By: Iftikhar Islam (@IftikharIslam)
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In this 21st century, where the world respect the feelings of the people, yet the Islamic beliefs and tenants are questioned and degraded in the name of “security” and “protection”. Muslims find very difficult to follow their religious practice due to the atmosphere society has created, especially by the media. However, India is one of the few countries in the world who respects the religious feelings of the citizens and allow the propagation of those religious beliefs.
Propagation of Religions in Indian Laws:
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution has the word "secular", thereby implying that the State will not discriminate, patronise or meddle in the profession of any religion. However, it shields individual religions or groups by adding religious rights as fundamental rights. (Wikipedia) (Refer Indian Constitution, Art. 15)
Article 25 (1) of the Indian Constitution says: “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”
Meaning of Public order, morality and health: This means that Article 25 & 26 are not absolute. No person can do such religious things which affect the public order, morality and health. For example, no one has right to conduct human sacrifice. No one can perform worship on busy highway or other public places which disturb the community. (Reference)
Articles 25 - 28 speaks about freedom of Religion and its related affairs.
Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prohibits “Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion… and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.” Section 295 (A) prohibits “Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.” Section 298 prohibits “Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.”
The Indian Penal Code lays down certain restrictions on religious freedom (or on freedom of expression). No right is absolute under Indian Constitution. No one has any right to defame, insult, promote enmity, or hurt the religious sentiments of the people. Neither anyone can forcefully or fraudulently convert anyone to any religion.
Certain States have laws against conversion and prohibits forceful conversion (Read page 5, here).
Propagation of Islam in Islamic texts:
It is an obligation on every Muslim to propagate the teachings of Islam so that the message of Islam is reached to every human being on earth. It is a belief of the Muslims that Islam is a ‘way of life’ which is for the whole of humanity – not just only for the Muslims or the Arabs. The advent of Islam is to eradicate the evils of the society and make the humanity realise their purpose of existence. Islam, itself, stands for peace and submission.
The Quran commands Muslims to invite people to towards Islam. It says: “Invite (all) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and ague with them in ways that are most gracious.” (AQ, 16:125) It also says: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to what is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the one who attain success.” (AQ, 3:104). The Quran commands the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Say, "This is my way; I invite to Allah with insight…” (AQ, 12:108).
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him) commands “Convey my teachings even if it is a single sentence.” (Saheeh Bukhari 3461).
From the above references, it becomes evident that propagation of Islam is an obligation on every Muslim. However, even Islam has laid down certain restrictions on those who propagates it.
The restrictions include forceful, fraudulent, or conversion with any influence.
The Quran says: “There is no compulsion in religion, truth stands out clear from error” (AQ, 2:256). It also says: “So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.” (AQ, 88:21-22)
No Muslim can force anyone or influence him/her to accept Islam. It should be done purely out of one’s own will. The job of a Muslim is to convey the message of Islam and try to convince them – through wisdom, beautiful preaching, and debating. Once the person is convinced, he can choose his path - which one to follow - either to accept Islam or reject it. Any decision is welcome.
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About the Author:
Iftikhar Islam is the Founder-Administrator of GPRF Network, Editor-in-Chief of Truth Arrived and Passionate Writers; an author best known for collaborating management strategies with Islamic knowledge for an all-round Islamic development as required in the 21st century. He holds a Post Graduate Degree in Business Management from IIPM School of Business & Economy; and an ardent of Islam, Comparative Religions, Education, Media and Law. | Know More |
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