Islam, like other divine religions, advocates several precepts and beliefs which Allah has required its followers to believe and propagate, but coercion is not a valid means to achieve this end.

Allah (SWT) says:

There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right (Path of) Guidance has become distinct from the wrong path. [2:256]

Islam commands its adherents to propagate the religion in a good and fair manner. Allah (SWT) says:

Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better. [16:125]

It is a fundamental principle that a person must be convinced before declaring their acceptance of Islam; for if they do so out of compulsion, their speech and outer actions will be incongruent with their belief, and this is defined as hypocrisy in Islam. Islam has warned sternly against hypocrisy and regards it as a sin greater than mere disbelief. Allah (SWT) says:

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Indeed the hypocrites are in the lowest depth of the Fire. [4:145]

This is the role of the Prophets: to convey the message to humans and to guide them to righteousness without compulsion or force. Allah (SWT) says:

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger (O Muhammad (ﷺ). And if you turn away, then (know) Our Messengers have only been sent to clearly convey [the message] [64:12]

The Principal Goals of Islam

The Prophet (ﷺ) said in Mina in his Farewell Pilgrimage:

“Do you know which day this is?” They (i.e., his Companions) replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best”, He said “Indeed this is a sacred Day (the Day of Arafah in hajj). Do you know which place this is?” They (i.e., his Companions) replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best” He said. “A sacred place (Mecca and its surroundings). Do you know which month this is?” They (i.e., his Companions) replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best” He said. “A sacred month (the month of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar). Indeed, Allah has made your lives, your wealth, and your honor inviolable and sacred, like the sanctity of this [sacred] day, in this [sacred] month, in this [sacred] place.” [Bukhari]

The most important goals which Islam calls to and utterly preserves are the preservation of religion, life, honor, wealth, mind, offspring, as well as the preservation of the rights of the weak and disabled. In regard to the inviolability of life, Allah (SWT) says:

And do not kill anyone who Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. [17:33]

In regard to the inviolability of wealth, Allah (SWT) says:

Eat not up your property among yourselves unjustly. [2:188]

In reference to the sanctity of honor, Allah (SWT) says:

And not not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse. verily, it is a lewd evil sin and an evil way. [17:32]

He (SWT) also says:

Who so commits a delinquency or sin, then throws (the blame) thereof upon someone innocent, has burdened himself with falsehood and a flagrant sin. [4:112]

In regard to the prohibition of transgression against lineage and ancestry, Allah (SWT) says:

And when he turns away (from you) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the cultivation and lineage; and Allah loves not mischief and The corruption. [2:205]

Islam takes great care to protect the rights of the weak, for they are more likely to be oppressed than others. For this reason, Allah mentions in the Qur’an several categories of the weak and some ways in which they may be wronged. With regards to parents, Allah (SWT) says:

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them ‘uff’ (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them but address them with terms of honor. [17:23]

In regard to orphans, Allah(SWT)  says:

Therefore, the orphan oppress not. [93:9]

Islam enjoins that their wealth be protected and preserved. Allah (SWT) says:

Come not near the wealth of the orphan except with that which is better (to improve and protect it). [17:34]

In regard to children Allah (SWT) says:

And then you slay not your children because of poverty, We provide for you and for them. [6:151]

In regard to the sick, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Free the prisoner, feed the hungry, and visit the sick.” [al-Bukhari]

 In regard to the elderly, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“He is not from my followers: he who does not respect his elders, nor shows mercy to the young, nor respects the scholars.” [at-Tirmidhi]

In regard to the needy, Allah (SWT) says:

 And repulse not those who ask. [93:10]

 The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever helps his brother in his time of need, Allah will be there in his time of need.” [Muslim]

There are many other excellent manners which the religion of Islam commands Muslims to adopt, all which refines the individual’s character and helps to reform society as a whole.

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