Al-Baqara 256

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Verse (ayah) 256 of Al-Baqara is a well-known verse in the Islamic scripture, the Quran.[1] The verse includes the phrase that "there is no compulsion in religion".[2] Immediately after making this statement, the Quran offers a rationale for it: Since the revelation has, through explanation, clarification, and repetition, clearly distinguished the path of guidance from the path of misguidance, it is now up to people to choose the one or the other path.[1] The verse comes right after the Throne Verse,[3] and most Muslim scholars agree that it was revealed during Prophet Muhammad's time in Medina.


The verse has been translated as follows,

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

— trans. Yusuf Ali, Quran 2:256

There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

— trans. Shakir, Quran 2:256

No compulsion is there in religion. Rectitude has become clear from error. So whosoever disbelieves in idols and believes in God, has laid hold of the most firm handle, unbreaking; God is All-hearing, All-knowing.

— trans. Arberry, Quran 2:256

Medinan surah[edit]

The overwhelming majority of Muslim scholars consider this verse to be a Medinan one,[4][5][6] when Muslims lived in their period of political ascendance,[7][8] and to be non abrogated,[9] including Ibn Taymiyya,[10] Ibn Qayyim,[11] Al-Tabari,[12] Abi ʿUbayd,[13] Al-Jaṣṣās,[14] Makki bin Abi Talib,[15] Al-Nahhas,[16] Ibn Jizziy,[17] Al-Suyuti,[18] Ibn Ashur,[19] Mustafa Zayd,[20] and many others.[21] According to all the theories of language elaborated by Muslim legal scholars, the Quranic proclamation that 'There is no compulsion in religion. The right path has been distinguished from error' is as absolute and universal a statement as one finds,[22] and so under no condition should an individual be forced to accept a religion or belief against his or her will according to the Quran.[23][24][25][26]


According to some commentators, the verse was only directed towards a small group of residents of Medina, i.e. children from one of the Muslim families who had been educated in the town's Jewish schools decided to depart with the Jewish tribe being expelled from Medina. His distraught parents were told by God and the Prophet in this verse that they could not compel their son to stay.[27][28]

When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."

It is reported that Mujahid said that "This verse was revealed about a man of the Helpers who had a black boy called Subayh whom he used to coerce to become Muslim".[29]

In all cases, following the famous maxim "العبرة بعموم اللفظ لا بخصوص السبب" (Consideration is granted to the Generality of the Language, not to the Specificity of the Reason for Revelation)[30][31][32] it is concluded that the verse is general in meaning,[27][28] and thus the verse has been understood over the centuries as a general command that people cannot be forced to convert to Islam.[27][33]


Relevance to apostasy[edit]

According to Khaled Abou El Fadl, and other "moderate" scholars such as S. A. Rahman[34], the phrase "there is no compulsion in religion" from verse Q.2:256[35] enunciates a general, overriding principle that cannot be contradicted by isolated traditions attributed to the Prophet and that the verse indicates that Quran never intended a punishment for apostasy in this life.[34][36]

Other Islamic scholars disagree.[37] First, the "no compulsion" phrase should not be used out of context and all exegesis of Quran that is "linear-atomistic" analysis of one small phrase in one verse is flawed.[38] The complete verse and nearby verses[39] should be read to understand the "complex hermeneutic totality" of context for anything in Quran.[citation needed]

Historian Michael Cook writes that the preferred interpretation of the famous commentator Al-Tabari, was that the verse "referred only to those eligible to pay tribute". Other commentators held the verse to be directed only towards a small group of residents of Medina, namely children born of Arabs who were being brought up by Jews who were being expelled from Medina; these children, unlike their Jewish foster parents, should be given a choice whether to stay or leave the city.[40] It is reported that Mujahid said that "This verse was revealed about a man of the Helpers [Ansar of Medina] who had a black boy called Subayh whom he used to coerce to become Muslim".[29]

