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In the Name of God بسم الله

Death Penalty For Apostasy

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  • Advanced Member (With Sisters Club Membership)

(salam)

 

As past of my Jurisprudence module at uni, my lecturer expects the class to engage in a moral/legal debate. She has suggested that the topic be about capital punishment for those who leave their religion or belief system.

 

Anyhow, the class is split into two groups, one for one against.

 

Now as a Muslim I can understand the death penalty and the issue of apostasy from the Islamic standpoint, and that is necessary when engaging in a debate about such an issue, but I am the only Muslim in my class and even I didn't know much about this issue till i researched it a bit. Even then I doubt a non-muslim would be able to comprehend the reasons and justifications our religion gives for such rulings.

 

Anyway to cut this post short, I need to figure out how to argue FOR the death penalty for apostasy and give strong justifications and convincing arguments, but alas I don't know how to.

 

I would strongly appreciate any help guys.

 

Thanks.

 

This is a good article on Apostasy in Islam for those who might wanna brush up on their knowledge: http://www.al-islam.org/articles/apostacy-islam-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

Eklek 

 

I will post something I wrote some time ago.

It is not, I think, a facile read (in either meaning of the word 'facile'), and it was written impromptu, so the layout may need some reorganising, but I hope you find it beneficial anyway, and to the point (in fact, extremely to the point).

Please note that this is only an apology for the death penalty on the assumption that it exists as a law in a True religion, and in the context of what I wrote, Islam.

Whether or not the assumption is correct is irrelevant to the following.

 

 

Your question is whether or not I have an explanation for the apostasy law as conventionally held. 

I think that a number of explanations are possible, but not all are adequate

At the moment,there is just one explanation which I consider almost adequate, and it is the following. 

Please understand that the following is just a rationalisation of the law.

claim neither that it is a correct explanation nor that it justifies the law.

My only claim is that I think the following is an adequate explanation of the law, i.e. why the law is beneficial and how it squares with tolerance and the freedom to think and believe.

I apologise in advance for any flaws in my presentation.

 

*

 

First, we suppose that there is a religion that is indeed True. 

We ask: is it possible that this religion, which is True, would contain the conventional law of apostasy?

This is how we might answer the question.

Apostasy is to renounce a religion, in this case, the True religion. 

When a person considers renouncing this True religion, they are either unconvinced that this religion is False or they are convinced that it is False. 

If the former, then the conventional law of apostasy terrifies them from renouncing the True religion without conviction of its Falsity. 

Is this good? 

Yes, it is; because it is folly to renounce something unless one is convinced that it is False. 

If, however, the latter, then they are either unconvinced of the Truth of any other lifestyle or they are convinced of the Truth of some other lifestyle. 

If the former, then the conventional law of apostasy terrifies them from renouncing the True religion without being convinced of another lifestyle.

Is this good?

Yes, it is; because it is impossible to renounce one lifestyle without shifting into another lifestyle, and it is folly to shift into a lifestyle that might be equally False, since the person is unconvinced of the Truth of any other lifestyle.

 

Digression

If it is objected that the person is convinced that the True religion is False, then it is still more reasonable to live a an uncertain lifestyle than a lifestyle which they are convinced is False. 

To this objection, one may say: this may be correct, but it is reasonable for the True religion, which knows its own Truth, to terrify the person from shifting into a different lifestyle, which it would know to be False of course, until the person is absolutely convinced that this different lifestyle is True. 

In other words, it ensures that the person does not renounce the True religion until they are convinced that another lifestyle is the Truth. 

 

But, if the latter, then they are either convinced of a lifestyle or religion in which the world is without purpose or justice or convinced of another religion in which there is a cosmic divine wisdom and justice.

If the former, then the conventional law of apostasy terrifies them from renouncing the True religion for a lifestyle that denies there is any meaning, purpose or justice in the world. 

Is this good?

Yes, it is; because a person who believes there is no meaning, purpose or justice in the world is left with nihilism: a world in which the powerful dominate the weak, and so they cannot complain if, in accordance with their own newly-found beliefs, the True religion exercises its power to dominate the weak. 

In any case, nothing life would really matter, since there was no cosmic meaning or purpose, so it does not really matter if there is freedom of belief or not, just as it does not really matter when an antelope gets preyed upon by a lion. And, while it may matter to them personally, what matters to them personally does not matter to anybody else, and since they are deny divine purpose, it also does not matter to the divine. 

The bitterness of this conclusion may lead them to rethink their lifestyle choice and prefer a religion of divine justice.

If the latter, then they are either insincere in their belief, e.g. there is a worldly motive involved or sincere. 

If the former, then the conventional law of apostasy terrifies them from making an insincere decision.

Is this good?

Yes, it is; because insincerity is a vice, and if, however, they prefer to be insincere, i.e. immoral, then they have no business complaining that the law of apostasy is somehow immoral. 

If the latter, then they are either not caught practicing this new lifestyle or they are found out and killed. 

If the former, then the conventional law of apostasy ensures that their mistaken, albeit sincere, choice does not spread to people who are also in the process of investigating the foundations of their religion. 

Is this good?

Yes, it is; because each person who is on the Truth, but does not yet know it, would prefer to remain on it until its Truth became clear, rather than renounce it by mistake.

And so, every person has the right not to be confused by the mistaken decisions of others. 

If the latter, then it means that the person was killed after being convinced that the True religion is False, and being convinced that this other, divine or semi-divine, lifestyle is True, and in all sincerity practicing this preferred lifestyle. 

In other words, the person is a martyr of his own sincerity.

God is Just. 

If someone sincerely goes to the gallows for a belief of which they are convinced, then God does not punish this person in the hereafter. 

The moment they die, that moment of fear, will pass, and they will be counted as every other person who sincerely made their journey to God, and except for the punishment of other sins they committed, they will not be reprimanded for something that was beyond their intellectual capacity - for God does not burden a soul except to its capacity. 

And by killing this person when caught, the conventional law of apostasy ensures that other people do not make the same risk until they are also absolutely convinced of the Falsity of this religion and the Truth of another, divine or semi-divine lifestyle, and are sincere in their practice of it and willing to die if necessary. 

If this applies to a person, then the person is freed from blame.

If not, then the person is held from committing a decision that is based on either insincerity or uncertainty or meaninglessness. 

So, this True religion, which contains the law of apostasy, does not stifle every sort of freedom of belief - it stifles insincere beliefs, it stifles False beliefs based on non-conviction, it stifles beliefs that cannot defend themselves against their own stifling, i.e. nihilistic beliefs. 

In short, this religion allows the expression of a sincere, convinced, and divine or semi-divine belief, but in return for either secrecy of the practicioner.

Or, if the practicioner expresses his apostasy in public, this expression is allowed in return for their martyrdom.

In the end, death comes to us all. 

What greater death than to die for the sake of our sincere religious beliefs, of which we are strongly convinced?

God grants this even to the sincere apostate; this, in itself, is what the sincere apostate would want - to die for their faith and to be rewarded for their sincerity in the afterlife.

So, the conventional law of apostasy grants them that.

concede that the death penalty is painful. 

But so is being martyred in battle. 

In the end, this is a martyrdom that religion affords its sincere apostates, and does not punish them for their apostasy in the afterlife. 

Of course, to ordinary eyes, this seems barbaric. 

But why is it barbaric if it ensures that a person does not decide until they have sufficient reason to decide and until they have the sincerity of heart to decide and if it ensures their ultimate salvation?

