There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.
- There is no punishment for someone who leaves Islam according to these Qur’an verses. However, punishment is applicable when a person spreads false information against Islam after leaving it.
Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief – never will Allah forgive them, nor will He guide them to a way.
- The meaning of this verse is that a person can leave Islam and return, and may even leave again. However, those who frequently shift between belief and disbelief, and continue to increase in their disbelief, are at risk of losing Allah’s forgiveness and guidance. This is because Allah values sincerity and steadfastness in faith, and such individuals may be seen as insincere or unstable in their beliefs.
Islam and Apostasy Punishment
In Islam, the punishment for apostasy is applicable when someone leaves Islam and then blasphemes against Allah and His messengers, which can spread hatred in society. Therefore, punishment is imposed on that person because their actions can potentially create violence in society.
Releted: Apostasy Punishment Hindu Dharma
📖Sunan an-Nasa’i 4063
It was narrated that Al-Hasan said:
“The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him.
- This Hadith has a context, and if you use it incorrectly, you can do so, but you need to understand that when you read any book, you have to read it from beginning to end. For example, if you are taking an exam in school or college, you have to provide a full answer to the questions. Can you pass the exam by writing only one line?
The Full context of Sunan an-Nasa’i 4063
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.
📖Sahih Muslim 1676
The one who leaves his religion and separates from the community.
📖Sunan an-Nasa’i 4048
A man who left Islam and waged war against Allah, the Might and Sublime, and His Messenger, who should be killed, or crucified, or banished from the land.
📖Sunan an-Nasa’i 4046
Whoever kills, spreads mischief in the land, and wages war against Allah and His Messenger, then joins the disbelievers before he can be caught, there is nothing to prevent the Hadd punishment being carried out on him because of what he did.
Avoiding Punishment and Prioritizing Mercy in Islam
📖Sahih Muslim 1784
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: One who goes away from us to join them-may Allah keep him away! and one who comes to join us from them (and is sent back) Allah will provide him relief and a way of escape.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Avert the legal penalties from the Muslims as much as possible, if he has a way out then leave him to his way, for if the Imam makes a mistake in forgiving it would be better than making mistake in punishment.
- This hadith highlights the responsibility of the Islamic ruler or leader (Imam) to use discretion and make wise decisions when it comes to implementing legal penalties. The Prophet (ﷺ) suggests that it is better for the Imam to make a mistake in forgiving someone who may have committed a crime than to make a mistake in imposing punishment that is not justified or excessive.
In Islam, blasphemy against any of the prophets of God is considered a serious offense. The Quran specifically mentions that those who deny or reject any of the messengers of God, including Prophet Muhammad, are disbelievers and will face punishment in the Hereafter.
Indeed, those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and wish to discriminate between Allah and His messengers and say, ‘We believe in some and disbelieve in others,’ and wish to adopt a way in between – those are the disbelievers, truly. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.
The issue of apostasy in Islam is complex, with varying interpretations and opinions among scholars and Muslim communities. While some interpret the Qur’an and Hadith as prescribing punishment for apostasy, the application of punishment is not always straightforward, and may depend on factors such as the individual’s circumstances, intentions, and mental state, even in countries where apostasy is considered a crime. Ultimately, Islam emphasizes the importance of free will and choice in matters of faith, and encourages individuals to seek knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions about their beliefs. Additionally, Islam promotes principles of justice, peace, and mercy, and discourages actions that may harm oneself or others.