There is no Compulsion in Religion

The beauty about Islam is that there is no compulsion in Religion; however, why is it that Muslims these days need to go out of their way to prove to the world that Islam is actually beautiful?  God says in the Quran “Let there be no compulsion in religion.  Truth has been made clear from error.  Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks.  And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256) How did such a peace-loving religion become synonymous to such an evil word like “terrorism”? Who has high-jacked the world’s fastest growing religion?  If the Prophet of Islam (may peace and blessings be upon him) were amongst us now what would he say and what would he think of us as an Ummah (Nation)?

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent to Earth as the Final Messenger of God almost 500 years after Jesus. His message was the same message as all the previous Prophets (pbut) that had come before him. This message was to believe in The One True God who had created Everything. The Criterion was simple and clear, yet just like anything new, it was met with opposition, rebellion and disbelief. Islam heralded a state of hope to those who were oppressed but threatened those who were in positions of power and control. I believe that once again we as a Nation are in the state of Ignorance and there are two things happening here:

  1. We as Muslims at large are not truly following our religion as it was passed down to us in the best manner according to the Way the Prophet (pbuh) guided us.  We often claim that we will ‘die’ for our Prophet (pbuh) but when we get tested we cannot even tolerate our own neighbors! How is that following our Prophet? We will see people dressing and eating in accordance to the Quran’s guidance but when it comes to our mannerisms we often lose our cool, we often obey our egos and are consumed by judgement for those that are different from us. We completely miss the point! Following Muhammad (pbuh) is no easy task! We are commanded to follow him but are we really following him? If we truly were administering love, acceptance, tolerance and peace WITH patience and humility like our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did then Muslims would not be in the state that we are in right now. Muhammad (pbuh) was known to unite people of other faiths merely based on the fact that they were all human beings and came from God.  In his wisdom he knew that Islam may not be for everyone but that did not deter him from being an exemplary human being. His character was what attracted others to Islam. I just hope that if the followers of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Muhammad (peace be upon them all) could just be as exemplary as their Messengers then we would have a peaceful world and all faiths would be respected.
  2. The second thing is that the people in authority will always look for their own best interest and not the interest of humanity at large. There will always be agendas and there will always be corruption and that is a fact and no matter how much one may try to change a people, one will not be able to make that change unless one changes themself. It is best to accept that this is how people will be. The only thing one CAN do in order to see change around them is to BE the change that you wish to see. Throughout history, anytime a single person has made any positive impact in the world, it was when there was a real shift of attitude within them that motivated others to change.

If we can become true followers of our Prophet (pbuh) in his character as was recorded in the Quran and his hadith (habits and ways) we have a chance to claim our peaceful religion back and renew its essence of peace.  If we can just focus on changing ourselves and being better people and living the reality of jihad (stuggling to be a better human for the sake of God) then we may have hope to spread Muhammad’s Message the way it was meant to be spread.

Spread peace. Spead love. Spread understanding…follow the sunnah (Muhammad’s way).

Salalahu alaihi wassalam

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