Apostasy Laws and Blasphemy in Islam – Islamic or Not?

By Ro Waseem

In January 2011, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was gunned down by one of his own security guards over a controversial move — opposing the blasphemy law in Pakistan. Although thousands of Pakistanis condemned this by attending his funeral and showing support on social media, religious fanatics hailed his murderer as a hero, recently naming a mosque after him.

As a Muslim, I stand firmly against blasphemy laws. My faith demands that I do so, for it repeatedly asks me to stand for justice and fight oppression.

The Quran shows us that even though God’s prophets were mocked and threatened, they never killed their accusers for hurting their “religious sentiments.” In fact, the Quran opposes any laws that restrain freedom of speech or would have someone killed over differences in belief. Rather, Quran 73:10 says, “Be patient over what they say, and leave them graciously.”

So how did these blasphemy and apostasy laws come to be associated with Islam?

The blasphemy and apostasy laws are found in the Hadeeth, sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad, which were compiled two-three centuries after his death. Muslims know that no Hadeeth should contradict the Quran if they are to be accepted, given their subjective nature and reliance on the Quran for authenticity.

But early scholars intentionally overlooked this to protect the interests of clergymen and political leaders. These oppressive laws allow them to exercise complete control over people, punishing anyone who threatens their position by declaring them apostates — enemies of Islam. To so many clergymen, religion is nothing but a means to gain power and control people. To keep out competition and force their monopoly, they invent laws in the name of God so “consumers” have no choice but to keep buying their “product.” Or face persecution.

Religious leaders like Tahir-ul-Qadri, a staunch proponent of blasphemy laws, rule people by fear. Add to that the fact that the average Muslim is unaware of the Quran’s teachings, which makes them likely to believe whatever the clergy tells them about Islam. Of these leaders, the Qur’an asks us to be weary: “O You who have believed! A great many religious leaders: rabbis, priests, monks, Mullahs, yogis, and mystics devour the wealth of people in falsehood, and bar them from the path of God” (Quran 9:34).

So what exactly does the Quran say about blasphemy and apostasy?

Quite frankly, blasphemy and apostasy laws are themselves blasphemous to the teachings of the Qur’an. Not in the traditional sense, but because they violate the very instructions the scripture gives regarding freedom of belief.

Regarding apostasy, in Quran 2:256 God says, “There is no compulsion in matters of faith. The right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces false authorities and becomes at peace with God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Knower.”

In a similar vein, verse 109:6 instructs adherents to end a debate by saying: “To you, your belief system. And to me, mine.”

If all that isn’t convincing enough, Quran 10:99 should seal the deal: “If your Lord willed, all who are on earth, would have believed (by not providing free will). Would you then, compel people to become believers?”

When it comes to blasphemy, I often hear some version of, “Hold on. If someone mocks my religion, it prompts me to act violently. You see, it makes me very emotional.”

But this statement only shows an ignorance of the Quran, which says in verse 6:68, “When you see them engaged in vain discourse about Our verses, turn away from them unless they engage in a different subject. If Satan ever makes you forget (i.e. your mind gets engrossed in their discourse,) then as soon as you recollect, no longer sit in the company of the people who confound the truth with falsehood.”

Here, Muslims are instructed to engage with these people if they change the topic. Certainly that means we’re not to have enmity towards them, let alone kill them!

And, again, Quran 28:55 instructs, “Whenever they (believers) hear vain talk of ridicule, they withdraw from it decently and say, ‘“To us our deeds and to you yours; Peace be upon you, we do not seek to join the ignorant.”

Those verses are practically shouting freedom of expression at the top of their lungs! Islam is a very progressive path to God, one in which differences in opinions and beliefs are accepted, not punished (Quran 39:18). On the other hand, blasphemy and apostasy laws lead to negative misconceptions about Islam being an oppressive faith.

But what are we Muslims to do? By not voicing our disapproval, we stand for these anti-Quranic laws and call them Islam. Is that not like setting your own house on fire? There is not a single verse that encourages Muslims to act violently toward those who leave Islam, or even mock the Quran. After all, shouldn’t truth be able to defend itself on its own merit? What good is a forced belief?

We can even take it a step further by noting how rejecters treated the prophets.

Of Prophet Nooh: “They said, ‘If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be of those who are stoned’” (Quran 26:116).

Prophet Ibrahim’s father said, ”Do you dislike my gods, O Abraham? If you cease not, I will certainly cause you to be stoned to death! Now get away from me for good” (Quran 19:46). Similarly, the priesthood said of Ibrahim, “Burn him alive and uphold your gods if you are going to take any action” (Quran 21:68).

