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    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you? (OP)


    It's fairly well-accepted in the west that open-mindedness is a virtue. But in Islam this does not seem to be the case, at least when it comes to one's religious beliefs. Apostasy is shunned in Islam, to the point where apostates rightfully fear for their lives.

    Now, if I was in that position, I would be deeply disturbed by the fact that I wasn't completely free to follow the evidence where it leads, and to believe what the evidence indicates is true. Muslims are threatened with death, among other punishments, as a consequence for pursuing doubt.

    So, my question is this: How do you Muslims feel about that lack of freedom? Does it bother you that you're threatened with punishment, even up to death, for doubting Islam, should you come to lose your faith?

    I guess the question itself might be hard to answer, because if you say "yes" then you risk backlash from your fellow Muslims. But we shall see.

    Thanks!
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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

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    Salam/ hi,
    Im going to post something a scholar i follow on tumblr posted about this matter. He specialises in Sharia law and used to be a imam. I like his opinions a lot, as does my father. Here's his view :

    As far The Qur'an is concerned, there are no punishments on this earth for leaving Islam

    “As for anyone who denies God after having once attained to faith – and this, to be sure, does not apply to one who does it under duress, the while his heart remains true to his faith, but [only to] him who willingly opens up his heart to a denial of the truth -: upon all such [falls] God’s condemnation, and tremendous suffering awaits them: (107) all this, because they hold this world’s life in greater esteem than the life to come, and because God does not bestow His guidance upon people who deny the truth. They whose hearts and whose hearing and whose sight God has sealed – it is they, they who are heedless! (109) Truly it is they, they who in the life to come shall be the losers!” [16:106-108] Muhammad Asad

    So, if there is nothing in The Qur'an that would sanction any earthly punishments (i.e. flogging, prison, etc) the question becomes, where do we get the idea that Apostasy in Islam is punishable by death?

    The answer is Hadith. Now, I would like to be very clear here, if there is something that is in the Hadith, that is not in The Qur'an, there are two possibilities:
    First, if the Hadith contradicts something in The Qur'an, there’s is a very high probability that it is a weak (dayeef) or fabricated Hadith.
    Second, as is the case with the Hadith in question (sanctioning death for Apostasy) you must check the Hadith back to the larger rule found in The Qur'an, if The Qur'an does not directly support the injunction found in this Hadith, then that means without question that the Hadith is for a very narrow and very explicit situation that most probably will never be relevant to you.
    Thus, when The Prophet says that those who leave Islam should be put to death, he is talking about a very specific time, when the Muslims were living in Yathrib (Medina) and were being attacked and besieged by the Meccans.

    Let us remember that what constituted the community of the early Muslims was not tribal, blood ties, or ethnic; the community that was established by The Prophet was predicated on belief (among the Muslims) and as a conscious, willing union between those of other faiths (namely Jews, Christians, and Pagans of Yathrib [Medina]).

    So, when we think of “religion” today, we think of it as something separate to our nationality, tribe, ethnicity, etc. People can be a German Buddhist, or a Japanese Christian, or a Argentinian Follower of The Church of Diego, but during the time of The Prophet, a person’s status as a “Muslim” was the equivalent to what we consider our national identity. The governmental structure that a Muslim was subject and loyal to was that of Islam, just like, an American citizen is subject and loyal to the United States government.

    It is not the simplistic notion of leaving a religion, as we understand it today, rather, it should be understood as someone committing high treason, a crime that is punishable by death in the United States, and many other countries. This is different to “regular” treason, or petty treason, which is usually punished with life in prison. The difference between “high treason” and “treason” is whether the nation is at war, and in many countries, high treason is punishable by death, while treason is not.

    So, the context of The Prophet saying that those who leave Islam should be put to death, it is not because they are “leaving Islam,” it is because they are betraying their community, which is defined by their acceptance of the tenants of Islam, much like the American community is not defined by any ethnic ties, but by one’s acceptance of the tenants of the US Constitution. Thus, this Hadith is within the context of (1) War time, (2) High Treason, and (3) Does not abrogate The Qur'an, but, is the result of a need deemed necessary by The Prophet, applies to this very narrow situation that he was in.


