EgypToz: Apostasy Forever

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Apostasy Forever

Prof. G invited me to his house for dinner.
He wanted to introduce his girlfriend to me.

She is an Algerian girl in her early twenties.
I was amazed by the fact that he is sharing a small apartment with a man and a teenage boy, but is planning to buy a big house when he is ready for marriage.
While we were eating she started to talk about the difficult condition she was facing as an Arab girl that fell in love with a French Professor, or the other way round.
They solved all their other problems including the cultural differences and that he is much older than her, but there was a big problem still burning on the surface of their relationship.
She wants him to become a Moslem.
It was obvious that neither her family nor her community will accept marrying a non-Moslem man.

She tried several times to show him the beauty of Islam, to explain to him all the misconceptions about this religion and how this step will move their relationship to another level, which is marriage.
My Professor was totally convinced that this religion is all about peace and that it came to organize and enlighten people's lives and minds.
But he had only one problem, or maybe many things that he did not understand about this religion. He wanted me to clarify it to him.
This was like an explosion of questions heading towards me.

If I become a Moslem, why can't I change my religion and go back to Christianity?
Why should I be sentenced for death?
Why should my children become automatically Moslems?
Why can't they choose their religion when they are grownups?
Where is the freedom of belief?
Why can't a Moslem woman marry a non-Moslem man, but a Moslem man can marry a Christian or a Jewish woman?

His girlfriend tried to explain to him that Islam wants to protect the religion, so the children must be like their father, and if the father is not a Moslem, then how will they learn the basics of Islam, who will teach them the religion.
Children always mimic their parents.

She gave him another argument by telling him that this religion is not something to play with, if it was easy to convert from Islam to something else then this could scatter the religion's structure and strip away the bonds of the Islamic communities. This will be like an act of treason against the Ummah.
Furthermore we Moslems believe in Jesus and Moses, but you don't believe in Prophet Mohammed (Pbuh).

I looked to Prof. G and could not say a word.
Actually I was surprised with the whole conversation.
To be honest I was not prepared for something like this.
It seemed like the man wanted me to solve this dilemma, or at least find a way out of it.
But I failed.
I had so much sympathy for the girl because she was trying so hard to make the man understand her.
I was not satisfied with myself because I could not help her.
I could see it in his eyes, he was a little disappointed because at that time he felt that this relationship will never work.
I would never dare to ask him about the development of their relationship now.

While she was talking I had a strange thought running in my mind.
I put myself in his position and tried to think the way he was thinking and I felt "fear".
If I had to take this big step and convert to a religion when I know that it is a one way direction-I can not turn back-I doubt I will take this critical step in my life.

We changed the subject when his apartment- mate entered the dinner room.


On my way home I was sad and had to have this short dialogue with my heart:

Islam depends upon faith and will, about really believing in the concepts of this religion, and this would be meaningless if she forced him to become a Moslem as she was doing at that time.
Conversion should not happen with coercion.

Why should I kill someone who did not do any harm to me or to my community?
Who gave you the right to take away something so precious like the soul of a human being?
And what will the Islam gain from an act like that? Justice?


"He will be invited to express his regret for leaving Islam, and if he refuses he will be executed according to the obligations and rights of the Islamic law."


How will foreigners think about Islam now? As a heavy burden that is connected to death?
Islam is "Salam" or peace, god is merciful and killing shows the opposite of forgiveness.
Who knows, maybe after some time he will realize that he has done a mistake and will return back to Islam ?
If we kill him, then he will never have this chance again.


Or do we see that killing him is a way to help him "washing" this big sin.
Here comes the fact or the question: After his death he will return to god as a "Moslem"!?
Like someone who stole something and his hand has been cut.Now he will "not" carry the sin of stealing with him to the grave.

Religion is a pure relationship between the slave "the human being" and god, and no one should evaluate or intrude himself in this very personal connection.


