Between Islam and Salām (Peace)
Dr.Mohamed Mihlar Abdul Muthaliff
The term Islam derives from the words “silm” and “salam,” which means surrender, submission and peace. Since Islam is a complete way of peace that occurs as a result of being obedient to Allah (SWT), the Qur’an asks all humanity to embrace this peaceful life and urges Muslims to continue their path to peace.
The right to life in Islam is an absolute value, as Allah (SWT) stated in the Qur’an: “He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind, and he who saves a life will be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32). One of the main objectives of Islam is to introduce into the world an ideology that promotes the propagation of peace at all levels.
Spread peace at an individual level as well as family and social level so that Muslims can live a peaceful life with other Muslims and non-Muslims, and also that Muslims can present a very positive and peaceful picture of Islam. Because, a true Muslim is – in Islamic view – one from whom humankind is free in tongue and hands.
Islam has given great attention to share greetings (salam) from the Muslim to those who knew and did not know. The Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) command to Muslims to maintain social solidarity and cooperation, to open hearts to others and to help one another at all times. He said, “Do not hate each other, do not envy each other, do not turn away from each other, but rather be servants of Allah as brothers. It is not lawful for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three days.” (Sahih Bukhari).
Good deeds in Islam are behaviours that favour people and society as well as actions taken to promote peace and serenity. This concept includes not only offering worship and spending for a good cause, but also the smile, the warm attitude towards others, the development of relationships, the pleasure of kind words, the exchange of greetings, the pleasant talk and the manage of bad feelings such as arrogance, pride, frustration, jealousy, hatred, cynicism, resentment and burning ambitions. Thus, virtuous deeds in Islam are actions which purify humankind of aggression and bring them to peace.
It is recommended in the Qur’an that conflicts be prevented by peace and that no more disputes, struggles, confusion and conflict be started; Therefore, people are asked to follow a balanced approach and bring justice (Qur’an, 8:1; 49:9).Islam proposes a society that is united and mutually helpful and this vision not only applies to the nation level, but also involves international relations. In this sense – from an Islamic point of view – the establishment of peace should be based on international law.
Islam emphasizes peace and reconciliation as fundamental to all social and even international relations. As stated in the Qur’an, a place of peace (Dar al-Salam) is Paradise, which is the reward for Muslim (the man of peace) on the Day of Judgment. One of the ninety-nine beautiful names of Allah (SWT) is Salām, which means peace. Throughout history, Muslims have made every effort to maintain peace and serenity in all divergent fields, taking military action only when their enemies threatened to obstruct these peaceful human efforts. Over the course of history, the general approach of Muslims has been supportive of maintaining peace, spreading an atmosphere of serenity and trust, and constructing a civilization of love, compassion, and mercy to share with other people in peace (Salām).
Dr.Mohamed Mihlar Abdul Muthaliff is an Associate Professor at the Aqidah and Religion Studies Programme, Faculty of Leadership and Management, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)