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Link to the mandala of Brother Nicholas of the Flueli
Iwan Sokolowsky {*}

Islam And Peace

German Version

 

from: Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Jesuiten, issue 3, 2005

 

In Non-Islamic cultures the opinion prevails that Islam is the religion of the holy war, of God's violent rule, or at best of absolute legalism; its moral standards and value conceptions had been moderated only by the contact with the western civilization but could any time return to religious fanaticism again. Peace and Islam had therefore little in common. In contrast to those opinions Muslims are convinced that peace and Islam cannot only harmoniously coexist but are identical.

 

Entirety

Before statements of the Koran about peace and their application in the Muslim community in everyday life of religion, politics and society can be examined, a short explanation of the stem of the Arab term s-l-m is advisable. From it are formed the words for peace (salâm), for the religion of peace (islâm) and for the followers of peace (Muslim). Their primary meaning is "entirety", at the same time salvation, physical and mental well-being, wholeness and reconciliation. By accepting the entirety, by "submitting oneself to it" peace is made. All that is Islam: Submission makes peace and people intact, saved, healthy and mentally normal. To a faithful Muslim applies: Who has not Islam as religion is to be pitied, because he lives in darkness, is blind, and does not find the right path. He has no peace in himself, is split in himself, but also the peoples and nations and people among whom he lives are split.

 

No Gods Beside Allah

Since the entirety, the non-disintegration into individual parts is the foundation-stone of Islam, you may estimate the significance of monotheism. Allah is the One and only God who has not any gods or any partners of His divinity beside Himself. Nothing is more adverse to God as the idea of trinity. It divides the One God, lets Him disintegrate into individual parts, and robs His wholeness. "Those are truly disbelieving who say, 'Allah is the third of three (gods), when there is no (other) God - except Allah, the only God." (Sura 5, 72-73)

 

Islam Without Hatred

Enmity and hatred, i.e. 'discord', are for Muslims only expressions for non-Islam, since Islam and peace are identical. Who is not ready to submit but rises proudly above Islam perishes by his own pride and ends in 'discord'. The heathens do not have peace; it retreated from Jews and Christians with whom God once in Abraham made a covenant after they had broken that covenant and did not accept Islam. They are split among themselves, even in questions of religion.

 

Change

The keeping to Islam will once be recompensed with paradise. Islam takes hold of all layers of life and is due to its central position a religious and socio-political program. The faithful Muslim studies the course of history and looks for God's finger in all events, because nothing happens without God's permission.

To determine which things cannot be given up in Islam and which can be changed without disturbing peace and adapted to the social, political and economic conditions, that are the questions Muslims are struggling with, because for them salvation is at stake. But it is possible and necessary to participate in that mental struggle by dialogue and exchange of ideas, so that ways can jointly be found for living together without denying one's own convictions.

 

    {*} P. Iwan Sololowsky SJ, born in 1940, is co-worker in the Cardinal König House - Education Centre of the Jesuits in Vienna-Lainz.

 

Link to 'Public Con-Spiracy for-with-of the Poor'

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