Forcing Muslims to Practice Islam


There are many riligous organisations in our area who say that islam has spread by the sword, and they force people to pray, they force people to keep beard and many other things. so is it allowed in islam to force some one to do fard or sunnah?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You should know that one of the main foundations of Islam is to enjoin good and forbid evil, and that is the rationale for the goodness of this Muslim Ummah, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.}[Quran 3:110]

So, it is due on every Muslim to change evil as much as he can. If he could do so by his hand, by being in a position of authority to do so, it becomes incumbent upon him to do so; otherwise, it is due on him to give advice, and deny the evil by his tongue. But if he fails, it becomes due on him to disapprove of the evil by his heart; and beyond that, there is no faith even as little as a mustard seed.

If one is in a position of authority under Sharee’ah to compel the people to do what is enjoined by Allah The Almighty, of prayers and other obligations, it becomes due on him to do so, and it is impermissible for him to neglect this duty or fall short of it. Otherwise it is impermissible for him to compel the people by force, because of the resulting harm if one who is not in a position of authority uses force to make this change, which may exceed the harm of the evil itself.

Similarly, it is impermissible to compel anyone to do recommended acts. Rather, one's duty is only to remind people of them, give advice, and show their superiority. If they comply, all perfect praise be to Allah, and he will receive the reward; and if they insist on leaving those recommended acts, there will be no blame upon him. The same applies to the issues that are controversial among the scholars: it is impermissible to compel anyone to do the opposite of what he believes regarding them, so long as the difference of opinion regarding them is acceptable.

In light of these details, you could judge what those groups of people do; so it may be right or wrong according to the circumstances.

With regards to saying that Islam has spread by the sword, it is a major issue, and discussing it is beyond the scope of this brief Fatwa. Furthermore, it is not the subject of the question.

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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