Apostasy, Blasphemy and Heresy Freedom of Religions Justice

There is No Compulsion in Religion – Part 1

A Qur’anic refutation of the traditionalist belief of use of force and a fitting response to the Dutch MP, Geert Wilder’s, ‘Fitna’

Translated into English by Mrs Hamdah Sanori Farooqi

From an early age, people hear certain ideas mentioned and without reflecting over them or verifying them in any way, they begin to believe in them. These oft-repeated ideas become part and parcel of their faith. Some such notions which have seeped into popular belief and hardened into dogma by repetition are, in effect, totally contradictory to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an.

One of the ideas which have crept into popular belief is that it is permissible to use force against opponents of Islam if they refuse to accept Islam and remain obdurate in their refusal.

When you read the Holy Qur’an, a very different picture emerges.

In the following pages, we will present the crystal-clear teaching of the Holy Qur’an chapter by chapter.

The tolerance taught by Islam will be seen in crystal-clear light of directives such as:

There should be no compulsion in religion. (Ch.2:V.257)

And if thy Lord had enforced His will, surely, all who are on the earth would have believed together. Wilt thou, then, force men to become believers? (Ch.10:V.100)

and then the beautiful admonishment:

Repel evil with that which is best. (Ch.23:V.97)

Chapter Two (Surah Al-Baqarah)

Allah the Almighty says:

Many of the people of the book wish out of sheer envy from their own selves that, after you have believed, they could turn you again into disbelievers after the truth has become manifest to them. [This effort on their part is not based on any piety, on the contrary it is due to jealousy which they harbour in their hearts]. But forgive and turn away from them (let the matter pass by turning away from them), till Allah brings about His decree [or till Allah makes manifest the Divine Decree]. Surely Allah has the power to do all that He wills. (Ch.2:V.110)

This is the absolute declaration of the Holy Qur’an. The so-called scholars convey to the public that if any non-Muslim desires to turn from your faith, you must raise the sword and annihilate them, while the Holy Qur’an clearly instructs us to forgive, overlook, forbear and wait for the Divine Decree to manifest itself.

In the same Chapter, Allah the Almighty admonishes:

Say: Do you dispute with us concerning Allah, while He is our Lord and your Lord? And for us are our works, and for you your works; and to Him alone we are sincerely devoted. (Ch.2:V.140)

It is quite apparent here that the Holy Qur’an teaches us to say – we are working faithfully in accordance with the directives of Allah, as we understand them; you too should continue with your righteous deeds. This injunction thus seeks to prevent quarrel and dispute.

The popular and traditional belief amongst the Muslims is that opponents must not be permitted to carry on with any work. The cry is: raise the sword, use force and compulsion to change their creed and their deed!

Concerning fighting against the opponents of Islam, Allah the Almighty says:

And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors. (Ch.2:V.191)

You can see for yourself that the Holy Qur’an states that it is lawful only to fight those who fight against you; it is not lawful to initiate hostilities. Allah the Almighty does not condone any such action.

The commonly held view amongst the Muslim masses is that if the opponents do not respond positively to the invitation of faith, they must be caught, beaten, imprisoned and killed.

The Holy Qur’an states:

But if they desist, then surely Allah is most Forgiving, Merciful. (Ch.2:V.193)

According to the Holy Qur’an, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, but according to the traditionally held position, Allah is not forgiving until the sword has been swung and those who do not believe should be compelled to recite the Kalima.

According to the Holy Qur’an, a non-believer who is guilty of transgression and hostility is to be punished as befits the crime. Allah the Almighty states:

…So, whoso transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent to which he has transgressed against you… (Ch.2:V.195)

Alas! Our traditionalist would say, whether a non-believer is guilty of any injustice or not, whether he is guilty of any aggression or not, you should become the perpetrator of hostility, raise the sword, attack him with all your strength and finish him for good.

