The Religion of Peace

Islam, pacifism and morals

The pacification of Islam has been passively promoted for a very long time in order to appeal to the modern notion of human rights. The Europeans and Americans hide behind the façade of human dignity and morals, taking a moral high ground and criticising Muslims despite indulging in these same violations push Muslims into the hard spot. Although the hypocrisy is quite obvious, the method is nevertheless, very creative.

We as Muslims, are born in societies where Islamic history is not taught in any institutional levels and even in madrassas, Islamic history is a very passive subject that addresses nothing beyond the life of the prophet and the virtue of the companions. Although there is an exception in Pakistani schools, the teachings are still about bare basics of the seerah and the companion’s virtues.

Even renowned Muslim preachers like Zakir Naik blindly parrots this erroneous mantra that indirectly pacifies the Muslims. Nothing has harmed Muslims more than the words “Islam is a religion of peace.” Islam does provide justice to those that need it but it does not shun away from ferocity in matters of truth and justice.

It is very well understood by the Muslims of the world that Islam is a collective identity rather than individual recognition. It is a guideline for the community and not just the individual. In fact, there are entire sciences dedicated to government, judiciary and economics and they are more elaborate than individual practices.

Islam and Empires

Empires and states have invaded, looted, pillaged and run amok in foreign lands and conquered across continents and oceans and earnt praises and admiration for their immense strength and zeal for conquests. Islam on the other hand is chastised for doing what states do even today without repercussions. Muslims on the other hand fail to get any sort of recognition for its ethics during war.

In fact, any attempts to show pride in Islamic history is met with tantalisation with a concocted understanding of history filled with accusations of forced conversions, rapes, forced assimilations as well as heavy and discriminatory taxations. There are heavy exaggerations of certain events as well as very fictional numbering of victims.

“Muslims conquered most of the known world at the time and spread Islam by the sword” says the unlearned. They know not that the majority of the empire didn’t adopt Islam even after centuries later. Egypt was barely Muslim majority by the time of Salahuddin. The media is always agenda driven and as a result, even the ones defending their country are shunned as terrorists whilst murderers and looters are paraded as war heroes and veterans.

Islamic history, awareness and pacifism

hindu nationalist terrorists

Nationalist and geography centric history is the status quo in educational institutions. This further enables state sanctioned brainwashing with agenda based historical curriculums that seek to imbue jingoism and irrational pride in the nation and government regardless of right or wrong. The individualisation of faith has tried to strip religion off of its communal purposes which regulate the state, society and culture.

As a result, Muslims lack adequate and proper knowledge regarding Islamic history. We grow up as pacifists unaware of what it took for Islam to reach where it is today. The myth of “defensive wars” is now uttered by these naïve Muslims that want to fit in to the current status quo at the unconscious expense of the faith. Islam is already a religion of moderation. Any foreign entity that tries to redraw a line between ‘moderate’ and ‘fundamentalist’ islam, is in fact trying to make Islam extremely lenient and take advantage of the weakness.

The Westerner, being more educated about their own history with passive understanding of our own, trained by historical forums and materials given by orientalists and evangelicals, is very sufficiently equipped to affront Muslims that proudly proclaim Islam as a religion of peace. Their Islam acquired from social media and western ulama, especially in the aftermath 9/11, was a whitewashed edition of Islam trying to fit in with the western demand of what they wanted their Islam to be.

Muslim rules of war

And hence, both the left and the right have called upon Muslims to abandon Islamic ethics and culture but in different ways. The right wants Muslims to either leave or “integrate” (intending to disconnect the Muslim from their ethnic and religious identity) whilst the left disavows actions they disagree with as “unislamic”, “Wahhabism” and an out of touch application of the scriptures. Whereas leftist Muslims tend to either take the Quranist or “moderate” route in order to reinterpret the fundamental essence of the scripture, others may opt for other methods such as “being left with no choice”.

What Islam really is

Old Muslim man at peace from truth and justice

Islam is not a religion of peace but rather, it is a religion of truth and justice. It stands for the truth of monotheism and to provide justice to the weak, poor, misfortunate and the oppressed. It is a belief that seeks to eradicate superstition and fear and replace it with faith and courage. Islam is the ultimate form of stoicism which seeks to pull humanity off of its materialist inclinations. Instead of acquiring wealth for self indulgence, it teaches to acquire wealth to distribute it to the poor and enjoy the fruits of one’s genius and labour.

It is one where the ruler and the ruled pray side by side and submit to one lord. Where one’s obligation is complementary to others in the community but is still inevitably a fulfilment of obligation to God. Islam seeks to remove the sense of accountability for actions of good in societies where the bad is the status quo. It does not respect cruelty or barbarity in the name of tradition.

Whilst Islam came to unite humanity, others seek to divide and destroy it. And pacifying of Muslims is one among the many causes that may lead to such disastrous enmity and hatred upon trivial characteristics just as skin. Inevitably, Islam nevertheless is still as communal as it is individual. There is not just guideline for the meek and amiable citizen and subject, but also the esteemed leaders tasked with guiding the nations.

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