Regarding Prophet Musa, “[Pharaoh] said, ‘If you take a god/authority other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned’” (Quran 26:29). To Musa’s followers, Pharaoh also said, “I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you all” (Quran 26:49).”

These verses should reveal to us a different perspective: all prophets were seen as blasphemers and apostates to the prevalent religion of their time. To condone the oppressive laws of religious leaders today is to support ill treatment of the prophets. After all, you would’ve done the same!

And that’s the most ironic part. If a messenger were to come today, these clergymen and their ardent followers would utter the same threats to him. They have fabricated their own laws in the name of God, so when you ask them to reform, they either consider you a blasphemer or an apostate and have a fatwa issued to kill you.  That’s the scary thing about truth: it doesn’t warrant aggression but is always met with it.

This is not a matter of interpretation, as some would call it. The Quran condemns forced belief in numerous verses. Rather, this is a matter of giving preference to the Hadeeth over the Quran to justify bigotry and extremism in the name of Islam. Having said that, it’s up to you whether you want to rethink your stance or keep blindly following what you have been taught — whether you want to follow Islam or Hislam. Because unlike misguided religious fanatics, sincere believers never force their beliefs on others.

What’s the Golden Rule, again? “Any secondary source on Islam that goes against the Quran should be rejected.”

Often said, but seldom followed.

Ro Waseem is a progressive Muslim who is bent on separating culture from religion. His articles have been published by The Express Tribune, The Malaysian Insider, and World Religion News. He blogs about Muslim reformation at http://quranalyzeit.wordpress.comThis article originally appeared OnFaith by Faith Street.

  • alatif

    MAJORITY OF MUSLIM DECEIVED BY HADITS

    The trouble with Islam today is that most MAJORITY Muslim believe two
    books as Islamic teaching. Namely Holy Book Al Quran and the book of
    Hadist .

    As we know that Holy Al Quran created by God alone, and the book of Hadits created by human.

    God never recognize the book of Hadits, and Prophet Muhammad never
    examine the book of Hadits. The book of Hadits was complied around 200
    year after Prophet death. So we believe strongly that there are some false /
    fabricated Hadits.

    The source of apostasy, blasphemy, Homosexual, stone to death from the
    book of Hadits and also written in Old testament or Torah. These ancient laws are not applicable in 21st century anymore.

    These laws do not exist in The last testament, Al Quran. Allah already
    changed / reform old laws in Al Quran. Allah said in Al quran there is
    no compulsion in Islamic teaching, QS 2:256.Islamic teaching is
    religious freedom and freedom of speech and expression.

    The root of violence, conflict, war in Syria, kill innocent people is the book of Hadits. Miilions people have already suffering and died

    We moderately educated Muslim who live in 21st Century have to speak up
    loudly to abolish all violent Hadits from the book of Hadits.

    The main key can be done is in the hand of King Abdullah of Saudi
    Arabia, where Islam was born. He must declare publicly , openly to abolish all
    violent / false Hadits from the book of Hadits.

    If he can do it, he will be a excellent reformer in 21st century,his
    legacy will be remembered for ever. If he can not do it, this ugly image
    of Islam or this violence will not stop for ever, because extremist
    Muslim will justify their act thought the book of Hadits.

    May God guide King Abdullah and Muslim Scholars to abolish all false hadits from the book of Hadits.amenLove for all hared for none.
    Love is the seed of happiness.
    Fear is the seed of hatred
    Hate is the seed of trouble, conflict and violence.
    Hate is the seed of injustice QS 5;8
    A man who hides his hatred is liar.Proverb,

    • Kactuz

      Hey, Alatif, let’s play around with some logic. Suppose we accept that
      the Quran was created by God (and is pure, eternal, perfect, etc…) and
      all the collections of hadith were created by humans (and so are both defective and therefore responsible for the hate and violence that Muslims do, and which give Muslims a bad rep…).

      The fact is that Muslims believe that Allah is all powerful, all knowing and
      eternal, so obviously he permitted the writing and proliferation of the
      traditions. Not only that, there is the fact that Allah tells Muslims to
      obey the prophet dozens of times in the Quran and says he is a noble example to follow if you want to get your 72 houri in paradise (actually no number given). To “follow and obey” the prophet, you need more than the quran — thus Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawad, Kitab al-Kafi and numerous other writings not to mention the early histories (early being not so early, btw). These all tell horrible stories, even though Muslims will often use sahih and isnad arguments to select those verses they like, ignoring ones that have the same pedigree but are inconvenient. However, the problem then is that Allah is responsible, directly or indirectly, for letting the hadith be written and used, and so is the cause of so much sorrow these last 1400 years. Take Aisha’s young age, for example: if Allah had not let it be recorded in three different places in the hadith that the girl was basically a child (and still playing with dolls), Islamic scholars and jurist would not be able to justify the crimes committed against prepubescent children being forced into marriage because of the “prophet’s example”. Obviously either Allah knows nothing about mankind (male lasciviousness) or he cares nothing for little girls.

