Non-violence in Holy Quran
Prof. Mehboob Desai
Before we discuss about nonviolence in Holy Quran, it is necessary to know about Holy Quran. We all know that the religious book of Muslims is Holy Quran. It is revealed in Arabic. But, it is not written by Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, who was unlettered, but wise, trustworthy and righteous Arab. Even Allah had not declared the Holy Quran at one glance, as Shri Krishna had done about Bhagavad-Gita. The Lord of Universe has intended to guide the common populace to the right path, through the teachings of Holy Quran. He has set a Beautiful Model in the life of Messenger of Allah. Since the day of appointing Mohammad bin Abdulla as Prophet of Allah, the Sentences of Holy Quran had been taught to Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, through the medium of Jibrail, in stages. Allah says in Holy Quran,
“It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to thee by stages.”
Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, was taught ways to live a righteous life of a Muslim, and he was warned to avoid certain things to achieve his aim. This Holy Quran had reached Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, in parts, which we know as ‘Wahi’ or ‘Revelation’. It took 23 years to reveal the whole of Holy Quran. The Holy Quran consists of 114 Surahs. As our Lord has promised, the Holy Quran is the exact word of Allah; its authenticity, originality and totality are intact. The Qur'an is the exact word of God; its legitimacy, creativity and entirety are intact.
Every aspect of human life, like love and worship, kindheartedness and forgiveness, diplomacy and dealings with others, regularity and legitimacy, parity and amity, relationship with others and tolerance of others is taught to Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, in this Holy Quran.
The Islamic history tells us that the first Sentence of Holy Quran that was revealed to Mohammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, in the month of Ramadan. The first Sentence is in the Surah Al-Alaq. It is the 96th Surah in the Holy Quran. The summary of Islam is told at a time in a single Surah Al-Alaq. It deals with the importance of knowledge of reading to a Muslim. A Muslim must know how to read and write and what to read and write. A Muslim must know the facts of his generation. he must know how to use the pen. He should know what is yet not known to him. While acquiring knowledge, he must not transgress natural legitimacy. He should not pride himself. One day, a man shall have to return to his Lord. He will be held responsible for his deeds. So, he should worship One God. Let a Muslim be not adhere to Satanic advises. Let him be a sincere, closer subordinate to Allah. – Thus, Surah Al-Alaq ordains,
“Read! in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher Who created, Created man out of a mere clot of congealed blood: Read! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful. He Who taught the use of the Pen. Taught man that which he knew not. Nay but man doth transgress all bounds. In that, he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient. Verily to thy Lord is the return of all. Seest thou one who forbids. A votary when he turns to pray? Seest thou if He is on the road of Guidance? Or enjoins Righteousness? Seest thou if he denies Truth and turns away? Knoweth he not that Allah doth see? Let him beware! If he desist not, We will drag him by the forelock, A lying sinful forelock! Then let him call for help to his council of comrades: We will call on the angels of punishment to deal with him! Nay heed him not: but bow down in adoration and bring thyself the closer to Allah!”
When we see the hand written or printed Holy Quran, the first Sentence we see is “Bismilla_hir rahma_nir rahim (i)”, which means “In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful.” That is, Allah is charitable to all, even though they are not worth of it. Allah is generous to those people, who maintain the relationship in righteousness. In both of these cases, He shows love, kindness, and nonviolence towards the mankind. There are so many Sentences, which deals with love, kindness and nonviolence. Such as,
o “Say: “If ye do love Allah follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.”
o “How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is Allah Who feeds both them and you: for He hears and knows all things.”
o “There is not a single one on earth which is not provided by Lord. He knows its existence and its abode at the end.”
o “Allah has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others; those more favored are not going to throw back their gifts to those whom their right hands possess so as to be equal in that respect. Will they then deny the favors of Allah?
o “And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed his gifts more freely on some of you than on others: to men is allotted what they earn and to women what they earn: but ask Allah of His bounty: for Allah hath full knowledge of all things.”
o “And obey Allah and His apostle; and fall into no disputes lest ye lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.”
o On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out to be shown the Deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good see it!
o “Nor could they spend anything (for the cause) small or great nor cut across a valley but the deed is inscribed to their credit; that Allah might requite their deed with the best (possible reward).”
o “Never did We destroy a population but had its warners. By way of reminder; and We never are unjust.”
o “And the Book of Deeds will be placed before you; and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is recorded therein; they will say "Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great but takes account thereof!” They will find all that they did place before them: and not one will thy Lord treat with injustice.”
o “He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do. And He listens to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and gives them increase of His Bounty: but for the Unbelievers there is a terrible Penalty. If Allah were to enlarge the provision for His Servants they would indeed transgress beyond all bounds through the earth; but He sends it down in due measure as He pleases: for He is with His Servants well-acquainted Watchful.”
o “Why should your Lord give you all sufferings unnecessarily. If you are showing gratitude towards Allah, and study fast on right path.”
o “And if ye do catch them out, catch them out no worse than they catch you out: but if ye show patience that is indeed the best course for those who are patient.”
o “O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.”
o They said: "Art thou indeed Joseph?” He said: "I am Joseph and this is my brother: Allah has indeed been gracious to us all: behold he that is righteous and patient never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost of those who do right.”
o “And say: "Work righteousness: soon will Allah observe your work and His apostle and the believers: soon will ye be brought back to the knower of what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did.”
o “Behold ye are those invited to spend of your substance in the way of Allah: but among you are some that are niggardly. But any who are niggardly are so at the expense of their own souls. But Allah is free of all wants and it is ye that are needy. If ye turn back from the Path, He will substitute in your stead another people; then they would not be like you!”
o “When a courteous greeting is offered, you meet it with a greeting still more courteous at least of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things.”
o “But if the enemy inclines towards peace do thou also incline towards peace and trust in Allah: for He is the one that heareth and knoweth all things.”
o “They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: "In them is great sin and some profit for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.” They ask thee how much they are to spend; say: "What is beyond your needs.” Thus, doth Allah make clear to you His Signs: in order that ye may consider.”
o “O ye who believe! intoxicants and gambling, dedication of stones and divination by arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork: eschew such abomination that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is but to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?”
o “We know best what they say; and thou art not one to ever awe them by force. So admonish with the Qur'an such as fear My Warning!”
I have given an iota out of bunches of good sayings, which are abundant in Holy Quran. All of them advise a Muslim to follow the right path, in right way, as gentle as possible, as righteous as possible. They are prohibiting the items and routes, which are root to create the vice and violence.
When Gandhiji read the Holy Quran, which is full of such serene sayings, he expressed his opinion,
“Mohammad is an Artist. His Quran is treated as best book out of the beautiful books of Arabic language. Even the pundits are also opining the same. What is the reason? The reason is, whatever facts he had observed, he had disclosed in it.”