From Inner Peace to Outer Peace: Critical Essay

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Every religion around the world preaches the concept of being peaceful and shares the ultimate goal of obtaining peace worldwide. However, in order to achieve a sense outer peace, inner peace must first be attained. Islam and Christianity both place an emphasis on the importance of obtaining peace internally and externally. In the Qur’an and Bible, the message of peace is taught and understood by adherents, but its true meaning is open to interpretation. It is important to understand the different approaches adherents may take to religion, allowing everyone to seek and obtain peace in various ways. Inner peace and outer peace are intertwined, hence given equal emphasis in texts. Inner peace is a personal struggle that adherents go through to assist in pushing to attain outer peace. Moreover, Christianity communicates peace in salvation and peace as a way of life. Islam preaches peace through the concept of unity and forgiveness. Ultimately, all religions are committed to the idea of obtaining outer peace through inner peace.

Everyone is always on their own journey to find peace, however some struggle to find it. Peace can be defined as “tranquility, harmony or security”. Variations of the word ‘peace’ are found 429 times in the King James Version of the Bible and in different forms. Including false peace, inner peace, peace with God, and peace with man. The prime, Hebrew word for peace is ‘shalom’, and refers to the sense of inner completeness and wholeness. The word ‘peace’ was used as a standard greeting among friend and companions and still is used nowadays. “Let the peace of God rule your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. Be thankful” (Colossians, 3:15). It is important to understand the context of this verse. Paul discusses virtues that Christians need for everyone to be in unity. With Christ as the head, everyone falls into being part of a ‘spiritual’ body of the Church. Peace within the body requires peace within its parts, therefore adherents should strive together to avoid conflict, but seek peace from Christ if conflicts arise. In addition, peace is found by adherents are they are taught Jesus died for their sins. Through Him, the promise of an eternal life with God becomes effective through faith and belief in Jesus. The world will continue to have wars and interpersonal conflicts until Jesus comes to establish true, lasting peace, but God will give His peace to those who trust Him.

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Islam is essentially a religion of peace. However, there is an unfortunate misconception about the nature of Islam. The very first verse in the Qur’an states: “In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate”. This verse is repeated in the Qur’an 114 times and clearly shows that God is merciful and compassionate. This raises the question: if God is merciful and compassionate, shouldn’t His believers? Most teachings in Islam are orientated towards the goal of peace, as the Qur’an states: “Enter here in peace secure!” (15:46) This verse directly demonstrates how Muslims wish peace upon others when entering a room, securing it from any conflict that may enter with it. The word ‘Islam’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘salaam’, meaning peace, purity and submission to the will of God. “Peace a word from a Merciful God” (Qur’an, 36:88) This implies that there is a strong connection between believing in God and obtaining peace. It is believed that the most peace if obtained by Muslims by submitting to Allah, as Allah can provide all His servants with the most peace.

Prayer in Islam is a great way for the adherent to be able to gain inner peace with themselves, as the adherent is able to connect to Allah, not only through physical prayer, but also through the recitation of the Qur’an and the recitation of praises of Allah and his massager. By doing these things it builds the adherent to having and finding inner peace with themselves, and when they do, this it is conveyed into the adherent showing outer peace by giving charity, being more active in the community. The way in which this relates to the quote is that the adherent at first had to find inner peace before going on to find outer world peace. “But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it” (Qur’an, 8:61). This quote directly relates to the adherent following the teaching of the Qur’an, as it says, if they incline to peace, you also incline to peace, meaning that the adherent should have inner peace with themselves not to push for no peace, but to have outer peace with not only normal everyday people but also with their enemies. The way in which this relates to the quote of Dalai Lama is that is show that Islam does not only promote inner peace with their adherent, but also promotes outer peace with everyone, including the enemies of the adherent, which will conclude into a society of peace.

