One of the basic truths that come from the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. It is the duty of Muslims to provide people with evidence of Islam so that they can recognize the truth of being wrong. According to this, whoever wants to can accept Islam and whoever wants to continue living in unbelief can do so. No one may be threatened or harmed if they do not want to accept Islam.
Among other key evidence in this regard, we find the following. God speaks:
“There is no compulsion in belief. The right way is now clearly recognizable compared to the wrong one. Whoever does not believe in the idols, but believes in God, has certainly taken the safest hold, with which there is no tearing. And God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ” (Quran 2: 256)
“And if your Lord had wanted it, all who are on earth would have believed. Do you want to force people to become believers? ” (Quran 10:99)
“And if they argue with you, say: ‚I have completely surrendered to God, and likewise whoever follows me.‘ And speak to those to whom the Scriptures have been given and to the uninformed: ‚Will you be devoted? ´ And when they surrender (God), they are guided; however, if they turn away, you are only responsible for preaching. And God sees through the servants. ” (Quran 3:20)
„The messenger is only responsible for preaching.“ (Quran 5:99)
It is important to note that these last two verses were revealed in Medina. This is significant because it shows that the rules given here did not refer to the Muslims who had lived in a state of weakness in Mecca.
Some people may be surprised that if Islam actually supports such a method, what is it that we hear about jihad? How can we explain the wars that the Prophet, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, and his companions waged against the idolaters? The answer to this is that Islamic law can do jihad for a variety of reasons, but forcing people to accept Islam is simply not one of them. As for conversion, it should be done peacefully by spreading the spoken and written message. There is no place for weapons to force people to accept Islam.
In his letter to the Roman ruler Heraclius, the Prophet said:
“I invite you to accept Islam. If you accept Islam, you will find security. If you accept Islam, God will give you a double reward. But if you turn away, you will bear your sin and that of your subordinates. ” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari, Sahieh Muslim)
As soon as people heard the message without inhibition or obstacle and the evidence was provided, the Muslim did his duty. Those who want to believe are free to do so, and those who prefer not to believe are also free to do so.
Even if Muslims are forced to fight and then subjugate the country, it is their duty to apply God’s law in the country and to give their rights to everyone, be they Muslims or non-Muslims. It is not their right to force anyone to accept Islam against their will. Non-Muslims under Muslim rule must be allowed to maintain and exercise their own faith appropriately, but they must be expected to respect the laws of the country.
If the purpose of jihad was to force unbelievers to accept Islam, would the prophet have commanded Muslims to refrain from hostility if the enemy backed away? Would he have banned the killing of women and children? But that’s exactly what he did.
During a battle, the Prophet saw a crowd of people. He dispatched a man to find out why they had gathered. The man returned and said, „You have gathered around a slain woman.“ Then the Messenger of God said:
„You should not have been attacked!“ Khalid b. al-Walid led the forces, so he sent a man to him and said, „Tell Khalid no women and no workers should be killed.“ (Sunan Abi Dawud)
For this reason, the only people who are in the midst of the heat a battle against an enemy opponent may only be attacked, only those who are actually involved in the fighting.
If it had been the purpose of jihad to force the unbelievers to adopt Islam, the right-wing Khalifas would not have prohibited the killing of priests and monks who refrained from fighting. But that’s exactly what they did. When the first Khalif Abu Bakr sent an army to Syria to fight aggressive Roman legions, he went out to encourage them. He said: “You will find a group of people dedicated to worship (ie monks); let them do that. „