      In any case, the hadith are an integral part of Islam and your motion to abolish all the hadith (and basically the sunnah) is both a fantasy and a nonsensical excuse for the malevolence committed in the name of your religion. Don’t hold your breath for king Abdullah on this matter. The fact is that Islam without the ahadith would not be Islam. In any case all this
      is immaterial — discourse, sources and writings are worthless; what counts is how people act. Whether the hadith are valid or not, or if they should be abolished is a superficial question, the real problem is the violence. If there were no violence and discrimination, the hadith even with their reprehensible verses would not be an issue.

      • alatif

        Hey, Kactuz—Quote–is that Allah is responsible, directly or indirectly, for letting the
        hadith be written and used, and so is the cause of so much sorrow these
        last 1400 years.–unquote.
        My answer is NO.. God is The King, We are His worker, work for Him by His rules.
        .
        Those who obey His laws completely possible, God will reward His worker–Paradise—successful–and prosperous.
        Those who are deceived by Devil will be punished, and go to Hell.
        .
        Human on Earth under 2 major influence is the influence of God and the influence of Satan.
        God created the devil and gave permission to deceive people breaking the law of God ..
        Those who obey God’s law with the firm he will be safe from Hell, and go to Heaven.
        Those who are deceived by Satan will go to Hell.
        That is the way humans live on earth until they die
        .
        Hopefully my respond is right for you. If not, feel free for any question.
        .
        Love for all hared for none.
        Love is the seed of happiness.
        Fear is the seed of hatred
        Hate is the seed of trouble, conflict and violence.
        Hate is the seed of injustice QS 5;8

  • Isla Soran

    This is a prime example of someone who has no qualifications to interpet the Qur’an or the hadith and dismisses 1400 years of scholarship. How can you sit there and dismiss hadiths that are sound an reliable? Sahi bukhari is considered the most autenticae book after the Qur’an. The hadiths that mention apostasy are found in sahih burkhari and muslim have a very sound chain of narration. The writer totally discounts the fact that scholars for the past 1400 years including th 4 major school of thoughts (Malaki, Shafi, Hanafi and Hanbali) have unanimously stated apostates have to 3 days to repent or will face death. In case the writer does not know the four schools of thought codified Islamic law and some were tabiun (who learned from the sahaba). So on what basis is the writer and what are his qualifiactions does he discount 1400 years of scholarship? This is just an attempt to have a water-down version of the sharia.

    • Jeff

      Always nice to hear that muhammadanism is truly a vile, savage religion of barbaric people, and not just American propaganda. Please feel free to shove your sharia up your ass.

      • Isla Soran

        Oh look, just when I think American biogtry is propaganda some idiot who probally does even know how his own system of governement works opens his ignorant mouth. Glad to see American bigotry and idioarcy alive and well. Heres an idea apply at fox news, I hear there looking for moranic fools.

      • Kactuz

        AJeff, qt least Isla is honest
        and knowledgeable, even if her morals are dubious in my opinion. The Quran
        certainly has problems with the violence and vilification in its message, but
        the ahadith are a bloodbath of hate and violence against Mohammad’s enemies
        (ie, non-Muslims), many attacked by surprise without cause. My impression is that ‘moderate’ Muslims like
        Mr. Waseem take the easy, logical alternative when they declare all hadith and
        early histories (Hisham, Tabari, Kathir, etc…) to be false, but this is of
        little comfort to us infidels because the overwhelming majority of Muslims,
        like Isla, accept them as authentic and a necessary part of Islam (After all,
        the Quran does say to obey the prophet 20+ times, and how can Muslims follow (obey)
        his words and actions if there are no hadith?).
        Note also, the nefarious deeds of Mohammad as described in the hadith
        are all specifically authorized by his partner, Allah, in the Quran. Agree or
        not, like him or not, one must recognize that Islam’s prophet did practice what
        he preached. Mr. Waseem is trying to
        find a way to make Islam palatable to a mostly non-Muslim audience, but his
        efforts are futile given the concurrence between Quran and ahadith, not to
        mention the real-world facts about life and current events in Islamic societies. I wonder how many times a day Ro prays? 3 or 5?

