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Switch to Forum Live View Islam, Peace and Tolerance-Section 2: Freedom of Religion
4 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2011 - 11:58AM #1
Muhammad_Ahmad
Posts: 223
Islam, Peace and Tolerance, pp. 11-14

2. Freedom of Religion in Islam

It is intended to show here that Islam recognizes complete freedom of belief for every human being, and that, consistently with this principle, it does not prescribe any punishment whatsoever for a person who leaves the religion of Islam to adopt some other faith. (1)

No Compulsion in Religion

The Holy Qur’an altogether excludes compulsion from the sphere of religion. It lays down in the clearest words:

“There is no compulsion in religion – the right way is indeed clearly distinct from error.” – 2:256

In fact, the Holy Qur’an is full of statements showing that belief in this or that religion is a person’s own concern, and that he is given the choice of adopting one way or another. If he accepts the truth, it is for his own good, and that if he sticks to error, it is to his own detriment. Some quotations to this effect are given below:

1. “The Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe and let him who please disbelieve.” – 18:29

2. “We have truly shown him (man) the way; he may be thankful or unthankful.” – 76:3

3. “Clear proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord: so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever is blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a keeper over you.” – 6:104

4. “If you do good, you do it for your own souls. And if you do evil, it is for them.” –17:7

The duty of the Messenger of Allah and, following him, the duty of every Muslim, is only to deliver the message of truth and no more. This is indicated in the Holy Quran in passages such as the following:

1. “If they accept Islam, then indeed they follow the right way; and if they turn back, your duty (O Prophet) is only to deliver the message.” – 3:20

2. “And obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, the duty of Our Messenger is only to deliver the message clearly.” – 64:12; see also 5:92

3. “Say (to people): Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, he is responsible for the duty imposed on him, and you are responsible for the duty imposed on you. And if you obey him, you go aright. And the Messenger’s duty is only to deliver (the message) plainly.” – 24:54

4. “O people the truth has indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever goes aright, goes aright only for the good of his own soul; and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And I am not a custodian over you.” – 10:108

5. “Surely We have revealed to you (O Prophet) the Book with truth for people. So whoever goes aright, it is for the good of his own soul, and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And you are not a custodian over them.” –39:41

6. “We have not appointed you (O Prophet) a keeper over them, and you are not placed in charge of them.” – 6:107

7. “Your duty (O Prophet) is only the delivery of the message, and Ours (God’s) is to call (people) to account.” – 13:40

8. “And your people (O Prophet) call it (the message) a lie while it is the truth. Say (to them): I am not put in charge of you” – 6:66

9. “And those who keep their duty (i.e., Muslims) are not accountable for them (i.e., the unbelievers) in any way, but their duty is only to remind; perhaps they (the unbelievers) may become devout.” – 6:69

10. “And you (O Prophet) are not one to compel them. So remind by means of the Quran him who fears my warning.” – 50:45

The Quran tells us that it is the natural order of things that while some people believe, others do not, and no human being should apply compulsion to others in this regard. The Holy Prophet Muhammad is told:

“And if your Lord had pleased, all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them. Will you then force people till they are believers?” —10:99

The above verse refers to the deep anxiety felt by the Holy Prophet that people should embrace the message brought by him. Elsewhere his feelings of pain are expressed as follows:

“Then perhaps you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this message.” – 18:6

As the Holy Prophet was grieving and sorrowing over the fallen state of his deniers and their rejection of his message, and pleading day and night before God that the Almighty may bring them to the right guidance, he could not even conceive of resorting to coercion to compel them to accept him.

A passage which recognizes that different people follow different religions is as below. It tells the whole of mankind:

“for everyone of you We appointed a law and a way. And if Allah had pleased He would have made you one religious community, but He wishes to try you in what He has given you. So vie with one another in virtuous deeds. To Allah you will all return, and He will then tell you about your differences.” – 5:48

We deal with this passage further in Section 9, p. 73.

(1) This Section and Section 4 benefit from the following authoritative writings by Maulana Muhammad Ali, and expand upon the material in these sources: 1. The English Translation of the Holy Quran with commentary, in particular the section Liberal View of Other Religions in the Introduction, 1951. 2. The book The Religion of Islam, chapter Jihad, 1936. 3. Bayan-ul-Quran, the Urdu commentary of the Holy Quran, under relevant verses 1922-1924.