The idea of compulsion has infiltrated traditionally held belief to a very great degree. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes said that just as it is an act of kindness to force a sick person to take medication, similarly it is an act of mercy to force a person to enter the fold of Islam. Does the Holy Qur’an provide justification for such an idea? The Holy Qur’an states:

There should be no compulsion in religion… (Ch.2:V.257)

Those who use the analogy of forcibly administering medication do not consider that medicine works in the body by a physical mechanism of cause-and-effect and will produce the desired effect even if administered forcibly. Islam and faith on the other hand, belong to the realm of the heart and it is essential for a person’s heart and mind to be in accord. The heart and mind cannot be forcibly converted to any faith. Force is not required for the heart to accept faith. What is required for the acceptance of faith is the knowledge and realisation of the difference between guidance and misguidance. For this reason, in the same verse of the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty, draws attention to this point:

…Surely, right has become distinct from wrong… (Ch.2:V.257)

That is to say, where is the need for compulsion now that the distinction between right and wrong is manifest?

Chapter 3: (Surah Aal ‘Imran)

This Surah also clearly states that our responsibility is only the clear delivery of the message.

If those who receive the message choose to believe, they have acquired guidance and if not, we have fulfilled our responsibility.  Allah the Almighty says:

But if they dispute with thee, say, ‘I have submitted myself to Allah, and also those who follow me’. And say to those who have been given the Book and to the unlearned, ‘Have you submitted’? If they submit, [and accept Islam], then they will surely be guided; but if they turn back, then thy duty is only to convey the message. And Allah is Watchful of His servants. (Ch.3:V.21)

This verse clearly states that if the opponents of Islam disagree with us and turn away, we have no further obligation. Our responsibility is only to the extent of conveying the message. Alas! Most people do not deem this directive of the Holy Qur’an sufficient, and maintain that if there is disagreement, all power and strength should be used to force a conversion.

Verse 65  makes the subject absolutely clear, and invites the people of the Book towards peaceful co-existence. Allah the Almighty directs:

Say, ‘O people of the Book! come to a word equal between us and you [area where we agree], that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partner with Him, [Your revealed book also teaches you the unity of God, negates association of partners with God; our Holy Book also teaches us unity of God, rejects association of partners with God] and that some of us take not others for Lords besides Allah.’ But if they turn away, [from such a reasonable and just offer of peace, there is no need to compel them to faith] then say, “Bear witness that we have submitted to God.’ [i.e. we have submitted to God by making the offer of peace]. (Ch.3:V.65)

Allah the Almighty has used the word ‘Muslim’ in this verse, which according to the lexicons, has the connotation of peace and amnesty.

The traditionally held beliefs in this regard dictate that if the opponents do not listen to us, we must attack them, conquer their lands and enslave and imprison their men and women. The Divine word of Allah the Almighty clearly advises us that even if the opponents refuse to believe and turn away, we are only to call them to witness that we are Muslims and offer peace and amnesty.

Verses 178 and 179 state that Allah the Almighty has granted respite to those who renounce their faith and return to a state of disbelief! Contrary to the Divine direction, the commonly held views preach that whether or not God has granted respite, we must not give any respite to such non-believers and we must seize them from the clutches of disbelief with the sword, lest they threaten the world of Islam! As against this, Allah the Almighty says:

Surely, those who have purchased [or acquired] disbelief at the price of faith cannot harm Allah at all. (Ch.3:V.178)

That is to say, if the world of Islam faces any danger, it is from the weakness and vice of the Muslims themselves; the non-Muslims cannot damage Islam. Further commenting on those who turn away from faith, Allah the Almighty says in the same and next verse:

And they shall have a grievous punishment. And let not the disbelievers think that Our granting them respite is good for them; the result of Our granting them respite will only be that they will increase in sin; and they shall have a humiliating punishment. (Ch.3:Vs.178-179)

It is to be observed that Allah the Almighty declares in this verse: ‘We have granted respite to the disbelievers’, whereas the zealots would say that the disbelievers should be given an ultimatum of three days. If they do not accept faith after that, the zealots would demand that their heads be separated from their bodies because their conduct is a source of harm to the world of Islam, while Allah the Almighty says:

Surely, they cannot harm Allah [or His faith] in any way. (Ch.3:V.177)

From an early age, the Muslim masses of today have been hearing the ‘scholars’ preaching to them that if any non-Muslim criticises their faith, hurts their feelings or insults their revered figures, it is their fundamental duty and responsibility to kill them immediately! Let us turn to the Holy Qur’an for guidance. Allah the Almighty says:

You shall surely be tried in [through] your possessions and in your persons and you shall surely hear many hurtful things from those who were given the Book before you and from those who set up equals to God. But if you show fortitude and act righteously, that indeed [your conduct is worthy, as it] is a matter of strong determination. (Ch.3:V.187)

The Holy Qur’an has therefore informed us that we will have to face up to the taunts and hurtful criticisms of opponents from among the disbelievers and the people of the Book, and further admonished us to remain patient and steadfast in the face of such attacks and to tread the paths of righteousness. Such high levels of conduct, the Qur’an tells us, will require great resolve and determination.

