With wars around the world, occupations, genocides and refugees, the state of peace in the world looks very bleak.
But Muslims, who must always remember to put their faith and trust in God, must never become pessimistic. We must remain pro-active and be prepare for possible outcomes.
We must actively be engaged in efforts for peace in our homes, families and communities. We must join with like-minded individuals, of which there are many, to fulfill our duty of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil in the world (Quran 3:104).
Below are some practical things Muslim communities, particularly Masjids can do, to promote peace and security in the coming days.
If we really want to commit ourselves to the cause of peace, we must not only meet with others who share the same views, but also, actively participate in peace events.
At your Masjid, start posting a calendar of peace events in your city on the bulletin board. Encourage Muslims to attend these events and make sure that at least one person from the Masjid's Shura or Board of Directors participates. This way , Muslims will not only build some representation in the peace movement but we can also glean some good ideas for peace initiatives to establish in our own communities.
As Muslims become targets, so do their institutions. Masjids come under attack during almost every international flareup. This is why making the Masjid safe and secure is a priority at this time. Start off by calling a meeting of the Masjid's Board of Directors or Shura to discuss how and when the security measures will be taken. Then, form a committee for this purpose that will take the measures that are agreed upon.
Although Muslims continue to face harassment and discrimination, war flares up the bigatory.
In view of this, remind Muslims in Khutbas and general announcements at the Masjid to be extra careful when they go out. They should take additional security measures. Muslim women, especially those who wear Hijab should be even more vigilant.
Given the assault on Muslim charities in the US during the last few years, it would be wisest to work with non-Muslim groups to get relief supplies to those in need. There are probably already some groups doing this in your city, so look around and work in conjunction with them.
There are people of faith and justice everywhere. Our job, if we are really committed to peace, is to join hands with such individuals and groups and pool our efforts for the greater good.
We can start building alliances by taking the initiative to regularly meet and cooperate with existing peace groups.
Once Muslims and other communities become partners for peace, it is natural that suggestions will be sought and given for the cause. Share practical suggestions with the church and interfaith groups to promote peace. Such cooperation will increase the number of ideas.
- Start a peace calendar at your Masjid and attend the events
- Make your Masjid secure
- Remind Muslims to be vigilant
- Send relief supplies to the people of Palestine, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq
- Stand with those who stood up for you
- Share with churches and interfaith groups what they can do for the cause of peace
- Keep the issue of peace and our obligation towards it alive during Khutbas
- Have the Imam of your Masjid prepare a series of short Khutbas on a Muslim's obligation to work for peace. You can break it down in this way: peace in the family, peace in the community, peace in the Masjid, peace with other faith communities, and peace in the world. Each should offer practical suggestions to the audience.
At the end of the Khutba, during the Dua, pray for those parts of the world afflicted with violence and devoid of peace.