The Quran tells us that there is no compulsion in the matter of religion. (2:256) However this was not the order of the day when Islam came to the world in the 7th century AD. In The Revolutionary Role of Islam, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains that Islam came to make this a reality. As such the expansion of the Islamic empire was not simply a political event. Its aim was to set in motion a revolutionary process in history that was initiated in Makkah, traveled first to Madinah, then to Damascus and Baghdad, from there to Spain and thereafter, it spread all over Europe and culminated in the 20th century worldwide. There were two basic aspects to this movement. One was the end of religious persecution (referred in the Quran as ‘fitna,’ 8:39) so that religious freedom became the order of the day, and the second was the universalization of intellectual and religious freedom for all, by the end of the 20th century. The book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand this issue comprehensively.

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