Choose love and peace will follow

Statue of Lady Justice

Statue of Lady Justice in London

By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com

There is a saying: ““Choose love and peace will follow. Choose peace and love will follow.”

As Muslims we also understand that justice and fairness are vital, and I think this is one of the distinguishing factors of our deen (our Islamic way of life). Other religions speak of love, but do not emphasize justice. But when people are brutalized and oppressed, what does it mean to speak of love or peace? When a man has his boot on another man’s neck, while he loots his home and hurts his family, does it mean anything to tell the victim to be peaceful?

No, without justice you can never have peace. That’s why Lady Justice carries a sword in one hand and a balance in the other. The sword represents the authority of law to enforce peace and punish criminals. But the sword would be meaningless without the balance, which indicates the principles of fairness on which laws must be built. This representation of justice is common, and in some versions the lady is blindfolded, indicating the justice should be applied equally to all regardless of race or social status.

War, bigotry and hatred are not the original human condition. They are not inevitable. They don’t represent the natural state of the human heart.

  1. War is almost always a product of greed and selfishness.
  2. Bigotry is not a natural human trait, but is usually bred and whipped up by cynical leaders looking to exploit people’s ignorance for personal aggrandizement. People like Hitler, or Slobodan Milosevic, or the politicians and radio hosts who whipped up genocidal hatred in Rwanda, or even the USA’s new crop of radical right-wing fanatics like Sarah Palin. These people exploit ignorance, and not only cater to it but feed it for political gain.
  3. Hatred is not the original human condition, but a product of oppression and suffering.

Treat people fairly, be honest, and do not covet what is not yours, and there will be no war. Peace is not an elusive dream, or a mysterious goal at the end of some obscure path. The road to peace is obvious, but it takes unerring honesty, and total justice.

So I would amend the saying to, “Act justly and peace will follow. Choose peace and love will follow.”

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , , Read 263 articles by
3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. María says:

    Salam alaykum,

    What do you think about people like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela? Have you studied them?

    Salamat

    • wael says:

      Maria, I do admire MLK and Gandhi tremendously. They changed the world. And I admire Mandela too, though he does not belong in the same group because he was not actually nonviolent. I confess that I’m more of a Malcolm X kind of man. I have the greatest respect for those who are nonviolent, but I believe that nonviolence has limits. Every creature in the world will defend its own life or that of its children. Even the most timid bird will attack a wolf when its babies are threatened. That is a fundamental and natural right. That’s why I spoke in this post of the importance not only of love, but of justice. Without justice, peace and love cannot grow.

      Wael

  2. María says:

    I saw your point when I read your article and you are reassurance it now, but that is the animal instinct, your words are full of passion, I´m not telling that is wrong, I´m just saying that you can go beyond that. I believe in justice, but Love goes beyond passion, I know you will get it, it is just a step forward, …

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