Feb 2, 2013

Freedom of Religion and Surah Al Baqarah verse 256




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No compulsion in religion means a person cannot be compelled
to enter Islam but a person who is a Muslim
is subject to the laws of Islam



Tiada paksaan dalam agama bermakna seseorang tidak boleh dipaksa
untuk memasuki Islam tetapi orang yang beragama Islam
adalah tertakluk kepada undang-undang Islam

Islam Browser
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Freedom of Religion and Surah Al Baqarah verse 256
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Surah Al Baqarah

سورة البقرة

verse 256



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم



لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
<There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
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There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
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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.
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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.
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There is no compulsion in the religion; right-mindedness has already been evidently (distinct) from misguidance. So whoever disbelieves in the Taghut (i.e. false gods, idols, devils and seducers) and believes in Allah, then he has already upheld fast the most binding Grip, with no disjunction (ever); and Allah is Ever-Hearing, Ever-Knowing.
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Tidak ada paksaan untuk (memasuki) agama (Islam); sesungguhnya telah jelas jalan yang benar daripada jalan yang sesat. Karena itu barangsiapa yang ingkar kepada Thaghut dan beriman kepada Allah, maka sesungguhnya ia telah berpegang kepada buhul tali yang amat kuat yang tidak akan putus. Dan Allah Maha Mendengar lagi Maha Mengetahui.
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Tidak ada paksaan dalam ugama (Islam), kerana sesungguhnya telah nyata kebenaran (Islam) dari kesesatan (kufur). Oleh itu, sesiapa yang tidak percayakan Taghut, dan ia pula beriman kepada Allah, maka sesungguhnya ia telah berpegang kepada simpulan (tali ugama) yang teguh yang tidak akan putus. Dan (ingatlah), Allah Maha Mendengar, lagi Maha Mengetahui. 


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The Tafsir

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Tafsir Ibn Kathir      تفسیر ابن کثیر  
Alama Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir



لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِى الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ
2:256 There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path.
فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّـغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَى لاَ انفِصَامَ لَهَا وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 
Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Next 257   

 No Compulsion in Religion
Allah says,
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ...
There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path.
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ (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.''
It was reported that;
the Ansar were the reason behind revealing this Ayah, although its indication is general in meaning.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said (that before Islam),
"When (an Ansar) woman would not bear children who would live, she would vow that if she gives birth to a child who remains alive, she would raise him as a Jew.
When Banu An-Nadir (the Jewish tribe) were evacuated (from Al-Madinah), some of the children of the Ansar were being raised among them, and the Ansar said, `We will not abandon our children.'
Allah revealed, لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ  (There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path).'' Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith.
As for the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said to a man, أَسْلِم   "Embrace Islam.''
The man said, "I dislike it.'' The Prophet said, وَإِنْ كُنْتَ كَارِهًا  "Even if you dislike it.''
First, this is an authentic Hadith, with only three narrators between Imam Ahmad and the Prophet.
However, it is not relevant to the subject under discussion, for the Prophet did not force that man to become Muslim.
The Prophet merely invited this man to become Muslim, and he replied that he does not find himself eager to become Muslim. The Prophet said to the man that even though he dislikes embracing Islam, he should still embrace it, `for Allah will grant you sincerity and true intent.'
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Dr. Musthafa Umar, Lc. MA
Kajian Tafsir QS. Al-Baqarah ayat 256
presented in Melayu Language

TAFAQQUHVIDEO

Imam Wassim Fayed

verse 256 through verse 266



Sheikh Ahmed Deedat
There is no compulsion in religion


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Sheikh Ali Gomaa
Grand Mufti of Egypt

Question:

Are non Muslims our enemy? I wonder why I have friends who have never talked about religion since we met and I know them over years without any enmity to me as a Muslim.

Answer:


Coexistence in Islam

The principle underlying the relationship between Muslims and non- Muslims is coexistence. Allah commands Muslims to treat other people kindly provided they do not manifestly declare malice towards them and to think well of all of people alike. A person who thoroughly explores the verses of the noble Qur`an will find that, in its entirety, it presents an integrated Qur`anic methodology concerning the treatment of non-Muslims. It is noteworthy to mention that the variation in the manner of treating non-Muslims does not stem from a methodological inconsistency; rather, it depends on the different attitudes of the people we deal with. People are different [with respect to behavior] and thus they must not be judged alike. It is considered a methodical injustice to generalize what has been made specific or to specify what has been left general in legal texts.

