The Apostate Relinquishing the Faith - Part 1

Regardless of whether the Muslim embraces Christianity (as is happening today with millions of the Indonesians) or becomes an atheist, Islamic law declares that he must be killed. Also, anyone who rejects any of the basic ordinances of Islam or insults the prophet or the Qur'an (as Salman Rushdie did) will be regarded as an apostate and must be killed. It is well-known that all Muslim scholars agree upon these points without exception. They also avow that the prophet Muhammad said it, and they practice it with those who relinquish Islam and become apostate. The scholars also teach that this is what all the Caliphs (Muhammad's successors) did after him. Contemporary scholars declare without any shame that the Muslim's freedom to change his faith is non-existent and is not recognized by Islam.

Contemporary Scholars

The Azhar University in Egypt 

It is well-known that Egypt is the largest Arab/Islamic country in the world. The University of Azhar has been regarded through the years as the Mineret (light) of Islam for the entire Islamic world. The Legislative committee at the Azhar issued "The Bill of Legal Punishments. This book has been sent to all the Mosques in the West accompanied by a descriptive memorandum for these laws. The legislative committee requested Muslims to implement these penalties and comply with Islamic law. This bill was written both in Arabic and in English. It deals with the penalties imposed by Islamic law such as amputation of the thief's hand and the scourging of the wine drinker. However, we would like to deal here with the penalty for the apostate who relinquishes the Islamic faith.

Provisions Specific to Apostasy 

The "Bill of Legal Punishments" says (p.12),

"A person guilty of apostasy (man or woman) shall be put to death if repentance is not made within the period allowed which shall not exceed sixty days. Repentance of a person who commits apostasy more than twice shall not be accepted.

"An apostate is that Muslim who has renounced the faith of Islam irrespective of his adoption of another creed.

"The crime of apostasy is committed in the following ways:

  1. making an explicit statement or committing an act definitely indicating renunciation of Islam,
  2. denial of essential tenets of the faith,
  3. bringing into ridicule through word or action, the Gracious Koran."

 On page 30, we find this explanatory note:

"The ordained penalty for apostasy is based on the Sunnahh. The prophet, peace be on him, said, ‘One who changes his faith is to be killed' (al Bukhari). It is also narrated by Al Dar Qutni that when a woman called Umm-Marwan had renounced Islam, the Prophet ordered that if she failed to repent she should be put to death. The rightly guided Caliphs continued this practice. It is fully known that Abu-Bakr the truthful fought against those who had deserted from the religion of Islam and killed many. The Gracious Companions were of the same view, and a consensus emerged on this issue." 

These are the verdicts of the contemporary Azhar scholars. They are the most knowledgeable people in the laws of the Islamic traditions of Muhammad and the actions taken by his successors.

The Scholars of Saudi Arabia 

In one of his speeches which was published by the Tunisian newspapers, the former President of that country assaulted the Qur'an and said it is full of contradictions. He also said that Muhammad was a desert man who wrote myths in the Qur'an. The Saudi scholars wrote a book in which they threatened him. On the cover of the book, the following was printed:

"From the publications of the Islamic League of the Madina Munawwara in Saudi Arabia:

"The Verdict of Islam: ‘To him who alleged that the Qur'an is contradictory and includes some myths, who described the apostle Muhammad to imply that he was inflicted with vices or one who attacked his message...'

 In page 13 of this book, Sheikh 'Abdul-'Aziz, along with all the Sheiks of Saudi Arabia, said:

"The verdict of Islam is to sentence to death anyone who commits such things. Thus the president Abu Ruqayba must haste to repent."

 They assured him (pages 14 and 15) that all Muslim scholars have agreed that anyone who does these things must be killed. They said this is also the opinion of the heads of the four major Islamic schools. The major Islamic schools are the Shafi'i, Malik, Abu Hanifa, and Ahmad. It is well-known that the former president of Tunisia did not change his liberal opinions regarding Muhammad and the Qur'an which he mentioned in his speeches.

It is public knowledge in Tunisia that it is forbidden for a man to marry more than one woman. Thus, Western society should not have been surprised when Khomeini ordered the execution of Rushdie because this is the opinion of all Muslim scholars as well as the heads of the four leading schools.

The Egyptian State Assembly: The Highest Judicial Authority

On August 6, 1977, the most prestigious newspaper in Egypt, al-Ahram, published the following statement:

"The state assembly has approved a bill to enact the penalty for apostasy. The apostate who intentionally relinquishes Islam by explicit declaration or decisive deed must be put to death. Apostasy is established by one confirmation or by the testimony of two men. The apostate is forbidden to administer his properties. He will be given 30 days to repent before the execution of the sentence of death. But if one converted to Christianity was 10-14 years old, he will only be scourged fifty times."

