Is There Freedom of Thought or Coercion in the Holy Quran?

Epigraph:

There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al Quran 2:256/257)

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin, 1722.

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin, 1722. The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

If there is any silver lining to the grave tragedy of 9/11, which took more than 3000 innocent lives and sparked countless armed conflicts in various parts of the world, in my opinion, it is the popularization of one of the verses of the Holy Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion,” for not only the Muslims, but also for many well informed non-Muslims.

I have quoted the whole verse as the Epigraph, in the very beginning.

If there is no coercion then why does the Holy Quran prescribe capital punishment for homicide, cutting of hands for theft and lashing for adultery in open and for slandering innocent women?

Which one is it, is their coercion or not?  Is there a contradiction in different Quranic messages? The Holy Quran claims in the fourth chapter, about its consistency and being infallible:

Will they not, then, meditate upon the Quran? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much disagreement. (Al Quran 4:82/83)

Is it just a claim or does the Holy Quran resolve the apparent contradiction of punishment and coercion in some matters and freedom and license in others?

If we can give deterrent punishments for theft so that society becomes honest and there are no or very few thefts in future, don’t we need to keep people from blaspheming against God and his prophets and their wives and family members, by deterrence?

Does coercion operate in some spheres and not in others?

Coercion does seem to work in the streets of Pakistan against blasphemers.  Not to speak of those accused of blasphemy, even the judges are afraid to go against the street power of the mobs run by mullahs.

Recently a religious celebrity Junaid Jamshed, used some impolite language against the wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Hazrat Aisha.  But, when other religious leaders in Pakistan decided to publicly scare him, in no uncertain terms, he issued a long heartfelt apology.

So, when should we coerce and when should we not?  Does the Holy Quran give a consistent message?

I have written dozens of articles exposing various dogma of Christianity including Trinity, Eucharist, Confession and Resurrection.  I find little merit in these Christian dogma.  Incidentally, in my other articles I have applauded several passages in the Holy Bible, about compassion, mercy and love.

Now, suppose one of my sons falls in love with a Christian girl in his college and wants to marry her.  She belongs to Jehovah Witnesses and insists that he become a Christian and my son does not find any issue with that.  He tells me that Christianity is not much different from Islam and both believe in One God.  Incidentally Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in Trinity.  He tells me that both Christianity and Islam have a compassionate message of service to humanity and mutual love.  He is disturbed by the acts of terrorism and political Islam all around the world and wants to embrace Christianity.

I am distraught and depressed.  I see my family falling apart.  I see all my life’s work going to waste and I think I will not be able to save my face in the Muslim community.  My Christian friends are already taunting me that this is Divine pay back for me, for all the irreverence I showed towards the Christian beliefs.

I have several sleepless nights, arguing and explaining to my son.  I get community elders involved to show him the Truth.  But, to no avail!

Now, as I am so sure about the Truth of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and irrationality of the Christian dogma, should I tell him that I will not be able to pay his college tuition if he leaves ‘the true religion,’ or I will never talk to him again or will tell my wife and his brothers to shun him or at least keep distance so that they are not misguided.

As I pause and think through it, I realize that this will be coercion and interference in religious freedom of my son.

The day I do that I would have changed from a believing Muslim, from the Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, who is one of the leaders in Jihad with pen, into a coercing bigoted tyrant.  A few sentences coming from my mouth towards my son, for whom I have provided nicely for 21 years and a world of change for me.

As we look at the Quranic message, if I coerce him, with the suppositions presented, he may still be going to paradise, but, I am directing myself towards hell.  The Quran says about the Christians and others:

Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 2:62/63)

As for me, I would have violated the fundamental verse of the Holy Quran about freedom of religion:

There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al Quran 2:256/257)

I would have gone against the conduct of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. He was sent as an exhorter and counselor to invite the people to be virtuous, not as a kind of a policeman or a soldier. God named him ‘admonisher’ and said: ‘Remind them, for thou art an admonisher. Thou hast no authority to compel them.’ ((Al Quran 88.21-22/22–23)

Additionally, I would have put myself in the same boat as some of the great tyrants in the Quranic history.  Let us see how Pharaoh behaved towards those who believed in Moses and Aaron:

And the magicians were impelled to fall down prostrate.