Just as there are individuals who accept Muslims' beliefs, there are others who differ with them. Among this latter group, there are some who merely present their opinions or beliefs and those who go as far as to attack those who differ with them. Therefore, both groups are treated differently.

Evidence from Qur`an

There are many verses in the Qur`an, whether those revealed in Mecca or Medina, that urge Muslims to be tolerant towards others and to treat them kindly. These include:
So pardon and overlook until Allah delivers His command. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent. (Al-Baqarah: 109)

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (Al-Baqarah: 256)

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Al-Mumtahana, 8)

The above verses from Surah al-Baqarah and al-Mumtahana were revealed in Medina and all of them exhort Muslims to be kind and merciful to their fellow men.

As for the legal texts [Qur`an and Sunnah] that command Muslims to be harsh towards some people, they can be compared to the previous verses as two integrated methodologies that deal with two different types of people:

The first methodology, which is the general case, enjoins Muslims to treat all people with kindness through dialogue and respect of freedom [of faith]. This is the correct basis for inviting others to Islam; this does not abrogate a Qur`anic verse nor has it been abrogated though some jurists claim the contrary. Allah Almighty says,
And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah. (Al-Baqarah: 83)

In another verse, Allah instructs those who call others to His way on how they should invite others according to the different types of people:

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. (An-Nahl: 12)

Allah says about the People of the Book,

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him. (Al-'Ankabut: 46)

The second methodology is concerned with those who attack Muslims, in which case it is necessary to defend oneself. Allah Almighty says,
(Fighting in) the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him. (Al-Baqarah: 194)

Unlike the policy followed by some countries, Muslims do not treat others based on whether they are with or against them. Rather, Islam teaches its followers that people are different and must therefore be treated accordingly with respect to time and type of person.
ali-gomaa.com


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Fatwa No : 85488
Punishment for apostasy
Fatwa Date : Thul-Qi'dah 24, 1423 / 27-1-2003

Question
What is the punishment of the apostate i.e. the Muslim who gives up his religion?

Answer
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Islam legislate capital punishment as a remedy to some obnoxious crimes. Indeed, those who commit such crimes deserve to be executed to purify them from what they did and reprimand those who may want to commit such crimes. Among the crimes whose doer deserves to be killed is Riddah (leaving Islam or disbelieving in one of its tenets). This punishment does not conflict with the freedom of religion which Islam guarantees for people because all people are searching for a good system that rules all aspects of their lives, a system that achieves their benefits, a system that gives them all their rights and a system that protects their lives, property and honor. This system is Islam, and in Islam only, because Islam is the religion of Allah, which was revealed for all mankind. Allay says: {And We have sent you (O Muhammad SAW) not but as a mercy for the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).} [21:107]

So, all people must submit to Islam although it does not oblige them to join it. Allah says: {There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path…….} [2:256]. So, any disbelievers who choose to remain on their Kufr, can do so and Muslims should not harm them provided they do not harm any Muslim or break their covenant with Muslims. But this freedom to stay on one's religion does not make the disbeliever equal to the Muslim in this life nor the Hereafter. Allah says: {Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death? Worst is the judgement that they make.} [45:21]

Since Islam is just and fair, it gives every member of the community what he or she deserves. This means that there must be a difference between the Muslims who back this system, stand by it and support it and the disbeliever. In fact, the Muslim is given priority in the Islamic country over the non-Muslim in this life and in the hereafter.

This is common among all countries, they do not treat their nationals like those who only reside on their land and who are not one of their nationals.

So, any person who enters Islam and then gives it up, commits a major sin for which he deserves to be beheaded because he left, by this act, the Muslim community, and betrayed himself. This treason to the Muslim community. So, such a person who apostates and defects from the community becomes, like a cancerous organ that has to be removed to avoid that the expansion of the disease reaches other organs. But, this mutilation should no take place except if there is no hope of treating it. The apostate is given a last opportunity to repent and return back to Islam before being executed. If he perseveres and refuses to return to what he has committed himself to, i.e. Islam, he is then executed. This is a retributive act and the apostate is then the one who harmed himself by sticking to his apostasy.

