by Kwabena Osman
The world has watched in horror the events that unfolded in Aleppo, Syria. The siege in that city has left hundreds of people dead and thousands of people displaced. This war between pro-government forces and rebel groups has put the citizenry in a very devastated situation especially the vulnerable one’s among them like women, children, the old and orphans who may have nothing to do with this war.
In a recent report and video, orphans were seen pleading to be evacuated from the war-torn city. A heart breaking news which anyone who cares for the well-being of his or her follow human beings and especially children should be angry about.
Interestingly both government and rebel groups involved in this fight belong to the same faith, Islam, even though they may belong to different sects. Both parties follow a common religious scripture, the Quran, and claim to emulate the life of Prophet Muhammad who never taught any of the atrocities they are committing. Muhammad clearly stated that in the event of war, permission to fight is granted only against those who are charged to fight on the enemy side. He admonished that care should be taken not to kill children, women, elderly, priest and all who are not in combat. Unfortunately this is not what we are seeing in Syria. Innocent people who have nothing to do with the war are being killed indiscriminately.
Even though it is quite obvious that the conflict in Syria is being fought to achieve political power, it is unfortunate that some people claim to be fighting in the name of Allah, bringing disrepute to Islam. Their actions are totally in contrast to what the Quran teaches and what Muhammad practiced during his life time. Allah says in the Quran, “… and do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors” (5:88)
If the people of Syria were truly following the teachings of Islam, their condition would be far different from what we see today; nothing but ruins and a country plagued with terrorism. They have obviously ignored the teachings of the Quran which says killing any person unjustly is like killing the whole of mankind (5:33). Their thirst for political power has made them ignore this important teaching of the Quran, the very book they claim to follow.
Islam teaches that those in authority regardless of their faith, race or color should be obeyed. If a citizen or a group of people does not like what a leader or those in authority are doing, they can express their displeasure through lawful means provided by the laws of the nation which they live in. Even if the leader or those in authority are ruling with an iron fist and are unjust, true Muslims are commanded not to take arms, for they are warned not to be aggressors or cause disorder in the land (5:57). They can pray to God to bring about the end of such a leader or those in power or migrate to other places where they can have their peace and freedom. This is the true teaching of Islam which promises to bring tranquility.
Unfortunately, most people in the Arab world have disregarded these simple and important teachings of Islam and this has led to grievous consequences. Their countries are in turmoil with hundreds of thousands of people dead and others displaced. Their ignoring of the true teachings of Islam has landed them in this awful situation. The only way for them to achieve true peace is to revert to the true teachings of Islam.
Peace is undoubtedly the best state of affairs and so God has naturally instilled its attraction inside the human mind. However sometimes man goes against his natural tendencies and inclinations. His greed, envy, selfish interests and hatred overpower him and incite him to such an extent that he no longer has any concern for the rights of others. As a result disorder develops in society, in a country and in the wider world.
Other nations have also played their role in inflaming the fire that started in Syria. Being a proxy war of two opposing groups; the government of Syria is being armed by one group of nations while the rebels are being armed by another group. The consequence of this action has led to the fatalities we are seeing and the immigration crisis we have today. If these nations had not resorted to supporting the opposing factions with firearms but rather tried to bring peace among them through dialogue and diplomacy, the world would not be witnessing the tragedy that has unfolded in Syria.
It is about time the wealthy and powerful nations involved in this bloody civil war do the right thing by bringing peace in this nation and the region overall. The world is on the brink of a global destruction if leaders of powerful nations do not put their vested interest aside and work towards peace. Islam’s solution to this is; dealing with each other justly and not playing double standards.