In addition scholars argue, no single phrase or verse in Quran is less or more relevant in Islam than other phrases or verses in Quran; and other verses in Quran such as verse 66[41] of At-Tawba state "Make ye no excuses: ye have rejected Faith after ye had accepted it. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you, for that they are in sin.",[41] As well as "Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): ...",[42] "And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers?",[43] "Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them;",[44] "He said: "O my people! See ye if (it be that) I have a Clear Sign from my Lord, and that He hath sent Mercy unto me from His own presence, but that the Mercy hath been obscured from your sight? shall we compel you to accept it when ye are averse to it?".[45] According to some western scholars, in the history of Islamic exegesis scholarship, that verse is considered as an early revelation, and abrogated by verses that were revealed to Muhammad at a later stage in his life.[46] However, as stated by the famous British orientalist Sir Thomas Walker Arnold the verse in question is a Medinan verse, when Muslims lived in their period of political ascendance.[5] Moreover, Muslim scholars have established the abrogated verses and Q.2:256 isn't among them.[18][21] Finally, to understand the Quran, the sayings and actions of Muhammad as recorded in Hadith collections are considered by Islamic scholars. Taken together, the vast majority of Islamic scholars of every fiqh have traditionally held with the position that there should be punishment for apostasy in Islam.[47][not specific enough to verify]

Ibn Kathir's interpretation[edit]

The Quran commentator (Muffasir) Ibn Kathir, a Sunni, suggests that the verse implies that Muslims should not force anyone to convert to Islam since the truth of Islam is so self-evident that no one is in need of being coerced into it,[28]

There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path. لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ (There is no compulsion in religion), meaning, "Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever God directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty. Whoever God blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam. It was reported that; the Ansar were the reason behind revealing this Ayah, although its indication is general in meaning. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas said (that before Islam), "When (an Ansar) woman would not bear children who would live, she would vow that if she gives birth to a child who remains alive, she would raise him as a Jew. When Banu An-Nadir (the Jewish tribe) were evacuated (from Al-Madinah), some of the children of the Ansar were being raised among them, and the Ansar said, `We will not abandon our children.' God revealed, لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ (There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path). Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith. As for the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which Anas said that the Messenger of God said to a man, أَسْلِم "Embrace Islam. The man said, "I dislike it. The Prophet said, وَإِنْ كُنْتَ كَارِهًا "Even if you dislike it. First, this is an authentic Hadith, with only three narrators between Imam Ahmad and the Prophet. However, it is not relevant to the subject under discussion, for the Prophet did not force that man to become Muslim. The Prophet merely invited this man to become Muslim, and he replied that he does not find himself eager to become Muslim. The Prophet said to the man that even though he dislikes embracing Islam, he should still embrace it, `for God will grant you sincerity and true intent.'[48]

Sayyid Qutb's interpretation[edit]

Sayyid Qutb interprets Q.2:256 as follows:

Islam looks at religious faith as a matter of conviction, once the basic facts are provided and explained. Faith is never a matter of coercion or compulsion. To achieve this conviction, Islam addresses the human being in totality. It addresses the human mind and intellect, human common sense, emotions and feelings, the innermost human nature, and the whole human conscious being. It resorts to no coercive means or physical miracles that confound the mind or that are beyond human ability to rationalize and comprehend. By the same token, Islam never seeks converts through compulsion or threats or pressure of any kind. It deploys facts, reasoning, explanation and persuasion.

Islam came to declare and establish the great universal principle that: "There shall be no compulsion in religion. The right way is henceforth distinct from error." (Verse 256) This reflects the honour God has reserved for man and the high regard in which man’s will, thought and emotions are held, and the freedom he is granted to choose his beliefs, and the responsible position he is afforded to be judge of his own actions. Here lies the essence of human emancipation which 20th-century authoritarian and oppressive ideologies and regimes have denied mankind. Modern man has been deprived of the right to choose and live other than according to what is dictated by the state, using the full force of its colossal machinery, laws and powers. People are today given the choice only to adhere to the secular state system, which does not allow for a belief in God as the Creator and Master of the world, or to face annihilation.

Freedom of belief is the most basic right that identifies man as a human being. To deny anyone this right is to deny him or her humanity. Freedom of belief also implies the freedom to express and propagate one’s belief without fear of threat or persecution; otherwise, that freedom is hollow and meaningless.[49]

Kashani's interpretation[edit]

Kashani, a Shi'i,[50] interprets Q.2:256 as follows

{ لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِي ٱلدِّينِ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ ٱلرُّشْدُ مِنَ ٱلْغَيِّ فَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِٱلطَّاغُوتِ وَيْؤْمِن بِٱللَّهِ فَقَدِ ٱسْتَمْسَكَ بِٱلْعُرْوَةِ ٱلْوُثْقَىٰ لاَ ٱنفِصَامَ لَهَا وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ }

