Saturday, June 04, 2011

Response to MP Zulkifli

Here's my response to Member of Parliament Zulkifli Noordin, published on the Micah Mandate website.

18 comments:

fauzisg2 said...

Hi,

About the apostasy in Islam, in our Islamic laws (or Syariah law) perspective, the apostates is a criminals because he is blasphemy against the Allmighty God. So he ought to faced the law called 'hudud'. This kind of law may be not available in other religion but we in Islam has it and we should obey it just like the followers of other religions should abide with their religious commandments.

As this is a free country, so who has right to stop Christians, Hindus or Buddhist from practicing their own religion? No! nobody has right to do that, but why you keep questioning about Islam, and try to stop us from practicing our own religion? What right that you have? I think, we should respect to each other, wouldn't we?

However, Islam will not punish the apostates unless he/she announce it to the public as what our learned scholar, Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi tell us when he did the commentary on Qur'anic verse al-Baqarah 2:217, says:

Islam tidak menjatuhkan hukuman bunuh atas orang yang murtad yang tidak menghebahkan murtadnya dan tidak menyeru orang lain agar murtad sepertinya. Islam membiarkannya agar menerima balasannya di akhirat kelak jika dia mati dalam kekafirannya itu. (Jinayat al-Riddah wa ‘Uqubah al-Murtad fi Dhau’i al-Qur’an wa al-Sunnah (translated by Zaharan Mohamed & Mohd. Akhir Yaacob by the title 'Jenayah Murtad dan Hukumannya Menurut Perspektif al-Qur’an dan al-Sunnah (Rmi Multimedia, Shah Alam, 2000), page. 56.)

[Islam will not put to death to whom who isn't announced his apostasy or encourage others to do the same (apostasy). Islam will lets him to be punish in here after if he died in that condition (as an apostate)],Jenayah Murtad dan Hukumannya Menurut Perspektif al-Qur’an dan al-Sunnah, page 59.

So like all the cases before, i.e. Lina Joy and others, they are announced their apostasy (otherwise no Muslim will bother about that, of course!). So no other way - they should faced the 'hudud' law. Regarding the explanation by Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi in above shows that, this 'hudud' law is fair enough and reasonable.

Why Islamic laws punished the individual whom has announced his/her apostasy? Again our learned scholar Syaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir Audah explained why - in his book Al-Tasyri’ al-Jina’i al-Islami Muqarinan bi al-Qanun al-Wad’i, says:

"The raison d’etre of capital punishment for apostasy is Syariah is that apostasy is repugnant to the faith of Islam on which the Islamic society is founded. If this offence is taken lightly, the collective system of Islam may collapse. The severe punishment laid down for it aims at the total elimination of apostasy on the one hand and warning and preventing others from committing it.

Obviously, capital punishment serves as a more effective deterrent than any other punishment. Whatever the factors inciting commitment of the offence, capital punishment stirs up the preventive factors in human psyche and a man refrains as often as not from committing the offence.

Most of the modern law in operation ensure security of the social system by prescribing harshest punishment for those who violate and destroy the system. The first of such punishments is death penalty. In other words, modern laws lay down the same punishment for causing disorder, safeguarding the social system as does the Islamic syariah." (Al-Tasyri’ al-Jina’i al-Islami Muqarinan bi al-Qanun al-Wad’i (translated by Zakir Aijaz atas judul Criminal Law of Islam; Kitab Bhavan, Delhi, 1999), vol. 3, page. 58-59.)

I believe that you are Christian, and if you look in Leviticus 24:16 states that, "those who speak blasphemy "shall surely be put to death"". So this kind of law is also available in the Bible, and I don't see why it bother Christians so much? You should understand it, do you?

I think that it for now. I Hope you can understand my short answer.

reasonable said...

Hi Fauzisg2, I suspect you may have made a fundamental error in your assumption about rights to religious practice.

You mentioned that "As this is a free country, so who has right to stop Christians, Hindus or Buddhist from practicing their own religion? No! nobody has right to do that, but why you keep questioning about Islam, and try to stop us from practicing our own religion?"

