Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Islam Forces People To Embrace It - Truth Or Fiction

A question asked by some (mostly non-Muslims):
"How come Quran says there is to be no forcing people into Islam, and at the same time the prophet says that he will fight against people till they believe in God or embrace Islam?"

There is a verse in Quran (Al Bakara verse 256) that goes:

الآية الكريمة {لا إكراه في الدين، قد تبيّن الرشد من الغي. فمن يكفر بالطاغوت ويؤمن بالله فقد استمسك بالعروة الوثقى، لا انفصام لها والله سميع عليم} [سورة البقرة، الآية 256].

What is says is that “there will be no forcing in religion”, as in no one is to be forced to embrace Islam.

At the same time there is a Hadeeth Saheeh (a narration by the prophet which was scientifically proven by research to be true) that goes:

حديث (أمرت أن أقاتل الناس حتّى يشهدوا أن لا إله إلاّ الله وأنّ محمداً رسول الله، ويقيموا الصلاة ويؤتوا الزكاة، فإذا فعلوا ذلك عصموا منّي دماءهم وأموالهم إلاّ بحقّ الإسلام، وحسابهم على الله) رواه البخاري

Meaning of: “I was ordered to fight against the people till they testify that there is no God except Allah and that Mohammad is God’s Prophet, pray, and do Zakaah….”.

Some people misuse this in two ways:

· Islam forces people to embrace it.
· Islamic Quran and Suna (sayings and doings of the Prophet) are contradictory.

Fact is, they are neither contradicting each other, nor is Islam forcing people to embrace it, how? This is how…

Almost all Islamic scholars have confirmed that Islam is not to be forced on anyone (Ibn Katheer, Al Tabari, Ibn Taymeya…etc.).

The proof is by the actions of the prophet during his life.

For example, the prophet used to release many prisoners of war. And in some cases make the other army pay release money to set them free (depending on case and people…etc.).

Even when the Muslims marched into Makkah (Mecca), after all what the people of Makkah did to muslims and the prophet over the previous 17 plus years, the prophet set them all free with his famous words: “Go… you are all free!”.

He never forced anyone in the cases above to embrace religion before he did what he did. And he never killed anyone before they said they believed in God (or embraced Islam).

Even the prophet’s followers and Islamic rulers that came after him (fast majority), all left people alone to believe and follow their own religion without forcing them into Islam.

A still live example of that is all the Churches and temples that fill the Islamic world (regardless of a few rulers who have done actions contrary to what I mentioned before).

Did you know for example that for a few years after Muslims came into Egypt, no one embraced Islam?
Do you think if Islams order to muslims was to kill anyone till they embrace ... would those (then all Christians and jews) be alive???!

Actually, Islam is so against forcing people into Islam… that some people of the Shafeee school of thought have prohibited muslim husbands from asking their non-Muslim wives (if married to a Christian or jewish wife) to embrace islam!
They have actually said: "he…has… no …right …to ..do… so!" (he can act as an idol and show how good islam is, but never to force her to embrace it…it is her call!).

As for the Hadeeth I mentioned before (“I was ordered to fight against the people till they testify that there is no God except Allah and that Mohammad is God’s Prophet”)…

Yes, the superficial meaning for those who don’t know or research or use there minds is… Islam FORCES people to embrace it (or believe in God) or they loose their heads…etc.

First,
There are many verses in Quran and Suna instances which prove that People of the Book (Christians, and Jews) and others are to be left alone.
It is even agreed (per Suna…etc) that women, elderly people and children are to be left alone (during and after wars)…etc.
Besides that, Islam approved that Muslim men can marry non-muslim women.

Second,
The Quran verse “there will be no forcing in religion” is the general rule, while the prophet’s hadeeth (“I was ordered to fight against the people till they testify…etc) is for certain people at certain times.

The word “Fight THE PEOPLE” does not mean ALL PEOPLE! It is talking about a specific category of people he meant.

Using the words “THE PEOPLE” to identify a certain group of people is an Arabic language thing.

