Under Compulsion

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين أما بعد


Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Says:

مَن كَفَرَ بِاللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إِيمَانِهِ إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَـٰكِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِالْكُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَيْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

“Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith; but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allaah, and theirs will be a great torment.” [An-Nahl: 106]


1. Disbelieved here means speaking words of kufr or doing acts of kufr. Ibn Katheer writes in his tafseer: “This refers to another group of people who were oppressed in Makkah and whose position with their own people was weak, so they went along with them when they were tried by them… after their giving in when put to the test, He will forgive them and show mercy to them when they are resurrected.”

The trial of “force” usually arises from the inability to repel that harm by means that would not cause or lead to greater harm for the individual or community. And regarding this ayah, he writes: http://tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=16&tid=28249

2. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Says:

وَمَن يُكْرِههُّنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِن بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“…But if anyone compels them, then after such compulsion, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [An-Noor: 33]

3. Although the ayah was revealed regarding Ubay ibn Salul, who used to force his slave girls into prostitution [see Saheeh Muslim, 7180], the ruling is clear that “…their sin (i.e. the one who is compelled) will be on the one who forced them to do that.” – The matter therefore is not one of sin but the responsibility for the sin.

4. Ibn Rajab said in his ‘Jaami al-Uloom wal-Hikam’, vol. 2, chapter: ‘ruling on one who impels’:

فإذا أكره بغير حق على قول من الأقوال لم يترتب عليه حكم من الأحكام، وكان لغوا فإن كلام المكره صدر منه وهو غير راض به فلذلك عفي عنه ولم يؤاخذ به في أحكام الدنيا والآخرة سواء في ذلك العقود كالبيع والنكاح أو الفسوخ كالخلع والطلاق والعتاق، وكذلك الأيمان والنذور وهذا قول جمهور العلماء وهو قول مالك والشافعي وأحمد

[Also see ibn Uthaymeen’s Majmu’ Fatawa, vol. 1, p.508]

5. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إن الله تجاوز لي عن أمتي الخطأ والنسيان وما استكرهوا عليه

“Allaah has excused (overlooked) my Ummah for mistakes, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.”

[bn Maajah, 2033/2045; Bayhaqi, 7/356 – classed as saheeh by al-Albani in ‘Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah’, 1664]

6. Shaykh Salih Abd al-‘Aziz Aal-Shaykh gave a short sharh thus:

إن الله تجاوز لي عن أمتي الخطأ والنسيان

7. This hadeeth establishes many important principles… From the scholarly derived usool from the Nusoos (in weighing between benefits and harms), state that it is generally better to give up a minor benefit in order to avoid a major harm; or tolerate a minor harm in order to avoid a major harm or gain a major benefit.

May Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Safeguard us from being compelled into saying or acting against His Pleasure.


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