To an ordinary person, with not much reflection over the subject of religion, or the younger ones, like Fathima Rifqa Bary, one could say, how stupid, or how naive. But prominent people of significant knowledge, when they commit (well, I don't want to be judgmental) such a crime, what is their stand on it, what are they thinking? How does going apostate make sense to them? I think there are several people who go through this period of confusion, when nothing makes sense, or sounds too harsh, or arrogant, or contradicting, but how many actually go as far as going apostate?
According to most scholars, if a Muslim consciously and without coercion declares their rejection of Islam and does not change their mind after the time given to him/her by a judge for research, then the penalty for male apostates is death, and for women, life imprisonment.
Knowing this, how many would have the guts anyways. Especially if you're having your apostate morning tea in Saudi Arabia!
But to be an apostate from Islam, and to be valid under this law for death penalty or life imprisonment, one needs to be a Muslim first. And here is where my confusion lies. 99% of the people of the world follow the religion they are born into, even if it's atheism. I am Muslim because my parents are Muslim, and because their parents were Muslim, and so on. I have been conditioned in my life to believe that Islam is the true religion, and other religions are basically a farce. So am I really a Muslim? Why am I the chosen one to be conveniently born into purity?
They say that every child is born a Muslim. This means, that everyone is born pure, without sin. Muslim not so much as in it's political context I am sure. And that it is our duty to find out what being a Muslim means, and how to stay one. Very difficult for the child born to Pat Robertson I have to say!
So if no one is really consciously getting a chance to declare what they are, why should they end up coiled in religious penalties? In this case, I think Robertson's child gets the easier way, than the child born to Bin Laden. If today I say that I do not believe in Islam, what is the context of my words? Am I an apostate by the law of Islam? Because I haven't really signed any document declaring that I consciously declare myself as a Muslim. Yes I have documents that suggest I am a Muslim, but there is no declaration.
I think by the time a human is capable of making independent choices and decision, regardless of how naive and stupid they may be, a person must get a chance to first declare what he or she really believes in, and then be dealt with accordingly. This choice is lacking.
Their are 2 kinds of apostates. Murtad Fitri, and Murtad Milli. The first one is a term used for an apostate who was born to Muslim parents. The second one is used for an apostate who converted to Islam, but then went back. Fitri or fitrat, imply a natural tendency; therefore meaning, someone who has turned away from his natural tendency to believe in Allah, meaning a direct treason against Allah. Milli or millat mean community. So a Murtad Milli has basically committed treason against his community.
A Murtad Fitri, in case of man, is not given a chance to repent, and he has to go through the death penalty (though Allah may choose to forgive him, but on earth he gets his punishment). In case of a woman, she gets life imprisonment, but the punishment is suspended if she repents. A Murtad Milli is given a chance to repent regardless of gender, and in an event of a repentance, no punishment takes place.
I have also come across the fact that in the Quran itself, no place does it say that apostates are punishable by death. But this punishment is instead found in the Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) apparently did punish people by death. But I refuse to believe such a harsh interpretation. People has severely put this hadith out of context, and are committing murders in stark daylight, and basically committing a sin themselves first.
At the time such an oder was given (of death penalty), there was serious unrest in Medina. As Hasan Al-Turabi suggests that the penalty was issued under political reasons. High treason is punishable by death in many countries around the world, even the non-Muslims ones. When the Quran has clearly stated that there is no compulsion in religion, and that no law is prescribed in it for a death punishment, how can Muslim go around taking the law in their hand, and killing apostates? Such contradictions only go as much as confusing non-Muslims and Muslims, and spreading fitna about a religion that at the core of it teaches nothing but peace. The following video explains this in much detail:
Therefore, apostasy in NOT punishable by death! It is a matter between God and man. And those who have taken this in their own hands are going against God. And such people, God has openly condemned in His Book:
|6:114-115 Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than Allah. - when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail." They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt. The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. |