No compulsion in religion
Quran and Hadith on Religious Persecution
This article has two sections. The first is a brief explanation of Quranic verses that are often mistaken as instructions to persecute Non-Muslims. The second section features verses from the Quran and Hadith that vehemently insist on religious tolerance and the idea of "no compulsion in religion." God willing, Non-Muslims as well as our Muslim brothers and sisters who resort to violence, will take these verses into consideration.
Anti-Islamic people often use the following verses to justify the stereotype that Islam is a religion of violence and intolerance, which was spread by the sword. The explanations here were aided by Abdullah Yusuf Ali's commentary on the Holy Quran.
Sura 8.12 "Remember thy lord has inspired the angels with the message. Give firmness to the believers and instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Smite them above their necks and smite the fingertips of them."
Sura 9.5 "When the sacred months have passed, kill the idolaters whereever you find them."
Sura 47.4 "When you encounter the unbelievers, Strike off their heads. Untill you have made a wide slaughter among them tie up the remaining captives."Sura 8 is about a BATTLE - the Battle of Badr - not just some daily affair. A battles take two side to occur. Are you under the impression that while these 'horrid' Muslims were fighting, the enemies were simply standing there like good little peaceful men?
Sura 47 was revealed during the first year of Hijrah when the Muslims were under *threat of extinction* by invasion from Makkah.
Sura 9 is interesting. Non-Muslims almost invariably quote verse 5 but leave out verse 4 and 6. Why? Because verse 4 says, "But the treatires are not dissolved with those Pagans with whom you have entered into alliance and who have you subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God Loves the righteous."
And verse 6 says, "If one among the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him so that he may hear the Word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure."
So basically what has been done above is:
1. The background to each sura was shown. One cannot take a verse revealed for a battle and insist it is if for the daily affairs of Muslims.
2. It was shown how Non-muslims who wish to attack Islam, conveniently leave out verses before and after their quoted verse. Above, I have shown only one of the many examples.
This long list of verses from the Holy Quran and the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) show that Islam at it's core and at its source is a religion of peace. Terrorists who persecute innocent people because of their faith are not welcome - their use of Islam as a scapegoat, does not make Islam what they portray it to be.
2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.
16:82 But if they turn away from you, (O Prophet remember that) your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message (entrusted to you).
6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you (of your own choice) a guardian over them.
4:79, 80 (Say to everyone of them,) 'Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have (O Prophet) sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper."
11:28 (Noah to his people) He (Noah) said "O my people! think over it! If 1 act upon a clear direction from my Lord who has bestowed on me from Himself the Merciful talent of seeing the right way, a way which you cannot see for yourself, does it follow that we can force you to take the right path when you definitely decline to take it?°
17:53, 54 And tell my servants that they should speak in a most kindly manner (unto those who do not share their beliefs). Verily, Satan is always ready to stir up discord between men; for verily; Satan is mans foe .... Hence, We have not sent you (Unto men O Prophet) with power to determine their Faith.
21:107 to 109 (O Prophet?) 'We have not sent you except to be a mercy to all mankind:" Declare, "Verily, what is revealed to me is this, your God is the only One God, so is it not up to you to bow down to Him?' But if they turn away then say, "I have delivered the Truth in a manner clear to one and all, and I know not whether the promised hour (of Judgment) is near or far."
22:67 To every people have We appointed ceremonial rites (of prayer) which they observe; therefore, let them not wrangle over this matter with you, but bid them to turn to your Lord (since that is the main objective of religion). You indeed are rightly guided. But if they still dispute you in this matter, (then say,) `God best knows (the value of) what you do."
88:21, 22; also see 24:54 And so, (O Prophet!) exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.
48:28 He it is Who has sent forth His Messenger with the (task of spreading) Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to the end that tie make it prevail over every (false) religion, and none can bear witness to the Truth as God does.
36:16, 17 (Three Messengers to their people)Said (the Messengers), "Our Sustainer knows that we have indeed been sent unto you, but we are not bound to more than clearly deliver the Message entrusted to us.'
39:41 Assuredly, We have sent down the Book to you in right form for the good of man. Whoso guided himself by it does so to his own advantage, and whoso turns away from it does so at his own loss. You certainly are not their keeper.
42:6, 48 And whoso takes for patrons others besides God, over them does God keep a watch. Mark, you are not a keeper over them. But if they turn aside from you (do not get disheartened), for We have not sent you to be a keeper over them; your task is but to preach ....
64:12 Obey God then and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away (no blame shall attach to our Messenger), for the duty of Our Messenger is just to deliver the message.
67:25, 26 And they ask, "When shall the promise be fulfilled if you speak the Truth?" Say, "The knowledge of it is verily with God alone, and verily I am but a plain warner."
60:8 Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.
60:9 Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.
The teachings of the Prophet on how you and I should treat our Non-Muslim friends and neighbours on a day to day basis as well as how to government should treat a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state.
"He who believes in God and the Last Day should honour his guest, should not harm his neighbour, should speak good or keep quiet." (Bukhari, Muslim)
"Whoever hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God." (Bukhari)
"He who hurts a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state, I am his adversary, and I shall be his adversary on the Day of a Judgement." (Bukhari)
"Beware on the Day of Judgement; I shall mysefl be complainant against him who wrongs a Non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state or lays on him a responsibility greater than he can bear or deprives him of anything that belongs to him." (Al-Mawardi)
"Anyone who kills a Non-Muslim who had become our ally will not smell the fragrance of Paradise." (Bukhari)
[Read more on Violence and Islam]