No one has any right to carry out a religious practice just because it falls under the religious umbrella. For example, if a religion teaches that the living widow of a dead husband should be burned along with the corpse of her dead husband, then secular laws should step in to ban such a practice, or at least to protect those widows who are unwilling to be burned along with their dead husbands (those widows who are happy to be burned can do so).

Another example: if a religion teaches followers to perform terrorist acts to kill many people including innocent people (as it happened before in a Japanese religion), it does not mean that those followers have the right to do terrorist acts just because it falls under the umbrella of "religious beliefs & practices".

There is no such thing that people cannot question other people's religions. People can question their own religion and they can question others' religions. It is up to the religions being critique to see if they can give any reasonable response to those questions and critiques.

fauzisg2 said...

Hi reasonable!

Pls. be reasonable, our main focus is this country, the real environment here. Are the cases like burning the widow along with the corpse of her dead husband and bombing the innocent people occur here?

Pls. be reasonable, that only what I need from you. Thanks.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi fauzisg2,

Thank you for writing this long comment from your perspective. Appreciate that.

These are the issues that I think you probably missed out in my article:

1) You wrote: "About the apostasy in Islam, in our Islamic laws (or Syariah law) perspective, the apostates is a criminals because he is blasphemy against the Allmighty God. So he ought to faced the law called 'hudud'."

There are two things here. First apostasy as a crime. Second such crime need to be dealt with in this temporal world before the Hereafter. I am not disputing the first point. I totally agree that Islam see apostasy as a crime. My dispute is on the second point.

Actually it is not even my dispute because if you notice in my article that I didn't argue from my point of view but simply pointing out several Muslims' point of view that dispute the notion that apostasy should be dealt with before the Hereafter, namely Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Tariq Ramadan, Selim al-Awa, Abdullah Saeed, Hassan Saeed, Shabbir Akhtar, Ali Gomaa, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Fiqh Council of North America, Sheikh Sayyid Tantawi, Irfan Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Omar Farooq, and Ibrahim B. Syed.

2) You wrote: "why you keep questioning about Islam, and try to stop us from practicing our own religion? What right that you have? I think, we should respect to each other, wouldn't we?"

You said that I question Islam, but I am not as I didn't dispute against Islam as practiced by certain quarters in Malaysia. It is the Muslims (Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Tariq Ramadan, Selim al-Awa, Abdullah Saeed, Hassan Saeed, Shabbir Akhtar, Ali Gomaa, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Fiqh Council of North America, Sheikh Sayyid Tantawi, Irfan Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Omar Farooq, and Ibrahim B. Syed.) who question such practices, not me.

I hope you can get this point clear because I didn't dispute against the practice on my own argument but pointing out that these Muslims who do. Hence, there is "Islam" and there is "Islam". When you refer to "Islam" that you defend, it is not the Islam that these other Muslims adhere to. You claim that your "Islam" is the true Islam, while these other Muslims clearly disagree and claim to theirs are the true one. So do be clear that it is not me who question your version of Islam.

3) Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi thinks that his perspective "menurut al-Qur'an and al-Sunnah" yet the other Muslims that I quoted who differ from Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi obvious think that their perspective is ALSO "menurut al-Qur'an and al-Sunnah" as pointed out in my article.

So, there is "Islam" and there is "Islam". Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi's version of "Islam" is obviously a contested one among other Muslims. Besides, again, let's be clear that it is NOT me who question Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi or your version of "Islam" but other Muslims.

Sze Zeng said...

<...continue>

4) You wrote: "The raison d’etre of capital punishment for apostasy is Syariah is that apostasy is repugnant to the faith of Islam on which the Islamic society is founded. If this offence is taken lightly, the collective system of Islam may collapse."

I think the assumption that the allowance of apostasy may warrant the collapse of the "collective system of Islam" is unfounded. Islam is growing rapidly in the European countries like France and England in spite of the allowance of apostasy. This assumption is suspect given the empirical observation in that part of the world. So one can hardly establish the correlation between the allowance of apostasy and the collapse of the collective system of Islam.

