Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Forced Conversion

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Forced Conversion[edit]

Qur'an[edit]

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

Hadith[edit]

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah." Narrated Maimun ibn Siyah that he asked Anas bin Malik, "O Abu Hamza! What makes the life and property of a person sacred?" He replied, "Whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah', faces our Qibla during the prayers, prays like us and eats our slaughtered animal, then he is a Muslim, and has got the same rights and obligations as other Muslims have."
Narrated Qais: Jarir said "Allah's Apostle said to me, "Won't you relieve me from Dhul-Khalasa?" I replied, "Yes, (I will relieve you)." So I proceeded along with one-hundred and fifty cavalry from Ahmas tribe who were skillful in riding horses. I used not to sit firm over horses, so I informed the Prophet of that, and he stroke my chest with his hand till I saw the marks of his hand over my chest and he said, O Allah! Make him firm and one who guides others and is guided (on the right path).' Since then I have never fallen from a horse. Dhul-l--Khulasa was a house in Yemen belonging to the tribe of Khatham and Bajaila, and in it there were idols which were worshipped, and it was called Al-Ka'ba." Jarir went there, burnt it with fire and dismantled it. When Jarir reached Yemen, there was a man who used to foretell and give good omens by casting arrows of divination. Someone said to him. "The messenger of Allah's Apostle is present here and if he should get hold of you, he would chop off your neck." One day while he was using them (i.e. arrows of divination), Jarir stopped there and said to him, "Break them (i.e. the arrows) and testify that None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, or else I will chop off your neck." So the man broke those arrows and testified that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah. Then Jarir sent a man called Abu Artata from the tribe of Ahmas to the Prophet to convey the good news (of destroying Dhu-l-Khalasa). So when the messenger reached the Prophet, he said, "O Allah's Apostle! By Him Who sent you with the Truth, I did not leave it till it was like a scabby camel." Then the Prophet blessed the horses of Ahmas and their men five times.
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) breathed his last and Abu Bakr was appointed as his successor (Caliph), those amongst the Arabs who wanted to become apostates became apostates. 'Umar b. Khattab said to Abu Bakr: Why would you fight against the people, when the Messenger of Allah declared: I have been directed to fight against people so long as they do not say: There is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was granted full protection of his property and life on my behalf except for a right? His (other) affairs rest with Allah. Upon this Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I would definitely fight against him who severed prayer from Zakat, for it is the obligation upon the rich. By Allah, I would fight against them even to secure the cord (used for hobbling the feet of a camel) which they used to give to the Messenger of Allah (as zakat) but now they have withheld it. Umar b. Khattab remarked: By Allah, I found nothing but the fact that Allah had opened the heart of Abu Bakr for (perceiving the justification of) fighting (against those who refused to pay Zakat) and I fully recognized that the (stand of Abu Bakr) was right.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right affairs rest with Allah.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.
It is narrated on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded that I should fight against people till they declare that there is no god but Allah, and when they profess it that there is no god but Allah, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah, and then he (the Holy Prophet) recited (this verse of the Holy Qur'an):" Thou art not over them a warden" (lxxxviii, 22).
It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.
It Is narrated on the authority of Abu Malik: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: He who professed that there is no god but Allah and made a denial of everything which the people worship beside Allah, his property and blood became inviolable, an their affairs rest with Allah.
Abu Malik narrated on the authority of his father that he heard the Apostle (may peace be upon him) say: He who held belief in the unity of Allah, and then narrated what has been stated above.
[Abu Sufyan] stayed the night with me [the narrator] and I took him in to see the apostle early in the morning and when he saw him he said, "Isn't it time that you should recognize that there is no God but Allah?"

He answered, "You are dearer to me than father and mother. How great is your clemence, honour, and kindness! By God, I thought that had there been another God with God he would have continued to help me."

He said: "Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, isn't it time that you recognize that I am God's apostle?"

He answered, "As to that I still have some doubt."

I said to him, "Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of God before you lose your head," and he did so.
The Life of Muhammad
Ishaq. I (Author), Guillaume. A (Translator), Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 547

Forced Submission or Expulsion[edit]

Qur'an[edit]

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.

