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The Punishment Of Apostate

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At the risk of comparison with other religions though, you will find that EVERY mainstream religion regarded those who left the church or even those who just questioned it, to be heretics and apostates. One didn't even have to BE catholic for the inquisitions to kill the person, mercifully if he repents, painfully if he doesn't.

 

Nobody kills you because of your beliefs. Nobody attacked christians and jews and idolators because of their beliefs in the day of the prophet or afterwards. The quran says "There is no compulsion in religion, guidance has been clarified and shown separately from conjecture". If you are thinking that crazy people will come after you if you join Islam and then convert, you're wrong, they won't and shouldn't.

 

Under Islamic organization law, a muslim joins the national country of Islam under one ruler, and therefore becomes part and a citizen of that nation. You become part of its body and in the starting days of the Islamic nation almost all muslims were involved in the country's security and growth. Apostating is to declare oneself separate from the nation and not just the religion, and therefore if under the Islamic ruler that is found to be treason he has the right to apply that punishment.

 

There are many conditions to meet before that rule is applied. As an example, if someone joins Islam in a Harby situation (outside a muslim nation), apostacy law is not applied to that person if he converts out of Islam under any circumstances. Also there is a reported story that even when all conditions were met, it is not always applied, for example a scribe for the prophet reverted to Islam and worked for a long time writing for the prophet Mohammed, and later left Islam and went back to his tribe and became a christian again, nobody attacked him or went after him.

 

All that said, Islam is not a man-made "meditation" activity to be entered into lightly without belief or submission. Islam is not a church searching for followers to extract donations. Entering Islam is coming to the realization of God as the one and true God, and to believe in judgement day and to understand that the messages has been sent through Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed are God's messages and charge to us.

 

Do that only when you do take these things to heart. You'll need to understand the reason for God's creation of us, you need to read copies of the quran (translations are fine as long as they are verified) in order to see for yourself the proofs of its validity. Read the history and ask us questions as many as you want, we will give you as many answers as we know and try to get information if it's beyond our knowledge. When you do become muslim, you benefit yourself.

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PropellerAds

Dear Foxgarden,

 

I actually rechecked on more information about the subject, and found the following "loose" translation from an extract of an Al-Azhar Islamic Council article:

 

"Every nation, religion, and unity system that collects individual under a single flag requires the establishment of a protection plan for the welfare of that system and its individuals. It has been set in stone that treason is punishable by death, whether it is a russian spy changing his beliefs from communism to capitalism and trying to desert, or it is an officer on the battle field turning against his fellow men. Such is the punishment set in Islam for an apostate who takes God's religion in vein, and the Quran verses "There is no compulsion in religion..." does not apply to those who turn on their fellow muslims.

 

However, a person who converts out of Islam is not necessarily an apostate. Just like for example a russian family escaping deteriorating conditions in Soviet Union are not traitors, and an officer refusing to follow an order because it defies a perceived moral code or in his judgement violates the trust of his fellow officers and refuses to proceed, may be arrested and court-martialled but is not a traitor. As long as the conversion out of Islam is not seen as a political movement, or the person has merely reverted to Islam out of a planned approach to later convert out of it and uses that to directly attack the Islamic community, or as long as the conversion is not an open act of defiance against the rule of an Islamic state, the person is free to go, and his punishment is by God not by the people."

 

Hope this helps you to understand. Thanks for the thought though. It is those things that make us study more. :sl:

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And I thank you, too. If we all had the same opinion, how would we expand our minds and grow into more intelligent beings? Just as I challenge your theories, you challenge mine; in the end we both walk away more enlightened than before.

 

While I do not necessarily agree to the killing of an individual due to leaving a particular faith, I can understand what you mean when it's put into a political pretext like you've done up there. If you view Islam as a "nation" rather than just a belief system, I can understand why traitors to that nation would be punished by death. As I said, i do not AGREE to this method, but I can understand why others would put it in place.

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The question we should ask ourselves is not "Do people deserve to be punished if they leave Islam?" but "Is leaving Islam a serious offense against Allah?"

 

When a person understands the latter, then the former does not need questioning. To be honest, just a while ago I was fixated on the first question but when I realized that there is more to it, I've come to understand and accept the law.

 

Salam.

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You could argue that leaving Islam is a serious offense against Allah, yes; however what if said person doesn't believe in Allah to begin with?

 

For example, lets say I declare myself to be "God." You continue on worshiping me and doing as I ask without any issues arising. Then one day you decide "hey, this guy isn't God at all...what am I doing here?!" and thus you decide to leave. Would it be appropriate for me to do decide to kill you? On your end of the spectrum, you're saying "but this guy isn't really God, he can't tell me what to do" and yet on my side, maybe I truly DO believe I'm God. Simply because I believe myself to be "God" does that give me the power to sacrifice YOUR life?

