What does pacifism mean in Islam?

Pacifism usually means an opposition to war and violence. While peace is an important aspect of Islam, and Muslims are encouraged to strive for peace and peaceful solutions to all problems, most Muslims are not pacifists. This is because the teachings in the Qur'an and Hadith allow for wars to be fought if they can be justified.

Peace and equality

Islam seeks peace and harmony within a community, the ummah and also between countries. Islam teaches that reconciliation is of great importance.

Peace is central to Islam and the religion aims to achieve a world without attack, conflict or unjust rulers. A peaceful solution to any situation of conflict must be sought and if an enemy offers peace Muslims should accept it. The Qur'an reminds Muslims that Allah is always watching and taking account of their actions. This belief is clearly expressed in the following verse:

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If the enemy inclines towards peace, then you should also incline towards peace and trust in Allah, for He is the One that hears and knows all.Qur'an 8:61

Islam teaches that prejudice and discrimination of any kind are wrong, because we are all creations of Allah and are therefore equal.

Some Muslims refuse to fight in contemporary wars because they believe that with modern warfare there can be no such thing as a just war. Air strikes often accidently kill innocent civilians, and chemical and nuclear weapons have the capacity to cause mass destruction to humanity and the environment.