Islam: A Religion of Peace | IMAM HASAN QASIM OKIKIOLA
Islam is one of the greatest and influential religions in the world and by implication, in every two persons, there is a Muslim, which accounts for the rate of enthusiasm with which people all over the world are now interested in grasping the religion established on peaceful coexistence, which is now grossly misinterpreted and misunderstood.
Muslims are and will increasingly be our neighbours, colleagues at work, and fellow citizens. Although some people categorised Islam as being similar to other religions such as Judaism and Christianity, most Americans and Europeans and even some Africans believe that Islam is strange, foreign, frightening and inevitably linked to terrorism.
This kind of thoughts need to change – and it is possible through better information and deeper understanding of the prophets of Islam and the principle that Islam believes and preaches through the Quran, Hadith and other fundamental source of Islamic legislation, which are all peace-based. Islam preaches peace, tolerance and peaceful co-existence of individuals, tribes, ethnicities and nations without any bias, as all humans are equal before Allah.
We must put an end to the spiral of fear, hatred, and violence, spawned by ignorance that no longer only afflicts our country and other countries but has led to global crises. Despite the rich diversity in Islamic practice, there are five simple rituals prescribed in the Quran for all practicing Muslims to follow. These ‘Pillars of Islam’ represent the core and common denominator that unites all Muslims and distinguishes Islam from other religions.
Following the Pillars of Islam requires dedication of your mind, feelings, body, time, energies, and possessions. Meeting the obligations required by the Pillars reinforces an ongoing presence of Allah in a Muslim’s life, which reminds them of their membership in a single worldwide community of believers.
The community of all Muslims is called the Ummah. Everyone who says the Shahada with intention and who strives to fulfil the Five Pillars of Islam belongs to the Ummah. Since the time of Muhammed’s S.A.W, the Ummah has grown in numbers throughout the entire world. This growth and expansion has not changed any governing aspect, structure as well as spiritual, political and ethnic bonds of the religion.
This level of success can be described in Islamic major activities, as evident from the time line. In each period, there were challenges in different political or religious organisational structures but Islam maintained the unity.
Some of the unchanged unity islam championed throughout the world is the beautiful oral recitation of the Quran. This has remained a powerful source of inspiration to the present day Muslim. Recitation of the Quran in Arabic is spiritually reward able, and Quran reciters are held in esteem nobility all over the world. Recordings of the Quran are melodious for their aesthetic as well as their religious value. Walking in the streets or in a Muslim home, a visitor is bound to hear the Quran.