And they said, ‘We believe in the Lord of the worlds. The Lord of Moses and Aaron.’

Pharaoh said, ‘You have believed in him before I gave you leave. Surely, this is a plot that you have plotted in the city, that you may turn out therefrom its inhabitants, but you shall soon know the consequences.  Most surely will I cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides. Then will I surely crucify you all together.’  (Al Quran 7:120-124/121-125)

Pharaoh was threatening with bodily harm and I was threatening my son with financial and social harm.

The Prophet Shu’aib preached Monotheism to his people in Midian.  The Holy Quran describes:

And to Midian We sent their brother Shu‘aib. He said, ‘O my people, worship Allah; you have no other deity but Him. A clear Sign has indeed come to you from your Lord. So give full measure and full weight, and diminish not unto people their things, and create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order. This is better for you, if you are believers; and sit not on every path, threatening and turning away from the path of Allah those who believe in Him, and seeking to make it crooked. And remember when you were few and He multiplied you.’ (Al Quran 7:85-86/86-87)

But, what was the response of his people:

The chief men of his people who were arrogant said, ‘Assuredly, we will drive thee out, O Shu‘aib, and the believers that are with thee, from our town, or you shall have to return to our religion.’ He said: ‘Even though we be unwilling? (Al Quran 7:88/89)

This establishes the real principle in matters of faith, in matters of ‘man relationship to God,’ you cannot force anyone to be a Muslim or a Christian or a Jew or a Hindu or a Buddhist or an atheist, against his or her will.  Everyone has to choose or refuse his or her own faith, willingly.

When the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, started to preach, Monotheism in a polytheist society, they chose coercion to resist his ideas.  Several of the early Muslims were martyred and many had to migrate.  No Muslim today can even think about defending the actions of the polytheist Meccans, as they were trying coercion  in the domain of ‘man relation to God.’

You cannot forcibly change anyone’s thoughts.  No doubt, states try to force people away from criminal or unpatriotic behavior, but none of the enlightened democracies try force, in the domain of human thought or conscience.  States may try to influence through false propaganda, but, invariably never try to torture certain thoughts, into human consciousness.

Everyone today, at least the Western Christians, understands that there is no coercion in the domain of ‘man relation to God.’  The laws are made in the sphere of ‘man relation to man,’ to punish crimes, but the domain of human thought and ‘man relation to God,’ is left alone.  This is what the Holy Quran means by, “There is no coercion in religion.”

If one person is to accuse others of thought crimes then he or she can reciprocate the accusations and there is no way around it.  Policing of thoughts is not given to the humans. In the domain of ‘man relation to man,’ it is only bad behavior that is culpable, in a legal sense.

Sometimes issues may be gray and not black and white.  In those areas the Golden rule can help us precisely define the issues: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

In conclusion, I want to share an excerpt from a book Murder in the name of Allah, by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the previous worldwide leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as he exposed the tyrannical version of Islam of Maulana Maudodi, the then leader of Jamaat Islami, which these days finds manifestation in the workings of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Shabab and Taleban:

The Maulana asserts that the Jamaat Islami has been founded to create a body of ‘upright’ men through a long discipline of Islamic worship. These people should reach such a point of readiness that Islam can say to them: ‘Yes, now you are the most upright servants of God on earth. Forward, Muslim soldiers, fight the rebels of God, dispossess them of authority and take the reins of government in your hands.’ Thanks to the Maulana’s efforts, that body of upright men is now ready and waiting to gain strength to overthrow the government of the day.

The Maulana really believes that this body of ‘upright’ men was created to reform mankind and raise Islam’s flag in the world. It will abolish everything ungodly and carve with the sword the name of Allah on every heart.

The Maulana’s claim that the members of Jamaat Islami are the most upright servants of God is believed to be baseless by the Ahmadis. As a matter of principle, everyone has the right to consider himself and his followers to be in the right. To be right is one thing. To be upright is quite another. We cannot claim we are righteous and upright. Man is lost in a maze of self-deception, delusion and outright hypocrisy, so that he is unable to describe himself with any accuracy. Who knows the secrets of the heart, the lust of the mind and the hidden desires, except God? Only He knows who is upright and who sins. There are exceptions, of course. Some people exhibit unmistakable and conclusive signs of their uprightness, so that the love of God is evident from their behavior. God talks with them as He talked with the upright people of the past. His light shines over them as it did over the great mystics and saints of the umma and His succor and support becomes manifest, both in words and deeds.