[cont'd]
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2011 - 11:58AM #2
Muhammad_Ahmad
Posts: 223

Christians pray in Holy Prophet’s mosque

A well-known event that took place a year or so before the death of the Holy Prophet illustrates his strong commitment to the freedom of religion. A large delegation of Christians from Najran, near Yemen, headed by their religious leaders, came to meet him and discussed with him the doctrinal differences between Islam and Christianity, especially the question whether Jesus was mortal or Divine. Upon their arrival, the Holy Prophet lodged them in rooms connected with his mosque. Before the discussion began, the time came for the Christians to hold their prayer, and they enquired from him where they could pray. The Prophet Muhammad allowed them to hold their service inside the mosque. Thus they prayed according to their own faith and religious observances, which conflicted with Islam, within the mosque which is one of the holiest places of worship for Muslims. Their discussion is reported in many classical Islamic historical works, biographies of the Holy Prophet and commentaries of the Quran.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2011 - 12:55PM #3
Aka_me
Posts: 12,298

perhaps it would help if you could define for us... what is Islam... in your words?


 


does Islam exist on earth?


where does it exist?


can you name an Islamic country?

The UN says the ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days or else the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan.
this is absolutely fantastic as it unites the world into being OUR problem rather than THEIR problem.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 2:13AM #4
Kinky.christian
Posts: 262

Apr 12, 2011 -- 12:55PM, Aka_me wrote:


perhaps it would help if you could define for us... what is Islam... in your words?


 


does Islam exist on earth?


where does it exist?


can you name an Islamic country?




Yep, I'd also be curious to see the answers to this.


I'd also like to know whether Muslims are required to regard the ahadith as authoritative.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 5:45PM #5
Muhammad_Ahmad
Posts: 223

To Aka_me and Kinky.christian,

Thank you for your questions.

In my own words, I would define Islam (as practiced by the Holy Prophet Muhammad) the same way Muslims defined the religion of Islam 100 years ago, or in fact since its inception, which is mainly ‘entering into peace’ and ‘surrendering’ to the will of God. And I would say it is named such because this ‘submission’ or ‘surrender’ is firstly, the universal experience of humanity through its natural laws of science and nature and secondly, because man too must accept these principles (willingly) which has been afforded to man by way of revelation if he or she is to fully benefit.

If I may illustrate by way of analogy: If one rejects certain scientific truths he will never be able to fully benefit from it and would thereby limit the chance of advancing that knowledge and its further application. Similarly, if one rejects principles of religion, such as not rendering service to humanity and being charitable, or not allowing for freedom of religion, or not having any regard for honest dealings with others or having no regard at all for integrity, then I ask, what is it to become of such nations? Just look to the modern “Islamic” nations of the world. One may argue that rather than surrendering to God, they are only surrendering to their own selfish motives and egos, having becomes slaves to their own desires at the expense of many.

So while, I can name many an “Islamic” nation (Saudia Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc), I would argue that many of the Western nations of the world are by far more “Islamic” than any “Muslim” country of this world because they have embraced many of the broad principles of Islam (whether acknowledged or not), which Muslim countries have abandoned.

Lastly, it should be noted I share the beliefs of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Muslim (LAM) community in Islam, a small minority party amongst Muslims. And though a minority, the LAM’s view of Islam which they have been promoting for the past 100 years is gradually coming to be accepted by mainstream Muslims –slowly, but surely.

So, in answering your questions it is this perspective, philosophy and practice of Islam that I hold uppermost and one I promote. You may see the key distinguishing beliefs of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement.  and a Detailed Survey of the Ahmadiyya Movement of Lahore

Kinky.christian,

Muslims of the LAM give precedence to the Qur’an over all outside sources in Islam. So while accepting hadith, we believe they must be interpreted in light of the Holy Qur’an, and not blindly followed, otherwise they may give way to erroneous views that find no place therein. (which is exactly what has happened with Muslims and their grossly distorted interpretations of Islam). As Dr. Zahid Aziz has aptly put it on his weblog, ‘the Ahmadiyya view is to try as far as possible to interpret even those hadith which appear contrary to the Quran in a way that they can be accepted. So if a hadith doesn’t conflict with the Quran, obviously there is no difficulty in accepting it. Please remember also that such a hadith must still fall under the broad scope of some principle taught in the Quran.’