There is no compulsion in religion, because in reality religion is the guidance that is acquired from the light of the heart that is a concomitant of the human primordial nature and that is required for the faith of certainty, as God, exalted be He, says: so set your purpose for religion as a ḥanīf, a nature given by God, upon which He originated mankind. There is no changing God's creation. That is the upright religion [Q. 30:30], and Islam, which is the exoteric aspect of religion, is built upon this [guidance] and is something in which compulsion can have no place. The proof that the esoteric and true aspect of religion is faith, just as its exoteric aspect and [outer] form is Islam, comes in what follows: Rectitude has become clear, that is, it is distinguished, from error, by means of clear proofs, for the one who possesses insight (baṣīra) and reason (ʿaql), as they say, 'The morning is bright for he who has eyes'; so whoever disbelieves in the false deity, that is, [in] what is other than God and denies its existence and its effect, and believes in God, a belief of witnessing and in truth, has laid hold of the most firm handle [that cannot be split], that is, he has held onto the Essential Unity whose ties and modes of operation are in of Itself, such that there is nothing firmer than It, since every thing that holds onto It is firmly attached, nay, every existence is existent through It and non-existent in itself. Thus if one were to consider such [a thing's] existence, then it is split (infiṣām) in itself because a contingent thing's attachment and existence is only through the Necessary [Existent]. When consideration [of this Existent] is severed from that [contingent] thing then that contingent's existence is terminated and is no longer anything in itself. This [Necessary Existent] cannot be split from the existence of His very essence since He does not entail divisibility (tajazzuÌ) or duality (ithnayniyya). There is a subtle detail in this [concept of] 'splitting' (infiṣām), which is that a splitting (infiṣām) is a breaking (inkisār) but without separation (infiṣāl). Since no contingent can be separated from His Essence, exalted be He, or remove itself from It - given that it would either be an act of His or an attribute of His - there can be absolutely no separation. Nay, if reason would consider such [a contingent] in isolation, it would appear split, that is lacking [independent] existence, its existence attached to His existence, exalted be He. And God is Hearing, hears the speech of those who have religion, Knowing, of their intentions and their faith.[51]

Pope Benedict XVI's interpretation[edit]

Pope Benedict XVI in his 12 September 2006 lecture at Regensberg University argued that the verse addressed the nascent Muslim community, reminding them that they could not be compelled to abandon Islam. Muslims and many non-Muslim scholars strenuously refuted the Pope's assertions which were historically incorrect: the verse had been revealed in Medina in connection with some Muslims who wanted to force their children to convert from Judaism or Christianity to Islam, as one could read in al-Tabari's tafsir and other early commentators; it did not date from the period when the Muslims were weak and powerless, but rather from their period of political ascendance, and it taught them that "they could not force another's heart to believe", and it wasn't abrogated.[4][8][9][52] In a 2009 article, Patricia Crone refuted the claim that the Pope had been mistaken, by expounding the six different classical interpretations of the verse.[53]

Abrogation debate and other views[edit]

The phrase is often quoted in modern times, particularly by those who wish to imply Islam expresses a tolerant view of various religions, a view that the modern world prefers.[52] The second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, namely 'Umar bin al-Khattab, is reported to have interpreted and implemented Q.2:256 in a similar manner. He offered to his mamluk (or mawla) to become his assistant in the management of Muslim affairs if he agreed to embrace Islam. When he refused, Umar left him alone, invoking the verse Q.2:256.[13][54][55][56] Similar, in other reports, was Umar’s reaction when an old Christian woman refused to convert to Islam at his behest.[16][55][57][58] The famous classical jurist, Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi writes, "It is not permissible to compel a non-believer into accepting Islam. Such a person would not even be considered a Muslim until it is established that they accepted the faith by their own free choice." He states, "The reason for the prohibition of any coercion or duress is the Qur’anic verse, ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’"[59] Many Quranic commentators and Muslim scholars reason that the truth of Islam is so self-evident that no one is in need of being coerced into it; and embracing Islam because of coercion would not benefit the convert in any case.[17][28][54][60][61] The verse has been understood over the centuries as a general command that people cannot be forced to convert to Islam.[23][27][33][62]

Patricia Crone notes that Islam did not grow up within a state.[52] According to a traditional Islamic interpretation, early Muslim armies gave all principalities they were trying to conquer the choice of accepting Islam, becoming a dhimmi in the Islamic state, or being killed, although Robert G. Hoyland points out that this tradition is not supported by the sources.[63] According to one view this was justified by the Quranic verses Q.9:5, Q.9:29:[citation needed]

When the [four] forbidden months are over, wherever you encounter the idolaters kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post; but if they turn [to God], maintain the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms, let them go on their way, for God is most forgiving and merciful.