Therefore Ahmadis totally reject Maulana Maududi’s claim that the Jamaat Islami was founded to raise the flag of Islam. That is, in fact, a degrading and defaming of the religion which he professes to follow. The followers of Maulana Maududi can claim whatever they want within the safety of a Muslim country like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, but let them take their creed of ‘Islam by force’ elsewhere and just see what reception it gets. Can they convert Christians, with their belief in Jesus as living since his crucifixion in heaven, to Islam? Can they destroy the Cross? Can anyone raise the flag of Islam with these Maududian beliefs?

There is no doubt in an Ahmadi mind that the teaching of Maulana Maududi brings Islam into disrepute and makes it a target of ridicule. The Jamaat Islami is not only not a friend of Islam, but also it is a form of communism. Devoid of spiritual values, hungry for power, the Jamaat Islami is inspired by Moscow, not Mecca.

So, it is never a matter of who is coercing who.  Are the pious coercing the evil or vice versa? Everyone considers himself or herself to be on the right and adversary on the wrong.  So, we can only have principles that are bilateral and have universal application.  There is no coercion in the domain of human thought or in matters of ‘man relationship to God.’  None, whatsoever.  Period.

There is coercion only in matters of ‘man relation to man,’ for the purposes of law and order.  There are punishments for crimes.  But there is no vigilante justice.  Crime is to be prosecuted by legitimate civil authorities, who have genuine jurisdiction over matters under consideration.  Murder, theft and slander would be punished by civil authorities.  Apostasy, blasphemy and disbelief needs to be left alone, to be handled by God, in the Hereafter.

We cannot play gods.  That is the biggest sin according to the teachings of the Holy Quran, to take up in our hands what belongs to Allah, solely and completely.  Allah says about apostates:

O ye who believe, whoso from among you turns back from his religion let him remember that in place of such a person, Allah will soon bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him, who will be kind and considerate towards the believers and firm and unyielding towards the disbelievers. They will strive hard in the cause of Allah and will not at all take to heart the reproaches of fault finders. That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it upon whosoever He pleases. Allah is the Lord of vast bounty, All-Knowing. (Al Quran 5:54/55)

Whoso disbelieves in Allah after he has believed, excepting the case of one who is forced to make a declaration of disbelief while his heart rests securely in faith, but one who opens his mind wide to disbelief; on him is Allah’s wrath and he shall have a grievous punishment. (Al Quran 16:106/107)

If my son wants to become a Christian, for whatever reasons, I have no recourse other than prayers and polite explanations of merit or lack there of, of his choice to him. I may suggest him a post and a video in the Muslim Times, but cannot and should not resort to emotional and other black mail that will be below the dignity of a good Muslim or a good father.

I would suggest to him to watch or may even watch with him:24 Video lectures: The Great Courses: How Jesus Became God? and Video: How Jesus Became God, by Prof. Bart Ehrman?

9 replies

  1. You quote Quran 7-125 – this passage is only one of many that prove mohammad was not a prophet, there was no crucifixion in Egypt in Moses’ day!

  2. Yes There is Freedom of Thought in the Holy Quran. Quran is for all ages ,for all human beings.Humanity comes first in Quran. The 4th Qulamong 4Qul:

  3. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a53_1413142035
    See more at: http://www.reviewofreligions.org/2342/freedom-of-conscience-and-expression-in-islam/#sthash.dlP5FeNf.dpuf
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    Added: Oct-12-2014 Occurred On: Oct-12-2014
    By: demonizedworld
    In: Religion
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    Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a53_1413142035#AKg4sQimHAdVIM3A.99

  4. http://www.juancole.com/2013/04/islamic-forbids-terrorism.html

    http://www.islamicfaq.org/conflict/index.html
    Coercion in the Holy Quran and Islam:

    TEN COMMANDMENTS

    1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Quran. 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

    2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

    3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says, “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God Love not aggressors.”

    4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national .

    5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, ‘Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in ten matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town . . . ” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

    6. Terrorism or disturbance is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets– any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Qur’an (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent [pdf] Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes, “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/ 1070)) defines the agent of as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of Hiram . . .”

