Images have gone viral of a young man being stoned to death….for the crime of Apostasy.
Muslim from Somalia who crossed to Christianity and accepted Jesus Christ stoned to death
Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one’s previous religious beliefs. One who undertakes apostasy is known as an apostate.
It is alleged that Muhammad Abu Kar Abraham, a young Muslim from Somalia who crossed to Christianity and accepted Jesus Christ was this week reportedly convicted for Apostasy ( disrespecting Islam by leaving it ) and was sentenced to death by stoning him under -Sharia Law
We have all heard of Sudan’s death penalty for the “crime” of leaving Islam. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan (since 2007), Yemen and Afghanistan have similar rulings for apostasy. Do these punishments have any basis in the Islamic faith? Does Islam really punish freedom of conscience?
The Quran discusses apostasy in many of its verses. For example: But those who reject Faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of Faith, – never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.
Where is apostasy mentioned?
The second set of verses Ali quoted were 9:11-12, which refer to those leading enemies of Islam that broke peace treaties with the Muslims and lodged military offensives against them. “And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and attack your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! They have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist.”
It is note-worthy that though the Quran does not speak of apostasy laws, it does speak of apostasy more than a dozen times. At none of these places, however, does it prescribe any human punishment for abandoning faith. “Lo! Those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way (4:137).” This verse reiterates that man is free to believe or disbelieve and to do so as many times as he wills. God will be the sole judge of such acts of apostasy.
And again: “He who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah a whit. Allah will certainly reward the grateful (3.145).” 5:55, 16:107 and countless other verses also emphasize the same message.
Apostasy laws – like the blasphemy laws – have been borrowed from older scriptures. They have no basis in the Koran. This is why clerics who espouse such extremist beliefs show continued reluctance to debate Muslim scholars and intellectuals on this issue. The fourth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, for instance, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, authored a detailed rebuttal of the Maududian philosophy on apostasy several decades ago.
In short, it is not due to the scholarship of the Koran, but because of the ignorance and insecurity of extremist clerics that countries like Sudan and Somalia punish apostasy. The Quran upholds Freedom of Conscience in clear terms.