 

This, I think, is adequate

It is adequate, because it shows that the conventional law of apostasy actually favours the seeking of truth, by ensuring that a person does not change until they are fully convinced, utterly sincere, and non-nihilist, and when they change at last, fulfilling these epithets, they are ultimately rewarded.  

 

Of course, there is one crucial presupposition on which the entire chain of reasoning hinges: that the religion under discussion is the True one.

You, as a Muslim, who believes in the truth of Islam, asked me to explain the conventional law of apostasy in Islam (which we assume, for the purpose of discussion, to exist). 

You did not ask me to explain the conventional law of apostasy in a religion we would consider False. 

If you had asked me to explain law of apostasy in, say, a pagan religion, then I would have said that this law is man-made, because paganism is man-made. 

But in asking me about Islam, I understood you to be saying: how can Islam, which is True, legislate this law? 

Indeed, if Islam was False, there would be no need for explanation. 

It is because you believe it is True, that the question arises as to how can a True religion contain this shocking, even suspicious element.

So, on the assumption that Islam is True, I hope I have shown how it would be reasonable for it to contain this element, and how it does not contradict its respect for freedom of thought and belief.

 

As to whether or not the law makes Islam intolerant, the answer is, yes and no. 

It is intolerant of Muslims changing their religion insincerely, or without conviction, or to a nihilistic, meaningless lifestyle. 

But it is not intolerant of Muslims changing with sincerity, with conviction, and to a meaningful lifestyle.

Overall, is the conventional law of apostasy a case of intolerance?

Or is it mercy that merely seems harsh?

Perhaps, what makes it seem intolerant is our instinctive way of looking at the world, and life, as a finite stretch, ending in the void.

Rather, there is one world, two countries separated by a gulf, connected by a bridge, which everybody will eventually cross.

The bridge between this world and the next is death.

The punishment for the sincere apostate is just to cross it sooner, and the reward for his sincerity is not to be punished for his apostasy in the new country.

I do not see this to be intolerant, except if we fail to perceive it as it really is. 

Naturally, it will be intolerant and horrific for people who believe that there is no afterlife - but, realistically, we are speaking about a society in which such a belief is prevalent.

 

*

 

Now, I said this is adequate, but I do not say it is the correct explanation, or even that my explanation justifies the law. 

It is only a possible explanation, and one which, I think, has good reason to be correct.

 

 

Objection: a True religion would not force someone into hypocrisy. 

In other words, a True religion would force one into sincere self-expression.

 

However, I think there is room to dispute this point.

I would begin by asking, Would it render a religion False if it created conditions under which a racist could not express their racism in public?

Suppose you answer 'yes, it would render it False'; I would ask, What proof do you have?

But if you answer 'no', then I would ask, Isn't a person who harbours racist thoughts and beliefs, and who is compelled by fear of the law to keep this private, forced into hypocrisy?

Suppose you answer 'yes'; then I would say that this entails that a True religion may force into hypocrisy.

But if you answer 'no'; I would ask, Is not 'hypocrisy' when a person acts in public contrary to their private preferences, or when a person speaks or does what iscontradictory to what one believes or means or does whenever they can get away with it?

Suppose you answer 'no'; then I would ask, What do you mean by 'hypocrisy'?

But if you answer 'yes'; I would say, A person who has racist beliefs but is compelled by fear to act non-racist has the form of a person who has beliefs but acts contrary to those beliefs, which is what we agreed is 'hypocrisy'; since we also agreed that a True religion may create conditions under which a racist is prohibited from expressing their racism in public, it follows that a True religion may force someone into hypocrisy. 

 

Objection: Contrary to assumption, the conventional law of apostasy does not deter people who are convinced of the Falsity of Islam and or convinced of the Truth of another lifestyle. 

 

I do have something that may justify this assumption, and I argue as follows:

Beliefs do not automatically translate into actions, but it depends on the stakes involved.

One might be convinced on the basis of some argument, that a person committed murder, but one might feel less willing to rely on that argument if a 'guilty' verdict means death rather than 7 years in jail.

The conventional law deters people who are convinced that Islam is False, by raising the stakes of belief, and raising the threshold beyond which conviction translates into action. 

A True religion is never proven False.

Thus, if someone is convinced that a True religion is False, they are logically unjustified

The high stakes involved increase the pressure to conform, which motivates a person to reevaluate one's reasons against Islam, and since these reasons are logically invalid or unsound, this increases the probability of a change in their conviction.

 

Incidentally, there is another, secondary benefit to the death penalty with respect to people who are convinced that Islam is False:

If a person renounces Islam privately, it does not bar them from reconciling themselves to Islam again when they realise, as they might, that their conviction was unjustified.

If a person renounces Islam publicly, this reconciliation could be more difficult. 

In this way, the death penalty maximises the chances of this reconciliation, because it adds psychological factors like fear of public embarrassment or stubborn refusal to backtrack. 

 

 

(wasalam)

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When a person declares himself to be a Muslim, he gets rights and privileges and even if he has fought Muslims once he becomes a Muslim he is then born a new and therefore this is open to misuse, if we didn't have such a ruling then people would declare to be a Muslim when it benefits them but they would leave Islam once it isn't materially beneficial to them.

 

Also the death sentence serves as a prevention from apostasy. 

 

Also when a Muslim declares openly that he is a non Muslim then his only aim is to confuse other Muslims with himself because if he doesn't believe in Islam he can not believe and keep it to himself and no one has the right to ask him or test him or even be suspicious of him.

 

your best chance is to argue on a meta level, argue about the origin of morality, justice and fairness. Your teacher really is a douche, bringing up Islam in such an unfair and misrepresented view and introducing it to young minds who have no idea what to do.

 

go with jebreil, he has a better post.

Edited by Khalilallah
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  • Advanced Member (With Sisters Club Membership)

Jeb - Thanks for that will give it a read.

 

Khalil + UnknownShia - Death as a deterrent (from secular viewpoints) is a highly disproportionate measure. They will argue reasonably that, fine let there be a punishment if you insist but let it be proportionate. For example excommunication/exile, why death?


Also if you want to argue that announcing your apostasy will cause people to doubt their own faith and become confused then Islam will look like it has pretty weak foundations and system.

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  • Advanced Member

Jeb - Thanks for that will give it a read.

 

Khalil + UnknownShia - Death as a deterrent (from secular viewpoints) is a highly disproportionate measure. They will argue reasonably that, fine let there be a punishment if you insist but let it be proportionate. For example excommunication/exile, why death?

Also if you want to argue that announcing your apostasy will cause people to doubt their own faith and become confused then Islam will look like it has pretty weak foundations and system.

 

Exile where? Somewhere where he could spread his apostasy?

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There is no death penalty for apostasy. Such a punishment is in direct contradiction to the Quran and the Tradition of the Prophet s.a.w.a.

The only people to whom capital punishment is given are the traitors who after leaving Islam fight the muslims. Treason is capital punishment in most of the world until today.

 

Those who try and justify such maddness as "death punishment for leaving Islam" can not point to a single verse in the Quran where such a thing is ordered. Quite the opposite one can point to a dozen verses stating mankind's freedom in religion.

 

The only argument they point to are few narrations speaking of warring traitors who left Islam and then joined the Maccans in war against the muslims.

The treaty of Hudaybiya signed by the Prophet s.a.w.a makes the point quite clearly. "And if a Quray[Edited Out]e comes without the permission of his guardian to Muhammad, he shall be delivered up to the Quraysh; but if, on the other hand, one of Muhammad's people comes to the Quraysh, he shall not be delivered up to Muhammad."

 

The Quran states.

 

"Should we force it upon you while you are averse to it?"

"There is no compulsion in religion"

"To your religion and to us our religion"

"Would you compel people in order that they become believers?"