Hadith[edit]

It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhairs and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajirs. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muilims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated. When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them.
It has been narrated by 'Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.
Suhail reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said on the Day of Khaibar: I shall certainly give this standard in the hand of one who loves Allah and his Messenger and Allah will grant victory at his hand. Umar b. Khattab said: Never did I cherish for leadership but on that day. I came before him with the hope that I may be called for this, but Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) called 'Ali b. Abu Talib and he conferred (this honour) upon him and said: Proceed on and do not look about until Allah grants you victory, and 'Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: Allah's Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people? Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and when they do that then their blood and their riches are inviolable from your hands but what is justified by law and their reckoning is with Allah.
Sahl b. Sa'd reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said on the Day of Khaibar: I would certainly give this standard to a person at whose hand Allah would grant victory and who loves Allah and His Messenger and Allah and His Messenger love him also. The people spent the night thinking as to whom it would be given. When it was morning the people hastened to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) all of them hoping that that would be given to him. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Where is 'Ali b. Abu Talib? They said: Allah's Messenger, his eyes are sore. He then sent for him and he was brought and Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) applied saliva to his eyes and invoked blessings and he was all right, as if he had no ailment at all, and coraferred upon him the standard. 'Ali said: Allah's Messenger, I will fight them until they are like us. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: Advance cautiously until you reach their open places, thereafter invite them to Islam and inform them what is obligatory for them from the rights of Allah, for, by Allah, if Allah guides aright even one person through you that is better for you than to possess the most valuable of the camels.

Scholars[edit]

According to Maududi, jihad should be waged against Jews and Christians because they are guilty of committing shirk, their beliefs about the Day of Judgment are not Islamic, and they do not follow the laws of Islam revealed to Muhammad.[1]

This is the aim of Jihad with the Jews and the Christians and it is not to force them to become Muslims and adopt the `Islamic Way of Life.' They should be forced to pay Jizyah in order to put an end to their independence and supremacy so that they should not remain rulers and sovereigns in the land. These powers should be wrested from them by the followers of the true Faith, who should assume the sovereignty and lead others towards the Right Way, while they should become their subjects and pay jizyah. jizyah is paid by those non-Muslims who live as Zimmis (proteges) in an Islamic State, in exchange for the security and protection granted to them by it. This is also symbolical of the fact that they themselves agree to live in it as its subjects. This is the significance of "..... they Pay jizyah with their own hands," that is, "with full consent so that they willingly become the subjects of the Believers, who perform the duty of the vicegerents of Allah on the earth. "

At first this Command applied only to the Jews and the Christians. Then the Holy Prophet himself extended it to the Zoroastrians also. After his death, his Companions unanimously applied this rule to all the non-Muslim nations outside Arabia. This is jizyah " of which the Muslims have been feeling apologetic during the last two centuries of their degeneration and there are still some people who continue to apologize for it. But the Way of Allah is straight and clear and does not stand in need of any apology to the rebels against Allah. Instead of offering apologies on behalf of Islam for the measure that guarantees security of life, property and faith to those who choose to live under its protection, the Muslims should feel proud of such a humane law as that of jizyah. For it is obvious that the maximum freedom that can be allowed to those who do not adopt the Way of Allah but choose to tread the ways of error is that they should be tolerated to lead the life they like. That is why the Islamic State offers them protection, if they agree to live as its Zimmis by paying jizyah, but it cannot allow that they should remain supreme rulers in any place and establish wrong ways and impose them on others. As this state of things inevitably produces chaos and disorder, it is the duty of the true Muslims to exert their utmost to bring to an end their wicked rule and bring them under a righteous order.

As regards the question, "What do the non-Muslims get in return for Jizyah " it may suffice to say that it is the price of the freedom which the Islamic State allows them in following their erroneous ways, while living in the jurisdiction of Islam and enjoying its protection. The money thus collected is spent in maintaining the righteous administration that gives them the freedom and protects their rights. This also serves as a yearly reminder to them that they have been deprived of the honor of paying Zakat in the Way of Allah, and forced to pay jizyah instead as a price of following the ways of error.
(Quran 9:29, Footnote 28)
Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Tafhim al-Qur'an
Allah commands His believing servants, who are pure in religion and person, to expel the idolators who are filthy in the religious sense, from Al-Masjid Al-Haram. After the revelation of this Ayah, idolators were no longer allowed to go near the Masjid. This Ayah was revealed in the ninth year of Hijrah. The Messenger of Allah sent `Ali in the company of Abu Bakr that year to publicize to the idolators that no Mushrik will be allowed to perform Hajj after that year, nor a naked person allowed to perform Tawaf around the House. Allah completed this decree, made it a legislative ruling, as well as, a fact of reality.

The "No Compulsion" Verse[edit]

Note that this verse has been abrogated by Qur'an 9:5

Qur'an[edit]

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.

