Harmony between Islam and Homeland and Communities Security
Harmony between Islam and Homeland and Communities Security
Dr Suhaib Hasan – Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council of Great Britain and Ireland
سْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم
What might be the shortest definition of peace? “No war” or “anti-war” would be the answer. In Qur’anic terms the answer is: No corruption (Fasad) at all. As Muslims, we claim that the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may peace be upon him, was a messenger of peace, who established peace practically. To prove this claim, let us look into it through these three criteria:
- To establish internal peace of mind.
- To establish peace in society at large where people can live without fear and coercion; obtain their livelihood without deceit and oppression and are protected by rules of law and justice.
- To establish peace internationally in a way the wars are no more than a necessary evil, and exist only to eradicate oppression and bring tyranny to an end.
And before we look at the great achievements of the Prophet (SAW) in these three spectrums, let us have a glance on the conditions prevalent in the Arabian Peninsula during the forty years preceding the Prophetic mission i.e. from his birth in 570 AD to his declaration of being a Messenger of Allah forty years later.
Arabs in his times were known to have some extraordinary characteristics which eventually made them capable of carrying out the great task of turning the Arabian Peninsula into the seat of Islam and a source of global inspiration. They were known for bravery, generosity, sense of dignity and gallantry and trustworthiness. But these highly merited characters were marked with excessiveness which caused them sometimes to appear negatively.
The valour was turned into plunder and smouldering the flames of war on petty issues. The wars of Dahis and Ghabra (names of two she-camels) are such notorious examples. The generosity was turned into gambling, even for charitable purposes. In the annual markets of Ukaz and Dhul-Majanna where Arab dignatories used to gamble on pieces of camel flesh and enjoyed parties of excessive drink.
The dignity and gallantry, of family and tribal pride led them to create havoc and massacre in the ranks of enemies in the name of vengeance and racial supremacy. They would even bury their own female infants alive in the name of honour and jealousy. Trustworthiness was the only character which remained pure and pristine even at the time of dealing with their opponents.
The Prophet (SAW) was very successful in moulding these characteristics in a positive direction, to a productive end and to a constructive and peaceful way of life.
That is what we want to elaborate further through the three criteria mentioned earlier.
- To establish internal peace of mind internally:
The ultimate source of peace is the Al-Mighty Himself. One of His attributes is: Al Mumin – the One who grants peace. A believer is also known as Al-Mumin, the one who believes in Allah but as some of Allah’s attributes are reflected in him, he spreads peace around him. A mind in peace will live in peace and allow others to live in peace too. A similar name of the believer is Muslim: the one who submits his will to Allah; the one who enters into peace. The Prophet (SAW) defines the believer by saying: “The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands other Muslims are saved.” Such is the place of peace (SILM) in the religion that a number of characteristics are associated with it.
Embracing Islam is to enter into peace.
“Enter into peace completely.” (2:208)
One of the attributes of the Al-Mghty is “ The Peaceful” (23:59)
The Muslim greeting is “Assalamu-u-Alaikum” (peace be upon you).
One of the highest characters of a good Muslim is to adopt a peaceful way if confronted by an ignorant, stupid person:
“And when the ignorant people address them, they say: “Peace”. (25:63)
Even during hostile conditions, it is not allowed for a Muslim to reject that person as an enemy while he addresses him with the greeting of Islam.
O believers! When you set out (to fight) in the way of Allah, carry out a careful probe, and do not say to him who greets you (as a Muslim): ‘You are not a believer.’ You seek goods of the worldly life (in the shape of spoils of war, after killing a Muslim declaring him a disbeliever). So, (rest assured that) Allah has gains and booties in plenty. Before this you (too) were the same. Then Allah conferred on you His Favour (and you became Muslims). So investigate and confirm the truth (about others as well). Surely, Allah is Well Aware of what you do. (4:94)
The Muslim who led his/her life peacefully will be granted with the same greeting of peace by the angels at the time of entry into Paradise.
And those who persisted in fear of Allah will (also) be conducted to Paradise in groups until, when they approach it (Paradise), its doors will have been opened for them (well before) and the keepers of Paradise will say, (greeting them): ‘Peace be upon you! Be glad and rejoice, and enter it to dwell here forever.’
“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” (31:13).
