It is not permissible to spill the blood of a Muslim except in three instances
I mentioned in a previous post that it has been difficult for me to find out what the “official” position of Islam is on apostasy. Death for apostates seems to have been the explicit teaching of Muhammad,
On the authority of Ibn Mas’ood (radiAllaahu anhu) who said : The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
It is not permissible to spill the blood of a Muslim except in three [instances] : the married person who commits adultery, a life for a life, and the one who forsakes his religion and separates from the community.
Many Muslims reject the death penalty for apostasy, or do they?
Despite the above revelation from Muhammad, there are many Muslims who reject the death penalty for apostasy. Previously I had written that Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, voiced opposition to the death penalty for apostasy; in fact, his own website states his position, “apostasy is not punishable by death in Islam.” Ali Gomaa has said elsewhere,
“The essential question before us is : Can a person who is a Muslim choose a religion other than Islam ? The answer is yes, they can, because the Quran says, ‘Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion,’ (Quran 109:6) and, ‘Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosever will, let him disbelieve,’ (Quran18:29) and, ‘There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is distinct from error’ (Quran 2:256).” He added, “These verses from the Quran discuss a freedom that God affords all people. But from a religious prospective, the act of abandoning one’s religion is a sin punishable by God on the Day of Judgment. If the case in Question is one of merely rejecting faith, then there is no worldly punishment.” He went on to state, “If, however, the crime of undermining the foundations of the society is added to the sin of apostasy, then the case must be referred to a judicial system whose role is to protect the integrity of the society…..According to Islam, it is not permitted for Muslims to reject their faith, so if a Muslim were to leave Islam and adopt another religion, they would thereby be committing a sin in the eyes of Islam. Religious belief and practice is a personal matter, and society only intervenes when that personal matter becomes public and threatens the well-being of its members.”
What does Ali Gomaa really believe should be done to those who renounce Islam?
It is difficult for non-Muslims, such as myself, to reconcile Ali Gomaa’s teaching and the teaching of Muhammad quoted in the above hadith. In fact, I was listening to Ali Gomaa teach on the above hadith and found a major contradiction in Ali Gomaa’s opinion,
Ali Gomaa states in the above video,
“The revertant and the one who deserts the Muslim community, and who betrays the general system deserves killing. And this is one thing every sane person agrees on. The one who turns his back on the system and abandons the community, and tears it down deserves extirpation. That’s why spies in all systems in the world, along with those who are not keen on the country’s security are accused of high treason. They are punished with execution in all legal systems in the world. That law was derived from the Prophet’s (SAWS) hadith “and the one who leaves the Muslims.” Killing a Muslim is not allowed only when they revert but there are two other cases: “The one who reverts” and “abandons the muslim community.” And that is a hadith from which an important Islamic rule is derived.”
Can anyone clarify for me Ali Gomaa’s contradiction?
Is this an example of a Muslim telling the Western media what it wants to hear and not what Islam really teaches? Some people in the West want to hear that there is freedom of religion in Islam. Therefore, if an Imam doesn’t want to sound “radical” and be turned off and tuned out by the Western world, then they are going to have to say things that are agreeable to Westerners.
I had heard that Ali Gomaa represents moderate Islam, but it sounds to me like he moderates what he says – and what Muhammad said – depending upon his audience.
There are good and rational reasons for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity
There are good reasons for leaving Islam which is why I have written the book, “Is the Qur’an the Word of God?” I invite you to read some of the sample chapters from the book on the website: