Does Islam teach violence?

Contrary to the common belief, Islam does not teach violence. It is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word.

The first verse of the Qur’an breathes the spirit of peace. It reads:

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.

This verse is repeated in the Qur’an no less than 113 times. It shows the great importance Islam attaches to such values as Mercy and Compassion. Moreover the Qur’an states that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH was sent to the world as a mercy to mankind. (21:107)

A perusal of the Qur’an shows that most verses of the Qur’an (and also the Hadith) are based on peace and kindness, either directly or indirectly. The ideal society, according to the Qur’an is Dar as-Salam, that is, the house of peace (10:25).

The Qur’an presents the universe as a model that is characterized by harmony and peace (36:40). When God created heaven and earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other part. The Qur’an tells us that “the sun is not allowed to overtake the moon, nor does the night outpace the day. Each in its own orbit runs.” (36:40)

For billions of years, therefore, the entire universe has been fulfilling its function in total harmony with His divine plan.

These are only but a few references to show what great importance Islam attaches to peace. In fact, Islam cannot afford not to be in a state of peace because all that Islam aims at—spiritual progress, intellectual development, character building, social reform, educational activities, and above all Missionary work —can be achieved only in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

Not only Islam, but also all other religions may be defined in this way. The best interpretation of Islam has been given by the Sufis. To describe it, they use the Persian phrase, Sulh-e-Kul, meaning ‘Peace with all’, which truly expresses its spirit.

Human life in Islam is held in such high esteem that if even a single human being is killed, that is considered equivalent to the assassination of the whole of mankind. And the protection of a single human life is equivalent to the protection of the whole of mankind. (5:27-32)

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