And then I remembered some friends of mine in Egypt who are Moslems but do not do anything related to Islam like praying or fasting.
Are they Moslems too?
Maybe one of them is an atheist, did not tell anyone and kept this secret to himself.
Why shouldn't he talk about his apostasy in public?
But another one can talk about his conversion to Islam?
Should he be executed because he is living in an Islamic country?
What is an Islamic country?
Is Egypt an Islamic country?
Should he leave Egypt if he is not a Moslem or a Christ or a Jew?

God can make everyone in the world a Moslem if Almighty God wants.
There is a deep meaning in the differences between people.

This is life.

To imagine the situation back in the early years of Islam when there were so many wars and it was of so much importance to enlarge the size of the Islamic nation and to strengthen the power of Islam by letting more and more people join this religion, one can understand what happened back at that time.
If one converted from Islam to another religion and fought against Moslems, which means on the other side with the enemies of Islam, it was "then" logic to kill him.
So Moslems did not kill him for his apostasy, but because he was "an enemy" who started to fight against them.

Is there a difference between a man who was born in a Moslem family and decided in his adolescence to become an atheist and a man that was an atheist and decided to embrace the Moslem faith and then became an atheist again? Should both be sentenced for death?

What about ex-Moslem monotheists? Should they be treated the same as ex-Moslem polytheists?

The Quran came to the human being to tell them about Islam in a logical way, in a way that makes sense.
But there are things that you can't find an explanation for.
Like why should Moslems pray five times a day?
Where is god?
Why is it forbidden to eat pork even if it is clean?
Some people can say that the death sentence for an apostate is another thing we just have to accept without arguing or thinking.
Others will say that this dramatic consequence of apostasy is a kind of warning to the person who wants to convert to Islam that is telling him to think twice (and rethink) before taking this decision.

Can't you see what is happening between two poles in the same religion...Sunnis and Shia?
This year I heard about Baha'i faith, Quranists, Egyptian Christians who converted to Islam but want to convert back to Christianity and ex-Moslems who are atheists and I say to myself: what a chaos. It is exactly like Lulu.


If we let those people do what they want, then…then what?
The country and the whole world will collapse?
So there is a connection between state and religion, or let's say politics and religion.
I thought religion was about an individual.
An individual who acts and lives according to his beliefs and morals.
An individual who knows what is wrong and what is right and accordingly affects his surroundings in a positive way.
His surroundings include his family and the community he lives in.
And a good individual and another good individual will make a good nation…an Ummah.
Why should religion be connected to the government?
Am I a secularist now?

This is if we think about the message of Islam from a Moslem's point of view.
But if I am an atheist, or a Buddhist, why should I follow your rules, the rules of Islam.
I have my own rules.
I have my own morals.
For instance: for you it is forbidden to drink alcohol and to have premarital sex. But for me it is not. Why do you want to punish me? Because I am the minority living among a powerful and dominant Islamic community?
Because you think you are right and I am wrong?
I see that I am right and you are wrong.
But I respect your point of view.
Why can't you respect mine?
Where is the freedom?

When I come to this magical word "freedom" I just have to stop thinking, because I tried so many years to find a real definition for "freedom".
Maybe one day I will know.

For now I have a better idea.
Why don’t we just erase the religion part in the identity card and let everyone do what he wants to do, and believe what he wants to believe as long as he doesn’t hurt anyone.
Will you act with him differently if you know his religion?
Religion is something between you and god.

It is no one's business, and only god will decide who will go to heaven and who will go to hell.
If I were an atheist, I would never mention the latter.

