Nonviolence and Islam

A husband-wife relationship is based on mutual trust and responsibility. The first duty of the husband is to pay mahr to his wife and to treat his wife well by providing maintenance. Allah has commanded the husband, “to live honestly with them (wives)”. If the relationship between husband and wife deteriorates to such an extent that they see no possibility of living together in harmony, the hope of reform and change is lost, the very purpose of marriage is defeated, then future conflicts and bitterness between the two are inevitable. It is better to settle the relationship between the two through divorce before resentment turns into violent action. This non-violent settlement of the marriage of husband and wife is also permissible in Islam.

Non violence ought to be understood not as a doctrine or a product of any particular person, but as a simple guidance given by Allah, more than 14 hundred years ago, for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He himself practiced it in his personal, family, social, political, national and international life and urged every person to follow it according to the words of Allah. Below we will discuss it one by one.

Non-violence in personal life In the early stages of Islam, the Prophet was fed up with the persecution of the people of Mecca. Even after going to Taif, he did not get relief. Wherever he went, people mocked and abused him. Not only this, the residents of Taif pelted stones on his body, leaving him unconscious. When the Prophet (PBUH) woke up, he remembered his prayer. His only companion was Zayd RA. His foot was bloody and swollen and was pulled out from inside the shoe with great difficulty. He prayed and at the end of the prayer, prayed to Allah: “Oh God! O my Lord, I call upon Thee. Please do not punish the unbelievers today for the grave crime they have committed without realizing it. forgive them The unbelievers are not to blame for not obeying your word today; He is my weakness – my inability; I pray for your help for this plight. O Rahmanur Rahim, You alone are the force of strength, You are the speed of progress, there is no help, no refuge except You. My Lord, will this effort fail? Won’t you make me win? Will you hand me over to an enemy who will forever turn his back on you? If you wish, so be it. All I want is your satisfaction. If you are satisfied, I do not fear any insult, any grief, any danger, any sorrow. You are my only hope.” In this moment of confusion, this revelation was revealed from Allah: “So, (O Prophet), persevere with gracious perseverance. Verily they think that the chastisement is far off, while We think that it is near at hand.” (70:5-7) Patience, forbearance and non-violence have been shown which are rare in history – by the beloved Prophet of Allah. Despite being physically tortured like this, he did not curse the oppressors in the court of God but blamed his own limitations and ‘inability’ and the Almighty God advised him to be patient instead of admonishing him for revenge. Nonviolence in family life Family is the primary foundation of social life. Family is built up with the spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents etc. Adam AS and Hawwa AS started the first human family. A husband-wife relationship is based on mutual trust and responsibility. The first duty of the husband is to pay mahr to his wife and to treat his wife well by providing maintenance. Allah has commanded the husband, “to live honestly with them (wives)”. If the relationship between husband and wife deteriorates to such an extent that they see no possibility of living together in harmony, the hope of reform and change is lost, the very purpose of marriage is defeated, then future conflicts and bitterness between the two are inevitable. It is better to settle the relationship between the two through divorce before resentment turns into violent action. This non-violent settlement of the marriage of husband and wife is also permissible in Islam. Relationship between children and parents Regarding the relationship between children and parents, the Qur’an says, “We have enjoined man to be kind to his parents. In pain did his mother bear him and in pain did she give birth to him. The carrying of the child to his weaning is a period of thirty months. And when he is grown to full maturity and reaches the age of forty, he prays: My Lord, dispose me that I may give thanks for the bounty that You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and dispose me that I may do righteous deeds that would please You, and also make my descendants righteous. I repent to You, and I am one of those who surrender themselves to You.” (46:15) Children means both son and daughter. But in the pre-Islamic period and even in the present day, some countries of the world are prone to violence against girl children. Islam does not support such degrading and violent treatment of girl children, rather it demands equal treatment of children – be it sons or daughters – from parents, and the upbringing of female children is