Here is a fatwa allegedly by the eminent Islamic ‘scholar'(!) Ibn Baz, posted by an Islamophobe on a Dawah website by MDI, who were too afraid of losing funding from Saudi to reply to him. He also spammed the usual stories about how in Islam there is the death penalty for apostasy. He got his rear-end handed to him by viewers who were more courageous than MDI, which only feels free to spew bile at the ‘West’ but are paralysed when taking Muslim extremists to task.
It is useful though as it shows that sometimes, the idiotic comments of certain Muslims can be the greatest obstacle to Dawah or even understanding between communities. It also show how trying to defend these comments plays into the hands of the enemy. And finally, that we have to shame people who say stuff like this.
Question Some friends say that whoever does not enter Islam, that is his choice and he should not be forced to become Muslim, quoting as evidence the verses in which Allaah says : “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind, until they become believers” [Yoonus 10:99] “There is no compulsion in religion” [al-Baqarah 2:256]
What is your opinion concerning that?.
Answer: Praise be to Allaah. The scholars explained that these two verses, and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah. Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, BUT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ABROGATED by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad.
So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought WHEN THE MUSLIMS ARE ABLE TO FIGHT, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued.
Some of the scholars are of the view that others may also be given the choice between Islam and jizyah, but the most correct view is that no others should be given this choice, rather these three groups are the only ones who may be given the choice, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) fought the kuffaar in the Arabian Peninsula and he only accepted their becoming Muslim.
And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Tawbah 9:5]
He did not say, “if they pay the jizyah”. The Jews, Christians and Magians are to be asked to enter Islam; if they refuse then they should be asked to pay the jizyah. If they refuse to pay the jizyah then the Muslims must fight them IF THEY ARE ABLE TO DO SO. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allaah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” [al-Tawbah 9:29] And it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the jizyah from the Magians, but it was not proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) accepted the jizyah from anyone except the three groups mentioned above.
The basic principle concerning that is the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]” [al-Anfaal 8:39] “Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikoon (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush. But if they repent [by rejecting Shirk (polytheism) and accept Islamic Monotheism] and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah), and give Zakaah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [al-Tawbah 9:5] This verse is known as Ayat al-Sayf (the verse of the sword).
These and similar verses ABROGATE the verses which say that there is no compulsion to become Muslim. And Allaah is the Source of strength.”
You need to stick to the point instead of quote mining scholars like Ibn Baz etc who some people within Islam openly accuse of heresy. Stick to the Quran, and don’t use these cheap missionary arguments about ‘abrogation’. The orthodox position is that there IS no abrogation, and those who DO believe in it do not say that it is a compulsory belief. And even if you did use Bin Baz, anyone who knows about the Wahhabi movement knows that Ibn Taymiyyah trumps your Bin Baz and he does not share this interpretation.
Try respected scholars like Abu Hanifa (RA) amongst thousands of others if you INSIST on straw manning on the basis of scholars (yawn), instead of organs of the Saudi state which itself is aided and abetted by the ‘secular’ West of which you are a no doubt a card – carrying fanboy. Better yet stick to the Quran and Mutawatir Hadith. Better yet, just get lost.
You argument is so poor (apart form the OLD tactic of not quoting after 9:5) that EVEN if we accept your posturing that they ayats are abrogated, the remaining ayats do not tell you to compel to belief, merely fight and kill the enemy, which you admit, so what was the point of all that waffle? And who the hell are you to say that the option of paying jizya is ‘unfavourable’? Don’t believe in taxation do you? Then sort out your own country first. And who cares what this guy says huh? Is he like the Islamic Pope or something? Get a grip and stop doing all your research off Google and go pick up a book. You don’t know jack about apostasy in Islam on this evidence. And perhaps you can tell us what happens to you when you ‘apostate’ from a secular state? They let you run off with their secrets do they? I heard nowadays they take away your passport and lock you up in some part of Cuba and water-board you without a trial. But you know all about detention in Australia, so who am I schooling?
Oh yeah, Australia…that reminds me of Julian Assange, who didn’t even ‘apostate’ from the United States, since he AIN’T EVEN A CITIZEN THERE and people STILL asked for the death penalty! Damn, steady on boys, even the Muslims think that’s harsh!
Didn’t hear you complain though…or are you confused about ‘apostasy’ and ‘treason’? You see, we could play this game all year long, I can go on the internet and find dumb atheists and secularists who say moronic stuff (you know, like Sam Harris saying people deserve to be killed for holding ideas that are ‘sufficiently’ dangerous or like France telling women what to wear, just like the Taliban) but that would be aimless because just finding a dumb exponent of an idea does not invalidate the idea, it merely proves that there is a surfeit of dumb people. Like you.