    7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave 4 months notice.

    8. The Prophet Muhammad counselled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded, “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

    9. The Qur’an demands of believers that they exercise justice toward people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

    10. The Qur’an assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.


    Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”

    In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell– quite the opposite.

    When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:


    5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”

    So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride.

    (For a modernist, liberal interpretation, see this pdf file, “Jihad and the Islamic Law of War.”

    http://www.islamicfaq.org/conflict/index.html

    Q1: Was Islam spread by the sword? (Back to Top)

    No.

    Had Muslims adopted a strategy of propagation of Islam by the sword then they would have gone against the following fundamental tenet of the Holy Qur’an:

    There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong… (Ch.2: V.257)

    They would also have gone against the example of the founder of Islam, The Holy Prophet (saw), who always opted for the most peaceful and just strategy in any situation. His example of peace and forgiveness is matchless.

    A prime example of his life of peace is when the Muslims, headed by the Holy Prophet (saw), entered Makkah with a ten thousand strong army. At that historic occasion when they were in a position of strength they did not impose Islam on a single person nor punish anyone for not becoming a Muslim, despite the fact that it would have been very easy for them to have done so. Instead the Holy Prophet (saw) left all to practise their religion freely and through this he underlined the true message of Islam.

    It is true the Qur’an instructs that each Muslim must take it upon him or herself to propagate the message of Islam in the best of ways and by reason and persuasion, but there is absolutely no room for force of any kind:

    Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation and argue with them in a way that is best. Surely, thy Lord knows best who has strayed from His way; and He also knows those who are rightly guided.
    (Ch.16: V.126)

    Furthermore, for the Holy Prophet(saw) himself the Qur’an clearly stated that his mission was to convey the message of Islam but thereafter it was down to the people to accept or reject this message and this choice was without any coercion of punishment since they were accountable for this decision to God and not to man.

    The Qur’an states,

    But if they turn away We have not sent thee as a guardian over them. Thy duty is only to convey the Message…. (Ch.42: V.49)

    This makes clear that the only duty for Muslims with regards to the spread of Islam is to convey its message and any action that even hints of coercion or force has no basis in Islam.

    In this respect it is interesting to note that the largest Muslim population in the world is to be found in Indonesia, which accepted Islam through early dialogue with Muslim traders and holy men. The second largest Muslim population belongs to India which is not even a Muslim country having a Hindu majority. More recently we know that in Europe Islam is the fastest growing religion, yet no sword is used to persuade such people of the beauties of Islam. This emphasis on learning and knowledge as a path to success is captured in the famous saying of the Holy Prophet (saw):

    ‘The ink of the scholar is more precious than the blood of the martyr.’

    (Bukhari, Book of Knowledge)

    Q2: Are the West and Islam at War? (Back to Top)

    A: Islam is not at war with the West. Islam is freely practised in the West, sometimes more freely than in countries that claim to be Muslim. Indeed, the last fifty years has seen an unprecedented growth in the number of mosques in North America and across Europe. Muslims are free to follow their faith and are able to publish books and literature, and host open debates on matters of faith with people of all faiths and none.

    It is also worth noting that Islam is a global religion so has followers in the West and the East, the North and the South. There are millions of Muslims in Western countries, and in recent history the pinnacle of Islamic civilisation was in Spain when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in perfect harmony. Islam therefore has no interest in being at war with the West or any other part of the world since it seeks to promote harmony with all. Indeed, the Qur’an teaches Muslims to live in kindness and to have fair dealings with people of all backgrounds (Holy Qur’an Ch.60 V.9 , Ch.4 V.37)

    No nation can claim to ‘own’ Islam or have exclusive access to the faith, since it is a universal religion for all mankind. Arabs have a special affinity for Islam because the major historical events of early Islam and the fact that the Holy Prophet(saw) was born in and lived in Arabia. Also the Holy Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. This may give the impression that when there are disputes between Arab states and the West, that Islam is also in conflict. But in actual fact, these are political disputes, which have nothing to do with Islam, just as conflicts between Christian countries and others have nothing to do with the teachings of Prophet Jesus(as).

