Those who enquire about the basics of Islam are usually told about the “Five Pillars” of the religion. These relate to faith and to practice, but at a deeper level it might be said that there are two great pillars which support the whole edifice – Peace and Justice. They are clearly connected since there can be no enduring peace without justice.
The very word ‘Islam’ comes from the same verbal root as ‘Salam’ meaning “peace” and, since the religion is based upon total submission to the will of God, Muslims believe that real peace is out of reach unless it is based upon this submission within the universal order. They believe equally that there can be no real justice except as an aspect of submission to the source of all that is just and well ordered. Although God in Himself is beyond comprehension or analysis, the Qur’an gives us hints as to His true nature through what are sometimes called “the 99 names” and one of these is al-Adl, “the Just”. Another of these names is al-Muqsio, “the Dispenser of Justice” or “He who gives to each thing its due”. He who is called “the Just” commands justice both in society and in every aspect of human relations. Since, in Islam, all things are inter-connected – this is an aspect of unity – it might even be said that every act of injustice jars on the cosmos as a whole like a discordant note in a piece of music.
However, while justice is a basic principle of Islam, there is a principle which over-masters justice and this is Rahmah, Mercy. Based on a Prophet-inspired saying, “When God completed the creation He wrote the following, which is with Him above His Throne – My Mercy takes precedence over my Wrath”, justice is, in a sense, a manifestation of Wrath unless it is tempered by Mercy. All but one of the chapters of the Quran opens with the words: “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Dispenser of Mercy”, and, among Muslims, these same words initiate all human actions. It is said that the instrument of creation awaits the “breath of the Merciful” and therefore that existence itself is a mercy for which we have a duty to be grateful. Indeed, ingratitude and unbelief are almost synonymous in the Islamic perspective.
In Islam, mercy always has the last word.
- Interactive exhibitions for the whole week
- A ‘Be Modest’ week event
- A week long exhibition in the central library
- A day exhibition in the science block
- Online platform for queries regarding Islam
- 3 talks during the week
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