Maulana Muhammad Ali has written in his book, The Religion of Islam, Ch. 2

The Qur’an as the greatest test for judging Tradition
In addition to the cannons of criticism there is another very important test whereby the trustworthiness of the Hadith may be judged, and it is the test the application whereof was commanded by the Holy Prophet himself, "There will be narrators reporting Hadith from me, so judge by the Qur'an; if a report agrees with the Qur'an, accept it; otherwise, reject it." The genuineness of this Hadith is beyond question as it stands on the soundest basis.

See Status and glory of the Holy Quran, Hadith and Review of a New Biography

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 7:19PM #6
Aka_me
Posts: 12,298

Apr 13, 2011 -- 5:45PM, Muhammad_Ahmad wrote:

And I would say it is named such because this ‘submission’ or ‘surrender’ is firstly, the universal experience of humanity through its natural laws of science and nature and secondly, because man too must accept these principles (willingly) which has been afforded to man by way of revelation if he or she is to fully benefit.



thank you for the reply. I can understand and respect the effort and sincerity that went into it.


what I am hearing, is that it is an idea, or ideal. a goal, and not an object.


 


what I find frustrating... is how the majority of Muslim believers do nothing to protect the reputation of Islam.


by allowing the smallest minority of Muslims to do bad things, in harming innocent people...


it appears that the majority are actually condoning the injustice.


the Will of God, is justice among humanity.


what better starting point than having Muslims fixing the injustices created by Islam?

The UN says the ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days or else the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan.
this is absolutely fantastic as it unites the world into being OUR problem rather than THEIR problem.
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2011 - 10:50AM #7
BDboy
Posts: 5,824

Apr 13, 2011 -- 7:19PM, Aka_me wrote:


what I find frustrating... is how the majority of Muslim believers do nothing to protect the reputation of Islam.


by allowing the smallest minority of Muslims to do bad things, in harming innocent people...



>>>>>>>>> Yes this "Smallest minority" often causes misunderstanding about Islam. Even between Muslims!!


However historically that is how every faith groups have been tested. "Smallest minorities" put others in trouble.


It is WRONG to think no one is doing nothing about it. But Muslims are working to change it and it has gotten much better. Majority Muslims are not confused by fanatics anymore. They are looked up as fanatics!!


Recent democratic movement by the mass shown the world that our aspirations for freedom and democracy is no different than universal aspirations of humanity. They are literally giving lives to establish peace, democracy and rule of law. Hope you are watching....


Apr 13, 2011 -- 7:19PM, Aka_me wrote:


it appears that the majority are actually condoning the injustice.


the Will of God, is justice among humanity.



 


>>>>>>>> As I said democratic movement among Muslims has shown they are not condoning any injustice but they were not in a position to do anything about it. Now they are doing their best to make it a better world for all of us.


Apr 13, 2011 -- 7:19PM, Aka_me wrote:


what better starting point than having Muslims fixing the injustices created by Islam?




 


>>>>>>>>>> Correction. Islam does NOT promote injustice. Rather it has been very vocal against injustice. Justice is a cornerstone of Islam.


I welcome you to learn more about Islam for a better understanding. It always helps to have a nice discussion if you have some idea about authentic Islam. Islam is percfect ( IN my biased opinion), Muslims are not!)


 


 O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.


[ Source: Al Qur'an 5:8]

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2011 - 1:42PM #8
Aka_me
Posts: 12,298

Apr 14, 2011 -- 10:50AM, BDboy wrote:

I welcome you to learn more about Islam for a better understanding. It always helps to have a nice discussion if you have some idea about authentic Islam. Islam is percfect ( IN my biased opinion), Muslims are not!)



thank you, I do consider myself to be a Muslim (in addition to a Zoroastrian, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, culminating in the sum total of Baha'i).


I believe Muhammad (pbuh) was the prophet of Allah.


I believe the revelation of Muhammad was perfect. it perfectly fit the time, place, and audience it was revealed for.


however we are living in a new dispensation, with global scale problems that did not exist during Muhammad's time, for which previous revelation is not complete enough to CONTINUE being perfect.


humans are imperfect. and humans, through their imperfections, will never be able to improve God's revelation. therefore humans cannot improve the state of Islam as it exists today.


one missing piece... is an authoritative body in charge of defining "what is Islam".


the suicide bombers have just as much right and authority to define "what is Islam"...


as the posters here have.

The UN says the ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days or else the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan.
this is absolutely fantastic as it unites the world into being OUR problem rather than THEIR problem.
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