Even in countries where the death penalty is opposed serious acts against their constitutions may be punishable by death or life imprisonment. Apostasy from Islam (the religion of Allah) and rebellion against its system, which the person first chose freely and accepted without compulsion is much worse than rebelling against man-made systems and institutions which are fabricated and have nothing to do with absolute justice the Justice of Allah.

There are many evidences proving this.

Allah says: {…….And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever."} [2:217]

Al Sahfie took this verse as evidence for killing the apostate. Ibn Massoud narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims." Al Bukhari, Muslim and others.

Ahmad and Al Nassai reported from Aisha that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "The blood of the Muslim should not be shed (he should not be killed) except in three situations: He or she who commits zina after having been married or disbelieves after becoming Muslim or kills a person and is killed as retribution." Among the evidences, we have also the consensus of the companions after the death of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) that anyone who changes his or her religion (Islam) should be killed.
Ibn Qudama said: 'All the scholars of Islam are agreed that the apostate is to be killed.' There is no difference in this rule between the man and the woman. But Abu Hanifa believes that the apostate woman should be jailed and forced to return to Islam but not executed. But the most preponderant opinion is that she is like the man in this rule.

It should be noted here that this punishment is carried out only by the Muslim authorities. So, no individual should give himself the right to act on behalf of the authorities.

The apostate is first told to repent and given three days to decide. If he confesses in front of a Qadi, who has the necessary authority to apply the death penalty, that he does not want to repent, then he is executed.
Allah knows best.
more @ Murtad ارتداد Apostasy 


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Muslim and non Muslim have to understand this
when talking about Freedom of Religion 
and taking the Surah Al Baqarah verse 256
as reference



Sheikh Muhammad Hassan
No compulsion in religion, but ...

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “It is not permissible (to shed) the blood of a Muslim who witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except for one of the following three conditions: 

(First), the life for the life…” This means the killer is killed. But you are not the one who kills him, and neither am I the one who kills him. But the competent legal authority is the one who is responsible for this. Otherwise, Muslim society would descend into chaos, with everyone killing whomever he wanted whenever he wanted. No—blood is sacred; blood is sacred. “It is not permissible (to shed) the blood of a Muslim who witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except under three conditions: (First), the life for the life…” The Almighty said: “In the law of equality there is (saving of) life to you, o ye men of understanding” (Qur’an 2:179). “In the law of equality there is (saving of) life to you, o ye men of understanding.” “The life for the life”—the killer is killed. The punishment of Almighty Allah is carried out upon him.

“(Second), the married person who commits adultery”—I will return to him (later) Allah-willing, in another of the signs.

“(Third), the one who abandons his religion, and separates himself from the community.” 
The hadith is in both of the Sahihs (i.e. Bukhari and Muslim). “The one who abandons his religion, and separates himself from the community.” 
Islam does not compel anyone to enter it. This (concept) needs to be firmly established. Islam does not compel anyone to enter it. No. There is no compulsion in religion. But rather we preach (Islam) in truth, mercy, propriety, and humility. Whoever says after the preaching—whoever says after (receiving) the preaching and the call (to Islam), “No, I will not enter this religion.” We say to him, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Truth stands out clear from error. We recite the saying of Almighty Allah, “Let him who will believe, and let him who will disbelieve” (Qur’an 18:29). We recite the saying of Allah Almighty, “You have your religion and I have my religion” (Qur’an 109:6). Beautiful. This is after the preaching and the call (to Islam). 

But if he enters Islam of his own free will and choice, he does not have the right to leave the religion of Allah whenever he wants, to shake the foundations of Muslim society. 
No, he does not have the right. Absolutely not. But he does have the right, after having (Islam) preached to him, to say, “I will enter” or “I will not enter this religion.” But to enter it just to leave it whenever he wants? No. This is something which is unacceptable in the religion of Almighty Allah. 
Show me a constitution anywhere on earth which grants this for its citizens. But rather whoever comes out against the constitution of any nation is accused of treason. Everyone familiar with treason knows that the penalty is death. So what do you think about the one who betrays the religion of Allah Almighty, the one who betrays Allah and His Messenger? “O ye who believe! Do not betray Allah and His Messenger, nor knowingly betray your trusts” (Qur’an 8:27).
wikiislam.net


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Human rights in an Islamic state
Article courtesy : islamweb.net Friday, 06 May 2011

Islam, as represented in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention), laid down human rights centuries before they were known to the modern world. The following are some of these rights:

1. The security of Life and Property:

In the address which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said: “Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection.” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has also said about the Thimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim state): “One who kills a man under covenant (i.e., Thimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.”