        • Isla Soran

          Dubious Morals? yea coming from a person who defends a culture that has reached the pinnacle of moral decadence. Kids mouthing off their parents and elders, having promiscuous sex and giving birth to the bastard generation. A culture that ranks 22 and 23 in math and scinece where more emphasis is put on knowing who spongebob’s best friend is then knowing how to do basic commutation. I suggest you fix your own house first before you criticize another. You want to talk about bloodthirsty lets talk about why evangelicals are so intent on helping Jews returning to Israel. Book of revelations states the messiah will not return until all the Jews return to Israel and he will return and kill them. That’s not bloodthirsty at all huh? I guess you missed that part of the bible’s message of “love”

          • Kactuz

            Hey, Isla, I agree with you about the “pinnacle of moral decadence” thing. What now? Our schools suck; our youth is ignorant and vulgar. This country is in serious trouble and it will get worse. See, I don’t make excuses
            for anybody, unlike so many in our world, particularly politicos and religious leaders. You want me to condemn the evils that Americans have done? No problem. Done.

            Now let’s talk about Mr. “I am made victorious with terror..” (That is from a hadith in case you don’t recognize the quote) – or tell me about Asma bint Marwan… Do you have a problem with your prophet’s murder of a nursing woman? (“Who will relieve me of this daughter of Marwan?”). Morals, in my view, are absolute and timeless. What is wrong for one is wrong for another. Period. This inability to reflect on intrinsic evil and/or to recognize serious doctrinal issues is what makes Islam so distressing, and incapable of change.

            Actually, in my opinion, it is Muslims that are forcing Jews back to Israel as they grow in numbers in the West, not the christian fundies (who certainly want it to happen). In
            this perspective, it seems that Muslims are doing everything possible to make the Evangelical vision of the end times come true. Crazy, isn’t it? So are we going to see an Allah vs Jehovah showdown? Actually, the
            book of Revelation says that Jesus will return and fight for Israel and his people (presumably saved christians), not to kill jews. Personally, I find Muslim eschatology much murkier than that of christians. It is mostly from the
            shia and very non-quranic.

            You know, I am old and been around for about 8 decades, and certainly these are the most unsettled and yet interesting of times. I think this whole thing will not end well, for all of us. You take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not offended. Jay.

          • Isla Soran

            First off I would like to thank you for asking me about Islam you obviously you like to seek knowledge. Second you are a lot older than I am and will extend every level of respect you deserve because Islam teaches to respect the elderly regardless of thier religious beliefs. Thirdly I dont make excuses either for anyone especially Muslims who hide behind thier religion when they have a clear political agenda. Ive traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world and can tell you uneqivocaly no so-called Muslim country follow Islam it’s all politics if they did they wouldnt be suffering. There was a tike when they did and that was calles the golden age when there was relative peace. Last then incident you quoted about Asma Bint Marwan has a very weak chain of narrations and if you study the science of hadith you will know that incident is so weak to the point of fabracation. Classical, non classical scholars and non-
            Muslim scholars have dismissed this story. Even if the the story had a strong concordance it was clear why she would be put to death. Did you she was writing poetry which contained threats to the early converts of Islam and the prophet. So many people according to story were killed because of her poetry simply because they accepted Islam and divided people. Now tell me how does any society deal with a trobule maker or who make threats that lead to innocent people being killed? She wasnt killed because she wrote unflattering things about the prophet it was the repercussions that followed later where innocent people were killed cause they said God is one. it’s very easy to take things out of context and take them at face value. Those so called violent verses are reponses to the Idol-worshippers of Mecca were in a state of constant warfare with then prophet and his followers even after he exausted every attempt to make peace with them. Now tell me how does any modern-day country deal with someone who keepsnviolating peac treaties? Anyway u take care and If Offened i apologize it was not my attention.

    • 4ever49

      So one has to have “qualifications” to interpret the Koran?
      Nonsense.

      If one can read and think they are capable – it’s just that the results are not what you want.

      This is one of the many things that will happen when people, including females gain an education – something the Islamic world is sorely in need of.

      • Isla Soran

        So I take it you would go to someone who is not qualified to be a doctor and let him operate on you just because they know how to read a medical book. Yea brillant logic. Layman have no right to interpert things have no knowledge or taining on.

        • 4ever49

          Reading and interpreting the Koran is hardly the practice of medicine or any other science based pursuit. It is merely reading what someone wrote down many years ago.

          I presume your view is that one needs to have some sort of theological training in the “mysteries” of the Koran before they are permitted to have an opinion.

          What utter nonsense. If one can read and think then they are capable of interpreting whatever they read – just because you don’t approve of the results does not negate their views, layman or otherwise.

          I think what you are really afraid of is that Muslims will
          discover what a travesty it has been for all that this belief system has been inflicted on the world.

          That is why education is truly going to be the undoing of
          your medieval world.

