No true Muslim has ever believed that Islam should be spread by the sword. Islam has always been propagated through its inherent quali- ties. Those who, calling themselves Muslims, seek to spread Islam by means of the sword are not aware of its inherent qualities and their conduct resembles the conduct of wild beasts.
The Holy Qur’an clearly forbids the use of force for the spread of the faith and directs its propagation through its inherent qualities and the good example of the Muslims. Do not be misled by the notion that in the beginning the Muslims were commanded to take up the sword. That sword was not taken up for the spread of the faith, but in self-defence against the enemies of Islam and for the purpose of establishing peace and security. It was no part of the purpose of taking it up to have recourse to coercion in the matter of faith.
There is no compulsion in Islam. There are only three types of wars in Islam:
(1) Those undertaken in self-defence.
(2) Those undertaken as chastisement for aggression.
(3) Those undertaken for the establishment of freedom of conscience, that is to say for breaking up the strength of those who inflicted death upon such as accepted Islam.
As Islam does not permit the use of force or coercion for the purpose of its propagation, it is altogether vain and absurd to wait for a bloody
Mahdi or a bloody Messiah; for it is not possible that anyone should appear who should convert people to Islam by the sword contrary to the clear teaching of the Qur’an.
1. Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 15, p. 167 (Eng. Translation, The Essence of Islam, Vol. 2, p. 325).
2. Sitarah Qaisariyyah, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 15, pp. 120-121 (Eng. Translation, The Essence of Islam, Vol. 2, pp. 325 – 326).
3. Masih Hindustan Mein, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 15, p. 12 (Eng. Translation, The Essence of Islam, Vol. 2, p. 326).