Praise be to Allaah.
The scholars explained that these two verses,
and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are
not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.
Other scholars said that this applied in the
beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the
Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be
compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this
world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as
a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to
believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in
this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that
these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.
Some of the scholars are of the view that
others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather
these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the
kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk
(polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah
is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
He did not say, “if they pay the jizyah”. The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to
enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them if they
are able to do so. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Fight against those who (1) believe not
in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), (4) and those who
acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing
submission, and feel themselves subdued”
And it was proven that the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned
The basic principle concerning that is the
words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And fight them until there is no more
Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole
of the world]”
“Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st,
7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them
and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic
Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).
These and similar verses abrogate the verses
which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim.
And Allaah is the Source of strength.