69 million page views

Islam give Minorities Their right

Reader comment on item: Enforce Islamic Law in Canada?
in response to reader comment: Why muslims deny rights of minorities and majorities, we should stop this insane ASAP

Submitted by Niso (Pakistan), May 3, 2006 at 08:01

In Islam, freedom in its general sense is a well-established fact. At a time when people were enslaved intellectually, politically, socially, religiously, and economically, Islam came to establish the freedom of belief, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom to criticize. Islam strictly forbids that people be forced to adopt a certain creed or to believe in a particular religion. Allah Almighty 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 10: 99) This was in the Makkan era. In the Madinan period, Allah also revealed: [Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from error.] (Al-Baqarah 2: 256)

In brief, Islam believes in freedom of choice. Faith itself is a choice in Islam. The Qur’an states: [No compulsion in religion…] (Al-Baqarah 2: 256). All have the freedom to practice their own faith without harassment or any kind of threat.

The history of Islam proves this very well when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in dominant Islamic societies. We can contrast this to the Muslims who lived in Christian Spain when they were persecuted and prejudiced against on account of their faith.

Second, anyone has the right to choose to convert to Islam or keep practicing his faith. But once a person converts to Islam, he should practice his faith and never change it. If he changes it, it is a major sin. Whether it is punishable by Islamic law is a debatable matter among Muslim scholars. Some believe he should be punished because they count this crime as betrayal, while others say that if someone changes his faith and does not challenge the Islamic society, they consider it a private matter between him and Allah and it is not punishable by the Islamic faith according to their view. However, both opinions agree that it is a sin punishable by Allah and that it is the worst form of sin.

As for minority rights, the Shari`ah protects the rights of non-Muslims living in an Islamic society. The Islamic state has to guarantee protection for their life, property, and the places of worship. The hadith states: “Whoever harms a non-Muslim (Dhimmi ) will not enter Paradise.” (Reported by Muslim)


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)