How to Establish Peace in the Holy Land
Ten Point Program
Sisters and Brothers, I am thankful to the organizers of The Peres Centre for Peace for giving me the opportunity to address this world audience. When I received the invitation, I was reluctant to participate, and it was almost certain that I would not be attending this conference. But then a miracle happened. On the night of September 23, 2008 I had a dream in New Delhi. It was a very clear dream. In this dream I saw myself addressing a large audience. At that time, I uttered these words which I wrote down in my diary the same night on waking up. These were the words which I spoke in the dream before the Conference:
‘The Arabs and the Jews both must know that they cannot go on fighting forever. In life, peace is the rule and war is the exception. War is costlier than any other course of action, so both parties must try to find some practical formula for the establishment of peace. Let me just say that the Arabs must accept Israel as a legitimate state by totally abandoning violence against Israel, and Israel must agree to make such territorial adjustment as is acceptable to the Arabs. Thus, by accepting the formula of give and take, they can establish peace in the Holy Land. In other words, it is a win/win situation for both.’
The Arab-Israel conflict, perhaps the gravest problem of modern times, poses a constant challenge to peace. I pondered over this matter in the light of Islamic scriptures and I found a relevant tradition of the Prophet of Islam quoted by Abdur Rahman ibn Khaldun with reference to Al-Tabarani. It is as follows:
‘The Prophet predicted that a person from the Muslim Ummah would appear and would speak with reference to his Sunnah (tradition). He would fill the earth with justice, at a time when the earth would have been filled with injustice. He would travel to Bait-al Maqdis.’
‘Earth’, in this hadith does not refer to the entire globe. Rather it refers to Bait-al-Maqdis, i.e. Palestine. Speaking ‘with reference to the Prophet’s tradition’ means that one who made such a reference would discover guidance on the subject of Palestine in the light of Prophet’s teachings, and that he would impart it to others. ‘Injustice’ here refers to violence and “justice” refers to peace. In this tradition, it is predicted that a time will come when this region will become a zone of violence. At that time, a person from the Muslim Ummah will travel to this place and will tell people of the Prophet’s peace formula, which is entirely practicable in this scenario, and how peace can, therefore, be established by applying this formula. This tradition of the Prophet guided me in my attempt to discover the prophetic formula of peace by perusing the Quran and Sunnah.
We learn from a study of the Quran that ideal solution is not possible in any matter. That is why, the right approach is to find solutions to problems which are at best workable; that is, which may feasibly be put into practice. Keeping this basic principle in view, I have derived from Islamic teachings what I consider to be a practicable solution. I would like to present it at this international conference in the Holy Land in the form of ten points.
The Arab-Israel controversy, which started in 1948, led directly to the total disturbance of peace in the Middle East and indirectly to disturbances all over the world. This 60-year old bloody struggle, far from solving any problems, has created grave, unsolvable problems. Now the time has finally arrived for a reassessment of the whole issue in a purely realistic manner, and for a search for a new strategy which could ensure peace in the region. Although the name of Islam has repeatedly been invoked in this campaign, there has never been any serious effort made to apply the Islamic formula to this controversial matter. I have studied Islamic scriptures to discover the solution to this problem in the light of Islam.
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