          • Isla Soran

            Are you seriously listening to yourself? So just because I can read I can reaf the constituon and have no educational background on the context of certain things that I can overule centuries worth of rulings passed down from the supreme court and say well this is my opinion so hell with what the justices of the supreme court. Is that your ignorant view point im hearing? Basicaly the scholars who spent years studying and training wasted their times and could’ve just read the Qur’an and make it up interperaions as they went along? Well by that standard why go to school and learn from teahers I can just read a book and come up with my own assumptions and make it up as i go along. i take it u read the translations of the Qur’an and thats how u formulate opinons and ignore the Arabic language and I mean the classical Arabic language’s nuance and theme and style.

          • Isla Soran

            Sorry but your statements are utter nonsense.

          • 4ever49

            Oh yea – like Arabic has all sorts of nuance, etc. that need
            to be learned before one can adequately understand what is written in the Koran and other Islamic tomes. The core of this assumption is that one can truly never understand the import of what was intended until trained (or indoctrinated.) I assume you are one of the “trained” people and are threatened by the idea that someone not adequately “trained” could have a legitimate opposing view – thereby negating your self-important role.

            What people have to put up with every day because of all you and other “trained” Islamic scholars is that women are one-half the worth of a man, are subordinate to men, kaffirs are subordinate, Jews are pigs, apostates are to be killed, etc., and etc.

            Nowhere in Islam is the concept of the Golden Rule which is found all across the world’s religions – which carries with it the expectation that one should treat others as they would be treated. At the core of this is the assumption of equality among people – a concept missing from Islam which seeks only to dominate and subjugate.

            All your “training” as an Islamic scholar cannot hide these
            facts.

          • Isla Soran

            I see you have come Ill-Equipped to an intellectual conversation and you still haven’t answered my question cause it seems you like to dodge the actual questions I pose to you. Do you speak or understand classical Arabic? my guess is no and that you soley rely on translations to achieve your layman “understaniding.” i suggest you don’t use this logic infront of educated academics unless you like to be made a fool of. Since you pride on self-reliance and other layman to interpet the Qur’an from translations not even from the original langurage you may have overlooked that Islam is not just a set of rituals and beliefs that also brings with a legal system. You mention the golden rule of Islam, however the golden rule doesn’t state you give up your moral and deviate from the message of Islam. From your ignorant and idiotic posting it looks as though your more intent on making some disgruntled non-muslims happy with you and changing Islam into somehting that it is not than acutally engaging and studying Islam from scholars. You’re lack of respect for Islamic scholars shows how much ignorance you have for Islam cause you’re little readings from “translations” you rely on would have informed you that you must have respect for the scholars of Islam which is the command from Allah and his prophet. Anway I’m done debating with a fool, you keep formulating your uneducated “opinions” and fooling people. BTW I’m heading to my lawyers office office to ask about a medical condtion I have to ask him his “opinion.” Maybe he can read and understand what it says since you say ” it’s just about reading what someone else wrote and interpeting what it says.”

            P.S I’ll make sure to come to you about any issues i might have understanding Islam since you like to dismiss 1400 years of scholastic scholarship.

          • 4ever49

            I am more than equipped to carry on an intellectual
            conversation.

            As to your question regarding speaking Arabic – no I don’t.

            However, that a specific language is needed to “understand” Islam seems to be about of protecting your “position” more than anything.

            While you may possess 1400 years of Islamic “scholastic scholarship”, what basic force for good has Islam been? Have you ever considered its’ effect on the lives of people? Have their lives been improved? Are they better off?

            In my view and the view of non-Islamic world – decidedly
            not.

    • Jeffrey Jones

      You can’t trust an arab today, any more than you could trust one 1400 years ago. They are known to all as the biggest liars in the human race. Scholars, my backside, they were looking out for themselves.

      • Isla Soran

        Thank you for that enlighting analysis Donald Sterling. If you’re done with your ignorant remarks you would know that only 10% of the Islamic world is Arab. Largest Muslim nation is Inodnesia and guess what thier not Arab. You just insulted a bunch of Arab Christians as well you ignorant hick but I dont blame you when you have an education system that fails it’s students that s the reuslt you get. You’re one those climate change deniers arent you?

  • Kactuz

    All schools of Sunni jurisprudence (i.e., Maliki, Hanbali,
    Hanafi, and Shafii), as well as classical Shiite jurists, state that apostates
    must be put to death. Period. Note that Mohammad himself, on several occasions,
    ordered the death penalty for apostates, and according to the Quran:
    “Whoso obeys the Messenger obeys Allah” (4:80). All countries dominated by Muslims have laws or social norms that punish apostasy. There is no freedom or religion or conscience in islamic societies.