 

And so many more verses of the Noble Quran declaring freedom of mankind in such a matter, and the principle of belief in God through conviction.

 

Furthermore such a punishment instead of deterring people from leaving Islam produces hypocrites by the hundreds and the thousands. What then is the point of such laws when we know how hypocrisy is viewed in the Quran. Far be it from Allah and His Prophet s.a.w.a. to enact laws such as these, that not only don't serve their supposed purpose (since truth needs no one to enforce it, it is evident) and do no good whatsoever, but are nonsensial contradictory and against the spirit of the pure religion of Islam.

Edited by colargol
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My personal opinion is of absolutely no value whatsoever, but i personally feel the 'kill and apostate rule' even when they do not commit treason is a very dangerous and unfair rule, and may Allah swt forgive my flawed logic, but i am convinced of this.

 

Imagine if Christianity and Judaism also had such laws. Imagine now, if every Muslim convert in the UK was murdered, or every world-wide was simply murdered? No-one would be able to freely convert and freely preach.

 

If a religion which i know Islam is, built on truth is so convincing, then let people who choose to leave it answer to God, why kill them?

 

If we argue their leaving will misguide others, well there are atheists and non-born muslim who levy arguments against Islam and spread far more 'confusion' than a potential apostate.

 

Furthermore, there are those who consider shia's themselves apostates, within Islam. Such a law of 'death' reaps total and utter havock.

 

Lastly, one may argue that you might not have the 'true' Islam painted to you. If i were born a sunni, was taught God actually has a physical limitation, moves, can be seen etc, i would utterly reject worshiping such a God which is totally ludicrous and unsubstantiated by logic. I may , if not exposed to anything else, incline to leaving Islam - though the Quran should be sufficient to prove its truth, it may not be presented in such a way.

 

What happens to me? Death? And i'm suddenly a matyr, murdered ?

 

It's such an insult to human decency to murder someone who wishes to change their view, and THEN call them a matyr. You (the one carrying out) murdered them. Either they deserved so, or you're a gruesome being. Don't you dare then say 'well if they were sincere i made them a matyr'.

 

Furthermore, those 'born' into Islam have no choice. Their parents followed it. Therefore upon maturity i can not fathom why they would be considered apostates if they chose to leave Islam. Surely the law must only apply to those who have willingly come to Islam themselves, then left.

 

When do you carry out such punishment by the way, if someone born into a muslim family decides to leave Islam . When they begin puberty, so as low as 9 years old for a girl, you're willing to murder her ?(or beat her?)

Or a guy, if they are 12?

 

How many blind followers i see on Shiachat who have not a clue why Muhammed pbuh is the final messenger, and not a clue why Islam is true and other religions are not, and are essentially products of following because their parents follow and they are probably atleast 18+.

 

Now, imagine a 12 year old. How many 12 year old baligh boys or girls really know what they are doing, to deserve being murdered if they chose to leave Islam?

 

It's pure madness, and may Allah swt forgive my ijtihad.

 

Those advocating a death penalty could probably not even hold a debate to prove Islam is true, or God exists. I have seen this - again- with my own eyes.

 

Quran: "Noah replied, "My people do you think - that if my Lord has sent me a miracle and granted me mercy but your ignorance has obscured them from your sight - we can force you to believe when you do not want to?"

 

The verse tells the people, if Allah swt presented clear signs, mankinds ignorance, - or some among mankind- may have bias, ignorance, and may not 'see'. Could then Noah pbuh compel those whose hearts were averse believe when they did not want to?

 

Quran: "And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?"

 

If Allah swt had wanted we would ALL have been muslims, belieiving. So then, Allah swt tells his prophet, are you really going to force people to believe?

 

 

Imagine if someone goes through depression, a mental health disorder, has the twisted form of Islam presented and are momentarily disgusted by it - imagine if you murdered them for that change? They left Islam perhaps knowing it to be true but out of hate, or ignorance, or a genuine mental health disorder which you may not be able to diagnose -which is legitimate, you've murdered them in cold blood.

Edited by Tawheed313
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We have proof of individuals who apostated and were not even killed. I would love an explanation as to why Muhammed pbuh did not kill this apostate, rather let him go? 

Abdullah ibn Saad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

‘Abdullāh ibn Sa‘ad ibn Abī as-Sarḥ (Arabicعبدالله بن سعد بن أبي السرح‎) was the foster brother of Uthman. His father was Saad ibn Abi Sarh.

During his time as governor of Egypt (646 CE to 656 CE), ibn Abi as-Sarh built a strong Egyptian Arab navy. Under his leadership the Muslim navy won a number of victories including its first major naval battle against the Byzantine emperor Constans II at the Battle of the Masts in 655 CE. One of his achievements while governor of Egypt was the capture of Tripoli in 647 whereby he brought Libya into the Islamic Empire.

 

 

During Muhammad's Era[edit]

Al-Tabari has recorded in his tafsir that although ibn Abi Sarh had apostatized, he returned to Islam before the conquest of Mecca.[1][2] On the other hand, in his History, al-Tabari records about ibn Abi Sarh and Muhammad that "Abdallah b.Sa`d b. Abi Sarh used to write for him. He apostatized from Islam and later returned to Islam on the day of the conquest of Mecca.".[3] A hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud records an account of ibn Abi Sarh's tense encounter with Muhammad on that day.[4]

Edited by Tawheed313
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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

tawheed

 

Brother, if the information about the Prophet's forgiving the apostasy of 'Abdullah b. Sa'd is authentic, it does not help the case against the death penalty for apostasy. 

Please read the hadith that is linked (in wikipedia) to the sentence alluding to his 'tense' encounter with the Prophet that day. 

I think, however, that b. Sa'd's case was not due to mere apostasy, since the fuqaha hold that a convert is allowed repentance (and all companions apart from those who came to Islam prepubescent or were born to Islam during the Prophecy era were converts).

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Jebreil
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EDIT: Although, as I just noticed, for Eklek's purposes, which I understand to be purely academic (I believe he is not meant to defend putative Islamic laws, but just, as a moral/legal exercise, capital punishment for apostasy), the actual status of apostasy in Islam is irrelevant. 


It would be good if they could confirm if that's the case, i.e. if it is only an academic exercise, irrelevant to the actual status of apostasy in Islam.

Edited by Jebreil
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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

tawheed

 

Brother, if the information about the Prophet's forgiving the apostasy of 'Abdullah b. Sa'd is authentic, it does not help the case against the death penalty for apostasy. 

Please read the hadith that is linked (in wikipedia) to the sentence alluding to his 'tense' encounter with the Prophet that day. 

I think, however, that b. Sa'd's case was not due to mere apostasy, since the fuqaha hold that a convert is allowed repentance (and all companions apart from those who came to Islam prepubescent or were born to Islam during the Prophecy era were converts).

 

(wasalam)

 

Peace be with you dear brother Jebreil,

 

If a 12 year old boy who has acquired puberty leaves Islam publicly, and a 40 year old man who had 10 years as a muslim but was a converted left, would you deem it just to murder the 12 year old, and allow the 40 year old man who knows what he is doing repentance, even if his repentance takes many years ?

 

I'm shocked about this law and rule. Suffice to say if Christianity and Judaism also had this law, the world would be dangerous and a  blood-bath. A muslim apostate does barely any damage compared to the non-muslim think-tank and websites aimed against Islam by non-muslims. Should we kill anyone who disagree's with us, or who uses their free will to choose another path?

