Looking for patterns of peace in all of creation

Sister Anisah David

Sister Anisah David

(Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series of columns written by members of the Campus Interfaith Council. For more information on the council, contact the Reverend Bob Chell at [email protected])

The pattern of peace is interwoven through religious teachings the world over. Through unity peace is obtainable. Many systems, doctrines and rituals are built on the fundamental idea of peace, unity and balance.

Like other faiths, Islam is a religion which teaches unity. It teaches unity and balance comprised of all elements, from a single particle to the most advanced species of life.

It is the unity of all existence; inanimate, plant, animal, and human. All activities in the cosmos are included in this concept of unity, whether they concern the environment we live in or the working of the human mind.

In the Quran we read, “Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one unit of creation before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not them believe?” (Q. 21: 30)

Life is not an accidental occurrence. Man is made of the same basic substance that comprises the most primitive life forms.

All individuals are equally related to the same origin. God created the first man and the first woman from which all humankind is descended. The fact that people are different is not a reason for dispute amongst themselves. On the contrary, it should be a reason for mutual acquaintance and cooperation.

Whether one believes in the teachings of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American traditional beliefs or some other faith tradition, all cultures and peoples have creation stories telling of the first man and first woman. From them all people came forth. Thus we are truly united by blood and tribe. Our tribe is that of humanity and our blood is that of creation.

By establishing the singularity of humankind’s origin, and emphasizing that all individuals have the same nature, we strongly repudiate racism, nationalism, and injustice.

This is not only a belief held by followers of Islam, but many other faiths as well. Only through a forthright effort to come to know one another will we as Sisters and Brothers of humanity insure our security, our unity and ultimately our peace.

But first we must grow brave and step outside our small territory, which we have held tightly to, and make the effort to interact with those different from ourselves, be that difference skin color, culture, language or faith.

Let us start this semester out with not only a prayer for peace and security here in America, but let us pray for peace, equality and justice the world over. Not a justice that is just only for a few. Not a peace that is peaceful only for a few.

Let us want for our Brothers and Sisters in humanity a justice and equality that is universal. Let us not only pray for that, but act upon that prayer by taking one small step for humanity here at South Dakota State University through acts of a greater kindness to those whom we have long feared.

I pray that SDSU will use collective and individual opportunities to expand the boundaries of understanding.

Let us become aware of our weaknesses and build together a stronger unity of peace through action and thought.

“Oh mankind! We created you from a single pair of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may come to know one another.” (Quran. XLIX 13)

Sister Anisah David is the director of Human Interaction for Religious Understanding. She can be reached at [email protected]