    The bottom line is this: until Islamic societies actually permit freedom or religion, there is no reason to believe that Muslims are honest about this. Mr Walseem is saying one thing while Muslim universally do the opposite. I see no reason to believe he is honest about this. Oh by the way, The golden rule is not what this man says, in fact, it would require Muslims to treat others as they want to be treated. This has never happened and never will, given the hate, slander and calls to violence against non-Muslims in the Quran.

    • Isla Soran

      Gee, I don’t see you getting upset when the same apostasy laws are found in the bible. Deuteronomy 13:6-11 states:f your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.

      I see you don’t like to read context so let me help you. The hadiths that prescribed death to apostates was said in a time where people would just convert to get into the Muslim circles and to gather information and then leave to undermine the early Muslim community and use that information against them which is why a punishment was prescribed because innocent people would get killed in the process and it was considered treason as it was in Christianity and Judaism. Last time I checked if you renounce your citizenship and try to get others to do it and and aid and abet the enemy is considered to be treason, an act punishable by death. I guess that’s not barbaric. If Islam is associate it with then it’s barbaric.

      • Jeffrey Jones

        Well both the Bible and the Quran are bullshit. “Religion poisons everything” – Christopher Hitchens, better by far than Jesus or MoHAMmad.

  • JT

    It is interesting that those who oppose Biblical teaching bring up Old Testament passages with no context such as the passage in Deuteronomy quoted below. Jesus coming superseded the law with love. No Christians today advocate stoning. Muslims of some sects of the religion still stone people.

    • Isla Soran

      Very interesting that you say that because Jesus said in the Matthew 5:17 and I quote Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished and whoever keeps the commandments shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven and whoever breaks shall be called least in the kingdom.
      Now if you are going to bring up when Jesus forgave the prostitute you might want to research that story was a fabrication added in the new testament at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. If he forgave her he just condradictied his own statement saying he came to fulfill the law. Guess he won’t be entering the kindgom of heaven.
      And it was Paul who actually abolished the mosaic law who scholars consider the acutal founder of Christianity and who acutally wrote 2/3 of the new testament. Read Galatians 2:19 where paul said ” the law is dead to me because it makes me sin.

      • JT

        It is very difficult to discuss a topic with a person who picks and pulls verses out of the Bible (or likely any book for that matter) to point out perceived flaws in Christianity. I will leave you with one quote that is the foundation of Christianity John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This is the truth of what we as Christians believe no matter what denomination you talk about. I hope that in your looking into the Bible to be critical of Christians you come to understand this verse

        • Isla Soran

          Classic Christian defense mechanism. When you cant make sense of other verses dodge them and just quote John 3:16 a quote borrowed from an ancient Egyptian folklore. I guess john 3:16 supersedes all the verses I just quoted. i guess God had a sense of humor and played a practical joke with Matthew mark luke and john which is why there are differing accounts on the same stories in all four gospels. Yea I read how much God loves the world in Matthew 10:34

          “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

          • Lea

            why are you discussing Christianity when this is an article about Islam?

        • Isla Soran

          For your own sake of not looking like a fool, I suggest you study the history of the Bible and stop arguing with someone who has spent 20 years studying latin koine greek and the original manuscripts of the Bible with a double doctorate in theology and religions.

      • julea bacall

        This HAS NOTHING to do with Stoning or what kind of punishment. You really believe any Gd/Allah would Speak such a thing? That was from Human rules and control. Also like “if your not good, the boogey man will get you”. FAKE Traditions.

        • Isla Soran

          I take it you’re one of those people who think we should allow criminals to go free wothout any punishment. You actually believe that a God would not punish you if you violate his laws or any authority figure?

    • julea bacall

      Let he without Sin cast the first stone.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    If Muslims spent as much energy cleaning house as they do claiming that the mess has nothing to do with them, this issue would swiftly become an irrelevant point.

  • Jeffrey Jones

    “The blasphemy and apostasy laws are found in the Hadeeth, sayings
    attributed to Prophet Mohammad, which were compiled two-three centuries
    after his death.”
    The Quran was also compiled years after MoHAMmad’s death. The Quran was written by human beings, MoHAMmad never wrote anthing down, he was an illiterate schizophrenic. The Quran is no more the word of “God/Allah” than the Bible is. Those books were compiled by ignorant, primitive desert dwellers, who had no clue about anything, but to fight each other and herd their goats and camels.

    • Isla Soran

      Those “primitve desert dewellers gave birth to one of the most advanced civilizations of it’s time. I take it thats how you feel about when we put people who committ treason to death?

