A good article regarding peace in islamic terminology, a-must-read :
By Imam Hamid Slimi
Nowadays, we hear, very often in the media and everywhere else different parties who are in search for peace or what are known as “Peaceful Resolutions”.
Many of these belligerent parties have been in long processes of peace talks, or are still trying to find ways to initiate peace talks. How does Islam perceive peace in general? And what is really the state of peacefulness? Is it one sided? Serving one party on the account of others? Or is it a general and a just peace where everybody enjoys equal rights?
Islam means “submission to and acceptance of the will of God” and has at the same time the meaning “peace” derived from the Arabic word “salaam”. Islam, terminologically speaking, is a religion that carries the word “peace” and is not named after a certain prophet, a God, or a philosopher. Some Orientalist writers have tried very hard during the last two centuries to use in their literature the word “Mohammedanism”, which is a misnomer that even Muslims are not familiar with, in order to classify Islam as a founded religion rather than a revealed one.
In the word “Islam”, multiple meanings are implied. The word “salaam” translated as “peace”, has a much wider significance. It includes a sense of security, soundness, freedom from defects like in “saleem”, preservation like in “saalem”, deliverance and safety like in “salaama”, salutation with those around us as in “salaam”, resignation with satisfaction and no discontent, and the ordinary meaning of peace, which is freedom from any jarring element.
In fact, for Muslims, the relation between submission and peace is a causal one because Submission to Allah in Islam brings peace on different levels beginning with the individual to the whole community, to all the creation of God. Allah says in the Qur’an,
“But God does call to the Home of Peace: He does guide whom He pleases to a Way that is straight” (Q 10:25).
The Qur’an’s message calls to peace and to the elements that guarantee it by laying a foundation of four cornerstones that are respectively: Justice, Tolerance, Respect and Dialogue. Without these four elements peace would be only ink on paper and a shallow concept.
The Muslims’ mission in this world is to call, as God Almighty does, to peace and its cornerstones and to be peacemakers beginning from the individual to the society at large.
( to be continue… )