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Non-violence and Peace building in Islam

The Concept of Non-violence in Islam

Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali


The theory this paper seeks to advance is that peace and non—violence form an integral part of Islam especially in the area of conflict situations. It addresses these issues through the verses of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which embrace the struggle of the oppressed and goes on to illustrate that Islam engages in non—violent, peaceful, effective ways of precluding conflict.

The efforts and instruction of the Qur'an to resist provocation and aggression in a society engulfed in conflict, to speak of patience (sabr) or gentleness (rifq), to actively reject violence (unf) and disruption of the social system causing losses in life and property (fasad), to protect the sacredness of human dignity and engage peacefully in resisting oppression (zulm) through plausible means, to engage in peace making, confidence building, avoiding confrontation or conflict is reflected in the Qur'an and the life of Prophet Muhammad. It is important to understand that non-violence in Islam does not spell surrender or passivity but the active rejection of violence; it entails peaceful engagement in overcoming injustice. social ills or conflict without causing injury, in other words without violence or war.

A complex intricate set of factors has given rise to the discourse on violence or the use of force in Islam. Two of these need special mention. One is the religious legitimisation of political hegemony soon after the passing away of the Prophet Muhammad and second the misconceived notion (giving subsequent rise to animated political controversy) of the word Jihad as signifying the elimination of non—Muslims and their civilization. This paper will deal only with the second issue


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