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    IQBAL SAYS THAT                                            

                           "ISLAM IS ESSENTIALLY A RELIGION OF PEACE"

    He categorically rejected the objection forwarded by Western critics that Islam is a militant religion, and that it was spread on the point of sword. Iqbal said, “Defensive war is certainly permitted by the Quran; but the doctrine of aggressive war against unbelievers is wholly unauthorized by the Holy Book of Islam.[2] I have in my article endeavoured to elucidate that Islam is intrinsically a religion of peace, tolerance and universal brotherhood.

    Given the inevitable heterogeneity of beliefs, and man’s intense experience of them, the message of the Holy Quran to accept the differences of religion, community and culture is one of toleration of differences: “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed.” (Chap. 1. 120 The Cow). “And even if thou broughtest into those who have received the Scripture all kinds of portents, they would no follow the qiblah, nor canst thou be a follower of their qiblab.” (Chap. 2. 145 the Cow).Iqbal in his article on the “The Ethical and Political Ideal of Islam” cites, many verses form the Holy Quran with a view to “educate political opinion on strictly Islamic lives.”[3] Iqbal views Christian and Muslim relationship in the historical perspective[4] He gives the example of the courteous behaviour of the earlier Muslims, who had to settle in the Christian state of Abyssinia, because of persecution at home. Iqbal said[5] that Muslim - Christian relationship is determined by the Quran, which says: “You will find the nearest in affection to those who believe, those who say, We are Christians. That is because there are among them priests and monks, and because they are not proud”. (6.82 The table spread).Islam does not aspire to unify humanity by converting all human beings to institutional Islam. Such a feat is obviously impracticable. According to Quranic scriptures, it does not matter what creed a man professes or what rite he performs. “And who doth greater wrong than he who forbiddeth the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest his name should be mentioned there” (1-114 The Cow) It is important to note that the word used here for the place of worship is sanctuary and not mosque. Islam enjoins the Muslims to respect and maintain the sanctity of all the sanctuaries, whether they are mosques or churches. “The true mosque in a pure holy heart is builded. There let all men worship God;, For there He dwells, net in a mosque of stone”[7Thus Islam is a religion of peace in the complete sense of the word. Every teaching of Islam is based on the principles of peace and avoidance. Any deviation from the model is a deviation from Islam and is due to misconceptions. We should, therefore, understand the ideology of peace given in Islam and base our actions upon this ideology so that peace will prevail in the world. -

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