9 comments:

luv said...

hiii walad shab

i've some thoughts about this issue :$ .. if u please hehe


if he's planning to become a muslim - it has to be for the sake of Islam .. not for marriage purposes - if it is to be accepted from him

& i dont think the death penalty of an apostate is applied in the muslim countries nowadays .. & the Government is the one in charge of performing it - not the soceity .. not the family ..

i think ( what is present these days ) is only some social reasons ... maybe some feel it a disgrace or so !

if she ( as a muslim female ) wants to make sure he doesnt change his religion after marriage ( which shall break the marriage )... its another issue !


there are some remarkable verses in the Noble Qur'an ... like:

"Verily, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe (again) and (again) disbelieve, and go on increasing in disbelief; Allah will not forgive them nor guide them on the (Right)Way." [4:137]
^
^
if he rejects faith & was killed when will he live again to believe again then disbelieve again


there are many similar verses like
15:2-3 / 109:1-6 / 18:29 / 41:40

WS said...

luv,
I think his girlfriend was the start for him to know more about Islam, maybe I am wrong about that, and I also think that he has read a lot about Islam and we both have discussed some issues, and from the conversation with him I have the feeling that if he wants to become a Moslem, he will do that if he really believes in it, and not for marriage.

This is a risky marriage I know, and the girl was anxious.

It's wonderful, you have picked clear verses about this issue, especially 109, it says it all, and 109:6 shows the peaceful way people can live together without arguing about beliefs.

You are right, the death penalty for an apostate is not applied in all Islamic countries these days, the problem is not in the society, or the government, or the family, the problem is in the image of Islam in the foreign countries and that most of them there connect Islam with killing, Prof. G was not the only one who mentioned this topic every time we start to discuss about Islam, other friends abroad ask me the same question, and I don't have an answer.

The best part in your comment is the verse [4:137], and I think this is a clear answer for all the controversy about apostasy in Islam...but is it talking about those who disbelieve in their "inside" (so no one will know to kill them), or those who shout out loud in the public informing their society that they are disbelievers?

Harry said...

Again, a very interesting post which raises multiple issues, well done. I may end up responding incoherently though, so I apologize in advance.

For instance: for you it is forbidden to drink alcohol and to have premarital sex. But for me it is not. Why do you want to punish me? Because I am the minority living among a powerful and dominant Islamic community?

I used to think that this is injustice too, until when I moved abroad and got local laws imposed on me by force.

Only then I remembered my tribe's old saying :
"Dimana bumi dipijak, disitu langit dijunjung"

Translated to english, roughly: where you placed your feet, there you shall uphold the sky.

Different places, different culture, different law.
I don't agree with soome of UK laws, but since I live there, I have the obligation to uphold it. Pretty much the same everywhere else too.

So it's just the same case here if you live in a place with Islamic laws; obey it, or move somewhere else.

I've now moved back to my birth country, Indonesia.


God can make everyone in the world a Moslem if Almighty God wants.

That's absolutely true. But since He wishes us to have free will, He didn't do it. Everyone ended up responsible for their own actions (or lack of it).

To imagine the situation back in the early years of Islam when there were so many wars and it was of so much importance to enlarge the size of the Islamic nation and to strengthen the power of Islam by letting more and more people join this religion, one can understand what happened back at that time.
If one converted from Islam to another religion and fought against Moslems, which means on the other side with the enemies of Islam, it was "then" logic to kill him.
So Moslems did not kill him for his apostasy, but because he was "an enemy" who started to fight against them.


I think you've hit a point there.

A verse is not always to be translated literally.

You'll need to examine it rigorously. Check its context. Learn the language's nuances, and its nuances at the time of the Prophet (since it may have changed in the last 14 centuries). Find out how the verse was practiced back then. etc.

The method is called Tafseer.

Unfortunately, nowadays we got morons graduated from some madrasa, and felt instantly that he got the right to become **the** authority to make the one & true tafseer of the verses.

Got several on my own blog - this guy was so stupid, he literally translated the verses with his own feelings; and he ended up saying that the sun is circling the earth.

Fuck me.

I explained that in the past, due to lack of scientific data, the previous mufassirin (tafseer experts) translated the related verses on the topic only literally, thus coming into conclusion that it's the sun that's circling the earth.

Since then we've now the new science & proof on the topic, and when we looked into those verses, it's clear that they're still doesn't contradict the latest scientific findings -- only the tafseer.

