Saturday, August 8, 2009

Apostasy and Islam

Apostasy and Islam

Three items below.

1. Dr. Abdullahi Al Naim is considered one of the 50 Muslims who are looking to removing layers of non-Islamic values that have creeped in to Islam.

2. Dr. Mohammad Farooq has created a website bringing together historical incidents and endorsements from 100 Islamic Scholars, he and I were going further to get endorsements from 100 Imams around the globe. Insha Allah, we need volunteers to do the work.

3. A few verses from Qur’aan on the subject.

Islam is about freedom; freedom from clergy and freedom from fatwa noose hanging around our necks every time some one sneezes. The Neocon Muslim are too insecure to accept and absorb the freedom Islam offers, instead they eagerly throw the noose and frighten you every time with Sharia rules; Islam is not about frightening, it is about creating a world of co-existence with justice resulting in peace. It is time we the moderate majority speak up.

Mike Ghouse

To be a Muslim is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; that is indeed the purpose of religion, any religion. Mission statement

A bold Muslim voice

From harsh terrain
Aug 6th 2009
From The Economist print edition

We should love heretics, not kill them, says an unconventional scholar
ON THE face of things, Sudan is stony ground for Islamic reformers. It is a country where allegations of apostasy departing from Islam, or merely straying slightly from the received interpretation of the faith have often been deployed as a lethal weapon in political power struggles. In 1985 a leading opponent of the regime was hanged after a court declared him to be an apostate. In recent years Sudan’s best-known Islamist, Hassan al-Turabi, has been decried as an apostate by certain greybeards, simply because he dared to suggest that men and women were equal.

But that is not the whole story of Sudan and Islam. That country has also produced a passionate advocate of the view that you can be a faithful Muslim while also supporting the right of more than one reading of the faith to exist.
Abdullahi an-Naâim is now a law professor at Emory University in Georgia” and when he returns to his native Sudan, it is as an American passport-holder. That is just as well, given what he practises and preaches.

For theocrats, the professor says, heresy charges have always been an easy way out, a way to explain difficult problems. And, one might add, to eliminate difficult people. Last year, he co-organised a conference (in Atlanta, a city that calls itself too busy to hate) that was provocatively devoted to the Celebration of Heresy.

Dissident views are healthy for the religion, he insists. To keep the religion honest, it is very important that somebody should take the risk of being denounced as heretical.

And if anybody (in America, at least) applies the H-word to him, he does not mind: Only God can judge that so let me take my chances with God. In any case, he insists that his liberal reading of Islam is closer to the roots of the faith than the theocrats™ interpretations are.

In its core theology, he maintains, Islam is radically democratic; for example, it is an important principle that no earthly or religious authority can come between the believer and God. The problem is simply that sociologically, the world of Islam is conservative. He is trying to break that mould.

# # #

Qur’aan on Apostasy.

Unfortunately, it is a common belief that 'death' should be the punishment for apostasy. However, the Qur’aan mentions nothing of such punishment, so why should we impose such a cruel and inhumane form of punishment? Are we so insecure about our own religion that if anyone is to leave it we kill them?

17:33 (Asad) And do not take any human being's life -[the life] which God has willed to be, sacred-otherwise than in [the pursuit of] justice. [38] Hence, if anyone has been slain wrongfully, We have empowered the defender of his rights [to exact a just retribution] ; [39] but even so, let him not exceed the bounds of equity in [retributive] killing. [40] [And as for him who has been slain wrongfully -] behold, he is indeed succoured [by God] ! [41]

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُور 17:33

Note 38 Le., in the execution of a legal sentence or in a just war (see 2:190 and the corresponding note 167), or in individual; legitimate self-defence.(Quran Ref: 17:33

Note 39 This refers to the legal punishment for homicide, termed qisas ("just retribution") and explained in 2:178 and the corresponding notes. In the present context, the term wall ("protector" or "defender of [one's] rights") is usually taken to mean the heir or next of kin of the victim; Zamakhshari, however, observes that it may also apply to the government (as-sultan): an interpretation which is obviously based on the concept of the government as the "protector" or "defender of the rights" of all its citizens. As regards the expression qutila mazluman ("slain wrongfully"), it is obvious that it refers only to cases of wilful homicide, since the concept of zulm applies in the Qur'an exclusively to intentional and never to accidental wrongdoing.(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Note 40 Thus, the defender of the victim's rights (in this case, a court of justice) is not only not entitled to impose a capital sentence on any but the actual murderer or murderers, but may also, if the case warrants it, concede mitigating circumstances and refrain from capital punishment altogether.(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Note 41 I.e., he is avenged in this world by the retribution exacted from his murderer, and in the life to come, blessed by the special grace which God bestows on all who have been slain without any legal or moral justification (Razi). Some of the commentators, however, relate the pronoun "he" to the defender of the victim's rights, respectively, to the latter's heir or next of kin, and explain the above phrase as meaning "he is sufficiently helped by the law of just retribution (qisas) and should not, therefore, demand any punishment in excess of what is equitable".(Quran Ref: 17:33 )

Killing someone because they left their religion (apostasy) is a cruel punishment that has no basis in Islam. Such a punishment is man-made;You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped. ·

6:115 (Asad) for, truly and justly has thy Sustainer's promise been fulfilled. There is no power that could alter [the fulfillment of] His promises: and He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلاً لاَّ مُبَدِّلِ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ (6:115)

· 109:6 (Asad) Unto you, your moral law, and unto me, mine !"
Simple translation: As your religion is dear to you, mine is to me.

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ 109:6
Nowhere in the Qur’aan does God say to 'kill' those who leave their own religion. On the contrary, God emphasizes that all Muslims must practice the total freedom of religion
· 6:104 (Asad) Means of insight have now come unto you from your Sustainer [through this divine writ]. Whoever, therefore, chooses to see, does so for his own good; and whoever chooses to remain blind, does so to his own hurt. And [say unto the blind of heart]: "I am not your keeper."

قَدْ جَاءكُم بَصَآئِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا أَنَاْ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ 6:104

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.