Friday, November 11, 2011

Mohd. Asri Zainul Abidin on Allah's punishment on apostasy

Interesting short dialog between Nik Nor Zafirah (Zaffyaffendi)  and Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (Dr MAZA), Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at University Science Malaysia who is a former Mufti of the state of Perlis, Malaysia, sparked by article I wrote on New Mandala website.

You can read the dialog in Malay at the right column of the snippet above. Otherwise, here is the English translation (emphasis added): 

Zaffyaffendi: Dr MAZA, need your opinion on the apostasy article and how valid is it? 
Dr MAZA: Yes, I agree that that is the opinion of some scholars. 
Zaffyaffendi: Then, does that means apostasy from Islam is allowed without punishment if it does not threaten or belittle Islam? 
Dr MAZA: That is the view of some scholars. 
Zaffyaffendi: Yes, I understand. But the view of scholars is misguided at times too. So does this opinion contradict Allah's law? 
Dr MAZA: Allah never mentioned any particular punishment on that.

Following that, Zaffyaffendi twitted:


noraniabubakar said...

Hi Joshua,

Regarding punishment to converts - Professor Hashim Kamali of IAIS and some Islamic scholars agree that apostasy from Islam is a sin but temporal punishment is not stated in Quran. There is also no primary sources that evidence such punishment was executed by P.Muhammad.

However, most Islamic scholars agree that the ummat is still responsible to invite converts from Islam to repent.

This is one of the sources of the problems; those who are given the authority to counsel are not well-trained. Many failed to exercise counseling with "love."

The state and federal governments are partially responsible to such unfair and sometimes inhumane treatment, mainly because they failed to educate and train these leaders well.

It will be good if full time clergies who work with converts attend chaplaincy training such as one offered by Hartford Seminary.


Sze Zeng said...

Hi Norani,

Well said. The Malaysian authority needs to work on clergy-training and also adjust their legal system regarding this matter.

Personally, I think the state's interest has rendered some local Muslim clergies a sort of "superior complexity" where they have been fed with a sense that they are superior than other religious community in their dealing with interreligious matters. The recent JAIS raid is an example.

It is understandable why this is happening as the "playing field" is not level.

So yea, training of clergies is indeed important. :)