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Ramadan Reflection:Part 8 - Making peace

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
25/07/2013 17:18
Religion & Culture

“O God, You are the source of all Peace and from You emanates all peace, all blessings belong to you. You are the Majestic and the Most Honourable.” 

This is one of my most favourite supplications. It embodies the essence of my faith. Attaining inner peace and being peaceful with my external environment form the foundation of Islam. If you have failed in making peace inside and outside you have failed as a believer. The ultimate truth is a person who has not made peace has not found God. 

The blessed Prophet reminds us that God is the source of all peace. One of His greatest attributes is "As Salam" which literally means the peace. God loves peace and he has chosen peace as his own name. He has named the path that leads to him as peace. Everything about God is about creating peace. 

Month of Ramadan is about training ourselves to find the inner peace. Your prayers, fasting, charity and pilgrimage are all hollow without you submitting to the complete peaceful way of life. 

Can you imagine someone who prays five times a day and yet constantly quarrels with their loved ones or causes trouble in their neighbourhood? 
Can you imagine someone who fasts yet uses abusive language, backbites and slanders? 
Can you imagine someone who claims to be a Muslim and yet demonstrates perpetual anger, resentment and disdain at others and resorts to violence? 

Surely, A true believer who has submitted to the path of peace will be mindful of the impact of their speech and action. They will be conscious of anything that contradicts or violates peace. Eternal peace cannot be obtained in the heavens if we fail to establish peace on this earth. 

Our ultimate focus should be to attain a portion of the divine peace. To illustrate my point I will use water as a metaphor. Water in the form of snow on the mountain peaks may seem unreachable for many but as the snow melts it turns into clean, fresh and sweet water that sustains life. Now it become available for everybody. The water makes its way to the sea regardless of obstacles and challenges. If we want to benefit from the fresh water you have to find a way of capturing it as it gushes forth in its journey to the sea. You have to ensure that you catch it, store it before it mixes with the salty water in the sea.

Similarly Allah's peace envelops the earth, roams all around us; covers every crevice and corner. It pours down from the heavens. It even seeks out for anyone who may be looking for it. We have to simply capture the rays of peace, absorb it in our life and store it for future use. We have to make space in our life for the heavenly peace to penetrate and illuminate our personal life and the lives around us. 

God loves his creation to be physically and spiritually clean. If peace is granted from the divine source how can peace exist in a cluttered life that is filled with junk and rubbish? There is no space for the peace to permeate. A life full of junk is a life in chaos and a life in chaos is a life in turmoil. No peace can coexist in such a person. 

How can you make space in your life for peace?
What do you need to get rid of to de-clutter your heart?

Finding peace requires conscious effort. If the primary purpose of fasting is to refine and develop our conscience we should be able to make conscious efforts for peace, especially as we develop our spiritual health and awareness of God’s omnipresence. This interwoven relationship between yearning for peace and consciousness is what distinguishes us from animals. Animals live by simple law of survival of the fittest while humans live by law of consciousness. 

Peace is a conscious choice. Ramadan is an opportunity to develop that conscience. In this Ramadan you can make the conscious choice to focus on peace especially in a world where we seldom reflect on the true message of peace contained within Islam. Many of us live an angry life based on many grievances and have our mind clouded. 

We demand that everyone should give us peace but we do not take responsibility for making peace. Sadly for some people, they pray yet they cannot find peace even in their prayers. They fast but fail to become peaceful from within. They run to Makkah for pilgrimage desperately looking for peace but even there they find no peace. 

What are they doing wrong? If inner peace is the pre-requisite to God’s grace and prayer provides the regular sustenance required for finding peace why are so many Muslims not finding peace? 

Some people take drugs to escape the vacuum they feel inside them even though materially they may be the richest in the world. Some people chose to stay drunk to forget about the pain of emptiness. Some people join ashrams, monasteries or even mountains to find peace. The length people go to find peace is staggering yet peace lives all around them. 

If peace is a quick fix for you, you will be disappointed. Peace is not a material that you can possess or a product that you can pick up from a shop. Peace is the outcome of a process and requires a belief in a profound philosophy of life, transformative changed to your lifestyle; refine your attitude and mindset, develop sound morals and character and embrace God’s omnipresence. True peace is not secular but deeply spiritual. Peace cannot be discovered over night, it would take time and effort to attain. 

What is your focus in your search for peace?
Have you discovered what gives you inner peace?

You are not an island unto yourself. You exist because of others. You exist around others. You would perish if there were no body around you. Your wife, children and parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, grandparents are all part of the big family jigsaw you have to learn to navigate through in life. 

You would have to negotiate and make peace with friends, work colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances. Being at peace with others is a manifestation of your true relationship with God. One who does not have compassion or demonstrates care for their fellow human beings will find no compassion or care from God. No matter how hard it is to making peace with people around you, it is an equally important condition for entry to paradise. 

Your faith is manifested in various relationships. Managing them and making peace at every level often seems hard. Making peace with God is essential but easier said than done. Many people feel angry and upset with God for their misery and failures. Making peace with fellow human beings is also tough. The anger, hurts, blame, guilt and resentment are just a few examples of feelings that can keep us away from peace with others. 

Why would you be angry with God? Your failures and misery are your own making or the making of your fellow human beings. Why blame God for it? There is no rationale behind being furious with Him but there is every reason to making peace with God. To deny God is to deny yourself and to forget God is to forget yourself. The door of peace with God is always open. Never let a day go by without you really questioning yourself on the issue of your peace with God. 

Relationship with your fellow humans being is more delicate and requires serious consideration of the bigger picture. While your intention may be noble many people suspect ulterior motives, self interests, challenges to their self-esteem and clash of authority. In extreme cases some may feel an invasion of their safe and private space. Developing peace with others demands selflessness, sensitivity and honesty. 

What is stopping you from making peace with God?
What is preventing you from making peace with others?
What do you gain by not making peace with God and people?

Making peace means mending broken relationships, strengthening existing ones and developing enough space for these relationship to grow. Making peace means to make sense of your negative feelings, to let go of the resentments and where necessary working out a strategy to confront your nemesis to either offer an apology or ask for one? Is there anyone in your family that you feel you should confront and sort things out? What are you waiting for?

Making peace starts from inside first. It starts right now. As you are reading this article, why don’t you go and get a piece of paper and pen. Please try to answer the following questions as honestly as possible: 

1. Am I really happy with my life right now? 
2. If you are not happy, why not? What is causing you the unhappiness? 
3. Can you do anything to change that? If yes, what could you do?
4. Are you happy with God? If no, why are you not happy? 
5. What would you like to see change? 
6. Do you think God is happy with you? If not, why not?
7. What changes within you would make God happy? 
8. Are you happy with your current lifestyle? 
9. Do you think you have done enough to gain paradise? 
10. Are there people who you would like to make peace with? 
11. If yes, make a list of those people you would like to talk to
12. What would you like to discuss with them? 
13. What outcome would you like to see?

Now that you are taking steps to mend your relationship and actively become a peacemaker, it is worth noting that the word Islam originates from the root word “silm’, which has several meanings such as making peace, being in a mutually peaceful environment, being safe and secure and attaining total well being. 

In the context of your religion Islam, it is all about committing to live by the peaceful lifestyle God has proposed for you. It also means submission to a life-philosophy that promoted righteousness and justice at all times. The month of Ramadan is an ideal opportunity to nurture the commitment and submission to peace. 

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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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