Friday, October 9, 2015
No Compulsion in Religion
K shared an article claiming that there is contradiction in Quran, as Quran 2:256 states that there is no compulsion in religion while verse(s) of Chapter 9 of the Quran contradict it.
My response: The 'No compulsion in religion, is it?! ' is a very misleading article. There is indeed no compulsion in religion nor are there contradictions in the Quran. The entire Quran repeatedly informs and warns that whenever a Messenger of God is sent to a people, and the signs of God are made clear to them, then that which they have been warned against will indeed come to pass, and God and His Messenger will prevail! [Quran 58:21]
After warning the direct addressees of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) for about two decades, then a formal announcement of annulment of treaty [Quran 9:1] is made at the beginning of the quoted chapter 9 of the Quran, a notice period of four months announced [Quran 9:2], and after that God and His Messenger prevailed over Mecca and the surrounding areas. Moreover, those heads of states to whom the letters had been sent by the Messenger of God were also subsequently prevailed upon by the immediate successors of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), who only subdued the nations whose leaders had already been warned by the Messenger of God.
K responded: So does it mean, now we need to force anybody if he/she does not accept Islam? Islam itself has divided into hundreds of groups and sects. So which islam? Shia islam or Sunni Islam? If sunni Islam then Jihadi Islam or sufi islam? The list is endless... Do you believe Islam is a religion of peace or religion of jihad? Please enlighten me brother. Thank you.
My response: We Muslims are not the Messenger of God and we are not authorised to use force against anybody who does not accept Islam. Even the Prophets and Messengers of God were not authorised to force anyone to accept Islam. The Messengers of God prevailed because it is the decree of God that whenever he decides the punishment of a people, he sends a Messenger to warn of the imminent punishment. Copied below are the literal word to word translations of Quran 17:15 and Quran 58:21 Please visit the links to see multiple translations of verse.
Whoever (is) guided then only he is guided for his soul. And whoever goes astray then only he goes astray against it And not will bear one laden with burden, burden (of) another. And not We are to punish until, We have sent a Messenger.
Allah has decreed, "Surely, I and My Messengers." Indeed, Allah (is) All-Strong, All-Mighty.
The question it raises is that 'if there is no compulsion in religion, why then does God decide to punish a people in this world?'. I have tried to understand the narrative of the ancient civilisations in the following blogposts:
We Muslims are entrusted with the scripture (Quran) and it is our duty to understand, obey and share the knowledge in a spirit of compassion, so that as we find ourselves guided and grow in guidance, we share our light with others as well. Whether others accept or reject it is entirely between them and God.