— Quran, 9:5

Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly] believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not behave according to the rule of justice, until they pay the tax and submit to it.

— Quran, 9:29

Some state that these verses teach compulsion, and contradict the "there is no compulsion" interpretation in verse Q.2:256[64][65] However, traditionally, these verses were understood differently: Quranic exegetes al-Baydawi and al-Alusi conclude that Q.9:5 refers to those pagan Arabs who violated their peace treaties by waging war against the Muslims,[66][67] while Ahmad Al-Maraghī explains that Q.9:29 means: "fight those mentioned when the conditions which necessitate fighting are present, namely, aggression against you or your country, oppression and persecution against you on account of your faith, or threatening your safety and security, as was committed against you by the Byzantines, which was what lead to Tabuk.",[68] and therefore these verses don't teach compulsion.[69] While Muslims are obliged to spread the message, non-Muslims are not obliged to accept.[23][70][71][72] In general, war in Islam is not to coerce people into accepting faith, but rather to remove disorder, conflicts or oppression in the world,[73] as it hopes to establish justice, equity, peace and security.[58]

Some state that Q.2:256 was abrogated.[52][74] Mustafa Zayd states, "[t]he allegation of abrogation here is narrated on the authority of Ibn Zayd who is extremely weak and is not used to support argumentation; from As-Suddi, and we have already noted Ibn Al-Jawzi's judgement regarding him;", he then adds that another report contains a weakness in its chain of transmission (isnad), as "Aḍ-Ḍahāk never met Ibn Abbas and never heard from him".[75] This opinion has been described by many as being incorrect since, as stated, by the famous British orientalist Sir Thomas Walker Arnold the verse in question is a Medinan verse, when Muslims lived in their period of political ascendance.[5] Furthermore, Muslim scholars have established the abrogated verses and this verse is not among them,[21] including for example Ibn Taymiyya,[10] Ibn Qayyim,[11] Al-Tabari,[12] Abi 'Ubayd,[13] Al-Jaṣṣās,[14] Makki bin Abi Talib,[15] Al-Nahhas,[16] Ibn Jizziy,[17] Ibn Ashur,[19] Al-Suyuti,[18] Mustafa Zayd,[20] and many others.[21] According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the verse Q.2:256 can't be abrogated since it is justified by a reason - namely 'The right path has been distinguished from error' - that doesn't accept abrogation.[28] Ibn Taymiyya states that the majority of the Salaf considered that verse to be neither specific nor abrogated.[10]

Some of the theologians of the Mu'tazilite school of Islam stated that the phrase, "there is no compulsion in religion" is not a moral precept nor a commandment, but just a simple fact. They further argued that the revealed verse from God to Muhammad should be understood as "there is no divine compulsion", but that doesn't mean "there is no human compulsion".[52] In contrast, the famous 12th century Sunni Muslim theologian and philosopher Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi observes in his popular commentary of the Quran, Tafsir al-Kabir, that the interpretation which is more conform with Mu'tazilite fundamentals (usul) is, that Q.2:256 means "... God did not rest the matter of faith on compulsion and coercion, but rather based it on free will and the ability to choose."[65] He then argues, "This is what is intended here when God made clear the proofs of divine oneness [tawhid]. He said that there is no longer any excuse for a rejecter of faith to persist in his rejection. That he should be forced to accept faith is not lawful in this world, which is a world of trial. For in coercion and compulsion in the matter of faith is the annulment of the meaning of trial and test. This may be supported by God's saying, 'Rectitude has become distinguished from manifest deceit,' meaning proofs have become manifest and elucidations clearly proclaimed." He narrates this view to al-Qaffal and Abu Muslim.[76][77] This interpretation is echoed by other commentators who reason that if people were coerced into true belief, their positive response to it would become devoid of value, the world would cease to be an "abode of trial" (dar al-ibtila').[78][79]

Related verses[edit]

A number of verses alongside Q2:256 have been noted that collectively deal with freedom of choice and the prohibition of compulsion in faith matters. According to Muslim, as well as western scholars, the notion of compulsion regarding ones religion is strictly prohibited in Islam.[80]

And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers?

