Apostasy in Islam
By Dr. Mohsen El-Guindy

A Christian hate monger challenged me if I have the nerve to explain to him apostasy in Islam. His purpose was to show that Islam is an intolerant religion because it accepts Christians converting to Islam while prohibits Muslims converting to Christianity. In addition, Muslims penalty for apostasy is inhuman; it is considered a capital crime – execution.

We Muslims have nothing to hide. Our religion is clear and manifest. What Allah allows we follow, what Allah prevents we prohibit. If Allah decrees something that might seem severe to non-Muslims, we Muslims do not hesitate to implement it without restriction. Islam means submission, and we surrender to the verdicts of our Lord.

The apostate worships Allah in doubt, if good befalls him he is gratified, but if a trial befalls him he reverts to disbelief.

The Koran says:

And among men there is such a one as serves Allah upon the very edge – if good befalls him he is at rest in it, but if a trial befall him he turns completely over; he loses this world and the world to come; that is indeed the manifest loss (Al-Hajj, 11).

If the apostate converts to contemporary Christianity for instance, he will be converting from pure monotheism to polytheism. He will be calling besides Allah Jesus, thus associating with Allah other deities, a matter considered in the sight of Allah as clear blasphemy. He is also going to believe in all the odd dogmas the Christians invented in their religion which Islam rejects completely i.e. Jesus is God or the son of God, Mary is the mother of God, original sin, Eve is guilty because she tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree, crucifixion of Jesus which never happened, vicarious atonement and rituals Jesus didn’t mention in his teachings.

The apostate before converting to another religion knew perfectly well that the Koran is one unified Book that contained all the knowledge of the preceding divine Books. He also knew that with the advent of Muhammad, the light and guidance he brought for all mankind superseded the earlier Laws. He knew that Allah has uplifted the Koran over all other divine Books and made it a witness over them. Yet he moved to several corrupted Books containing only traces of what Jesus truly said, while the rest was the fables and the imagination of the humans who wrote them.

From a pious life the apostate will be moving to a western distorted life characterized by open sex out of wedlock, adultery and fornication, drinking wine, eating pork, using usury in transactions, gambling, and under the motto of freedom and liberty he will be accepting distorted behaviors prevailing in the western society such as drugs, and groups of lesbians, homosexuals, prostitutes claiming their legal rights!

From an Islamic life in which the believers believe in the One God, Allah, and worshipping Him alone, the apostate will be moving to worshipping a man nailed to the cross! The apostate will be attending churches preaching what they think a religion while singing and dancing with jazz music in the background!

In short the apostate will be moving from piety to debauchery, from purity to impurity, from belief in Allah’s oneness to polytheism and trinitarianism by believing in Jesus as god or son of God. He in fact will be losing this world and the Hereafter.

There is no capital punishment (death penalty) in the Koran for apostates. However, those who denied Allah and renounced faith and entered the gates of death captivated in disbelief have come within the measure of Allah’s wrath. Such like persons have earned the curse of Allah and of the angels and of all mankind. Such curse shall follow them like their shadow and beset them at all sides until the Day they are dragged in chains into Hell, confined with shackles and put to the torment which shall not abate nor shall their punishment be put in respite.

As we read in the Koran:

But those who disbelieve, and die disbelieving – upon them shall rest the curse of Allah and the angels and of men altogether, therein dwelling forever; the chastisement shall not be lightened for them, no respite shall be given them (Al-Baqarah 161, 162).

How shall Allah guide a people who intentionally deny Him after they have recognized Him and bore witness to the truth of His Apostle’s mission, and after they have received the signs and accepted them, they later on rejected the clear revelations! Allah guides not the polytheists and wrongdoers. Such like persons have incurred the curse of Allah and the angels and all mankind. They will abide in Hell. Neither will their torment be lightened, nor will it be delayed or postponed for a while.

Allah says in the Koran:

How Allah shall guide a people who have disbelieved after they believed, and bore witness that the Messenger is true, and the clear signs came to them?
Those their recompense is that they shall rest on them the curse of Allah and of the angels and of men, altogether, therein dwelling forever; the chastisement shall not be lightened, for them, no respite shall be given them (Al-Imran, 86-88).

Those who deny Allah after they have recognized Him and be so bold as to display their infidelity, never shall their penitence be accepted, and they are those who are astray. Those who deny Allah and death claims them vested with the ugly vesture of disbelief, shall have committed an unforgivable sin. The offer of as much gold as the earth can treasure shall not be accepted from any of them in expiation for his guilt. Such persons must expect endless suffering and shall find no one to afford them help.

The Koran says:

Surely those who disbelieve after they have believed and then increase in unbelief – their repentance shall not be accepted; those are the ones who stray.
Surely those who disbelieve, and die disbelieving, there shall not be accepted from any one of them the whole earth full of gold, if he would ransom himself thereby; for them awaits a painful chastisement, and they shall have no helpers (Al-Imran, 90, 91).

Based on the above, Muslim jurists issued the verdict that apostates are walking dead. The penalty is death. However, this jurists’ verdict is human interpretation and not divine. In other words it could be considered or left behind. The real punishment for apostates in the present life is contempt, disdain, avoidance and to be treated as outcasts. And in the Hereafter, Hell-Fire awaits them and ascertains them as her own.

My explanation of apostasy in Islam will not of course please the Christians, but this is the Islamic religion. Take it or leave it. Dispute not with me, but with your Creator on the Day of Judgment – if you can!

Dr. Mohsen El-Guindy