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In the quran it states that there is no compulsion in religion (ie. you can`t/don`t need to force someone into beleiving the truth).

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As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

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assalamualaikum,
in the quran it states that there is no compulsion in religion (ie. you can`t/don`t need to force someone into beleiving the truth). how do you reconcile this with the hadith regarding the killing of apostates? ("he who changes his deen must be killed" - the book i read this in had no reference, so im not sure about how authentic the hadeeth is). 

 

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Answer:

 

Killing Apostates

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: in the quran it states that there is no compulsion in religion (ie. you can`t/don`t need to force someone into beleiving the truth). how do you reconcile this with the hadith regarding the killing of apostates?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 256-257:

256 Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

257 Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the Evil Ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire to dwell therein (for ever).


 

Dear and Beloved Brother, in light of the context of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah this Command of the Lord Most High Let there be no compulsion in religion means and implies that since Allah has given every individual a free will as a test; for a period of one lifetime every individual has a God-given right to choose for himself between the paths of Truth and error, Guidance and misguidance, Belief and disbelief, Obedience or disobedience. Every individual has a right to choose whatever path he wishes to live his life, and none should or can be forced or coerced or compelled to choose belief if one chooses to disbelieve. Thus it is absolutely impermissible in Islamic Law to force, or coerce, or compel anyone to accept Islam as their way of life if they do not themselves, of their own free will, choose to do so.

 

But if one, of his own free will chooses to believe and enters Islam by declaring the shahaadah or testification of faith, then he is bound by his declaration and all the disciplines of Islam become obligatory upon such a person. If one after accepting Islam as his deen does not pray, he will be compelled by Law to offer his prayers; or if he refuses to pay the zakah dues, he will be compelled by Law to fulfill his zakah dues; or if he refuses to distribute inheritance as prescribed by Shariah, he will be compelled by Law to do so; etc. Once the person of his own free will accepts Islam, he has no right to pick-and-choose the laws he wishes to follow; but rather he will be compelled to follow all the obligatory dictates of Shariah by Law. Here one cannot say or bring forth the excuse Let there be no compulsion in religion! nor would it be accepted. This command only applies to one who has not accepted Islam as his way of life.

 

Allow us to relate a simple example to further explain the point. In todays age, one is not compelled to take citizenship of any nation (for eg. United States of America); but if one of his own free will chooses to take on and accept US citizenship, he cannot pick-and-choose which law he wishes to follow. If the law of the land states that he has to pay tax, he will be compelled to pay it whether he likes it or not; of if the law of the land states he has to be drafted in the army, he will be compelled to join the army; or if the law of the land states he has to pay half his wealth to his divorced wife, he will be compelled to do so; etc.

 

Your Question: how do you reconcile this with the hadith regarding the killing of apostates? ("he who changes his deen must be killed" - the book i read this in had no reference, so im not sure about how authentic the hadeeth is). 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.17 Narrated by Abdullah

Allah's Messenger (saws) 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 (retribution) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."

 

It is indeed an authentic and established hadith and thus a part of Islamic Law that corporal punishment will be applied to one who, after accepting Islam as his way of life, openly and verbally declares in a Court of Islamic Law in a proper Islamic State that he wants to become an apostate.

 

One must bear in mind that it is not as if every person who declares apostasy, or every person one may think or believe is an apostate will be put to death without due process of law. It is only when one confesses in a Shariah Court in a proper Islamic State that he wills to become an apostate, after knowing fully well and being warned that the punishment for apostasy in Islam is death, he still holds on to his confession in a Shariah Court that he wills to become an apostate that he will be prescribed the due corporal punishment.

 

Thus even if there is enough evidence and a case of apostasy has been brought against one in a Shariah Court, all the person has to do is declare the shahaadah or testification of faith in Court to save himself from the prescribed punishment!

 

The wisdom behind this Law of prescribing corporal punishment for apostasy in Islam is only to manifest the value and worth of the declaration of shahaadah which enables one to enter Islam, and the severity of the crime of becoming an apostate in the Sight of Allah, Islamic Law, and the believers.; for unless and until one, of his own free will and without any coercion or force, himself declares his apostasy in a Shariah Court of a righteous Islamic State, the prescribed punishment of apostasy cannot be implemented.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

Burhan

 


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