    • julea bacall

      He actually did specify that NOTHING be written as ‘Books’ unless it was exactly what he thought Jibral spoke to him. The Qur’an was written later and filled with other peoples ideas and what they thought was meant or what was easiest to control the peoples of before 1000AD even. The main point is how to get members complete loyalty (to human leaders) to spread the Religion as “The Only Religion allowed on earth” and expand the Arabian Empire over the Globe. (or the Shiites with their interpretation.) Since controllers say it must be “Pure”, all kinds of sects kill off each other as well as non Muslims who will not convert, even with the patience of time. It is Intolerant in the extreme. Almost Apartheid. Like Christianity USED to be, till they realized attraction is better than promotion, and all others must be allowed. Even Judaism will tolerate Islam EXCEPT when it says they must wipe them out and replace them as The Only Ones allowed (The biggest Empire in control)

      • Isla Soran

        If that were the case Jews would not have immigrated to Muslims lands when Christian Europe was persecuting them. Jews had thier golden age under Islamic rule. During the heights of the Islamic empire, they did not promote Islam to gain converts but acutally discougred to collect the Jizya (taxation from Non-muslims) as a prime method of collecting revenue for the state and your statement that the prophet specified not to write down is somewhat correct because his immediate successor the khalifat ul rashiduin or the rightly guided caliphs order to have them written down and the prophet was very clear that after my sunnah ir example follow the way of my righlty guided companions. If you knew your history you would know this

  • Mark MacKay

    I appreciate hearing a progressive Muslim’s discourse on this topic. I’m fairly ignorant about Islam and its traditions. Your voice is a welcome one and provides context and ideas that help me to better understand your culture and traditions.

    • 4ever49

      I too am glad to see that there is a progressive Muslim.

      It will be interesting to see if these ideas become reality – just how many generations will have to come and go before they have real change? How many will die because they continue to relive their murderous past?

      Isla Soran should have some “pontificate” points to make since she alone claims to have the necessary “qualifications” to opine. (My apologies for using a Christian reference as I am sure there is an offense in her view.)

  • julea bacall

    Mohammed specifically said NOTHING should ever be written down but the words he thought he heard from Jibral. Nothing. Because he knew how people change things to control or even just mishear the message. The Message was given to Mohammed and ONLY he could interpret But guess what? Lots of OTHER people wrote the Qur’an. Besides that, there are even councils to Interpret as they see. Lots of what is in the Qur’an are not of Allah/Gd.

  • exmus

    This article conveniently misrepresents the facts.
    First of all let me agree on the verses mentioned above that they clearly state freedom of religion in general, for the sake of argument and intellectual honesty no quarrels here. But the writer should also be honest and concede that these verses are only talking about those who are already of other faith (christian jew etc.), but not apostates.

    This article is taking these verses out of their original context, something we atheists are accused of most the time,
    For example this verse “no compulsion in religion” was revealed specifically for the christian boys who refused to convert to Islam along with their fathers, when their fathers came to the prophet with this matter for his advice he then revealed this verse. It was never meant as a general instruction. Similarly the other verses you will find similar cases involving people who are already of other religions but not apostates,

    Therefore the hadith does not contradict the quran since the quran actually doesn’t mention how to deal apostates for good or for ill.

    And on second note it is not only one hadith asking for killing apostates. In another hadith the prophet was asked by his companions when is it ok to kill other muslims, he answered: male adulterer, murderer and apostate.

  • Muhammad Tufail Shad

    I think some realities have been kept hidden in the above statement . What was the stance of the messenger Musa due to which Firaun wanted to punish his associates ? Why about messenger Ibraham was ordered to burn him? In the light of the Quran I have those realities traced them out :- الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ 1/1

    فَقُطِعَ دَابِرُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ
    ظَلَمُوا وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ 6/45

    (Because of our grip) the people/communities who committed Zulm /ZALIMOON
    (depriving the people from their Socioeconomic rights) were uprooted.(Our
    messenger used to declare practical
    implementation of nourishment/uplift program) .All praises are for Allah only( who is the provider of socioeconomic facilities to everybody
    with out any distinction.).

    This was Rahmat/blessing for those
    whom they oppressed.

    We have to ponder the last part of the sentence

    الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ
    رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ is an open declaration that الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا means those who are the opponents of
    Socioeconomic system; the messenger of Allah used to give them
    lesson/sermon . In 6/44 فَلَمَّا
    نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ

    It does not mean that after forgetting their Divine advice; doors
    of blessing were opened for them and are opened in every era. But the doors of
    blessing were opened by following the
    Divine guidance and are being opened in
    all eras which Allah has fixed to get
    his blessings. As:-

    In the present time even ;the maximum bounty of blessing is among
    those nations who act so better upon the Divine’s way fixed by Allah Himself. Such
    nations are not only self sufficient but are also sending full loaded ships
    of utilities/economic aid to the needy nations. Similarly other
    facilities of life, ornaments, ways of communications are also sufficient with these nations who
    are acting the fixed Industrial
    Standard(ISO 9000)etc.

