The issue of forced conversions

Date: 15 November posted by adminon

Does Islam advocate forced conversions?


The question often asked is whether Islam condones and teaches the forced and armed conversion of non-Muslims. This is the image sometimes projected by

the media and as any Muslim scholar will tell you, is seriously flawed.

The Qur’ān clearly states:

There is no compulsion in religion, the path of guidance stands out clear from error.[Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah : Verse 256]

There is no debate about the fact that pre-Islamic Arabia was a misguided society dominated by tribalism and a blind obedience to custom. In contrast, the clarity of Islam and its emphasis on reason and rational proofs excluded any need to impose it by force. This verse is a clear indication that the Qur’ān is strictly opposed to the use of compulsion in religious faith.

Similarly, Almighty Allah addressed the Prophet saying:

So, continuously admonish them, for you are but an admonisher, {Chapter 88 , Surah Al-Ghashia : Verse 21}

Allah addresses the believers, urging them to obey the injunctions of Islam:

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) and be on your guard (against opposition to Allah and the Messenger

[blessings and peace be upon him]). But if you turn away, then you should know that the responsibility of Our Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him)

is only to deliver (the commandments) clearly (and he has accomplished this duty.){Surah Al-Maidah , Chapter 5 : Verse 92}

As for forced conversion, no reliable evidence exists that Muslims ever intended or attempted to impose the specific rites and beliefs of Islam. The histories of Central Asia, Spain,India, the Balkans and all of Southeast Asia are concrete proof of this.


Islam’s History of Good-treatment of non-Muslims


It is thus well-established in history, that when persecution took place in non-Muslim lands against the People of the Book, they would seek refuge with the leader of

the Muslims  (caliph), and this refuge was not refused. A well-known example of this is the plight of the Jews in Andalusia after it was conquered by the pish and taken

from the hands of the Muslim Moors. With the imposition of the infamously cruel Inquisition in 1492, Jews and Muslims had no choice but to flee their homes, convert to Catholicism or die. The Jews sought the protection of Sultan Suleyman of the Ottoman Empire and caliph of the Muslims and asylum was granted. For this reason, one finds a sizable population of Jews in Istanbul, which  was seat of the Ottoman Empire at that time.

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