5) If Leviticus 24.16 is being read as a normative for Christians to practice today, I will be against it. But Christianity, despite all its different expression, has a strong tradition and consensus in the present time to interpret such passages under the commandment of Jesus Christ. And such hermeneutic has its kin in Islam in the interpretation of the al-Qur'an that prioritizes the Medinan passages than the Meccan. So there shouldn't be difficulty to Muslims to understand how Christians approach such passages from the Bible.

Thank you for reading. Look forward to your reply.

fauzisg2 said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

Since I'm here, hopefully, no more 'incident' of 'hackers' attacking your blog this time.

As you wrote, "Actually it is not even my dispute because if you notice in my article that I didn't argue from my point of view but simply pointing out several Muslims' point of view that dispute the notion that apostasy should be dealt with before the Hereafter". As I already explained before, if the apostate has announced their apostasy only then the hudud law will be applied upon them otherwise if they not announce thier apostasy so they will faced Almighty God themselves in the judgement day as told by Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi when he commented the Qur'anic verse 2:217 which says:

"And if any of you Turn back from their faith And die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit In this life and Hereafter; The will be Companions of the Fire And will abide therein."

You again wrote that some Muslims believe in this, "if such crime need to be dealt with in this temporal world before the Hereafter". There is no contradiction what so ever because as I told you before, if the apostate hiding their apostasy and not announce it so nobody knows about that except Almighty God and we can't dealt with such hiding crime in this temporal world, please understand this, its easy to digest and so academically.

I think I should summarize this issue, 2 conditions:

1. Apostates who have not announced their apostasy so hudud law will not be applied to them and they themselves have to face Almighty God in Hereafter.

2. If Apostates who have announced their apostasy, and only then the hudud law will be applied to them.

I think this is so reasonable and fair enough. There is no issue at all. I hope I'm answering your Q. Thanks.

fauzisg2 said...

Hi again Sze Zeng,

You wrote, "I think the assumption that the allowance of apostasy may warrant the collapse of the "collective system of Islam" is unfounded. Islam is growing rapidly in the European countries like France and England in spite of the allowance of apostasy. This assumption is suspect given the empirical observation in that part of the world. So one can hardly establish the correlation between the allowance of apostasy and the collapse of the collective system of Islam."

No hesitate that Islam is growing rapidly especially in Christians world such as America and European countries but that not means that we should put down the laws of God. For us as a Muslims, we will try our level best to uphold the commandments of God at any time. This is the meaning of Islam, - total submission to the will of God.

But I wonder why so many Apostates in Christendom especially in America and Europe today, even they are among your scholars like Bart Erhman and Barrie Wilson. I think this is because Christians have put down the commandments of God like Leviticus 24:16. And because of that Bart and Barrie continuous to expose the Christianity.

You wrote, "If Leviticus 24.16 is being read as a normative for Christians to practice today, I will be against it.". Who I should believe in you or Jesus? When Jesus himself said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). And Jesus even condemn whosoever break even one of these commandments (Matthew 5:19).

Thanks and regrards.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi fauzisg2,

Ya, the hacking incident was rather unpleasant. Anyway, back to our discussion.

I think you are referring to Qur'anic verse 2.216 rather than 2.217. When we look at 2.216, there is no mention or distinguishing between apostate who denounce Islam silently from those who denounce it openly/publicly. Let me quote 2.216-217 here with some emphasis:

2.216: They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months. Say, "Fighting therein is a great transgression but a greater transgression with Allâh is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allâh, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm, and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And *THEY WILL NEVER CEASE FIGHTING* you until they turn you back from your religion if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever.

2.217: Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated and have striven hard in the Way of Allâh, all these hope for Allâh's Mercy. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.

(I capitalized the emphasis not as a disrespectful act to the Qur'an but to highlight the significant part to understand this verse.)