By worshipping One God, a man aligns with the whole scheme of the universe which follows a set of rules, whether it be the rotation of the sun, the moon and the billions of stars in the cosmos or it be the living souls with their complicated mechanism by which they operate or it be the phenomena of nature in different forms and shapes.
Worshipping One God is like serving one master. The one who has to serve more than one master will never enjoy a peaceful life. The argument goes like this: As long as Allah, the Al-Mighty is the source of life and death, and Provider of all your needs and requirements, necessary for your survival in the planet, then why not worship Him alone; why degrade yourself by worshipping deities that have nothing to do with your life. Is it logical, in this practical example, to receive a handsome amount of salary from your boss but instead of serving him or his company, you serve someone else.
Is it logical for you to be a serving soldier in your homeland’s army where you are supposed to carry out the commandments of your commander-in-chief, but instead you start showing loyalty to the opposing side. Is this not an act of betrayal which will lead you to grief and sorrow eventually? In a short passage of the Qur’an, entitled “Quraish”, Allah Al-Mighty has reminded the tribe of Quraish, the custodians of the sacred Mosque at Makkah the great favours of Allah upon them by providing them peaceful trade routes in their northward and southward journeys which became the source of their income and welfare. And if that is the case, then why do they not worship the Lord of that House in Makkah who provided them that peace and abundance of livelihood.
Secondly, establishing peace in society.
Society itself is composed of small units: a house or a family. There are a number of institutions that help create a peaceful society. Let us consider each one of them.
- The House of the Family
‘Sakinah’ or tranquillity is declared as one of the most important factors in creating a successful dwelling.
“And (also) of His signs is that He created for you mates of your own kind so that you acquire peace from them, and He created between you love and mercy. Verily, in this (system of creation) there are signs for those who meditate.”
The Prophet (SAW) has left a number of teachings and legacies concerning the good upbringing of the children from a young age. For example, he said:
“The one who does not show mercy to our young ones and respect to our old ones, is not one of us”.
“A father cannot give his child something better than a good discipline”.
He emphasized on serving the parents, with more importance on the mothers as a primary duty of the children. The concept of homes for the elderly could not have existed if these teachings had been maintained to the highest degree. Perhaps they could serve a purpose for childless couples, but not for society at large.
Not all couples carry on with their marital life without disruption and disputes. Some of them have to part eventually. To end a marriage, a long process involving accusations, slandering, mud-slinging on each other from both sides is not required at all. Though the man is awarded the right of divorce because of his financial responsibilities toward his wife, she has the right to ask for divorce by way of Khula’. In most cases, she has the upper hand in the matter of the custody of the children.
As for privacy, maintaining honour and dignity among the relations, a set of Islamic teachings are beautifully manifested in Surah Nur and Surah Al-Ahzab.
- Next to the house comes one’s neighbours.
The Prophet (SAW) encourages everyone to take care of their neighbours, to the extent of feeding them if needed. The Qur’an says:
“And worship Allah and do not set up any partners with Him. And treat the parents with moral excellence and (do good to) relatives, orphans, the needy, the close as well as unacquainted neighbours, and your fellows and the wayfarers and those whom you possess. Surely, Allah does not like the one who is arrogant (i.e., self-conceited) and boastful (i.e., egoist),”
- The institution of Al-Hisbah (Ombudsman)
How strongly someone feels when he is cheated by a shop-keeper, through a fake sale or an ambiguous transaction. How a neighbourhood reacts when their dwellings are surrounded by secret brothels, dealings in narcotics and drugs, factories to manufacture wine or growing opium.
A very recent example comes from Makkah (Saudi Arabia):
“Due to a complaint from one of the visitors, the Saudi local authorities in Makkah raided a factory which trades into selling the water of Zamzam in the form of bottles and packages. These containers were found to be contaminated. Following the raid, 600 bottles were found to be filled in with water taken from the bathrooms and other sources.
The police in Makkah warned the people not to buy such bottles which are on sale in the streets as they are the product of a factory being run by the Houthis from Yemen who admitted mixing the water with a harmful poison to the body. They said that they had already circulated these containers in a great number. The police destroyed 600 bottles as well as 16000 cartons ready for marketing.”
