Islam means peace not only for the followers of Islam, but for all mankind. Peace is closer to human nature than violence. Peace is the backbone and an essential element for establishing a prosperous, vibrant and stable global society.
Every Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed to Allah for maintenance of peace in their respective lands and nations.
The golden principles and imitable Sunnah of the Prophet Abraham and Muhammad (peace be upon them) show that unnecessary confrontation with enemy must not be wished, because it hampers the way of intellectual growth, creativity, socio-cultural development, economic prosperity, and political stability.
Islam does not encourage war and violence instead it always stresses on peaceful coexistence and cooperation among the diverse communities.
Prophet Muhammad The Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him) has set a good example for us in all matters of life, even in visiting the sick of the People of the Book.
Anas (may God be please with him) narrated that a young Jewish boy who served the Prophet Muhammad once fell ill so the Prophet went to visit him. He sat near his head and asked him to embrace Islam.
The boy looked at his father who was present and he told his son obey the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet then came out of their house saying:
"Praise be to God Who saved the boy from hellfire."
The hadith proves that there were Jews living with Muslims in peaceful coexistence. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was keen to treat them well, give them their due rights and fulfill all social obligations towards them in the same way as Muslims without any discrimination against them.
The principle underlying the relationship between Muslims and non- Muslims is coexistence. Allah commands Muslims to treat other people kindly provided they do not manifestly declare malice towards them and to think well of all people alike.
A person who thoroughly explores the verses of the noble Qur`an will find that, in its entirety, it presents an integrated Quranic methodology concerning the treatment of non-Muslims.
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Al-Mumtahana, 8)
The above verses from Surah al-Baqarah and al-Mumtahana were revealed in Medina and all of them exhort Muslims to be kind and merciful to their fellow men.
The Teaching of Islam:
Islam is a complete way of life which prohibits intervening in the beliefs and practices of other religions and seeks to preserve the customs, honor, and property of every individual irrespective of his or her religion. As a universal religion, Islam teaches love and sympathy for all humanity.
Islam plays a unique role in providing every individual with the complete freedom to possess and practice any religion, culture or ideology.
It also shows that as a universal religion, Islam advocates a harmonious relationship among the people of different religions, cultures and civilizations for the peaceful coexistence and harmonious development of all human beings.