 

If Allah swt will not punish - possibly- someone who had Islam presented to them wrongly in the Akirah and were sincere in seeking the truth, why would he punish someone who was born into a wahhabi household, knew the logical flaws of wahhabism, and left islam because of the poor version they were presented?

Edited by Tawheed313
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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

tawheed

 

Brother, the points you raise should be considered by anybody who wishes to come to a conclusion on this matter.

My comment was only pertinent to the 'Abdullah b. Sa'd case you mentioned. 

 

I also think that Eklek has been assigned the role of defending the case by his tutor, and not as an apologist for Islam, but just as an academic exercise.

It's not necessarily his own view (or it might be, but that's not significant in the context of the exercise) and he's just meant to debate it for the sake of a tutorial.

What he is asking for are the strongest arguments that can be used in defence of capital punishment for apostasy.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Jebreil
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What do people think of the following verses. It talks about hypocrites and if they turn on their backs, to kill them. But then it says if they offer peace and don't want to fight you, not to kill them and that there is no authority over them in that case.

 

فَمَا لَكُمْ فِي الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَاللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِمَا كَسَبُوا ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَهْدُوا مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ ۖ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلًا {88}

[shakir 4:88] What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him.

وَدُّوا لَوْ تَكْفُرُونَ كَمَا كَفَرُوا فَتَكُونُونَ سَوَاءً ۖ فَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُمْ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا {89}

[shakir 4:89] They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

إِلَّا الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ مِيثَاقٌ أَوْ جَاءُوكُمْ حَصِرَتْ صُدُورُهُمْ أَنْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ أَوْ يُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمَهُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ فَلَقَاتَلُوكُمْ ۚ فَإِنِ اعْتَزَلُوكُمْ فَلَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ وَأَلْقَوْا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ فَمَا جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سَبِيلًا {90}

[shakir 4:90Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.

سَتَجِدُونَ آخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَأْمَنُوكُمْ وَيَأْمَنُوا قَوْمَهُمْ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوا إِلَى الْفِتْنَةِ أُرْكِسُوا فِيهَا ۚ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَعْتَزِلُوكُمْ وَيُلْقُوا إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَمَ وَيَكُفُّوا أَيْدِيَهُمْ فَخُذُوهُمْ وَاقْتُلُوهُمْ حَيْثُ ثَقِفْتُمُوهُمْ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكُمْ جَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانًا مُبِينًا {91}

[shakir 4:91] You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority.


My personal opinion is of absolutely no value whatsoever, but i personally feel the 'kill and apostate rule' even when they do not commit treason is a very dangerous and unfair rule, and may Allah swt forgive my flawed logic, but i am convinced of this.

My opinion is that Christians and Jews have a better idea of God then Muslims who believe in this including our scholars. That's why I'm hesitant to call myself Muslim or Shia, because these days there is all sorts of things associated with the religion that attributes more evil to God then other people of other faiths.

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I'm shocked about this law and rule. Suffice to say if Christianity and Judaism also had this law, the world would be dangerous and a  blood-bath. 

The Quran clearly states it only allows killing for killing of another self or corruption in the earth. This rules out being killed for apostasy, being killed for illegal sex whether married or gay. However I would say rape is doing fasaad in the earth as it's assaulting people and oppression. 

 

But people make excuses to not follow clear verses in God's book all for the sake of sticking to tradition. Imam Mahdi is said to be mujadad for the ahkam of Quran for a reason! 

Edited by StrugglingForTheLight
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Exile where? Somewhere where he could spread his apostasy?

 

Arguing from a western standpoint, people have a right to freedom of belief, people should be free to choose to believe or not believe whatever they want and the shouldn't be forced to remain in a belief system that they no longer agree with.

 

There is no death penalty for apostasy. Such a punishment is in direct contradiction to the Quran and the Tradition of the Prophet s.a.w.a.

The only people to whom capital punishment is given are the traitors who after leaving Islam fight the muslims. Treason is capital punishment in most of the world until today.

 

Those who try and justify such maddness as "death punishment for leaving Islam" can not point to a single verse in the Quran where such a thing is ordered. Quite the opposite one can point to a dozen verses stating mankind's freedom in religion.

 

The only argument they point to are few narrations speaking of warring traitors who left Islam and then joined the Maccans in war against the muslims.

The treaty of Hudaybiya signed by the Prophet s.a.w.a makes the point quite clearly. "And if a Quray[Edited Out]e comes without the permission of his guardian to Muhammad, he shall be delivered up to the Quraysh; but if, on the other hand, one of Muhammad's people comes to the Quraysh, he shall not be delivered up to Muhammad."

 

The Quran states.

 

"Should we force it upon you while you are averse to it?"

"There is no compulsion in religion"

"To your religion and to us our religion"

"Would you compel people in order that they become believers?"

 

And so many more verses of the Noble Quran declaring freedom of mankind in such a matter, and the principle of belief in God through conviction.

 

Furthermore such a punishment instead of deterring people from leaving Islam produces hypocrites by the hundreds and the thousands. What then is the point of such laws when we know how hypocrisy is viewed in the Quran. Far be it from Allah and His Prophet s.a.w.a. to enact laws such as these, that not only don't serve their supposed purpose (since truth needs no one to enforce it, it is evident) and do no good whatsoever, but are nonsensial contradictory and against the spirit of the pure religion of Islam.

 

1. Yes there is a death penalty for apostasy. (Not for women though, women get life imprisonment until the repent, then they are pardoned and the punishment is lifted)

2. No it's not in contradiction with the Quran.

3. "No believing man and no believing woman has a choice in their own affairs when Allāh and His Messenger have decided on an issue." (33:36) - Once a person submits to Islam, it is no longer a choice for them to leave. You can't force a person to become Muslim, but once they do they can't just leave as they please. It's not a party, it's Allah (swt).

4. Allah doesn't need to justify His laws to mischievous lay people who just want to cause fitna. Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean there's no wisdom behind it.

 

 

My personal opinion is of absolutely no value whatsoever, but i personally feel the 'kill and apostate rule' even when they do not commit treason is a very dangerous and unfair rule, and may Allah swt forgive my flawed logic, but i am convinced of this.

 

Imagine if Christianity and Judaism also had such laws. Imagine now, if every Muslim convert in the UK was murdered, or every world-wide was simply murdered? No-one would be able to freely convert and freely preach.

 

If a religion which i know Islam is, built on truth is so convincing, then let people who choose to leave it answer to God, why kill them?

 

If we argue their leaving will misguide others, well there are atheists and non-born muslim who levy arguments against Islam and spread far more 'confusion' than a potential apostate.

 

Furthermore, there are those who consider shia's themselves apostates, within Islam. Such a law of 'death' reaps total and utter havock.

 

Lastly, one may argue that you might not have the 'true' Islam painted to you. If i were born a sunni, was taught God actually has a physical limitation, moves, can be seen etc, i would utterly reject worshiping such a God which is totally ludicrous and unsubstantiated by logic. I may , if not exposed to anything else, incline to leaving Islam - though the Quran should be sufficient to prove its truth, it may not be presented in such a way.

 

What happens to me? Death? And i'm suddenly a matyr, murdered ?

 

It's such an insult to human decency to murder someone who wishes to change their view, and THEN call them a matyr. You (the one carrying out) murdered them. Either they deserved so, or you're a gruesome being. Don't you dare then say 'well if they were sincere i made them a matyr'.

 

Furthermore, those 'born' into Islam have no choice. Their parents followed it. Therefore upon maturity i can not fathom why they would be considered apostates if they chose to leave Islam. Surely the law must only apply to those who have willingly come to Islam themselves, then left.

