No Compulsion in Religion
[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.
There should be no compulsion in religion according to the Quran, except so much of modern day Islam if full of compulsion. It is common in so called Islamic countries to mistreat people who hold different beliefs. In certain countries these acts can be punished by imprisonment, lashings, stonings or even death. It is everyone’s God given right to be able to make their own decisions in this world and not be subject to being forced to the beliefs of others. God wants us to make our own decisions to be righteous or unrighteous.
Appendix 36 – What Price A Great Nation
“If the people of the scripture (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) believe and maintain a righteous life, we will remit their sins and admit them into the blissful Heaven. Had they observed the Torah, the Gospel, and what is revealed herein from their Lord, they would have enjoyed provisions from above them, and from beneath their feet. Some of them are righteous, but most of them are evil doers.” [5:65-66]
“If only the people of the various communities believed and maintained a righteous life, we would have showered them with blessings from the heaven and the earth” [7:96]
“God is the One who controls your happiness, or misery. …. God is the One who makes you rich or poor.” [53:43, 48]
A nation that upholds God’s laws is guaranteed prominence among the nations of the world, victory, prosperity, and happiness (10:62-64, 16:97, 24:55, 41:30-31). On the other hand, a nation that violates God’s laws incurs a miserable life (20:124). A nation that upholds God’s laws is guaranteed to be a great nation. This is not a mere idealistic dream; since God is in full control (10:61), His guarantees and promises are done. A nation that upholds God’s laws is characterized by:
- 1. Maximum freedom for the people – freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to travel, and freedom of economy (2:256, 10:99, 88:21-22).
- Guaranteed human rights for all the people, regardless of their race, color, creed, social status, financial situation, or political affiliation (5:8, 49:13).
- Prosperity for all the people. God’s economic system is based on constant circulation of wealth, no usury, and productive investment. Non-productive economy such as gambling, lottery, and high interest loans are not permitted (2:275-7, 59:7).
- Social justice for all. Because of the obligatory charity (Zakat), no one will go hungry or un-sheltered (2:215, 70:24-25, 107:1-7).
- A political system that is based on unanimous consensus. Through mutual consultation and freedom of expression, one side of any given issue convinces all participants in the discussion. The end result is a unanimous agreement, not the opinion of a 51% majority rammed down the throat of the 49% minority (42:38).
- A society that upholds and maintains the highest standards of moral behavior. There will be a strong family, no alcoholism, no illicit drugs, no illegitimate pregnancies, no abortions, and practically no divorce.
- Maximum regard for people’s lives and properties. Therefore, there will be no crime against the people’s lives or properties.
- Prevalence of love, courtesy, peace, and mutual respect among the people, and between this nation and other world communities (3:110, 60:8-9).
- Environmental protection is guaranteed through conservation and prohibition of wasteful practices (30:41).
The Philosophy of Liberty
How do we accept with people who hold views that are contrary to the Quran without compromising?
We are only responsible for our own necks. It is our duty to be a good example for others, but it is not our duty to force others to be righteous. We need to think of ourselves and our actions as representatives of the religion, and do our best to be good examples for any party we engage with. As Abrahm said:
[26:84] “Let the example I set for the future generations be a good one.
[3:104] Let there be a community of you who invite to what is good, advocate righteousness, and forbid evil. These are the winners.
[28:56] You cannot guide the ones you love. GOD is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.
[13:31] Even if a Quran caused mountains to move, or the earth to tear asunder, or the dead to speak (they will not believe). GOD controls all things. Is it not time for the believers to give up and realize that if GOD willed, He could have guided all the people? The disbelievers will continue to suffer disasters, as a consequence of their own works, or have disasters strike close to them, until GOD’s promise is fulfilled. GOD will never change the predetermined destiny.
It is about tolerating that other people will have their own thoughts and beliefs and not about accepting their beliefs. You can coexist with someone and not force your belief onto them. We can learn from everyone. And people need to learn on their own time.
We need to stand for what we believe in and allow others to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes it is best to agree to disagree. As long as neither party is forcing their belief on the other or victimizing the other through their actions then it is okay to agree to disagree.