FORCED FAITH IS NO FAITH
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The Quran repeatedly attests to the fact that if it were God's Will He could have guided everyone. He has therefore given mankind the freedom to choose between right and wrong with all the arguments and evidence He has presented through (and this is not restricted to) his messengers and scriptures. He has given us the faculties to make that decision and endowed us with an innate ability to reflect and to decipher right from wrong.
Whether one believes or disbelieves, there is no concept of forced faith in the Quran and it remains a matter of individual choice.
Please note that verses taken from Surah (Chapter) 9 are often used out of context to build a case for 'forced faith'. Please see related articles below:
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PROPHET
'If it had been the Lord's Will they would all have believed all who are on earth! Will you then compel mankind against their will to believe!?"
“Say - With God is the final argument - Had He willed He could indeed have guided all of you”
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects false deities and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things"
"No soul can believe, except by the will of God, and He will place indignation / abomination /uncleanliness (Arabic: Rijsa) on those who do not use reason"
PROPHET STRONGLY BEING ADVISED NOT TO GRIEVE
"And if their aversion is grievous to you, then, if you can, seek a way down into the earth or a ladder to the sky so that you may bring to them a sign (to convince them all)! If God willed, He could have brought them all together to the guidance. So do not be among the ignorant ones (Arabic: Jahileen)"
THE MATTER OF DISBELIEF WILL BE FINALLY SETTLED ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT BY GOD
"And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about; and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place"
Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief,- God will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way.
This verse clearly shows that belief and disbelief can be a cyclical experience and occur repeatedly. (There is no prescribed punishment for apostasy - See related article below on apostasy).
How shall God guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true and clear arguments had come to them; and God does not guide unjust people. (As for) these, their reward is that upon them is the curse of God and the angels and of men, all together.
Please also see verses: 2:8-10; 5:54; 16:106 which resonate similar sentiments.
THE MESSAGE OF SURAH KAFIRUN (CHAPTER OF THE DISBELIEVERS)
The short Surah underscores the theme of the article.
The Quran's message is clear. Faith cannot be forced nor is there any instruction in scripture to do so. Faith or the lack of it is ultimately a matter between an individual and the Lord. It is a matter of complete volition and choice.
As mentioned above, please also see the illustration below with regards Surah Tauba (Chapter 9), which is often widely quoted out of context and includes the infamous 'killing verses'. This illustration makes the context and time specific nature of the declaration given in Surah (Chapter) 9 clear.
(1) Understanding Surah Tauba (Chapter 9) and the Infamous 'Killing' Verses
(2) A Message of Peace or to Live by the Sword?
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