Will Ibrahim Hooper or Salam Al-Marayati fire off a strongly-worded letter to Adil Salahi, calling him an “Islamophobe”?
“Websites That Spread Misinformation About Islamic Teachings,” by Adil Salahi for Arab News (thanks to Twostellas):
Q. I read on a website that answers queries about Islam that it is right to force non-Muslims to accept Islam, even through war. The person who answered the question says that the verse stating that “˜there is no compulsion in religion” has been abrogated by verses 8: 39 and 9: 5. Please comment.
I do not know the website you mention, nor the scholar quoted. However, the information provided is grossly mistaken. The principle of “no compulsion in religion” is an essential Islamic principle, which was carried out throughout the Prophet’s lifetime and the rule of his rightly-guided successors. When Muslim armies swept through a large area of the world, they never forced anyone to embrace Islam.
They gave the people three choices: to accept Islam freely, which would mean that they join the Muslim community and become part of it; or to pay the jizyah, or tribute, to indicate that they will live in peace with the Muslims continuing to follow their own religions. If they accepted neither course then the only way left was to fight. This was the case throughout Muslim history. How else can people explain the uninterrupted existence of religious minorities everywhere in the Muslim world throughout 14 centuries of Islamic rule? Had people been forced to become Muslim, they might be secretly resentful, but within a couple of generations all resentment would have disappeared.
The principle of religious freedom is included in the following verse: “There shall be no compulsion in religion. The right way is henceforth distinct from error. He who rejects false deities and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a most firm support that never breaks. God hears all and knows all.” (2: 256) This verse was revealed toward the end of the Prophet’s blessed life, as it is clearly apparent from the statement that the right way, i.e. Islam, had become distinct. It could not have become so clearly distinct when it was still in the process of revelation. This surah took up to year 9 to be completed, and this verse was revealed toward the end of that period. Surah 8 was revealed in year 2, after the Battle of Badr, which provides its subject matter. How could a verse in the earlier surah abrogate a principle laid down in the later one? The verse in question reads: “Fight them until there is no more oppression, and all submission is made to God alone.” (8: 39) The verse speaks against oppression, particularly religious one. It aims to stamp out such oppression by making all submission to God alone. Such submission means implementing His law, which states that there is no compulsion in religion.
So in other words, when Sharia is implemented, there is no compulsion in religion. Dhimmis are dhimmis, just as Allah wants them to be, and that’s that.