    So, it is such a narrow context that it can almost be rendered meaningless. Today we do not organize our states by virtue of religion, we do so by the boundaries of the state, either in a geographic and/or national sense, so by saying that “death is penalty for those who turn to other religions,” we are not really referring to the same thing, which adds to the confusion.
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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    salaam

    I agree the apostasy laws are basically treason laws - many countries still regard religion and statehood as one and the same - Its why the apostasy laws are applied in that way.
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    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by fromelsewhere View Post
    Some examples off the top of my head: Yazidis in Iraq (courtesy of ISIS), Copts in Egypt (courtesy of Al Qaeda and ISIS), Christians in Nigeria (courtesy of Boko Haram), Salman Rushdie who is in hiding due to Iranian leaders issuing a fatwa calling for his death.

    And here is a link to an article that discusses the countries where apostasy is punishable by death. There are 13 such countries, and all these countries are Muslim-majority countries: https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...e-death/355961

    The countries are: Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

    Of course, many other countries have apostasy laws but don't punish by death (officially, at least). There's a video circulating online of a Christian convert who was beheaded in Tunisia in 2012 by a bunch of masked men. I don't watch these types of videos, but part of the video was aired on an Egyptian show.
    As I expected, you moved the goalposts.

    Yazidis, Copts and Nigerian Christians aren't ex-Muslim apostates. Rushdie was marked for death for blasphemous publication, not apostasy. Neither is apostate-killing the primary agenda of any of those groups, which it would have to be for your initial assertion to be true, which is, I quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by fromelsewhere View Post
    Again, many Muslims believe that it is right to kill apostates and disbelievers. This is why there are plenty of terrorist groups that exist who claim to be practicing Islam (I don't think I need to give examples, do I?)
    I asked for terrorist groups that have the killing of apostates as a primary agenda. That there are countries with anti-apostasy laws is irrelevant.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Search View Post
    By the way, in some sense, I do agree with you that overzealous Muslims must learn to moderate their actions and words in response to "mere words," but it is deeply troubling that you seem to believe that aggressively criticizing Islam can ever be the act of a "peaceful people."
    Well just think about what aggressive criticism entails. This means pointing out stuff like, there is no good evidence that God exists, that you don't need to wear special clothing to mollify an invisible deity, that you don't need to prostrate yourself five times a day, and so on. And I suppose it might be rude to do this, in certain situations. But it's is a far cry from actually becoming violent, throwing punches, kicking, or using weapons like knives and guns.

    So, maybe some people are rude and obnoxious. Okay. But at least they aren't stoking fear, violence, and death.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    there is no good evidence that God exists
    There is no "good evidence" that atheism is true or even tells us anything about the world its meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    that you don't need to wear special clothing to mollify an invisible deity,
    why do we need to wear clothing at all?


    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    that you don't need to prostrate yourself five times a day,
    Or take care of our children/parents, Give charity, help people or basically do anything

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    And I suppose it might be rude to do this,
    Being rude is easy - being an atheist is even harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    But it's is a far cry from actually becoming violent, throwing punches, kicking, or using weapons like knives and guns.
    Or wasting your time on something you dont believe in? what do you want sympathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    So, maybe some people are rude and obnoxious. Okay. But at least they aren't stoking fear, violence, and death.
    Being rude and obnoxious is some how the moral baseline now???

    You wasting your time - do something productive. - let helping your kinsman or the poor and needy. It might focus your mind on things that matter.
    Last edited by Zafran; 01-03-2018 at 06:17 AM.
    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim

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    Search's Avatar
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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    (In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful)

    I have thought a lot about what aggressive criticism entails, and here's my answer: Criticizing what you feel is legitimately something that is not good or right about Islam is not it; after all, I don't have to agree with your definition or parameters of what is good or right. To me, at least, aggressive criticism is the kind of ridiculous, oversensitive, hyped (often untrue or a spectrum-of-truth-and-lies-mixed criticism) attacks of Islam that I often see Islamophobes engage in as a tactic of scaremongering. It serves no real purpose except to make the world wary of Muslims as a way to make zeros in the bank account and often is also used as a bait-and-switch in politics to sway the masses one way or another on the political spectrum. Muslims are not synonymous with ISIS, and I and other Muslims should not have to prove myself innocent before any human being before being given the benefit of doubt of deserving the same benefit of doubt as one would give any other human being. A good rule of thumb, in fact, should be something like: If a person don't give you a reason to make you think they're the type of person who likes to stoke fear, violence, and death, then that imagery should not be allowed to reign supreme in your mind as to what that person is or represents.

