Maha Khan, London
With the world becoming devastatingly divided and fuelled by xenophobia, one becomes fearful of raising a family in such environments and wishes to instil peace in the world, little by little.
We wonder how and where to begin, searching for answers as to why the world is this way. Like many things in life we should begin by tracing the root of the matter, the source of hatred and absence of peace witnessed these days. We must look deeply into the psyche of the human race beginning with childhood. When ‘childhood’ is mentioned, many emotions spring to mind, however one factor shared amongst all children is the memories attached to the childhood home – and peace arguably starts at home.
Your first experience of peace, love, and patience starts from your parents who teach you by being the best possible examples. Muslims teach their children that the definition of peace requires having harmony between one’s desires and God’s commandments and exhibiting this harmony to others. For example, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared, ‘A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe.’ (Tirmidhi). Commenting on the Holy Qur’an (5:33), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), stated, ‘He who abandons kindness abandons religion. The Holy Qur’an teaches that whoever kills a person without justifiable cause will be as if he has killed the whole world. In the same way, I say that if someone is not kind unto his brother, it is like he has been unkind to the whole world.’ i
Echoing this, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the 5th and current Khalifa of the Promised Messiah stated during his 2004 tour of Benin, ‘The taking of a single life is like the massacre of thousands of innocent lives.; ii These teachings instil within children an empathy and sincere desire for the welfare of others. The ideal society, according to the Holy Qur’an, is Dar as-Salam (6:128 10:26), literally meaning, ‘house or abode of peace. Establishing this peace on earth establishes peace in everyday life at all levels, including personal, social, state and international. We can achieve peace within our households by practising simple tasks that help with the maintenance of harmony.
Keeping peace between husband and wife:
Husband and wife as life partners have great responsibilities and obligations. Both must have concern, love and compassion for each other. The Holy Qur’ān has given an excellent example of husband and wife in the following verse:
‘…They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them…’ (2:188)
Garments are used for three main purposes which echo the relationship between husband and wife. 1. To cover and protect oneself from extreme climatic conditions, etc. 2. To look civilised, nice and elegant. 3. To cover weaknesses, faults and blemishes.
The Holy Qur’an teaches us to make every effort in creating a happy environment at home and teaches prayers for the same:
‘…Our Lord, grant us of our wives and children the delight of our eyes and make each of us a leader of the righteous.’ (25: 75)
Those who are sincere in their prayers, and show exemplary behaviour, Allah answers their prayers and helps them to have a happy atmosphere at home.
Advice for men and women:
Ḥazrat Sayyidah Nusrat Jahan Begum (Ḥazrat Amman Jan), wife of, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) gave the following advice to her daughter, Ḥazrat Sayyidah Nawab Mubarakah Begum, at the time of her wedding.
• Never do a thing keeping it secret from your husband. Never do anything that you feel the need to hide from your husband! Even if the husband may not be observing, but God does see, and the wife loses her respect when the matter is disclosed at the end.
• If a thing is done against his wishes, never try to hide it. Inform him clearly, as that is the way to retain respect. To hide it leads to disgrace and disrespect.
• Do not argue with him when he is angry! If he is angry with you or a child or a servant, and you know that he is at fault, even then do not respond to him. When he calms down, then gently let him know the truth and make him realise his error. The woman who argues with her husband when he is angry loses her respect. It will be a great disgrace if he uses harsh words to her in his anger.
• Consider his dear ones and their children as your own dear ones. Never think of harming anyone even if he is doing wrong to you. You should have good will in your heart for all, and do not take any action in revenge against anyone. Then you will always behold God doing good to you. iii
Of course the husband should also observe these esteemed instructions for promotion of peace and harmony at home.
Attaining peace with oneself by being true:
I end with a quote by His Holiness Mirza Tahir Ahmad, fourth spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:
“Only when man becomes true can he find peace with himself… Truth is the most important fundamental first step towards peace and this is the meaning of becoming like God… Again, I will emphasise that this is the only formula for creating universality in man. Without creating universality in man it is impossible to dream of peace and this universality can only be achieved through the image of God which is universal. Through Him, man can achieve such characteristics as are universally loved so that the human community, the human race, can become a single species if the human race submits to the will of God and becomes or attempts to become like God. Herein meet the two different meanings of peace, that is, peace in the ordinary sense, and peace in the sense of submission.” iv
i https://www.alislam.org/islam/islam-peaceful-religion.pdf (page 4)
ii https://www.alislam.org/islam/islam-peaceful-religion.pdf (page 3)
iii https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Islamic-Teachings-on-Ideal-Family-Life.pdf (page 37)