considered a blessed and dignified act for parents. Regarding the duty of children to their parents, the Qur’an says: “We have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents, but if they exert pressure on you to associate with Me in My Divinity any that you do not know (to be My associate), do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I shall let you know all that you have done.” (29:8) Non-violence in social life Islam has ordered to maintain harmony in the Muslim society by avoiding violence and hatred towards each other. Abdullah Ibn Omar RA narrated, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, “Muslim is brother of Muslim. He will not oppress him and hand him over to the oppressor. He will fulfill the lack of his brother, Allah Ta’ala will fulfill his lack. Whoever removes any danger from a Muslim, Allah Ta’ala will remove any of his dangers on the Day of Resurrection. And whoever hides the fault of a Muslim, Allah Ta’ala will hide his fault on the Day of Resurrection.” In this way every Muslim is instructed to co-exist by establishing and maintaining cordial relations with other Muslims. Urging to maintain harmonious relations with all living in a peaceful coexistence with all living in society, Al-Qur’an says, “Most of their secret conferrings are devoid of good, unless one secretly enjoins in charity, good deeds, and setting the affairs of men right. We shall grant whoever does that seeking to please Allah a great reward.” (4:114) In this verse, three actions are given importance as good: First of all, charity. Second is good deeds and third is mutual non-violence. All three are essential for peaceful coexistence in society. Relations with neighbours In relations with neighbours, Islam urges to maintain good relations by dealing with the neighbor’s minor mistakes with forgiveness. Allah says, “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him; And do good to parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, near-neighbors, distant neighbors, companions, wayfarers and slaves who belong to you. Surely Allah does not like the arrogant.” (4:36) According to a hadith, neighbours are divided into three categories according to their ‘haq’ or rights: (a). A rightful neighbor – who is not a relative, nor a Muslim; (b). Two privileged neighbors – who are not relatives, but Muslims; (c). Neighbors with three rights – those who are relatives and Muslims. Allah has enjoined non-violence, courtesy and good behavior towards neighbors of all kinds and all levels. The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Hereafter, should not cause trouble to his neighbor.” (Mishkat) Confusion can be observed in particular regarding the provision of qisas or revenge in Islam. As the Qur’an says, “Fight against those who fight you in the way of God; But don’t cross the line. Surely Allah does not love transgressors.” (2:190) It is evident from the above verse that Allah does not command anyone to attack first, but when attacked, commands him to respond with a restrained counterattack. Relations with neighbours In relations with neighbours, Islam urges to maintain good relations by dealing with the neighbor’s minor mistakes with forgiveness. Allah says, “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him; And do good to parents, relatives, orphans, the needy, near-neighbors, distant neighbors, companions, wayfarers and slaves who belong to you. Surely Allah does not like the arrogant.” (4:36) According to a hadith, neighbours are divided into three categories according to their ‘haq’ or rights: (a). A rightful neighbor – who is not a relative, nor a Muslim; (b). Two privileged neighbors – who are not relatives, but Muslims; (c). Neighbors with three rights – those who are relatives and Muslims. Allah has enjoined non-violence, courtesy and good behavior towards neighbors of all kinds and all levels. The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Hereafter, should not cause trouble to his neighbor.” (Mishkat) Confusion can be observed in particular regarding the provision of qisas or revenge in Islam. As the Qur’an says, “Fight against those who fight you in the way of God; But don’t cross the line. Surely Allah does not love transgressors.” (2:190) It is evident from the above verse that Allah does not command anyone to attack first, but when attacked, commands him to respond with a restrained counterattack. Non-violence in national, political and international life According to Islamic Shariah in national and international life, there is no opportunity to discriminate between people. In fact, the human race is a single entity like a single body. Just as every part of the body performs a different importance and duty to keep the whole body functioning as a single and whole body and no part is unnecessary or unimportant, similarly, every citizen living in a society and state is of equal importance and one person is not seen as superior to the other. The same is true in the international arena. In national and international life, one may be different