    Also, I'm not sure why you've brought up in your post the issue of throwing punches, kicking, or using violence or utilizing weapons like knives or guns in response to criticism of Islam. Because I can honestly say I have never once seen a reasonable person go berserk when confronted with criticism of Islam or Muslims. Scratch that. I have never seen any reasonable person go berserk at any type of criticism. I have only seen narcissistic or generally rage-filled people react in the type of image you're painting, and I cannot recall them being Muslims as such; in fact, I associate such disgraceful behavior with drunks in a bar, Nazis, white supremacists, gang members, or terrorists. And last time I checked, those things are not exclusive to religion. Mostly, certain personality types gravitate to that type of my penis-is-bigger-than-yours or how-dare-you confrontations resulting in physical altercations or uneven matches: Mull on that for thought?

    Peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by hatsoff View Post
    Well just think about what aggressive criticism entails. This means pointing out stuff like, there is no good evidence that God exists, that you don't need to wear special clothing to mollify an invisible deity, that you don't need to prostrate yourself five times a day, and so on. And I suppose it might be rude to do this, in certain situations. But it's is a far cry from actually becoming violent, throwing punches, kicking, or using weapons like knives and guns.

    So, maybe some people are rude and obnoxious. Okay. But at least they aren't stoking fear, violence, and death.
    Last edited by Search; 01-12-2018 at 10:18 AM.
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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    If someone makes the choice to leave Islam, I am not going to force them back. "There is no compulsion in religion"; if Allah wills, He will guide them back to the straight path. I can help them but I cannot make them or force them to return to Islam. I cannot also judge them, because how is it possible that I judge someone (and discriminate them), when I am being judged and tested myself; how can any of us judge each other when we are all being judged by Al-Hakam, the only true judge. I do not support killing or attacking or insulting someone who has left Islam, because this will give them even more reason to be away from Islam; rather, we must be kind to them and talk to them about why they left Islam. Perhaps they had some misconceptions, which can later be clarified.
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    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
    ~ And who is better in speech than someone who calls to God, and acts with integrity, and says, “I am of those who submit”?

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Lol

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Apostasy in Islam is the ugliest form of disbelief that sends the apostate in hell forever, as Allah says:

    "...and if any of you turns back from his religion and dies as an unbeliever, his deeds will become void in this life and in the hereafter. He will be the inmate of the hellfire, to abide in there forever." [2.217]

    And that Apostate who had the "freedom" in this world according to the false ideologies of man to forsake his Islam will wish that he lived under Shariah that would have been a deterrent for him to do such a thing with the hudud punishment that is justified. For those who say "the prescribed death penalty" is not in the Quran, we have the hadiths of the Prophet s.a.a.w. that state whoever changes his religion then kill him and the best generation brought up from mankind (Sahaba) who knows Islam more than all the scholars that came after them, also implemented the death penalty and fought the apostates for not paying zakat on even a camel strap. So who are you, modernist deviants, who think they know better than the Prophet s.a.a.w. and his Companions who dare have the audacity to contradict them when it really boils down to being cowardly towards the kuffar and attempt to appease them and justify that Islam means "peace" and not "submission" to the Law of Allah, and to be convinced by the laws of the U.N. that state that peoples have a right to choose their religion, and other such absurdities that contradict the tenets of Islam. And Allah Knows Best.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misbah-Abd View Post
    Apostasy in Islam is the ugliest form of disbelief that sends the apostate in hell forever, as Allah says:

    "...and if any of you turns back from his religion and dies as an unbeliever, his deeds will become void in this life and in the hereafter. He will be the inmate of the hellfire, to abide in there forever." [2.217]

    And that Apostate who had the "freedom" in this world according to the false ideologies of man to forsake his Islam will wish that he lived under Shariah that would have been a deterrent for him to do such a thing with the hudud punishment that is justified. For those who say "the prescribed death penalty" is not in the Quran, we have the hadiths of the Prophet s.a.a.w. that state whoever changes his religion then kill him and the best generation brought up from mankind (Sahaba) who knows Islam more than all the scholars that came after them, also implemented the death penalty and fought the apostates for not paying zakat on even a camel strap. So who are you, modernist deviants, who think they know better than the Prophet s.a.a.w. and his Companions who dare have the audacity to contradict them when it really boils down to being cowardly towards the kuffar and attempt to appease them and justify that Islam means "peace" and not "submission" to the Law of Allah, and to be convinced by the laws of the U.N. that state that peoples have a right to choose their religion, and other such absurdities that contradict the tenets of Islam. And Allah Knows Best.
    We live in a time where even those that pray regularly and keep relations.. are involved or responsible for actions detrimental to those around them.

    The more i see it the more i am split.

    If it is what the religion is, then better to have been heedless..

    For maximum effect.

    Even the rules are a weapon..

