Islam Faith Choice

"There is no compulsion in the system; the proper way has been clarified from the wrong way. Whoever rejects evil, and believes in God, indeed he has taken grasp of the strongest hold that will never break. God is Hearer, Knower." [Qur'an 2:256]

In the above reference, the Qur'an makes clear that on the matter of faith, one cannot force others, let alone harm someone in the name of Islam: To you will be your deen (system) to the other person is theirs. Giving the capital punishment to anyone because he/she changed their faith is unislamic and not true about the teachings of messenger of God. In Qur'an God tells us:

"Say: O rejecters, I do not serve what you serve Nor do you serve what I serve Nor will you serve what I serve, To you is your system, and to me is mine" [Quran 109:1-6]

"Prince of the Ghassanids, who had been allied previously with Byzantium but had turned to Islam after the Emperor fled from the field of battle, arrived in Medina splendidly clad and with an entourage of grandees. A Bedouin chanced to step on his robe, causing him to stumble, and he struck the man in the face. He was hauled before 'Umar and the Bedouin was given the right to return the blow. The prince reverted to the Christian faith, in which due respect was paid to his rank." from book islam & destiny of man by Charles li Gai Eaton. Page 129

There is no forcing each other in Islam, yet, some people try to inject their ignorent wishful thinkings into Islam. These so called think of themselves as some form of police, guardian, military approved of God who are supposed to force people to follow what God wants when those people dont want it. Of course these kind of people contradict the teaching we find in Qur'an:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. [Quran 6:108]

In the above verse muslims are not even allowed to say anything disrespectful towards the belief / faith of any individual.

God tells us in next verse [60:8] Treat people of other faith/belief in a kind and fair manner & do justice with them.

Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice. [Quran 60:8]

"Whoever obeys the messenger has obeyed God; and whoever turns away, We have not sent you as a guardian over them." [Quran 4:80]

"So if they turn away, then you are only required to deliver clearly." [Quran 16:82]

"And if God had willed, they would not have set up partners. And We did not place you over them as a guardian, nor are you over them as a sponsor." [Quran 6:107]

"We have sent down to you the Book for the people with the truth. Then, whoever is guided is guided for himself, and whoever goes astray goes astray to his own loss. And you are not a keeper over them." [Quran 39:41]

The Qur'an repeats it so many times that if God wanted, he could make all of us obey, we are not supposed to force others like we are some kind of guardian over them. But still, some people ignore this. They want to threaten people  if they differ in opinion regarding faith. The following verse is thought provoking:

"He said: "O my people, do you see that should I be upon a clarity from my Lord, and He has given me a mercy from Himself, that you may be blinded to it? Shall we compel you to it while in-fact you hate it?" [Quran 11:28]

And if their turning away is distressful for thee, why, if thou canst seek out a hole in the earth, or a ladder in heaven, to bring them some sign but had God willed, He would have gathered them to the guidance; so be not thou one of the ignorant. [Quran 6:35]

Some haters of Qur'an along with extremists that hide under the title of "muslims" are using verses from Qur'an out of context to show that Qur'an promotes killing of apostates. They use verses 4:88 to 4:89 and don't show the next verse 4:90 which clearly states that if they cease hostility and propose peace to you then God does not allow you to harm them.

"What is the matter with you that you are divided into two groups over the hypocrites, while God has regressed them for what they have earned? Do you want to guide those whom God misguides? Whoever God causes to be misguided, you will never find for him a path. They hope that you will reject as they have rejected, then you will be the same. Do not take any of them as allies until they emigrate in the cause of God. If they turn away, then take them and kill them wherever you find them; and do not take from them any ally or supporter." [Quran 4:88-89]

People may read this and immediately jump into conclusions. However, those who are sincere enough will atleast read next verse. The next verse destroys this falsehood:

"But make an exception of those who seek refuge with people with whom you have a treaty, or who come over to you because their hearts forbid them to fight against you or against their own people. Had God pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they would have taken up arms against you. Therefore, if they keep away from you and cease their hostility and propose peace to you, God does not allow you to harm them." [Quran 4:90]

We see that the fighting against apostates in 4:89 is only limited to those who are waging war on you, not those who are peaceful.

Same goes for Verse 9:5. By reading this verse alone will not complete the context. But those who are honest enough to read the next verses 9:6 and 9:7 can get better understanding

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.
How can there be a league, before Allah and His Messenger, with the Pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous. [Quran 9:5-7]

Read the next verse 49:9. This will put things in context.