    Q3: What is Islam’s view on terrorism? (Back to Top)

    Islam categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism.

    It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, a group or a government. In fact according to Islam, no religion can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God, since all religions came from God Who sent His prophets to create peace.

    The word Islam literally means peace which is the antonym of terror and it is the obligation of every Muslim to uphold peace. This concept is so deeply rooted in Islam that the Holy Qur’an describes true Muslims as those who:

    …walk on the earth in a dignified manner, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’ [Holy Qur’an Ch.25: V.64]

    The Holy Qur’an in fact champions the sanctity of life,

    …whosoever killed a person – unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one , it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. [Holy Qur’an Ch.5: V.33]

    The same can be observed from the saying of the Holy Prophet(saw):

    ‘The biggest of Al-Kaba’ir (the great sins) are (1) to join others as partners in worship with Allah, (2) to murder a human being, (3) to be undutiful to one’s parents (4) and to make a false statement, or said, to give a false witness.’
    (Ref. Bukhari, Vol. 9, Bk. 83, No. 10)

    Furthermore, in his famous farewell sermon the Holy Prophet (sa) said,

    ‘…to take anyone’s life or his property or attack his honour is as unjust and as wrong as to violate the sacredness of this day, this month and this territory.’ (Siha Sitta)

    This leaves no doubt that in Islam there is no justification whatsoever for terrorism.

    Q4: Is suicide bombing ever justifiable ? (Back to Top)

    No.

    First and foremost The Holy Qur’an clearly sets out the prohibition of the taking of one’s own life ie suicide,

    …And kill not yourselves. Surely Allah is Merciful to you. And whoso does that by way of transgression and injustice, We shall cast him into Fire; and that easy with Allah. (Ch.4: V.30-31)

    Suicide amounts to nothing less than murder and is thus repulsive in Islam, which is a religion that champions the sanctity of life,

    …whosoever killed a person – unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land – it shall be as if he killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one , it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.’’ (Ch.5: V.33)

    The forbidden of suicide is further observed in the saying of the Holy Prophet(saw),

    ‘… And whoever commits suicide with a piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.” Narrated the Prophet said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.’

    (Bukhari Vol. 2, Bk. 23, No. 445)

    Suicide is therefore unconditionally forbidden. When it is used as a mechanism to murder others then it becomes an even greater sin. As a protest against intentional suicide the Holy Prophet (saw) has forbidden to observe funeral prayer for a person who commits suicide, [unless the person was mentally ill].

    References

    Verse references to the Holy Qur’an item count ‘Bismillah…’ (In the Name of Allah…) as the first verse of each Chapter. In some non-standard texts, this is not counted and should the reader refer to such texts, the verse quoted in Islamic FAQs will be found at one verse less than the number quoted. All Quranic quotes are from the translation by Maulawi Sher Ali as edited by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru).

    In Islamic FAQs, for the ease of non- Muslim readers, ‘(saw)’ or ‘saw’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam’ meaning ‘Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from ‘Alaihis salatu wassalam’ which are words that a Muslim utters out of respect whenever he or she comes across that name. The abbreviation ‘ra’ or (ra) stands for ‘Radhiallahu Ta’ala anhu and is used for Companions of a Prophet, meaning Allah be pleased with him or her (when followed by the relevant Arabic pronoun). Finally, ‘ru’ or (ru) for Rahemahullahu Ta’ala means the Mercy of Allah the Exalted be upon him.

    In keeping with current universal practice, local transliterations of names of places are preferred to their Anglicised versions, e.g. Markka instead of Mecca, etc. For Biblical references the King James translation is used unless otherwise stated.

    Generally the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community follows the Hanafi school of thought in light of the guidance of the Promised Messiah(as) and his Khalifas.

  5. leon radder, there is talk of crucifixion in five books of Moses and according to the Quran, king Pharaoh threatened the magicians with sort of killing on the tree. That was the usual punishment in those days in Egypt.
    One of the persons in jail with Joseph a.s. was given such a punishment as foretold (predicted) by Joseph a.s.

  6. Another example of freedom of speech in the Holy Quran:

    Or, Who originates creation, and then repeats it and Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Is there a God besides Allah? Say, ‘Bring forward your proof if you are truthful.’ (Al Quran 27:65)

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