 This law has not been implemented in Egypt up to now. This is because of the objection of some liberal, enlightened writers such as Mustafa Amin who published an article in the Akhbar newspaper during the same month, in which he said,

"We have to think one thousand times before we approve such a law because any divine religion does not need a gallows to protect it. It does not need a sword to cut off the necks of those who disagree with it."

Mustafa Amin is a very famous person in all the Arab world for his noble character, knowledge, and boldness, but he does not know (or maybe he does know) that the religion of Islam surely does need a gallows to protect it because the law of apostasy is an Islamic law.

The most astonishing part of the statement of the Egyptian state assembly is this: "The apostasy is established by the testimony of two men." Yet it is possible that two Muslim

men may come forward and testify that they heard such-and-such a Christian man saying, "I am converted to Islam and I testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God." They may say that while actually the man has never made that claim. Still, the testimony of the Muslim witness will be accepted. In this case, that poor man has no choice but either to embrace Islam or be put to death.

It is a detestable law which is rejected by the Egyptian government (they do not implement it) though many Muslims in Egypt have already become Christians. This is because the government is a secular government and not an Islamic one, but the government is subject to increasing pressure, day after day, from the terroristic Islamic forces.

What Happens To Muslims in Egypt Who Become Christians

In January of 1986, the Egyptian authorities arrested eight people (males and females) whose ages ranged from 20-30 years. The charge was that they had embraced Christianity several years before. Eight months later, they were released from jail after their story was publicized in many of the Western newspapers and magazines. What is important to us here is that while the eight Christians were in prison, a Muslim leader wrote to the government demanding that they execute them—not just keep them under arrest. On the second of July 1986, "The Islamic Light" newspaper which is published by the Ahrar party (the freemen party), said in an article titled, "Point of Absurdity":

"Two things we find absurd. The first one is that the Egyptian church is demanding their immediate release and has contacted the International Amnesty Committee to convey its indignation for the imprisonment of eight people because of their apostasy from Islam. The second thing which we call absurdity is that the Egyptian government was content to arrest them only. It was supposed to execute Islamic law upon them; namely, death if they do not repent. The government must make this clear to all the world and be proud of this law because it is God's verdict. "

Maybe such a verdict honors this newspaper, but it does not honor the Egyptian government. It does not even honor her

to hold them in jail; that is why she released them.

This is not God's verdict, my friend. God is love and respects man's decisions. God wants to set you free from your delusions in order to bring you to the light of the truth. What really amazes us is the common impression that God is vindictive like the law would imply. What adds to our amazement is that the name of the newspaper is "The Journal of Light" and the name of your party is "The Party of the Freemen." What light and what freedom are these? This Islamic law is a shame!

The United States - Land of Freedom and Human Rights - and the United Nations  

The Muslim Youth in New York publish a weekly Islamic magazine called al-Tahrir ("Liberation"). In its issue of February 5, 1983, the chief editor wrote an article under the title, "The Symptoms of Apostasy in the Islamic Society". On page 15, he said:

"The apostate is not only the person who relinquishes Islam and embraces another religion, but the symptoms of apostasy are many, and those who practice them are regarded as infidels and apostate and deserve to be killed. The symptoms of apostasy are: when the ruler does not govern by God's law (most of the Muslim rulers do that), or when the ruler derides some aspect of the religion or one of the Islamic laws as the ex-president of Egypt, al-Sadat, did when he said that the dress of the Muslim women is like a tent.

"Another symptom of apostasy is that a Muslim believes in the Qur'an only and rejects tradition; namely, the sayings and deeds of Muhammad (the Sunnahh) and attacks the apostle Muhammad by any insult or criticism of the Qur'an. Also among the symptoms of apostasy is the promotion of mottoes which may contradict the Qur'an, such as the mottoes of nationalism, patriotism, and humanism! Anyone who calls for these mottoes is regarded as an infidel and an apostate and deserves to be killed if he does not repent. Also, anyone who believes in Masonianism. "

 We respond by saying that the writer is right according to the Islamic tenets, but what is the view of the American police of these claims and of this newspaper, especially since many Iranians and

Arabs in the U.S. have become Christians and American citizens. They are under the threat of death in accordance with the Islamic law.

For the continuation of this article, see Part 2...