Questions and Answers > Qur'an > Contradictions Qur'an 1-15

Qur’an 2:256 - Does the Qur’an support violence to accept Islam?

There are different answers to the question in the Qur’an:

1. No, the Qur’an doesn’t support violence to become a Muslim - Qur’an 2:256

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion” (Qur’an 2:256).
This verse was published in the time the Muslims needed to stay in a good relation with stronger tribes around them, including many Jewish tribes.

2. Yes, the Qur’an supports violence to become a Muslim - Qur’an 9:3

“And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment” (Qur’an 9:3, 9:5).
“And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush” (Qur’an 9:5).
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled” (Qur’an 9:29).
The above mentioned violent verses in the Qur’an have given motivation to initiate war and genocide, including the slaughter of millions in Africa and Asia.

3. Muslim response

The verses with violence to unbelievers were revealed to Muhammad at the time when Muslims were attacked non-stop by the non-Muslims of Mecca. The non-Muslims were a serious threat to the Muslims in Madinah. Therefore the Muslims had the right to fight back and the verses are not permission for terrorism. However till 21st century too many Muslims use the verses to stimulate violence or to refuse to stop violence against non-Muslims.

4. Conclusion

One verse in the Qur’an says that there is no violence needed to accept Islam, while other verses are telling us that violence is needed to convert someone to Islam. Therefore the verses show a contradiction in the Qur’an.

Is Islam a violent religion?