 

I realize arguing this is a moot point, because I'm assuming you're going to say that Allah is the one true ruler, and so his wishes take priority above anything else. However, you have to keep in mind that his sphere of influence ONLY extends TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM. Just as if I declare myself to be "God," my wishes and demands only extend to those whose truly believe that I am indeed "God." If I decide that I do NOT believe in Allah, and that I do NOT wish to be represented within this particular religious community, since when are they given the right to violate my human rights and forsake MY life?

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You could argue that leaving Islam is a serious offense against Allah, yes; however what if said person doesn't believe in Allah to begin with?

 

That doesn't sound like a Muslim to begin with. It sounds like you're describing a Munafiq (hypocrite).

 

For example, lets say I declare myself to be "God."

 

If you, as a human being, declare yourself to be a god, I would not worship you if my life depended on it. I cannot play along with a scenario in which you declare yourself to be God. That is insulting to my creator and I cannot trivialize His position by throwing it around in hypothetical situations. No offense intended, I simply do not play like that.

 

However, God created me. I do not own my life, nor do you own yours. If that is the way He wants things done, then it is immensely appropriate.

 

Let me explain to you the difference between a disbeliever who has never been Muslim, and an apostate. The disbeliever has never accepted the truth, believed in it, then turned his back to it. People do not become Muslim believing that God might not be real and that they might be wrong. They have truly received guidance from Allah and believed with absolute conviction. And after all of that, they have chosen to reject God.

 

If you believed that life is a test from God and that we exist on this Earth for the sole purpose of worshipping Him, a person who, as I've already said, turns away from God after believing Him is committing the worst of acts toward His creator. Think of it logically, move beyond the initial "does God exist" phase. If God DID create us to worship Him and a person not only decided to rebel against his status as a creation, but also chose to reject the truth after tasting it, are you saying that is not a serious violation?

 

There are three cases in which a Muslim can be killed. A life for a life. A man or woman who commits adultery. And one who apostates.

 

In the case of life for life, this is a grave offense against a human being (the murder victim).

In the case of adultery, it is also a grave offense against a human being (the spouse being cheated on).

And lastly, in the case of apostacy, it is a grave offense against God.

 

So how is it that God, the creator, the one who gives life and takes it, the sustainer of the universe and all that is within it, the one to whom all will return on the Day of Judgement, cannot punish those who commit grave offenses against Him? Are His "rights" (and I use this term loosely) inferior to those of humanity? Why is it that we're always so concerned with the feelings and well-being of human beings without ever understanding the magnitude of what it means to be a creation?

 

Until you believe in God, understand the purpose of life, and realize that every breath we take is because of His will, then you will answer these questions with another question: "How do we know that He exists in the first place?" That is a topic for another discussion.

 

And if I've offended you in any way, I apologize. There are some issues that I'm really passionate about and this just happens to be one.

 

Salam.

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Trust me, no offense taken. I can completely respect your viewpoint, assuming you can respect mine, however I guess that will be a topic we will never see eye-to-eye on.

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Trust me, no offense taken. I can completely respect your viewpoint, assuming you can respect mine, however I guess that will be a topic we will never see eye-to-eye on.

 

I'm always an advocate of trying to understand one another, even if in the end neither side is willing to compromise their beliefs or values.

 

Salam.

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I'm always an advocate of trying to understand one another, even if in the end neither side is willing to compromise their beliefs or values.

 

Salam.

 

And that is one thing we can both agree on.

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I think I've asked this before, but I've forgotten the answer - does Islam have any equivalent of the 'confirmation' ceremonies of some Christian churches, in which a child born into the religion is supposedly now old enough to have decided on their faith and chooses to accept it? If not, at what point is someone regarded as being ABLE to be an apostate? I assume that a 6-year-old who "decided" to reject Islam would not be regarded as an apostate - what about a 16-year-old? I assume that a 26-year-old who happened to grow up as a Muslim would be regarded as an apostate if they decided to reject Islam.

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I think I've asked this before, but I've forgotten the answer - does Islam have any equivalent of the 'confirmation' ceremonies of some Christian churches, in which a child born into the religion is supposedly now old enough to have decided on their faith and chooses to accept it? If not, at what point is someone regarded as being ABLE to be an apostate? I assume that a 6-year-old who "decided" to reject Islam would not be regarded as an apostate - what about a 16-year-old? I assume that a 26-year-old who happened to grow up as a Muslim would be regarded as an apostate if they decided to reject Islam.

