TOWARDS GLOBAL PEACE
We often talk of peace in the context of war. But this is a very narrow and restricted notion of peace. Peace is deeply linked with the entirety of human life. Peace is a complete ideology in itself. Peace is the only religion for both—man and the universe. It is the master-key that opens the doors to every success. Peace creates a favourable atmosphere for success in every endeavour. Without peace, no positive action—small or big—is possible.
GREATER THAN POLITICAL VICTORY
PEOPLE are generally obsessed with politics. They believe that acquiring a territory and establishing political rule over it is the greatest success. But, according to the Quran, peace is the summum bonum. While political victory is limited in its scope, the ambit of peace is unlimited. Peace is therefore a greater success than political rule.
In the chapter Al Fath (Victory), the Quran refers to the Hudaybiyyah Agreement—a peace treaty drawn up between the Prophet and his opponents, which was finalized in March 628 AD. The Quran mentions it as fat’han mubeen or a ‘clear victory’ (48: 1)—a victory which is beyond any doubt.
Then in the chapter Al Nasr (Help), the Quran refers to political victory over Makkah in 630 AD. Here the Quran uses the word fath (victory). This difference of terminology proves that, according to the Quran, political victory is simply the superseding of opponents in control of a particular area, whereas establishing peace—a ‘clear’ victory—is the greater victory. It means that establishing peace has more importance than a political victory.
In an atmosphere of peace, all the members of a society feel that they are living in a state of equality. All are equal members of a large family.
Why is there this difference? The reason is that political victory gives you only one thing and that is administrative control over a piece of land. But peace has much greater potential. Peace opens the door to multiple opportunities and by availing of these opportunities, you can achieve all kinds of success, including political rule.
The early history of Islam is a clear proof of this fact. Before the peace agreement of Hudaybiyyah was signed, Islam seemed to be trapped in a blind alley. But after the Hudaybiyyah Agreement, the Prophet of Islam and his Companions endeavoured to avail of all those opportunities that had been opened up to them and within two years, Islam had spread all over the Arabian peninsula.
This principle covers all of human life—family life, social life, as well as international life; everywhere you can see the miracle of this master principle. The whole of history testifies to the fact that no one has ever been able to achieve any meaningful target through political victory. On the contrary, all great achievements have been the result of peaceful activities.
Political rule has many negative aspects. It leads to reaction, jealousy, enmity, even fighting and ultimately war. Political rule means one’s domination over others, so every political regime—every political rule results in permanent rivalry, sometimes in the heart and sometimes on the battlefield.
Political rule is good only for rulers and it is bad for all those who are ruled. In contrast, peace has no such negative aspect. Peace creates normalcy; peace promotes healthy activities; peace results in the culture of friendship. In an atmosphere of peace, all the members of a society feel that they are living in a state of equality. All men and women are equal members of a large family.
People living under political rule feel that they are subservient and under someone else or under some dominating group. They are like subjects. But those who live in a peaceful atmosphere feel, consciously or unconsciously, that they are living under the universal laws of nature. No one is superior and no one is inferior. Everyone’s dignity is acknowledged and maintained.