Quraan on Apostasy
Three items below.
1. Dr. Abdullahi Al Naim is considered one of the committed Muslims to remove layers of non-Islamic values that have piled up on Islam.
2. Dr. Mohammad Farooq has created a website http://apostasyandislam.blogspot.com/ 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. I have my own piece included in it
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.
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.
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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.  Hence, if anyone has been slain wrongfully, We have empowered the defender of his rights [to exact a just retribution] ;  but even so, let him not exceed the bounds of equity in [retributive] killing.  [And as for him who has been slain wrongfully -] behold, he is indeed succoured [by God] ! 
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