The Quran is undoubtedly a book of peace. It is not a book of war and violence.

This can be judged from the fact that all of the Quran’s pronouncements are directly or indirectly related to peace.

Its opening invocation is: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”, and this verse has been repeated in the Quran no less than 114 times. This is an indication that the greatest attribute of the Supreme Being who sent this book to mankind is mercy.

Indeed, the theme of this entire holy book is God’s all-embracing compassion.

The greater part of the scriptures, directly or indirectly, strongly advocates peace. Of the 6,666 verses of the Quran, there are hardly forty verses, that is, less than one percent of the

book, which deal with the injunction to wage war, and that too only in self-defence.

Islam is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word. The Quran calls its way ‘the paths of peace’ (5:16).

It describes reconciliation as the best policy (4:128), and states that God abhors any disturbance of peace (2:205).

According to Islam, peace is not simply an absence of war.

Peace opens doors to all kinds of opportunities that are present in any given situation. It is only in a peaceful situation that planned activities are possible. It is for this reason that the Quran says ‘reconciliation is the best’ (4:128).

Similarly, Prophet Muhammad has observed: “God grants to gentleness (rifq) what he does not grant to violence (unf). (Sunan Abu Dawud 4/255).

To be continued next week.