Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Tolerance and Coercion
(2,413 words)

Accepting attitude towards a plurality of viewpoints and the use of force to influence behavior or beliefs. Qurʾānic vocabulary lacks a specific term to express the idea of tolerance but several verses explicitly state that religious coercion ( ikrāh) is either unfeasible or forbidden; other verses may be interpreted as expressing the same notion. Pertinent qurʾānic attitudes underwent substantial development during Muḥammad's prophetic career. The earliest reference to religious tolerance seems to be included in q 109, a sūra that recognizes the unbridgeable gap between Islam (…

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Friedmann, Yohanan, “Tolerance and Coercion”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 16 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00421>



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