— Quran 10:99

He said: "O my people! See ye if (it be that) I have a Clear Sign from my Lord, and that He hath sent Mercy unto me from His own presence, but that the Mercy hath been obscured from your sight? shall we compel you to accept it when ye are averse to it?

— Quran 11:28

Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!

— Quran 18:29

These verses in the context of Q2:256 according to all Islamic school of laws prohibit any compulsion in matters of faith.[22][81][28][33][36][82][83] Michael Cook accepts the overall idea but notes the presence of some dissent in the case of polytheists.[84]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mustansir Mir (2008), Understanding the Islamic Scripture, p. 54. Routledge. ISBN 978-0321355737.
  2. ^ Quran 2:256.
  3. ^ Jacques Berque (1995), Le Coran : Essai de traduction, p.63, note v.256, éditions Albin Michel, Paris.
  4. ^ a b John Esposito (2011), What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, p. 91. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-979413-3.
  5. ^ a b c Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (1913), Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, p. 6. Constable.
  6. ^ Mapel, D.R. and Nardin, T., eds. (1999), International Society: Diverse Ethical Perspectives, p. 233. Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691049724.
  7. ^ Taha Jabir Alalwani (2003), La 'ikraha fi al-din: 'ichkaliyat al-riddah wa al-murtaddin min sadr al-Islam hatta al-yawm, pp.92-93. ISBN 9770909963.
  8. ^ a b "this verse is acknowledged to belong to the period of Quranic revelation corresponding to the political and military ascendance of the young Muslim community. ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was not a command to Muslims to remain steadfast in the face of the desire of their oppressors to force them to renounce their faith, but was a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe. There is no compulsion in religion addresses those in a position of strength, not weakness. The earliest commentaries on the Quran (such as that of Al-Tabari) make it clear that some Muslims of Medina wanted to force their children to convert from Judaism or Christianity to Islam, and this verse was precisely an answer to them not to try to force their children to convert to Islam." Open Letter to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI (PDF) Archived 2009-02-12 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b Richard Curtis (2010), Reasonable Perspectives on Religion, p. 204. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0739141892. Quote: "While the pope, following many anti-Islam propagandists, seemingly argues that the oft-cited Quranic dictum 'no compulsion in religion' was abrogated by subsequent revelations, this is not the mainstream Muslim interpretation. Indeed, the pope made a major scholarly blunder when he claimed that the 'no compulsion in religion' verse was revealed during the Meccan period, 'when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.' In fact, it was revealed during the later Medinan period--the same period as the verses that authorize armed struggle against the Meccan enemies of the nascent Muslim community in Medina, that is, 'when Muhammad was in a position of strength, not weakness.'" (emphasis added)
  10. ^ a b c Ibn Taymiyya, Qāʿidah Mukhtaṣarah fī Qitāl al-Kuffār wa Muhādanatihim wa Taḥrīm Qatlihim li-Mujarrad Kufrihim: Qāʿidah Tubayyn al-Qiyam al-Sāmiyah lil-Haḍārah al-Islāmiyyah fī al-Harb wa al-Qitāl, p.123. Ed. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allah ibn Ibrāhīm al-Zayd Āl Hamad. Riyadh: N.p., 2004/1424. Quote: "جمهور السلف و الخلف على أنها ليست مخصوصة و لا منسوخة، ..." Translation: "Most of the salaf considered the verse to be neither specific nor abrogated but the text is general, ..."
  11. ^ a b Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimma, pp.21-22.
  12. ^ a b Al-Tabari, Jāmiʿ al-bayān ʿan ta'wīl āy al-Qur'ān 4, Dar Hajar, 2001, p.553.
  13. ^ a b c Abi ʿUbayd, Kitab al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh, p.282.
  14. ^ a b Al-Jaṣṣās, Aḥkām al-Qur'ān 2, p.168.
  15. ^ a b Makki bin Abi Talib, al-Idah li Nasikh al-Qur'an wa Mansukhih, p. 194.
  16. ^ a b c Abu Jaʿfar al-Nahhas, al-Nasikh wa al-Mansukh fi al-Quran al-Karim, p.259.
