Does Islam encourage extremism and violence?

31 Aug

1-Islam is a faith of mercy and tolerance that advocates justice and peace. Islam also preserves and safeguards man’s freedom, honour, and dignity. These are not slogans but are the principles upon which Islam is founded. God Almighty sent His Prophet Muhammad: "As a Mercy for all creatures". [21/107] The Prophet Muhammad also said: "I have been sent to fulfil the perfection of high moral qualities". Islam grants man the freedom of choice, even in matters of choosing to believe in God or refusing to do so: "Let him who will, believe, and let him who will reject (it)". [18/29]. The invitation to embrace Islam is based upon convincing people by preaching graciously to them and by amicable discussions and not by any form of force or compulsion. The Faith of Islam commands Muslims to be just and liberal and prohibits injustice, tyranny, corruption, and evil deeds, and it advocates repelling evil with goodness: "Repel (Evil) with what is better". [41/34]. When the Prophet Muhammad triumphed over the people of Mecca, he pardoned them, in spite of their previous injustice and persecution of him and his companions, saying: "You are all absolutely free".
2. There is a definite compatibility between the faith of Islam and peace. In Arabic the two words "Islam" and "salaam", the latter being the Arabic word for peace, are derived from the same root. God Almighty describes himself in the Qur’an as "peace". The Muslim greeting is also a greeting of peace, which is a continual reminder that peace is one of Islam’s principal aims that should always be kept in mind. Every Muslim concludes his prayers five times a day with the greetings of peace to half of the world on his right and then repeats it to the other half of the world on his left.
3. It is obvious from the aforementioned facts that Islam is a peace-loving faith, and accordingly there is no possibility of its advocating violence, fanaticism, bigotry, terrorism or any form of assault on people and their property. Islamic rulings and principles aim at safeguarding the human rights, which include man’s right to life, family, beliefs, thought, and property. The faith of Islam prohibits any form of assault on others, so much so that Islam declares that attacking one individual of the human race is considered an attack on all mankind, and this is expressed in the following Qur’anic verse: "If anyone slew a person- unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land -it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people". [5/34] Thus every individual represents humanity, and Islam’s concern for the safeguarding and preservation of humanity is manifested in every human being’s respect for other human beings by respecting their freedom, their dignity and all their human rights. One of the Sayings of the Prophet states that every Muslim is forbidden to shed the blood, steal the wealth, or disgrace the honour of any Muslim. Another Saying of the Prophet states that whoever terrorizes a believer in God will not be delivered from the Terror of the Day of Judgement. The faith of Islam also calls for peaceful coexistence among nations and commands Muslims to treat Non-Muslims justly and fairly as is stated in the following Qur’anic verse: "God forbids you not in regard to those who do not fight you for (your) Faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them, for God loves those who are just". [60/8].
4. The responsibility of preserving the safety of the members of any community must be shared by everyone in the community. Shouldering this responsibility together is the only way to ensure security and stability in face of the danger of corruption and depravity. Another of the Sayings of the Prophet compares us all to a group of people who drew lots to see where they would be seated aboard a ship. The result was that some of them stayed on deck while others went down inside the ship. When the people inside the ship wanted water to drink, they went up to the people on deck and told them that they could get water to drink by making a hole in the bottom of the ship, which was their own part of the ship. If the people on deck allowed them to do that, they would all perish, but if they prevent them, they would all be delivered from drowning.

End of Islam And war


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