Islam: Religion of Peace (Part 3: Man’s aggressive nature)
November 15, 2010 2 Comments
The history of mankind is a gory tale of murder, assassination and torture in any event. So much blood has been spilled throughout history that the whole world could be painted red with it – with plenty more to spare. When will this blood shedding stop?
Religious history records that Abel was the first man to be killed for no reason, by none other than his own brother Cain. The story of which has been preserved in Holy scriptures (both the Bible and the Qur’an) as a lesson which will remain as an example till the end of time. Man, is an aggressive creature. He is as cruel today as he was thousands of years ago. The history of religion, in any part of the world at any time is the history of torture, repression, execution and crucifixion. It is disappointing indeed to find that religion, which is supposed to be the last refuge of peace in a world of war and conflict, is a cause of destruction and bloodshed. Religion itself is not the real cause of mass murder. It is a mistake to think it is, it was not given to man to encourage violence.
The question one asks then is, why does history create the impression that religion sanctions bloodshed and murder in the name of peace? The Qur’an points out very clearly why this can lead one to such conclusion. It cites the past shows that those who perpetuate brutality in religion’s name are corrupt with either anti-religious or people whose religion has been corrupted. There are religious leaders, with no warmth, compassion, mercy or piety. They are hypocrites, with a lust for power – cruelty is their ruling passion. Religion should not be associated with their misdeeds. God, does not allow the followers of any religion to oppress His people.
The Holy Qur’an quotes many historical examples to prove this point. The early part of the prophets’ lives is given by the Qur’an as a standard for religious reform or for preaching. Clearly, if physical force had been allowed by God, then it would have been permitted by the founders of religions. The Qur’an gives an example of Abraham (peace be upon him), who called the people towards God by using love, sympathy and humility. He had no sword, he was asked to desist from his beliefs by his own father. Other examples, those of Noah, Lot, Shuaib (peace be upon them) proves there is a pattern of conversion to true religion and also force used by the anti-religious, the enemies of truth.
Same is the case with the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as I have quoted previously, the account of Ta’if is one of many incidents in the first 13 years of preaching in Mecca. Early Muslims were laid out in the deserts of Arabia under the blazing sun, put bare back on burning coals. Dragged through the streets, shunned, kept hungry and thirsty. Pregnant women thrown off camels, bodies of dead Muslims cut asunder and yet we find no account of aggression on the part of Muslims in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad. These incidents and many others endorse the fact that true religions and its followers have gone through a series of trials and persecution.
Is it possible to change hearts by force? Can a man be re-converted into a religion he has discarded after discovering it to be false? Can he be re-converted after he has discovered the truth about a new religion? No dictator has ever been able to escape this logic. The historical fact is that sword never ruled and will never rule men’s heart. The human body might be subdued by force, but the soul cannot. Fear may settle in the mind, but belief comes from the heart.