To prove it…f or example, the verse in Quran:

: {الذين قال لهم الناس إنّ الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم فزادهم إيماناً، وقالوا حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل} [سورة آل عمران، الآية 173].


Meaning of the verse: “Those who were told by the people, THE PEOPLE have gathered against you, so beware and fear them”.

The word “THE PEOPLE” in this example is obviously talking about “a certain group of people whom have gathered to harm someone”. It does not mean “ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH”!

Bottom line is, the word “THE PEOPLE” talks about a certain group…not ALL PEOPLE!

Third,
The hadeeth (“I was ordered to fight against the people till they testify…etc), the Prophet said “TO FIGHT” (Okatel), not “TO KILL” (AKTOL)!

People might ask: “Oh really Mr. wise betengana! What’s the difference?!”
Again , this is a thing in Arabic… words that might look similar are totally different in meaning.

Let me explain…
Al Sahfeee (Imam of one of the four major schools of thought in Islam) said: “It might be permitted in some cases to “FIGHT against” people, but it is prohibited to “KILL” people”.

What he was talking about was… it is permitted to fight “THOSE WHO FIGHT AGAINST US”, but not “GO OFF KILLING PEOPLE just like that! ”.

Even in Quran, it is mentioned that when at war, one can end war by the other side providing "JIZYA" (money to end war and be left alone to live in peace), make peace treaties, making truce…etc.

Finally, I ask you (regardless of what some people have done wrongfully over a history of 1428 years)…
If Quran, Suna, Arabic language and common sense mean and say all that… do you honestly think that Islam ordered us to go off killing people just like that to get them to embrace Islam?!

Do you think that this would be an order sent to the prophet who was "A Mercy To All Mankind" as God described him in Quran?

People should stop cherry picking rules to follow. They should understand the general picture and put things into perspective”.

- Fadfadation

Walaho a3lam…

Sources:

  • "Faisal Mawlawi" Fatwa
  • Islamonline

Mood: Sabarny ya Rab :)

9 comments:

Arima said...

Excellent explanation! I loved the way that you explained everything in detail step by step...it is so nice to see someone promoting the peace of Islam :)

Fadfadation said...

Thanks Arima, adena ben2adef :)

gjoe said...

Nice post fad!

I once asked Geddo, Allah yer7amoh, who was a professor in arabic language what did the prophet (PBUH) meant in this Hadeeth. He told me that "أقاتل" here means in the sense of "doing the best i can". In other words, the prophet was required to do all he can and fight by all ways to get people in Islam. That doesn't mean the superficial explaination of "holding the sword" and blindly killing people. It's like when people say even in English "I will fight to get that job". It doesnt mean that i will go kill people to get the job,it means that I will do all that I can to achieve what I want. And the best proof for the "interpretation" of what the prophet meant is by (just like you said): Seeing HOW the prophet actually got people to embrace Islam.
Islam forces people to embrace it: Fiction!

AD sabry said...

its really great article,
i really liked it.
its really strong proof,
no one can refute it.

Fadfadation said...

gjoe,

Another nice addition to the points. Allah yer7amo he sure explained it well.

Ad-sabry,
thank you for your support :)

Queen O'Danile said...

I really like your blog--i am going to link to it! Young men like you give me hope for Egypt! Keep writing!

Fadfadation said...

Queen O'Daneil,

THanks for the kind words.

"Just anotehr muslim wishing what is best for his Religion and Country".

:)

BD said...

http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=forcible+conversion+islam&hl=en&lr=

Anonymous said...

I just want to point something out. While Islam might not be forcing people on pain of death to convert, Medieval and post-medieval muslims did a pretty good job of forcibly coaxing people to islam. Example: When the Umayyad Dyansty took over Egypt in 750 AD, they implemented a law that said, essentially, convert, pay or die. Convert and die are pretty self explanatory, but pay is ridiculous. There are stories in Christianity about how terrible the conditions were in a household after they paid the gizya tax. This kept going until 1854...yes, that recently, and since then, muslimm fanatics have stuck to the old, convert or die method