from another in work, profession, rank, responsibility, but as human beings, all are equal and each of their actions has its own importance and significance, and every state has equal importance. People are brothers to each other. That is why no one can look down, hate or belittle anyone, nor can they harbor an attitude of enmity towards one another. The insistence of Islam is that people should give proper and real dignity to people. He is a real man who can measure his self-esteem and self-esteem by the same standard and accept others as his own. When the people of the world wake up to this sense of brotherhood in Islam, then violence and hatred will end in the world and democracy and lasting peace will be established in the country – this is the basic principle of non-violence. This principle of non-violence is mistakenly known as Gandhism in the contemporary world. It is a sad but true fact that the contribution of the Prophet of God, the originator, maintainer and preacher of this trend and the words of Al-Quran and Sunnah are forgotten by contemporary world leaders. Minority rights in an Islamic state Islam also guarantees the socio-political rights of people of different religions living in an Islamic state. It is the obligatory duty of every Muslim and Islamic state to ensure their dignity and security of life and property by maintaining good behavior and goodwill towards them and ensuring that they too can enjoy equal civil rights. About them the Prophet (saw) said, “Remember whoever tortures a Muahid (contracted non-Muslim) citizen, causes him pain, defames him or takes away his property by force, I will take his side against him on the Day of Resurrection.” No restrictions can be imposed on the personal freedom of non-Muslims in an Islamic state; They are free to perform rituals in their respective religions. They cannot be forcibly converted. Conclusion Almost 13 hundred years after the advent of Islam, Gandhi wanted to follow this principle in India’s freedom movement, which was not new and was not his original invention. Today’s situation in the country has become so endlessly chaotic and anarchic that we think it reminds us of the Arabs of the pre-Islam era anarchy prevailed. We find proof that the idea of establishing peace in today’s violence-disturbed world has lost its universality. From the second half of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century, the names of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah must be mentioned when discussing the history of the freedom movement of the subcontinent of India. The two independent countries of South Asia India recognized Gandhi as the father of the nation and Pakistan recognized Jinnah as the father of the nation. In India’s independence movement, both of them adopted the policy of non-violent compromise against the British and gained the independence of their respective countries. Gandhi said, “the lateral truth ….to say ….. I was face to face with God, Ahimsa and truth. When I come to examine my title to this realization, I find nothing but my love for the people. And this in turn is nothing but an expression of my unshakable faith in Ahimsa”; He himself did not claim to be the main proponent of this principle. He had a direct and admirable connection with Islam and other religions, and at his prayer meetings, passages from the Bible and the Quran were read along with Hindu scriptures as per his instructions. Hence there is no way to imagine that Gandhi was not inspired by Islamic ideologies. Jinnah chose ‘unity, faith and order’ as the principle of nation building, because Jinnah knew that non-violence lay within his ‘faith’. So he did not think it necessary to claim this policy as his own or to mention it separately. Those who do not have ‘faith’ or do not know or understand Islam well or do not show interest or try to know and understand, whether they are Indians or foreigners, continue the ‘policy of non-violence’ as Gandhianism. As Nelson Mandela said, “The Gandhian philosophy of peace, tolerance and non-violence began in South Africa as a powerful instrument of social change.” Nelson Mandela is also identified as a Gandhian. Did Nelson Mandela not know the role of Islam in establishing peace and building society? He knew well and he also knew of the Quran. But the misfortune of Islam is that no one seriously examines what and why Islam is, or a non-Muslim continues to adopt the Islamic philosophy of a particular person as his own doctrine. And if that person is a Muslim, he is branded as a ‘fundamentalist’ or a follower of medieval ideas in the country and abroad and condemned in particular areas. Isn’t it strange and wonderful? The same has happened with the doctrine of peace, tolerance and the ‘principle of non-violence’. This is a kind of ideological robbery. References – An Autobiography or The Story of my Experiments with Truth, MK Gandhi Nelson Mandela in His Own Words: From Freedom to the Future, Abacus History of the Arabs, Philip K Hitti

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