  17. ^ a b c Ibn Jizziy. at-Tasheel. p. 135.
  18. ^ a b c Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Al-Itqān fi ʿUlum al-Qur’an 2. p.22-24.
  19. ^ a b Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur, Al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir, (2:256).
  20. ^ a b Mustafa Zayd, al-Naskh fi al-Qur'an al-Karim 2, p.510. Dar al-Wafa'. Quote: "تبطل دعوى النسخ في قوله جل تناؤه: Ra bracket.pngلَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِLa bracket.png : ٢٥٦ في سورة البقرة."
  21. ^ a b c d Muhammad S. Al-Awa (1993), Punishment in Islamic Law, p.51. US American Trust Publications. ISBN 978-0892591428.
  22. ^ a b A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2014). Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. p. 186. ISBN 978-1780744209.
  23. ^ a b c Yousif, Ahmad (2000-04-01). "Islam, Minorities and Religious Freedom: A Challenge to Modern Theory of Pluralism". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 20 (1): 35. doi:10.1080/13602000050008889. ISSN 1360-2004.
  24. ^ Leonard J. Swidler (1986), Religious Liberty and Human Rights in Nations and in Religions, p.178. Ecumenical Press.
  25. ^ Farhad Malekian (2011), Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law, p.69. Brill. ISBN 978-9004203969.
  26. ^ Mohammad Hashim Kamali,The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam: The Qur'anic Principle of Wasatiyyah (Religion and Global Politics), pp. 110-1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0190226831.
  27. ^ a b c d A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2014). "3. The Fragile Truth Of Scripture". Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy. Oneworld Publications. p. 92. ISBN 978-1780744209.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Ayat al-Sayf, pp.50-51.
  29. ^ a b Al-Wahidi, Asbab Al-Nuzul, (2:256).
  30. ^ Ali Gomaa, al-Tariq ila al-Turath, p.207.
  31. ^ Muhammad ash-Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar, 8:112.
  32. ^ Ahmed Al-Dawoody (2011), The Islamic Law of War: Justifications and Regulations, p.51. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230111608.
  33. ^ a b c Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (1913), Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, p.420. Constable. Quote: "Forcible conversion was forbidden, in accordance with the precepts of the Qur'an : — " Let there be no compulsion in religion " (ii. 257). " Wilt thou compel men to become believers ? No soul can believe but by the permission of God " (x. 99, 100). The very existence of so many Christian sects and communities in countries that have been for centuries under Muhammadan rule is an abiding testimony to the toleration they have enjoyed, and shows that the persecutions they have from time to time been called upon to endure at the hands of bigots and fanatics, have been excited by some special and local circumstances rather than inspired by a settled principle of intolerance."
  34. ^ a b S. A. Rahman (2007). "Summary and Conclusions". Punishment of Apostasy in Islam. The Other Press. pp. 132–142. ISBN 978-983-9541-49-6.
  35. ^ Quran 2:256.
  36. ^ a b Abou El Fadl, Khaled (January 23, 2007). The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists. HarperOne. pp. 158–159. ISBN 978-0061189036.
  37. ^ S. A. Rahman (2007). Punishment of Apostasy in Islam. The Other Press. pp. 7–15, 110–123. ISBN 978-983-9541-49-6.
  38. ^ Asma Barlas (2002), Believing Women in Islam, ISBN 978-0292709041, University of Texas Press, page 8
  39. ^ Quran 2:254–257
  40. ^ Cook, Michael (1983). Muhammad. Oxford University Press. pp. 102–3.
  41. ^ a b Quran 9:66
  42. ^ Quran 18:29.
  43. ^ Quran 10:99.
  44. ^ Quran 88:21, Quran 88:22.
  45. ^ Quran 11:28.
  46. ^ Peters & De Vries (1976), Apostasy in Islam, Die Welt des Islams, Vol. 17, Issue 1/4, pp 15 (footnote 38)
  47. ^ Abdul Rashied Omar (2009), "The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization", in Peace-Building by, between, and beyond Muslim and Evangelical Christians, Editors: Abu-Nimer, Mohammed and David Augsburger, Lexington, pages 179-194
  48. ^ Tafsir Ibn Kathir Part 3: Surah Al-Baqaray, Ayat 253 to 286, Surah Al-Imran, Ayat 1 to 92, by Ar-Rafa'i, Muhammad Nasib, Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1999: First Edition, Part 3, pp. 37-38
