There is No Compulsion Where Religion is Concerned

25 06 2013

No matter from which line of thought, religion, or nation people may come from, one of the most important requests of all people in our day is freedom. People remain healthy as long as they feel free in the corporal and mental sense, express themselves freely and live as they wish. A person who is taken under pressure in any realm of his life no sooner starts to lose his peace, joy and the capacity to produce. When one recalls the cold, joyless expression, and the dullness in the eyes of the majority of people in the Soviet Russia and China in recent history, one will once again remember how, in human life, it is important to think freely and lead a free life.

Freedom, which is an important part of human life and raises the quality of life, is a blessing granted by God to human beings. Some people who do not know the morality of religion, and especially Islam or obtain information from inaccurate sources and examples may harbor several prejudices and erroneous convictions about this subject. Though having no accuracy whatsoever, these people assume that Islam will limit their living spaces and freedom, take their thoughts under control and restrict arts and science. The fact is however that Islam is a religion that ensures all kinds of intellectual freedom as well as freedom of worship and expression, that takes all kinds of rights of people under protection and, more importantly, presents real freedom to people.

However, the following fact should be clear: God wishes ease, comfort, happiness and joy to people. God does not wrong people. The religion, which is the commandment of God, also shows people the way to the most peaceful, blissful, safest, highest quality, comfortable, and delightful life. There is no compulsion where religion is concerned. A person believes in God and lives by religion, by seeing God’s existence and oneness by using his conscience. Religion is an acceptance by the heart. If a person is obliged to live a religious life by force, then this person does not become devout and he simply becomes a hypocrite. As we are informed in the Qur’an, a hypocrite is someone who deserves God’s torment and whose place is at the bottom of Hell. Furthermore hypocrites not only give harm to themselves, with their insincere and tricky nature, but also they pose a threat for society as a whole.

Generating such a peril with one’s own hands, bringing hypocrites and a system of hypocrisy into being is something that Muslims would by no means wish. Every Muslim, as a requisite of the morality of the Qur’an, is responsible for showing people the true path, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. But this never means to oblige others to think, live, act and dress like oneself. A Muslim shows the truth and leaves the choice to the person himself. This is the commandment God informs us in the Qur’an.

Along with this, a Muslim wishes all sorts of thoughts and beliefs to be freely expressed in the society. He respects the opinions, views and lives of others. He wishes the systems that are not in compliance with the morality of religion, and even irreligious, atheist ideologies and views to be explained, so that he can respond to them in the scientific and ideological sense. Prohibiting views and ideologies, taking them under pressure is not ease for a Muslim. On the contrary, this is a state that will make the communication of the religion difficult, and render the scientific struggle harder. In an environment where everyone can express their thoughts openly, religion develops easily and becomes even stronger.

Burcu Cekmece


Building Bridges – Istanbul, Turkey

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