Peace And Love Are The Essence Of Islam
The Qur'an is the true Book revealed to people as a guide to the true path and in this Book, Allah commands man to adopt moral perfection in the light of Islamic tenets. This morality is based upon concepts such as love, compassion, understanding and mercy. The word "Islam" is derived from the word meaning "peace" in Arabic. Islam is a religion revealed to mankind with the intention of presenting a peaceful life through which the infinite compassion and mercy of Allah manifest on earth. Allah calls all people to Islamic morals through which compassion, mercy, peace and love can be experienced all over the world. Allah addresses believers as follows:
O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of satan. He is an outright enemy to you. (Surat al-Baqara, 208)
As the verse above suggests, Islam is a religion purely based on love and compassion. The Qur’an emphasizes a love that stems from faith and has a profound effect on the soul. Altruism, fortitude, generosity, care and protection all fall within the scope of the concept of love revealed in the Qur’an. This being the case, Islam intrinsically calls for peace and fosters a life in absolute sincerity and honesty before Allah. Therefore it is vitally important for an individual to live by the religion of Islam to be a Muslim with his own will and aspiration and observe Allah’s commands and advise from heart and soul through personal conscientious contentment.
This tenet is the basis of Islam which is described by the verse:
There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned. (Surat al-Baqara: 256)
As stated in the verse, no-one can be compelled to live by Islamic morals. Conveying the existence of Allah and the morals of the Qur'an to other people is a duty that believers are charged with. Muslims who desire to perform their duty spread the message of religion in order to guide other people. They instruct goodness and rule out evil as to Allah’s provision to “command what is good and forbid what is wrong” and call people to the path of Allah with words of purity. Meanwhile they never force them, for they know that it is only Allah Who guides people to the right way. This is related in the following verse:
You cannot guide those you would like to but Allah guides those He wills. He has best knowledge of the guided. (Surat al-Qasas, 56)
The Qur'an also provides an environment where people can fully enjoy freedom of thought and freedom of religion and allows people to live by the faith and values they believe in. According to Islam, everyone has the right to live freely by his beliefs, whatever they may be. Anyone who wants to found a church, a synagogue or a mosque must be free to do so. In this sense, freedom of religion, or freedom of belief, is one of the basic tenets of Islam. There is always freedom of religion wherever the moral values of the Qur’an prevail.
Indeed, freedom of thought, belief and expression are at the heart of Qur’anic moral values. Therefore, true freedom of belief can prevail only when the moral values of the Qur’an are followed. Islam is a religion that offers freedom of thought, worship and expression, protects people’s all kinds of rights and brings with it true freedom.
That is why Muslims also treat Jews and Christians, described in the Qur’an as “the People of the Book,” with great justice, love and compassion. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. Allah loves those who are just.” (Surat al-Mumtahana, 8)
Muslims who share the same basic values believe in the need to act together with Christians and Jews. They therefore strive to eliminate prejudices stemming from provocations by unbelievers and fanatics. Jews, Christians and Muslims strive together to spread moral virtues across the world. They base themselves on the principles of love, respect, toleration, understanding, harmony and collaboration with the People of the Book.
Allah also provides Muslims the rationale of this approach in the Qur'an. Allah explicitly states that the existence of people from different faiths and dissenting opinions is something that we have to acknowledge and welcome heartily, for this is how He created and predestined humankind in this world:
We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had Allah willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to Allah and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 48)
In acknowledgment of this fact, Muslims have an inner love and compassion for people of all faiths, races and nations, for they consider them as the manifestations of Allah in this world and treat them with an heartfelt respect and love. This is the very basis of communities administered by Islamic morality.
While talking about a peaceful society, “security” is a vital concept to focus on. Unless security prevails, peace can never be attained. In this sense, Islam again brings about the preconditions for peace, and the only way to ensure security is "entering into Islam", that is, as stated above, living by the values of the Qur'an. This fact is related in the verse Surat al-Baqara, 208:
O You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of satan. He is an outright enemy to you.
The values of the Qur'an hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent and "preventing the dissemination of mischief". Mischief comprises all forms of anarchy and terror that remove security, comfort and peace. As Allah says in a verse, "Allah does not love corruption". (Surat al-Baqara, 205)
The concept of love as revealed in the Qur'an is much different from what people generally understand as love. The love taught in the Qur'an is the true love based on love of Allah and on His approval. It is never weakened despite being tested on many times and can withstand time, difficulties, deficiencies and errors.
There is one aspect of love that people are unaware of: It is Allah Who bestows love on hearts. One can only attain true and lasting love by striving to earn the approval of Allah, Who inspires love in people’s hearts. Only people who love Allah above all else and who make no concessions in exhibiting the moral character that He desires love one another with genuine respect and love.
“Lack of Trust Damages Love”
“People not loving one another is one of the worst problems of our day. Without trust, people regard one another as threats. They regard one another as dangerous. For example, they can easily attack one another on the streets. Their anger can explode at any moment. But love happens when there is trust. Love happens when people are valued and when there is compassion and when there is forgiveness. If everything about someone makes you angry, if you look for defects in everything, then you cannot love anyone. One must seek beauty in everything and see the best in everything. Then we can love very much. We must look for the best in everything.”
(Mr. Adnan Oktar - November 29th, 2012, A9 TV)
Quotations from Prophet Mohammad (saas) Recommending Love
Mikdam Ibnu Mâdikerib (radıyallâhu anh) relates
"Rasulullah (saas) said: "If one of you loves his brother’s moral virtue (for Allah), let him know it"( Qutub al-Sitta [The Six Books], Vol. 10, p. 135; Abû Dawud, Edeb 122, (5124); Tirmidhi Zühd 54, (2393) )
Atâ el-Horasân relates: "Rasulullah (saas) said: "Shake hands so the hatred in your hearts departs, and give one another gifts so that love for one another is born and enmity between you ends." (Muwatta, Husnü al-Hulk 16, (2, 908))
"Give one another gifts and love one another. Give gifts of food to one another. This will amplify your own sustenance." (Qutub al-Sitta [The Six Books], Vol. 16, p. 239)
"The dearest of you in the sight of Allah is the one who build friendship with Him. The least dear to Allah among you is he who falls out with his friends." (Hujjat al-Islam, al-Ghazzali, Vol. 2, p. 365)
"Two brothers (two friends) are like two hands, one washes the other." (Hujjat al-Islam, al-Ghazzali, Vol. 2, p. 394)
"Do not turn your backs on one another. Do not envy one another. Do not cease being one another’s friends. Be brothers, O servants of Allah." (Hujjat al-Islam, al-Ghazzali, Vol. 2, p. 407)
"Love Allah beyond the blessings that He bestows on you, and love me because Allah loves me." (Hujjat al-Islam, al-Ghazzali, Vol. 4, p.594)
"Allah raises those who are humble for Him. Allah brings down the proud. Allah loves those who remember Him much." (Hujjat al-Islam, al-Ghazzali, Vol. 4, p.655)