  49. ^ Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur'an, vol. 1, pp.348-349.
  50. ^ SHI'ITE COMMENTATORS (MUFASSIRIN) AND THEIR COMMENTARIES (TAFSIRS), The Principles Of Shi'i Tafsir And The Relation Between The Imams(a.s) And The Qur'an
  51. ^ Kashani, Tafsir Kashani, (2:256).
  52. ^ a b c d e Patricia Crone, Islam and Religious Freedom (PDF)[permanent dead link], University of Freiburg, Germany
  53. ^
  54. ^ a b Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Adhim 1. pp.551-552.
  55. ^ a b H.R.H. Prince Ghazi Muhammad, Ibrahim Kalin and Mohammad Hashim Kamali (2013), War and Peace in Islam: The Uses and Abuses of Jihad, p.436, note.110. The Islamic Texts Society Cambridge. ISBN 978-1-903682-83-8.
  56. ^ Ramadan al-Buti, Muhammad Sa‘id (2005). Al-Jihād fī'l-Islām. Damascus: Dār al-Fikr. p. 141.
  57. ^ Abu Hayyan, al-Bahr al-Muhit 2, p. 251.
  58. ^ a b Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Ma‘ārifu’l-Qur’ān 1, pp.638-639. Translated by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari and Prof. Muhammad Shamim, and revised by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.
  59. ^ Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, Al-Mughni 8, Riyadh 1981, p.144.
  60. ^ Ismail Haqqi al-Burusawi, Ruh al-Bayan 1, pp.406–407.
  61. ^ Abu Sa'ud, Tafsir Abi Sa'ud 1, p.386.
  62. ^ Adnan Aslan, Religious Pluralism in Christian and Islamic Philosophy: The Thought of John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, p.191. Routledge. ISBN 978-0700710256.
  63. ^ "Later Muslim historians maintained that the conquerors had offered their opponents the opportunity to convert before fighting them, but this is never mentioned in earlier sources. As John of Fenek observed: 'Of each person they required only tribute, allowing him to remain in whatever faith he wished.'" "Ninth-century Muslim historians, wishing to systematize the conquest accounts, often maintained that everyone the conquerors met was offered the same three choices of conversion, surrender and payment of a poll tax, or death in battle, but enough non-standard reports have survived to allow us to glimpse a more variegated picture. [...] indeed 'it became accepted practice that those non-Muslims who went into combat against the enemy (on behalf of the Arabs), and also those whose only contribution was to maintain readiness to fight, should be relieved of tribute.'" Hoyland, Robert G. (2014). In Gods Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Oxford University Press. pp. 97, 158. ISBN 9780190209650.
  64. ^ G Bowering (2015), Islamic Political Thought: An Introduction, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691164823, pp. 197-198
  65. ^ a b FE Peters (1993), A Reader on Classical Islam, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691000404, pp. 156-157
  66. ^ al-Baydawi, Anwar al-Tanzeel wa Asrar al-Ta’weel, (9:5).
  67. ^ Mahmud al-Alusi, Rūḥ al-ma‘ānī fī tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-‘aẓīm wa-al-sab‘ al-mathānī.
  68. ^ Ahmad b. Muṣṭafā, Al-Maraghī. Tafsir al-Maraghi. 10. p. 95. أي قاتلوا من ذكروا حين وجود ما يقتضى القتال كالاعتداء عليكم أو على بلادكم أو اضطهادكم وفتنتكم عن دينكم أو تهديد منكم وسلامتكم كما فعل بكم الروم وكان ذلك سببا لغزوة تبوك
  69. ^ Muhammad Abu Zahra, Zahrat al-Tafasir, pp.948-949. Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-ʿArabī.
  70. ^ Aaron Spavack (2011). "Introduction", Ghazali on the Principles of Islamic Spirituality: Selections from The Forty Foundations of Religion, p.xxv. ISBN 9781594732843. Quote: "There is no compulsion in religion; thus, people are free to accept or reject Islam."
  71. ^ Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (2011), Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings, p.159. London: Minhaj-ul-Quran. ISBN 978-0-9551888-9-3. Quote: "There is no room for coercion in Islam and no one can be forced to convert. Islam gives complete religious freedom to all non-Muslim citizens to adhere to their respective faith traditions and to freely practise their teachings."
  72. ^ Michael Bonner (2006), Jihad in Islamic History, pp.89-90. Princeton University Press. Quote: "To begin with, there was no forced conversion, no choice between "Islam and the Sword". Islamic law, following a clear Quranic principle (2:256), prohibited any such things..."
