No compulsion vs Apostate killing

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No Compulsion in Religion’ vs. ‘Killing the Apostate’

by Jalal Abualrub

Q: Many Muslim groups in the US, like CAIR, MAS, MPAC, said that since there is no compulsion in Islam, how can the Afghan government execute the apostate… your website said that the apostate should be executed, this is not from Islam only, but in Christian times (pre-Islam)… And… what about a person who might have left Islam and then came back, and died Muslim…if s/he had been killed the first time, s/he would not have had the chance to return to Islam… of course ultimately who dies as Muslim is Allah’s Will…and it is already written in His Book.
A: I do not have knowledge if these organizations actually took this position. Nevertheless, the answer is still clear and simple. Allah said in the Quran, {There is no compulsion in religion}; [2:256]. This is the explanation on this Ayah found in my book, Holy Wars…Crusades…Jihad, “Ibn Kathir said, ‘This Ayah means, ‘Do not force anyone to embrace the religion of Islam, because Islam is clear, plain and its evidences and proofs are indisputable. Therefore, it is not necessary that anyone be forced to embrace it. Rather, those whom Allah guides, opens their hearts and enlightens their minds towards Islam, will embrace it with knowledge. Those whom Allah prevents their hearts and seals their hearing and sight from accepting Islam, will not benefit from being forced to embrace it’; Tafsir ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, Pg., 416.’” Thus, this Ayah is about those who are not Muslim: Muslims are not allowed to force those who are not Muslim –to begin with- to embrace Islam. What does this have to do at all with the punishment of those who are Muslim but commit the crime of abandoning Islam, thus, becoming non-Muslim after they had been Muslim? The opinion mentioned in the question is amazing: it indicates the type of ‘knowledge’ that prevails among many Muslims these days. It seems that the reason behind using this sick logic to invalidate Islamic Law, is to suit modern-day disbelievers, who will stop at nothing less than the complete corruption of Islam, {never will the Jews or the Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an [and surely, the Sunnah, the practical Bayan (explanation) of the Quran]), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper}; [2:120]. These are two completely different topics: forcing non-Muslims to embrace Islam vs. the punishment, carried out by the Islamic State, of those who were Muslim but committed the crime of abandoning Islam. If we follow this silly reasoning, then what about the remainder of the Hadeeth that legislates this law, as al-Bukhari and Muslims reported it from Allah’s Prophet, who 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 (Law of Equity) for murder; a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse; and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.” Should we also abandon the punishment for the adulterer, since ‘there is no compulsion in religion’? Should we also abandon other parts of the Islamic Penal code if the offense does not really harm others, such
as abandoning Prayer, drinking, cursing the Prophet, salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam, etc., since ‘there is no compulsion in religion’? Who has any right to contradict the Prophet of Allah, salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam, who says, “He who reverts from his religion, then kill him”; [as-Silsilah as-Sahihah 487]? And those who contradict him, had they been alive during his time, salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam, would they have corrected the Prophet, who received the Quran, by reminding him that in Islam, which he brought from Allah, ‘there is no compulsion in religion’? Muslims should be strong and stand behind every part of their Law, if they seek Allah’s Help and Support that is. As for the second part of the question, about if we leave the apostate un-punished he might go back to Islam, then what is stopping him from doing so before being killed, even if to become a hypocrite? What if he does not repent in the future and tempts others who have weak hearts and faith to follow him, should we stand idle while whole segments of the Muslim Society becomes non-Muslim? Hopefully, no Evangelical will pick up on this last sentence of mine to use it against Islam, because I will remind them of this nice ‘piece’ from the law that their ‘prince of peace’ allegedly (this is completely false of course) revealed to the prophets of old: Deuteronomy 13: “
1. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2. And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and
cleave unto him.
5. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
6. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7. Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8. Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9. But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
12. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13. Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14. Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15. Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16. And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
17. And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
18. When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.” Thank you for your question and I hope it was clear enough to use it against those who entertain these ideas.