 

A person is liable for punishment when he or she reaches puberty or the age of 15, whichever comes first. So, as you said, a six-year-old wouldn't be punished for apostasy, but a 16-year-old and 26-year-old would.

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But there is no point at which a child raised as a Muslim has the opportunity to say "Well, thanks for bringing me up as a Muslim, but now that I've grown up, I see that I don't want to be one"? No person who is born into a Muslim family can ever decide to change their religion without facing piunishment? That seems unfair.

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But there is no point at which a child raised as a Muslim has the opportunity to say "Well, thanks for bringing me up as a Muslim, but now that I've grown up, I see that I don't want to be one"? No person who is born into a Muslim family can ever decide to change their religion without facing piunishment? That seems unfair.

 

No, there is no such opportunity such as the confirmation cereronomies in some Christian churches. Technically a Muslim born person can decide to apostasise from Islam if he or she hasn't uttered the testification of faith, "There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger, in front of witnesses, and hasn't been seen by witnesses practicing Islam (for example going to pray) after he has attained puberty, but in practice it is extremely unlikely.

Edited by Younes Ibn Abd' al-Aziz

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That's an important technicality, though. I assume that they would have to have said it after puberty/age 15 for it to count.

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All jokes aside, reading that makes converting to Islam seem like a scary thing to begin with.

 

Apostasy and similar topics are not what you should base your decision on. You need to look at the core message and what it says and to look for wether it is the truth or not. If you find that it is the truth you wont want to give it up even if some one threatened you with death. :sl:

 

If you seek guidance with sincerety, inshAllah, Allah will guide you.

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Dear all, i have heard the only punishment of apostate under Islam is death sentence. is it True, is it also true that such punishment is written in The Quran ?

if not then is there any punishment applicable for him/her?

 

 

My problem with such a death sentence is that it scares people who want to make a choice, eg become hinhu or atheist. Surely Islam does not need to resort to punishment when it could simply try to compete on appeal. Let the "consumer" make the decision. Otherwise Islam literally reverts to a lowly "dictator"

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My problem with such a death sentence is that it scares people who want to make a choice, eg become hinhu or atheist. Surely Islam does not need to resort to punishment when it could simply try to compete on appeal. Let the "consumer" make the decision. Otherwise Islam literally reverts to a lowly "dictator"

 

:sl:

 

If you were a non-Muslim, I would respond to you in a different manner. But since you are a Muslim, I will simply advice you not to make judgements based on your own concepts of right and wrong, or based on your own logic. If you believe that the law itself originates from Allah, then it is, without a doubt, the right thing. We have to be careful about questioning Allah's decisions, because we might be implying that He is fallible and we as human beings have better solutions.

 

Allah is not worried about offending people or pleasing them. Allah guides whom He wills. It's really that simple.

 

Salam.

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Dear Elmo,

 

The punishment itself was not written in the Quran, it was ordered and practiced by the prophet -pbuh-. It was crucial because the muslim apostate would be a traitor to the group of muslims and strengthen the people who waged war against Islam. As explained in a previous post it is just like a traitor of a nation or a solider who deserts in the middle of battle, no nation on Earth gives any less of a punishment than a death sentence.

 

Many scholars believe that because of the difference in status and that if a muslim who apostates is not a danger in apostacy and does not wage war against Islam, there should be no death penalty and the Islamic rule of freedom of religion applies. A reference from sunnah exists as a scribe of the prophet apostated openly and went back to his people and no one went after him. Ali Ibn Abi Taleb advised that an apostate should be locked up and asked to repent not for three days, but for good, and that he shouldn't be killed. So it is clear that the death penalty has been established under circumstances and for a purpose, not just for the simple matter of doubt in faith.

 

What you need to focus on though regardless of that is not to limit your view to the angle of man-made religions of the western world. Islam is God's religion and even though not embracing it is a choice, the consequences of whether or not someone does in terms of the afterlife is infinitely more important to consider than anything applied in this life including death. Like Redeem said, our concepts of right and wrong are always limited, and every time we looked in Islam at something that seemed ambiguous or did not make sense at first, time showed us the wisdom in it and affirmed to us further that God knows best.

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Many scholars believe that because of the difference in status and that if a muslim who apostates is not a danger in apostacy and does not wage war against Islam, there should be no death penalty and the Islamic rule of freedom of religion applies. A reference from sunnah exists as a scribe of the prophet apostated openly and went back to his people and no one went after him. Ali Ibn Abi Taleb advised that an apostate should be locked up and asked to repent not for three days, but for good, and that he shouldn't be killed. So it is clear that the death penalty has been established under circumstances and for a purpose, not just for the simple matter of doubt in faith.

 

:sl:

 

Where does it say that Ali(ra) advised that apostates should be jaile instead of killed?