- The institution of Bait-ul-Mal
Bait-ul-Mal (The Treasury) has been introduced in Islam, right from the times of the Prophet (SAW) to collect all types of wealth (money, cattle, grains) which is derived from Zakat, poll-tax and other sources. One of its major functions is to spend it for the benefit of the poor and needy. Thus alleviating their sufferings and helping them to enjoy a peaceful life.
- The institution of Qazar (importing justice)
Though Qazis (judges) are appointed by the ruler, they are allowed to give their judgements without fear or coercion. To establish a rule of law and justice has been declared in the Qur’an as a fundamental objectives of the Prophets of Allah throughout the ages.
“Verily, We sent Our Messengers with clear signs, and We sent down with them the Book and the balance of justice so that people might grow firm and stable in justice. And (of minerals) We brought forth iron in which there is a fierce force (for weapons and defence) and which has (multiple other) benefits for people (in industrial development). And (the purpose is) that Allah may bring to light the one who helps Him and His Messengers (i.e., the Din [Religion of Islam]) without seeing. Surely, Allah is (Himself) the All-Powerful, the Almighty.”
During Islamic history, a great number of cases have been recorded where the rules (Caliphs or the governors) were seen standing in the docks in front of a Qazi. The independence of the judiciary and the implementation of the rule of law was one of the major factors in establishing peace and security.
During the last days of the Second World War, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, was asked about the fate of England in the face of constant attack by the enemy. He replied that as long as the courts of this country were functioning well and providing justice to the people, there was no reason for anyone to fear or despair.
- The institution of Mirath (the distribution of the inheritance).
According to Islamic teachings, the inheritance of each Muslim is to be distributed among his/her heirs in the way described in the Qur’an. Thus, the assets of a deceased person, especially land, are not accumulated in the hands of a few gifted individuals but are spread out among a greater number of people. This helps reduce the number of landlords and increase the number of the beneficiaries on both levels: land farming and commercial ventures.
These are the few factors which help to consolidate peace in the society. Breaching them is to attract the wrath of Allah Al-Mighty who never fails to punish such people.
“And Allah has described the example of a township which was (living) in peace and contentment. The means of sustenance came to (its residents) in abundance from all quarters. Then the (dwellers) of this town disregarded Allah’s blessings and showed ingratitude. Thereupon Allah clothed them in the torment of hunger and fear due to the activities that they used to carry out.”
Thirdly, to establish peace internationally.
The Prophet (SAW) stands as a model, not only for the Muslims but for all the mankind at large. During the early thirteen years of his Prophetic mission in Makkah, he or his followers never took the sword in their hands. In face of persecution, injustice and physical aggression, he asked his disciples twice to emigrate to Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
In the third instance he asked them to leave for Yathrib (Madinah) where he joined them later. During the ten years of his stay in Madinah, he was subjected to aggression and attack a number of times. That is the period in which the Qur’an gave permission to fight. Such verses are no more than forty Ayat, comprising 1% of the whole Qur’an. Though he was constantly forced to engage in fighting, seeking peace was his primary objective in life.
“And if they (the combatant or hostile disbelievers) incline to peace and reconciliation, you also incline to it and put your trust in Allah. Surely, He alone is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
The Treaty of Hudaibiya in the 6th year of Hijrah stands as a splendid example of the Prophet’s character as a peace seeker in spite of some humiliating conditions attached to the Treaty by the enemy. It was the breach of the Treaty by the Makkans two years later which prompted him to lead the Companions towards Makkah which brought him victory without shedding any blood at all.
The legacy which was left by the Prophet (SAW) as for peace and war could be summarised as follows:
- The objective of a State is to provide peace on all levels, individual, social and nationally.
- War is a necessary evil which serves the purpose of defence and eradicates tyranny and injustice. During his ten years of dominance in Madinah, there had been 83 encounters with the enemy including the four major battles: Badr, Uhud, Trenches and conquest of Makkah followed by Hunain. Only 1018 persons from both sides were killed along with 127 injured from among the Muslims.
He himself participated in 23 battles (Ghazwat) during which only one person was killed by his own hand because he confronted him directly.
- Killing involved the combatants only. He prohibited the killing of non-combatants especially women, children, old people, persons confined to the houses of worship. Beneficial objects, whether cattles or trees were treated as sanctuary.
- Peace is the preferred option over even if it is accomplished on the expenses of one’s own interest. That was the lesson of the Treaty of Hudaibiya in the 6th year of Hijrah.