Alas, far from adopting this beautiful teaching, many among the Muslim masses have adopted the position that in the face of any slight or criticism it is incumbent on the believer to respond with the Jihad of the Sword.

Chapter 4: (Surah Al-Nisa)

In this Chapter, Allah the Almighty mentions those who falsely claim to be Muslims and says:

These are they, the secrets of whose hearts Allah knows well. So turn away from them [display forbearance] and admonish them and speak to them an effective word concerning their own selves [i.e. their state]. (Ch.4:V.64)

In this verse Allah the Almighty has not directed you to murder them! On the contrary, the injunction is to display forbearance and patience, and to wisely admonish them in suitable terms.

While granting permission to fight, the clarification is given that this war is against those who have barred weak Muslim men, women and children from living peacefully and commit atrocities against them; the permission to fight is not granted on the basis that these opponents have refused to accept the peaceful and tranquil message of Islam. Allah the Almighty says:

And what is the matter with you that you fight not in the cause of Allah and of the weak – men, women and children – who say,  ‘Our Lord, take us out of this town, whose people are oppressors, and make for us some friend from Thyself and make for us from Thyself some helper?’ (Ch.4:V.76)

This verse demonstrates quite clearly that the fight of the Muslims against opponents is not to compel the opponents to enter their faith; on the contrary, this directive is a direct result of the helpless cries of the weak women and children suffering untold atrocities at the hands of the criminals and oppressors.

Regarding those who initially convert to Islam and make a pledge of obedience and then revert to disbelief in private and hatch plots against Islam, the Holy Qur’an states:

And they say; ‘Obedience is our guiding principle;’ but when they go forth from thy presence, a section of them spends the night scheming against what thou sayest. Allah records whatever they scheme by night. So turn away from them, and put thy trust in Allah. And sufficient is Allah as a Disposer of affairs. (Ch.4:V.82)

The masses believe that a person who converts to Islam and makes a pledge of obedience, and then goes elsewhere and preaches against Islam is an apostate and the punishment for such a person is death. Allah the Almighty admonishes us to show for-bearance and to turn away from such a person and reassures us that there is no cause for great alarm or fear over such an individual’s misdeeds. The believers are advised to place their trust in God as He is Beneficent, Provider of all provisions and has the power to settle everything.

It has been pointed out in Verse 85 of Surah Al-Nisa that where the Muslims have been urged to fight, the aim is to weaken the force of attack and also to apprehend the enemy. The aim is not the spread and publication of faith. Allah the Almighty says:

Fight, therefore, in the cause of Allah – thou art not made responsible except for thyself – and urge on the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the might of those that disbelieve… (Ch.4:V.85)

It is quite clear that for the believers to take up arms, the aim is to stop the aggression of the enemy and nothing else. Hence, it is stated categorically in Verse 91 that you have no permission to attack those who do not attack you. Allah the Almighty says:

…So, if they keep aloof from you and fight you not, and make you an offer of peace, then remember that Allah has allowed you no way of aggression against them. (Ch.4:V91)

In Verse 92, the clarification has been made:

Therefore, if they do not keep aloof from you nor offer you peace nor restrain their hands, then seize them [you have the full right] and kill them, wherever you find them.

‘Punishment by death’ is generally considered the appropriate punishment for an apostate. The Holy Qur’an has made no mention of it. The Holy Qur’an mentions this treachery and warns of Divine punishment but nowhere does it enjoin the killing of an apostate. Allah the Almighty says:

Those who believe, then disbelieve, then again believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them nor will He guide them to the way. Give to the hypocrites the tidings that for them is a grievous punishment. (Ch.4:Vs.138-139)

These verses speak of those who are converted to faith and then backslide and turn away, after a while they return to faith again, only to again revert to their old beliefs and to continue further and further in their rejection of faith. The result of this conduct has been declared to be deprivation of forgiveness and guidance from God; furthermore Muslims are enjoined to inform such people of the wrath and punishment of Allah which shall surely befall them.

According to the traditionally held beliefs, there would be no question of repeated conversion and back-sliding – the first time a person gives up faith, he is to be put to death! After that, what is the meaning of relaying to him the tidings of punishment from Allah the Almighty?

While living in an Islamic society, if the opponents of Islam ridicule Allah and His signs and resort to wickedness, it is a commonly held belief that the tongues of such people should be cut out. Does the Holy Qur’an provide any justification for such a course of action?

Allah the Almighty says:

And He has already revealed to you, in the Book, that when you hear the signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case [sitting with them] you would be like them. Surely, Allah will assemble the hypocrites and the disbelievers in Hell, all together. (Ch.4:V.141)

It is said in this verse of the Holy Qur’an that if in a gathering, the signs of Allah are being rejected and ridiculed, it is impermissible to remain in such company until the topic of conversation changes. That is to say, if they begin talking of something else, it is permissible then to sit in their company.

What about the question of sitting with such people for the traditionalists? At the first hint of rejection and mockery of the signs of Allah, they hold that our reaction should be to pounce on the culprits immediately with sword in hand to behead them. No waiting for the topic of conversation to change! Such an opinion entirely disregards the injunctions of Allah the Almighty.

Some might claim that this verse refers to those who, not living in an Islamic society or under Islamic government, are outside the jurisdiction of Islamic law. The next verse shows clearly that the people described as mocking and rejecting faith are indeed those living within the purview of Islamic government. Allah the Almighty says:

[These people who mock are] Those who wait for news concerning you [of destruction]. If you have a victory from Allah, they say, ‘Were we not with you?…’ (Ch.4:V.142)

It follows therefore, that those mentioned in the first verse are those living within the jurisdiction of Islamic government.

Some of the opponents of Islam, of the people of Madinah who lived under an Islamic government used to demand certain things by way of mocking the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), as Allah the Almighty says:

The People of the Book ask thee to cause a Book to descend on them from heaven. They asked Moses a greater thing than this: they said, ‘Show us Allah openly.’ Then a destructive punishment overtook them because of their transgression. Then they took the calf for worship after clear Signs had come to them, but We pardoned even that. (Ch.4:V.154)

Allah the Almighty says that at the time of Moses(as), punishment was given by Allah the Almighty and forgiveness was given by Allah the Almighty – no authority was given to Moses(as) to punish the culprits. It is quite clear that if Allah the Almighty had kept the authority in His own hand when the mockery and ridicule was of a greater nature. The same holds true now and Allah the Almighty alone has the authority to take punitive action. The nature of the crime is not such that the punishment or reward for it may be meted out by human beings. In such matters, punishment and reward are in the hands of God.

Chapter 5: (Surah Al-Maidah)

Leaving the masses aside, even Muslim ‘scholars’ express the view that the use of force may be considered lawful, like force-feeding medicine to a sick person. According to these so called scholars, forcibly converting non-Muslims to Islam is not against the directive of Allah the Almighty which states: ‘There should be no compulsion in religion.’

In such a case, it is perplexing that the Holy Qur’an gives permission for social relations with the people of the Book, who are non-Muslims. Allah the Almighty says:

This day all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of the People of the Book is lawful for you; your food is lawful for them. And lawful for you are chaste believing women and chaste women from among those who were given the Book before you. (Ch.5:V.6)

Now it is to be noted that the Holy Qur’an declares the food of the People of the Book lawful for the believers and declares that the chaste women of the people of the Book are also lawful for you to marry. Alas, some of the Muslim ‘scholars’ do not consider it lawful for the People of the Book to be permitted even to live without accepting Islam! Their animosity against the People of the Book directs them to ignore all requirements of fairness and justice. The Holy Qur’an on the contrary, instructs:

O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. (Ch.5:V.9)

You can well observe that the Holy Qur’an admonishes fairness and justice for even those who hold animosity against Islam. The traditionalists would preach a sentence of death for the ‘crime’ of difference of faith.

Who is not aware of the grudge held by the people of the Book against Islam? After recording all their malicious activities, what does the Holy Qur’an direct? Allah the Almighty says:

So, because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them, and have hardened their hearts. They pervert the words from their proper places and have forgotten a good part of that with which they were exhorted. And thou wilt not cease to discover treachery on their part, except in a few of them. (Ch.5:V.14)

After mentioning all the above activities of the Jews, Allah the Almighty says:

So pardon them, and show forbearance. Allah loves those who do good. (Ch.5:V.14)

This is the Qur’anic directive regarding those who sow seeds of discord and the People of the Book! But the ‘scholars’ continue to preach to the masses that whether the People of the Book act treacherously or not, it is our duty to employ the sword.

The teachings of the Holy Qur’an are based on fairness and justice and for the establishment of justice the Holy Qur’an emphasises most clearly that those who cause harm to life, property and honour should be punished severely and apprehended with full force. This is exactly in accordance with the principles of justice and fairness and is essential for the safe-guarding of innocent people’s life, property and honour. A clarification is thus also provided in Verse 35 where Allah the Almighty says:

Except those who repent before you have them in your power; [about them the guiding principle is to] know that Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful. [Therefore you should also accord forgiveness and mercy to them]. (Ch.5:V.35)

Alas, since the thirteenth century, the ideology adopted by the zealots has been not to resort to forgiveness and mercy!

In Chapter 5, the presence of the People of the Book is accepted, despite their misdoings and tyranny.  Allah the Almighty says:

They are habitual listeners to falsehood, devourers of things forbidden. If, then, they come to thee for judgement, judge between them or turn aside from them. And if thou turn aside from them, they cannot harm thee at all. And if thou judge, judge between them with justice. Surely, Allah loves those who are just. (Ch.5:43)

In this verse, within the sphere of Islamic jurisdiction, the presence of the people of the Book is accepted. Even those people of the Book who are ridden with vice – who love falsehood and the forbidden, who devour unlawful things, usurp property or possessions not rightfully theirs – the presence of even such people is not only tolerated but accepted! Moreover, such people can even have their disputes resolved according to Islamic law if they so wish, otherwise they can resolve their disputes through their own system of jurisprudence, as is mentioned in the next verse:

And how will they make you their judge, when they have with them the Torah wherein is Allah’s judgement… (Ch.5:V.44)

Does this ideology of the Holy Qur’an find any parallel in the line of thought adopted by the Muslims in the last two centuries?

Amongst the Muslims’ commonly held views, it is taken as dogma that the punishment for apostasy is death. In Verse 45 of Chapter 5, apostasy is men-tioned, but without mention of punishment. Mention is made of the innumerable blessings which the Muslims will receive, in the face of one person renouncing his faith. Allah the Almighty declares:

O ye who believe! Whoso among you turns back from his religion, then let it be known that in his stead Allah will soon bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him. (Ch.5:V.55)

Neither at this juncture, nor in any other verse in which the Holy Qur’an speaks of apostasy, has it been suggested that the punishment for apostasy is death. As a matter of fact, it can be clearly inferred from verse 62 of this Surah that the belief in the death sentence for apostasy is utterly mistaken. Allah the Almighty says:

And when they come to you they say ‘we believe,’ while they enter with disbelief and go out therewith; and Allah knows best what they conceal. (Ch.5:V.62)

In this verse Allah the Almighty has made clear to the Holy Prophet(saw) that when these people come to see you, they say ‘we believe,’ they make a declaration of faith, however, when they leave your presence, they are in the same state of disbelief with which they entered.

If the punishment for apostasy had been death, then after receiving clear indication through Divine revelation that these people who make declarations of faith, are in fact disbelievers like before, then such people would be manifestly deserving of the death sentence! Is there a single example of such an incident taking place?

No one should think that the Holy Prophet(saw) had no knowledge of their apostasy. The next verse makes it very clear that the Holy Prophet(saw) was fully aware of the sinfulness and evil of many of them. Allah the Almighty says:

And thou seest many of them hastening towards sin and transgression and the eating of things forbidden… (Ch.5:V.63)

These people who in the presence of the Holy Prophet(saw) declared ‘We believe,’ left their meeting in a state of disbelief, manifestly visible to the Holy Prophet(saw) in their continued indulgence in vices and excesses. In spite of this, they were not put to death.