 

When do you carry out such punishment by the way, if someone born into a muslim family decides to leave Islam . When they begin puberty, so as low as 9 years old for a girl, you're willing to murder her ?(or beat her?)

Or a guy, if they are 12?

 

How many blind followers i see on Shiachat who have not a clue why Muhammed pbuh is the final messenger, and not a clue why Islam is true and other religions are not, and are essentially products of following because their parents follow and they are probably atleast 18+.

 

Now, imagine a 12 year old. How many 12 year old baligh boys or girls really know what they are doing, to deserve being murdered if they chose to leave Islam?

 

It's pure madness, and may Allah swt forgive my ijtihad.

 

Those advocating a death penalty could probably not even hold a debate to prove Islam is true, or God exists. I have seen this - again- with my own eyes.

 

Quran: "Noah replied, "My people do you think - that if my Lord has sent me a miracle and granted me mercy but your ignorance has obscured them from your sight - we can force you to believe when you do not want to?"

 

The verse tells the people, if Allah swt presented clear signs, mankinds ignorance, - or some among mankind- may have bias, ignorance, and may not 'see'. Could then Noah pbuh compel those whose hearts were averse believe when they did not want to?

 

Quran: "And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed - all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?"

 

If Allah swt had wanted we would ALL have been muslims, belieiving. So then, Allah swt tells his prophet, are you really going to force people to believe?

 

 

Imagine if someone goes through depression, a mental health disorder, has the twisted form of Islam presented and are momentarily disgusted by it - imagine if you murdered them for that change? They left Islam perhaps knowing it to be true but out of hate, or ignorance, or a genuine mental health disorder which you may not be able to diagnose -which is legitimate, you've murdered them in cold blood.

 

1. Apostasy and treason have been likened, they are not very different things when it comes to the Islamic 

2. Please don't liken Christianity and Judaism to Islam in this context. Islam is THE completed religion, the only religion worth following, the others are not.

 

 

We have proof of individuals who apostated and were not even killed. I would love an explanation as to why Muhammed pbuh did not kill this apostate, rather let him go? 

Abdullah ibn Saad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 

‘Abdullāh ibn Sa‘ad ibn Abī as-Sarḥ (Arabic: عبدالله بن سعد بن أبي السرح‎) was the foster brother of Uthman. His father was Saad ibn Abi Sarh.

During his time as governor of Egypt (646 CE to 656 CE), ibn Abi as-Sarh built a strong Egyptian Arab navy. Under his leadership the Muslim navy won a number of victories including its first major naval battle against the Byzantine emperor Constans II at the Battle of the Masts in 655 CE. One of his achievements while governor of Egypt was the capture of Tripoli in 647 whereby he brought Libya into the Islamic Empire.

 

 

During Muhammad's Era[edit]

Al-Tabari has recorded in his tafsir that although ibn Abi Sarh had apostatized, he returned to Islam before the conquest of Mecca.[1][2] On the other hand, in his History, al-Tabari records about ibn Abi Sarh and Muhammad that "Abdallah b.Sa`d b. Abi Sarh used to write for him. He apostatized from Islam and later returned to Islam on the day of the conquest of Mecca.".[3] A hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud records an account of ibn Abi Sarh's tense encounter with Muhammad on that day.[4]

 

 

You need to understand the different between Murtad Fitri and Murtad Milli. During the Prophet (saww)'s time all the people were converts, and those who were born into Islam were still too young, thus if anyone did convert to Islam and reject it later on they will have been treated as a Murtad Milli who are given the chance to repent.

 

Please read the link in the OP before posting random opinionated comments.

Also, in order to be an apostate you need to reject the belief in the existence of Allah and His Messenger (saww), it's not just a matter of doubting or not knowing the truth. So in the Wahhabi example if you left because of the extreme ideologies that they had it's not the same thing.

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I think, you can't prove the death penalty to be correct according to a western perspective because the whole western perspective is different to Islam and Islam is not a western perspective.

 

So trying to prove Islamic death penalty as just according to western standards will fail because these people see the death penalty for leaving religion as something barbaric and ancient and to add to it, these people do not see religion as important either, so such a serious punishment for a not so serious "belief" seems disproportionate in western minds.

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The laws of Allah is superior to the law and reason of man. I'm not saying death penalty for apostacy is the law of Allah because i don't know enough about it. But if it was, one can't reject it just because it makes no sense to you. It's like me rejecting wudhu because it makes no sense to me the way we shias do wudhu. I do it and accept it because i know Allah knows better, simple as that.

Now, it's good to research and trying to find reason and logical explaination for things, but that should not be the reason to reject something if you can't find it.

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The laws of Allah is superior to the law and reason of man. I'm not saying death penalty for apostacy is the law of Allah because i don't know enough about it. But if it was, one can't reject it just because it makes no sense to you. It's like me rejecting wudhu because it makes no sense to me the way we shias do wudhu. I do it and accept it because i know Allah knows better, simple as that.

Now, it's good to research and trying to find reason and logical explaination for things, but that should not be the reason to reject something if you can't find it.

 

I would not recommend people trying to find out about the illa (whyness, reasoning) of why a Law is in place. I believe, accept and move on. Unless the reasoning comes from Holy Qur'an or Hadith, if so, I recommend reading Ilal al-Shara'i by Shaykh al-Saduq.

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

ace

 

I would not recommend people trying to find out about the illa (whyness, reasoning) of why a Law is in place

 

This mentality may be permissible, but it is not worthy of a person who prefers to reflect and discover the wisdom of God, and therefore understand God.

He who by nature does not think or reflect risks, or rather destroys, the purity of his soul.

Allah says as much in His Noble Book.

 

وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

 

And He places impurity on those who do not reason ('aql - ya'qilun)

 

The hadith that caution against asking for a reason are a caution against questioning a law in the absence of a reason, not against asking for the sake of understanding.

That is why the Imams [a] did not rebuke their companions for asking for the reasons of the laws.

The taqrir of the Imams is proof that the attempt to understand is good.

The hadith and verses are proof that 'aql is the hujja of Allah and it comes when and where Allah tells it and goes when and where Allah tells it, and so it is eternally obedient to Allah and where it goes is an indication of what Allah has commanded.

So where 'aql reveals the reason of a law, the hujja of Allah has revealed it, and to deny it is one level of kufr.

How many times a believer has tried to be an epitome of faith and has fallen in the blackness of disbelief!

I'd recommend caution from confusing 'aql with ra'y and confusing iman with jahl and 'ama.

Iman and din and haya are with 'aql wherever it goes, per hadith.

If you care for hadith, care for the first book of al-Kafi first.

al-Kulayni [r] begins his discourse with 'aql

 

 

(wasalam)

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So, I sent this question to a a few maraji a while back, I got reply from only two, here are those replies:

 

Q. What is your ruling regarding people who leave Islam ? Do they become Wajib-ul-Qatl ? Is killing them halal ?

 

ج - واجب القتل نبوده وفقط باید آنها را نصحیت  نمود

A.They are not WAJIB-ul-QATL and have to be talked to them.

 

The Office of Grand Ayatullah Saanei

 

-----

 

Q. What is your ruling regarding people who leave Islam ? Do they become Wajib-ul-Qatl ? Is killing them halal ?

 

A. It is not allowed to kill them.

 

The Office of Grand Ayatullah Hosseini Nassab

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

ace

 

I would not recommend people trying to find out about the illa (whyness, reasoning) of why a Law is in place

 

This mentality may be permissible, but it is not worthy of a person who prefers to reflect and discover the wisdom of God, and therefore understand God.

He who by nature does not think or reflect risks, or rather destroys, the purity of his soul.

