The Path to Peace


With the milestone document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and many institutions working towards resolving conflicts, should not the world already be thriving in peace?


OCTOBER 12, 2020

Peace is the prerogative of all human beings. Every man has a keen desire to attain peace deeply enrooted in his heart. Man having the highest level of consciousness among all species, it is in him that this desire can be found in the highest degree. Yet, amazingly, we find man to be the most restless of all species in the entire animate kingdom.

There are numerous elements that demolish the peace of human society. Unless and until those issues are addressed and resolved, the desire to establish a peaceful world is definitely to remain unfulfilled.

A world of conflicts and the absence of peace

Even if mere absence of war is thought to be the true definition of peace, it can hardly be said that the world is at peace today. Rather it is restlessness that seems to be growing bigger, spreading faster, and tightening its grip around the world.

In his keynote speech delivered at the 9th Annual Peace Symposium UK, addressing an audience of over 1000 people among whom were government ministers, ambassadors of state, members of parliament and various other dignitaries, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community described the prevailing situation of the world saying:

In today’s world we find so much strife, restlessness and disorder. In some countries members of the public are fighting and waging wars amongst themselves. In some nations the public is fighting against the government, or conversely the rulers are attacking their own people. Terrorist groups are fuelling anarchy and disorder to fulfil their vested interests and so they are arbitrarily killing innocent women, children and the elderly. In some countries, as a means to fulfil their own interests, political parties are warring with each other rather than coming together for the betterment of their nations. We also find some governments and countries are continuously casting their glances enviously in the direction of the resources of other nations. The major powers of the world are consumed by their efforts to maintain their supremacy, and leave no stone unturned in their efforts towards pursuing this goal.[1]

Hence, in the prevailing circumstances, in which peace is becoming a goal difficult to achieve though not impossible, people express their desire for a harmonious world and stress on the need for love and brotherhood to be established amongst different religions, nationalities, and races.

However, while it is true that the majority of the world keenly desire for peace to be established in the world, it is also true that there is a growing apathy towards hearing the solution to the problem.

Certainly, the mere desire for a thing will not lead us to its attainment unless the requirements of its achievement are also fulfilled. Hence, for the establishment of peace, we have to follow the way that will lead to it.

Peace and justice are inseparable

Peace cannot do without justice. It is impossible to establish peace without fulfilling the requirements of justice. The principle is simple; the more just a society, the more peaceful it will be. In his famous speech delivered at the Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said:

The truth is that peace and justice are inseparable—you cannot have one without the other. Certainly, this principle is something that all wise and intelligent people understand. Leaving aside those people who are determined to create disorder in the world, no one can ever claim that in any society, country or even the entire world, that there can be disorder or a lack of peace where justice and fair dealing exist.[2]

Hence, justice is an inevitable prerequisite for peace. For a society to be peaceful, its ideologies should be based on justice. For a nation to be peaceful, both rulers and people should treat each other justly. For the world to be peaceful, countries should be fair and just in their mutual dealings. But the question is, are we fulfilling this requirement?

Prevailing injustice and the failure of the United Nations

With the milestone document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, various institutions working towards resolving conflicts, and almost all countries claiming to be building policies based on justice, should not the world already be thriving in peace?

Unfortunately, but, what we see is a totally different story. Despite all efforts towards establishing peace, anxiety and restlessness are becoming rampant in almost all parts of the world. The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community says:

We find in many parts of the world that disorder and a lack of peace are prevalent. Such disorder is visible both internally within countries, and externally in terms of the relations between various nations. Such disorder and strife exists even though all governments claim to make policies that are based on justice. All claim that the establishment of peace is their primary objective. Yet, in general, there is little doubt that restlessness and anxiety is increasing in the world, and so disorder is spreading. This clearly proves that somewhere along the line, the requirements of justice are not being fulfilled.[3]

It is obvious that if the world continues to act like this, it will lead us to another global conflict. But what is even more alarming is that those institutions established with the sole purpose of maintaining world peace are not fulfilling the requirements of justice. The United Nations was formed after the Second World War with the primary objective of preventing future wars. But unfortunately, the UN is failing.

The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community says:

In the United Nations we find that there is a distinction made between certain countries. Thus, in the Security Council there are some permanent members and some non-permanent members. This division has proved to be an internal source of anxiety and frustration and thus we regularly hear reports of certain countries protesting against this inequality.[4]

Further, during his historic visit to the European Parliament in Brussels, addressing an audience of more than 350 guests representing 30 countries, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community expressed his view about the veto power that some countries enjoy at the United Nations saying:

The right of veto power can never allow or facilitate the establishment of peace, because clearly not all countries are at an equal level…… If we look at the voting history of the United Nations we find that the veto power has not always been used to help those who are being oppressed or who are acting in the right way. In fact, we have seen that the veto power has, on certain occasions, been misused to help and assist in cruelty, rather than to prevent it.[5]

Further commenting on how decisions are made at the United Nations, he says:

If we look at the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council, we find that often statements or speeches made there receive great praise and acknowledgement, but such tributes are meaningless because the real decisions have already been predetermined.

Thus, where decisions are made on the basis of the pressure or the lobbying of the major powers, as opposed to just and truly democratic means, then such speeches are rendered hollow, meaningless and serve only as pretence to deceive the outside world.[6]

Hence, to save the world from the gloom looming ahead, there is an urgent need to fulfil the requirements of justice.

Flaws in human thinking and the need for Divine guidance

Human knowledge is an ever-evolving phenomenon and hence, can at no point be said to be perfect. Moreover, man’s interests are likely to overrule his rationality when forming thoughts. Hence, there is no doubt that the outcome of such thinking will not be absolutely based on justice and so, cannot be considered flawless.

Thus, it is evident that man remains in need of an external source to grant him guidance in his matters. Explaining this point, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community says:

It is important to always remember that human knowledge and intellect is not perfect, but is in fact limited. Thus, when making decisions or forming thoughts often certain factors enter human minds, which can cloud judgement and lead to a person trying to fulfil his own rights. Ultimately, this can lead to an unjust outcome and decision being made. God’s Law, however, is perfect and so no vested interests or unfair provisions exist. This is because God only desires for the good and betterment of His Creation and therefore, His Law is based entirely on justice.[7]

This is a very crucial point that the world needs to understand as this is how everlasting peace can be founded. Otherwise, all efforts to establish peace will continue to go in vain.

Islamic standard of justice

In relation to world peace, Islam puts forth some very important principles that are entirely based on justice and which, no sane person can deny. Firstly, Islam establishes absolute equality between people, leaving no chance for any thought of superiority to take root in anyone’s mind. The Holy Quran says:

O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.[8]

Hence, the Holy Quran makes it clear that our nationalities, ethnicities, and other differences only serve the purpose of identity and nothing more. Moreover, Islam teaches to act with absolute justice in all matters. It says:

O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do.[9]

Undoubtedly, if all nations acquire this standard of justice, the expanse of which is extended even to those people who go beyond all limits in their hatred and enmity, peace can certainly be hoped to be established in the world. However, the Islamic standard of justice does not end here. It further says:

O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.[10]

Hence, this is the principle that can truly guarantee peace in the world. The prevailing circumstances are making it clearer day by day that the world is pacing towards another world war. We are certainly not unaware of the destruction such a war can result in. Hence, if we truly wish to save the world from this destruction, all requirements of justice must be fulfilled.

References

[1] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 47

[2] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 84

[3] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 84

[4] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 87

[5] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 111

[6] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 49

[7] World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace p. 85

[8] Holy Quran 49: 14

[9] Holy Quran 5: 9

[10] Holy Quran 4: 136

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