Brother’s on the other side of the path
An open letter and an appeal
‘Non-violence is a sword that heals.’
My beloved Brothers,
Life is a fragile collection of moments we gather – the memories we make and the experiences that shape us up. We all grew up together – playing, running around the streets and carelessly enjoying life together. Today however, we stand divided by clouds of despair, separated by beliefs and ideologies-guiding us into different directions with every passing day. The history of mankind unveils a constant struggle and the ceaseless warfare between the GOOD and EVIL forces in the universe. At times, people are, in general, drifted to moral turpitude and breach of ethical discipline.
As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government. It strongly condemns all acts and forms of terrorism because its deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.
There is not the least truth in the assertion that it is time for resorting to the sword and gun for spreading the truth and righteousness. The sword, far from revealing the beauties and excellence of truth, makes them dubious and throws them into background. Those who hold such views are not the friends of any cause but its deadly foes. They have low motives, mean natures, poor spirits, narrow minds, dull brains and short sight. It is they who open the way to an objection against Islam also, the validity of which cannot be questioned. They hold that Truth needs the sword for their advancement, thus brand its purity and cast a slur upon its name. The thing that can easily establish its truth and superiority by sound intellectual arguments, heavenly signs or other reliable testimony, does not need the sword to threaten men and force a confession of its truth from them. Religion is also worth the name only so long as it is in consonance with reason. If it fails to satisfy that requisite, if it has to make up for its discomfiture in argument by handling the sword, it needs no other argument for its falsification. The sword that it wields cuts its own throat before reaching others.
Also, how could the religion be from God, whose teachings needed the flash of the sword to get an entrance into the human heart? Such considerations were enough to hold back people from the acceptance of truth. The true religion is that which on account of its inherent property and power and its convincing arguments is more powerful than the keenest sword, not that which depends upon steel for its existence.
Violence is also the most obvious obstacle to economic growth. It is no exaggeration to say that unless violence is brought under control, there can be no possibility of establishing stable prosperity or of the abolishing chaos. The milieu of lasting peace is necessary for stable economic growth, for expanding trade throughout the world, for greater confidence in the future, for maximum investment and risk taking and for voiding unproductive investment in war-related industries as well as preventing the wasteful destruction of the existing capital. The truth is that economic advantages of peace and economic disadvantages of war can never be exaggerated.
The abolition of violence, means not the abolition of conflicts, but the diversion of conflicts into more fruitful channels. In domestic politics we have in great part accomplished this end. The law courts, the ballot box, the election campaign, the pamphlet, the magazine article, the newspaper – these are the most fruitful arenas of battle. The great task of the present is to extend the areas of peaceful conflict and to diminish the area where peaceful conflict breaks down. This can only be done by the widespread development of a sense of responsibility not only among governments but also among private citizens, not for a limited group but for all people, for it is when the sense of mutual responsibility breaks down that war ensues.
I request all of the brothers that we must be prepared to act in the interest of humanity as a whole, even if such an action may conflict with our own short-term interests. The sense of responsibility must keep on being exhibited throughout our actions. And above all, justice should be the means and justice should be the end.
Should such unity ever occur, peace would embrace humanity. Otherwise, if we shut our eyes to justice and truth, then the very peaceful survival is at stake. Vanity of vanities would, in the end, prove to be nothing else but all vanity, for ideologies and institutions which fail to serve man, never last. This is a divine decree and divine decrees are never altered. The Holy Quran says:
‘but as to that which benefits men, it stays in the earth’. (13:18)
I understand you may have your reasons choosing violence as your weapon to get justice, but I promise you, if for once you decide to let down your guards and open to the world – we are all still waiting for you to come back to us and adopt non-violence. Giving up your weapons doesn’t mean giving up your fight, but choosing non-violence will ensure you come back home safely to your loved ones as we all know militancy often is a one-way street leaving behind parents without kids, wives without husbands and kids without a parent. You choosing to let your anger win over your mind, must have been a tough battle for you as well- talk to us, share with us, let us in on what went wrong? What made you take up violence as your weapon?
Take a pause and think about your loved ones at home. We all pray for you, for your return and your safety all the time. We understand you may have some bitterness in your heart due to your own reasons, but don’t let it alienate you from your loved ones. All of us, who you’ve left behind are constantly battling the society as well as ourselves to keep the faith alive within us. We are all here to listen to your reasons and address them as required. We promise to be a part of your fight for your cause but in the righteous manner, to stand by you and support you in your fights which are rationale. These solutions can only be reached by carrying out conversations and coming to mutually beneficial conclusions. Remember, you’re not alone- please try to talk to us once, I’m sure communication can solve much more issues than violence ever can! Remember violence will never be a solution, it’ll only be a spark in the raging fire and shall ignite the fire more.
The act of violence has always been condemned in every religion. Don’t let anyone misguide you into believing that bloodshed is the path to salvation. The Holy Bible mentions Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” Ahinsa, is a widely popularized ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings. It is a key virtue in various religions spread across the globe like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.
I am thus writing to you to extend a hand to be there for you, get you out of the loom and lead a life together that isn’t filled with terror, bloodshed, anger and fear. Rather, I hope to see times of love, compassion and forgiveness with you.
Dr Adil Rasool Malik
(Author besides being a Dentist works on various trivial social issues especially related to youth. Author can be reached at [email protected] & twitter @drmalikadil)