2. The Protection of Honour:

The Holy Qur’an lays down this right, stating: “O you who have believed! Let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name [i.e. mention] of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers. O you who have believed! Avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” [Qur’an: 49:11-12]

3. Sanctity and Security of Private Life:

The Qur’an has laid down the injunction stating: “…And do not spy or backbite each other…” [Qur’an: 49:12] “O you who have believed! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants…” [Qur’an: 24:27]

4. The Security of Personal Freedom:

Islam has laid down the principle that no citizen can be imprisoned unless his guilt has been proven in an open court. To arrest a man only on the basis of suspicion and to throw him into a prison without proper court proceedings and without providing him a reasonable opportunity to produce his defence is not permissible in Islam.

5. The Right to Protest against Tyranny:

Amongst the rights that Islam has conferred on human beings is the right to protest against a government’s tyranny. Referring to it Allah, He says: “Allah does not like the public mention of evil except by one who has been wronged...” [Qur’an: 4:148]

In Islam, all power and authority belongs to Allah Alone; man is only delegated a part of that power which becomes a trust. Everyone who becomes the recipient of such a power has to be accountable before his people, for whose sake he will be called upon to use these powers. This was acknowledged by Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, who said in his very first address: “Cooperate with me when I am right but correct me when I commit error. Obey me so long as I follow the commandments of Allah and His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, but turn away from me when I deviate.”

6. Freedom of Expression:

Islam gives the right of freedom of thought and expression to all citizens of the Islamic state on the condition that it should be used for the propagation of virtue and truth, and not for spreading evil and wickedness. The Islamic concept of freedom of expression is much superior to the one prevalent in the West. Under no circumstances would Islam allow the propagation of evil and wickedness. It also does not give anybody the right to use abusive or offensive language in the name of criticism. It was the practice of the Muslims to enquire from the noble Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam whether a certain matter or a divine injunction had been revealed to him. If he said that he had received no divine injunction, the Muslims freely expressed their opinion on the matter.

7. Freedom of Association:

Islam has also given people the right to freedom of association and formation of parties or organisations. This right is also subject to certain general rules.

8. Freedom of Conscience and Conviction:

Islam has laid down the injunction; Allah says: “There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion...” [Qur’an: 2:256] On the contrary, totalitarian societies absolutely deprive the individuals of their freedom. Indeed this undue exaltation of the State authority postulates a sort of slave-like servitude on the part of man. At one time slavery meant total control of man over man - now that type of slavery has been legally abolished, but in its place totalitarian societies impose a similar sort of control over individuals.

9. Protection of Religious Sentiments:

Along with the freedoms of conviction and conscience, Islam has given the right to the individual that his religious sentiments will be given due respect, and nothing will be said or done which may encroach upon his right.

10. Protection from Arbitrary Imprisonment:

Islam also recognises the right of the individual that he will not be arrested or imprisoned for the offences of others. The Qur’an has laid down this principle clearly as in the saying of Allah: “…And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another...” [Qur’an: 6:164]

11. The Right to Basic Necessities of Life:

Islam recognised the right of the needy people, that help and assistance be provided to them. Allah says: “And in their wealth there is acknowledged right for the needy and the destitute.” [Qur’an: 70:24-25]

12. Equality Before Law:

Islam gives its citizens the right to absolute and complete equality in the eyes of the law.

13. Rulers are not Above the Law:

A woman belonging to a noble family was arrested in connection with theft. The case was brought to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and it was recommended that she might be spared the punishment for theft. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: “The nations that lived before you were destroyed by Allah because they punished the common man for his offences and let their dignitaries go unpunished for their crimes; I swear by Him Who holds my life in His hand that even if Faatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, had committed this crime, I would have amputated her hand.”

14. The Right to Participate in Affairs of the State:

Allah says: “…And their affair is [conducted] through consultation among themselves…” [Qur’an: 42:38] The chapter or the legislative assembly has no other meaning, except that the executive head of the government and the members of the assembly should be elected by free and independent choice of the people.