But you must remember, in Dawah it is very difficult to defend the views of each and every scholar, especially people like Ibn Baz and Albani etc who say some very messed up things. If a Christian had to defend the views of every Church Father or Pope or Christian scholar from Augustine to Aquinas throughout history then their job would be much more difficult, so they do not try to do that, and neither should we, or it becomes ‘asymmetric warfare’. I promise you that one of the main reasons that Islam is not spreading as fast as it could is because of the so called ‘Salafi’ movement and the opinions of their scholars such as Ibn Baz above.
They say all of these things, like driving bans for women are justified, like covering the face is Fard etc. and the western people just think: ‘Well, if this is how crazy their leaders are, then I will not bother to look into the religion or read the Quran’. Also, the behaviour of the Saudi leadership and royal family when they are abroad is a big deterrent and creates a false impression of Islam. And this is not condemned by the scholars in Saudi, although The Prophet (SAW) said that the BEST jihad is to speak a word of truth to the unjust ruler, which the scholars in Saudi and other places fail to do. In fact they justify the absurd policies on the basis of ‘Islam’. Any person who is too cowardly to speak up before the oppressors or the unjust or immoral has no right to be followed as a scholar in Islam, even if he has Knowledge (which Ibn Baz does not anyway).
To make the point even more obvious, The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘The master of martyrs is Hamzah and a man who stood up to an unjust ruler, commanding him (to do good) and forbidding him (from evil) and was killed’ .
Thus The Prophet (SAW) was emphatic in commanding the believers to endure harm and even death in questioning and struggling against the unjust rulers. If that is the case for us, as ordinary believers, how much more so for the scholars? So you have to face facts that the scholars in these places, since they are in league with the state, are not reliable. End of the day, we do not care what scholars say. We listen to them and if it makes sense to our limited knowledge and intellect, then we accept it. If not, then we don’t. If following scholars was allowed to an unlimited extent, then there is no point in doing Dawah, as the other religions would just say: ‘We are following OUR scholars’.
We have to use our own mind, and if we do, it is clear that what Ibn Baz is saying above is idiotic and that the theory of abrogation is just that: a THEORY, and one which does not make sense: there is not a SINGLE proved incident of abrogation in the Quran and the verses people use to justify it like; ”None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?” (TMQ 2:106) actually refer to PREVIOUS scriptures/oral traditions, As Muhammad Asad explains in his translation:
‘‘The principle laid down in this passage – relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur’an – has given rise to an erroneous interpretation by many Muslim theologians. The word ayah (“message”) occurring in this, context is also used to denote a “verse;” of the Qur’an (because every one of these verses contains a message). Taking this restricted meaning of the term ayah, some scholars conclude from the above passage that certain verses of the Qur’an have been “abrogated” by God’s command before the revelation of the Qur’an was completed. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion – which calls to mind the image of a human author correcting, on second thought, the proofs of his manuscript – deleting one passage and replacing it with another – there does not exist a single reliable Tradition to the effect that the Prophet ever declared a verse of the Qur’an to have been “abrogated”. At the root of the so-called “doctrine of abrogation” may lie the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur’anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been “abrogated”. This arbitrary procedure explains also why there is no unanimity whatsoever among the upholders of the “doctrine of abrogation” as to which, and how many, Qur’an verses have been affected by it; and, furthermore, as to whether this alleged abrogation implies a total elimination of the verse in question from the context of the Qur’an, or only a cancellation of the specific ordinance or statement contained in it. In short, the “doctrine of abrogation” has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. On the other hand, the apparent difficulty in interpreting the above Qur’anic passage disappears immediately if the term ayah is understood, correctly, as “message”, and if we read this verse in conjunction with the preceding one, which states that the Jews and the Christians refuse to accept any revelation which might supersede that of the Bible: for, if read in this way, the abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself.”
I would not use these erroneous ideas about abrogation in my (very small) dawah work personally and would advise you to do the same brother.
There is a confusion amongst the non – Muslims about ‘apostasy’ and ‘treason’. They seem to think it is fine to punish ‘treason’ with the death penalty but not ‘apostasy’. As you brothers point out, there is no penalty for simple apostasy, but when action is taken by the apostate against the Islamic state, then it IS punished, as treason. I indicated the same in his response above. The proof is the fact that both of the apostates mentioned in the Quran went unpunished.
This business about ‘killing apostates’ is a wet dream of Islamophobes, and it’s getting old. Maybe we need to remind the atheists how their Communist ‘brothers’ used to enforce ‘ideological hygiene’ and deal with ‘dissent’. Or perhaps we should remind our Christian brothers how the Church dealt with heresy and sectarianism.