Okay, continuing on with my story.
What about people who change their religion (ex. Go from being Muslim to Christian, etc)?
You were given the freedom to choose whatever religion you wanted, be it Islam, Christianity, or other. No one, not even Muhammad (PBUH), could force someone else to be a Muslim.
29:18 “If you reject the truth, then indeed nations before you rejected it, and nothing is incumbent upon the messenger except the delivery of a clear message.”
88:21-26 “So remind, for you are but a reminder. You have no power over them. Except for he who turns away and rejects. Then God will punish him with the great retribution. Indeed, to Us is their return. Then to Us is their judgment.”
The foolishness about killing apostates is a load of garbage. The Qur’an says that Allah (SWT) is our judge and that He will judge between us and clarify for us that in which we differed, and punish those who didn’t believe in Him. So who are we to try to usurp God’s place as judge?
In fact, if people don’t believe, we are supposed to leave them alone. Not harass them, abuse them, stone them or kill them.
43:88-89 “And it will be said: “O my Lord, these are a people who do not believe.” So disregard them and say: “Peace.” For they will come to know.”
Nor are we forbidden to be friends with Christians, Jews, or anyone else, especially if they don’t obstruct us in practicing our religion. In fact, we are instructed to be kind and fair to them.
60:8 “God does not prohibit you from those who have not fought you because of your system, nor drove you out of your homes, that you deal kindly and equitably with them. For God loves the equitable.”
Why does God allow so many different religions if only one really leads to Him?
2:148 “Everyone has a direction to which he turns. Hasten then to outdo each other in everything good. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all unto Him, for verily God has power over all things.”
5:48 “For each of you We appointed a law and a way. Had God desired, He would have made all of you a single community, but He wished (instead) to try you in what He has given you; therefore, compete excelling one another in goodness; to God alone is the return of all of you; it is then that He shall declare to you that wherein you differed.”
22:17 “On the Day of Judgment, God will decide between those who believe, those who are Jews, the Sabians, the Christians, the Magians, and the polytheists; verily God is witness over all things.”
God’s forgiveness extends to all, not just Jews or Christians:
5:18 “And the Jews and the Nazarenes said: “We are the children of God, and His loved ones.” Say: “Then why does He punish you for your sins?” No, you are merely human beings which He has created. He forgives whom He pleases, and He punishes whom He pleases. And to God is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is in-between, and to Him is the destiny.”
9:27 “Then God will accept the repentance of whom He pleases after that. God is Forgiving, Merciful.”
42:25 “And He is the One who accepts the repentance from His servants, and He forgives the sins. He is fully aware of what you do.”
And so, after two long, confusing, stressful years I gave in to the truth of what I’d learned and the longing in my heart and became a Muslim. I know that it won’t be easy to tell my family, but what person has been given faith and not been tried in that faith? Inshallah, trials will only make my faith stronger.
In closing, I leave you with these verses.
1 Timothy 4:10 “We struggle and work hard because we have placed our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all and especially of those who believe.”
28:70 “And He is God, there is no god except He. To Him belongs all praise in the first and in the last, and judgment belongs with Him, and to Him you will be returned.”
30:60 “Be patient, therefore; verily the promise of God is true, and let not those who have no belief in God make you despair of His promise.”
Alhamdilullah! May we all be together one day in Paradise , enjoying the reward of God to his faithful. Ameen.