However, these guys insisted that he's right, and you're wrong, and you're kafiir (not muslim) for following the kafirin science. Despite me presenting the facts that the verses & the facts doesn't contradict each other -- only the outdated tafseer.

This guy got his own tafseer printed into a deluxe book, and the comments on that blog posting got out of control with stupid people brushing aside the proof I presented to them and concentrated on trying to push their version of tafseer down into my throat.

Fuck me sideways. I won't just sit down and oblige happily to these braindeads.

I locked down the commenting facility, and made myself clear.

Unfortunately, this is the fact. This is the current state of our ummah.
They're stupid, egoistical, emotional, and blind - can't see that they are the problem. Not Islam itself.

This is why I'm so against the stupid slogans such as "khilafah is the solution". Bloody hell, when we're still this stupid, the khilafah will just ended up driven to the wrong path, and it may create more problem than it solves.

Ummah education & enlightening is **the** solution.

My point is, we need to look again at this decree (aphostate should be killed), and find out whether it's true, or actually just an outdated tafseer.

Where is the freedom of belief?

It's in Islam.

The prophet's uncle was a kafir, and the prophet didn't force him to become a muslim.

Many inhabitants of Medina were kafirs - christian, jews, etc. The prophet didn't force them to become muslim.

Many of the inhabitants of the Islam empire in its glory days were kafirs. But some of them actually preferred the protection from muslims, since they got treated better than by their own fellows.

The freedom of belief is now gone, because of the bad ulama, and stupid ummah. We need, patiently, work to bring Islam back to the way it was at the time of the prophet - a blessing to all.

By the way, I have seen marriages fail because the couples came from different culture. I have seen marriages fail because the couples believes are different.

This couple is both - different culture, different belief. Although if they both have strong commitment (not love, since love can increase or decrease), they'd be able to overcome any obstacle; they should still be aware that their challenges are heavier than others.
My best wishes for them.

OK take care, and hope this answers some questions, although I suspect it will raise some more - in which case I'll be happy to discuss it further.

WS said...

harry,
thank you a lot for your interesting comment.

As you have suspected it has raised some more questions.

You say:
"So it's just the same case here if you live in a place with Islamic laws; obey it, or move somewhere else."
I also have mentioned this in the post with:
"Should he leave Egypt if he is not a Moslem or a Christ or a Jew?"
So where should he go. To Moscow? To Paris? To New York? To the jungle in Africa? Or better to the North Pole.
These are tough questions. God created the whole planet earth for the human species to feel free to go wherever they want to go. This is now history. Nowadays we live in the globalization era.
Can you imagine that? You are trapped in this huge planet earth? You don't have the freedom to leave your country.You will always have to obey to someone's laws!

"God can make everyone in the world a Moslem if Almighty God wants.
That's absolutely true. But since He wishes us to have free will, He didn't do it. Everyone ended up responsible for their own actions (or lack of it)."
So why do some people want to punish a person that decided not to join them in their faith or he will be banished from the whole community. Why don't they want to leave everyone- as you said -responsible for his own actions as they already know that God will punish him.

"Ummah education & enlightening is **the** solution."
Exactly my friend, this is the only solution.
And as we gave them the freedom to believe in their own tafseer, they also have to give us the freedom to believe in our connection between science and the new understanding of particular verses.

"Many of the inhabitants of the Islam Empire in its glory days were kafirs. But some of them actually preferred the protection from Muslims, since they got treated better than by their own fellows."
Why don’t they want to reread the history of Islam? History exists to learn from it. Islam is not just a religion. Islam is community justice. Islam is the law of Life.

Strong commitment is the key word for marriage as you have mentioned.
I hope to meet Prof G again to see the development of this relationship. He is on of my best friends I have ever met.

"The freedom of belief is now gone, because of the bad ulama, and stupid ummah. We need, patiently, work to bring Islam back to the way it was at the time of the prophet - a blessing to all."