Lastly, it is to be made clear that Islam tries to achieve the above-mentioned human rights and many others, not only by providing certain legal safeguards, but also by inviting humankind to transcend the lower level of animal-like existence to be able to go beyond the ties fostered by the kinship of blood, racial superiority, linguistic arrogance and economic privileges. It invites humankind to move on to a plane of existence where, because of his inner excellence, man can realise the ideal of the universal brotherhood.

Article courtesy: www.islamweb.net
my source: islamdag


Good and evil cannot be equal

We live in multicultural and multireligious communities all over the Russian Federation. Dagestan is not an exclusion. Multiculturalism is the main feature and basic condition of Russia peoples' co-existence. From Medieval age to nowadays Christians (Orthodox), Muslims, Buddhists and adepts of Judaism live side by side in Russia. Russia was always strong with its tolerance and mutual penetration of different cultures and traditions. Those who dare to encroach on this are the real enemies of Russia. Those who dream to destroy this status quo and turn Muslims of Russia into enemies of their own state are enemies of Russia and enemies of the North Caucasus Muslims. What is the role of Islam in making this country stable and prosperous?

Islam is the religion purposing to bring life at full of humanity, peace and prosperity. The Lord calls the religious in the God-sent Holy Qur'an to develop the most blessed merits of soul, that were granted by God to everybody - charity, respect for neighbors, compassion, humility.

Religion is not a system per se, which can be accepted or imposed by force. Belief is a matter of conscience and heart only. No violence might influence them. A human comes to belief if only he longs for it and his heart is capable of faith. It is means that no compulsion in faith.

Allah enjoins Muslims in the Holy Qur'an to bring peace, good and brotherly love to people. Mores of Islam cannot be a source of any forms of violence because the Creator granted the faith of Islam, calling people to be on the right track of truth, peace and justice. Foundations of Islamic mores are charity, generosity, loyalty and respect for people, forgiveness and peace. In the Quran Allah orders Muslims to treat all people with patience.

There is an ayah in the Holy Qur'an: "Nor can Good and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!" (Surah Fussilat, 41:34)

Bloodshed, killing of innocent, fomentation of wars and conflicts are the most cursed sin. The greatest value of human life and respect for dissent mentioned in the Holy Quran are esteemed during the whole history of Islam. The Prophet Mohammad guarded lives of innocents in every way possible, he never started wars but cases of defense of people against aggression and attacks. In case a defensive war had been unavoidable there was an order not to do any harm for civilian residents and innocents, not to ransack their dwellings, not to cut trees, to honour the Holy places, churches and synagogues. Principles of fairness and toleration set an example for all mankind during the whole history of Islam. Christians and the Hebrews who were outcast in the times of the Dark Ages got a warm welcome and honouring in the lands of Islam. Islam is the religion of peace and prosperity, an obligation of every Moslem is to treat all people kindly and fairly and to fight against Evil and unfairness.

Members of the two religions in one church

Turning back to the past we see that the Hebrews and Christians always lived among the Muslims. They had their own schools and kept all their cultural and religious features. People and communities of different religions lived in the huge areas of the Ottoman caliphate, most of them were the Hebrews and Christians. Islam never recognized any forms of reduce adherents of different faiths to adopt Islam, guarding with zeal churches and synagogues. Before the advent of Islam the world never faced so tolerant and respectful care of adherents of different faith. That was a dark time of religious wars and barbarism in Europe. That were trivial happenings for the Western world at that time. According the Quran Muslims always were tolerant and merciful to the people of the Holy Scriptures. The Church of St. John in Syria is a confirmation. The Muslims who conquered this region did not have mosques so they started offering Friday prayers in this church, and it went on to belong to Christians at that. The Christians made their divine services on Sundays. Members of the two religions used one church for their divine services in peace and harmony.

Peace and toleration of Muslims to members of other religions continued on during the whole history of Islam. The Lord enjoined believers to treat kindly the people of the Holy Scripture (the Hebrews and Christians). (Al-Ankabut, 29:46).