The "THEY" here refers not to those who simply announce publicly that they have apostasied. The "THEY" here is referring to those who "WILL NEVER CEASE FIGHTING".

And to understand that in the context of Muhammad's (S.A.W.) time, the "FIGHTING" is not mere verbal or intellectual disagreement. It was outright war. Hence it makes sense that in the same verse 2.216, the "THEY" is described as those who also "prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Harâm, and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah."

In other words, the "THEY" in verse 2.216 refers to those who use physical violence to go against the Prophet and the earliest Muslims. Not to those who make their apostasy public.

Besides, this interpretation fits well among Muslims' understanding on the historical context of Muhammad (S.A.W.) that that period is filled with constant war. For instance, Badri Yatim writes:

"[Orang Arab ketika itu] sangat menekankan hubungan kesukuan sehingga kesetiaan atau solidaritas kelompok menjadi sumber kekuatan bagi suatu kabilah atau suku. Mereka suka berperang. Kerana itu, peperangan antara suku sering sekali terjadi. […] Dunia Arab ketika itu merupakan kancah peperangan terus menerus."
(Badri Yatim, Sejarah Peradaban Islam: Dirasah Islamiyah II [Indonesia: PT RajaGrafindo Persada, 1995], p. 11.)

Hence there is no reason to interpret 2.216 to mean that apostates who denounce Islam openly/publicly should be punished before the Hereafter.

This is so for the simple reason that the "THEY" referred to in the Qur'anic verse are not those who merely apostasied publicly but afflicting physical violence on the earliest Muslims. Therefore Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi's interpretation on this verse is suspect.

Sze Zeng said...

<...continue>

You wrote: "There is no contradiction what so ever because as I told you before, if the apostate hiding their apostasy and not announce it so nobody knows about that except Almighty God and we can't dealt with such hiding crime in this temporal world, please understand this, its easy to digest and so academically."

Since I have demonstrated that there is no reason to interpret the "THEY" found in 2.216 as those who make their apostasy public, hence there is no reason to insist that those who make their apostasy public should be dealt with before the Hereafter.

Your summary of 2 points does not stand since the second point, as I have tried to show, is not supported by Qur'anic verse 2.216.

You wrote: "No hesitate that Islam is growing rapidly especially in Christians world such as America and European countries but that not means that we should put down the laws of God. For us as a Muslims, we will try our level best to uphold the commandments of God at any time. This is the meaning of Islam, - total submission to the will of God."

Your acknowledgement of this point verifies that the allowance of apostasy may warrant the collapse of the "collective system of Islam" is INDEED unfounded. This is basically the modest notion that I tried to highlight.

Since this is accepted, then your argument for capital punishment as the raison d’etre of apostasy which is based on an unfounded assumption is itself unfounded.

Of course, you brought up the point that (your words) "that not means that we should put down the laws of God. For us as a Muslims, we will try our level best to uphold the commandments of God at any time. This is the meaning of Islam, - total submission to the will of God."

Yet, it is questionable whether is this so-called "laws of God" that you refer to really are in fact the commandments of God that are to be uphold at any time. I'm sure you know the three different types of laws in Islam, namely hadd, qisas, and ta’zir. There is no ijma (consensus) even in the early history of Islam whether is the law on apostasy should be considered under which category. The Shafi’is and Zhahiris categorized apostasy as a crime requiring hadd punishment, to which the Hanbalis differed. Disagreeing with the Shafi’is, Zhahiris and Hanbalis, the school of thought under Ibn Taymiyyah considered apostasy to be punished under the category of ta’zir. The Maliki jurist al-Baji thought likewise. Ibrahim al-Nakha’i and Sufyan al-Thawri—two renowned Muslim jurists from second century A. H./eighth century A. D.—did not think that apostates should be executed.

So again, there is "Islam", and there is "Islam". Your version of "Islamic laws" is not one that is shared among other Muslims.