Allah says as much in His Noble Book.

 

وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

 

And He places impurity on those who do not reason ('aql - ya'qilun)

 

The hadith that caution against asking for a reason are a caution against questioning a law in the absence of a reason, not against asking for the sake of understanding.

That is why the Imams [a] did not rebuke their companions for asking for the reasons of the laws.

The taqrir of the Imams is proof that the attempt to understand is good.

The hadith and verses are proof that 'aql is the hujja of Allah and it comes when and where Allah tells it and goes when and where Allah tells it, and so it is eternally obedient to Allah and where it goes is an indication of what Allah has commanded.

So where 'aql reveals the reason of a law, the hujja of Allah has revealed it, and to deny it is one level of kufr.

How many times a believer has tried to be an epitome of faith and has fallen in the blackness of disbelief!

I'd recommend caution from confusing 'aql with ra'y and confusing iman with jahl and 'ama.

Iman and din and haya are with 'aql wherever it goes, per hadith.

If you care for hadith, care for the first book of al-Kafi first.

al-Kulayni [r] begins his discourse with 'aql

 

 

(wasalam)

 

(salam)

(bismillah)

 

In Islam, not every ruling needs a reason or an explanation. The very essence of being a Muslim is submitting to the will of Allah and His Prophet  (pbuh). We should only say "We Hear and We Obey". Allah does not need to "explain Himself" to us, we are his servants. 

 

After we have obeyed his commandments, then maybe we can find the logic/reason that has been given by the Prophet or A'immah regarding a particular ruling. If that is not explicitly written in our hadith books, then even coming up with our own logic/reasonings behind rulings, with our fallible logic, is dangerous. Deducing the `illa (reasons) behind rulings will inevitably lead to faulty logic which will in turn lead to Qiyas.

 

Our classical scholars were against such a thing, that is why al-Saduq authored a book called `ilal al-Sharaa'i` and in that book he gave Ahaadeethattributed to the A'immah that gave the reasons for particular rulings and beliefs in Islam. Even  The al-Hilliyyeen (i.e. Muhaqqiq al-Hilli and `Allamah al-Hilli) were against contriving your own `illa (See: Muhaqqiq, Ma`aarij al-Usool & al-Hilli, Mabaadi` al-Wusool). 

 

(salam)  

 

Comment by br. Nader

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

I respect brother Nader, but inshallah in the interest of truth and brotherly conversation I will also, with the same respect, offer certain suggestions. 

May Allah accept it from both of us.

 

 

In Islam, not every ruling needs a reason or an explanation. 

 

I might be misunderstanding what he means, but I will be uncharitable - for which I apologise - for the sake of dispelling a mistaken notion which, even if brother Nader might not entertain, others may.

 

Every ruling has a hikma from the Hakim. 

Nothing that Allah does is in play or in vain.

The sciences have an order, a tartib, that cannot be ignored.

It is a mistake to begin with the specific and end with the general - and even worse to mix them - and a mistake to begin with the practice and end with the doctrine - and even worse to mix them - and a mistake to begin with the dhann (e.g. our first impression of a hadith) and end with the hujja (which is 'aql) - and even worse to mix them - and this is all based on the principle that it is a mistake to begin with the logically posterior and to end with the logically prior - and even worse to mix them.

By approaching anything, including religion, in its appropriate order, one does not fall into illusions, in this case the Pitfall of the Pious which is to believe in the absurdity or senselessness or arbitrariness of Divine Commands.

I repeat, in making this uncharitable reading, I do not wish to impute it to brother Nader, but only to dispel a notion which some may erroneously entertain.  

What the brother may have meant is that not every hukm needs to have an 'illa, which technically means a cause intrinsic to the subject of the law which makes preponderant the predication of the ruling on that subject.  

This I concede, but it does not imply that there is no reason for the law, for the concept 'reason' subdivides into 'illa and hikma (using these words in their technical sense, appropriate to this discussion).

 

The very essence of being a Muslim is submitting to the will of Allah and His Prophet   (pbuh).

 

This is the essence; it is not the perfection.

 

We should only say "We Hear and We Obey".

 

What does 'only' mean?

If 'only' means that we should not ask, meaning it is wrong to ask, then the taqrir of the Imams with respect to questions asked contradicts this.

If 'only' means that only this required, then I concede.

 

Allah does not need to "explain Himself" to us, we are his servants. 

 
I concede.
Allah does not need anything, including the above.
 
After we have obeyed his commandments, then maybe we can find the logic/reason that has been given by the Prophet or A'immah regarding a particular ruling.
 
concede.
 
If that is not explicitly written in our hadith books, then even coming up with our own logic/reasonings behind rulings, with our fallible logic, is dangerous.
 
What does 'coming up' mean?
What does 'our own logic' mean?
Is logic, meaning the rules of thought, a production or fabrication of our personal selves?
Or a hujja of Allah?
These words need to be defined - I need to know on what sense they are being uttered - before I can concede or deny.
 

Deducing the `illa (reasons) behind rulings will inevitably lead to faulty logic which will in turn lead to Qiyas.

 
Technically, deduction is not Qiyas and does not lead to it either. 
But I believe brother Nader means different, in which case I ask for clarification as above.
 
 
Our classical scholars were against such a thing, that is why al-Saduq authored a book called `ilal al-Sharaa'i` and in that book he gave Ahaadeethattributed to the A'immah that gave the reasons for particular rulings and beliefs in Islam. 
 
Generally, when it comes to  Methodology, whether in Fiqh (e.g. Usul) or 'Aqida, I see no good argument that the classical scholars have any priority.
Shaykh al-Saduq - may God be pleased with him - had his opinion - let me be more respectful as befits a great muhaddith like Saduq and say ijtihad - on Methodology, gathered loosely from various ahadith
Another 'alim may come to a different conclusion with respect to Methodology on reading other ahadith.
I believe those 'ulama who have in the past written deep glosses on the significance, wisdom and explanation of a law are to be commended, and the opposed mentality is problematic and, worse, dangerous (ironically).
 
Even  The al-Hilliyyeen (i.e. Muhaqqiq al-Hilli and `Allamah al-Hilli) were against contriving your own `illa (See: Muhaqqiq, Ma`aarij al-Usool & al-Hilli, Mabaadi` al-Wusool).
 
Contrivance is not deduction, and so I would concede that too.
 
 
*
 
Much of these which I consider confusions are a product of multiple dissonances between words and words, words and concepts, and concepts and what they signify in reality. 
Also, I ought to mention, contrary to what may seem perhaps, I do not believe in the sufficiency of 'aql to understand everything, and this is quite obvious since necessary premises are missing for this to take place on all the laws.
But I reject the mentality that says 'We Hear and Obey and do not Reflect and do not try to Understand'. 
This mentality is not mine and, I believe, not religiously correct either.
Ma'rifa is the greatest 'Ubudiyya and its perfection, and the seeker of ma'rifa, the 'arif, is the perfect 'abid.
May Allah protect us from the Pitfall of the Pious.
 
There's of course more than can be said and discussed, for which years can be spent reading and thinking and writing. 
For the interest of brevity, and for the shortness of my ability, I'll stop here.
 
Thank you brother ace for relaying the brother's message.
 
 
(wasalam)
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I think the point was that the reasoning (for the Law) should be coming from the infallibles themselves, rather than us. Because we maybe wrong about why God made such a Law, and through our own reasoning we can make a mistake and therefore lie upon Allah, by mistake. 

 

Personally I don't know. Maybe the brother can respond.