Prayer within Christianity is not only an individual thing, but it can also be a communal thing, therefore achieving outer peace is a very important part in the faith, but the only way you can achieve outer peace is by the adherent having inner peace. Getting inner peace can also be done through prayer, because through prayer the adherent is about to gain a deeper and closer connection to God, which will then part a stronger faith in the adherent heart, which then will lead on to the adherent to having a strong outer peace connection with other, not only during communal prayer, but through daily life, such as in everyday situations. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven” (Colossians, 1:3-18). This speaks about how prayer connects you to God, but not only God, it also connects you to Jesus, which there provide the adherent with inner peace to be able to have self-confidence and be able to have a strong faith, which then all connects to the adherent being able to have outer peace, because if the adherent is able to feel the connect to God and Jesus, then they should what to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. The way in which prayer connects to Dalai Lama’s quote is that prayer is something that brings inner peace to all adherent, and also that the adherents knowing that Jesus died for their sins all play a major factor in the adherent wanting and wellness to show outer peace to other due to the fact the Jesus did it and that they feel special connection to God and Jesus when the pray.

Forgiveness within Islam can be done through many ways, such as praying and preforming the Hajj pilgrimage. All these ways of forgiveness include inner peace that leads to outer peace. Prayer is the most common way for an adherent to ask Allah for forgiveness. The adherent does not only prayer the five mandatory prayer, but also increase their prayer to seek Allah’s forgiveness. His way of asking for forgiveness requires the adherent to have inner peace with themselves to be able to perform the prayer with God’s consciousness. The adherent can also ask Allah for forgiveness through performing the Hajj pilgrimage. Hajj is when the adherent travels to Makkah and involves themselves in activities that purify the soul. After Hajj is complete, is it as if the adherent as been born again, as all his sin have been wiped clean. To be able to reform Hajj, the adherent must have inner peace due to the fact that it is a time of self-reflection and connecting with Allah, with having inner peace with yourself, which atomically bring outer peace, as the adherent will be at peace with themselves, which will therefore allow for the adherent will treat and act in a peaceful manner with others. “Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided” (Surat Al-Baqarah, 157). This quote is telling the adherent that the one that forgive will have the blessing and the mercy of Allah. This also relate to the adherent having inner peace, because being able to forgive someone require the adherent to have inner peace to be able to show outer peace. This directly relates to the quote of Dalai Lama, because without the adherent having forgiveness, that eliminates the concept of them having inner peace with themselves, which therefore will eliminate the outer peace. Dalai Lama’s quote and forgiveness both go hand in hand with each other, as the both require having inner peace to be able to have and outer peace.

Many organizations work towards tolerance and unity, development a notion of true peace. The Columban Mission Institute engages in and promotes the Catholic Church’s teachings on interreligious dialogue, especially between Christians and Muslims. The New Testament records: “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew, 5:43-45). The work of this group reflects this Christian belief in equality of all people created in God’s image. They are working towards building better relationships between people of different religions, promoting mutual understanding, justice, compassion, and cooperating for the common good of society. They organize conferences, seminars and activities to enable Christians and Muslims to meet each other and learn about the others' belief and practices, to network with inter-faith and multi-faith groups, coordinating a network of Christian women who wish to develop stronger relations with Muslim women, and provide speakers and workshops. Informed by sacred texts, this organization shows a distinctively Christian response to peace.

Every religion around the world preaches the idea of being peaceful and shares the same dream of ultimately reaching world peace. Christianity and Islam share the same goals of ultimately aiming to obtain inner peace to be able to gain outer peace. Christians are able to gain inner peace by believing in the salvation of Jesus and praying, additionally by working together and engaging in communal service ‘true peace’ is developed, increasing the chance of adherents achieving outer peace. Similarly, through prayer and unity, Muslims are able to obtain inner peace that assists them in engaging in activities that encourage outer peace. Through prayer, salvation and belief in God, Christianity and Islam has proven that adherents can obtain inner peace, that assists them in ultimately attaining outer peace.

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From Inner Peace to Outer Peace: Critical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/from-inner-peace-to-outer-peace-critical-essay/
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From Inner Peace to Outer Peace: Critical Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/from-inner-peace-to-outer-peace-critical-essay/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
From Inner Peace to Outer Peace: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Sept 19 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/from-inner-peace-to-outer-peace-critical-essay/
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