In our closely interlinked world, peace and prosperity for everyone crucially depends on harmonious relations
between communities and countries. Today, countries and communities can no longer afford to live in isolation
from each other. Because we are now all so closely interdependent, peaceful and mutually-beneficial relations
between different religious communities have become indispensable. We simply cannot afford to resort to
conflict in order to resolve disputes.
Today, the world is crying out for peace. Islam positively encourages Muslims to work for peace and for
maintaining harmonious relations between them and people belonging to other communities.
Given the serious threat to peace posed by terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam, there is an urgent need to
articulate and promote a positive, meaningful approach to conflict-prevention, conflict-resolution and peace-
building. This is what this book seeks to do. Although it touches on all three aspects, its central focus is on the
first aspect—conflict-prevention. After all, if conflicts are prevented at the very outset, violence can be done
away with. Amicably negotiating differences before they degenerate into a conflict is, this book suggests, the
most sensible way for us to handle conflicts.
The approach to conflict-prevention, conflict-resolution and peace-building outlined in this book is based on the
Quran and the life of the Prophet. It draws lessons from these sources that can be applied to efforts to negotiate
differences and conflicts at all levels—from between individuals to between communities and entire countries.
But the lessons these provide are of universal relevance.
According to the Creation plan of God, everyone is free. But when an individual is free, he can also misuse his
freedom. As a rule, whenever people find themselves in problematic situations—and life is full of such
contingencies—there is a tendency to make an immediate response. This kind of instant reaction, however,
serves only to add new problems to the existing ones. Reaction unleashes an unending chain of action and
reaction. The results of following this path are disastrous.
Whenever a difficult situation arises, the right course is not to take immediate action but to stop and reflect
patiently on the possible consequences of one’s response.
Those who choose to react by making an immediate emotional response can only cause an exacerbation of their
difficulties. On the other hand, those who adopt a well-considered approach will certainly find ways and means
of converting problems into opportunities for improving the situation that they are faced with. There is great
wisdom in engaging in this sort of result-oriented planning. This is what this book suggests.
I pray that God makes this book a means for bringing about the needed transformation in people’s minds and
helps them understand the importance of peace.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Centre for Peace and Spirituality International, New Delhi,