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Ethics

Peace ... always

To continue the discussion about the peaceful treatment of the friend and the foe, which is one of the vital fundamentals upon which the struggles of the international Islamic movement should be based, peace initially is bitter and difficult. It requires self-contro l, forgiveness, and turning a blind eye, and the capacity to act decisively and in the best possible way. Allah Almighty has said, 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)

One should always be looking towards the goal and realise that revenge inhibits the reaching of that goal. Hence we see that the Prophets and Imams (A) and reformers always tended towards peace not only before they had power but even after they had power.

The well known tradition reports that the Messenger of Allah (S) was extremely angry at Wahshi the killer of Hamza (A) who was one of the stalwarts of Islam as indeed were 'Ali and Ja'far, the sons of Abu Talib.

They were the staunch supporters of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his assistants in his wars and military campaigns and they had a position of pride and honour amongst the Muslims. Because of this, Hind, th e wife of Abu Sufyan said to al-Wahshi: 'If you kill Muhammad, or 'Ali, or Hamza I will reward you with such and such and I will free you from your bondage.' Al-Wahshi replied: 'As for Muhammad, I cannot kill him because his companions surround him.

As for 'Ali, I have no way against him for when he enters the field (of battle) he is so self aware that nothing escapes his notice be it in front, to his right or left or behind him. But I am able to kill Hamza for when he enters the field he is not self-aware.

He entered the battle and took advantage of him and attacked him. Hence Hamza was killed in that vile way, and Hind made a horrible example of him. Because of this, the Messenger of Allah (S) became very angry at Wahshi. Then one of his companions came to him after a time and said: 'O Messenger of Allah (S) will you forgive Wahshi, for he desires Islam.' The Messenger of Allah said: 'Then I forgive him.'

Indeed the Messenger of Allah (S) did forgive him and he entered Islam and became a good Muslim. He (Wahshi) used to say after that: 'I must aid Islam as I used to aid unbelief against Islam.' Wahshi took part in battles and had an important role. He took part in the story of al- Yamamah and he served Islam as he used to serve unbelief against Islam.

Hence we can see the excellent consequences, which arose from the forgiveness of the Messenger of Allah and his acceptance of the Islam of Wahshi.

In the same vein, the Messenger of Allah (S) also forgave Habbar who was one of the most uncouth of the people of Mecca and one who had stirred up trials and tribulations for the Muslims. He had caused the death of Zaynab, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) who was a pious woman who resembled the Messenger of Allah (S) in her morals and her looks as she resembled her mother Khadijah (A). She was with a child when Habbar caused her fall from the saddle and the child miscarried. She remained ill because of this until her death.

The Messenger of Allah (S) was aggrieved at this and called for Hab bar's blood and when he conquered Mecca, Habbar fled to the mountains because the Prophet had said: 'Kill Habbar even if he is clinging to the curtains of the Ka'bah.' This because he was considered to be an ill- mannered unco uth person who stirred up trials as we previously mentioned.

Then a man came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, you have forgiven everyone, so forgive Habbar also. You are most forgiving and noble.' The Prophet said: 'I forgive him.'

History records the kindness of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his patience and his decisiveness. These noble qualities deserve to be recorded as miracles. How great the man must be to reach this state where he forgives the killer of his uncle Hamza and the killer of his daughter and his still born grandson - Zaynab and her child.

Because of this we see that Islam b egan to spread because the ethics of Islam shone out impressing the people. This is the type of Islam that a person should believe in, the type, which around whose banner h e is able to rally in all goodness and peace.

The international Islamic movement must colour itself with the same tint of forgiveness, peacefulness, peace, and peace-making. Not just with its friends and relatives, but also with strangers, and enemies as we see in the stories of the great reformers.

One Muslim commander took control of some territory after a civil war and a rebellion. A group of officers who were considered to be war criminals were arrested and sentenced to death by execution. When that chief, that patient, honest, kind, and intelligent man, took th e death warrant he threw it to the floor and said: 'To have those officers above ground alive is better than to have them below ground dead. I grant them free pardon so set them free.

' Those who had b rought the death warrant were amazed but they could not disobey his orders so they went and freed the officers. Then these officers became the most earnest servants of Islam. They served their homeland in another war after that as an expiation for their previous ill acts. The chief said: 'Do you see how effective kindness, patience, forgiveness and peace can be. If we had ordered the death of those officers, who would have led the army? Who would have defeated our enemy when they attacked us?'

So it is imperative that the watchword of the Islamic movement be 'peace' in word, deed, and writing, and peace in all circumstances and with all the people.

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