  73. ^ Sayed Khatab, Gary D. Bouma (2011), "Islamic International Law", Democracy in Islam, p.177. Routledge ISBN 978-0415664165.
  74. ^ Haleem, M. A. Abdel (2005-05-12). The Qur'an. Oxford University Press, UK. pp. xxiii–xxiv. ISBN 978-0-19-283193-4. Yet the main clause of the sentence––‘kill the polytheists’––is singled out by some non-Muslims as representing the Islamic attitude to war; even some Muslims take this view and allege that this verse abrogated many other verses, including ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (2:256) and even, according to one solitary extremist, ‘God is forgiving and merciful’. This far-fetched interpretation isolates and decontextualizes a small part of a sentence and of a passage, 9:1–15, which gives many reasons for the order to fight such polytheists: they continually broke their agreements and aided others against the Muslims, they started hostilities against the Muslims, barred others from becoming Muslims, expelled them from the Holy Mosque and even from their own homes. At least eight times the passage mentions the misdeeds of these people against the Muslims. Moreover, consistent with restrictions on war elsewhere in the Qur an, the immediate context of this ‘sword verse’ exempts such polytheists as do not break their agreements and who keep the peace with the Muslims (9:7); it orders that those enemies seeking safe conduct should be protected and delivered to the place of safety they seek (9:6). The whole of this context to verse 5, with all its restrictions, is ignored by those who simply isolate one part of a sentence to build on it their theory of war and violence in Islam.
  75. ^ Mustafa Zayd, al-Naskh fi al-Qur'an al-Karim 2, p.512. Dar al-Wafa'. Quote: "و دعوى النسخ هنا مروية عن إبن زيد، وهو شديد الضعف لا يحتج به، و عن السدي و قد أسلفنا حكم إبن الجوزي عليه، و عن الضحاك و هو لم يلق إبن عباس و لم يسمع عنه." Translation: "The allegation of abrogation here is narrated on the authority of Ibn Zayd who is extremely weak and is not used to support argumentation; from As-Suddi, and we have already noted Ibn Al-Jawzi's judgement regarding him; and Aḍ-Ḍahāk who never met Ibn Abbas and never heard from him."
  76. ^ Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi, Tafsir al-Kabir, VII, p.15.
  77. ^ Majmaʻ al-Buḥūth al-Islāmīyah, The Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, Rajab 1388, September 1968, p.192. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1970.
  78. ^ Ibn al-Jawzi, Zad al-masir 4, p. 67.
  79. ^ Al-Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaaf 'an Haqa'iq at-Tanzil, Al-'Abikan, 1998, 1, p.476.
  80. ^ David Ray Griffin (2005), Deep Religious Pluralism, p.157-159. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0664229146.
  81. ^ David Ray Griffin (2005), Deep Religious Pluralism, p.159. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0664229146.
  82. ^ Hashim Kamali, Mohammad (2008). Shari'ah Law: An Introduction. Oneworld Publications. pp. 202–3. ISBN 978-1851685653.
  83. ^ Iḥsān, Al-Hindī (1993). Aḥkām al-Ḥarb wa al-Salām fī Dawlat al-Islām (in Arabic). Damascus: Dār al-Numayr. pp. 16–7.
  84. ^ "How and Why Muhammad Made a Difference". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. Key West, Florida. 2006-05-22. Retrieved 2019-12-15. The other question here is that of coercion. Jihad means you go out and conquer people. But does it mean you’re actually going to force them to convert to Islam? The basic answer is no. This is straightforward in the case of Jews and Christians, ... They still have to follow certain stipulations, and you could argue about the small print, but the basic conception is very clear.
    There is also a strong stream of Islamic law that says that you can give the same protected status to any unbeliever with the single exception of Arab pagans. Arab pagans are not a big deal because they don’t exist after, say, the middle of the seventh century. So when you go and conquer India, you can give the Hindus protected status. There are other schools of Islamic law that say, no; you shouldn’t give the Hindus protected status because their idolatry is so way out you can’t tolerate it. But the Muslims who actually conquered large parts of India adhered to the school that said no problem tolerating Hindus.