- At the conquest of Makkah in 8th AH, the Prophet (SAW) not only spared the lives of all the citizens of the conquered town, Makkah, but guaranteed peace to his ardent enemies by declaring “Anyone who enters the house of Abu Sufyan is secured. Anyone who remains behind the closed doors is secured.”
This legacy was followed by his successors in their battles against the Romans and Persians to the letter. Gustav Liban commented: “The history did not come across conquerors more merciful than the Arabs.”
In total contrast has been the behaviour of other nations throughout the last 1400 years (since the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)), like that of Genghis Khan (1206-1227 A.D), Nadir Khan (massacre in Delhi in 1799), Crusades (11th and 12th centuries) for example.
Leaving all these events aside, let us consider the victims of wars in the last one hundred years since the First World War. It is no secret that humanity has suffered because of tyrants, expansionists, war-mongers, blood thirsty dictators and oppressors. Here are some of these figures:
Examples of mass shootings in the US
- 14 dead, 22 wounded: San Bernardino, Calif. – DEC. 2, 2015
Two assailants killed 14 people wounded 22 more in a shooting at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino. The two attackers, who were married, were killed in a gun battle with police. They were U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook and Pakistan national Tashfeen Malik, and had an arsenal of ammunition and pipe bombs in their Redlands home.
- 3 dead, 9 injured: Colorado Springs, Colo. – NOV. 29, 2015
A gunman entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., and started firing. Police named Robert Lewis Dear as the suspect in the attacks. Three people were killed.
- 9 dead, 9 injured: Roseburg, Ore. – OCT. 1, 2015
Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer shot and killed eight fellow students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College. Authorities described Harper-Mercer, who recently had moved to Oregon from Southern California, as a “hate-filled” individual with anti-religion and white supremacist leanings who had long struggled with mental health issues.
- 9 dead: Charleston, S.C – JUNE 18, 2015
Dylann Storm Roof is charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in an attack that killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.
- 12 killed, 3 injured: Washington, D.C. – SEPT. 16, 2013
Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor and former Navy enlisted man, shoots and kills 12 people and engages police in a running firefight through the sprawling Washington Navy Yard. He is shot and killed by authorities.
6. 27 killed, one injured: Newtown, Conn. – DEC. 14, 2012
7. 12 killed, 58 injured: Aurora, Colo. – JULY 20, 2012
James Holmes, 24, is taken into custody in the parking lot outside the Century 16 movie theatre after a post-midnight attack in Aurora, Colo. Holmes allegedly entered the theatre through an exit door about half an hour into the local premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
8. 8 killed, 1 injured: Seal Beach, Calif. – OCT. 12, 2011
Scott Dekraai, 41, apparently enraged over a custody dispute, allegedly walks into a crowded Seal Beach hair salon where his former wife works and opens fire. Eight people are killed, including a man sitting in a truck outside the salon. Another person is critically wounded. Dekraai has pleaded not guilty in the case.
9. 13 killed, 32 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas – NOV. 5, 2009
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly shoots and kills 13 people and injures 32 others in a rampage at Ft. Hood, where he is based. Authorities allege that Hasan was exchanging emails with Muslim extremists including American-born radical Anwar Awlaki.
10. 13 killed, 4 injured: Binghamton, N.Y. – APRIL 3, 2009
Jiverly Voong, 41, shoots and kills 13 people and seriously wounds four others before apparently committing suicide at the American Civic Assn., an immigration services center, in Binghamton, N.Y.
Derry McCann, 28, raped a 24-year-old woman as she walked back from an art show hours before he married his pregnant girlfriend in January was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday and must serve a minimum of nine years.