There is no warrant to think that your claim of "laws of God" are in fact the commandments of God that are to be uphold at any time since other faithful Muslims, who also claim to be totally submitting to God, disagree with your claim. If this is true, then you are merely totally submitting to your own version of Islamic laws and yet to demonstrate that you are in fact submitting to the actual commandments of God.

You brought up Christendom as example to fuel your (as I have tried to shown) unfounded assumption that the allowance of apostasy may warrant the collapse of the collective system of Islam. That is like saying "Because there are people getting divorce, therefore I shouldn't get married" or "Because there are extremist people who claim themselves as Muslims, therefore I shouldn't be a Muslim." To me, this is a flawed assumption. Don't you think so?

fauzisg2 said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

You Wrote, "Hence there is no reason to interpret 2.216 to mean that apostates who denounce Islam openly/publicly should be punished before the Hereafter." So sorry I don't really understand what you try to emphasize here. Sorry to say this, you seem try to be an expert in Qur'anic commentary even though you have totally mislead the meaning of the verse. And you even pointed the wrong verse (should be 2:217 instead of 2:216). Actually our discussion is on the last portion of 2:217, which says:

"And if any of you Turn back from their faith And die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit In this life and Hereafter; The will be Companions of the File And will abide therein."

This verse has nothing to do with fighting or what so ever as said by you, it is totally has separated meaning from the rest of the verse. Actually if you noticed, sometimes at the end of some Qur'anic verses Almighty God will remind something which sometimes not even related with the meaning prior it. Normally at the last portion of the verses, sometimes Almighty God uses it as to inform or refresh upon the faith or warn on something or even to guide the believer upon the faith or etc. etc.

As you try to do your own commentary on Qur’anic verse - it will not work that way, Qur’an is not a Bible which you can comment or formulated anything as you like within it (i.e. to predict when the last day is). We rather take the commentary from our authoritative scholar who are expert on this field like Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi and others.

So at the end of verse 2:217 clearly stated that whosoever become apostate silently and remain in that condition until death so they will faced the Almighty God for punishment. So my point is still standing, that hudud law will not be applied to whom who not announce his apostasy, but once you announce it so you has applied the hudud law to yourself.

Again in OT has the law upon apostasy, pls. read Deuteronomy 13:6-10 and the punishment for apostasy is, “put him to death..” (Deuteronomy 13:9).

Even in Christianity, according to Hastings' 'Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics'(Clark, London) in volume 1, page 623 says, "And in Christianity, 'Wilful apostasy was, of course, an inexpiable offence, and ranked with murder and adultery". So apostasy is so serious even in Christianity too but I wonder you have wrote this, "If Leviticus 24.16 is being read as a normative for Christians to practice today, I will be against it.". Who I should believe in you or Jesus? When Jesus himself said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). And Jesus even condemn whosoever break even one of these commandments (Matthew 5:19). Please explain on this.

Regards.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi fauzisg2,

You are right that I have mistaken 216 to 217. Thank you for correcting me. Appreciate that. The mistake is because the Qur'an I refer to has the verse number at the back of the verse rather than the beginning of the verse. I wrongly assume that all versions of Qur'an has the verse number in front of the verse. It appears that some have it in front, some after. Anyway, back to our discussion.

You wrote: "This verse has nothing to do with fighting or what so ever as said by you, it is totally has separated meaning from the rest of the verse. Actually if you noticed, sometimes at the end of some Qur'anic verses Almighty God will remind something which sometimes not even related with the meaning prior it."

This seems to me that you disregard the context of the Qur'anic verse 2.217 for the sake of supporting your own skewed interpretation of the text. If this is the case, then let me follow your interpretation method by quoting three passages from the Qur'an:

‘Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion,’ [Quran, 109:6], and, ‘Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve,’ [Quran, 18:29], and, ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ [Quran, 2:256]

These passages show that God is okay with people choosing their religion, regardless whether are they Muslims or not, and whether they announce it publicly or not.

So according to your method, these verses are used by God "as to inform or refresh upon the faith or warn on something or even to guide the believer upon the faith or etc. etc."