Unfortunately I think that it is too late now. It is over. That's why I am concentrating more on myself now. My connection to god. To be closer to god as much as I can. To prepare myself for the next life. To work in pursuit of heaven. Because everyone of us will be alone at the end.

Nah·det Masr said...

WS, very interesting and nice post. I totally believe in freedom of religion as one of the basis of building a civilized nation. However, Egypt today is rampant with brainwashed bigots who think they have monopoly of truth, and have a divine role to impose it. I think the future is very dark for Egypt.

WS said...

Nah·det Masr,so what can we do?
In this country the only thing someone can do is to be more intelligent and keep his belief to himself.

إيـمانيـات said...

سلام عليكم


مفيش حاجة اسمها حرية بالمعنى اللى الناس عاوزاه ... ده حاجة مستحيلة

هو حر قبل مايدخل الاسلام و يؤمن بعقيدته و التزاماته .. مجرد مادخل فى الاسلام خلاص .. مفيش حريات و سفسطة و رغى كتير بيتقال

هى دى القوانين يعرفها كويس من قبل مايدخل

عاجبه اهلا و سهلا .. مش عاجبه .. ماحدش هيغصبه انه يدخل فيه

و هى دى النقطة الوحيده اللى هيبقى له الحرية فيها

و الدليل على ان مفيش حريات.. ان حد الردة مش فى الاسلام بس

--------------


1 _ جاء في سفر الخروج [ 2 2 : 20 ] قول الرب :
(( مَنْ يُقَرِّبْ ذَبَائِحَ لِآلِهَةٍ غَيْرِ الرَّبِّ وَحْدَهُ يهلك ))

----
_ جاء في سفر التثنية [ 13 : 6 ] قول الرب :
(( وَإِذَا أَضَلَّكَ سِرّاً أَخُوكَ ابْنُ أُمِّكَ، أَوِ ابْنُكَ أَوِ ابْنَتُكَ، أَوْ زَوْجَتُكَ الْمَحْبُوبَةُ، أَوْ صَدِيقُكَ الْحَمِيمُ قَائِلاً: لِنَذْهَبْ وَنَعْبُدْ آلِهَةً أُخْرَى غَرِيبَةً عَنْكَ وَعَنْ آبَائِكَ 7مِنْ آلِهَةِ الشُّعُوبِ الأُخْرَى الْمُحِيطَةِ بِكَ أَوِ الْبَعِيدَةِ عَنْكَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الأَرْضِ إِلَى أَقْصَاهَا، 8فَلاَ تَسْتَجِبْ لَهُ وَلاَ تُصْغِ إِلَيْهِ، وَلاَ يُشْفِقْ قَلْبُكَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلاَ تَتَرََّأفْ بِهِ، وَلاَ تَتَسَتَّرْ عَلَيْهِ. بَلْ حَتْماً تَقْتُلُهُ. كُنْ أَنْتَ أَوَّلَ قَاتِلِيهِ، ثُمَّ يَعْقُبُكَ بَقِيَّةُ الشَّعْبِ. ارْجُمْهُ بِالْحِجَارَةِ حَتَّى يَمُوتَ . . . )) ترجمة كتاب الحياة


وضع طبيعى جدا ان كل واحد يخاف على منظومتة .. انا مش ضد ان النصارى و اليهود ينفذوا حدود ردة هما كمان
لو لقوا ان المرتد فيه خطر على دينهم


احنا بنفكر فى مثاليات مش موجوده فى الدنيا

زى ماهى الحرية عمرها ماهتكون موجوده!!

WS said...