    It was similar with the previous nations also that the doors of
    blessings were opened upon them because they had been following the Divine’s
    Guidance. Whenever they tress passed those Divine rules by depriving the Basic
    human rights of the people ; the Divine punishment did come and the nation was
    uprooted.

    وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم
    بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَضَرَّعُونَ 6/4

    وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ 6/4

    وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ
    الْعَالَمِينَ has come for this sentence. Allah
    had been

    sending His messengers who used to declare وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ means the Socioeconomic system in the world . It does not mean
    that just repetition of وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ
    الْعَالَمِينَ as
    meditation/thought but to bring it into practice. Therefore the messengers used
    to advise for the practical application in the society but the nations used to
    be proud upon their abundant/rich blessings. There is no difference between the
    obedient , non obedient nations and persons to achieve the blessings. We
    discuss some of the events/history as follows:

    Nation of NOOH:-

    Advice of NOOH had no effect upon His nation. Although whole nation was opposing Him but because of their materialistic efforts the doors of everything was opened upon them. They had formed
    various classes Superior and
    inferior, needy and rich people.. Worst
    come to worst the people who believed
    NOOH the nation had called them هُمْ
    أَرَاذِلُنَا 11/27 Our lowest,
    abject/hopeless/miserable people .
    Because of this group classification and
    economic uneven the punishment came upon him in the form of
    water flood. So the root of this nation was cut
    because their opposition in human
    and economic equality . When the
    flood was over the messenger NOOH has
    established the balanced socioeconomic system and declared الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ
    رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ,

    Nation of AAD:-

    On one side the
    nation of SMOOD was opposing the human
    equality and Socieconomic system
    practically and on the other side
    ;because of their materialistic
    efforts blessings were in
    abundant upon them like rain. Strict gale/windstorm as a punishment came upon them because of
    that the root of that nation was cut .Messenger HOOd established the system on the basi of human equality
    and International Socioeconomic
    system. After this He declared الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ
    رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

    Nation of SAMOOD:- Opposing the human equality and Socioeconomic system these people
    had deprived the people from the water fountains and common grazing fields for animals.
    But because oftheir materialistic
    efforts the doors of blessing were opened upon them. At last the root of that nation was cut
    because of their opposing the human equality and Socioeconomic system
    ;high pitch sound came upon them as Divine punishment. In this way the root of
    this nation was cut. Messenger SAALEH
    established the balanced human
    equality and international Socioeconomic system and declared الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ
    رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

    Nation of Firaun;-

    Firaun and the nation
    of Firaun had deprived Bani Israeel from
    its basic human rights of Socioeconomic .Clerics/Mullah/Hamaan, Capitalist and ruler/Firaun had very sound union . People of Bani Israeel had been serving for the
    rich people .Although Bani Israeel (being deprived)had been serving for all type of labour but they had abundant blessings /bounty flowing like rivers.

    Messenger Musa
    migrated along with revolutionary group.Firaun followed Musa
    but the punishment of water waves drowned Firaun and his army which
    had cut the roots of the
    depriving people for the
    Socioeconomic facilities. .

    Full Banks of Firaun ,grand castels,flowing fountains,
    gardens with hanging fruits and fields with crops
    came in possession of Bani Israeel.7/137, 26/58,44/26. Musa established
    the balanced system of Socieconomic system and declared الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ
    الْعَالَمِينَ

    The same same system
    was established by the last messenger
    Muhammad PBUH and introduced His nation with the balanced socioeconomic
    system . All the leaders of the nation
    had opposed this system. The people who had believed were ridiculed by saying
    them mean and
    contingents .But the Divine punishment cut their roots. The messenger had established
    the equal socioeconomic system and also declared الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

    The book of Allah which is without doubt starts with الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ
    رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ of special
    sentence .Sura al INAAM also starts with الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ and has been repeated in
    1/1,6/45,10/10,37/182,39/75.

    This repetition is not accidental but it has its importance of Socioeconomic
    system .

    The same repetition
    is also alarming the present rulers of this time
    to be well alarmed and replace the Capitalism or this depriving
    system because of which the poor is
    becoming more poor and the rich is becoming more rich.

    Above Quranic realities is blowing the same whistle for us.

    If we think nothing will happen is just false.

    Then wait for the punishment to come and the next generation after us will again repeat the same slogan that الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ
    الْعَالَمِينَ.


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