For monotheistic religious traditions Christianity and Islam, Peace has been an important factor to achieving inner and world peace. Many of the: religious traditions, teachings and sacred texts have been built from the foundational teaching of the Golden Rule. Both religions significant people have represented the ways in which adherents are to live for a fulfilled, blessed life. With living to the expectation of reaching paradise, all adherents are to live as peace-makers, worship their God by building and maintaining their relationships, treat others the way they want to be treated, and most importantly, contribute to world peace, which will enhance the goal of achieving world peace amongst all religions.
Peace in Christianity
Peace is the foundational notion that has been implemented into the Christian community for centuries. In Christianity the belief of finding inner peace must be achieved before achieving global peace. Jesus Christ is known as the ‘prince of peace’ (Wijaya, 2019), who is regarded as the central source of peace within Christianity. By understanding the belief of peace represented by Jesus Christ, it enables Christian adherents to model the “peace-making” concept. The idea of inner peace can be reflected in the teaching of the Golden Rule, it helps the adherent establish the moral principle of ‘do to others, as others should do to you’ (Heeren, 2019). This signifies that in order to achieve inner peace, do not be vindictive or treat others in a manner that you wouldn’t like to be treated.
Christianity’s sacred texts
Sacred texts are an important element of Christianity as they are praised as the core foundation for guidance of all adherents to strengthen their relationship with God. By following one of God's greatest commandments, the overarching theme of ‘love’, enables individuals to focus on their path to achieving inner peace. The new testament (NT), helps Christians obtain inner peace through the literature relationship between the individual's faith in regard to the requirements of the Gospel and their own sense of peace and wellbeing (Dane bank- Lib-Guide, 2019).
Christianity’s religious traditions which assists to obtain inner peace:
- The NT - “John 4:7-8”, states, “beloved, lets us love one another, for love is from God, anyone who does not love does not know God, Because God is love”.
- God’s gift of love is reinforced to obtain inner peace and achieve an internal life. This quote helps the individual understand that love is a central idea in Christianity, and anyone who cannot comprehend this idea does not believe in God entirely.
- Christians follow this concept as an expression of their love to god, and their love of self as they are nurturing their inner peace.
An adherent can enable inner peace through the notion of individual prayer. It provides guidance for adherents in their attainment in peace. By worshipping God, adherents can achieve a spiritual connection to which enhances their understanding of love.
Forgiveness is another teaching in Christianity that helps one achieve inner peace. In the NT:“Romans 12:18” “if possible, so far it depends on you, be at peace with all”. This teaching helps an adherent by seeking peace in all their relationships, primarily with God. Which Can help guide the individual to achieving inner peace, and successfully live by the golden rule, as they are keeping peace with humanity. Which helps maintain positive relationships that are to be reciprocated in return.
Peace in Islam
Peace is the fundamental notion that lies at the Centre of Islam. By guiding an Islamic adherent to pursue inner peace, With the notion of being at peace with Allah.
According to the Quran Allah is known as “As-Salaam” meaning eternity of peace. The acknowledgement of the direct relationship between an individual's attainment of peace and the omnipotence of Allah as the creator, enables the adherent to gain influence towards their expression of Jihad. This notion is an essential teaching that assists with the individual's ability of full submission to Allah, helping achieve inner peace. The concept of peace cannot be met in Islam if the relationship between the adherent and Allah do not exist (Abou El Fadl, 2018). With Islam's correlation to the Golden Rule, adherents are emphasised to, “wish for his brother what he wishes for himself”. The foundational moral principle that all adherents are to try and obtain, for achieving inner peace.
Islam’s sacred texts
The Quran is the foundational sacred texts which outlines a clear path for Muslim adherents, to build and follow their desire of the full submission. The Quran guides an adherent to experience and maintain a deeper sense of peace. Within Islam, Jihad is a concept found in the Quran, that has been implemented and interpreted differently to all adherents for different reasons. An adherent who uses the notion of Greater Jihad, uses the meaning with the perception of “strive/struggle”. In a sense, the adherent would use the notion of Jihad to face their internal “holy war” (BBC,2009). The sense of Greater Jihad is based on the instructions that Allah has placed for adherents to, ‘fight their own selfish desires’. Within the Quran, the spirit of peace is a theme that is mentioned multiple times, amongst the first verse of the Quran it states, 'In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate''.
This is showing that Islam’s greatest importance is attached on the values of compassion and mercy. A Muslim is to maintain their greater Jihad, through overcoming issues such as: hatred, greed, anger or pride.
Islam’s religious traditions which assists to obtain inner peace:
- For an adherent, the five pillars are obligations that help the individual live a fulfilled, responsible life according to the Islamic faith. Sawm is the fourth pillar which is the notion of fasting. It helps the individual retain a sense of discipline.
- However, it also allows the individual to connect on a deeper spiritual level, enabling them to reflect on their inner morality and accepting their wrongs with the use of prayer. This notion of sawm helps the adherent achieve inner peace (McTerran, 2008).
Christianity and Islam’s world peace contribution
Christianity and Islam have actively worked together to live out the Golden rule in their contributions to peace. For example, both monotheistic religions are working towards world peace. Within both traditions, there are many organisations and individuals who are assisting in creating world peace and acknowledgement. Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic church, is a significant contemporary figure who has stepped away from the traditional stigmas that many Christian leaders have held. He is a figure who has symbolised the importance of peace in many aspects. In the recent pandemic ‘Coronavirus’, Pope Francis reached out and prayed for world peace. During the day of Prayer, he emphasised the meaning of communal prayer, 'I invite and encourage everyone to join this event: let us join together as brothers in asking the Lord to save humanity from the pandemic, to illuminate scientists and to heal the sick'. This has helped attain and build on the attribution to achieving world peace. As it underlies the notion that, we are all one, and regardless of race, issues such as health shouldn't segregate, better yet society should be coming together to show their support. This reflects on the importance of the Golden Rule, treating one-another as equals and loving thy neighbor regardless of cultural differences. Since the ‘Vatican news’ website had live streamed the mass (Watkins, 2020). It has enabled the contemporary adherents who cannot be present due to Covid19, the ability to contribute and be a part of the communal prayer from home. Berkeley Centre, “for religion, peace and world affairs”, is a university Centre for peace. Who seeks for a peaceful and justice world. By solving religious issues and global affairs through the use of education and knowledge. This Centre has helped promote and contribute to world peace by increasing public understanding of the Islamic religion.
The centre has an upcoming online ‘zoom call’, which will be participating in the discussion of ‘different societal current issues’, and how we as a community will reimage a Post-COVID19 world. This initiative will enhance the way Islam contributes to world peace.
Christianity and Islam are two religious traditions that are working towards obtaining inner peace and achieving world peace. The sacred texts have helped guide all adherents into fulfilling their obligations and maintaining their inner peace. By an adherent understanding that the Golden Rule is a central connection between the two religions, they are able to establish and contribute to world peace in 2020, amongst the different cultural aspects. Understanding and respecting each religion will enable the ability into achieving world peace.
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