by Monib Ahmad
Islam is a peaceful religion, so are honor killings justified in Islam? If so, what are the conditions for such killings? Is there a legal avenue to end a life based on personal judgements or individual ideals? Does Islam not value life? How could Islam have survived through such violent customs? Could it be that Islam is misrepresented through the eyes of godless individuals? Can a non-peaceful religion, which values killing and promises Heaven, survive? These are some fundamental questions that should be contemplated upon to realize the truth about Islam.
The first tenant of Islam is the firm establishment of the Unity of God. This fundamental law is the antidote for many ailments that affect the Muslim nation today. It states that there is only One God, and this God is a living God. He guides people today, but people not fearing His wrath believe in their own interpretations of His guidance. The Unity of God negates all fears except the fear of God. To fear something other than God is to disassociate from the first tenant of Islam. Those who do good deeds do so out of fear and hope, and those who divulge in vices have forgotten this value. The most exaggerated form of diverging from this tenant is to worship your own ego. It is the worship of egos that cause people to misinterpret Islamic ideals.
The Unity of God not only establishes God’s uniqueness, but also that His creatures are unique and each must be valued. This promotion of unity inculcates in man the equality of the human species. At a social level, there are no barriers that divide humans based on ethnicity, race or color. All humans stand equal in the sight of God. This promotes not only harmony with God but also His creations. Individualistically, the Unity of God promotes an alignment between views and action. A consistent relationship with God allows people to create a consistent relationship with one another, because of the common belief in the Unity of God.
Current perspectives, however, violate both liberal and conservative extremes. Liberal examples include the allegations that Islamic law suppresses women rights. However, it is evident that at the birth of Islam female infanticide was a common practice among some Arabic people. Islam abolished this custom, and if examined closely this was one of the first examples of Unity, Graciousness and Mercy that was taught to early Muslims. Islam showed that parents should be grateful that a child was born, and not base happiness on gender. More conservative examples are found with the hijab. Non-muslim nations are banning head scarfs in various public locations, however this is a violation of the fundamental right to dress how one wishes. By not allowing women to wear hijab, politicians are forcing them to bend to their will and conform to society. How does this not suppress women’s rights?
There are many other laws that are being violated. Justice is not being upheld and is becoming a slogan for the endeavors of politicians. The political and economic instability around the world is leading us towards destruction. It’s not only poorer countries that are affected, but first world nations as well. Small scale wars escalating in the Middle East are affecting immigration in European, Asian and African countries. Refugees from multiple nations are being displaced. Local disagreements are being fueled by hate and foreign weapons. The Islamic view of justice has been perverted by unlawful and heinous acts of violence. Killing in the name of religion has become a common theme. The behavior of Muslims has become an open topic.
Islam is a peaceful religion, as are all other religions of the world. In the early days of Islam, Muslims were taught to bear persecution even if it meant death. If Islam was not founded on peace, then surely the first few followers would have perished and Islam would not exist. History attests to the fact that Muslims never used the sword before migrating to Medina. Even in Medina, the sword was taken up in defense and to promote peace.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community exemplifies the teaching of the Holy Quran and promotes peace. Islam condemns a person for killing another unfairly. Per the Holy Quran, killing someone who has neither rebelled nor created disorder in the land is like the murder of the entire human race. Current events will attest to this fact as humanity as a whole is suffering. True Muslims today seek mercy and forgiveness for themselves and other religions. The teachings of Islam promote the freedom of faith and consciousness. Islam teaches that there is no compulsion in faith and has left the choice of which belief to follow to the conscience of each person. True Muslims are taught to pray for each other and the world. The world can truly become peaceful and a paradise. May God guide us on the right path, for without Him we would surely be lost.