||Manifesto Of Peace|
||Maulana Wahiduddin Khan|
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Manifesto of Peace
A Manifesto of Peace
Peace is the only religion for both—man and the universe. In a peaceful environment all good things are possible, whereas in the absence of peace, we cannot achieve anything of a positive nature, either as individuals, or as a community. The same
holds true at national and international levels.
What is Peace?
Scholars have defined peace thus: “Peace is the absence of war.” This definition is absolutely correct. Peace in fact means the absence of a situation of war or violence.
However, some people hold this definition of peace to be inadequate.
They say that peace should be accompanied by justice; that peace devoid of justice is no peace. But setting such a condition for the attainment of peace is impractical.
This is because peace on its own does not bring justice. That is, justice is not necessarily an element of peace. What peace does, in actual fact, is open up opportunities.
It creates favourable conditions that would enable us to strive for justice and other constructive ends. Peace is always desirable for its own sake. Everything else comes after peace, not along with peace.
The Hudaybiya Peace Treaty
The Prophet of Islam provides a very clear historical example in his method of negotiating of the Hudaybiya peace treaty. On this occasion he brought matters to a successful conclusion by unilaterally accepting the conditions of his opponents. In this peace treaty, the Prophet had not apparently received justice or his rights.
What was in effect a 10-year no-war pact, gave the Prophet an opportunity to work uninterruptedly on a constructive programme which would otherwise have been impossible.
By means of this peaceful non- political programme the Prophet and his companions were able to consolidate themselves so thoroughly that they had no need to wage war: their opponents were left with no option but to surrender.
This Hudaybiya peace treaty of the Prophet of Islam was like a peace ‘bomb’, in the sense that its positive effects spread far and wide. The result of this treaty shows that the peace ‘bomb’ is mightier than the violent bomb.
A peace ‘bomb’ means life, and a violent bomb means death. A peace ‘bomb’ leads to construction, while a violent bomb leads to destruction. Likewise, a peace ‘bomb’ brings progress, while a violent bomb brings annihilation.
Peace enhances creativity, whereas violence does the very opposite.
The power of a peace ‘bomb’ is based on love, while that of a violent bomb is based on hatred. The capacity of a peace ‘bomb’ is unlimited, while that of a violent bomb is limited.
Some Historical Examples
Japan’s industrial cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were destroyed by the atom bombs in 1945. After the holocaust, Japan abandoned violence and adopted a peaceful course which it termed a reverse course for its national development.
And as a result within forty years, Japan rapidly became a great economic power of the world.
We find a very interesting example of a peaceful method in India. India’s freedom struggle was started in 1857. But, even after more than 60 years of sacrifice, the desired political goal remained a distant dream.
Then, in 1920, Gandhi emerged as the leader of the freedom struggle. Taking a U-turn, he abandoned the violent method and opted for a peaceful course of action for the freedom movement.
Things took a miraculous turn after that, with the British Empire becoming paralysed: a non-violent Gandhi had taken away from the British any justification for the use of violence. The following anecdote is an apt illustration.
When Gandhi launched his freedom movement by following a peaceful method instead of resorting to violent means, a British officer sent a telegram to his secretariat in these words:
“Kindly wire instructions how to kill a tiger non- violently.”
Therefore the success which was not forthcoming, even after a long and violent struggle, was achieved by peaceful methods in a short period of time.
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