Peace, Nonviolence, and Islam

To understand the place of peace and nonviolence in Islam, it is important to know first something about the Arabic word al-islam. Literally, the word islam is a noun that means obedience/surrender to God in religion. The root of the word is slm which is likewise the root Arabic word for peace, salam. Islam, with a capital “I,” is the name of the religion revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The Prophet of Islam in turn brought Islam to humanity. The very name of the religion therefore suggests that bringing peace to humanity is among the theological goals of Islam.