Of course you will disagree with me by invoking the authoritative scholar you favor, namely Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi.

So I'll follow along your method of simply invoking authority. Here, I shall invoke an authoritative scholar too, namely Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa, who commented on these verses that Muslims can chose to switch to other religion without facing punishment before Hereafter regardless they make their apostasy public or not.

So even if I play along your rule, it still yet to be demonstrated that your interpretation of 2.217 represents the actual commandment of God as I have pointed out other verses, which using your own method, go against 2.217.

So again, my point is that there is "Islam", and there is "Islam". If this is true, then you are merely totally submitting to your own version of Islamic laws and yet to demonstrate that you are in fact submitting to the actual commandments of God.

On apostasy law in OT. First of all, I never deny there isn't apostasy law in OT. Please be clear on this and hopefully you can perhaps stop accusing me for denying what I dont.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17).

Notice that Jesus was referring to himself as the one who fulfills the law. It is NOT that he was commanding his followers should fulfill the laws, as you interpret it to be.

Let me recap our conversation so far in 3 points so that we have clearer picture where we stand:

1) As I have shown it is NOT me who is questioning Islam, as you previously accused me to be when you wrote "why you keep questioning about Islam, and try to stop us from practicing our own religion? What right that you have? I think, we should respect to each other, wouldn't we?"

Sze Zeng said...

<...continue>

2) Your arguments:
(a) "The raison d’etre of capital punishment for apostasy is Syariah is that apostasy is repugnant to the faith of Islam on which the Islamic society is founded. If this offence is taken lightly, the collective system of Islam may collapse" and

(b) "No hesitate that Islam is growing rapidly especially in Christians world such as America and European countries but that not means that we should put down the laws of God"

These two arguments have been demonstrated as unfounded because of flawed assumptions. Hence they cannot be used as reasons to justify punishment for apostasy be it apostasy that is public or not.

3) The REAL contention between us is whether are there Qur'anic verses that sanction punishment for apostasy that is made public.

(a) You pointed out 2.217.

(b) I pointed out that this verse cannot be interpreted separated from its context.

(c) You replied that this verse can be interpreted (your words) "totally separated" from the rest of the verses.

(d) I replied that I will follow your method and pointed out three other Qur'anic verses that allow people, including Muslims, to choose their own religion without the differentiating between silent apostasy or public apostasy.

(e) I anticipated your reply would be that you invoke your favor Islamic scholar.

(f) If that's the case, then I would invoke another Islamic scholar who is no less faithful as a Muslim than the Islamic scholar you invoke.

(g) If that's the case, then my point that you and your favor Islamic scholar have no monopoly over "Islam" since there are other version of "Islam" embraced by other faithful Muslims that is obviously different from yours.

Thank you for reading. Look forward to your reply.

fauzisg2 said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

You should understand Islam as it is. And as you (and somebody else including Muslims) who try to force your opinion on it, that means that you are questioning Islam which in turn you also will not feel comfortable if we Muslims do the same for Christianity. About the opinions among the scholars, they can give their opinion but our Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh – the Syariah Islamic laws) is based directly on the Quran and Sunnah (hadiths):

As prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h said:

“Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Bukhaari in his Saheeh) and:

“It is not permissible to shed the blood of a person who bears witness that there is no god but Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allah except in three cases: a life for a life, a previously-married person who commits adultery, and ONE WHO LEAVES ISLAM and forsakes the jamaa’ah.” (Bukhaari and Muslim in their saheeh).

So these are the final authority which wipe out any other opinion that against these two hadiths. And when we take Al-Baqarah:217 into account the final laws will be as these:

[1] Islam will not punish the apostates unless he/she announce it to the public as what our learned scholar, Syaikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi tell us when he did the commentary on Qur'anic verse al-Baqarah 2:217.

[2] The apostates who have announced their apostasy will applied to themselves the hudud laws (as stated in two hadiths in above).

