Monday, October 27, 2008

Why capital punishment for apostasy?

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Doesn’t Islam promote violence, bloodshed and brutality since apostasy is punished with capital punishment?

NOTE: "Islam does not permit taking the life of any innocent peron - ever. Changing one's mind about beliefs is not, by itself, incurring any form of physical punishment according to Islamic Law" - Yusuf Estes

It was only in the last few years I learned there is killing going on in some countries over the issue of family members and others converting to other religions.
Yes! - even in these days! Egypt has cases of Christians killing someone for going to Islam, as well as the other way around.
This is also true, according to the newspapers about someone in Israel going to Islam last year.
And there is even a law in Chanai, India forbidden the public declaration of faith for anyone converting to Islam.

1. Islam for everyone
Islam always deals with everyone in Justice and Equity. Oppression of any person, regardless of their religious belief is totally forbidden in the Islamic State on all levels.
Islam means "willing submission to the Will of God in peaceful obedience", and as such, cannot be forced upon anyone, nor can anyone be converted to Islam against their will.
When the laws of Islam are set in place they exist as a trust to protect God-given rights of everyone, under God's Laws.
Islamic State provides advantages and benefits for all who live within its domain, as well as admonition and punishment for those who violate this trust and oppress others.
2. Apostasy in the time of the prophet
During the time of our prophet, peace be upon him, there were some who "left Islam" and then they were allowed to come back if they wanted to or stay away if they so desired.
One example is from the Muslims who migrated in the first migration to Ethiopia and one of them left Islam, became a Christian (the people of Abyssinia were Christians at that time) and then even told people there he was an "author" of the Quran.
Of course such actions are most despicable and worthy of some kind of reprimand, especially considering the extent of the lies against the Quran and the prophet, peace be upon him.
Yet, nothing was done to this man by the Muslims. His wife, Zainab, could not tolerate his lies and his turning his back against the truth of Islam and she returned back to the Muslims in Arabia.

Other examples include those who entered Islam in the presence of our beloved prophet, peace be upon him, yet when they were returned back to their people (during an agreement between the pagans and Muhammad, peace be upon him) some of them reverted back to their old pagan religion.
Some of them did come back to Islam again later on after Islam came to be the governing state. In this case we observe what can happen in the case of the one who is in Islam and then for whatever reason decides not to stay.

Yet another example that occurred at the time of our blessed prophet, peace be upon him, was that of some who pretended they wanted to be Muslims only to take advantage of the believers, gain some worldly benefits and then abused and slaughtered an entire group of shepherds that memorized the entire Quran, who were caring for them.
They killed them in cold blood and took everything for themselves. The prophet, peace be upon him, was very disturbed over this and ordered them to be severely punished and left to die without any food or water.
3. The proper punishment
From this example we learn how to deal with traitors and terrorists who have no intention of doing anything except evil and spreading fitnah (evil and terror) throughout the land.
Over the centuries since the inception of Islam, we can find cases of people leaving Islam and what was their example and what the prevailing jurists decided in their particular situation.
Most all of these were not punished except in the cases of treason, other acts of violence or for propagating corruption, dissention and promoting evil along with their apostasy.
Those who were found to be causing sedition or of being enemy spies during times of war or advocating the overthrow of Islamic government could understandably be court-martialed and executed.
4. Nowadays
Now let us consider the realities of balance in Islam in light of today's world.
There is no existing Islamic state with a khilafah. This means the hudud (punishment according to Islam) of the Shar'iah (Islamic Law) cannot be appropriately applied.
Additionally, anyone not being a citizen living in an Islamic state could hardly be tried and convicted by the state in a proper manner.
5. Treatment of conversion and apostasy with other civilizations and societies
a. Roman civilization
The Roman civilization would not tolerate someone who accepted the benefits of citizenship and the turned against the government.
These people were made short work of as entertainment for the people, while gladiators tortured and killed them for public sport. (see: Encyclopedia Britanitca; Rome).
b. Jewish incidents
During the years after Jesus, peace be upon him, occurred in the south of Arabia in Yemen. Yusuf Dhu Nawas, a Jewish leader in Yemen, attacked the Christians of Najran ordering them to embrace Judaism or be burned in a pit of fire.
Estimates put the number of those killed between 20,000 and 40,000.
c. Catholic church
The Catholic Church at one time forced people to enter into their religion at the point of the sword and with torture chambers (see: Crusades, 1095 to 1200 A.D.; and Inquisition, 1492 to 1520 A.D.)
Those who wished to remain or change to Islam or Judaism or even another form of Christianity were put to the vilest forms of tortures and even executed.
However, this cannot be said to, in any way, represent the teachings of Jesus or the New Testament.

To conclude, Islam comes from Allah, the actual Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Islam provides for all situations and dictates what are the rights and limitations.

This all seeks to provide a safe environment for all people to learn the correct message of Almighty Allah and how to live as upright citizens in a place of pleace and mutual cooperation for all humans, regardless of their beliefs.

If a person wants to accept this belief and way of life, then they should be free to do so. If another person would reject this even though the evidence is clearly in favor of Islam, they are free to make this choice but would live in the society still receiving the benefits and services available, such as food, shelter, clothing, protection and charity.

However, they would pay a larger tax on their wealth due to their not being conscripted to serve in the military and so on.

Conditions are really what bring about the different rulings on dealing with those who enter Islam and then leave it, with the clear intention of bringing about dissention and unrest amongst the people.

Also, those who seek to convert people away from Islam into other faiths or to destroy the Islamic government would naturally be considered as traitors and then dealt with as such.

All knowledge is with Allah and for any mistakes I seek Allah's forgiveness and beg the pardon of anyone whom I may have offended in this writing.

Again, may Allah reward you for your effort and accept from you and all of us, ameen.
Salam alaykum,
Yusuf Estes

  1. Written by Yusuf Estes a former Preacher converted to Islam ... for more details visit this page
  2. To get more information about Islam
  3. Anyone ... and I mean anyone (Muslim or not Muslim) who needs my help or wants to directly communicate with me about any matter in Islam … please don't hesitate to contact me on my personal e-mail

1 comment:

  1. Irtidad and murtad related issues;topicseen#msg6460