Getting to Know Allah

Allah and the Crime of No Longer Believing

5:54 O believers, whoever of you renounces his religion, Allah will certainly bring forth (replace them) a people whom He loves and they love him, humble towards the faithful, but mighty towards the unbelievers. They fight in the Way of Allah and do not fear anybody’s reproach. That is a favour from Allah which He confers on whomever He pleases. Allah is Munificent, All-Knowing.

The Example of Pharaoh

You must not wait on Allah's promise to replace those who renounce His religion. If you are in a position to do so, you must kill them forthwith in a manner that will be both humiliating and painful, not unlike what Pharaoh promised to do to his magicians when they professed their devotion to Allah after witnessing Moses' superior magic. (See Shared Prophets: "Moses and Pharaoh," Boreal Books for all revelations pertaining to Moses’ interaction with Pharaoh.)

20:70 Then the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: “We believe [now] in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.”

20:71 He (Pharaoh) said: “Do you believe in him before I give you leave? It must be your chief who has taught you magic. I shall then cut your hands and feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you upon the trunks of palm trees, and you will certainly know whose punishment is sterner and more lasting.”

Islamic law is based on the Koran and the sayings and example of Muhammad. Pharaoh promises an agonising, degrading death to those who would abandon his religion and Allah is entitled to no less. The type of crucifixion described in the Koran was not uncommon during the tenure of the Islamic State of the Levant at their capital of Raqqa for a variety of alleged crimes by non-Muslims, mostly Christians.

Religious leaders in Afghanistan did not demand that Abdul Rahman—an Afghan man sentenced to death for converting to Catholicism—be crucified and dismembered, but still insisted that he be tortured before the death sentence was carried out, as called for by their interpretation of Islamic law. In the face of public outcry, and pressure from the Vatican, Rahman was allowed to emigrate to Italy to escape the pain and the death sentence.

Repentance Denied

Can you return to the faith to save your life? The Salmon Rushdie experience would indicate that this is not always possible. Rushdie, after being declared an apostate for writing The Satanic Verses, offered a public apology and reaffirmed his commitment to Islam, to no avail. Khomeini's death sentence still stands, as do Allah’s revelations on the subject.

3:86 How will Allah guide a people who disbelieved after they had believed and bore witness that the Messenger is true, and after the clear proofs had come to them? Allah will not guide the unjust people.

3:87 The reward of those people shall be that the curse of Allah, the angels and mankind as a whole shall be upon them.

3:88 They will abide therein forever; their punishment shall not be lightened and they shall have no respite.

He then softens his stance:

3:89 Except for those who repent afterwards and mend their ways; for Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Then the hard line again:

3:90 Surely those who disbelieve after believing, and then grow in disbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted. Those are the ones who have gone astray!

3:91 As for those who disbelieve and die as unbelievers, the earth’s fill of gold will not be accepted from any of them, even if it is offered as ransom. For those, a painful punishment is reserved and they will have no supporters!

"Kill them wherever you find them"

88:17 Will they, then, not consider the camels, how they were created?

88:18 And heaven, how it was raised up?

88:19 And the mountains, how they were hoisted? 88:20 And the earth, how it was levelled.

88:21 So, exhort, you (Muhammad) are a mere exhorter;

88:22 You are not supposed to dominate (compel, Moududi) them;

88:23 Except for him who turns away and disbelieves; 88:24 Then Allah will punish him in the most terrible way.

88:25 Indeed, unto Us is their return;

88:26 Then, upon Us rests their reckoning.

What does “Except for him who turns away and disbelieves” mean in practical terms?

4:89 They wish that you disbelieve, as they have disbelieved, so that you will all be alike. Do not, then, take any companions from them, until they emigrate in the Way of Allah. Then should they turn back, seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and do not take from them any companion or supporter;

When it comes to apostates, both Allah and Muhammad are of the same mind and unequivocally so.

Narrated Ikrima:

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.'"

Bukhari: 52.260

Apostates are in the same category as hypocrites. And what do you do to with hypocrites?

33:61 Accursed, wherever they are encountered they will be seized and slaughtered.

With the war to convert all of mankind a work-in-progress, Allah’s and Muhammad’s demand that those who abandon the Faith be killed on the spot may have to do with not weakening the war effort as desertions tend to do. Nonetheless, God did make some exceptions to His general rule of killing them “wherever you find them.”

4:90 Except for those who seek refuge with a people with whom you are bound by a compact, or come to you because their hearts forbid them to fight you or fight their own people. Had Allah wished, He would have made them dominate you; and then they would have certainly fought you. If, however, they leave you alone and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah allows you no way against them.

4:91 You shall find others who wish to be secure from you and secure from their own people; yet, whenever they are called back to sedition they plunge into it. If these do not keep away from you, nor offer you peace, nor hold their hands back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them. Those, we have given you clear authority over them.

Allah will, of course, forgive those who only pretended to abandon Islam because they had no other choice.

16:106 He who disbelieves in Allah after He has believed, except him who is compelled, but his heart remains firm in belief (will be forgiven); but those whose hearts rejoice in disbelief shall incur Allah’s Wrath and a grievous punishment awaits them.