Propagation in Islamic state
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Brother Burhan,
Assalam o Alaikum,
I have various questions to ask, but I would start with the very basic one that has been bothering me for quite some time.
Though we Muslims regard Islam as a religion without any compulsion, (The Quranic verse stating that there is no compulsion in religion), and also regard our religion as the most tolerant of other cultures and religions, yet there it is not allowed for Christians, or those of another faith than Islam, to propagate their religion in an Islamic country, or in a territory run by Muslims.
I find it really hard to believe that on one hand it is being said that everyone is free to follow whatever religion he or she wants to and on the other you do not give anyone the choice to follow other religions than Islam.
Kindly help me in understanding the logic behind this. I would really appreciate you. May Allah reward you for all that you have done and are doing for His cause.
Your sister in Islam,
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
All Praise is due to Allah Subhanah Alone, Who has made His approved way of life (Al-Islam) the most tolerant religion in the world. Islam indeed forbids compulsion, but instead exhorts the believers to propagate the religion of Truth in the most polite and best manners, so that ones heart may be encouraged to accept this way of Truth with full logic and willingness.
Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 16, Surah An-Nahl Ayat 125: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and excellent admonition and argue with people in the best manner. Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Way and who is Rightly guided.
If one who is invited to the Truth of Al-Islam, decides of his bestowed free will that he does not wish to accept it; he will be allowed in an Islamic State to practice his own religion, no matter what it may be. That is because Allah Subhanah has created mankind for a test for a limited period of one life time and bestowed upon him two things which He has not bestowed on anyone in His creation.
The faculty of intelligence or power of reasoning
A free will to choose whatever path he wishes to follow.
If a person, after being invited to Islam, of his own free will wishes to follow a path other than Islam, he will be permitted to do so. Such a person, even in a proper Islamic State will not be compelled to accept Islam, but will be given the right to worship and follow whatever path or deen he wishes to follow.
But this allowance of Islam in no way means that Islam accepts their religion to be the truth; but rather it only means that the believers accept and obey the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws) that man has been created for a test, and every person has a right to choose whatever path he wishes to follow. The final decision of who are on the Right Path of Allah and who are misguided will be decided by the Supreme Judge and Lord of the Worlds on the Day of Judgment.
In a proper Islamic State, although the believers believe and know that the other religions are false and wrong; the non-believers freedom of practicing their religion will be protected. A non-believer would be allowed to practice his religion in his house or in his place of worship; but the propagation or spreading of his false beliefs would not be permitted. In no righteous society would it ever be allowed that a wrong or false thing is propagated, thus allowing mischief and chaos to spread in society!
A simple example would help to make the issue clear. Lets suppose some people in a society have a contagious disease, example Aids, etc. The society will try its best to address the disease and help those involved in the disease in any way they can; but no righteous society would ever allow that this contagious disease is propagated and allowed to be passed around and spread in society!
Similar is the case with the spiritual diseases of the hearts such as disbelief and polytheism; one who has such diseases will be allowed to practice their beliefs of polytheism and disbelief in their homes and their places of worship, but under no circumstances would it be allowed by a righteous society that they be permitted to propagate and spread this disease openly amongst the believing society.
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,