The war in Ukraine has shown the need for peace and justice in society
Laiq Ahmed Atif | Times of Malta | Friday 25.03.2022
One of the undeniable realities and lessons that mankind has learnt throughout history, or should have learnt, is that war and invading another country is never a solution, in any circumstances whatsoever. Dialogue and discussions, however, have been an incredibly effective method in resolving all kind of conflicts in the past.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has once again drawn our attention towards the need for peace and justice in society, which should always be upheld and chosen over collateral damage and human casualties. Why do we still turn to weapons instead of engaging in dialogue to find solutions when the history of mankind has shown, time and time again, that war leads to death, catastrophe and a myriad of other issues?
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, has taught a golden principle: “Help both the afflicted and the cruel.” Upon hearing this, his companions enquired they could understand helping the afflicted but how could they help a cruel person? The Prophet responded: “By stopping his hand from committing cruelty because his excesses in cruelty will make him worthy of God’s punishment.”
Therefore, out of mercy, we should try to save the oppressor. This principle extends to the smallest fibers of society on the international level.
Similarly, the Holy Quran says: “And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them; then if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of God. Then, if it returns, make peace between them with equity and act justly. Verily, God loves the just” (49:10).
What an ideal and timeless principle has been laid down by the Holy Quran and, by adhering to this principle, the foundations of peace for the world can be laid.
Despite abiding by the principles of justice, if efforts to make peace are unsuccessful, then all other parties must unite and fight collectively against the party that has transgressed and continue until the transgressor stops his transgressions and peace is restored. Once the transgressor is ready to make peace, the requirement of justice is: do not seek revenge, do not impose restrictions or embargoes.
By all means, keep an eye on the transgressor but, at the same time, try and help them move on and improve so bonds are built, rather than miring their economy with sanctions, which will fuel division.
Why do we still turn to weapons instead of engaging in dialogue?- Laiq Ahmed Atif
In order to end the unrest prevalent in some countries and, particularly, the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the above principles are of paramount importance. Therefore, the focus of the world powers should not be to settle personal and deep-rooted grudges or an ego contest but the real focus should always be how to stop war and pave the way towards dialogue, reconciliation and peace.
His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, has also called on world leaders to adopt the above principles for many years, writing letters to the presidents of Russia and the US and other leading political figures; and it is still not too late and this war can be stopped.
He has said: “As the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I can only draw the attention of the world’s political leaders towards prioritising the peace of the world and setting aside their national interests and enmities for the sake of the well-being of all mankind. Thus, it is my sincere prayer that the world’s leaders act with sense and wisdom and strive for the betterment of humanity.”
His Holiness Pope Francis has also appealed to end the tragic Ukraine conflict stating: “In recent days, we have been shaken by something tragic: war. Time and again we have prayed that this road would not be taken. And let us not stop talking; indeed, let us pray to God more intensely… Those who wage war forget humanity.”
Most regrettably, the war in Ukraine has made the situation extremely grave and precarious and if the right decisions and timely steps are not taken towards de-escalation and peace building then it may well escalate further. Undoubtedly, the consequences of any such escalation will be horrific and destructive in a manner previously not seen by the world.
Roberta Metsola, the European Parliament president, in an interview with Times of Malta, spoke of the “palpable fear” that Russia’s war against Ukraine could spill into neighbouring EU states.
All world powers should unite and work to find a fair and just solution to this conflict and to save humanity from the brink of disaster before it is too late. May God the Almighty protect all innocent and defenceless people, may He save humanity from the brink of disaster and may true and lasting peace and justice in the world prevail. Amen.
email@example.com | Laiq Ahmed Atif, president, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta