Apostasy IS Punishable by Death in Islam

sudan apostasyThe world is shocked that a pregnant Christian woman, Meriam Ibrahim, was sentenced to death in Sudan one of the most “corrupt” countries in the world. Abandoned by her Muslim husband we all cry for her justice, secular justice. What Sudan well points out is the backlash against westernism, in this case a divided christian-islam geography, means a return to the law, Sharia, and that law is not pretty or just.

“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told the woman, addressing her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

Interesting to think of moderate reaction saying “convert,” better Muslim than dead and then leave the country. Hmm.

“I am a Christian,” Ibrahim fired back, “and I will remain a Christian.”

The court considers her Muslim. Bet FOX News loves this as proof of Christian persecution. Yet, in the US you still better be Christian or some Abrahamic or you fail in politics, work, life unless a zillionaire business person.

While moderates often detail how the Koran says nothing about apostasy and its punishment by death, the hadith is very specific that it is necessary and law. But first let’s look at the Koran as it does have a way out to allow any sort of punishment for apostasy.

But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief — Lo! they have no binding oaths in order that they may desist. (9:11,12)[1]

If you repent and worship as a Muslim it is considered a treaty. If you break that treaty then no binding oaths remain and you can punish in any manor so choosen. Whatever it takes to make them stop not following moral behavior.

In the following Koran verse ostracism is legitimized.

“Why are ye two parties about the hypocrites, when God hath overturned them for what they earned? Do ye wish to guide those whom God hath led astray? Whoso God hath led astray ye shall not surely find for him a path. They would fain that ye misbelieve as they misbelieve, that ye might be alike; take ye not patrons from among them until they too fight in God’s way; but if they turn their backs, then seize them wheresoever ye and them, and take from them neither patron nor help” (IV. 90, 91). “O ye who believe! Whoso is turned away from his religion-God will bring (instead) a people whom He loves and who love Him, lowly to. believers, lofty to unbelievers, strenuous in the way of God, fearing not the blame of him who blames” (V.59).

This third verse of the Koran shows that unbelievers will receive the wrath of god. No peace here. No acceptance. For them is  mighty woe. The verse doesn’t explicitly state the people may punish but it does make clear they will feel the wrath of god. If you consider yourself to be the hand of god, god guides you in all things, it is not  a far leap to act in god’s will. To commit the wrath as the acting hand of god.

“Whoso disbelieves in God after having believed, unless it be one who is forced and whose heart is quiet in the faith, – but whoso expands his breast to misbelieve, – on them is wrath from God, and for them is mighty woe! That is because they preferred the love of this world’s life to the next; but verily God guides not the unbelieving people.”

You see this elsewhere as in India’s Zakir Naik, a Muslim teleevangelist on Peace TV, who over and over again talks about how there is peace for all unless they are corrupt in which case all things are allowed. You don’t have to believe you just have to follow, that is the only latitude. Here’s a video of him and how he works. Followed by another video detailing some his mistakes of fact that make him seem smart to those unable to follow his fast talk. Notice how “unless corrupt” sneaks in as a legal loophole.

This cancellation of all legal rights and religious protection too often excuses all manor of wrong. It’s why a western woman who is considered promiscuous or a whore can be raped with impunity–a corrupt person has no rights.

The hadith is a record of what the prophet said and is also considered law. Here there are many supports of death to apostates.

“All the deeds of the apostate become null and void in this world and the next. He must be killed. His wife must be separated from him and he has no claims on any inheritance” (page 155, vol. I, Cairo edition). Ath Tha’alibi (788 A.H.), in his commentary on Sura II, verse 214, leaves no doubt that the verse in question, whatever the grammatical construction may be, demands the death of the apostate. (Cf. vol. i, p.167, Algiers edition, 1323).

For the Sunni, Bhukari is the most sacred text next to the Koran.

Bukhari, volume 9, #17

“Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Messenger, cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas (equality in punishment) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (Apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”

Bukhari, volume 9, #57

Narrated Ikrima, “Some 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 messenger forbade it, saying, “Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).” I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

Bukhari, volume 9, #58

Narrated Abu Burda, “Abu Musa said…..Behold there was a fettered man beside Abu Musa. Muadh asked, “Who is this (man)?” Abu Musa said, “He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism.” Then Abu Musa requested Muadh to sit down but Muadh said, “I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and his messenger,” and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, “Then we discussed the night prayers …..

Over and over again both in history and hadith apostasy has been punishable by death. The entire point in Islam was world conversion, domination. Unbelievers were allowed to live side by side only as long as they practiced the religion. Love of education was religious education. Moderate interpreters might sneak in secular education as understanding but not support. So, yes in more enlightened medieval Islamic communities you could for example be a Jew in Islam but you had to follow Islamic custom. The arguments used against the death penalty often rely on only Mohammed’s ability to kill as punishment. Yet, Mohammed’s words and actions are law in Islam. This Catch-22 is unavoidable.

The texts must change or be abandoned for there to be peace and that seems unlikely. The immutability of eternal religious law is at question here.

Hitchens in debate noted that moderate Christians and reformed Jews avoid their heinous written laws by contextualizing them yet castigate secularists for being moral relativists or situationalists. Christians don’t do condoned slavery any more, nor eye for eye, yet their laws are permanent? This is an Abrahamic problem involving all three of the great religions. As an outsider I have to say fundamental Islam is being the most true to itself if that is the point.

If for no other reason this is just cause for apostasy in all Abrahamics. The laws must change!

“‘Adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of ‘most serious crimes’ in relation to the death penalty. It is a flagrant breach of international human rights law,” the researcher said.

Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com

About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
This entry was posted in Catholic Church, Islam, judaism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.