Islam and World Peace - Explanations of a Sufi
by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
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Preface

In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

It is important in this present day that the children of Adam clearly understand the true meaning of Islam. We must know the value of its purity, of its peacefulness, its unity, its sincerity, its honesty, and the value of its conscience and justice and truth. We must know the greatness of Allah who rules over all this, and we must find tranquility in our lives, so that we will be able to guide others toward peacefulness.

To all those who have accepted Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad, with perfect faith, certitude, and determination1 before we can bring peace to all lives, before we can eliminate poverty, suffering, illusion, and disease in the world, before we can come to love every life as we do our own, we must first understand the value of absolute faith. That is the purpose of this book.
To have determined faith in Allah, the Almighty Lord,2 to know Him and to bow down at His feet, to pray to Him and adopt His ways, to believe with complete certitude in His messengers, prophets, and angels, to carry out the commandments sent through them, to bring into our actions His three thousand gracious qualities and His ninety-nine attributes,3 and to dedicate our lives to His service - this is the true meaning of Islam.

Islam is equality, peacefulness, and unity. Islam is inner patience, contentment, trust in God, and praise of God.4 One who understands this and puts it into practice will be a true believer. He will be Allah's representative; he will know Allah and His commandments and practice the explanations given through His revelations; in his own life he will demonstrate Allah's qualities, His actions, and His conduct.

We who claim to be in Islam must destroy all the evil qualities that arise within us. We must cut away and discard all that God discarded from Himself, all the differences that separate us from Him. We must remove all the thoughts that disrupt the unity of Adam's children, the unity of Islam. We must fight against the separations that grow within our bodies, sucking our blood like animals and demons.

With the wealth of God's grace and with the help of His messengers, we must wage a holy war against every one of the four hundred trillion, ten thousand evil qualities that come to destroy our good qualities. This holy war, this jihad, is not something that can be fought on the outside; our real enemies have been within us from birth. If we are true human beings,5 we will realize that. Our own evil qualities are killing us. They are the enemies that must be conquered. We must control and subdue them and keep them in their place. We must show these animal qualities their true master, Almighty God,6 and we must win them over and teach them faith in Him. That is the way of Islam, and that is what this book urges us to do.
 

Allah's perfectly pure qualities, His conduct, His ninety-nine attributes, and His three thousand gracious qualities have all been gathered together with His love and made into the treasure of Iman-Islam.7 Allah has given this gift of Iman-Islam to the true believers, to those who have absolute faith, certitude, and trust. He has given this gift to the children of Adam so that they might receive the wealth of Allah's kingdom and live a life filled with peacefulness. He gave this gift in abundance to the prophets, so that they could help man to free himself from his enslavement to earth, gold, sensual pleasures, desires, thoughts, and attachments. And yet man is suffering and can find no freedom; he is a slave to so many things. He has no peace, tranquility, equality, or love. The children of Adam must release themselves from the bondage of this suffering.

If only man could acquire the wealth of Allah's love and integrity, the wealth of His beautiful laws, then he would never lack anything. That wealth is pure; it is the purity of Islam. If man had such inner wealth, he would never meet with destruction in this world or in the hereafter. He would be beautiful in both worlds. Allah has asked mankind to accept this, to find freedom, and to raise the flag of unity on the tree of love.
 

My brothers and sisters, in the name of Allah and Prophet Muhammad, please forgive me if there are any mistakes in what has been said in this book. People with wisdom know that it is important to correct their own mistakes, while people without wisdom find it necessary to point out the mistakes of others. People with strong faith know that it is important to clear their own hearts,8 while those with unsteady faith seek to find fault in the hearts and prayers of others. This becomes a habit in their lives. But those who pray to Allah with faith, determination, and certitude know that the most important thing in life is to surrender their hearts to Allah. If the pond of the heart is full, then all creations can come and partake of its clear water. If it is shallow, then all those who come will stir up the mud and have nothing but dirty water to drink.

A fruit can only give the taste that it has within itself. In the same way, the children of Adam can only give what they have within themselves. If we have wisdom, others with wisdom will recognize that taste. If we have sweetness in our hearts, we will recognize that taste in others. If we can find truth, patience, and tranquility deep in our hearts, if we can find Allah and His Messenger there, and if we can find unity among ourselves, then we will be truly exalted people. Unity, compassion, and truth are Islam. Let us realize this and live accordingly.

Let us constantly strengthen our faith, certitude, and determination. We must unite and live as one race, accepting that there is one God and praying together as one family in one gathering. This is the wealth of Iman-Islam. God sent this gift to each of the prophets and finally gave it in completeness to Muhammad. The fundamental explanations of perfect faith were resonated to God's messengers, and they in turn shared them with mankind in the scriptures, in the traditions of the Prophet,9 and in the Qur'an. There are very deep meanings to be found in these.

In this book, we are revealing to you only an atom of the value of Islam. The words we speak come from the little wisdom of this small man. Those with deeper wisdom may understand even deeper meanings. Such meanings will be seen with clarity by those who have Allah's divine knowledge10 and His wisdom. If there are any mistakes in what has been spoken here, please forgive me. All the children of Adam, all who accept God and have perfect faith are one family. Therefore, please forgive me as you would forgive the mistakes of those in your own family. We are all in Islam.

Allah is sufficient for all. May His peace, beneficence, and blessings be upon you.11 Amen.
 
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Footnotes

1. iman
2. Rabb
3. wilayat
4. sabr, shukr, tawakkul 'ala' Allah, and al-hamdu lilliah
5. insan
6. Allah ta 'ala
7. Iman: absolute faith, certitude, and determination. Islam: the state of absolute purity. See glossary.
8. qalb
9. ahadith
10. 'ilm
11. al-salam 'alaykum wa-rahmat Allah wa-barakatuhu kullu

 

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Copyright 2003, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship