War Cannot Be Waged to Enforce Conversion to Islam

Those who employ war, force or coercion to impose Islam on someone are betraying the Qur’an. One of the most explicit statements in the Qur’an is that “there is no compulsion in the religion”:

There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned…. (Qur’an, 2:256)

This is an explicit commandment of the Qur’an. No Muslim can disobey that command and force anyone else to be devout. That is expressly forbidden in the Qur’an.

Our Prophet (pbuh) is only an adviser. He has a responsibility to preach and introduce communities to Islam, the last revealed religion. At that time, some of those who heard about Islam from the mouths of our Prophet (pbuh) and other Muslims came to believe, while others did not. As explicitly required by the Qur’an, neither our Prophet (pbuh) nor the other Muslims with him ever resorted to compulsion. Our Prophet (pbuh) is reminded in the Qur’an; “So remind them! You are only a reminder. You cannot compel them [to believe].(Qur’an, 88:21-22) Compulsion is therefore absolutely forbidden.

According to the Qur’an, all Muslims have a duty to tell people of the moral values of Islam, but nobody can use compulsion and say, “You must become a Muslim” or “You must perform the religious observances.” The purpose of the Qur’an is to bring love and peace to the world. Such pressure is therefore incompatible with the Qur’an.

Other verses in which compulsion is prohibited read:

Say: “It is the truth from your Lord; so let whoever wishes have faith and whoever wishes be irreligious“… (Qur’an, 18:29)

If your Lord had willed, all the people on the earth would have had faith. Do you think you can force people to be believers? (Qur’an, 10:99)

We know best what they say. You are not a dictator over them. So remind, with the Qur’an, whoever fears My threat. (Qur’an, 50:45)

Say: “Unbelievers! I do not worship what you worship and you do not worship what I worship. Nor will I worship what you worship nor will you worship what I worship. You have your religion and I have my religion.” (Qur’an, 109:1-6)

Since force and compulsion are prohibited in the Qur’an, there is no justification for war, aggression, enmity or anger. What things, apart from converting, would Muslims compel polytheistic communities to do? It is clear that it is unlawful for someone to be forced to convert. Therefore, according to the Islam of the Qur’an, imposing Islam can never be a pretext for war.

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