 

For example, in Bukhari it says that he killed apostates and didn't just jail them.

 

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:

Narrated 'Ikrima:

 

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

 

The punishment for apostasy applies even if the person wasn't hostile towards Muslims.

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Where does it say that Ali(ra) advised that apostates should be jaile instead of killed?

I am terribly sorry my friend, I have made a mistake. I meant Imam Nakh'ey. I have read it a long time ago and it mentioned the three opinions that have following: Omar said 3 days, Ali Ibn Abi Talen said one month, and Nakh'ey said continuous jail and asked to repent on an ongoing basis.

 

The punishment for apostasy applies even if the person wasn't hostile towards Muslims.

The punishment for apostasy being applied even if the person wasn't hostile towards Muslims is not settled. I don't think it's for us to "sort it out" here though, we're not that good, at least I am not that good... yet. :sl: i am just saying that great scholars and Imams have found evidence and references and formulated opinions to not applying it if there is no hostility. For example, Imam Hanefa says women do not receive this punishment for apostasy, considering that they are not part of Jihad or armies and cannot perform "treason". Ibn Taymeyya, Sheikh Al-Islam, is of the opinion that apostasy should not carry a legal punishment. Ali Gomaa, Great mufti of Egypt and a council from Al-Azhar has also announced that non-hostile apostates should not be killed. Historical reference shows that some apostates at the date of the prophet and the four Khalifas were not killed even though they were within the muslim community, including two of the prophet's scribes.

 

I am not really arguing it though, I actually am of the personal opinion that death penalty for apostasy is quite clear in hadith and sunnah and it was not specifically tied to hostility towards muslims, as in the cases of the prophet -pbuh- telling his companions to kill Umm Marwan if she apostated, and many others during the days of the prophet who received the punishment, as well as the man Omar learned about and asked to leave for three days as mentioned before, and Tolayha, not to mention the established hadith: "The blood is spilled on three: disbelief after belief, murder, and adultery after marriage." However until I can be called a sufficiently learned scholar I am not going to make my opinion challenge on those who are. I have to accept that established scholars including one of the four Imams and a great scholar like Ibn Taymeyya have had that opinion.

 

Sam

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The punishment for apostasy being applied even if the person wasn't hostile towards Muslims is not settled. I don't think it's for us to "sort it out" here though, we're not that good, at least I am not that good... yet. :sl:

 

:sl:

 

I agree, it's not for you and me to sort it out here. We respect the stands that the scholars you named took, but the majority says that the apostate is killed regardless whether he is a threat or not, therefore, it is the best position.

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I agree, it's not for you and me to sort it out here. We respect the stands that the scholars you named took, but the majority says that the apostate is killed regardless whether he is a threat or not, therefore, it is the best position.

 

And I agree too, like I said as well my personal opinion is that the punishment of death is clear in terms of sunnah and hukm, regardless of whether or not the person is involved in acts of hostility. My earlier post in this specific thread is of that effect as well. I was just communicating with Elmo on this one regarding the basis of the punishment, and to explain the validity of the basis I referenced how some great scholars have taken that approach to keep the punishment solely on those who apostate and can hurt Islam.

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I practiced Islam for a number of years until I reached a spiritual plateau, and found that Christianity was my true calling. Had I been living under a shariah run state that stipulated executing apostates, I would have done the right thing and witnessed to Jesus. Fortunately I don't live under shariah and can continue to grow in the Faith and enjoy the good graces of God. I think the biggest problem with killing apostates is that you solidify their decision. Once they're executed there's no chance for them to return to Islam, which is supposed to be a free choice anyway. Secondly, it also encourages hypocrisy. Normally if someone doesn't want to be part of a religion, or disagrees with it, they just leave. If you threaten to kill someone, they'll probably stay and pretend but this really doesn't help the community. Lastly, for a religion to stipulate the execution of those who apostatize, it really reflects a weakness in that particular religion. Truth doesn't require the murder of those who abandon it.

 

Just my two cents.

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I think the biggest problem with killing apostates is that you solidify their decision. Once they're executed there's no chance for them to return to Islam, which is supposed to be a free choice anyway.

 

A person is given a chance to repent and return to God. And this isn't about choice, nor is the punishment a means of deterring people from "choice". It's about the consequence of turning away from Allah after one has been guided.

 

Secondly, it also encourages hypocrisy.

 

Which is what Allah will deal with. If a person leaves the religion in secret, he will be punished by Allah. If he leaves it publically, his life is forfeit immediately. There is no purpose for him to live any longer, considering the purpose of life is to worship Allah.

 

We get that Islam didn't work out for you and all of that, but we don't see things the way you do, nor do you see things the way we do.

 

Salam.

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