The root word of Islam is “aslama”, which means to Submit. From this root word, we can derive the meaning of Islam as submission to the will of Allah Almighty. Submission to the will of God means to obey every command of Allah Almighty, given in the Al Quran and Hadith. Islam is not only a religion it is a complete code of life. Islam guides us in every field and phase of life. It gives instructions for every nook and corner of a human`s life. So, to be a true Muslim, one has to submit one`s will before Allah`s will. Some people usually use to say that the word Islam means peace. But factually, it is not right. According to Islamic scholars, the word Islam doesn`t mean peace or something like that. In Sahih Al Bukhari translated by Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Khan the glossary given in volume 9 is as follows:
“Islam: Its meaning encompasses the concepts of peace, greetings, salutation, surrender, obedience, loyalty, allegiance, and commitment. Means Submission to the will of Allah, and refers commonly to an individual`s surrender and commitment to God the creator through adherence to the religion by the same name.”
Tasmia, the greatest manifestation of peace in Islam
The Holy Scripture of the Quran starts with Tasmia (Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem). Every chapter of Quran e Kareem starts with Tasmia. In this verse, two attributes of Allah Almighty are mentioned. There are almost 99 attributes of Allah SWT, which include Al Jabbar and Al Qahhar, which means the Compeller and the Dominant. But Allah Almighty likes to introduce Himself again and again with his attributes of Al Rahman and Al Raheem, which means the most gracious and the Merciful. It is advised to all Muslims to recite Tasmia, before anticipating every good deed. This is the greatest manifestation of the fact that Islam is the religion of peace.
Prophet Muhammad SAW, Mercy for the whole Universe
Prophet Muhammad SAW is the last prophet of Allah. He is the one who was bestowed upon by prophethood. Allah Almighty introduced Prophet Muhammad SAW in Quran e Kareem as,
“And have not sent thee, except as a mercy for the worlds” Sura Al Ambia.
This verse shows that the mercy and compassion of the prophet of Islam were not confined to Muslims only. It is not only confined to the people of the whole world, but it covers all the world. Prophet Muhammad SAW was compassionate and merciful. He SAW was the Prophet of mercy. He was merciful to the downtroddens of Arab i.e: Bondsmen and women. Islam brought a message of peace to both classes of society. Once a Bedouin was sitting in front of Prophet Muhammad SAW, Suddenly Hazrat Imam Hussain AS, who was Prophet`s grandson came there. He peace be upon Him embraced him and kissed him many times. The Bedouin said I have ten children and I never kissed any one of them. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him replied, If Allah has snatched mercy from your heart, what I can do in this regard? He SWA was a torch bearer of peace and mercy. So is the message of Islam, which is peace and mercy.
Ethics of war
Peace is a permanent requirement of Islam, while war is always an option. But if war has to opt-in any case, certain rules have to be followed even during the harsh conditions of war.
Warriors can only kill a person, who is armed and is busy fighting with Muslims.
Anyone with surrendered arms and not fighting with Muslims, should not be attacked at any cost.
Women, children, and elderly people should not be harmed at any cost.
No green tree can be cut and no standing crop can be demolished. similarly, no water reservoir can be closed.
No worship place of the Non Muslims can be demolished at any cost.
All these conditions imply how much Islam emphasizes peace that even during the crucial circumstances of war, Islam teaches many ethical practices obligatory for Mujahideen to follow. All these values are there to ensure peace and to prevail in goodwill. It shows that Islam is a religion of peace.
Ethical Goals of Islam are Associated with Peace
Islam cannot help but be a peaceful religion. The basic goals of Islam are to raise spirituality among its followers and the intellectual development of Muslims. To build a peaceful and noble character is another ethical goal that Islam as a religion has set. Islam aims at reforming society with its teachings. Social reform means a complete transformation of the people of society into noble and peaceful citizens. Educating the people of a Muslim society is another important goal set by Islam. Last but not least is the missionary purpose and goal of spreading Islam to every corner of the world, which is the biggest goal set by Islam, for its followers. All these goals require peace and harmony in society. A disturbed and violent society cannot take any step in any of these fields. Society cannot educate its people, nor transform if it is not a peaceful society. Similarly, we cannot spread the message of Islam if there is violence in society. Muslims can only achieve the goals set by their religion, without establishing peace and prosperity.
Shortly, we can say that Islam is the religion of peace in the true sense of the word. Every teaching and every ethical goal set by Islam is based on peace. If anyone spreads violence in the name of Islam, it is his misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the true message of Islam, which is only peace.