High culture, sense of beauty and harmony, intellect and wisdom which Allah granted to believers illuminated all the mankind. Muslims were carrying toleration, justice, science and enlightenment, aesthetics, cleanness of life and prosperity. It is not an overstatement to say that Europe were cloaked in darkness of religious fanaticism and barbarism while the Islamic world was the most highly developed and prosperous civilization in the world. Islam was lighting up the noble way of truth and beauty for people.

The present actual

Concerning the present actual we see many attempts to destabilize situation in Russia, especially in the North Caucasus. Acts of terrorism, provocations, propaganda of anti-Caucasus sentiments, abundance of unfavorable information about Islam and Muslims in the press present Islam as a prime cause of terrorism. In addition there are economic instability, social and moral degradation, demographic crisis, poorer quality of education. It is alerting to see doubtful foreign policy with respect to Russia pursued by some states financially supported by USA.

To get over and bar from expansion this negative tendency the national government should pay special attention to these problems that threaten stability and safety of the state. It is necessary to join efforts of national, religious and public organizations in this cause. In modern times it is especially important to pursue a policy intended for strengthening interethnic and interreligious dialogue and forming of an integrated Russian nation, establishment of united nation of Russia. It is necessary to strengthen common to all nations and confessions moral and spiritual values.


Islam spread by the message of love 
and not by the sword

It is a common misconception with some non-Muslims that Islam would not have millions of followers all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of force.

The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of Islam.

Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. Freedom of religion is ordained in the Qur'an itself:
"There shall be no compulsion in (acceptance of) the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong." (Qur'an 2:256)

The noted historian De Lacy O'Leary wrote: "History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated."

If Islam was spread by the sword, it was the sword of intellect and convincing arguments. It is this sword that conquers the hearts and minds of people. The Qur'an says in this connection:
"Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best." (Qur'an 16:125)

The facts speak for themselves: Indonesia is the country that has the largest number of Muslims in the world, and the majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. But, no Muslim army ever went to Indonesia or Malaysia. It is an established historical fact that Indonesia entered Islam not due to war, but because of its moral message. Despite the disappearance of Islamic government from many regions once ruled by it, their original inhabitants have remained Muslims. Moreover, they carried the message of truth, inviting others to it as well, and in so doing endured harm, affliction and oppression. The same can be said for those in the regions of Syria and Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, North Africa, Asia, the Balkans and in Spain. This shows that the effect of Islam on the population was one of moral conviction, in contrast to occupation by western colonialists, finally compelled to leave lands whose peoples held only memories of affliction, sorrow, subjugation and oppression.

Muslims ruled Spain (Andalusia) for about 800 years. During this period the Christians and Jews enjoyed freedom to practice their respective religions, and this is a documented historical fact.

Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan all have significant Christian and Jewish populations.

Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years, and therefore had the power to force each and every non-Muslim of India to convert to Islam, but they did not, and thus more than 80 percent of the Indian population remains non-Muslim.

Similarly, Islam spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. And likewise no Muslim army was ever dispatched to the East Coast of Africa.

An article in Reader's Digest 'Almanac,' yearbook 1986, gives the statistics of the increase of the percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in The Plain Truth magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235 percent, while Christianity had increased by 47 percent.

During this fifty-year period, there was no "Islamic conquest" yet Islam spread at an extraordinary rate.

Today the fastest growing religion in America and Europe is Islam. The Muslims in these lands are a minority. The only sword they have in their possession is the sword of truth.

It is this sword that is converting thousands to Islam.

Islamic law protects the privileged status of minorities, and that is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. Islamic law also allows non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether they are Muslims or not.

It is clear, therefore, that Islam did not spread by the sword. The "sword of Islam" did not convert all the non-Muslim minorities in Muslim countries. In India, where Muslims ruled for 800 years, they are still a minority. In the US, Islam is the fastest growing religion and has over six million followers.

In his book The World's Religions, Huston Smith discusses how the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) granted freedom of religion to the Jews and Christians under Muslim rule:

The Prophet had a document drawn up in which he stipulated that Jews and Christians "shall be protected from all insults and harm; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices," and further, "they shall practice their religion as freely as the Muslims."

Smith points out that Muslims regard that document as the first charter of freedom of conscience in human history and the authoritative model for those of every subsequent Muslim state.

