It is always music to the ears whenever we hear the word ‘peace’ in the fractured world we live in. Keeping in view the current turbulent situation of the world, the gift of peace, harmony, love and affection to others is the most precious and unmatched gift to humanity. And no matter how much one extends the gift of love, peace and affection to other people, it is simply not sufficient.
Recently I read an article in the Times of Malta written by Archbishop Charles Scicluna titled ‘The seeds we should be sowing’. In his article, he drew the attention of readers stating, “The seed we sow should be one of peace, which sprouts tolerance and dialogue, not hatred. It should be a seed that emerges from a heart which is compassionate and caring”.
I think it is a very important message for all of us, particularly for religious leaders, and we should always try to become the catalyst of compassion, dialogue and peace.
Undoubtedly, no sane and sensible person can ever deny the importance of a serene and tranquil environment and its fruitfulness. The question is how to achieve this objective.
It is only when we are openhearted, and when we understand one another and listen to each other’s views and opinions with tolerance and respect that we can establish peace and harmony in society.
I sincerely believe that dialogue is vital and must be promoted and encouraged at all levels, without prejudice, favour or discrimination.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always promoted dialogue between all sections of society and different communities, including religious ones. Dialogue is crucial for constructing a healthy and vibrant society.
Unfortunately, sometimes this means free speech and dialogue take the form of racist remarks and hate speech, as evidenced online. How to counter such hate speech?
Love is the antidote to hatred. Dialogue is the prevention to hate speech.
Education, understanding and awareness are essential material for constructing compassionate and caring societies.
How to sow the seeds of peace and compassion? True peace of mind and compassion requires for a person to recognise God Almighty and to develop a connection with Him because, according to Islam, one of the attributes of God Almighty is that He is the ‘Source of Peace’.
Islam instructs people to emulate, to the best of their abilities, the attributes of God. The Holy Prophet Muhammad repeatedly stated that his followers must be compassionate, considerate and strive to impart peace to others.
Additionally, the Holy Prophet Muhammad has laid down an incredibly weighty principle paramount for sowing the seeds of peace and compassion which states: “You should always like for others what you like for yourself ”.
This simple yet profound principle, if acted upon by all people, is the means for everlasting peace in society.
Therefore, it is essential to give precedence to love, compassion and peace over personal and vested interests.
I firmly believe that sowing the seeds of love, respect, harmony and peace at a time when division, hatred and selfishness are prevalent, is a great service to humanity.
In fact, excellence of social conduct constitutes the basis of every virtue; even spirituality is but an advanced state of good conduct. Highlighting good conduct, Prophet Muhammad said, “Nothing weighs heavier in the scale of God than the excellence of conduct.”
Religious communities should take a leading role in promoting the culture of peace and harmony. Let us unite to sow the seeds of peace in every part of our country and indeed all over the world.