Hadith[edit]

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas
When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."
Ibn Abbas said: it was revealed with regard to a man from the tribe of Bani Salim whose two sons converted to Christianity but he was himself a Muslim. He told the Prophet: "Shall I force them to embrace Islam they insist on Christianity", hence Allah revealed this verse. But, it is abrogated by the verses of "fighting"… Surah 48 verse 16, Surah 9 verse 73 and Surah 9 verse 123.[2]
Ibn Ishaq

Scholars[edit]

Allah said, (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,

(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,

("Embrace Islam. The man said, "I dislike it. The Prophet said, "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.'
No Compulsion in Religion
Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Ibn Kathir in the version of his tafsir abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa‘i, has this to say (note that this portion has not been translated by Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri who is responsible for the abridged version of Tafsir Ibn Kathir widely available on the internet):

Allah says: "There is no compulsion in religion", meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam, because it is clear and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force...hence Allah revealed this verse. But, this verse is abrogated by the verse of "fighting...Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizya they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of compulsion. In the Sahih, the Prophet said: "Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains", meaning prisoners brought in chains to the Islamic state, then they embrace Islam sincerely and become righteous, and are entered among the people of Paradise.[3]
Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1999: First Edition, Part 3, pp. 37-38
Mujahid said, "This was before the Apostle of God was commanded to fight against the People of the Book. God’s saying, ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was abrogated and he was commanded to fight against the People of the Book in Surat Bara‘ah" (Q. 9:29). (Wahidi, pp. 77-78) … According to other traditions, the verse was revealed in reference to the People of the Book, who should not be compelled to enter Islam so long as they pay jizyah (poll tax). The verse is, therefore, not abrogated. Tabari relates on the authority of Qatadah, "Arab society was compelled to enter Islam because they were an unlettered community [ummah ummiyah], having no book which they knew. Thus nothing other than Islam was accepted from them. The people of the Book are not to be compelled to enter Islam if they submit to paying the jizyah or kharaj [land tax]." The same view is related on the authority of al-Dahhak, Mujahid, and Ibn ‘Abbas (Tabari, V. pp. 413-414). Tabari agrees with this view and asserts that the verse applies to the people of the two Books (Jews and Christians) and the Zoroastrians (Majus)… Qurtubi relates yet another view which asserts, "It was in reference to captives who, if they are of the People of the Book, are not to be compelled if they are adults; but if they are Zoroastrians or idolators, be they old or young, they shall be forced to accept Islam. This is because their master could not benefit from them if they were idolators." Qurtubi adds, "Do you not see that animals slaughtered by them would be unlawful to eat and their women could be married [to Muslims]? They practise the eating of carrion and other such unclean things. Thus their master would find them unclean and therefore it would be difficult to benefit from them as his slaves. Hence, it becomes lawfull for him to compel them" (Qurtubi, II, p. 280; see also Shawkani, I, p. 275).
The Qur’an and it Interpreters
Mahmoud M. Ayoub, SUNY Press, 1984, Volume I, pp. 253-254
Al-Suddi said: “This verse was revealed about a man from the Helpers called Abu'l-Husayn. This man had two sons. It happened that some traders from Syria came to Medina to sell oil. When the traders were about to leave Medina, the two sons of Abu'l-Husayn called them to embrace Christianity. These traders converted to Christianity and then left Medina. Abu'l-Husayn informed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, of what had happened. He asked him to summon his two sons. But then Allah, exalted is He, revealed (There is no compulsion in religion…). The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: 'May Allah banish both of them. They are the first to disbelieve'. This was before the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was commanded to fight the people of the Book. But then Allah's saying (There is no compulsion in religion…) was abrogated and the Prophet was commanded to fight the people of the Book in Surah Repentance”.
The reasons for the descent of the verse number (256) of Sura (The Cow)
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi, trans. Mokrane Guezzou
the scholars differed concerning Q. 2:256. Some said: 'It has been abrogated [cancelled] for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought them and did not accept any alternative but their surrender to Islam. The abrogating verse is Q. 9:73 'O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them.' Mohammad asked Allah the permission to fight them and it was granted. Other scholars said Q. 2:256 has not been abrogated, but it had a special application. It was revealed concerning the people of the Book [the Jews and the Christians]; they can not be compelled to embrace Islam if they pay the Jizia (that is head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule). It is only the idol worshippers who are compelled to embrace Islam and upon them Q. 9:73 applies. This is the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas which is the best opinion due to the authenticity of its chain of authority.
An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh
Al-Nahas, p. 80
[Referring to 2:256 and 9:73] The command to fight the infidels was delayed until the Muslims become strong, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and be patient.
Mabaheth Fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an
Sobhy as-Saleh, Dar al-'Ilm Lel-Malayeen, Beirut, 1983, p. 269
Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars explained that these two verses [ Qur'an 10:99 and Qur'an 2:256], and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.

Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.

Some of the scholars are of the view that others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur'an 9:5]

He did not say, “if they pay the jizyah”. The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them if they are able to do so. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur'an 9:29]

And it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned above.

The basic principle concerning that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Qur'an 8:39, and Qur'an 9:5]

This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).

These and similar verses abrogate the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat li’l-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/219
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).
Ahadith an-nihaya
Shaykh Muhammad Hassan on the Egyptian satellite station al-Nas
Scholars disagree and hold various positions regarding the legal status and meaning of this ayat.

• It is said that it is abrogated because the Prophet forced the Arabs to adopt the din of Islam and fought them and was only pleased with Islam for them. Sulayman ibn Musa took the view, saying, "It is abrogated by ‘O Prophet! Do jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites.’ (9:73)" That is related from Ibn Mas‘ud and many commentators.

• It is not abrogated and was sent down about the people of the Book in particular and means that they are not forced to adopt Islam when they pay jizya. Those who are forced are the idolaters. Only Islam is accepted from them, and they are the ones about whom ‘O Prophet! Do Jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites.’ (9:73) was revealed. This is the position of ash-Sha‘bi, Qatada, al-Hasan and ad-Dahhak. The evidence for this position is related by Zayd ibn Aslam from his father, "I heard ‘Umar in al-Khattab say to an old Christian woman, ‘Become Muslim, old woman, become Muslim. Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth.’ She replied, ‘I am an old woman and close to death.’ ‘Umar said, ‘O Allah, witness!’ and he recited, ‘There is no compulsion where the din is concerned.’"

• Abu Dawud reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that this was revealed about the Ansar. There was a woman, all of whose children had died. She made a vow that if she had a child who lived she would become a Jew. When the Banu’n-Nadir were exiled, among them were many of the children of the Ansar. They said, "We will not leave our sons!" Then Allah revealed this. One variant has, "We did what we did and we think that their din is better than what we have." When Allah brought Islam, they denied it and this was revealed. Whoever wished remained with them and whoever wished, entered Islam. This is the position of Sa‘id ibn Jubayr, ash-Sha‘bi and Mujahid, but he added that the reason that they were with the Banu’n-Nadir was through suckling. An-Nahhas said, "The position of Ibn ‘Abbas regarding this ayat is the best position since its isnad is sound."

• As-Suddi said that the ayat was revealed about a man of the Ansar called Abu Husayn who had two sons. Some merchants came from Syria to Madina with oil and when they wanted to leave, his sons went to them. They invited the two sons to become Christians and they did so and went back with them to Syria. Their father went to the Messenger of Allah to complain about this and asked the Messenger of Allah to send someone to bring them back. Then, "There is no compulsion where the din is concerned" was revealed. He had not been commanded to fight the People of the Book. He said, "Allah has put them far. They are the first to disbelieve." Abu’l-Husayn felt annoyed that the Prophet did not send someone after them. Then Allah revealed, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them" (4:65). Then "No compulsion" was abrogated and he was commanded to fight the People of the Book in Surat at-Tawba. The sound view for the reason behind the words, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers …" is the hadith of az-Zubayr with his Christian neighbour about water as will be dealt with in Surat at-Tawba, Allah willing.

• It is said that it means "do not call those who have submitted through the sword compelled and forced".

• It is said that it was related about the captives who were People of the Book. They are not compelled when they are adults. If they are Magians, young or old, or idolaters, they are compelled to adopt Islam because their captivity does not help them when they are idolaters. Do you not see that their sacrifices are not eaten nor their women married. That is what Ibn al-Qasim reported from Malik. Ashhab said that children are considered to have the din of those who captured them. If they refuse that, they are compelled to become Muslim. Children have no din and that is why they are compelled to enter Islam so that they do not go to a false din. When other types of unbelievers pay the jizya, they are forced to become Muslim, whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs, Quraysh or otherwise. This will be dealt with in Surat at-Tawba.
Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur'an V.1
Translated by Aisha Bewley,Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd., 2003, pp. 659-661
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See Also[edit]

  • Converts - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Converts
  • Jihad (Primary Sources) - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Jihad (Primary Sources)

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - (Quran 9:29, Footnotes 26 & 27) - Tafhim al-Qur'an
  2. David Bukay - Abrogation and the Koran - School of Political Science, The University of Haifa
  3. Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 253 to 286, Surah Al-Imran, ayat 1 to 92, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa‘i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1999: First Edition], Part 3, pp. 37-38