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Let there be no compulsion in religion

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:20 am
by Truthsayer
This post is a comment to this article http://www.faithfreedom.org/2009/08/01/ ... -merciful/

Especially the part about 2:256. A verse hated by islamophobes, and one that has been the cause of much irritation and embarrassment for them.
002.256
YUSUFALI: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: 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.
SHAKIR: There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

Now, this verse pretty much single-handedly disproves the image some people are trying to paint of islam, so obviously those people have to make this verse go away somehow. After all, if you don't have to worry about muslims forcing anything on you, there's no reason to fear, and thus no reason to buy their books. Whether these people are genuinely islamophobic or just charlatans I can't say for sure, but they usually try to make the verse go away with one these four ad hocs:

1. It is a meccan verse revealed when muslims were weak, and has been aborgated by later verses.
2. The verse was situational, meant for the muslims when they were in a weak position.
3. It means that you cannot compel deep inner belief, but you can compel outward conformity.
4. Mass-quotiong other verses which seem to be in contradiction.

The article in question is guilty of #2 and #4.

They usually sprinkle one of these arguments by accusing the one who brings the verse of propoganda. This, of course, is just an admission of the fact that they have no real response to it.

1. It is a meccan verse revealed when muslims were weak, and has been aborgated by later verses.

This is actually a medinite verse revealed when the muslims were in power. I'll just quote the letter 136 muslim scholars sent to the pope
You mention that "according to the experts" the verse which begins, ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (al-Baqarah 2:256) is from the early period when the Prophet "was still powerless and under threat," but this is incorrect. In fact this verse is acknowledged to belong to the period of Quranic revelation corresponding to the political and military ascendance of the young Muslim community. ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was not a command to Muslims to remain steadfast in the face of the desire of their oppressors to force them to renounce their faith, but was a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe. There is no compulsion in religion addresses those in a position of strength, not weakness. The earliest commentaries on the Qur'an (such as that of Al-Tabari) make it clear that some Muslims of Medina wanted to force their children to convert from Judaism or Christianity to Islam, and this verse was precisely an answer to them not to try to force their children to convert to Islam.


Now, I looked far and wide, and I only managed to find one commentator, Abdullah ibn Mas'ood, who believed the verse has been abrogated. (by 9:73, which doesn't say anything about forced conversions.) Also, this contradicts Umar, a more promiment companion, who said "O Allah, bear witness! There is no compulsion in the Religion". He said this in repentance after he had compelled an elderly woman to accept islam, and she felt coerced. This has been recorded in al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan (1:32 =A7128) and Ibn Hazm in al-Muhalla (11:196)
I haven't found any other commentators other than Abdullah ibn Mas'ood who believed it has been abrogated. So unless someone can show that this is more than an obscure minority opinion, stating that it has been abrogated is simply unprincipled.

2. The verse was situational, meant for the muslims when they were in a weak position.

First of all, the muslims were in a position of power when this verse was revealed. Muhammad was the most powerful person in Medinah. Second, every commentator I've come across, other than Abdullah ibn Mas'ood, saw this verse as a general ban against forced conversions.

Ibn Kathir
There is no compulsion in religion), meaning, "Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty. Whoever Allah blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam.''

Maududi:
There is no compulsion and coercion in regard to religion.285 The right thing has been made distinct from the wrong thing: now whoever rejects taghut 286 and believes in Allah has taken a firm support that never gives way. And Allah (Whose support he takes) hears everything and knows everything. Allah is the Helper and Protector of those who believe in Him: He brings them out of the depths of darkness287 into the light.

al-Jalalayn:
There is no compulsion in, entering into, religion. Rectitude has become clear from error, that is say, through clear proofs it has become manifest that faith is rectitude and disbelief is error: this was revealed concerning the Ansār [of Medina] who tried to compel their sons to enter into Islam; so whoever disbelieves in the false deity, namely, Satan or idols (tāghūt, ‘false deity’, is used in a singular and plural sense), and believes in God, has laid hold of the most firm handle, the tight knot, unbreaking, that cannot be severed; God is Hearing, of what is said, Knowing, of what is done.

Ibn ‘Abbâs:
(There is no compulsion in religion) no one from among the people of the Book and the Magians should be coerced to believe in the divine Oneness of Allah after the Arabs' embrace of Islam.

Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi:
(There is no compulsion in religion…) [2:256]. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja'far al-Muzakki informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad> al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Mus'ab> Yahya ibn Hakim> Ibn Abi 'Adiyy> Shu'bah> Abu Bishr> Sa'id ibn Jubayr> Ibn 'Abbas who said: “The women of the Helpers whose boys always died in infancy used to vow to bring up their boys as Jews if they were to live. When the Banu'l-Nadir were driven out, they had among them children of the Helpers. The Helpers said: 'We will not leave our children!' Upon which Allah, exalted is He, revealed (There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error …)”. Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl informed us> Muhammad ibn Ya'qub> Ibrahim ibn Marzuq> Wahb ibn Jarir> Shu'bah> Abu Bishr> Sa'id ibn Jubayr> Ibn 'Abbas who said regarding the saying of Allah, exalted is He, (There is no compulsion in religion…): “The woman of the Helpers whose boys never survived used to vow that if a boy of hers survived, she would raise him as a Jew. When the Banu'l-Nadir were driven out of Medina they had among them children of the Helpers. The Helpers said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Our Children!' Allah, exalted is He, therefore revealed (There is no compulsion in religion…)”. Sa'id ibn Jubayr said: “Those who wished to leave with the Jews did leave, and those who wished to embrace Islam embraced Islam”. Said Mujahid: “This verse was revealed about a man of the Helpers who had a black boy called Subayh whom he used to coerce to become Muslim”

3. It means that you cannot compel deep inner belief, but you can compel outward conformity.

This opportunistic, desperate argument flies in the face of classical scholarship. I didn't manage to find a single muslim who believed this. It is supported by exactly nothing. Pure desperation. As gullible as some xenophobes are, it seems they actually buy into this. Anything to support their irrational fear, I guess.

4. Mass-quotiong other verses which seem to be in contradiction.
Another straw man. As shown, 2:256 clearly forbids forced conversions to islam. This is how muslims always interpreted it. If something seems to be in contradiction with it, then it's their understanding of those verses there is something wrong with. I'm not going to bother going through every verse or hadith they can use.

Now, I'll finish with some more verses, which are quite clearly against forced conversions,

Had Allah willed, He would have brought them all together to the guidance; if thy Lord had willed whoever is in the earth would have believed, all of them, all together. (10:99)

Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion (109:5)

And if they belie you, say: "For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!'' (10:41)

Say: The truth is from your Lord;
So whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve.
(18:29)

Re: Let there be no compulsion in religion

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:02 am
by Maersk
Here's the TRUTH. And only lying Muslims can tell these idiotic Malay-Muslims how they have distorted the Quran for the cause of Islam. Do you know how does former Muslim stop being an ethnic Malay in Malaysia?! Muslims are stupid that way, so please help these morons and non-Muslim readers of FFI understand where is there no compulsion in Islam and what these Malay-Muslims are trying to achieve for Islam in the long term. Source

Definition of a Malay

The article defines a Malay as a Malaysian citizen born to a Malaysian citizen who professes to be a Muslim, habitually speaks the Malay language, adheres to Malay customs, and is domiciled in Malaysia or Singapore. As a result, Malay citizens who convert out of Islam are no longer considered Malay under the law. Hence, the Bumiputra privileges afforded to Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution, the New Economic Policy (NEP), etc. are forfeit for such converts.

Likewise, a non-Malay Malaysian who converts to Islam can lay claim to Bumiputra privileges, provided he meets the other conditions.

Re: Let there be no compulsion in religion

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:08 am
by Chiclets
Maersk wrote:Here's the TRUTH. And only lying Muslims can tell these idiotic Malay-Muslims how they have distorted the Quran for the cause of Islam. Do you know how does former Muslim stop being an ethnic Malay in Malaysia?! Muslims are stupid that way, so please help these morons and non-Muslim readers of FFI understand where is there no compulsion in Islam and what these Malay-Muslims are trying to achieve for Islam in the long term. Source

Definition of a Malay

The article defines a Malay as a Malaysian citizen born to a Malaysian citizen who professes to be a Muslim, habitually speaks the Malay language, adheres to Malay customs, and is domiciled in Malaysia or Singapore. As a result, Malay citizens who convert out of Islam are no longer considered Malay under the law. Hence, the Bumiputra privileges afforded to Malays under Article 153 of the Constitution, the New Economic Policy (NEP), etc. are forfeit for such converts.

Likewise, a non-Malay Malaysian who converts to Islam can lay claim to Bumiputra privileges, provided he meets the other conditions.


:rock: Finally a post from you that I can agree with. Please adhere to these standards :rock: