Freedom of faith

Islam offers people, concerning faith, complete freedom in a very clear language. This has been the case since Islam was first revealed, and it forms the basis of current Islamic morality. The verses (2: 256) are perfectly clear in that respect:

There is no compulsion in religion. Truly, the right guidance is clearly distinguished from error, and he who rejects the Tihut and believes in Allah: he certainly has taken the firmest hold that can not break. And Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

According to Islam, people have the freedom to choose which faith they want to follow, and no one can oblige the others to do so. However, a Muslim has a duty to inform about Islam, and to declare the existence of God, to declare that the Quran is the book of His revelation, that Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him and bless him) messenger, and to talk about the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment and Islamic ethics. Yet that duty is only limited to explaining religion alone. In a verse (16: 125) God informs our Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he is only a messenger:

Invite to the Way of your Lord, with wisdom and good teaching, and interchange with them in the best way. Verily, your Lord knows best who has strayed His Way, and He knows better who the right-headed are.

Another verse (18:29) is explained as follows: “… The Truth is from your Lord: so who wants, let him believe; and who will, let him be disbelieving. ” In verse (26: 3) our Lord warns the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), ” Perhaps you would destroy yourself from grief because they are not believers. ” He also gives out His remembrance (50:45) to His Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

We know the best they say and you are not there to force them. So, with the Koran, exhort him who fears My threat.

People have the freedom to choose in a good or in a wrong way. When Islam – the true way that God has revealed – is declared, they can believe according to their own free will, and they make this decision without being repressed. If they make wrong choices, they will find the consequences in the Hereafter. The Qur’anic verse (10:99) contains, in that respect, the clearest command and reminder:

And if your Lord had wanted it, those on earth would have believed all of them. Or can you force the people to become believers?

If one of the believer declares a matter, a person could repent on the spot, while another person might derive a mocking and aggressive attitude. Those who follow his conscience might decide to dedicate his life to the pleasing of God, even if another, who does the same as the deniers do, might respond with corruption to the same kind of statement. Yet his denial the one who issued the invitation will not lead to suffering or despair. In the verses (12: 103-104), God has stated the following:

But most people, even if you would like it, are not religious. And you ask them no wages for it; it is only an admonition to the world’s inhabitants.

What is important is that the person who adheres to the Quran continues to display such ethics that is pleasing to God, despite the reactions he might encounter, and refuses to make a concession on it and leaves the matter to God. God has told us that His religion must be explained in the most pleasant way (29:46):

Twist with the people of the book only in the best way, except with those who commit injustice, and say, “We believe in what has been sent down to us and in what has been sent down to you. Our Allah and your Allah is one. And we surrender ourselves to Him. “

We must remember that every event, large or small, takes place according to the destiny created by God. He reveals the true way to everyone who is invited to believe in Him. For that reason the believer does not feel the trouble of the behavior of those who reject him. The Quran gives several examples. In verse 18: 6, God tells our Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) not to be troubled when those he invites to the faith refuse to do so:

And perhaps as a result, if they do not believe in this message, you will still kill yourself from sorrow.

Another verse (28:56) reads as follows:

You can not take whom you love on the right path, but Allah brings who He will on the right path and He best knows those who follow the right path.

That means that every invitation that a person spends, his pleasing words, and every detail that he goes into has only an effect through the will of God.

The only responsibility that a believer must take is to invite people to the Koran. He is not responsible for the refusal of the atheists to change their ways, nor for how they will earn the torments of hell. In verse 2: 119 our Lord told our Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be with him),

We have sent you with the truth as a publisher of good news and as a warner. You do not have to give an account of those who belong in hell.

God has given people both the mind and the conscience. His messengers and divine books revealed to them have shown the true way, and people are responsible to make their own choices. One can only live by a sincere decision according to Islamic ethics – by surrender to God and listening to his conscience, which always commands someone to do good. It is a total violation of Islamic ethics to force everyone to believe, because what matters is that a person with all his heart surrenderes to God and believes with sincerity. If any system obliges people to believe, then those “converts” will only believe out of fear. The only acceptable way to live according to a religion is within an environment that leaves its conscience completely free.

Then execute; you are just a reprooper. And you are not a ruler over them. But whoever turns away and disbelieves, Allah will punish him with the greatest punishment. To Us is their return. Then with Us their settlement.

It is worth emphasizing that Islam leaves people free to make their own choice regarding religion and commands them to respect other religions. Even if someone believes in what the Quran describes as superstition, he can still live in peace and security in Muslim countries and freely exercise his own religious obligations. In verses 109: 2-6, God commanded our Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to say to those who denied Him:

I will not serve what you serve. And you do not serve what I serve. And I do not serve what you serve. And you do not serve what I serve. You have your religion and I have my religion.

Under the ethics of Islam, everyone can carry out his obligations in accordance with his own personal faith. No one can prevent anyone from performing their personal religious duties, nor can he oblige them to worship in his desired manner. That violates the ethics of Islam, which is unacceptable to God. In Islamic society an example emerges that everyone is free to worship and fulfill his obligations according to his personal faith. The Quran (22:40) describes the monasteries, synagogues, and places of worship of the people of the Book as all under God’s protection:

Those who have been driven out of their dwellings without right, just because they say “Our Lord is God” – and if Allah had not stopped people from getting together, hermitages, churches, synagogues and mosques in which God’s name is often mentioned were certainly destroyed. But Allah will certainly help those who help Him; Allah is powerful and powerful.

The life of our Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is full of such examples. When the Christians saw him pray in his own mosque, he left the mosque for them to use.  Such tolerance was maintained in the times of the Caliphs who succeeded the Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).After Damascus was conquered, a church converted into a mosque was divided into two so that the Christians could pray in one half and the Muslims in the other.