Rafed English

Peace: The Way of the Prophets and the Imams

Since the principle of peace is such a strategic and important one, we should discuss it in more detail, it being the basis of the struggle to establish a government for the millions of Muslims on the earth. It is essential that those involved in the international Islamic movement observe peaceful means as peace leads to rallying the people and then it brings about and end to the obduracy of the enemy.

Hence Imam Amir- ul-Mu'mineen (A) said: 'I would hate for you to become revilers.'

Before this the Holy Qur'an had said: {And do not curse those who call upo n other than Alla h lest they curse Allah out of enmity and unwittingly.} (6:108)

Cursing and enmity bring about loathing amongst friends and empower the enemy and there is no call for this. Arbitrary cursing ends up nowhere and what a person should be mindful of in front of his enemy is that he should seek to repel him with what is best as is found in the Holy Qur'an:

{Repel (evil) with tha t which is best for then you will find that your former enemy will beco me your warmest ally. But none shall achieve this but the patient ones and none shall achiev e this except one blessed with great fortune.} (41:34-35)

So those involved in the Islamic movement should adopt peace in their thoughts, words, writings and confrontations and even if they organise demonstrations and strikes they should be characterised by calmness for what is important is to reach the goal and not an outpouring of hatred and loathing. For hatred only breeds hatred and loathing only breeds loathing.

In the well-known aphorism: 'Grapes are not harvested from thorns.' Everything bears fruit of its own kind and good behaviour in a person brings about good behaviour in the person being dealt with. Bad behaviour only brings about a negative reaction. This applies equally to peace and its concomitants; each of them breeds its like.

This requires a degree of self-control and open-heartedness as Imam 'Ali (A) said: 'The tool of leadership is open-heartedness.' Meaning that your heart should remain open in all aspects - ethically and socially, intellectually, and in struggles, for this is the tool of leadership and the more this occurs, the more people will become attracted to the movement and the nearer it will take them to the desired objective.

Hence we can see that the phenomenon of good morals; forgiveness, peace, open-heartedness, kindness, humility, patience, not retaliating in the same way, but responding in the nicest way, ap pears in the lives of the all the great Prophets of Allah and the Impeccable Imams (A) and the great reformers.

We see Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (A) in the war of Basra (The battle of the Jamal), which was the first war to be waged against him, when the fighting had finished, Imam 'Ali strengthened the side of peace and sent a messenger to 'Aisha 56 saying she should return to her house in Madinah in peace. The Imam actually also clothed forty women in the clothes of men and sent them with 'Aisha to take her back to Madinah with her honour intact.

They had donned the clothes of men for the reason that passing caravans would think that they were men and not attack them. Also 'Aisha, being the wife of the Prophet (S), Amir-ul- Mu'mineen (A) was loath to send her with men but preferred to send her with women. And indeed, 'Aisha went to Madinah from Basra in the company of these women. This is truly an example of the highest of morals.

We can also see that Imam 'Ali (A) forgave those who had stirred up the war with him even when there were amongst them those who would come under the category of war criminals in the modern terminology - the likes of Marwan and Ibn Zubeir who he pardoned. He also pardoned the opposing army saying: 'I grant to the people of Basra what the Messenger of Allah (S) granted to the people of Mecca.' And he set them at liberty and did not take revenge of them and did not return their evil with evil but rather returned it with pardoning and kindness and he ordered that all the belongings that had been taken as spoils from the defeated army be returned.

Everything was returned, even a cooking pot that had been taken and was being used to cook some broth was emptied of broth and returned.

One time the Imam went on a reconnaissance mission to a grand house. He was told that women had gathered in it and were bewailing their dead soldiers from the defeated army and were cursing the Imam and his army. The Imam entered the house which was very large and full of the wives of the defeated army. The Imam said to his companions: 'Do not touch them even if they curse your manhood and your honour.' So he withheld his hands from them and replied to their curses with kindness.

When they saw the Imam they began to shriek: 'This is the murderer of our beloveds!' Meaning Imam 'Ali (A).

The Imam gestured and said: 'If I was the killer of your beloveds I would have killed those who are in these rooms (pointing to the rooms).' At once the women fell silent and did not say a word. The people were amazed at this and wondered what the Imam had said that had silenced the women. Later on the matter was disclosed to the comp anions of Imam 'Ali (A) that the leaders of the defeated army had hidden in tho se rooms and the women had gathered there as a ruse to cover up for them and to distract attention from them. So when the Imam pointed and said if I was the killer of your beloveds I would have killed those who are in these rooms they fell silent.

The life of the Prophet (S) and the life of Imam 'Ali (A) and the lives of the other Imams and great Prophets and the great reformers and great minds are summed up in the word 'peace'

Hence the world Islamic movement must observe peace in all its affairs before, during and after action and on the occasion of victory and establishing the Islamic state by the leave of Allah Almighty. The leaders should also educate the individuals in the Islamic movement about peace in the spoken word, thought, writing and action whatever the cost.


56. 'Aisha had led a war against Imam 'Ali, which became known as the War of Jamal.

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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