Rafed English

Weapon of Non-Violence vs. Violence

Just as violence is a weapon, non-violence is a weapon too. However, the weapon of non-violence is more effective than the weapon of violence. Just as the soul is stronger than the body, so too is non- violence, since it is the weapon of the soul, and so it is more powerful than the weapon of the body which is made of matter.

For this reason, the non-violence of the prophet Abraham (A) defeated King Nimrod's violence, and Moses' non-violence defeated Pharaoh's violence, and Jesus' non-violence defeated Herod's violence, and the non-violence of the Messenger of Allah (S) defeated the violence of the pagans' great knights.

If an individual is able to use the weapon of non-violence then it is inevitable that his adversary would succumb to him no matter ho w strong or ferocious his enemy may be. So we see that Jesus (A) ordered his followers to offer the right cheek of their face to he who slaps them on the left. In doing so he does not want to encourage the offender but he wants to draw the offender to the territory of justice and virtue.

Since such a reaction would create a powerful storm in the soul of the offender in sympathy with the victim, which in turn leads the oppressor to be humble before the oppressed. What a transcendental wisdom it is that one can sustain a continuous and satisfactory victory by enduring a little suffering and attract the intelligent foe to one's principles.

In the book "Towards Islamic System of Government" I have discussed this issue as follows:

Non-violence is the third stand upon which the Islamic movement bases its call for an Islamic government, and this is of utmost importance. Non-vio lence requires a very strong and resilient character, which can withstand any assault with total tolerance, and without retaliating, even if the opportunity is there to do so.

Non-violence is manifested in the hand, in the to ngue, and in the heart. Each is easier than the other. Non-violence of the hand is easier than that of the tongue and non-violence of the tongue is easier than that of the heart.

The meaning of non-violence is that an individual puts things right, whether constructive or destructive, with total leniency so that no one is harmed by this cure. It is in fact like the Balsam that is placed on an aching part of the body so that it is healed.

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

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