    Make no mistake i dont deny allah swt, i dont even consider most people to be human anymore..

    Although we are.

    But yeah welcome the sharia as it imposes itself..

    Its entire selfishness overrules my own.

    Gone are the days i was fed ammo and spat fire..

    ..the body is ready though.
    Last edited by M.I.A.; 01-20-2018 at 01:25 PM.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by 99sobi View Post
    If someone makes the choice to leave Islam, I am not going to force them back. "There is no compulsion in religion"; if Allah wills, He will guide them back to the straight path. I can help them but I cannot make them or force them to return to Islam. I cannot also judge them, because how is it possible that I judge someone (and discriminate them), when I am being judged and tested myself; how can any of us judge each other when we are all being judged by Al-Hakam, the only true judge. I do not support killing or attacking or insulting someone who has left Islam, because this will give them even more reason to be away from Islam; rather, we must be kind to them and talk to them about why they left Islam. Perhaps they had some misconceptions, which can later be clarified.
    None can forcibly stop if someone leaves Islam and none is going to punish him but in case he lives in a state ruled according to Islamic shariah then the law of the land will punish him whether you like it or not. Those who challenge the laws of the land are punished in every country.
    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Allah (swt) knows best

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by azc View Post
    None can forcibly stop if someone leaves Islam and none is going to punish him but in case he lives in a state ruled according to Islamic shariah then the law of the land will punish him whether you like it or not. Those who challenge the laws of the land are punished in every country.
    Yes, you are correct. Some countries have laws in which leaving Islam - and making a public display of it either through saying blasphemous things or committing acts that are contrary to Islamic jurisprudence - is a crime, and I respect that law even though I do not completely agree with it. But, one should respect the laws of the land they are in, and if they do not agree or respect those laws, then they should leave that country instead of rebelling against the law.

    The Qur'an says 4:59 (tafsir) -

    O you who believe obey God and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you that is rulers when they command you to obey God and His Messenger.

    I would also like to quote the following verses (tafsir; not direct translation):

    18:29 - And say to him and to his companions that this Qur’ān is ‘The truth that comes from your Lord; so whoever will let him believe and whoever will let him disbelieve’ — this is meant as a threat to them.

    10:99 - And if your Lord willed all who are in the earth would have believed together. Would you then compel people to do what God did not will that they do until they are believers? No!

    11:28 - He said ‘O my people have you considered — inform me — if I am acting upon a clear proof a clear statement from my Lord and He has given me mercy — prophethood — from Him and it has been obscured concealed from you ‘amiyat ‘obscured’ a variant reading has the passive ‘ummiyat can we compel you to it are we able to force you to accept it while you are averse to it? We are not able to do that.

    88:21-22 - So remind them of God’s graces and the proofs affirming His Oneness. For you are only an admonisher; you are not a taskmaster over them a variant reading for musaytir has musaytir that is to say not one who has been given authority over them — this was revealed before the command to struggle against the disbelievers.
    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
    ~ And who is better in speech than someone who calls to God, and acts with integrity, and says, “I am of those who submit”?

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by fromelsewhere View Post
    But what does Islam really say on the topic of apostasy is debatable as some scholars take the hardline and say "kill the apostate" and then you have other scholars such as Dr. Shabir Ally who are quite moderate and say "there is no compulsion in religion... you don't kill the apostate nowadays." If only the moderate views of people like Dr. Shabir Ally were more mainstream...
    If you want to know what Islam really says on any topic, then just read the Quran for yourself. You don't have to be Muslim to do this. I am not Muslim. The Quran is the primary reference for what Islam really is, and so anyone who wants to know can just read it. Of course every religion has both stupid and evil people who will misinterpret the scripture of their religion. But true Islam is found in the Quran, not in the minds of random scholars.

    I have an atheistic background, so I would like to point out a key difference between a religion like Islam and secular culture. Whatever you think of the Quran and its source, there is no doubt that the Quran serves as an anchor for Islam and is a strong intellectual weapon against any scholar who tries to drag Islam away from its roots. In contrast, secular culture has no such anchor. As much as I admire the Western Enlightenment, there is no "Enlightenment Bible" and so Western culture has completely drifted away from its own roots and is now degenerate and irrational. And for this reason, I think any rational person should consider Islam superior to modern Western culture even if they don't accept Islamic beliefs enough to convert, as I haven't converted.
    Last edited by fschmidt; 01-22-2018 at 03:58 AM. Reason: typo
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    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?


