The contemporary world is in a crisis of the worst kind. The absence of harmony among the individuals of a society is reflected in the highest rates of suicide world-wide. Civil wars, internal strife, race for armaments, ecological imbalance, exploitation of natural resources, and aggression of powerful countries against weaker nations, economic disparity, injustice, poverty, all such tragedies are throttling humanity. Such grave issues seek immediate attention and mitigation. It requires a potent and enduring policy. All the stakeholders especially the prominent peace organisations of the world, like United Nations, Human Rights Watch, International Peace Bureau, United Religions Initiative, Mayors for Peace, International Crisis Group, Food not Bombs, etc, should join hands to deal with the challenges of insecurity, fear and injustice overwhelming us.
In the pursuit of peace, the role of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)) stands prominent. His precepts and conduct (Sunnah) are vital in building up peace from the grassroots level. The training of his followers (Sahaba) at Makkah, the Charter of Madinah (Mithaq-i-Madinah), establishment of Brotherhood (Muwakhat) among migrants of Makkah and residents of Madinah (Muhajirin and Ansar), Treaty of Hudaibiyah, Conquest of Makkah, Pact with the Christians of Najran, all such examples from the life of the Prophet are lessons to lay a foundation for peace on all levels of society. Unfortunately, Muslim countries themselves have failed to follow the path of the Prophet. They need to set the model of peace through the application of Prophetic principles. Muslims must be the main actors in the establishment of peace in the world, for they claim themselves to be the followers of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The Western countries need to open to the wisdom of the Prophetic teachings to eradicate the evils that have besieged humanity on all sides. The world’s super-powers whom everyone looks to for refuge from social, political, and economic insecurity must neglect not such instruments of change. The challenge, though, is hinted at by Hamza Yusuf: “It is not whether Islam is compatible with Western values or not, but instead whether the West can truly embrace Islam. And this is a very valid challenge to a so-called and self-prided multicultural and all-inclusive West.’’
The writer is Assistant Professor at Department of Religious Studies, Central University of Kashmir. [email protected]