Riddah [Irtidad] And its Hudud According to ‘Umdat as-Salik [Reliance of the Traveler]
Posted by westerncivisheretostay on April 28, 2010
Let’s see what Shafi’i madh’hab hornbook of Shari’a, ‘Umdat as-Salik (“Reliance of the Traveler”; authorized by and taught at al-Azhar Theological Seminary in Cairo) has to say about what constitutes riddah (irtidad), i.e. apostasy from siratul-mustaqim, and what has been prescribed as the hudud for murtaddun.
“*2*Chapter O8.0: Apostasy from Islam (Ridda)
@(O: Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst. It may come about through sarcasm, as when someone is told, “Trim your nails, it is sunna,” and he replies, “I would not do it even if it were,” as opposed to when some circumstance exists which exonerates him of having committed apostasy, such as when his tongue runs away with him, or when he is quoting someone, or says it out of fear.)
When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.
In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representive) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (def: o17) (O: for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).
There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (O: or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).
If he apostatizes from Islam and returns several times, it (O: i.e. his return to Islam, which occurs when he states the two Testifications of Faith (def: o8.7(12) ) ) is accepted from him, though he is disciplined (o17).
(A: If a spouse in a consummated marriage apostatizes from Islam, the couple are separated for a waiting period consisting of three intervals between menstruations. If the spouse returns to Islam before the waiting period ends, the marriage is not annulled but is considered to have continued the whole time (dis: m7.4). )
@O8.7: Acts that Entail Leaving Islam
(O: Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam (may Allah protect us from them) are:
-1- to prostrate to an idol, whether sarcastically, out of mere contrariness, or in actual conviction, like that of someone who believes the Creator to be something that has originated in time. Like idols in this respect are the sun or moon, and like prostration is bowing to other than Allah, if one intends reverence towards it like the reverence due to Allah;
-2- to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future. And like this intention is hesitating whether to do so or not: one thereby immediately commits unbelief;
-3- to speak words that imply unbelief such as “Allah is the third of three,” or “I am Allah”-unless one’s tongue has run away with one, or one is quoting another, or is one of the friends of Allah Most High (wali, def: w33) in a spiritually intoxicated state of total oblivion (A: friend of Allah or not, someone totally oblivious is as if insane, and is not held legally responsible (dis: k13.1(O:) ) ), for these latter do not entail unbelief;
-4- to revile Allah or His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace);
-5- to deny the existence of Allah, His beginingless eternality, His endless eternality, or to deny any of His attributes which the consensus of Muslims ascribes to Him (dis: v1);
-6- to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat;
-7- to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does belong to it;
-8- to mockingly say, “I don’t know what faith is”;
-9- to reply to someone who says, “There is no power or strength save through Allah”; “Your saying `There’s no power or strength, etc,’ won’t save you from hunger”;
-10- for a tyrant, after an oppressed person says, “This is through the decree of Allah,” to reply, “I act without the decree of Allah”;
-11- to say that a Muslim is an unbeliever (kafir) (dis: w47) in words that are uninterpretable as merely meaning he is an ingrate towards Allah for divinely given blessings (n: in Arabic, also “kafir”);
-12- when someone asks to be taught the Testification of Faith (Ar. Shahada, the words, “La ilaha ill Allahu Muhammadun rasulu Llah” (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) ), and a Muslim refuses to teach him it;
-13- to describe a Muslim or someone who wants to become a Muslim in terms of unbelief (kufr);
-14- to deny the obligatory character of something which by the consensus of Muslims (ijma`, def: B7) is part of Islam, when it is well known as such, like the prayer (salat) or even one rak’a from one of the five obligatory prayers, if there is no excuse (def: u2.4);
-15- to hold that any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent;
(n: `Ala’ al-din’ Abidin adds the following:
-16- to revile the religion of Islam;
-17- to believe that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah;
-18- to deny the existence of angels or jinn (def: w22), or the heavens;
-19- to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law;
-20- or to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the religion followed by the entire world (dis: w4.3-4) (al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya (y4), 423-24). )
There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless. May Allah Most High save us and all Muslims from it.)”–‘Umdat as-Salik o.80