World peace is a concept which is always open for discussion, lingers in our minds, and is often talked about in politics. As the month of August was International World Peace month, many people likely discussed it this summer. However, what change will any of this discussion bring?
In the religion of Islam, world peace is a concept taught in our holy book, The Quran, and thus many Muslims strive to live a life towards it. Despite this peaceful teaching, many extremist groups have used the name of Islam to spread bloodshed and hate. This is why the western world connects Islam to hatred. By no means are the acts of these groups connected to Islam in any way, as their actions can never be justified according to the teachings of Islam.
Furthermore, we can see many serious conflicts and wars arising all around the world, which brings us to the realization that the world has been engulfed in violence and hatred. One of the reasons for this can be connected to the means by which our world has become a global village, the internet. The internet is a phenomenon that has only been around for about the past 40 years, yet it has evolved so much in that short amount of time.
In the past, it was possible for a war to remain confined to those who were directly involved for a long time before it being spread to other parties. Now, however, the consequences of each conflict and each war are truly global. In fact, some individuals do not understand that the effects of war in one region can and will affect the peace and harmony of other parts of the world.
So which principles has Islam laid down in order to establish peace? To start, many need to realize that the word “Islam” actually means peace, so it is quite ironic that many individuals in the western world believe the opposite, that Islam is a religion of terrorism and hate. Islam requires Muslims to abide by its teachings, and among those teachings is the idea they must not only fulfill the rights owed to God, but just as importantly, they must also fulfill the rights owed to God’s Creation.
During this month, everyone should strive to bring a little bit more peace into this world. This does not necessarily mean trying to solve world peace, however. To start, even spread peace around your local community! This can start at your household by getting along with your family, then with your neighbours and around the rest of your community.
Bringing peace into this world can seem overwhelming at times. But it's in these moments we remember the slogan of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Communit – Love for all, Hatred for none.
Member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association of Airdrie