By Hassan Mirza
Member, Muslim Writers Guild of America, Worthington
Below I am giving my response to the article “Letter writer should back up tolerance claim” which was a response to my original letter regarding the ideal of freedom of speech to Muslims. This response asked for verses from the Quran that uphold this ideal. Below are several.
1. [2:257] 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.
2. [6:105] Proofs have indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever sees, it is for his own good; and whoever becomes blind, it is to his own harm. And I am not a guardian over you
3. [10:100] And if thy Lord had enforced His will, surely, all who are on the earth would have believed together. Wilt thou, then, force men to become believers?
4. [10:109] Say, ’O ye men, now has the truth come to you from your Lord. So whosoever follows the guidance, follows it only for the good of his own soul, and whosoever errs, errs only against it. And I am not a keeper over you.
5. [21:108] (O Muhammad) We have sent thee not but as a mercy for all peoples.
6. [25:64] And the servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth in a dignified manner, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’
7.[39:42] Verily, We have revealed to thee the Book with truth for the good of mankind. So whoever follows guidance, follows it for the benefit of his own soul; and whoever goes astray, goes astray only to its detriment. And thou art not a guardian over them.
8. [88:22-23] Admonish, therefore, for thou art but an admonisher; 23: Thou hast no authority to compel them.
9. [109:7] For you, your religion and for me, my religion.
I will end in a quote from the former head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Tahir Ahmad: “Swords can win territories, but not hearts. Forces can bend minds, but not hearts.”
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