The Cost of Leaving Islam

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Most converts to Islam announce their defections from the rooftops, but ex-Muslims, especially in Islam-dominated areas, can’t enjoy such a luxury. Leaving Islam attracts serious consequences ranging from alienation to imprisonment to death under Sharia law.

Perhaps this is why some Muslims are clamouring for Sharia law in several countries. It’s an effort to halt the daily exodus of people out of Islam.

Liberal Muslims try to drown this intolerable streak with slippery narratives like, “There is no compulsion in Islam,” but this line of defense can be easily disproved.

The Arabic word for apostate is murtad. A turning away from Islam into unbelief is termed ridda while an apostasy into another religion (such as Christianity) is kufr.

Here is what the Quran says about apostates:

“If they repent it will be better for them; and if they turn away, Allah will afflict them with a painful doom in the world and the Hereafter, and they have no protecting friend nor helper in the earth” (Sura 9:74).

“Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them. But whosoever turns back and disbelieves, Allah will chastise him with the greatest chastisement” (Sura 88:21-24).

“How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Apostle was true and clear arguments [or signs] had come to them… their reward is that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men all together” (Sura 3:86-87).

These scare-mongering Quranic verses are psychological blows, but they raise a point: Muhammad made up his Allah as a fearsome monster. He used his god as a convenient scarecrow to hold his followers under the claws of Islam through fear.

Muhammad’s life was marked by curses and threats. He too knew he and his Allah had no power to make these statements happen. This was why he had to resort to killing his enemies by himself.

Islamic scholar, Abu’ala Maududi declares:

“To everyone acquainted with Islamic law it is no secret that according to Islam the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution.”

My point exactly. You see, it’s not really Allah who is doing the “afflicting” or “chastisement” of apostates, it is his loyal worshipers doing his job for him. Or let’s say, Allah is using their hands to punish the apostates.

Other passages say:

“They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them” (Sura 4:89).

Islamic scholar, Abdallah Baidawi explains this:

“Whosoever turns back from his belief (irtada), openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel” (Mufradat-Ghand’ul Quran, p. 191).

Some Muslims claim that the Arabic word rendered “helpers” here is “auliyah” which also means “leaders” so the verse intends to say Muslims should not accept a corrupt leader.

Even if we accept such a twisted explanation of an otherwise clear text, the question remains: why should such a leader be killed at all? If Islam is the truth or it has a superior logic, there would be no need to kill those who oppose or leave it.

Sura 2:217 says “…But whosoever among you shall turn back from his religion, and die an infidel, their works shall be in vain in this world, and the next; they shall be companions of [hell] fire, they shall remain therein forever…”

A Quranic commentary explains this:

“In short, the fate of an apostate is worse than that of an original disbeliever. This is why Jizyah [penalty tax] can be accepted from an original disbeliever while a male apostate who does not return to Islam is killed. If the apostate is a woman, she is imprisoned for life” (Mufti Shafi Usman, Maanful Quran, 1:536).

Another passage says:

“But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, they are your brethren in Faith … And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief- surely their oaths are nothing – so that they may desist.” (Sura 9:11)

Note: the Arabic word they rendered as “fight” is “quatelo” which means “kill.”

The passage was directed to the pagans and “people of the Book” and it was the last Sura Muhammad recited. Muslims were only to stop slaying them when they embraced Islam or paid jizya. Maududi explains:

“Here the ‘covenant breaking’ in no way can be considered to mean ‘breaking of political covenants.’ Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be ‘confessing Islam, and then renouncing it’… war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy” (Quranic Commentary, pp. 12-23).

The Quran does not explicitly state that apostates must be killed. One of the reasons was adduced by the Encyclopedia of Quran (ed. Jane McAuliffe, 119):

“At the early stages, the Prophet did not have the effective power to deal with the apostates and thus the Quran adopted a considerably lenient attitude. With the growing strength of the new religion that attitude changed into a confident and less compromising one.”

Another reason is that the Quran doesn’t address all the fundamental tenets of Islam. It fails to cover all the areas of Islamic beliefs.

For example, nowhere does the Quran explain the rites of Islamic prayer or pilgrimage. Muslims have to turn to the hadiths and the records of the first generations of Muslims to properly practice Islam. This militates against the claim that the Quran is a complete book.

In a hadith, Muhammad is quoted as saying:

“The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am his Apostle cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims” (Bukhari 9:83:17).

Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated:

“A man who was a Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu’adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was killed” (Abu Dawud 38:4341).

After Ali burnt some apostates to death, Ibn Abbas said:

“I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9:84:57).

What is quite striking is the how these narrations were recorded without any apology or remorse. It indicates the extent to which Islam destroys human compassion and reason.