Because of these two hadiths dan Qur’anic verse (2:217), our majority scholars (ijmak) have come to conclusion that the final laws as stated in [1] and [2] in above and have rejects the minority opinion as they are against the sunnah of our prophet.

You wrote, “You are right that I have mistaken 216 to 217. Thank you for correcting me. Appreciate that. The mistake is because the Qur'an I refer to has the verse number at the back of the verse rather than the beginning of the verse.” So even you yourself are not familiar with Qur’an (and even the number of its verse) so next time pls. do not try to create your own commentary on it cause you may lead to astray and disregards our holy book.

Since in OT also has the apostasy laws (Deuteronomy 13:10, Leviticus 24:16) so what make so difficult for you to accepts or at least respect our Islamic jurisprudence then?

You wrote, “Notice that Jesus was referring to himself as the one who fulfills the law. It is NOT that he was commanding his followers should fulfill the laws, as you interpret it to be.” You are contradicted the teaching of Jesus p.b.u.h. If Jesus not ask his follower to abide with the laws (as you claimed to be), why he condemn whosoever break even a law? As stated in Matthew 5:19 says:

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…”

I hope to you can understand that the teaching of the Bible (Deuteronomy 13:10, Leviticus 24:16) about the punishment of the apostate can go hand and hand with the teaching of Almighty God in Qur’an and there is no reason for you as Christian to question it. And this is my final answer for you.

Regards

Sze Zeng said...

Hi fauzisg2,

You wrote: "You should understand Islam as it is. And as you (and somebody else including Muslims) who try to force your opinion on it, that means that you are questioning Islam which in turn you also will not feel comfortable if we Muslims do the same for Christianity."

In my view, you are saying that I should understand "Islam" as you claim as it is. You brought up your favor Fiqh. Sure, I will also invoke another Fiqh which differs with you. This is the public statement of Fiqh Council of North America:

“Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran [10.99, 18.29, 42.48, and 2.256]."

If you said that the Fiqh I invoked is irrelevant because it is not in Malaysia, then that simply means there is one version of "Islam" in America, and another version of "Islam" in Malaysia. Again, this is my point, there is "Islam" and there is "Islam".

So even you by invoking Fiqh does not make the case that your and your favorite Muslim scholar's interpretation of the Qur'an does not have monopoly over "Islam" since there are other version of "Islam" embraced by other faithful Muslims and espoused by other Fiqh that is obviously different from yours and your favourite Islamic scholars. Hence it is still not demonstratable on your part that Al-Baqarah:217 as how you understand it is in fact the commandment of God.

Sze Zeng said...

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You pointed out that Hadith. Again, you are applying your interpretation method that reads the Hadith out of context, as how you read Al-Baqarah:217 "totally separated" from other verses. It seems to me that you are some who read not only the Qur'an but also the Hadith out of context. In that case, it is amusing when you demand the other commentator on this blog by the nick 'reasonable' to be contextual by focusing (your words) "in this country". So it seems that when the argument favors your position, you will appeal to contextual interpretation, when argument does not favor your position, you will reject contextual interpretation. The same pattern is seen in your appeal to Islamic scholars and Fiqh. Those who support your position are the true representation of "Islam", while other Muslims who are no less faithful and submissive to God as you but differ from you are being rejected as not representing "Islam". so it seems to me that everything is about your favored position, your favourite scholars and favored Fiqh. It's about you, you, and you.

Anyway, if you are interested to know how other Muslim scholars and authoritative commentators (who are no less faithful and learned than your favourite scholars) understand the Hadith you have quoted, I shall just paste from Abdullah and Hassan Saeed's work for your reference:

"A number of versions of this hadith exist. Shawkani gives several that explain what is meant by the phrase 'the one who turns renegade from Islam (apostate) and leaves the community of Muslims'. One version known as 'A'ishah's version, says, 'And a man who leaves Islam and engages in fighting against Allah and His Prophet shall be executed, crucified and exiled.' This version makes clear connection between apostasy and fighting against the Muslim community. IN THIS CONTEXT, it is also interesting to note that a number of scholars discuss the case of apostates along with that of those who take up arms against Muslims (muharibun), as the hadith scholar, Muslim b. Hajjaj, did in his collection of hadith (sahih Muslim). The title of the chapter in the Sahih is 'Ruling relating to muharibun and apostates', making a clear connection between apostasy and fighting against Muslims.

