True Islam

War & Peace – Part 1

Among many rights which are mutually enjoyed by people globally, strengthening love & friendship also is part. Individuals, communities, societies and nations should work on strengthening such ties in order to promote harmony.  Being offspring of one father and having same origin, we today have common goals & objectives.

In presence of war and bloodshed, freedom and prosperity all become useless. Any effort or statement which encourages humans to serve mankind but on other hand doesn’t promote peace and harmony is false and has hidden agenda of instigating violence and spreading hatred. Rules and campaigns are of no use for mankind if they don’t promote human brotherhood and peace. Giving false statement for promoting peace and safeguarding humanity, when on other hand water streams are filled with blood, gardens are burned, and fields of crops are ruined. How ridiculous it looks when in front of mankind false statements are given and on other hand mankind is forced into mouth of war and everything that man processes is turned to ashes even hope.

Death and destruction are outcome of war and hatred. Whereas peace is the only way through which mankind could prosper and work towards a better life. History shows that it is during peace when mankind is able to utilize its potential and achieve common goals through mutual collaboration.

For Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) peace was like a fortress around mankind protecting them from calamity. Addressing people he said:

“God has not created you in vain”.

Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) views regarding purpose of life:

“God has created you respectable on His earth and safe among His creation. His bounties have spread the wings of their kindnesses on your heads and made the streams of comforts flow for your sake”.

Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) viewed friendship as a very strong and sacred bond. He said:

“Almighty God has strengthened the tie of love between the human beings. It is the love under whose shadow the people walk about and in whose lap they seek refuge. This love is an invaluable blessing because it is dearer than whatever price is fixed for it, and is greater than every great thing”.

Hazrat Ali (a.s) always wanted people to live in harmony, an environment of friendship and harmony. He had stated that it was in favor of mankind that prosperity prevails as it removes fear and distrust in society. For him war always bought destruction and death. And in eyes of God spilling blood and destroying land & property was sin. Even army or a particular person emerging as victor is seen as an enemy of intellect and one for whom life has no value.

Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) said:

“One who gains victory by evil means is in fact defeated. Nothing is worse than fighting and bloodshed”.

During the age of ignorance, looting, plundering, burning property, killing unarmed civilians and making women prisoners was something which came with war. Ali (a.s) always viewed that mankind hasn’t been able to know of its own value and also value of life.  And for him this was the worst form of ignorance. Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) said:

“They had reached the abyss of ignorance. They buried their girls alive, worshipped the idols and robbed and plundered one another”.

Falsehood always finds refuge in war and fighting. And it also has been injurious to truth. Truth is the main source of strengthening ties between humans and prosperity of society. But during war, doubt prevails and falsehood flourishes. Belief of Ali (a.s) regarding war and plundering were in line with his stance for freedom of mankind. Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) said:

“For your enemies this loss is sufficient that they have gone astray”.

Whenever a sinner or a rebel was presented in front of him or captured during war, Ali (a.s) always asked to regret. However how big his offense might be, he always asked the oppressed party to accept the apology being tendered. He said:

“Accept the apology of a person who apologizes to you”.

However great scholars after studying life of Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s), came to conclusion that despite having hatred for war and strong inclination towards peace; when it came to stand for oppressed and justice, Ali (a.s) was always the first one. Loving peace doesn’t mean that one should forget their responsibilities and sit quietly letting rebels and sinners do whatever they want. And so from life of Imam Ali (a.s) one can learn that war and peace both are good for betterment of society.

The real idea behind both is welfare of society. If people are living a comfortable life and prosperity prevails in society than peace is better for whole society. But if few mouths are only being fed, wealth is also circulating in few hands, common men living a miserable life and common human rights are being violated, for such a society war and rebellion are blessing until peace and prosperity is resorted in society. Message from life of Hazrat Ali (a.s) is not to become like those who constantly wage war, oppress basic human rights of those living under their ruler ship and target weaker class of society. Also he would never want people to become slaves and give up even the right to speak against such tyrants.

Nothing is wrong in war which is started to restore rights of common men and balance in society. But as soon as peace is restored and harmony prevails in society all efforts should be made for reconciliation. People, who were part of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s) army in Great War of Siffin, started becoming impatient and wanted swift permission of jihad; at that moment Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) said:

“As regards your asking whether this delay is due to the fact that I abhor death and wish to escape it, I swear by God that I do not care whether I proceed towards death or death proceeds towards me. And similarly as regards your asking whether I am doubtful regarding the lawfulness of jihad against the people of Syria, I swear by God that I have not delayed `the battle even for a day except with the idea that some persons from amongst them may possibly come and meet me and be guided through me and may also see my light with their dazzled eyes. I like this more than to kill them while they are in a state of ignorance, although they themselves will in any case be responsible for their sins”.

Another aspect which we can understand from teachings of Hazrat Ali (a.s) is that war should not be waged only to be victorious. After defeating the enemy, victor should not destroy property of captives, torture should not be his ploy, and maltreatment of those captured during war should be avoided. If one has joined a campaign for sake of justice, his campaign should only last till peace is restored and not taking revenge.

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