Courtesy of www.islamreligion.com
my source: islamdag



Q & A

THE PUNISHMENT OF APOSTASY IN ISLAM

Part I: The Qur`anic Perspective
By

Dr. Ahmad Shafaat
(February, 2006)

Question

As-salam ‘alaykum,

Dear Dr. Shafaat,

I visited your site. There is a lot of valuable information available in your site. I have many queries regarding Islam that trouble my mind. I would be much grateful to you if you could answer those queries. To start with, I have much trouble understanding the punishment of apostasy. Do you believe that the punishment of apostasy is death according to Islam? Is this not against the freedom for an individual to adopt any faith? Please explain.
Thanks.

Regards,
Mohd.

Answer

Wa 'alaykum al-salam! Thank you for your email. The fact that you have many queries suggests that you think and reflect about Islamic teachings. This is wonderful, since the Book of God instructs us to do such thinking and reflection. I would insha` allah answer your questions according to the ability God grants me.

The question you have raised about the punishment of apostasy in Islam, like any other question related to Islam, needs to be answered in the light of the Qur`an and the authentic ahadith. I repeat this well-known principle here because many Muslims, even scholars are often influenced by some extraneous considerations in arriving at their Islamic opinions. Thus some reject the death penalty for apostasy out of a desire to “improve” the image of Islam among non-Muslims. Others, on the other hand, insist on that penalty out of a concern that rejection of the penalty will encourage apostasy. There are also some who are influenced by a tendency to stick to traditional views no matter what. At some point the death penalty for apostasy was widely accepted among Muslims and many of us feel that what our earlier generations accepted must be correct and must be accepted by us also. Since such extraneous influences can mislead us, let us first try to free our minds from them.

The desire to “improve” the image of Islam among non-Muslims

Most of the negative imaging of Islam is done by a relatively small minority of Christians and Jews and those writers and reporters who are under their power. These people are not going to simply stop if we rejected the death penalty for apostasy. They will just find something else to paint Islam negatively. The only way they can stop is if the challenge of Islam is removed and Muslims start behaving like them. The Holy Qur`an talks about such Jews and Christians when it says:
Neither the Jews nor the Christians will be pleased with you (O Muhammad) till you follow their millah. Say: “Surely, the guidance of God is the (true) guidance”. And if you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, then you would not have any protector or helper against God. (2:120)
islamicperspectives.com 


THE PUNISHMENT OF APOSTASY IN ISLAM
Part II: An Examination of the Ahadith on the Subject

By: Dr. Ahmad Shafaat
(APRIL 2007)


After having examined in Part I the issue of the punishment of apostasy in Islam in the light of the Qur`an (see http://www.islamicperspectives.com/Apostasy1.htm) we now turn to the examination of the issue in the light of ahadith. We will insha allah show that the authentic words of the Holy Prophet do not prescribe any punishment for apostasy. Ahadith in which the Prophet is reported to have prescribed the death penalty for this sin are either unreliable or are to be interpreted differently.
To begin with we present some general considerations to demonstrate the above position before examining the ahadith in question in detail.
First, when a law is given it is given in a public way so that maximum number of people can know about it and follow it. Even ordinary law-givers promulgate laws to make them known widely. In ancient times a town crier would go around and read the king’s decree in public squares. This point can be illustrated by another example: if a professor wants his students to do some homework for credit, he would not tell it only to one or two students. He would either himself announce it to the whole class or make sure that the students to whom he mentioned the assignment will pass the information about it to the other students. If the knowledge of the assignment remained limited to a very few students for weeks, then the assignment cannot be binding on the class. The same principle would apply to a much greater degree in case of the Islamic law, which is meant to be for all people and for all times, and in the particular case of a law that prescribes the taking of a human life. We can therefore be sure that if the Holy Prophet wanted to give a law prescribing death penalty for apostasy, he would make it known to a large number of Companions who would then make it known to even a larger number of Successors and so on. It is not conceivable that he would prescribe a law by telling it to only one or two Companions. Therefore a hadith prescribing such a death penalty would be reported by many Companions, and then by even a greater number of Successors and so on. It would then be known to every major scholar of later generations. But the fact is that we do not possess any such hadith about the death penalty for apostasy. Whatever ahadith we have in books are gharib, being narrated by a very few Companions and Successors. This is a strong argument to show that these ahadith are among those thousands that were fabricated or subjected to tahrif by some early Muslims. 

Thanks for coming

Thanks for coming
Terima kasih sudi hadir

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