Victims of War – 20th and 21st centuries
1914-18: World War I (20 million)
1917-21: Soviet revolution (5 million)
1918-20: Russian civil war (1 million)
1928-37: Chinese civil war (2 million)
1931: Japanese Manchurian War (1.1 million)
1932-33: Soviet Union vs Ukraine (10 million)
1936-37: Stalin’s purges (13 million)
1939-45: World War II (55 million) including holocaust and Chinese revolution
1946-49: Chinese civil war (1.2 million)
1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1949-50: Mainland China vs Tibet (1,200,000)
1950-53: Korean war (3 million)
1958-61: Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” (38 million)
1964-73: USA-Vietnam war (3 million)
1966-69: Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” (11 million)
1967-70: Nigeria-Biafra civil war (800,000)
1974-91: Ethiopian civil war (1,000,000)
1975-78: Menghitsu, Ethiopia (1.5 million)
1975-79: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1.7 million)
1976-93: Mozambique’s civil war (900,000)
1979-88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
1991-97: Congo’s civil war (800,000)
1994: Rwanda’s civil war (900,000)
1998-: Congo/Zaire’s war – Rwanda and Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
I (1947-49): 6,373 Israeli and 15,000 Arabs die
II (1956): 231 Israeli and 3,000 Egyptians die
III (1967): 776 Israeli and 20,000 Arabs die
IV (1973): 2,688 Israeli and 18,000 Arabs die
Intifada I (1987-92): 170 Israelis and 1,000 Palestinians
Intifada II (2000-03): 700 Israelis and 2,000 Palestinians
Israel-Hamas war (2008): 1,300 Palestinians
7.2 million Palestinian refugees worldwide
These are the alarming figures: there are many cases of murder, rape, robbery and banditry everywhere in the world during this period.
I myself remember, fifty years ago, when I was a student at the Islamic University of Madinah, that money-exchangers everywhere in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah used to draw a curtain on the shop at prayer time. They would leave for the mosque without any fear about the vast amount of different currencies lying unlocked behind the curtain. This is only due to the strict implementation of Islamic Sharia in the Kingdom. Though much has changed in the past half-century, the crime rate is still among the lowest in the Crime Index. For example, according to the Crime Index for 2017, the United States comes at number 53 with 48.76 crime index, the United Kingdom at number 70 with 41.19 crime index and Saudi Arabia at number 113 with 23.65. The lowest in the list is Qatar at number 125 with 15.70 crime index.
- Peace of mind brings peace and security to the society at large. A strong belief in God and in the accountability on the Day of Judgment are the basis of this peace. Cases of random shooting, murder and other heinous crimes occur because of the lack of such peace.
- A community based on the rule of justice, respect of human values and a bold check on evil activities, flourishes and prospers. It does not matter whether it is a country in the Middle East or in Europe, the more you commit to these basic factors, the more you enjoy the fruits of a peaceful environment.
- Some of the reasons behind war are an aptitude to expand boundaries and capture the sources of wealth such as oil, gas and other minerals. The invention and use of WMDs such as nuclear weapons, especially by superpowers against weak targets, has increased the suffering of humanity on a vast scale. The most recent example was the “mother of all bombs”, dropped on Afghan soil by the USA. The true tally of victims of this horrible experiment are still unknown.
- Injustice practised by a number of states, violating human rights, especially those of minorities, is a blot on the face of humanity. One of the worst examples is that of Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan province of Myanmar, and similar persecution by tyrannical rulers of their own people in response to political opposition. The situation in Kashmir and Syria is an eye-opener. The policy of non-interference adopted by the UN in such cases stands as a mockery of the justice for which this international body was established.
- Military intervention by superpowers in weaker nations with baseless excuses led to the rise of extremist and terrorist organisations like Daesh. Once the main cause is eradicated, the effects would disappear as well.
- Respect for international treaties and agreements, such as those on the distribution of river water among neighbouring states such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, or African countries that share the River Nile, guarantees perpetual peace and harmony amongst them. But above all is to honour the covenant between the Divine and the human that brings a real peace to peoples and nations.
And remember the favor of Allah upon you and His covenant with which He bound you when you said, “We hear and we obey”; and fear Allah . Indeed, Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts.
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
(Surah Al-Maidah: 7-8)
 Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidi, Al-Nasa’i
 Tirmidi, 1952, Al-Tabarani, 12:320
 http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/are-the-courts-working/ accessed 8th May 2017
 Qazi Muhammad Sulaiman Mansurpuri: Rahmat-tul-Alamin, 2:213
 Muslim: Kitab-ul-Jihad
 Liban Gustav: Tamaddun-i-Hind
 http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/ accessed 08th May 2017
 https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/28/man-who-raped-stranger-hours-before-his-wedding-given-life-term accessed 8th May 2017
 http://al-awda.org/learn-more/faqs-about-palestinian-refugees/ accessed 8th May 2017
 Crime Index for Country 2017. This is numbeo.