"This evidence points to a strong connection between the punishment mentioned in the hadith and the reference to alienation from the Muslim community, and to rebelling and fighting against the community. This suggests that the punishment is meant for those who repudiate Islam, join the enemey and struggle to inflict harm upon the Muslim community and Islam."

(Abdullah Saeed and Hassan Saeed, Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam [UK: Ashgate, 2004], p.59-60. Capitalization added.)

I guess you will just ignore the context of the hadith you quoted and affirm your position as representation of Islam. If that is the case, then you should also be consistent to grant others, whose position is different from you, to quote Qur'an and Hadith out of context and affirm them as representation of Islam.

Sze Zeng said...

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You wrote: "So even you yourself are not familiar with Qur’an (and even the number of its verse) so next time pls. do not try to create your own commentary on it cause you may lead to astray and disregards our holy book."

I admit my mistake and am open to be corrected because I adhere to an aspect of tawhid theology that only God is perfect and hence has nothing to be corrected. And you charged me as giving MY OWN commentary but all this while I have been only quoting other Muslim scholars and Fiqh that comment on the Qur'an and Hadith. I see that you have this tendency to see me, a non-Muslim, as the one who is incline to question your position (as noticeable in your first comment as well as the latest one), but the fact is all this while I am just pointing out other Islamic authority that differs from you and not my own interpretation. Well, you can of course continue to ignore the fact that it is NOT me who question your position, but other Muslim authorities, and so continue to launch false accusation on me as the one who question your standing.

Your interpretation method on the Bible is obviously the same method you used on the Qur'an and Hadith. However your interpretation method is disagreeable even among other Muslims, as I have pointed out, and hence it is not that your interpretation is disagreeable to only Christians (which is the reason why you don't understand how Christians approach the relation between Jesus' relation to the OT laws and the Christians' relation to the OT laws THROUGH Jesus) and but it is on its own questionable.

And just to make it clear what do I mean by your interpretation method, it is this: when the argument favors your position, you will appeal to contextual interpretation, when argument does not favor your position, you will reject contextual interpretation.

reasonable said...

Hi fauzisg2,

Those examples I cited in my previous comment are to illustrate this principle: no religion is immuned from being questioned, be it by fellow members or by outsiders.

(I assume you agree with me that it is alright for outsiders to step in to prevent certain religious followers to carry out their version of religious practice of terrorism or another religion's religious practice of burning widows)

If the principle is true, then Islam (like any other religion) should not be immuned from being questioned by Muslims and non-Muslims.

No one should stop Muslims & non-Muslims to question or to give critiques of Islamic teachings or practices. It is up to Islam to offer any reasonable answers to those questions and critiques.

On another matter, Sze Zeng has shown that there are important ISLAMIC AUTHORITIES that disagreed with your INTERPRETATION of the hadiths and Qur'an regarding the issue of apostasy.

It is a case of one Islamic interpretation against another.

reasonable said...

Hi fauzisg2, you also said that "As this is a free country, so who has right to stop Christians, Hindus or Buddhist from practicing their own religion? No! nobody has right to do that"

1. If what you said is true, then you have not right to tell others not to question your religion or to give critiques of your religion. Some religions/worldviews (including Buddhism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Christianity) tell their followers to question things they come across instead of blindly believing in those things. Question and test all teachings, and then keep only those that pass the test. If a religion have good/reasonable answers to the questions, then that religion does not need to fear being questioned.

If what you said is true, that no body has any right to stop Christian from practising their religion, then no one has the right to stop Christians to practise their religion which involves an active conversion of people, including converting Muslims, into Christianity. Evangelism is a fundamental part of practising Christianity :)