The religion of Islam has long been accused of forcing people to convert by the sword, but what is the reality? What does the religion actually say? Using the Quran, the most authentic book of the Muslims this article will find out.
Many times we have heard about the claim that “Islam was spread by the sword”, meaning that many people were forced to convert to Islam, under the threat of violence, implying that someone can be forced into faith. The Quran makes a very clear statement regarding this idea:
2|256|There shall be no compulsion in religion; the right way has become distinct from the wrong way. Whoever renounces evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handle; which does not break. God is Hearing and Knowing.
10|99|Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel people to become believers?
18|29|And say, “The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills—let him believe. And whoever wills—let him disbelieve”…
The other frequent claim that is made is that there is intolerance to other faiths than Islam, such as Christianity, recently there has been several attacks against churches in the “name of Islam”, again the Quran has clear statements regarding this:
22|40|Those who were unjustly evicted from their homes, merely for saying, “Our Lord is God.” Were it not that God repels people by means of others: monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques—where the name of God is mentioned much—would have been demolished. God supports whoever supports Him. God is Strong and Mighty.
There are others who claim that Muslims may be tolerant of Christians and Jews, but what about the other non Muslims? or people with no faith?
2|62|Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans—any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously—will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
109|1|Say, “O disbelievers.
109|2|I do not worship what you worship.
109|3|Nor do you worship what I worship.
109|4|Nor do I serve what you serve.
109|5|Nor do you serve what I serve.
109|6|You have your way, and I have my way.”
5|48| ….Had God willed, He could have made you a single nation, but He tests you through what He has given you. So compete in righteousness. To God is your return, all of you; then He will inform you of what you had disputed.
Finally, to see the Quranic wisdom applied, we can refer to the constitution of Medina, a written document from the time of the Prophet SAW which is still in existence today, in which it explains the law system of Medina, it is a lengthy document which can be seen by clicking the image.
The non-Muslims had the following rights:
- The security of God is equal for all groups,
- Non-Muslim members will have the same political and cultural rights as Muslims. They will have autonomy and freedom of religion.
- Non-Muslims will take up arms against the enemy of the Ummah and share the cost of war. There is to be no treachery between the two.
- Non-Muslims will not be obliged to take part in religious wars of the Muslims.