Islam: A Source of Peace
"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou incline towards peace."
-- Qur'an; 8:61
The word Islam derives from two Arabic words that point directly to the central tenets of the faith: first, the word "taslim," which means submission; and then the word "salam" which means peace. At the very core of Islam is submission to God and the call to peace.
The prophet Muhammad ordered his fellow Muslims to salute all people - fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike - with peace. The traditional salutation in Islam is: "Al Salamu Alaikum" - "Peace on You."
Islam holds that the key to peace is utter submission to Allah's will. No one can find inner peace, or peace in the world, without a voluntary surrender to the Almighty's will.
"Wherewith Allah guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by his will, unto the light, guideth them to a path that is straight."
-- The Qur'an, Al-Ma'idah, 5:16
While the proper relationship of humankind to the Creator is one of absolute submission, the proper relationship between human beings themselves derives from the second root of the word Islam - peace. Islam teaches the need for tolerance and mercy. In the words of the prophet Muhammad, "the Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands other Muslims are safe." The Prophet also urged tolerance: "God is merciful towards the tolerant."
Islam demands that all possible attempts be made toward international peace. Even in the midst of war, Muslims should be ready for peace if there is any sign the other side is prepared to stop fighting. According to the Qur'an, the ultimate goal, even of war, is peace.
"Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost; for Allah is with you, and will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds."
--The Qur'an, Muhammad, 47:35?
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