The Prophet of Peace (Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad)

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Item Code: IHL406
Author: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9780143068174
Pages: 226
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.8 inch X 5.1 inch
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Book Description



Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, president of the Islamic Centre, New Delhi, founded the Centre for Peace and Spirituality (CPS International) in 2001. These organizations are dedicated to presenting Islam in the modern idiom. The Maulana is the author of The True Jihad, Islam Rediscovered, Islam and Peace and numerous other best-selling books on Islam.

The Prophet of Peace

Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan







A Blinkered Approach to History



History from a Muslim Perspective



Rediscovering Islam



The Quran's Plan for Man



The Islamic Model



A Prophet of Peace



Political Islam and Its Proponents



The Muslim Brotherhood



Political Extremism and Islam



Analysing the Phenomenon of Terrorism



Countering the Terrorists' Ideology



Does the Quran Support Terrorism?



Negative Thinking Alien to Islam



Jihad or Terrorism



Arguments against Suicide Bombing



Jihad against Muslim Rulers



Who Are Kafirs?



The Difference between Enemy and Attacker



Dealing with Oppression



Peace for the Sake of Peace



Democracy and Political Islam



The Role of the Muslim Media



Intellectual Development in Religion



Islam and Modern Science



Who Is Dajjal?



An Abode of Peace



The Gifts from the West



The Problem of Palestine



The Difference between Islam and Muslims









Terrorism is one of the gravest threats the world is facing today. The tragedy and irony of it is that most acts of armed violence by groups or individuals are being carried out in the name of religion, especially Islam.

Any terrorist, indeed any individual, can fulfil a given mission properly only when he is ideologically convinced of its validity. Ideology provides man with the necessary inspiration. Without an ideology, he fails to summon the requisite energy and enthusiasm so vital to the success of any struggle. This is as true of terrorism as it is of any other field of human endeavour.

Some countries are engaged in crushing terrorism in the name of Islam through military action, but that alone will not suffice to eliminate this phenomenon. Apart from often being armed to their teeth, today's terrorists are consumed by the ideology of their cause. So, engaging them is not simply an issue of gun versus gun. It has to be an issue of gun versus ideology.

Violence always begins in the mind; it needs to be uprooted therefore from the mind itself. We have to find an ideology of peace with which to confront the ideology of violence; without that there will be no end to the violence. The horrendous events that took place in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 are adequate proof of this point. They effectively demonstrated that, with a violent bent of mind, man can wage a war without even being in possession of arms. He can bombard without a bomb. Therefore, we have to eradicate the violent mindset and inculcate instead a peaceful way of thinking.

Let us not forget that where even a superpower cannot afford an endless war, the terrorist can. Terrorists are people of a different breed; their ultimate goal is not necessarily victory. Death too is a desired goal. According to their self-devised ideology, they believe that if they die in a militant struggle, they will instantly enter Paradise. Thus, for them, both victory and defeat have equal value—in either case, they believe that they are the winners. On the strength of this misleading ideology, terrorists can sustain their militancy for an indefinite period of time, even for many generations. But although they belong to a different breed, they are not a people apart. They are an integral part of the contemporary society they live in. And the greatest source of their strength is the ideological factory they run, aimed at brainwashing the youth. This brainwashing process goes on unceasingly, and there is always a long queue of those who want to be recruited and end up as martyrs.

Terrorism will persist in one form or another until the ideology of violence is countered with another ideology based on peace. But let us first understand the ideology of violence that is resulting in terrorism. This ideology is that Islam is a political system and that it is the duty of all Muslims to establish the political rule of Islam in the world. This kind of thinking was not prevalent during the time of Prophet Muhammad or his early companions. It is a later innovation. This was developed over the last few centuries by a handful of people and has become widespread in the Muslim world today. This has led to the present-day violence.

A large number of Muslims, especially many among the youth, have become obsessed with this ideology and are trying to establish the political rule of Islam, thinking it to be their ticket to Paradise. Having failed to achieve this objective of establishing Islamic rule by peaceful methods, they have started resorting to suicide bombing. The reasoning behind this seems to be 'If we cannot eliminate non-Islamic rule, let us at least destabilize it and pave the way for Islamic rule'.

After studying Islam by referring to its original sources— the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (the Hadith)—one can say with certainty that the political interpretation of Islam is an innovation and the real Islam, as followed by Prophet Muhammad and his early followers, is based upon peace, compassion and tolerance.

A new strategy must now be adopted, a strategy that requires developing a full-fledged ideology of peace to counter the ideology of violence. The ideology of violence is prevalent all over the world and is so deep-rooted in the minds of not only the extremists but also of many common Muslims that it is important to expose this ideology for what it is and show in detail how it contradicts Quranic teachings. Everyone will thus see the stark difference between the two.

Time and again, throughout the ages, people have risen in rebellion and made their mark on human history, but seldom did they attain the level that the 'Islamists' of today have taken it to. There are two main reasons for this state of events—modern weaponry and modern media. These are the twin factors that have propelled terrorism into the limelight.

