In the contemporary society, the most debated and doubted institution is religion. It is often misunderstood, some even go to the extent of discarding religion or denouncing religion. The main provocation for this negative attitude is lack of comprehensive and clear understanding of the very basic foundation of religion.
Islam is one such religion which is not generally understood by a large number of Muslims and mis-understood by a large number of non-Muslims. As a result of this, both the Muslims and non-Muslims have become the victims of ignorance of the true meaning, message and spirit of Islam. There are a large number of scholars well versed in Islamic literature and the Holy Quran. But either they do not reach out to the common man among Muslims and the intelligentsia among the non-Muslims. The resultant product is wide-spread of wrong perceptions about Islam.
One such major wrong perception centres round use of violence in Islam. Many educated non-Muslims raise a few issues such as
1) Islam has spread in India through sword,
2) Islam permits violent means to achieve the goals,
3) Islam easily advocates Muslims to raise the cry of ‘Jihad’,
4) Islam is dogmatic, static and opposed to scientific temper, etc.
These are some of the vital concerns which need to be explained objectively and convincingly so that the true image of Islam is made known to Muslims as well as non-Muslims. It is unfortunate that there are hardly any attempts made to produce some relevant.
At a time when the need for such a literature was being felt very badly, a non-Muslim scholar appears on the scene. He is Dr.N.K.Singh. His book “Peace through non-Violent action in Islam is written in English. It is just unbelievable that a non-Muslim scholar has not only gained most significant insights into the real meaning, purpose, message of Islam, but has also presented so beautifully that his attempt can be considered revolutionary and most productive. He has come to the rescue of Muslims who face challenges from many non-Muslims, some of whom raise bonafide issues and some malafide issues. Dr.Singh is the Chairman of Advance Islamic Research Foundation, Delhi.
This book has 9 chapters, apart from two other chapters which deal with biography and index. In chapter I he presents very lucidly the topic, “Islam: A religion of violence and non-Violence.” He proves with most satisfactory examples as to how Islam stands for non-Violence. Peace and submission to Almighty God are the two most significant features of Islam. As we read this chapter, we are bound to become emotional and guilty because, we Muslims, generally behave contrary to what the Holy Prophet has said and done. One simple instance which is bound to correct the wrong perceptions among Muslims and non-Muslims is quoted by him. Once a villager who came to see the Prophet(Pbuh) urinated in the Mosque. When people were about to beat him up, the Prophet(Pbuh) asked them to leave him alone and himself, poured a bucket of water on the urine. Like this Dr.Singh advances a number of instances of the behaviour of the Holy Prophet(Pbuh).
Dr.Singh refers to some vital issues of great controversies such as Jihad, place of idolaters, social values, social justice, Islamic either and polity, violence and non-Violence in Prophet’s(Pbuh) life, Islam and philosophy or perfect life, philosophy of war and peace creates great interest and a comprehensive reading will create deep impact on the mind of the reader. Every reader, whether a Muslim or non-Muslim, whether a lover of Islam or an enemy of Islam, is bound to change his wrong perceptions and understand the great contribution that Islam and the Holy Prophet(Pbuh) have made for the peace and progress of mankind.
This book deserves to be consulted by all those individuals and groups of individuals who have come forward to promote Inter-faith and removal of misunderstanding between Muslims and Hindus as a result of lack of knowledge and understanding of correct perspectives of Islam. It is also desirable that the Govt. prescribes this book for students of High schools and Colleges. Translation of this book to several other indian languages goes a long way.