No-one is to be compelled to enter the Religion, true guidance has been made clear – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

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Sharh-ul-Usool ath-Thalaathah : Lesson 50 (Part A)
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

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Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:   

The proof is His saying, He the Most High:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

No-one is to be compelled to enter the Religion, true guidance has been made clear and distinct from falsehood.  So whoever rejects at Taaghoot and truly believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the firmest handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All Hearing, All Knowing. [2:256]83


[83]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

He, the Perfect and Most High, said:

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

No one is to be compelled to enter the Religion, true guidance has been made clear and distinct from falsehood.  So whoever rejects at Taaghoot and truly believes in Allaah, then he has grasped the firmest handhold that will never break. And Allaah is All Hearing, All Seeing.[2:256]

No one is to be compelled to enter the Religion… : Meaning – no one is to be forced to enter into Islaam against his will, because entering into Islaam must occur as a result of being convinced and from believing in the heart. And no one is to be forced into it against his will – this is not possible because no one can act with regards to the hearts except Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. No one may force anyone to enter Islaam because we do not possess and own the hearts. Rather it is just Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, He is the One who owns them and acts with regards to them. However we should call to Islaam and encourage people upon it.

We strive and fight in Allaah’s Cause against whoever disbelieves, for the spread of Islaam and to provide an opportunity to whoever wants to accept Islaam, and in order to subdue the enemies of Allaah. But as for guidance, then it is in the Hand of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. No one is to be forced upon eemaan and Islaam. Rather this is something which relates back to the person himself.

Then, He, the Most High, said:

… قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ …

…true guidance has been made clear and distinct from falsehood…

So Islaam, and all praise is for Allaah, does not contain anything which people have to be forced upon against their will. Rather all of it is beloved and desirable. Whereas kufr and shirk, all of it is evil and all of it is something detestable. So this has become clear from that. As rushd (guidance) – and it is the Truth – has become distinguished from al-ghayy – and it is falsehood. And a person has intellect and has the ability to think so that he can weigh and compare truth against falsehood. And his thinking, if it is sound and if it is free from desires and ulterior motives, then his sound thinking will guide him to acceptance of the truth without having to be forced. This is one saying with regards to the aayah.

And the second saying is that this aayah came down with regard to the People of the Book; and that the People of the Book are not to be compelled to enter into Islaam. Rather if they want to remain upon their religion then they are to be left to do so with the condition that they hand over the jizyah to the Muslims and they (the People of the Book) are in a state of being humbled. And as for other than them from the disbelievers, then nothing will be accepted from them except Islaam or being killed because they have no religion; and idol worship is a false and futile religion.

And the third saying is that this aayah was abrogated by the aayah commanding jihaad. So this was the case initially before jihaad was legislated, then jihaad was legislated and the aayah was abrogated.

However the first (of the three sayings) is what is correct – that the aayah is not abrogated and that the religion cannot be entered into the hearts by force. Rather it can only enter through choice. However whoever does not accept the Religion, he will be dealt with in a manner that befits him, whether it be being killed or having the jizyah tax taken from him if he be from those regarding whom Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, has legislated that it be taken from.

… فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ

So whoever rejects at-Taaghoot and truly believes in Allaah… 

At-Taaghoot – what is meant is all of the Taaghoots in worship, in following or in obedience because the word “at-Taaghoot” here is left general.

Rejecting the Taaghoot was put before having eemaan in Allaah (in the aayah) because having eemaan in Allaah will not benefit except after rejection of the Taaghoot. So whoever believes in Allaah but does not reject the Taaghoot, then his eemaan will not benefit him. So the person who says that he is a believer and he prays and he fasts and gives the Zakaat and performs the Hajj and he performs the acts of obedience but he does not dissociate himself from shirk nor from the people of shirk and says, “They are not my business” – this person will not be counted as a Muslim because he has not rejected the Taaghoot. So there must be rejection of the Taaghoot and it is to reject the Taaghoot and to believe as creed in its (the Taaghoot’s) falsehood and to distance oneself from it and from its people – this is essential. So his eemaan will not be correct except after rejecting the Taaghoot.

And there occurs in the other aayah:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ

And We sent a messenger to every nation commanding, “Worship Allaah alone and avoid the Taaghoot!” [16:36]

So the worship of Allaah will not be correct except through avoiding the Taaghoot. Two opposites cannot come together; eemaan and kufr cannot come together in the heart. Eemaan and major kufr cannot come together in the heart. As for the lesser kufr then it can come together (with eemaan).

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Book Study Resources – Three Fundamental Principles

Related Links:

https://abdurrahman.org/Tawheed