The violence and terror committed and attributed to Islam has divided many societies and created great confusion. “Does Islam teach peace or encourage terror?” has been constantly a topic of debate in recent decades
Violence and murder are evil acts which humanity is facing since time immemorial. According to the Bible the first example of violence and murder occurred when the son of Adam killed his own brother. Hence, dark chapters of violence and murder have accompanied us throughout the history of human civilisation until now. But a new phenomenon which has emerged especially in recent decades and has caused confusion and disorder worldwide, is violence in the name of Islam and violence attributed to Islam.
On one side so called “Muslims” and Islamic organisations try to hide their personal and worldly ambitions cowardly behind the face of Islam. But the other side of the coin is also that some attribute the evil actions of very few so-called “Muslims” to the religion of Islam. As it would be injustice to attribute the wrongdoings of a Christian to the teachings of Christianity, in the same way it is unjust to label the wrong acts of a Muslim to the teachings of Islam.
I wish both sides of people - those who commit violence in the name of Islam and those who attribute the evil actions of individuals to the religion Islam, would realize the fact that “Islam” itself means in Arabic to be in peace and to give peace. I wish these people would realize, that being “AS-Salam” - provider of peace- is a basic attribute of God which Muslims are instructed to adopt. I wish these people would realize, that the purpose and aim of Islam is to establish and promote peace, as it is stated in the Holy Quran: “And Allah calls to the abode of peace.” (10:26)
I wish these people would know, that the founder of Islam – the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) – defined a Muslim to be such a person, from whose hands and tongue other human beings are safe. In other words, a true Muslim must be a source of peace for others. This is also the reason why Muslims are commanded to greet others even with words of peace – “Assalamo aleikum” (peace be upon you).
Of course a question that naturally arises here is that if these are Islam’s peaceful teachings then why do certain Muslim groups or individuals perpetrate cruelties and violence to others in the name of Islam?
This very question has already been answered in a prophecy made by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) more than 1400 years ago:
He clearly foretold that a time would come when the vast majority of Muslims would move far away from Islam’s original teachings. He said that a time of spiritual darkness would overtake the Muslims and their faith would become wholly corrupted. At such a time the actions of Muslims would be entirely against the original teachings of Islam. He warned that the so-called Muslim religious clerics and leaders would interpret Islamic teachings in completely the wrong way to create disorder and injustice.
However, upon forewarning about the desperate state of the Muslims, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) also gave the glad tiding that at such a time of disorder God would send an individual to revive Islam and to spread its true teachings. He would be sent as the Promised Messiah and he would re-establish the original and peaceful teachings of Islam throughout the world.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that the Messiah has come in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who is the founder of the Community. Hence the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who is worldwide united under the spiritual Caliphate of His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – the fifth Successor of the Promised Messiah, is determined to spread and practise the peaceful teachings of Islam all over the world. It is my hope and prayer, that the world instead of getting divided by attributing the evil actions of some individuals to an entire religion, we join together towards establishing peace in the world.