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“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.”[al-Baqarah: 256]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers till the end of time.
I am writing on this topic because am compelled by the circumstances in which the whole world is lamenting the incredible security hiatuses in Nigeria resulting in the Boko Haram insurgents an unprecidented ‘exploit’.Actually my column was set to discuss on the success journey on vaccination on poliomyelitis in Nigeria. But, for the current mind stunning and mystifying situation, this topic has no relevance at present. However, I accept to the demand of the day, and in Allah I put my trust, and from Him I seek for help!
Allah (SWT) is the Creator of everything and everybody living in all the planets and elsewhere. He creates, sustains and provide for all suitable their own fashions and ways. He created men and made them very special species by subjugating all their needs within their environment, and gave them control in phases and times. He controls their destinies to a larger extent from where He is eternality. He says:
2. It is He who has created you; and of you are some that are Unbelievers, and some that are believers: and Allah sees well all that ye do.”[at-Taghabun: 2]
Then in His infinite mercy and notwithstanding the criterion, He made a universal call to all mankind until the end in the following awe-inspiring words. He says:
21. O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness.”[al-Baqarah: 21]
He made another inspirational call, and says:
“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women; – reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (that bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.”[an-Nisa’i: 1]
In another chapter of the Qur’an, he majestically announced loudly, thus;
“It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that They know nothing having known (much): for Allah is All-knowing, All-Powerful.’[an-Nahl: 70]
In essence, Allah rehearsed to mankind that the life between creation and death is not for no reason or purpose. That is to say there is no creation without purpose and intention. Therefore, the objective of the creation of man and all other creatures was solely to adore Allah and to worship Him in manners and fashion assigned by Him alone! He says regarding the purpose of the creation of man and jinn, thus;
“I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me.”[ adh-Dhariyat: 56]
Allah, indeed, the Lord of Islam and the Muslims does not eat bread, drink wine, let alone get drunk! He is “Allah is He on Whom all depend!The Eternal, the Absolute”!
Buttress His reasons for the creation of this wise and intelligent animal, called man, He chose over time few wiser men amongst them, made them His messengers and burdened them with both the trust and responsibilities of teaching and guiding the rest of men on how to worship Him; alone! He raised many prophets and Messengers at different times and spaces. According to Islam, Allah sent 25 principals Messengers to the entire mankind, beginning with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and terminating with Muhammad [pbu-them] within a specified time and space. Fundamentally speaking, there are differences between a Messenger and a Prophet. The commonest difference is that a Prophet is one who receives Revelation from Allah, but he is not commanded to propagate it, but, to practice it himself, without being called upon to disseminate it. A Messenger is one who receives Revelation from Allah and he is called upon to propagate it and to act upon it. Thus, every Messenger is a Prophet, but not every Prophet is a Messenger. The Prophets are greater in number than the Messengers, such that no one their exact number. Allah, the Most High says:
“And indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad) Of some of them We have related to you their story, and some of them we have not related to you their story. And it was not given to any Messenger that he should bring a Sign except by the leave of Allah.”[al-Ghafir: 78]
“Messenger who gave good news as well as warning, that mankind, after (the coming) of the apostles, should have no plea against Allah; for Allah is Exalted In power, wise.’[an-Nisa’I; 165]
Thus, Allah did not leave any chance for any nation to complain thatHe did not send any admonisher to them. In an instance where Allah stops raising Messengers, He commands the learned amongst his servants to continue with the propagation of his chosen religion (Islam) to the whole world in the most peaceful ways. He says:
“Invite (all) to the way of Thy Lord with wisdom and preaching; and argue with them In ways that are best and Most gracious: for Thy knoweth best, who have strayed from His path, and who receive guidance.”[an-nahl: 125]
“O mankind! There hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) In your hearts, – and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy.”[Yunus: 57]
They should call to His way with humility and modesty all men; the knowledgeable and the peasants. He says:
“And the servants of ((Allah)) Most gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!”[al-Furqan: 63]
When all procedures are observed in the processes of calling and inviting to the way of Allah, the inner conviction of the persuaded and covinced is left to Him to guide the person to accept Islam or not. He says:
“Those whom Allah (in His plan) willeth to guide,- He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying,- He maketh their breast close and constricted, As if They had to climb up to the skies: Thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.”[al-An’am: 125]
Similarly, for the fact that He made the understanding of the message of Islam very easy to comprehend and grasp, He thus, abhors compulsion, coercion and use of force in converting people.
“Say: “With Allah is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His will, He could indeed have guided you all.”[al-an’am: 6]
For these reasons, Allah has simplified the work on da’awah; propagation.Allah has been so much simplified most especially to the fortunate people whom He has wills to embrace it
The understanding from the meaning of the word “Islam” itself makes it clear that there is no way that you could force someone to do something that requires them to do, out of their own free will and harmony. If someone were forced to convert to Islam, then his would not be accepted and acknowledged as genuine conversion; a condition that must be freely made on choice and peacefully. Forcing people into Islam is totally illogical and certainly not accepted, neither in concept nor in practice.
In order to keep the proscription to the optimum, Allah has warned Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] never to compel, coerce or force anybody to accept Islam out of enthusiasm or eagerness. Allah says:
“If it had been Thy Lord’s will, they would all have believed, – all who are on earth! Wilt Thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!”[yunus: 99]
Thus, genuine and acceptable Islam is the one that is founded on persuasion and leniency. The following verse shades more light to the principles of Islam of patience and endurance. Allah says:
“Say thou: “This is My way: I do invite unto Allah, – on evidence Clear As the seeing with one’s eyes,- I and Whoever follows Me, glory be to Allah and never will I join (other) gods with Allah.”[Yusuf: 108]
The evidences and proofs regarding the clarity of Islam, and the strength of its arguments on all scientific references superannuated all other religions in history. Allah says:
“And say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish. We send down (stage by stage) In the Qur’an that which is a healing and a Mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss.”[al-Isra’i: 81-82]
Similarly, the Sunnah has condemned anybody who abducts a free man, and enslaves or sells him into slavery. Allah has promised to cast him into the blazing hell fire on the day of resurrection.
In essence, anybody or group of people that forces defenseless and innocent people to accept Islam, such a person or group is NOT representing Muslims nor working for the sake of Allah! Allah has proscribed that action, Islam has forbidden it and Muslims condemned it in its entirety! Such people are not only fighting Christianity and Christians, but, also waging an unholy war against Islam and Muslims! All true main stream Muslims have unanimously and equivocally condemned such atrocity and detest conditional release of the school girls and all abducted people.
The botherations and the anguishes the Muslims are undergoing the world over as a result of this heinous crimes perpetuated by the insurgents is severer than that of the parents and the CAN, which they tread in the pages of newspapers. These are people who are misguided with no sensible person around them to admonish! They are people who are concocting lies and aberrations against Allah and his Apostle with nobody close to stop them! These are people that maim and kill all and sundry, regardless of sex, irrespective of age, heedless of religious inclination, mindless of tribal affiliation and with total disregard to race or nationality! We are all in stark dilemma and quandary as to think, say or do to end this predicament! We are powerless and dumbfounded and devoid of any‘makhraj’ (exit) in sight! I this we close to position once mentioned in the Qur’an, where Allah tells us:
“Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that Even the Messenger and those of Faith who were with Him cried: “When (will come) the help of Allah.” Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near”! [al-Baqarah: 214]
May the help of Allah come as quickly as possible!