In another place, Muhammad predicted that in the latter times, there would be some young Muslims with no faith who would leave Islam like an arrow leaves a quiver. This was his remedy:

“So wherever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari 9:84:64).

There you have it. Kill an ex-Muslim and get a reward in the hereafter! Tell me, how does Islam differ from destructive cults which call for the death of ex-members with a promise of a reward?

Jesus Christ said: “IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

The “if” there implies the freedom to accept or reject His way. In John 6:66 “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” He said to the others “You do not want to leave too, do you?” They replied “to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 67-69).

When you have the words of life and truth, you will not need to force people to listen to you.

Muhammad was the direct opposite of Christ. He neither had the word of truth nor life and the people knew he was a wicked man. The only thing he could use to bind people to his cult was the death penalty.

According to Tabari’s biography, after Muhammad’s death, many of the Arabs reverted from Islam and Abu Bakr ordered their deaths. It was recorded:

“But there was an old man among them, a Christian called al-Rumalus b. Mansur who said ‘By God the only error I have made since attaining reason was abandoning my religion, the religion of truth, for yours, the religion of wickedness. No by God, I will not leave my religion and I will not accept yours so long as I live.’ Ma’qi brought him forward and cut off his head” (Vol. 17:191).

So even back then – before the Islamic atrocities we read today – Christians were convinced Islam was a religion of wickedness and they chose to die rather than follow such a doomed vessel.

Islamic law stipulates that:

“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasies from Islam, he deserved to be killed … There is no indemnity [expiation] for killing an apostate” (Ahmad al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Law, p. 595).

Why the emphasis on killing the apostate? Another islamic scholar answers:

“Those Muslims who are weak in faith and others who are against Islam may think that the apostate has only left Islam because of what he has found out about its real nature.. So they learn from him all the doubt, lies and fabrications which are aimed at extinguishing the light of Islam and putting people off from it. In this case, executing the apostate is obligatory, in order to protect [Islam]…” (Islam Questions and Answers, Fatwa no. 12406)

In other words, Islam is so volatile that it can be easily extinguished by former Muslims. Therefore, killing apostates is meant to “protect” Muslims from learning the ugly truths about Islam.

This is a tacit admission that Islam cannot stand up to insightful inquiries and criticism.

Islam is just like Nazism, Communism or any other fascist movement that squelches opposition to its agenda.

This proves that Islam can never be from God, because one of the gifts God has given mankind is the gift of freedom. Every system that tries to remove this freedom of choice and conscience is a yoke of bondage.

The Question of  Kismet and Qadr

The whole idea of killing apostates actually does violence to the Islamic belief in fate (kismet) and predestination (qadr).

The Quran says:

“Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying,- He make their breast close and constricted … thus Allah lay abomination on those who refuse to believe” (Sura 6:125).

How can Allah lay abomination on non-believers if he made them non-believers? If Allah has predestined those who stay in or leave Islam, then, by ordering the death of ex-Muslims he is undoing his own work!

Is that reasonable? What would you think of a king who orders his servant out of the palace and then calls for his execution for leaving the palace? Wouldn’t you think he is a lunatic?

The Lord Jesus reveals to us the God who cares much about His creation. He illustrated Him as a shepherd who left 99 sheep to seek a sheep that went astray and rejoiced when it was found; a woman who seeks a lost silver piece out of 10 and rejoiced when it was found and a father who embraced his estranged son who returned to him.

He said there is likewise joy among the angels in heaven over one sinner that repents than the others who are still in the faith (Luke 15:2-32). What a far cry from the god of Islam!

When Peter denied Jesus and became a “murtad,” what did Jesus do? He extended the hand of forgiveness and reconciliation to him (John 21:17).

No death penalty, no imprisonment or threats of curses from angry angels. This is the glory of Biblical Christianity. Love, truth and freedom all walk together. The absence of these qualities in Islam marks it out as a diabolic cult that controls and deceives mankind.

A fatwa issued by the Mufti of Lebanon says that a Muslim who chooses to leave Islam “should be imprisoned for three days” to think about his decision and if he persists in his decision “then he or she must be put to death.”

This nefarious ideology blows the “Islam is a religion of peace” rhetoric into ashes. This is why when many Muslims are convinced of the truth of the Christian Faith, they still fear the implications of conversion.

But a truth-seeking Muslim must not be deterred by fear. Jesus has said anyone who must follow Him must be willing to lay down all that he has (Matt. 10:37).

Satan and his demons try to stop people from accepting the eternal life that Jesus offers with oppositions, imprisonments, tortures and fear of death. They do these to keep them in false and destructive religions such as Islam, which lead to eternal death.

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