February 25, 2019
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June 19, 2014
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Freedom of religion and apostasy are major issues challenging Muslims in our times. On one hand, we know that Islam strictly prohibits compulsion in religion. On the other hand, classical Islamic law has prescribed the death penalty for apostasy. These two aspects of our faith exist in tension with one another and the news media often highlights controversial cases in which someone in the Muslim world has been charged with apostasy. Each time we hear of these cases the Muslims erupt into bitter arguments, some siding with religious freedom and others siding with harsh punishment.
How can we reconcile these two teachings and find the moderate, middle path to which Islam calls us?
Freedom of Religion
Islam guarantees religious freedom for non-Muslims and prohibits forced conversion and spreading the religion by violence. This teaching is established in numerous verses of the Quran and in the Prophet’s practice. Read more of this post
January 22, 2018
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Dr. Jonathan A. C. Brown is the Director of Research at Yaqeen Institute, and an Associate Professor and Chair of Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University. He is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and the Law, and the author of several books including Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy.
The Shariah consists of some laws that remain the same regardless of changing circumstances and others that change with them. Most of the Shariah is up to individual Muslims to follow in their own lives. Some are for judges to implement in courts. Finally, the third set of laws is for the ruler or political authority to implement based on the best interests of society. The Shariah ruling on Muslims who decide to leave Islam belongs to this third group. Implemented in the past to protect the integrity of the Muslim community, today this important goal can best be reached by Muslim governments using their right to set punishments for apostasy aside.
One of the most common accusations leveled against Islam involves the freedom of religion. The problem, according to critics: Islam doesn’t have any. Read more of this post