Islam: Religion of Peace (Part 6: Freedom of belief)
November 20, 2010 2 Comments
‘For you your religion, and for me my religion.’
[Ch. 109 v.7]
The verses quoted above clearly indicate that Islam tells its followers to tolerate other religions around them. The Holy Qur’an teaches Muslims to respect other people’s beliefs. Even within Islam there is no constraint or force. Every man’s belief is his own and no Muslim has the right to denounce that. As the Qur’an says:
‘There shall be no compulsion in religion.’
[Ch. 2 v. 257]
This principle of no compulsion was reiterated after the victory of Badr [Ch 3. v.21] and again in ‘Al-Ma’idah’ (The Table Spread with Food), which is the last revealed chapter. By the time Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s authority was fully established, not only in Medina but also in Mecca, it was vital to emphasize that the Prophet’s only role was to convey the word of Allah.
‘Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and be on your guard, but if you turn away, then remember that the duty of our Messenger is only to convey the message clearly.’
[Ch. 5 v.93]
‘The Messenger’s duty is only to convey the message. And Allah knows what you reveal and what you hide.’
[Ch. 5 v.100]
These verses clearly emphasize the fact that religious belief is a personal matter. It is God alone, not the state or the religious authorities who knows what one reveals to God or what one hides.