It is quite clear that according to Holy Qur’an, the punishment for apostasy is not death. Nor did the Holy Prophet(saw) punish apostates with death, because in the same Surah, a clear injunction to the contrary is present:

On the Messenger lies only the conveying of the Message [to punish or not to punish is up to Allah the Almighty, as is said here]. And Allah knows what you reveal and what you hide (Ch.5:V.100)

Chapter 6 Surah Al-An’am

In spite of living within Islamic society and under the jurisdiction of Islamic government, a group of people continuously indulge in vain arguments against the signs of Allah the Almighty. Regarding such people, Allah the Almighty says:

And when you see those who trifle with Our Signs then turn you away from them [it is not directed here that you use force against them, and the verse continues]: until they engage in a discourse other than that [then, in that case, you are allowed to resume their company]. And if Satan should cause thee to forget, then sit not, after recollection, with the unjust people. (Ch.6:V.69)

In this verse there is no instruction to put to death those who ridicule the signs of Allah; on the contrary, the directive is to turn away from them and not to sit in their company.

In Verse 71, emphasis has been placed on the injunction not to participate in the activities of those who are Muslims in name alone, and who have reduced their religion to a sport and pastime. We are directed to continue to admonish them through the Holy Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:

And let alone those who take their religion for a sport and a pastime, [here it is to be noted that the directive is to leave these miscreants alone, not that you kill them!] and whom worldly life has beguiled. And admonish people thereby [i.e. by means of the Holy Qur’an] lest a soul be consigned to perdition for what it has wrought. (Ch.6:V.71)

The idea of forcibly converting the non-believers with the sword, is a concept given common currency. Allah the Almighty says:

And if Allah had enforced His will, they would not have set up gods with Him. And We have not made thee a keeper over them nor art thou over them a guardian’. (Ch.6:V.108)

Thus these scholars seek to place on every Muslim a responsibility which Allah the Almighty, in His Wisdom, did not place even upon the Holy Prophet(saw)!

The exemplary Islamic teachings regarding forbearance and gracious tolerance vouchsafed to the Muslims in verse 109 of this Chapter have been more or less forgotten by society. Allah the Almighty says:

And revile not those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they, out of spite, revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus unto every people have we caused their doing to seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return; and He will inform them of what they used to do. (Ch.6:V.109)

In this verse, there is a directive not to abuse the false gods which others may worship. Moreover, it is stated that as a reaction to such abuse, people might become guilty of abusing Allah the Almighty. In spite of this, the traditionally held belief of Muslims seems to be that they themselves can revile their opponents in any terms but if any opponent should respond in kind, he should be set upon with knives and daggers.

If the opponents reject the Holy Prophet(saw) as false, the scholars preach that the tongue which made such an exclamation should be cut out, while in Verse 14, the Divine directive to the Holy Prophet(saw) states:

But if they accuse thee of falsehood, say, ‘Your Lord is possessed of all-embracing mercy, [that is to say that in spite of your rejection and disbelief your Lord is Merciful, but you should also remember that] His wrath shall not be turned back from the guilty people’. (Ch.6:V.148)

The opponents of Islam used to demand all manner of miracles and signs, with the intention of ridiculing Islam. What should be the reaction of the Muslims when faced with this kind of attitude and slander?

The answer to this is found in Verse 159 where Allah the Almighty says:

Do they expect aught but that angels should come to them or that thy Lord should come or that some of the Signs of thy Lord should come? The day when some of the Signs of thy Lord shall come, to believe in them shall not profit a soul which believed not before, nor earned any good by its faith… (Ch.6:V.159)

Now in the face of such opponents and demands that angels should descend, that God should descend, that Divine signs should appear and so on, what should be the reaction of the Muslims? The raising of the sword for violence, bloodshed and murder? No! Allah the Almighty admonishes thus:

…Say, ‘Wait ye, We too are waiting’ [to see what Allah the Almighty’s judgement will be]. (Ch.6:V.159)

The traditionally held views have placed the responsibility of doing away with sectarian and factionary elements in society upon the warriors of Islam. Thus these so-called warriors of Islam manufacture and appropriate for themselves, a responsibility which is specifically not given to the Holy Prophet(saw) according to Verse 160 of Surah Al-An’am. Allah the Almighty says:

As for those who split up their religion and became divided into sects, thou hast no concern at all with them. Surely their case will come before Allah. [It evidently states that Allah the Almighty has reserved that judgment for Himself, as He continues to say] Then will He inform them of what they used to do. (Ch.6:V.160)

(To be continued in the next edition)