• There is no compulsion in religion

    Indeed, blogging has played a major part in develloping within me a great love and an inner need to write about Islam. The aim I cherish behind writting is not gaining converts (as many do believe about us), although it is remains a wish, but what I am concerned with, in the first place, is to defend Islam against accusations, advertisements, and contemporary laws banning Hijab (veil) , minarets and mosques in the West, attempting to burn or produce "false and distorted" copies of the Quran,  drawing caricatures about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the list is long. More than once, I find whole blogs written just for the sake of promoting hatred against Muslims, and trying to use Quranic verses, taken out of its real context, and using them as proofs to back up their false premise aboutIslambeing "spread by the sword" or obliging people to convert, which is not the case with the Quran. the best example of this is the well-known Quranic citation " there is no compulsion in religion". Yes, this sums up all about the whole issue, but, yet, I still have many points to elaborate regarding this statement. First of all, it would be nice to understand that conversion in Islam is restricted by some conditions. Once, a member in Blogster said that when a non-Muslim man wishes to marry a Muslim woman, he find himself obliged to convert. Ok, I would, yes, he would convert, but why? For the sake of Allah, of Islam no!! This happens most of the time, but this is, but, a kind of formality; no more! and his "apparent" conversion will never be considered by God, untill he submits to a set of conditions before pronouncing " the attestation of faith" (Ashahada), which is "I bear witness that there is no god, but God, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God".

    1- Knowledge: Ashahada can never be accepted by God, if the person in question has no idea about its implications. Ashada does not only mean believing in Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) alone; it means that we should believe in all Abrahamic Religions, all Holy Books (Injeel, Torah, Bible...), in all Prophets of God (Jesus, Moses, Zakaria, Yusuf...), in destiny wether good or bad, in Heaven and Hell, life and after-life, without which our faith would never be complete.

    2- Certainty (Al Yaqeen): Allah says in the Holy Quran "Verily, the believers are only those who truly believe in Allah and His Messenger, and then doubt not"

    3-Sincerity and thrutfulness: sincere and heart-felt devotion to God, being the only one deserving worship. In Islam, good deeds are driven by intentions (a heart-felt decision to do good and believe in Allah)

    4- Love and affection to Allah and His messenger, that when we love any human, it should only for the sake of Allah.

    5-Submission and surrender: Allah says in the Holy Quran "And he who submitts himself to Allah, and does good, he has surely grasped a strong handle"

    6- Acceptance and conformity to the teachings of Islam.

    These are the set of divine conditions imposed upon any person converting to Islam. Throughout history, people have converted for different reasons either by inter-marriage or for some political and private interests, as happened with the Jews of Beni Qurayza at the time of the Prophet ( if you are interested about the subject you can refer to my note "Hints on the life of the Prophet (pbuh)). Yet, these are but formal conversions, and does not prove in any way these set of people are Muslims on sight of God or the Islamic law.

    Tell me dear readers, how can Islam forces Man to convert if this act is wholly regarded by Quran and Sunnah as a heart-felt submission, a feeling of affection of love towards Allah and His Prophet ? How can Islam forces hearts to feel love towards Allah and His Prophet (pbuh), certainty, and truthfulness of belief? Sorry, but this sounds really silly, how can the Prophet and the Quran be accused of spreading Islam through violence, while he says that Islam is, first and formost, a heart-felt belief and submission? (submission here is often mistaken to be physical, while it is a heart-felt surrender to Allah)

    "There is no compulsion in religion", simply, means that there is no compulsion in love or in certainty or truthfulness of belief.

    Yet, some people would come to provide me with Quranic "proofs" that Islam promotes violence. Yes, there are Quranic verses speaking about Jihad, but this another issue, which I will try to explain in my next note ,if God wills (Inchaalah). For the time being, I leave you to ponder over this, and see to what extent would you understand the whole issue.

                                                  A. Siham

    « Musings over the Christian concept of SalvationABUSING THE ELDERLY IS A MAJOR SIN IN ISLAM »

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