Friday, March 31, 2006

Islam and Non-Violence...........................................................

Andrius kalikausas ( member of the Minciu Sodas Laboratory and a former of the Minciu sodas Arabic Group - Which I'm a member in-), Thank you for your last comment on Rachil Corrie's story which I provided earlier in my blog.
You have also ignited an important topic of discussion which is the effectiveness of non-violence on nations revolutions and I specialy liked the links you provided about Islam being dissociated from violence and being - In its pure laws- a religion of peaceful and non-violent teachings.
The article of Wahidudden Khan in was superior.I read it till the end and I'd like to qoute the most important passages that serve the subject.
Wahidudden stated the world look to violence and its vicious effect here:

"Violent activities breed hatred in society, while non-violent activities elicit love. Violence is the way of destruction while non-violence is the way of construction. In an atmosphere of violence, it is enmity which flourishes, while in an atmosphere of non-violence, it is friendship which flourishes. The method of violence gives way to negative values while the method of non-violence is marked by positive values. The method of violence embroils people in problems, while the method of non-violence leads people to the exploiting of opportunities. In short, violence is death, non-violence is life."

He stated that Quran teachings implied non-violent attitude:

"Islam is a religion which teaches non-violence. According to the Qur'an, God does not love fasad, violence. What is meant here by fasad is clearly expressed in verse 205 of the second Surah. Basically, fasad is that action which results in disruption of the social system, causing huge losses in terms of lives and property."
"we are told in the Qur'an that peace is one of God's names (59:23). Those who seek to please God are assured by verse 5 of the sixteenth surah that they will be guided by Him to "the paths of peace." Paradise, which is the final destination of the society of God's choice, is referred to in the Qur'an as "the home of peace" (89:30), etc."
"Patience implies a peaceful response or reaction, whereas impatience implies a violent response. The word Sabr exactly expresses the notion of non-violence as it is understood in modern times. That patient action is non-violent action has been clearly expressed in the Qur'an. According to one tradition, the Prophet of Islam observed: God grants to rifq (gentleness) what he does not grant to unf (violence). (Sunan, Abu Dawood, 4/255)"

He mentioned the advantages of non-violent over violent activism as follows:

"1.According to the Qur'an there are two faculties in every human being which are mutually antipathetic. One is the ego, and the other is the conscience called respectively nafs ammara and nafs lawwama. (The Qur'an, 12:53; 75:26) What the violent method invariably does is to awaken the ego which necessarily results in a breakdown of social equilibrium. On the other hand, non-violent activism awakens the conscience. From this results an awakening in people of introspection and self-appraisal. And according to the Qur'an, the miraculous outcome of this is that "he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend." (41:34)
2.A great advantage of the non-violent method is that, by following it, no part of one's time is wasted. The opportunities available in any given situation may then be exploited to the fullest extent—as happened after the no-war pact of Hudaybiya. This peace treaty enabled the energies of the believers to be utilized in peaceful constructive activities instead of being dissipated in a futile armed encounter. One great harm done by violent activism is the breaking of social traditions in the launching of militant movements. Conversely, the great benefit that accrues from non-violent activism is that it can be initiated and prolonged with no damage to tradition."

The command of war in Islam was under certain circumistances as the Quran says:

"It is a fact that certain verses in the Qur'an convey the command to do battle (qital) (22:39). What the special circumstances are which justify the issuance of and compliance with this command we learn from our study of the Qur'an.
The first point to be noted is that aggression or the launching of an offensive by the believers is not totally forbidden. It is permissible, but with certain provisos. We are clearly commanded in the Qur'an: Fight for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not be aggressive. (2:190)
Only defensive war is permitted in Islam. Such a war is one in which aggression is committed by some other party so that the believers have to fight in self-defense. Initiating hostility is not permitted for Muslims. The Qur'an says: "They were the first to attack you." (9:13)
3. According to the Qur'an there was one form of war which was time- bound strictly in relation to its purpose. This was to put an end to fitna 'Fight against them until fitna is no more.' (2:193) In this verse fitna signifies that coercive system which had reached the extremes of religious persecution. In ancient times this coercive political system prevailed all over the world. This absolutism had closed all the doors of progress, both spiritual and material. At that time God commanded the believers to break this coercive system in order to usher in freedom, so that all doors of spiritual and material progress might be opened to man.
This mission was undertaken and brought to a successful conclusion at the internal level within Arabia during the life of the Prophet. Later, during the pious caliphate, the Sasanid and Byzantine empires were dismantled with special divine succor. Consequently, intellectual oppression at the international level was replaced by intellectual freedom."

For those who claim that Prophet Muhammed - Peace be Upon Him- was bloodthirsty spending his whole life in wars,please read this:

"The biographers of the Prophet of Islam have put the number of Ghazwa (battle) at more than 80. This gives the impression that the Prophet of Islam in his 23-year prophetic career waged about four battles in a year. But this impression is entirely baseless. The truth is that the Prophet of Islam in his entire prophetic life, engaged in war only on three occasions. All the other incidents described as Ghazwa were in actual fact examples of avoidance of war and not instances of involvement in battle.
For instance, in the books of seerah, the incident of Al-Ahzab is called a Ghazwa (battle), whereas the truth is that on this occasion the armed tribes of Arabia, twelve thousand in number, reached the borders of Medina with all intentions of waging war, but the Prophet and his companions dug a deep trench between them, thus successfully preventing a battle from taking place. The same is the case with all the other incidents called Ghazwa. The opponents of the Prophet repeatedly tried to get him embroiled in war, but on all such occasions, he managed to resort to some such strategy as averted the war, thus defusing the situation.
There were only three instances of Muslims really entering the field of battle—Badr, Uhud and Hunayn. But the events tell us that on all these occasions, war had become inevitable, so that the Prophet was compelled to encounter the aggressors in self-defense. Furthermore, these battles lasted only for half a day, each beginning from noon and ending with the setting of the sun. Thus it would be proper to say that the Prophet in his entire life span had actively engaged in war for a total of a day and a half. That is to say, the Prophet had observed the principle of non-violence throughout his 23-year prophetic career, except for one and a half days."
"The Islamic method, being based totally on the principle of non-violence, it is unlawful for believers to initiate hostilities. Except in cases where self-defense has become inevitable, the Qur'an in no circumstance gives permission for violence."
"The Prophet of Islam along with about two hundred of his companions left Mecca when the Meccan leaders had made it impossible for them to stay there. The Meccans had even decided to kill the Prophet. But the first speech the Prophet made on reaching Medina had no taste of bitterness, neither did it contain any mention of vengeance on or violence against the Quraysh."

He also made a very rational point here:
"Now the question arises as to whether an Islam which teaches non-violence can be of relevance in the present age, and assume a superior position once again in new situations.
The answer is entirely in the positive. The truth is that Islam's being a peaceful religion shows that it is an eternal religion. Had it been a religion of violence, it would not have been eternal. For in modern times, the way of violence has been totally rejected by contemporary thinking. Now only that system is worthy of consideration and acceptance the teachings of which are based on peace and non-violence.
Modern thinking, for example, has rejected communism. One of the major reasons was that communism had to be sustained by violence. And under no circumstances is violence acceptable to the modern mind. Nazism and Fascism too have been rejected on similar grounds. Modern man, therefore, disapproves of religious and non-religious extremism, because they lead man, willy nilly, to violence."

If we look deeply into Muslims recently we'll understand the reason behind the misery of their restless life:

"It is an incontrovertible fact that Muslims have not been able to join the mainstream in modern times. At all places and in every department they are leading their lives as if driven into a corner. This is undoubtedly an extremely critical problem, for it has relegated Muslims to second class positions all over the world.
To me, the greatest reason for this is the violent attitude of the Muslims. Today's Muslims are easily provoked and become violent at anything which is against their way of thinking, or even not to their liking. It is true that not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all Muslims would be regarded involved in this matter. This is because that section, of Muslims—in fact, the majority—who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic shariah itself if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible."
"One great problem for Muslims is that peace does not necessarily guarantee them justice. This has caused Muslims to become violent and to neglect opportunities for dawah. In modern times Muslims want a peace which brings them justice. But according to the law of nature, this kind of peace can never be achieved, that is why Muslims the world over are in a state of physical and mental unrest. Distressed in their minds, they have become violent in their thinking and in their actions."

Obviously,the solution for Muslims to return to their glorious days relies in peaceful and non-violent interaction with others:
"The only way to alleviate the tragic plight of Muslims is to bring them back to non-violent Islam, by helping to understand that their violent version of Islam is not the true one."
"Peaceful interaction will give Muslims the kind of intellectual stimulation and variety of experience which they must have if they are to tread the path of progress."
"Interaction will also facilitate the task of dawah on a large scale. The natural result of this vast interaction of Muslims and non-Muslims will be that everywhere dialogue on Islam will be started, formally as well as informally. In modern times, because of the extremist and violent attitude of Muslims, serious dialogue between Islam and non-Islam has almost come to an end. Now when peaceful interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims takes place in a normal atmosphere, serious dialogue will ensue on its own. The beginning of serious dialogue between Islam and non-Islam is, without doubt, a very great success from the point of view of dawah."
"In modern times if Muslims abandon the path of violence and fully adopt the path of non-violence, this will be for Muslims like reviving the sunnah of Hudaybiya. And they will start receiving those great benefits which Islam and Muslims had gained after the event of Hudaybiya in the first phase."

In the end he provides a true story that justifies the subject:
"In October 1997, I met a 36-year old European, Leon Zippo Hayes, who was born in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. After having studied Islam, he has changed his religion. His Islamic name is Khalilur Rahman. Passing through Muslim countries he is going to perform Hajj by land.
During the conversation he said that in modern times Muslims are engaged in bloody war at many places, at some places with others and at other places among themselves. This had led him (like many others) to conclude that perhaps Islam was a religion of violence. Later, he studied the Qur'an with the help of translations, and when he reached this verse in the Qur'an: 'Whoever killed a human being should be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind (5:32),' he said that he was so moved that he could not believe that it was in the Qur'an.This incident is broadly indicative of the thinking of non-Muslims on Islam. On seeing the actions of Muslims, people today find it hard to believe that Islam may be a religion of peace. But if Muslims stop engaging in violent activities and give people the opportunity to appreciate Islam in its original form, then certainly a great number of people would realise as they never had before that Islam was a peaceful religion and they would rush to it, saying that it was exactly the religion which their souls had been seeking all along."

For those who wants to see thefull article visit this link;