge, and so on, is more than a simple statement; it is rather a fundamental question about the real image of Islam. It is undeniable that violence attributed to al-uṣūliyya al-islāmiyya, has led many people to claim that Islam is a religion of violence and bloodshed, and that terrorists are only doing what they are asked to do in the Qur’ān. However, there are a good number of scholars, for instance, the 126 leading religious scholars and academics from across the Muslim world (including myself), have argued against this judgment. We are confidently assuring others that Islam is a religion of peace, at least according to its fundamental ideas, which are expounded in this research. Thus, the concentration of the study on ‘Peace in Islam’ does not intend to repudiate the dark side of Islam which is frequently used by Islamic fundamentalists to justify their ǧihād, striving in the way of Allah. The spirit and objective of this reflection can be described mainly in the following. First, to explore more deeply the essential teachings regarding War and Peace in the light of the Qur’ān and the acts (deeds) of the Prophet. This is to show the identity of Islam as al-dīn al-ḥanīf, promoting peace as a fundamental Islamic idea. Second, to have a better understanding of Islam as a religion of peace (dīn al-salām) by finding answers to some basic questions, such as, What does Islam teach about war and peace, humanity and tolerance? What motivates some Muslims to actively take part in peace-making? Third, to highlight the humanistic tradition of Islam, the spirit of tolerance and peace found in its traditions, and other aspects of Islam that contribute to peace . At the end of this reflection on ‘Peace in Islam’, particularly according to Muḥammad Šarīf Aḥmad, the official representative of the OIC, we need to recompile the ideas not only regarding Peace on its own, but also about War, and the position of Islam. This study started with a number of curious questions on Peace and War in Islam. Perhaps these issues arose from people’s doubts whether Peace and War are like two sides of a coin, or whether they can only separately display the true image of Islam. What Bašār ‘Awād Ma‘rūf says in the introduction to the Arabic text, might be understood by scholars. He said, “I do not intend to praise these studies or to clarify the positions of the authors in the field of Islamic thought. The reader himself will understand after reading the authors’ depth and originality on Islamic thought” . This could mean that the objective of the academic activities is not properly to curtail and lessen the abilities of thinking of people. Instead, scholars, using various creative methods and approaches, can inspire people not only to be aware themselves as reflective people but also as thinking explorers in analyzing the issue. Otherwise, scholars would thus fall into the stream of making judgements in a way that does not provide appropriate contexts for interpretation. All the ideas that are expressed in this reflection try not only to answer a number of curious questions on Peace and War in the light of Islam. This work prominently wants to guide the people to the ‘public garden’, where they could find all kinds of ‘fruits’, meaning various ideas on how to promote peace in the spirit of the Qur’ān and the Prophet’s life, and how to comprehend completely the concept of War in the same fundamental sources of Islam, i.e. the Kalimat Allāh and Sunna. We might think that the ideas of this study are closer to being an apologetic of Islam. Absolutely not. From Islam, as it is portrayed in the Qur’ān and applied in the life of the Prophet, still emerges the unending question, what is the true image of Islam? We do not intend that this reflection aims to give the absolute answer to the question. Everything that we have laid down in this work is no more than one of many possible responses to the vast field of inquiry. Thus, the enigma in Islam remains always open-ended for various kinds of study, including what we present. Yet, though we close our study here, there is no final grasping of what we are seeking as pilgrims. Let us therefore continue our seeking in this light, initiated as it was by the power of peace, guided by the spirit of peace, walking in the way of peace, with the hope that all may obtain peace too. Il mio amore ardente è per Dio, pieno di maesta. Nel mio cuore non c’è null’altro se non Dio La luce di Muhammad, sia benedetto! Non c’è dio all’infuori di Dio

Item Type: Book
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Depositing User: MR HENDRIKUS MAKU
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 04:49
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2020 05:02

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