And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. [Quran 49:9]

The above verse 49:9 makes it clear God doesn't like oppressor even person is calling himself a Muslim.

Bible (Leviticus 24:16) "anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death"

Bible (Deuteronomy 13:6-10) If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

In verse 16:125 God tells us clearly only he knows the best that who is on right path. If somebody takes the responsibility of teaching and guiding people this should be done in wise, patient, humble and beautiful way. If we put this verse through logic we again left with option previously discussed which is people are free to chose in matter of faith and at the end everyone is responsible for his own act.

"Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." [Quran 16:125]

Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. [Quran 2:62]

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender. [Quran 29:46]

'Truly the believers and the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians - whosoever believeth in God and the Last Day and doeth deeds of piety - no fear shall come upon them neither shall they grieve' [Quran 5:69]

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it - after the clear proofs came to them - out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. [Quran 2:213]

2:285. The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." [Quran 2:285]

it is said that Islam is neither more nor less than a restoration of the primordial religion of mankind, the 'perennial philosophy'.

"The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him)." [Quran 42:13]

Nothing is said to thee [Muhammad] that was not said to the messengers before thee: that thy lord has at his Command (all) forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty. [Quran 41:43]

What the Qur'an actually says about those who leave the system of God

"O you who believe, whoever from among you turns away from His system, then God will bring a people whom He loves and they love Him; humble towards the believers, proud towards the rejecters; they strive in the cause of God and do not fear to be blamed by those who blame. This is the grace of God, He bestows it upon whom He wills; God is Encompassing, Knowledgeable." [Quran 5:54]

"Those who believed, then rejected, then believed, then rejected, then they increased in rejection; God was not to forgive them nor to guide them to the path." [Quran 4:137]

"Whoever rejects God after having believed - except for he who is forced while his heart is still content with belief - and has comforted his chest towards rejection, then these will have a wrath from God and they will have a great retribution." [Quran 16:106]

God does not ask you and I or anyone to go against those whom we may percieve as kafirs/rejectors.

The following verses from the Qur'an best summarizes what we should or should not do with people whom we percieve to be rejectors:

"And leave Me to deal with the deniers who have been given the good things, and give them time for a while." [Quran 73:11]

"So leave Me alone with he whom I have created.And I gave him abundant wealth. And sons to bear witness. And I made everything comfortable for him. Then he is greedy, wanting that I give more. No. He was stubborn to Our revelations." [Quran 74:11-16]

Who explains Qu’ran?  God tells us in Quran 75:19

Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear): [Quran 75:19]

So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge." [Quran 20:114]

The Quran is fully detailed. 41:3; 17:41; 17:89; 18:54; 6:114

The Prophet was enjoined in the strongest words from issuing any religious teachings besides Quran. [Quran 69:44-47] Had he uttered any other teachings. We would have punished him. We would have stopped the revelations to him. None of you could have helped him.

 Some people uphold vain Hadith to divert others from the path of God. [31:6]

And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead [others] from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment. [Quran 31:6]

The Quran informs us that some enemies of the Prophet, described as "human and jinn devils," will fabricate lies and attribute them to the Prophet (6:112, 25:31)

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy - devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. [Quran 6:112]

Thus have We made for every prophet an enemy among the sinners: but enough is thy Lord to guide and to help. [Quran 25:31]

We should not, however, confuse faith with the twisting of religion for personal gain.

And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? [Quran 10:99]

Then We will surely extract from every sect those of them who were worst against the Most Merciful in insolence." [Quran 19:69]

Another verse where reference is whole humankind regardless of faith, sect or race.

 Already have We urged unto hell many of the jinn and humankind, having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle - nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful. [Quran 7:179]

1480 If it had been Allah's Plan or Will not to grant the limited Free Will that He has granted to man, His omnipotence could have made all mankind alike: all would then have had Faith, but that Faith would have reflected no merit on them. In the actual world as it is, man has been endowed with various faculties and capacities, so that he should strive and explore, and bring himself into harmony with Allah's Will. Hence Faith becomes a moral achievement, and to resist Faith becomes a sin. As a complementary proposition, men of Faith must not be impatient or angry if they have to contend against Unfaith, and most important of all, they must guard against the temptation of forcing Faith, i.e., imposing it on others by physical compulsion, or any other forms of compulsion such as social pressure, or inducements held out by wealth or position, or other adventitious advantages. Forced faith is no faith. They should strive spiritually and let Allah's Plan work as He wills.

But your people have denied it while it is the truth. Say, "I am not over you a manager." [Quran 6:66]

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). [Quran 49:13]

Peace Justice

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