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Peace Within Islam

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7.1 The understanding of peace in religious traditions (Islam)

7.1.19-The contributions of religious traditions to world peace

* Initiatives by the world council for Muslims interfaith relations (WCMIR)

The council has been working at an international and local level to implement a number of programs. These include peace building in targeting conflict areas: eradicating poverty: implementing health and welfare for children: youth leadership: peace education: social and economic justice: and women empowerment programs. The council has recently developed papers on Islam and human rights: Islam and pluralism: Islam and democracy, Islam and women rights, Islam and the use of force, the freedom of religion and conversion.

* Fethullah Gulen

Is an Islamic scholar and peace activist and the mentor of a movement (initiatives for peace in the contemporary world) that has inspired many turkey (and other) Muslims to be involved in charitable and educational activites.the movement is considered to be one of the most influential and effective Muslim peace movements this encourages intercultural dialogue and understanding so as to promote harmony and cooperation between different faiths and cultures. The major themes are peaceful Muslims non-Muslims coexistence in a secular context: inclusiveness and integration: necessity for dialogue: the positive role of non-denominational education: the state of east -west, north south relations: balancing reason and faith: understanding the benefits of democracy and basic values in civility and citizenship.

* Interfaith dialogue

The Alexandria process is an initiative that brings together senior Muslims, Jews and Christians to work together for peace in the holy land and to continue interfaith dialogue the statement announcing the initiative declared that 'murder of innocents in the name of god is a desecration of his holy name'. The Muslim peace conference was held in Cairo in 2004 as a part of the Alexandria process and brought together Muslims, Jewish and Christian religious leaders who met with Osama el-baz, senior aide to Egyptian president hosi Mubarak , who offered the Egyptian government support for the initiative.

The sulha peace project is a traditional middle astern reconciliation project and offers ceremonies for feuding families.

* Cooperative schools and living projects

The Jewish Arab centre for peace at Givat Haviva in central Israel is run by both Muslims and Jewish staff and offers a broad range of education programs aimed at promoting peace and coexistence. Over 15000 students are trained annually. Neve shalom/wahat el salaam is a village of Jews and Arabs within Israel, living cooperatively since 1970. The village's schools are open to surrounding villages and its school for peace has trained 35000 Arabs and Jews in peace making skills. The hope flower school is a Palestinian school near Bethlehem that adds peace education to the standard curriculum and offers counselling top families traumatised by violence. It had exchanges with Israeli schools until intifada.

Christian and Muslim understanding of peace

Allah is the one and only creator who made all humankind. Indeed, the very word Islam has a dual meaning of surrendering our will to god and possessing spiritual peace, based as it is on the Arabic word salaam (peace) .This is one belief that is central to the principle teaching of Islam. In Islam, peace is only possible when the individual achieves inner peace, which is the result of true 'Islam', that is, submission to Allah (sura 5:15-16). This impact on the relationships with others such as family and then the community and then finally, peace within the society (sura 30:21).The justice that results from such peace and obedience to Islamic law will then result in world peace. The breakdown from nation boundaries, economic injustices and racial divisions will mean there is no need for war. The final achievement of peace will be the attainment of paradise, "the home of peace". According to the Quran, peace did not always exist on earth. Through compassion and mercy, however, Allah decided to combat human ignorance as well as the promoting of the evil jinn, shaytan, by sending a number of prophets and teachers into the world, such as Muhammad, who would guide humankind into an understanding of the ways of god. Dutiful obedience to these ways would reinstate peace or a condition closely resembling it to the world. Islam teaches that inner peace may only be found through complete obedience to gods will, which is primarily achieved by adherence to a prescribed set of guidelines for living.

Peace expressed through scared texts in Christianity and Islam

The Quran as the literal word of Allah is the principle source of belief for Muslims. The hadith is secondary sources that provide authenticated recorded examples of the Prophet Muhammad's words and actions to further inform all aspects of Muslims belief and practice. The following examples from sacred texts provide some insight into the centrality of peace to every aspect of Muslim life. Many references to peace in the Quran refer to the concepts of inner peace, which in Islam is the idea of submission to the will of Allah. Some relevant passages include: the greeting to men of faith is 'peace (sura 7:46, 10:10), tranquillity (peace) is given by Allah (sura 48:4,18,26.)

The potential for peace on earth is contained in shariah law, an amalgam of ideas from the Quran and the hadith (the combined sayings of Muhammad) which reflect the will of god. The word, shariah literally means both the path towards and the way to a watering place and is therefore considered the correct path towards a peaceful worldly existence. Shariah law focuses on five principal human rights, it emphasis is on the correct execution of justice. Muslims understand that, where shariah law exists so too does peace. As shariah laws reflect the outworking of gods wisdom, so too does Islam understand peace as being contained within the very nature of Allah himself. For adherents to have peace in their lives, they must emulate Allah and submit their lives to his will or as Muhammad said," be conscious of Allah in your heart". A great quranic example of this is Abraham who obeyed gods will to sacrifice his son and was therefore rewarded with, "the praise of



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