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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by fschmidt View Post
    If you want to know what Islam really says on any topic, then just read the Quran for yourself. You don't have to be Muslim to do this. I am not Muslim. The Quran is the primary reference for what Islam really is, and so anyone who wants to know can just read it. Of course every religion has both stupid and evil people who will misinterpret the scripture of their religion. But true Islam is found in the Quran, not in the minds of random scholars.I have an atheistic background, so I would like to point out a key difference between a religion like Islam and secular culture. Whatever you think of the Quran and its source, there is no doubt that the Quran serves as an anchor for Islam and is a strong intellectual weapon against any scholar who tries to drag Islam away from its roots. In contrast, secular culture has no such anchor. As much as I admire the Western Enlightenment, there is no "Enlightenment Bible" and so Western culture has completely drifted away from its own roots and is now degenerate and irrational. And for this reason, I think any rational person should consider Islam superior to modern Western culture even if they don't accept Islamic beliefs enough to convert, as I haven't converted.
    https://islamqa.org/hanafi/darulfiqh/21987
    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Allah (swt) knows best

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  20. #95
    fschmidt's Avatar
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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    A rather incomplete answer. Not a single reference to the Quran to support punishment for apostasy.

    I am reading the Quran now. I find it exceptionally reasonable. I have read some of the verses used to support punishment for apostasy, and it is clear to me that these apply to the condition of war as described by Dr. Shabir Ally in the link posted by happymuslim https://youtu.be/k4GK2I6GMcc .

    For me, the contrast between the reasonableness of the Quran and the unreasonableness of later Islamic scholars is quite extreme. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the same happened in Judaism where the scholars/rabbis completely ruined their religion. The same could happen in Islam if unreliable Hadiths and bad opinions of scholars are held above the plain meaning of the Quran.

    Anyway, I would be interested to see a response to Dr. Shabir Ally by those who support punishment for apostasy.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by fschmidt View Post
    A rather incomplete answer. Not a single reference to the Quran to support punishment for apostasy.I am reading the Quran now. I find it exceptionally reasonable. I have read some of the verses used to support punishment for apostasy, and it is clear to me that these apply to the condition of war as described by Dr. Shabir Ally in the link posted by happymuslim https://youtu.be/k4GK2I6GMcc .For me, the contrast between the reasonableness of the Quran and the unreasonableness of later Islamic scholars is quite extreme. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the same happened in Judaism where the scholars/rabbis completely ruined their religion. The same could happen in Islam if unreliable Hadiths and bad opinions of scholars are held above the plain meaning of the Quran.Anyway, I would be interested to see a response to Dr. Shabir Ally by those who support punishment for apostasy.
    al-Bukhaari (6922), such as the hadith: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.”
    apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Allah (swt) knows best

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    Quote Originally Posted by fschmidt View Post
    A rather incomplete answer. Not a single reference to the Quran to support punishment for apostasy.

    I am reading the Quran now. I find it exceptionally reasonable. I have read some of the verses used to support punishment for apostasy, and it is clear to me that these apply to the condition of war as described by Dr. Shabir Ally in the link posted by happymuslim https://youtu.be/k4GK2I6GMcc .

    For me, the contrast between the reasonableness of the Quran and the unreasonableness of later Islamic scholars is quite extreme. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the same happened in Judaism where the scholars/rabbis completely ruined their religion. The same could happen in Islam if unreliable Hadiths and bad opinions of scholars are held above the plain meaning of the Quran.

    Anyway, I would be interested to see a response to Dr. Shabir Ally by those who support punishment for apostasy.
    Again, you want to talk about why it isn't in the Quran but it is in the other source of Islamic Law, the Sunnah. The Prophet s.a.a.w. hadiths on this are Sahih, his Companions implemented the hudud punishment for it, there is ijma of the classical scholars on it and yet you want give weight to what some later scholar said on it. Unbelievable. Let me tell this once again. IF WHAT SCHOLARS SAY CONTRADICTS THE LAW OF ALLAH, BE IT THE QURAN OR SUNNAH AND HOW THE SAHABA UNDERSTOOD AS WELL AS THE EARLIEST GENERATIONS THAT FOLLOWED IT THEN DISREGARD THEIR FALSE OPINIONS.

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    Re: apostasy in Islam, how does it affect you?

    I am a practical Muslim from my college life, and have faced several atheist in debate. you may not believe me, nobody could defeat me.
    a Muslim blogger of my country explained why apostate must be killed.
    his post gained popularity over night on Facebook.
    inshallah, I will translate that in English, even though I am not good at English.
    But I will do it as soon as I get some free time,inshallah.

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