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

ace

 

Brother, my suggestions were not to incite a lengthy to-and-fro on it, because I am very overwhelmed with respect to time at the moment.

It was just to give food for thought.

There's more that could be said, and there are ahadith which seem to suggest contrary to what I wrote, which will then require analysis, and some 'ulama have given such analyses in response, making clear how they are to be understood and how not. 

By saying this I hope to preempt a lengthy discussion, admitting that what I wrote is brief and not complete; it was only a sentence-by-sentence response to his message.

 

*

 

I understand his concerns and goodwill, as well as yours.

I will only point out that the locus of contention is exactly whether or not 'aql is 'us' in a sense that deprives it of hujjiyya

 

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Jebreil
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Thoughts on ‘Apostasy in Islam’
From ‘A Series of Discussions on New Issues in Islamic Theology’ “Apostasy and Freedom”

Written by Mahdi Azizan
For the Imam as-Sadiq Research Institute headed by his eminence, Ayatullah Shaykh Mirza Ja’far Subhani

Translated by Saleem Bhimji for Al-Fath Al-Mubin Publications and the Islamic Publishing House [www.al-mubin.org & www.iph.ca]

***

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَن يَرْتَدَّ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلَا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لَائِمٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“O you who have faith! Should any of you desert his religion, God will soon bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, [who will be] humble towards the faithful, stern towards the faithless, wage jihad in the way of God, not fearing the blame of any blamer. That is God’s grace which He grants to whomever He wishes, and God is all-bounteous, all-knowing.” (al-Qur`an 5:54)

Literally, the word al-Irtidad means to return back (from something) and the word al-Murtad comes from this same root meaning ‘the person who returns back’. However when we look at this word from the Qur`anic and the Islamic understanding, it means to go from belief to disbelief (Islam to Kufr).

The late Imam Khumayni has noted that this word means;

المرتد هو من خرج عن الاسلام واختار الكفر
“The Murtad (apostate) is the person who has left (the faith of) Islam and has chosen disbelief (Kufr).” – Tahrir al-Wasilah (v. 2, pg. 366)

Ibne Qudamah, one of the well known Jurists of the Ahlus Sunnah writes:

المرتد هو الراجع عن دين الاسلام الى الكفر
“The Murtad (apostate) is the one who gone from the faith of Islam towards disbelief (Kufr).” – Al-Mughni of Ibne Qudamah (v. 10, pg. 74)

The Jurists of the Shia faith have divided the apostate into two categories – Milli and Fitri. The ‘Murtad-e- Fitri’ is the one who is born into a family in which either one or both parents are Muslims and after he/she reaches to the age of maturity and willfully accepts Islam, then leaves the faith. However, the ‘Murtad-e-Milli’ is the person who was born into a family in which neither of his parents were Muslims and after reaching to the age of maturity and willfully accepting Islam then leaves Islam to another tradition.

In regards to the ruling for being an apostate, the Jurists of the Shia differentiate between the male and female apostate. As for the woman who apostates – whether of the ‘Fitri’ or ‘Milli’ – if she repents, her repentance will be accepted and the penalty for apostasy will be removed from her. However, if she does not repent and recant, then she is to be flogged and imprisoned.

However for the man who apostates – either the Fitri or the Milli - there are different rulings. The most well known position of the Jurists is that the repentance of the Murtad-e-Fitri is not accepted and thus his ruling is that he is to be executed. However the Murtad-e-Milli can repent and recant his statement of apostasy and if he does so, he will not be subject to the death penalty.

It is important to note that the meaning of repentance in this discussion, as we have noted, is the ‘open’ and ‘apparent’ act of asking for forgiveness and recanting ones’ statements which must be done in the presence of an Islamic judge (Hakim-e-Shari). How often it may happen that a person may repent however definitely, deep within him, he has not given up on his apostasy.

However in any event, his apparent repentance will be accepted for all outward rulings in regards to him – however the inner repentance and recanting is only known to Allah and it is only He who knows if the person is sincere in his display of remorse. Thus, the punishment of this world will be lifted from him, however the punishment of the next life is in the hand of Allah. However as for the Murtad-e-Fitri, his repentance will absolve him of the punishment of the next life – however he must face the punishment of this world for his actions.

A majority of the Jurists of the Ahlus Sunnah do not differentiate between the ruling of an apostate when it comes to the person’s gender nor do they differentiate between the Murtad-e-Fitri and Murtad-e-Milli. Thus, they state that the repentance is accepted and prevents the punishment from being enacted however if the person does not repent, then his penalty is death. Abu Hanifah, Shafi-I, Malik and a number of other Jurists hold this opinion.

Ibne Qudamah, one of the most well-known Jurists of the Ahlus Sunnah writes:

انه (المرتد) لا يقتل حتى يستتاب... هذا قول أكثر أهل العلم
“Indeed he (the apostate) is not executed as long as he repents … and this is the opinion of a majority of the people of knowledge [scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah].” (al-Mughni of Ibne Qudamah, v. 10, pg 76)

A Summary of the beliefs of the Shia Jurists in Regards to Apostasy

1. Accepting the teachings of the faith of Islam and entering into it and the subsequent act of acquiring its teachings and acting according to them once a person has accepted the faith is all based upon research, investigation, pondering and thought.

2. Possessing doubts, questions, satanic whispers and then going forth to remove the doubts and answering the questions is without a doubt, one of the necessities of the thought process of a human being and as long as doubts and questions remain with a person and they force him to reach a level of knowledge and certainty on those issues, such things remain blessed and praiseworthy.

3. Doubts, misgivings and questions in regards to the teachings of the faith do not automatically result in apostasy. Rather, apostasy is denial – with full knowledge – of the principles of the religion (Usul ad-Din) or one of the necessities (Dharuriyat) and clear and accepted (Badihiyat) teachings of the faith such that the denial of those clear and accepted things would lead to a denial of the Usul ad-Din and the person who is denying such things is fully aware of this relationship (between denying the necessities (Dharuriyat) and clear and accepted (Badihiyat) teachings of the faith) and being considered as an apostate.

4. In the event that the denial (of such things) by a person is confirmed to have occurred due to confusion and question in the principles (Usul) or the necessities (Dharuriyat) of the faith, such a person would not be considered to be an apostate and such theological doubts would not lead to the implementation of the penalty (hadd) for apostasy. The way to deal with such individuals is through discussions – and not to deal with such a person through actions (such as the penalty for apostasy).

5. The ruling for apostasy does not go against the principle of freedom of thought as if the who is conducting research does so with the purpose of searching out the truth and even if he does not reach to the realities - he would be considered as one who is not blameworthy (Qasir) – not culpable (Muqassir). In the presence of Allah, he would be pardoned, rather, he would be rewarded (for his efforts).

The ruling for apostasy also does not go against the freedom of speech. The person who becomes an apostate is able to, without openly expressing his apostasy, pose questions and present his own proofs (in regards to the rejection of faith) is religious gatherings and can request the scholars to provide answers to his questions.

There is no ideology or religious tradition, even within the human formed ideologies and the secular belief systems such as liberalism which accepts complete freedom and thus, they have laid down limits and conditions (for the freedom of speech and expression). The liberals consider the limits of freedom for an individual to be that he must observe the rights of others which live around him and what is best for the entire society.

Observing the rights of Allah over His creations; what is best for the entire Islamic society; and the rights of the other Muslims are three sides of the triangle of freedom (in Islam) and each individual must work amongst these.

With careful attention to the conditions of (a person entering into) apostasy, we arrive to this conclusion that the apostate (Murtad) is the person who, while is fully aware of the beliefs and the truth of the faith of Islam, still due to his aversion and with willful obstinacy, rises up to oppose it and with an illogical way of working, seeks to destroy the character of the Islamic society and its theological foundations.

