I had the opportunity these last two summers to travel to Europe, Africa and the Middle East and more specifically the Holy Land. The most discussed subject was potential peace, not just in the Holy Land but also in the world. The simplest question, though, seemed to have no simple answer. Since then, my mind pauses once in awhile to give it a new thought, and my lungs force me to take in a deep breath hoping that God would inspire me with the right answer and the best way to peace.

Since Sept. 11, many thoughts have come to my mind regarding world peace and what can lead to peace not only in the U.S. but also in all nations. The lives that were and will be lost are not the making of the Merciful God. They are of our own making.

Yesterday, as I was having my morning coffee with my wife outside in the backyard of our home, the great sun, showing its face to us, stated, “Wow!” As I looked at her, she continued: “Don’t you see how nights and days work in harmony.”God merges night into day, and He merges day into night, and God has subjected the sun and the moon to His Law: each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is God your Lord. To Him belongs all dominion” Qur’an 35:13. That was the Divine gift to us on that morning. Indeed, it was the gift of the true meaning of peace.

God created the heavens and earth, both of which have always existed in peace. The sun, the moon, the stars and the wind all perform their duty in harmony. Only human beings, who live on earth, have lost that peace. People only talk about it. They give speeches about establishing peace, but then they disrupt the unity and set out to rule the world. Is this not a wonder? Such is the speech of man.

In this present century, many people have discarded God, truth, peacefulness, conscience, honesty, justice and compassion. People have changed so much! Instead of searching to discover the great qualities of God, they lost all those qualities in whose image they were created and opened the way to destruction. Many people seek to ruin the lives of others and to destroy the entire world. They seem to forget that the world will not be destroyed; the earth and the heavens will never be destroyed. Only the lives of human beings will be destroyed. “On account of their arrogance in the land and their plotting of evil. But evil will harm only the authors thereof. Only them will be destroyed” Qur’an 35:43.

Never has destruction been so evident as in the present century. People have changed the concept of God, Who is truth, and debased the meaning of human beings who were created to build and construct. Many people have not understood what a true human being really is. If people could rediscover who they truly are and then change their present selves, they would know peace.

People say they want to bring peace to others but in order to do that they must first find it in their lives. How can anyone who has not found peace within him hope to bring it to others? How can anyone who has no compassion, no unity, and no love within him bring peace to the world?

One who has not found justice, conscience, honesty and truth within himself will not find it in others. One who has not understood his state will not understand the state of others. People must acquire the qualities of God and live in that state. Only then can they speak of peace. Only then can they speak the speech of God and dispense the justice of God’s kingdom.

The Qur’an, the Muslim Holy Scripture, teaches that the duty of people is the fulfillment of God’s will, not just out of a feeling of duty but also out of love. And in order to be able to love God and, through Him, His creatures, the heart has to be purified by constant remembrance of God. This quality would lead people to succeed in their struggle against the forces whose aim is to incite people into evil and lead them to wars against each other. “Those who remember God Standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of heavens and the earth: “O Lord, You have not created this for nothing, Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire” Qur’an 3:191.

Yahya Hendi is the Imam of Georgetown’s Muslim community and a Campus Ministry staff member.

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