No Compulsion

The Prophet Muhammad said many wonderful things, but one of the more significant to my mind is the statement recorded in the Qur’an (2:256): “There is no compulsion in religion…”

Were this truth recognized, children would no longer be raised in one faith or another. Instead, they would be taught to think, that is, to investigate and honor truth.

Were this truth recognized, evangelism would no longer involve conversion into a particular faith. Instead, those converted would be convinced of the value of relinquishing a belief in the unreal for no other reason than to make room for a more thorough understanding of truth.

Were this truth recognized, adults would no longer go to war on religious grounds. Instead, the faithful would work diligently to refine their relationship with truth, without regard to the processes of purification working out in their fellows.

Just as false and forced confessions lead to many wrongful convictions in courts of law, forcing another to accept a particular set of religious beliefs ﹣ whether it is done surreptitiously or blatantly, peaceably or violently ﹣ leads to false convictions about the most central matters of living.

5 thoughts on “No Compulsion

  1. Lucy Cera

    It is interesting how many topics, religious or not, take on an evangelical tone to which either one is fervently converted or from which one is repelled. And nowadays we have the Internet to whip up the fervor and divide and conquer faster than it takes to consider doing a little fact checking or critical thinking for oneself (“if it’s published on the Internet it must be true”). Your point is well taken, and I find myself now asking “Can I get out of the way of the process enough to see the living truth at work?” and “Can I get out of the way of others who might see the truth at work through me if I can just get over myself for a minute?” Trying to hold onto a truth, whether it was based in reality originally or not, just crystallizes it. You see people battling around these crystallizations and sacrificing others for them all the time. How exciting to be willing to honor the truth and be a part of an actual living creative process!!

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  2. SB

    There is a miracle working out before my very eyes if I am willing to see and be party to that. I want to be a part of that joyful party! Thank you for the invitation!!

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  3. Steve V

    Thank you for your most central and bold words of living! There is a compulsion whether we acknowledge it or not for a greater and greater knowing and experience of the truth. When we come to rest with this compulsion and align ourselves with it the war within ourselves comes to an end. Is there really a better way to live than this?

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  4. Coco

    I believe that many of the other great people that have had a religion created from their writings or lives would echo your words. The truth is the only redemption for our world; and people caught up in that is the only way I believe that can happen. It takes courage and purity of heart to let the truth be understood. It seems an evolving process not static.

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