Is Islam really a religion of peace?
This question has been bandied around the internet a lot lately, especially since the shooting in Orlando. Often people are either ill-informed or just being run by their emotions when they comment on this, either for or against, on social media and I’m assuming when talking/discussing it with their friends.
As I pondered this post all of the standard answers began to flood my mind, and I sifted through all of the arguments both pro and con, processing just how I would address this, but none of these seem sufficient to truly answer the question. You see almost all of the posts that I have read deal with the physical death, torture, treatment of women, etc… These things are indeed horrific, but the Scripture tells us this:
Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. – Luke 12:4 NLT
This is an interesting statement by Jesus is it not?! His focus was not on the stuff of earth, because the stuff of earth is temporary. Jesus clarifies his meaning in the very next verse:
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. – Luke 12:5 NLT
He makes it very clear that the after-life or eternity is what we should concern ourselves with. That the temporary difficulties, struggles, pain, and hardship of this life are just that, temporary. He is challenging us to look past this life and ask the question, ‘What then?’
Taking that context let’s look at what Islam teaches about how you get to go to heaven and how you have a relationship with God. According to an official Islamic site, here is how you get to ‘Paradise’:
There are multiple ways to attain the pleasure of Allah SWT and enter His Jannah. Allah SWT has made it easy for us to enter His Jannah but some of us forget this due to an ‘attachment’ to this temporary worldly life!
Following are some hadiths which will show us 25 ways or good deeds to enter the Jannah. Remember, these are not the ‘only’ 25 ways and there should be ‘sincerity’ and ‘consistency’ in these acts to get Jannat-ul-Firdause InshaAllah. – OrbitIslam
So, Islam teaches that there are ‘multiple’ ways to get into Paradise, there is not only one way; that it is dependent upon us to do these deeds; and that paradise can be lost if we fall short.
The Bible teaches that there is only one way to get into Heaven, that it is not dependent on us but what Jesus Christ did, and that once we receive this salvation we can never lose it. The Bible teaches that God has won our salvation and made ‘peace with mankind’ through the death of his son Jesus Christ paying the price for our sin. But, the peace he has won is 0nly effective once we accept Jesus Christ, in essence sign the peace agreement with God.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. – Colossians 1:20-22 NLT
So, if Islam teaches that Jesus Christ is not the way to God, then all those who follow Islam do not have a relationship with God, and are not at peace with God. They have the full weight of the wrath and judgment of God upon their shoulders, and when their life ends they do not enter into his rest, but into his judgement…if Islam rejects the peace of God and leaves it’s followers standing in the way of God’s judgement, how could it possibly be a religion of peace?
Does this mean that God hates them, wants them dead, or that a muslim could never find salvation in Christ, well that’s a big fat NO!
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.- 2 Peter 3:9 NLT
Islam doesn’t teach it’s followers how to make peace with God, but God has not given up hope that some, maybe many, will turn to him, receive his grace, and enjoy his peace!