In earlier times there were neither aeroplanes nor 110 storey buildings. That is why no person could conspire to hijack aeroplanes and crash them into high-rise buildings. This has become feasible only with modern technological progress and development. Moreover, it is only very recently that it has become possible for such events to be televised as they take place and to be communicated by the media almost instantly to people all over the world. The plain truth is that a terrorist is an ordinary human being; and if he has been accorded the status of an internationally acclaimed militant activist, it is thanks in no small measure to modern technology.

Another aspect of this phenomenon which must be questioned is the terrorist's ideology. The extremists call their terrorist culture 'Islamic jihad'—clearly a misnomer— and portray their actions as having been carried out under the banner of Islam. In this manner, the religion of Islam gets falsely linked with terrorist activities, and its name gets besmirched. It was repeated acts of terrorism that led the Daily Times, London, to study Islam with reference to bin Laden, and then, upholding sensationalism over objectivity, produce an article entitled 'A Religion That Sanctions Violence'.

Contrary to common belief, Islam, by definition, is a religion of peace. The very word 'Islam' (from the Arabic silm) means 'peace'. According to a tradition of the Prophet, 'Peace is Islam',1 in other words, peace is a prerequisite of Islam. The same is stated in the Hadith:

'A Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands people are safe.'2

Further, one of the attributes of God mentioned in the Quran (59:23) is As-Salam, which means 'peace and security'. Thus, God's Being itself is a manifestation of peace. Indeed, 'God is Peace'.3 The Quran (5:16) likens divine guidance to the paths of peace. Paradise, which is the ideal human abode, is called the 'Home of Peace' (10:25). It is also said that the people of Paradise will wish one another peace— this indicates that the social culture of the people of Paradise will be based on peace.

At a three-day symposium held at the American University in Washington, in February 1998, I made a speech on 'Islam and Peace', where I said:

It is no exaggeration to say that Islam and violence are contradictory to each other. The concept of Islamic violence is so obviously unfounded that prima facie it stands rejected. The fact that violence is not sustainable in the present world is sufficient indication that violence as a principle is quite alien to the scheme of things in Islam. Islam claims to be an eternal religion and, as such, could never afford to uphold any principle which could not stand up to the test of time. Any attempt to bracket violence with Islam amounts therefore to casting doubt upon the very eternity of the Islamic religion. 'Islamic terrorism' is a contradiction in terms, much like 'pacifist terrorism'. The truth of the matter is that all the teachings of Islam are based directly or indirectly on the principle of peace.

As regards suicide bombings, according to Islam, life is so precious that it should never be terminated at one's will on any pretext. Islam is a harbinger of life. It has no room for death. That is why the principle of patience is given the utmost importance in Islam.

The problem is that while the study of Islam always used to be done with reference to the Quran, it is now being done with reference to terrorist activities and the ideology that supports them. This calls for an objective review so that a proper distinction may be made between Islam and the politically motivated 'Islamic terrorism'.

This book takes an objective view of the self-styled jihadi terrorist movements and attempts to examine how these movements stand in relation to the Islamic ideology based on the Quran and the Hadith—the original sources of Islam. This book may be regarded as a study of Islam with reference to terrorism, or, conversely, as a study of terrorism

with reference to Islam. Today, both issues are so closely interlinked as to be almost inseparable. The study of one becomes the study of the other.

The terrorists have concocted a wrong interpretation of the Quran; this interpretation has it that the killing of non-Muslims whom they refer to as kafirs is an act of worship and a guarantee of entry into Paradise. The movement of the terrorists is a movement against humanity. To put an end to this movement, what is required is to bring about a de-conditioning of its adherents. This can be done only by meeting them on an intellectual level and impressing upon them the true and positive picture of Islam based on the ideology of peace rather than on their deceitful ideology of violence.

What is jihad? What is the Quran's position on terrorism? What did the Prophet Muhammad say of those who took their own lives?

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, one of the most eminent scholars of Islam in the contemporary Muslim world, draws on original Arabic sources to correct misconceptions about Islam's early history and to establish that the revolution brought about by the Prophet was entirely bloodless. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad formulated an ideal ideology of peace which he faithfully and rigorously put into practice. In his time, there were some minor skirmishes, but no full-fledged wars.

The Prophet of Peace deals with the significant issues associated with the ' life of the Prophet, including jihad, ijtihaad, the concept of war and the relationship with other religious communities. Quoting extensively from the Quran and the Hadith, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan illuminates the Islamic view of modernity, secularism, democracy, freedom of speech and the relevance of Islam in the modern age, clarifying that Islam as revealed in the Quran is not anti-modernity, nor does it advocate violence.

Persuasive and compelling in its breadth and wisdom, this book presents an authentic picture of the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and is a must for all those who wish to understand Islam and its place in the world today. 

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