||Non Violence And Peace Building|
||Maulana Wahiduddin Khan|
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Non-violence and peace-building
NON-VIOLENCE AND PEACE-BUILDING
- Peace is Possible, But Only Through the Right Way 7
- Avoid Confrontation 9
- Unilateral Action for Peace 16
- Reform Yourself Instead of Confronting Others 21
- Nature’s Lessons for Conflict Avoidance 25
- Water from Stones: Conflict-Resolution through Gentleness 29
- Learn from History 32
- The Quranic Way of Conflict-Resolution 38
- Desist from Intolerance 45
- Avoid Conflict by Ignoring the Lesser Evil 50
- Communal Egos and Inter-Community Conflict 54
- Responding to Provocation through Patience 59
- The Solution to Communal Conflict 64
- The Sensible Way to Respond to Provocation 69
- Reflections on Communal Riots 76
- Nipping Inter-Community Conflict in the Bud 82
- Lessons for Conflict-Resolution 94
- Practice What You Preach 103
- Make Yourself Eligible, Don’t Make Demands 110
- Discover Opportunities in Challenging Situations 118
- Consciousness of the Hereafter 122
- Index 124
Learn from History
In the past, God appointed the Jews as possessors of divine scriptures. The Jews’ past provides important lessons for the Muslims’ future.
It is for this reason that the initial chapters of the Quran contain many verses about the history of the Jews.
In the corpus of Hadith1, it is narrated that Muslims will also face all the sorts of degeneration that the Jews faced: “You will surely follow in the ways of those before you, span by span and cubit by cubit, so much so that if they were to enter an iguana’s hole, you would follow after them.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
All the communities that are given divine scriptures always face the same situation. The principles for their success as well as of their failure are also one and the same. In this sense, the history of the Jews is the history of every other people who were given divine scriptures.
This history of the Jews provides Muslims the very same lessons as it does for the Jews themselves.
At the time of Moses, God began showering His blessings on the Children of Israel—the Jews—and
- The corpus of reports of the deeds and sayings of, or attributed to, the Prophet Muhammad.
This culminated in His giving them the opportunity of entering Palestine and occupying it. The history of the Jews after this is one of continuous rise and fall—of being rewarded for good deeds and punished for sins.
The period of the prophet Samuel inaugurated an independent kingdom of the Jews. In 604 B.C.E., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (in modern-day Iraq) occupied Syria and marched till the border of Palestine. Out of fear, Jehoiakim, the Israelite king of Judah, was forced to pay him tribute.
After a while, Jehoiakim decided it would be more beneficial for him to ally with Egypt. And so, he revolted against the Babylonian ruler and stopped paying him tribute.
This angered the latter, who began making preparations to invade Palestine. In the meanwhile, Jehoiakim died, and his son succeeded him to the throne.
The Babylonian army attacked Palestine, captured the new Jewish king, and took him back with them to Babylon. The Babylonian king appointed a relative of the former king of Judah in the latter’s place.
At this time, the Prophet Jeremiah appeared among the Children of Israel. He advised the Children of Israel not to try to fight against reality and to accept the existing political system.
He exhorted them to stop confronting the existing government and, instead, to work in a constructive manner.
But then, false leaders emerged among the Children of Israel. They issued fiery, emotionally-driven appeals, trying to stir up the Children of Israel with romantic promises.
As a result, the Children of Israel fell prey to false hopes and wishful thinking. Because of this, they could not adopt pragmatic or realistic methods.
They rose up in revolt, because of which Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, once again attacked Palestine. After a siege that lasted several months, he entered Jerusalem, where he completely destroyed the Jewish Temple. This happened in 587 B.C.E.
The Jewish king Zedekiah tried to flee, but he was captured, along with many of his men. A large number of Jews were also taken into slavery. They were taken to Babylon to work as slave-labourers.
The Jews (who were the muslims or ‘submitters’ of the ancient period) faced many such difficult times in their history. They considered all these events to be a result of the oppression by other people. But God knew this to be entirely different. God attributed all these events to the Jews themselves.
They were divine punishment for the corruption and degeneration that had set in among the Jews, and not, in fact, an expression or result of oppression by others, unlike what the Jews thought.
A study of Jewish history reveals that in the period of their degeneration, a number of leaders emerged among them, driven with false dreams and wishful thinking. These people have been termed as ‘false prophets’ in the Bible.
The Bible relates that they used to stir up the Jews with their talk about the Jews’ glorious history, feeding them on the wine of false pride. They greatly exaggerated the status of the Jews, while denigrating their enemies.
With their emotionally-driven rhetoric, they fed Jews with dreams of an imaginary world. This made the Jews turn extremely unrealistic.
In place of realistic efforts, they were led to think that emotionally- driven efforts would solve their problems.
At this very time, some people emerged among the Jews whom the Bible tells us were true prophets. They exhorted the Jews to be realistic.
They pointed out their internal weaknesses. They told them that they would gain nothing from their false pride, and that in God’s world, truthful action has value, not false pride and wishful thinking. But the Jews did not like what they said to them.
Instead of listening to them, they were attracted by men who fed them with false hopes and imaginary expectations. Stirred up by the latter’s rhetoric, the Jews were provoked against their enemies. But this reaction only resulted in their defeat and further degradation.
This facet of Jewish history is described in considerable length in the Bible, in the Book of Jeremiah (Chapters 27-30).
From these details in the Bible we learn several things:
- The Bible attributed the responsibility for the repeated defeat and destruction that the Jews faced in the period of their decline entirely to the Jews themselves.
In the pages of the Bible that tell of this history, there is no ranting and raving against the oppression and conspiracies of other communities.
Rather, the Jews themselves were told that whatever they were faced with was only a consequence of their having angered God.
The situation that they had to confront was a divine warning, rather than strife and persecution engineered by their human foes. And so, what the
Bible suggested to the Jews was that they should put all their efforts into pleasing God, only after which they could regain their lost position.
In other words, the secret of whatever happens to people in this world must be searched for in divine principles laid down for this world, rather than attributing them to the conspiracies of other people.
2. In this period of the Jews’ degeneration and decline, they were clearly forbidden from what could be called ‘jihadist action’. Instead, they were exhorted to try to harmonise with the then dominant communities. Instead of confronting others, they were told to focus on their own progress.
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