No Compulsion of Religion in Islam – It’s Poppycock


Muslim April Fools toon

John R. Houk

© May 18, 2013

 

Many a Muslim in defending the theopolitical cult of Islam will quote this phrase to emphasize the propaganda and false perception that Islam is peace: There is compulsion in religion.

 

The phrase is straight from the Quran which Muslims consider the infallible directs words of Allah passed onto Mohammed who then shared them with his adherents. It can be referenced as Quran 2:256 or as Al-Baqara 256.

 

Here are a few English translations of Quran 2:256:

 

Muhammad Asad

 

THERE SHALL BE no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.

 

Pickthall

 

There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

 

Al-Muntakhabclip_image001

 

Compulsion is incompatible with religion, therefore let there be no compulsion in religion. Now the path of righteousness has been distinguished from the path of error and holiness distinguished from vindictiveness. Therefore, he who rejects false beliefs and turns his attention to Allah with a religious mind, will have firmly grasped the eternal, unchangeable and most secure handhold which shall never separate, nor shall it suffer a break, and Allah is Sami‘un and ‘Alimun.

 

** Read more translations from Islam Awakened

 

There are Muslim scholars of considerable weighty importance that have written the Quran 2:256 has been abrogated by Quran 9:29:

 

Sahih International: Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

 

Pickthall: Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

 

Yusuf Ali: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

 

Shakir: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

 

Muhammad Sarwar: Fight against those People of the Book who have no faith in God or the Day of Judgment, who do not consider unlawful what God and His Messenger have made unlawful, and who do not believe in the true religion, until they humbly pay tax with their own hands.

 

Mohsin Khan: Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

 

Arberry: Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden — such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book — until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.

 

** From Quran Arabic Corpus

 

You can understand why many Muslim scholars claim Quran 9:29 abrogates (or nullifies) Quran 2:256’s “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to 9:29 Muslims are to fight non-believers in Islam and Mohammed’s version of the Last Day. The Last Day meaning all non-Muslims will be confined to the torments of hell. Thus if you believe in the Muslim way you are worthy of death. That sounds like compulsion to me!

 

Fascinatingly there are Muslim scholars that claim 9:29 does not abrogate 2:256. This Muslim thinking works something like this: The fight against unbelievers is not an invocation to kill but rather to submit to the Islamic theopolitical culture as subservient. A lack of subservience does mean brutal measures up to and including death. So thinking is not compelling one to convert to Islam but create a dhimmi class that pays the jizya tax (poll tax to stay alive) in humiliation so that the dhimmi knows their place in Muslim world. Breaking the dhimmi deal requires punish according to how Islam has been violated or insulted. Guess what the conquered people chose to do rather than suffer the humiliations of dhimmitude. If you guessed conversion to Islam you are the big winner!

 

In essence dhimmitude was the long term path to convince the conquered to convert to Islam. The plan might be long term but it still is compulsion in religion.

 

Here are some thoughts written more articulately on the issue of abrogation or non-abrogation of Quran 2:256 by Quran 9:29:

 

Immediately following is the famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256). Islamic spokesmen in the West frequently quote it to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. According to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that 2:256 was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29).

 

Many see v. 256 as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of ‘conversion or the sword.’” Quite so: the choice, as laid out by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword. Qutb accordingly denies that v. 256 contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” – although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

 

In this light verses 256 and 193 go together without any trouble. Muslims must fight until “religion is for Allah,” but they don’t force anyone to accept Allah’s religion. They enforce subservience upon those who refuse to convert, such that many of them subsequently convert to Islam so as to escape the humiliating and discriminatory regulations of dhimmitude — but when they convert, they do so freely. Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad. (Excerpted from Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, “The Cow,” verses 222-286; By Robert Spencer; Hot Air; 7/15/07)

 

Now here is the reason I thought it important to understand the Islamic notion of there being no compulsion of religion. Raymond Ibrahim wrote a no holds barred expose on how Muslims indeed compelled Christians to convert or die throughout the centuries to this present day. Ibrahim describes some savage historical incidents in which Muslims butchered Christians for not converting to Islam. The essay is entitled “Islamic Forced Conversions — Past and Present”.

 

JRH 5/18/13

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Author: oneway2day

I am a Neoconservative Christian Right blogger. I also spend a significant amount of time of exposing theopolitical Islam.

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