Thus, the ruling for apostasy has been put into place to prevent the destruction of the identity of the Islamic society and to protect the religious beliefs of the people from ill- intentioned, confused individuals. A cursory glance at the files of the apostates throughout the course of history would make this issue clear.

The source for determining the apostasy of an individual and the implementation of the ruling of the apostate is the Mujtahid Jami‘ al- Shara‘it and thus, no Muslim is able to pass judgment on the apostasy of another Muslim nor is he permitted to implement the ruling of apostasy upon him.

 

http://www.al-islam.org/articles/thoughts-apostasy-islam-mahdi-azizan

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Feels to me like its a lose-lose situation in this discussion.  There is just too much context needed that others won't understand, appreciate, or comprehend.  If we are confused about it ourselves, how much hope do they have?

 

Best shot is to take it from a political angle, like countries having treason laws, etc. 

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Best shot is to take it from a political angle, like countries having treason laws, etc. 

 

I think in the case of apostasy the best shot is what Repenter was referring to, it is god's law and requires no further elaboration.  There really is no sensible argument that would justify the killing of apostates. Treason laws in most nations are reprehensible and are usually used to prey on courageous and moral men.

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I think in the case of apostasy the best shot is what Repenter was referring to, it is god's law and requires no further elaboration.  There really is no sensible argument that would justify the killing of apostates. Treason laws in most nations are reprehensible and are usually used to prey on courageous and moral men.

 

I agree. Let's just take it as God's Law. We don't know why He put it in place. 

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I think in the case of apostasy the best shot is what Repenter was referring to, it is god's law and requires no further elaboration.  There really is no sensible argument that would justify the killing of apostates. Treason laws in most nations are reprehensible and are usually used to prey on courageous and moral men.

 

I guess you're right.  But some may see that as a "blind faith" and "cop out" answer.  But what can you do.

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On the other hand, we may have a Sahih hadith which might tell us not to implement the Laws in non-Muslim lands.

 

 

From Ghiyaath bin Ibraaheem from Abee `Abd Allaah from his father who said that Ameer Al-Mu'mineen said: "There is no establishment of any punishment in the land of the enemy, until he leaves from it...

  • Source:
  • al-Sadooq, `ilal al-Sharaa'i`, vol. 2, ch. 334, pg. 544-545, hadeeth # 1

 

 

 

Credit to Nader Zaveri

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Ayatullah Sistani fatwa on Apostasy:

http://www.sistani.org/arabic/qa/0279/

السؤال: ما هو تعريفكم للمرتد بالتفصيل ؟ الجواب: المرتد وهو من خرج عن الاِسلام واختار الكفر على قسمين: فطري وملّي، والفطري من ولد على اسلام احد ابويه أو كليها ثم كفر، وفي اعتبار اسلامه بعد التمييز قبل الكفر وجهان اقربهما الاعتبار. وحكم الفطري انه يقتل في الحال، وتبين منه زوجته بمجرد ارتداده وينفسخ نكاحها بغير طلاق، وتعتد عدة الوفاة ـ على ما تقدم ـ ثم تتزوج ان شاءت، وتُقسّم امواله التي كانت له حين ارتداده بين ورثته بعد اداء ديونه كالميت ولا ينتظر موته، ولا تفيد توبته ورجوعه الى الاسلام في سقوط الاحكام المذكورة مطلقاً على المشهور، ولكنه لا يخلو عن شوب اشكال، نعم لا اشكال في عدم وجوب استتابته. وأما بالنسبة الى ما عدا الاحكام الثلاثة المذكورات فالاقوى قبول توبته باطناً وظاهراً، فيطهر بدنه وتصح عباداته ويجوز تزويجه من المسلمة، بل له تجديد العقد على زوجته السابقة حتى قبل خروجها من العدة على القول ببينونتها عنه بمجرد الارتداد، والظاهر انه يملك الاموال الجديدة باسبابه الاختيارية كالنجارة والحيازة والقهرية كالارث ولو قبل توبته. واما المرتد الملّي ـ وهو من يقابل الفطري ـ فحكمه انه يستتاب، فان تاب وإلاّ قتل، وانفسخ نكاح زوجته إذا كان الارتداد قبل الدخول أو كانت يائسة أو صغيرة ولم تكن عليها عدة، وأما إذا كان الارتداد بعد الدخول وكانت المرأة في سن من تحيض وجب عليها ان تعتد عدة الطلاق من حين الارتداد، فان رجع عن ارتداده الى الاسلام قبل انقضاء العدة بقي الزواج على حاله على الاقرب وإلاّ انكشف انها قد بانت عنه عند الارتداد. ولا تقسم أموال المرتد الملي إلاّ بعد موته بالقتل أو غيره، وإذا تاب ثم ارتد ففي وجوب قتله من دون استتابة في الثالثة أو الرابعة اشكال. هذا إذا كان المرتد رجلاً، واما لو كان امرأة فلا تقتل ولا تنتقل اموالها عنها الى الورثة إلاّ بالموت، وينفسخ نكاحها بمجرد الارتداد بدون اعتداد مع عدم الدخول أو كونها صغيرة أو يائسة وإلاّ توقف الانفساخ على انقضاء العدة وهي بمقدار عدة الطلاق كما مر في المسألة (٥٦٣). وتحبس المرتدة ويضيّق عليها وتضرب على الصلاة حتى تتوب فان تابت قبلت توبتها، ولا فرق في ذلك بين أن تكون مرتدة عن ملة أو عن فطرة.

[Disclaimer: translation below was provided by an anonymous person on a different forum. Feel free to suggest corrections if any.]

Question: What is your detailed definition of apostasy?

Answer: The apostate is the one who has left islam and chosen disbelief, and their are two categories of apostastes: Fitri and Milli. A Fitri is the one who was born into islam, and either one or both of his parents are muslim, then he apostasized. This is under the assumption that he is any of level of religiosity, bar complete disbelief in islam. The ruling on the Fitri is death immediately. His marriage with his wife is instantly made void, without need for a divorce, and continues until his death. Afterwards, she may marry as she pleases. His money/finances that he owned during his time of apostasy are divided between his heirs, but only after his financial debts are payed. This is done whilst he is alive, as if he had died. His repentance and return to islam does not revoke the ruling against him in any case. However, he can repent. (a few lines underneath I couldn't really understand, sorry)

As for the Milli, His ruling is that he repents. He either repents, or is killed. His marriage to his wife is made void if he apostastized before consummation, or if she is upset with the marriage, or if she is small and Iddah doesnt apply to her (meaning virgin again)If he apostatized after consummation, or the wife has reached the age of menstruation then she must go through Iddah of divorce (3 month waiting period) and if he repents and returns to islam before the 3 months of Iddah are up, the marriage is resumed as normal, unless she wanted to be irrevocably divorced whilst he was still an apostate. The finances of the Milli apostate are not divided whilst he is still alive, only after his death (compared to the Fitri, where it is done whilst alive). If he apostatizes a second time, it is then obligatory to kill him, with his repentance unable to revoke the ruling. 

In the case, of the apostate being a woman, she is not to be killed, and her money not removed from her unless she dies. Her marriage is void just by the fact she apostatises, regardless if they had consummated or she is small, or she is upset/doesnt want husband. It may be resumed if she repents during the Iddah (3 month period). She is to be imprisoned in a narrow space, and hit, to make her pray, until she repents. Her repentance is accepted. There is not difference in this ruling whether she is a Milli or a Fitri.

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