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The Role and contribution of Islam in promoting the Culture of peace in a Globalized World

May 16, 2008, 8:16 AM | Article By: By Dr. Omar Jah Jr. - Head of the Humanities Department - University of the Gambia

(Part 6)

4-Peace Methodology of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The entire life of the Prophet was to bring peace to the whole world. He always warned people against conflicts based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion or nationality. His methodology can be traced both internally and externally:

a)-Internally in the constitution of Medina, the first of its kind, he declared the Jews of Medina to be a community with Muslims and concluded a peace pact with the Christian of Najran. The Prophet (pbuh) made it a matter of policy and religious obligation that the Christian churches and the Jewish synagogues be well protected by the Islamic state. All other human rights of non-Muslims and foreigners were jealously guarded and trade relationship established. The best example of that economic and trade exchange was the fact that after his demise, the Prophet's war attire was still mortgaged at Jewish merchant. But particularly, his methodology of de-escalation of conflict and public unrest whether caused by external or internal forces is something the world has to revisit in this globalized world

Even today whatever maybe the accusations leveled against Muslims, this prophetic example has constantly influenced the Muslim behavior. In practice, Islam and Muslims remain the most tolerant religion and people on earth.

Few examples can illustrate this fact: it is only in the Muslim community where one finds names like 'Isa referring to Jesus and Maryam referring to Mary and Musa referring to Moses (pbut). It also not difficult to see a Muslim majority state led by a Christian like Senegal with former president Senghore, it is finally easier to see an Eastern non-Muslim secretary general of the United Nations like Butrus Ghaly than seeing a Western Muslim secretary general of UN

By the same token with all the misconceptions about Islam and Muslims, the total casualties of all wars caused by Muslims including casualties of the battles of self-defense since the time of the Prophet up to date represents only a fraction of the casualties of First or Second World Wars. My question is: Were the First and Second World Wars triggered by Muslims?

b)-Externally, as an overall world leader, years after his migration to Medina, formerly known as Yathrib, the Prophet established a very gentle logical and peaceful international relations based on reciprocity, dialogue, concession but most importantly a relationship of not a ubservient peace but dignified peace. His approach with his infidel enemies during the agreement of Hudaybiyyah peace pact was an approach to be emulated. Years after arrival in Medina, he dispatched ambassadors to all world kings and emperors inviting them to a global unity.

This has yielded some practical socio-economic fruits recorded by history. The best example is the Moroccan Jewish community today. Their ancestors originally lived under the Islamic rule of Spain and when it was re-conquered, many of these Jews decided to leave for fear of persecution on the part of the new conquerors, Christians with whom they used to have continuous enmity due to what the latter used to believe was the role of the Jews in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (pbuh)

The same sensitive attitude and other reasons resulted in the Jewish migration to Yathrib, running from the Roman control of Palestine, and later were considered by the Prophet to be a community with Muslims in the above stated constitutional arrangement.

To be continued