Taking Up Arms Against A Just Non-Muslim Government Is Not Permitted
It should also be remembered that Islam permits the taking up of the sword only in opposition to people who themselves take it up first, and it permits the slaughter only of those who embark upon slaughter first. It does not lay down that the Muslims while they are the subjects of a non-Muslim sovereign who deals with them with justice and equity should take up arms against him as rebels. According to the Holy Quran this is the way of the wicked and not of the righteous. But the Torah has not made this distinction clear at any place. This shows that the Holy Quran in all its commandments, whether of majesty or of beauty, adheres to the straight line of equity, justice, mercy and beneficence and is unique in this respect also among all the scriptures (Anjam Aatham, p. 37).
It is a great error on the part of our opponents that they imagine that revealed guidance must under no circumstances inculcate resistance to the enemy and should demonstrate its love and mercy only by way of meekness and gentleness. Such people imagine that they display great reverence for God, the Lord of Honour and Glory, by attributing to Him only the qualities of gentleness and tenderness. But those who are given to reflection and pondering can easily perceive that such people are involved in gross and obvious error. A contemplation of the Divine law of nature clearly shows that it certainly is pure mercy. But that mercy does not manifest itself by way of gentleness and tenderness in all circumstances. Like an expert physician, it sometimes administers a sweet draught to us and at other times it prescribes a bitter medicine for us.
No true Muslim has ever believed that Islam should be spread by the sword. Islam has always been propagated through its inherent qualities. Those who, calling themselves Muslims, seek to spread Islam by means of the sword are not aware of its inherent qualities and their conduct resembles the conduct of wild beasts ( Tiryaqul Qulub Now printed in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984), Vol. 15, p. 3 5, footnote) .
The Use Of Force Is Forbidden By The Holy Quran
The Holy Quran clearly forbids the use of force for the spread of the faith and directs its propagation through its inherent qualities and the good example of the Muslims. Do not be misled by the notion that in the beginning the Muslims were commanded to take up the sword. That sword was not taken up for the spread of the faith, but in self- defense against the enemies of Islam and for the purpose of establishing peace and security. It was no part of the purpose of taking it up to have recourse to coercion in the matter of faith (Sitarah Qaisariyyah, p. 16).
I do not know from where our opponents have gathered that Islam was spread by the sword. God has set forth clearly in the Holy Quran: There shall be no compulsion in religion (2 :257) Then who has prescribed the use of force for the spread of the faith, and what force was available for the purpose? Do those people who are converted by force set such an example of sincerity and faith that without any kind of wages or compensation two or three hundred of them issue forth to oppose a force of thousands; or when their number reaches a thousand they vanquish hundreds of thousands? Is it the characteristic of the forcibly converted ones that in the defense of the faith they should offer themselves to be slaughtered like sheep and should testify to the truth of Islam with the seal of their blood? Is it expected of them that they should be such lovers of Divine Unity that they should endure every hardship in their travels in the African desert and spread the message of Islam in those regions; or that they should similarly arrive in China, not as warriors but as dervishes and should so convey the message of Islam that millions of people of that country should become Muslims; or that they should arrive in India clad in the roughest stuff and should win a great part of Aryavart to the allegiance of Islam; or should carry the credo: There is no one worthy of worship except Allah, to the confines of Europe? Now say honestly whether these can be the achievements of those who are converted forcibly to Islam, so that they disbelieved in their hearts and professed Islam only by their tongues? Indeed not. These are the achievements of those whose hearts are filled with the light of faith wherein God alone dwells (Tiryaqul Qulub Now printed in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984), Vol. 15, pp. 5I-53).
The Promised Messiah has come into the world so that he should repel the notion of taking up the sword in the name of the faith, and that through his reasoning and arguments he should establish that Islam is a faith which does not at all need the help of the sword for the purpose of its propagation, but that the inherent qualities of its teaching and its verities, insights, reasons, proofs and the living support and signs of God Almighty and its inherent attractions are the factors that have throughout contributed to its progress and its propagation. Let all those who proclaim that Islam had been spread by the sword take note that their claim is false. Islam is not in need of any coercion for its propagation. Should anyone doubt this, let him come to me and stay with me for a while and observe for himself that Islam proves through reasoning and divine signs that it is a living faith. God Almighty now desires and has so determined that all such objections as have been raised against Islam by evil-minded people should be effectively repelled. Those who allege that Islam was spread by the sword will now be put to shame (Malfoozat, Vol. III, p. 176).