Islam's Call for Peace.
In international law, there is a set of well-established rules concerning the obligations of nations toward each other in times of war and peace. The first of these is that a country should base its relations with other countries on terms of peace so that it may exchange benefit and cooperate with others in order to promote humanity to utmost perfection. Peaceful ties like these, they say, should not be broken except in extreme urgencies that necessitate war, provided that all peaceful steps have failed in terminating the cuase of dispute.
This is what Islam has always been working for, and the relations of Moslems with others are primarily based on peace and confidence. Islam refuses the killing of people merely because they embrace a different faith, nor does it allow Moslems to fight against those who disagree with them on religious questions. It urges its followers to treat such people kindly: "God forbiddeth you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them. God loveth those who are just" (60:8).
In another place, God says: "If they withdraw from you and fight you not, but (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then God alloweth no way for you (to war against them)" (4:90).
We also have: "If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God" (8:61). Instructions like these pave the way for the establishment of peace, and go in harmony with the present tendency to set down principles that call for the abolishment of war.
Islam, in fact, makes of peace a special greeting which Moslems exchange whenever they meet by saying, "Peace be unto you" (Assalamu 'Alaykum). The Moslem also utters this statement at the end of every prayer; he concludes his prayer by addressing those praying with him with the words: Peace be unto you with God's Mercy!
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