Opinion: Can a non-Muslim be forcibly converted to become Muslim in Islam?

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Maulana Arshad Madani

By Maulana Arshad Madani

Nowadays, there are rumours in social media and newspapers that non-Muslims have been forcibly converted to become Muslim. The nuisance creators are making noise in this regard. But these nuisance creators do not see that whether anyone in India at this time has the power to forcibly convert Hindus to Muslim? And whether he/she will become Muslim, if forcibly converted to do so. Because, to become a Muslim is basically believing in one God (Allah) from the heart and to consider Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be a true messenger of Allah. A person does not become a Muslim just by reciting the word ‘Tawheed (Kalema)’ with the tongue and praying ‘namaz (salaat)’, unless he/she does believe in Tawheed and Prophethood by heart.

While it is clear that the word Tawheed can be uttered by force, but it cannot be observed from the heart by force.

According to the principle stated in the Holy Qur’an in Surah No. 16 / Verse No. 106 / If a Muslim is forced to utter words of disbelief while his heart is satisfied with Islam, he does not become a disbeliever. Similarly, if a non-Muslim is forced to utter the words of Islam, while he does not sincerely believe in the principles of Islam by heart, he will not become a Muslim.

But it is surprising to read few articles written by even educated people in this age on this topic, which gives impression that they are not aware of the conditions of the world and they are not aware of even a, b, c of Islam either.

Rather, I would be right to say that Islam did not give a Muslim the mindset to force non-Muslims to become Muslims, because if that were the case, then more than five million Hindus living in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries would have been converted to Islam. Even the communal minded people of India do not have complaint with the Muslim countries that the Hindus who earn their livelihood there are forcibly converted to Islam because they are helpless.Then one has to think a hundred times about how Muslims in India will do to non-Muslims of India, what is not done to helpless non-Muslims in Muslim countries.

But unfortunately the communal minded and ignorant people of our country enjoy in doing the false propaganda against Muslims and Islam, as they do not find such enjoyment in anything else.

I don’t know Maulana Jahangir Sahib but I know Omar Gautam Sahib. He is a very noble man. He is an educated man. He has accepted Islam by understanding and reading Islamic teachings.

It is not expected from him even by one per cent that he will do such a useless thing, which is not going to have any significant result.

Yes, if a person who has become a Muslim comes to fill the paperwork of conversion according to Indian law, he would have helped him, since he himself had gone through this stage. Also at that time there was no strictness in this matter.

At this point, I think it is appropriate to explain the basic teachings of Islam that are for non-Muslims living in an Islamic country, so that it may be useful for those who are burning in the fire of communal mindset with the aim to open their closed eyes, and to give knowledge to self-educated Muslims about their religion, who can be benefitted from this.

The world knows that the real teaching of Islam is that which has been given in the “Qur’an” or by the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Thus, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says following about non-Muslims who live in an Islamic country:

1. If an enemy attacks them in an Islamic government, then the Islamic government will fight from the side of non-Muslims.

2. Non-Muslims will not be expelled from their religion in any Islamic country. Words from the blessed tongue of the Messenger of Allah tell us this.

3. The lives of non-Muslims shall be safe in an Islamic country.

4. The wealth of non-Muslims shall also be safe in the Islamic government

5. Their caravan, i.e. trade, shall also be remain safe

6. Their land shall also be remain safe

7. Everything that was already in their possession shall remain as it is in their custody.

8. Their clergy “Rehban”, priests “Mahant” shall not be removed from their posts.

9. One tenth of their agriculture production shall not be taken.

10. There shall not be genocides by the military.

11. No rights they already had shall be taken away.

12. Those who are not present will be included in all these rules.

(Books for reference: See “Fatuh al-Baldan” by Bala Zari and “Kitab al-Kharaj” by Imam Abu Yusuf- )

When these Islamic teachings given by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are in an Islamic country, how can a non-Muslim be forcibly converted to Islam in a non-Islamic country? And how can he become a Muslim without accepting it from the heart? That is why one of the wills made by Hazrat Umar (Radiallaho-taala-anho), the second caliph of the Messenger of Allah, near his death was that “The non-Muslim people who live in our country are under the responsibility of Allah (God) and the Prophet. Muslims should fight with their enemies on their behalf (Books for reference: See “Fatuh al-Baldan”).

I am presenting all these facts because the accusation against an educated and serious man like Omar Gautam is an untrue slander and has no reality.

We have the experience that the Muslims get caught are portrayed as rebels of the country and in addition they are highlighted as the masterminds of the rebellion against the country. And they are sentenced to life imprisonment, and to death penalty also, and they are honourably acquitted by the upper court. While in prison, the lives of these young men have been ruined.

We go to the courts again and again to say that reprimand orders should be issued against the investigators but it is avoided by saying that the “morale” of the police and government agencies will fall.

But the world says that it may be late but there is no place for injustice from Allah and there is no sound in the stick of Allah.

Because in all such cases the attempts are being made to defame Islam and out of ignorance it is falsely portrayed as the religion of terrorism, and all Muslims are being branded as a terrorist.

Therefore, I wanted to present the instructions given by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that he has given about the non-Muslims living in the Islamic country, So that in view of this, you can judge the reality of the propaganda against Islam and the accusations levelled against educated Muslims in today’s situation of India. It is to know that the lives of a few Muslim youths can be ruined, but no valuable service to the country or humanity can be done by this way, whereas today the world needs these valuable services.

(Maulana Arshad Madani is President of Jamiat Ulema Hind. The views expressed are personal) IANS

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