تصفح برقم المجلد > Volume 24 > Book on Tafsir > Tafsir of the Ayah: There is no compulsion in religion

Explanation of Allah's saying: There is no compulsion in religion.

Q: What is the meaning of the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) which reads: There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. ?
A: Commenting on this Ayah, scholars (may Allah be merciful to them) stated that Allah commands Muslims not to compel others to embrace Islam, because the path of righteousness, which is the religion of Muhammad (peace be upon him) that is to worship Allah alone and obey His orders and avoid His prohibitions, as followed by his Sahabah (Companions) and their successors, is distinct from falsehood and from ...the wrong path , this refers to
(Part No. 24; Page No. 206)
the religion of Abu Jahl and other Mushriks (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) who used to worship others beside Allah such as idols, Awliya' (pious people), angels, prophets, etc. This was before Allah (Glorified be He) ordained Jihad (fighting/striving in the Cause of Allah) against all Mushriks except for the People of the Book and the Magi who would pay Jizyah (poll tax required from non-Muslims living in an Islamic state). Accordingly, the Ayah was revealed in reference to the People of the Book and the Magi. They are not be compelled to embrace Islam, if they pay Jizyah regularly. Another Ayah that supports this meaning is in Surah (Qur'anic chapter) Al-Tawbah. It reads: Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allâh, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islâm) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. Allah thus orders Muslim not to fight the People of the Book, if they pay Jizyah with willing submission.
It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) took Jizyah from the Magi of Hajar. The Magi of Hajar. As for the Mushriks other than the People of the Book and the Magi, Muslims are obliged to invite them to Islam, if they are able to do so. If they accept the invitation, then all praise be to Allah Alone; otherwise, Muslims have to fight against them until they accept Islam. No Jizyah is accepted from them. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not ask the disbelieving Arabs
(Part No. 24; Page No. 207)
to pay it or accept it from them. After the Prophet's death, his Sahabah (Companions) would receive Jizyah only from the People of the Book and the Magi. In support of this ruling, Allah (Glorified be He) says: Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islâmic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikûn (See V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, then leave their way free. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah (Glorified be He) did not give them choice between Islam and Kufr (disbelief) and did not ask them to pay Jizyah. He only commanded Muslims to fight them until they repent of their Kufr, offer Salah (Prayer) and pay Zakah (obligatory charity). This is indicative of the fact that nothing but Islam is to be accepted from all Kafirs (disbelievers) excepting the People of the Book and the Magi. There are many other Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) that convey the same meaning.
Many Hadith are authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard including the Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, perform the Salah, and pay Zakah. If they do that, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by Islamic law, and their affairs
(Part No. 24; Page No. 208)
rest with Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He).
(Agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace be upon him) neither gave them the choice to embrace Islam or to remain in the state of Kufr nor asked them to pay Jizyah (poll tax required from non-Muslims living in an Islamic state).
This indicates that Kafirs other than the People of the Book and the Magi should be guided to accept Islam, because it is only through Islam that they can attain eternal felicity and salvation in this life and the life to come. This is one of the noble characteristics of the Islam, which tries to save the Kafirs from the means leading to their destruction, humiliation, and torment in this life and in the Hereafter. It invites them to follow the path to salvation, glory, dignity and attainment of eternal happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. This interpretation is agreed upon by most exegetes of the Qur'an. As for the People of the Book and the Magi, they are not to be fought if they pay off Jizyah with willing submission. Collecting Jizyah from them is symbolic of their humiliation and degraded status. It also a way of backing Muslims to undertake Jihad (fighting/striving in the Cause of Allah), carry out the principles of the Shari`ah (Islamic Law), and spread the Islamic call everywhere. It may also cause them to enter Islam and abandon the false belief, humility, and indignity to attain happiness and salvation in this life and in the Hereafter. I hope that I have given sufficient clarification regarding this issue.
(Part No. 24; Page No. 209)
I ask Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) to guide us and all Muslims to have a comprehensive understanding of Islam and keep us firm upon it. Verily, Allah is the Best One to be asked.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah's Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)



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