Solving the Seeming Contradiction between the Sword and the Rejection of Duress Verses and its Effect on the Freedom of Religion

Author

Assistant Professor, Department of Jurisprudence & the Principles of the Islamic Law, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

Abstract

One of the main discussions in the Islamic jurisprudence and the interpretation of the noble Qur’ān is the freedom of religion from the viewpoint of Islam. According to the Rejection of Duress verses, anyone is free to choose his religion, and according to the appearance of the Sword verses, people are not free to choose their religion. Then, there can be four relationships between the Sword and the Rejection of Duress verses: 1)  the Sword verses abrogate the Rejection of Duress verses and so, with the revelation of these verses, the ruling for the freedom of religion has been abrogated; 2) the Rejection of Duress verses have abrogated the coercion to choose religion; 3) the Sword verses specify the generality of the Rejection of Duress verses, i.e. people are free to choose their religion except for the cases mentioned in the Sword verses; 4) the Sword verses regard the external duress and the Rejection of Duress verses concern the internal duress. Therefore, people are free internally rather than externally to choose their religion. Due to the revelation of the verse 29 of the Repentance chapter (which conditions the freedom of the People of the Book to maintain their religion to paying jizya), the first possibility is rejected, because it requires the Sword verses to be abrogated after their abrogation of other verses. The second possibility, too, requires the antecedence of the abrogating over the abrogated. In this article, the accuracy of the third possibility is argued for based on a novel method and new arguments.

Keywords


The Noble Qur’ān

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