LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPER SAYS: ISLAM A RELIGION OF PEACE

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.

3 replies

  1. Dear Koya
    Your assertion that; “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” is not supported by history.

    The word Ummah comes from the Arabic amma which means “to go, betake, repair, go to see,” Imama “to lead the way, lead by one’s example (esp. in prayer),” umuma “to be or become a mother, to nationalize, etc.” Also derived from this root is Umm which means “mother, source, origin, basis, foundation, original, original version (of a book), the gist, essence of…”
    Thus the word Ummah means “nation, people, generation, community.”
    The Qur’an uses this word in a number of ways, but it is primarily used to describe groups of people from past and future. In the case of the past, Allah says in the Qur’an:
    To every ummah (was sent) a Messenger: when their Messenger comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged. (10:47)
    Mankind was but one ummah, but differed (later). Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, their differences would have been settled between them. (10:19)
    Mankind was one single ummah. And Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; (2:213)
    In Prophet’s time, in Medina, there were Jews, Christians and Pagans. They were included in the Ummah and were free to come to the Prophet to seek advice, help and protection.

    • Dear Mr. Quraishy: thanks for raising this very important point. Agreed on this one. Arabic is such a rich language that multiple meanings are possible. One of the most important factors where we as Ahmadi Muslims defend the fact that Islam is secular and pluralistic in its outlook is by using Metha-qe-Madinah as the first secular document in the nation state of Madinah where the word ummah is used by the Prophet to describe all peoples of Madinah as belonging to one nation within that state. I would like to be further enlightened by Koya sahib and our fellow editors on this.

  2. Dear gentlemen:

    Walalikum Assalam!

    In light of the fact this is a direct qoute from The Leadership News, the views expressed are those by the writer.

    I do not have strong disagreement with the two views you expressed.

    However, I may add that the term UMMAH is perhaps more relevant to the time or since the arrival of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and the blessings of Allah be on him)in terms of his followers.

    Other prophets may have had that their UMMAH and, in my limited knowledge, it seems that when we Muslims say UMMAH we invariably tend to refer to the Muslims predating to the time of Holy Prophet.

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