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Ethics

Toward a Comprehensive Peace

It is then necessary, for the sake of a general and comprehensive peace, to transfer the weapons making factories into those of peaceful motives. It should not be argued that warfare pro vides work for millions of workers for many of these workers could be absorbed by works with peaceful intent.

Projects for the housing, health and the other needs of the people of the world could be put into action as well as projects to conquer space. If it was inevitable that a surplus of workers were left without any work this does not necessitate that they be idle. They can occupy themselves with seeking knowledge or in acts of worship or in recreation after the work had been distributed to them and others.

For example, let us suppose that there are ten million workers each one occupied eight hours per day in the different areas of manufacturing and agriculture and half of them - five million - were working in the arms industry. If they were put to work in works of a peaceful nature there might remain two million without any work the other three million being absorbed by the works of a peaceful motive.

In this case the available work could be distributed amongst the ten million and the length of the working day reduced. So in the example given, rather than having ten million working eight hours per d ay so that five million may work in the arms industry,

each worker would work six and two fifths hours per day and for the rest of the time they could spend it in science and knowledge - teaching or learning or experimenting, or in acts of worship which bring about the good in this life and the next, or with recreation like travelling etc.

It is not right to say that we should manufacture weapons and kill the people just so that there is no unemployment. It is as if there was a family half of whom had work and half of whom did not and we said that the half who did not have work should occup y themselves in killing the other half who do have work just so that the half who did not have work were busy doing something. This kind of logic is neither reaso nable nor lawful; it is nothing but co rrupt.

It is necessary then for us to bring forth peaceful work for the workers in arms factories as well as fo r those who are occupied in military matters like the officers, leaders, and soldiers and others. Naturally, there should remain a small number for possible emergencies, and the others if trained should be trained to an extent and will fo rm a reserve army rather than a full time one.

We have already mentioned in other books that Iran, in the days of the reformer al-Shirazi and the story of the prohibition of tobacco, had around ten million reserve soldiers - all of the population - and ten thousand men at arms for the times of peace. In any case, it is imperative that the problem of war be solved in this way or in another way. This is as regards the amount of weapons.

As regards to the type of weapons, it is imperative that weapons be reduced. That is, there should be committees to change the advanced weapons into light weapons like the rifle, then to substitute these light weapons for primitive weapons like the sword and the spear for it is a grave error for humanity to prepare weapons which will annihilate both the fighter and his enemy.

This is possible if we enable a general mobilisation for peace. Then the arms factories will become obsolete and the workers can be employed in other fields. Large armies will be demobilised and complicated weapons will be destroyed and there will b e a return to light weapo ns.

It is likely that the world will end with the sword as a weapon for it is found in certain traditions about the Imam al-Mahdi 7 (May Allah hasten his appearance) that he will carry a sword and in some accounts it will be the sword 'Dhulfiqar' the same as was carried by Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Imam 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (A) 8 in the battles of Islam. It is related in some hadith that this sword descended from the heavens upon the Messenger of Allah (S).

He then gave it to Imam 'Ali (A) after which it became part of the sacred inheritance of the impeccable Imams peace be upon them until it ended up with the Imam al-Mahdi (A). It is also found in the hadith that the area of the battle of the Imam and his companions will be between Makkah and al-Kufa, a very small area indeed. As for the rest of the lands, they will unite under the flag of the Imam without warfare.

Notes:

8. Alayh-es-Salam meaning peace be upon him. This is always stated after the mention of the name of one the infallible Imams out of respect for the Imam (A).

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