Now a Muslim apologist (Shah Zahoor of the QDCI Dawah Organization) on our Acts 17 Facebook page is offering qualifying Christians monthly financial support to convert and debate for Islam!
Why do Muslims find it acceptable to bribe people to convert? Many readers will be surprised to learn that this practice comes from Muhammad himself. The Qur'an explains the various purposes of Zakat (mandatory alms):
Qur'an 9:60—The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise.Notice that one of the uses of money is to "reconcile" people's hearts to Islam. Several Muslim translators attempt to obscure the meaning of this phrase, for it obviously refers to giving people money in order to entice them to become Muslims. Indeed, this is precisely how Islam's greatest commentators have interpreted this verse:
Tafsir Jalalayn—The voluntary almsgivings, the alms to be dispensed, are only for the poor, who cannot find anything to suffice them in the least, and the needy, who cannot find anything to suffice them, and those who work with them, that is, [with] these alms, in other words, the one who collects [them], the one who takes the oaths [from those who claim them], the slave to be manumitted by contract, as well as the tax-summoner; and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, so that they might become Muslims, or that Islam might be firmly established, or that their peers might become Muslims, or that they might defend Muslims, all of whom are [classed according to different] categories.Muhammad defended the practice when he was accused of distributing the spoils of war unevenly. In response to his accusers, he said:
Tafsir Ibn Abbas—Allah then explained who is entitled to these alms, saying: (The alms are only for the poor) for the folk of the Platform (and the needy) among the pilgrims, (and those who collect them) i.e. the collectors of alms, (and those whose hearts are to be reconciled) by giving them gifts such as Abu Sufyan and his companions.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir—There are those who are given alms to embrace Islam. For instance, the Prophet of Allah gave something to Safwan bin Umayyah from the war spoils of Hunayn, even though he attended it while a Mushrik. Safwan said, "He kept giving me until he became the dearest person to me after he had been the most hated person to me.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Safwan bin Umayyah said, "The Messenger of Allah gave me (from the spoils of) Hunayn while he was the most hateful person to me. He kept giving me until he became the most beloved person to me.'' Muslim and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, as well. Some of Al-Mu'allafatu Qulubuhum are given from alms so that they become better in Islam and their heart firmer in faith. For instance, the Prophet gave some of the chiefs of the Tulaqa' a hundred camels each after the battle of Hunayn, saying, "I give a man (from the alms) while another man is dearer to me than him, for fear that Allah might throw him on his face in the fire of Jahannam." It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Sa`id said that `Ali sent the Messenger of Allah a gold nugget still in its dirt from Yemen. The Prophet divided it between four men: Al-Aqra` bin Habis, `Uyaynah bin Badr, `Alqamah bin `Ulathah and Zayd Al-Khayr, saying, "To draw their hearts closer." Some people are given because some of his peers might embrace Islam, while others are given to collect alms from surrounding areas, or to defend Muslim outposts. Allah knows best.
Ibn Ishaq, p. 596—"Are you disturbed in mind because of the good things of this life by which I win over a people that they may become Muslims while I entrust you to your Islam?"We find the same pattern in the Hadith:
Sahih Muslim 2313—When the Messenger of Allah conquered Hunain he distributed the booty, and he bestowed it upon those whose hearts it was intended to win.Always remember that in Islam, getting people to convert is what matters. Integrity or sincerity have little importance. If preaching and debating work, then Muslims are called to preach and debate. But if violence, bribery, or deception are the only way to convince people to become Muslims, so be it. I guess that, when you don't have any actual evidence on your side, you have to do what you can.