إيمانيات

الايمان من الحاجات القليله اللى فى الدنيا اللى ما حدش يقدر يعرفها ، او يقدرها ، او يقيمها ، الايمان هوه الشىء اللى مش ملموس و لا محسوس اللى جوه كل واحد فينا ، جوه فين ما نعرفش ربنا وحده اللى يعلم، الطبيعى اللى فى الدنيا ان كل واحد بيغير على دينه ، و بيفتكر دينه ده هوه الدين الصحيح من وجهه نظره ، لكن لو جينا نتكلم عن تطبيق الدين ده على الكوكب حايكون لمين ، للمجتمع ، و الا لسلامه البشريه ، و الا لربنا علشان مين احنا بنعمل كل ده ، و نغضب لو حد ارتد و نقضى على حياته ، احنا بنى ادمين ، احنا مش رسل علشان نحاسب و ما نحاسبش ، الله سبحانه و تعالى لما حدد حدود معينه يجب تطبيقها كان بهدف جعل الحياه اكثر سلاما ، اكثر عدلا ، احنا عارفين اللى بيقتل او بيسرق ربنا حايعاقبه فى الاخره ، بس اللى قتل ممكن يقتل تانى ، و اللى سرق ممكن يسرق تانى ، يعنى بيهدد سلامه البشريه على الارض ، هنا المجتمع المسلم و اللى مش مسلم وقف ادام الموضوع ده و اخد موقف علشان بيهدد حياته ، رد فعل طبيعى للانسان علشان يحافظ على قبيلته ، اللى فيها امه و اخوه و ابوه ، فى بلد تقول احنا اللى حايسرق عندنا لازم نخليه يرجع اللى سرقه ، و فى بلد تانيه تقول اللى حايسرق عندنا حانضربه عشر اقلام فى وشه ، و هكذا ، و لكن ربنا علشان هوه الخالق و اللى عارف ما بداخل الانسان ، حدد العقوبات المثاليه لكل خطأ ، يعنى اللى يسرق نقطع ايده علشان طول عمره مش حايفكر يسرق لو بص على ايده اللى مقطوعه ، و الناس اللى حوليه حتاخده كعبره ، نيجى للمرتد ، حنلاقى احنا بنتكلم عن حاجه مش فى الدنيا اساسا ، بمعنى حاجه النتيجه بتاعتها مش معروفه على الارض ، دى النتيجه حتتعرف يوم القيامه ، لما كل واحد حايتحاسب ، يوم الحساب ، لو عملنا يوم الحساب المصغر على الارض و قتلناه ، يبقى المعنى كله راح ، هوه مش مرتد ، و احنا قتلناه ، يبقى كده كده حايروح النار ، البشر همه اللى حددوا ، معقول يعنى بعد ما قتلناه و هوه كافر حايروح الجنه ، و لكن عند القاتل مثلا ، القاتل ممكن يتوب لربنا ، و يطلب الرحمه و المغفره ، و هوه عارف كمان ان عقوبه الاعدام دى حاتمسح ذنبه و ان ربنا رحيم حايرحمه

احنا بقينا عايشين فى عصر العولمه ، يعنى كل حد فى كل حته على الارض بقى موجود معانا على الخط ، بقينا عالم صغير لازم نشوف ازاى نقدر نتعايش مع بعض فى سلام ، نتعايش مع اللى مش مسلم و اللى ما بيؤمنش بالقوانين اللى فى دينى

خطر ايه اللى احنا بنتكلم عليه ، ما الناس اللى فى امريكا اللى بتكره الاسلام و بتقول عليه حاجات غلط دول خطر ، و الناس اللى فى اوروبا اللى شايفين ان الاسلام ده دين قتل و حرب و ضد المرأه دول خطر ، و المسلمين اللى فى بلدنا اللى عايشين فى فساد و بينهبوا و بيكذبوا و بيظلموا الناس التانيه دول برضو خطر

مش عارف ليه بقينا مشغولين بحكم المرتد ، مش احسنلنا اننا نركز مع نفسنا و نحاسب نفسنا و نصلح من نفسنا و نحاول نغير من نفسنا علشان كل و احد مش عارف حياته حاتنتهى فى انهى ثانيه

و عليكم السلام و رحمه الله و بركاته

Unique Muslimah said...

Fantastic post with really deep, important reflections! I really do get exactly where you're coming from. Really enjoyed this