July 26th, 2010

Death for apostasy

EW: As we've established, according to Islam, the Quran is the most important book, and the hadith collection by Sahih Bukhari is the second most important.  As we've also established, Allah is all powerful, so there's nothing in these books that Allah wouldn't want included.  With that in mind, let's take a look at Bukhari's book:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'

Bukhari Volume 9 Book 83, Number 37)

I said, "By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57

Narrated 'Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58

Abu Musa said, "I came to the Prophet along with two men (from the tribe) of Ash'ariyin, one on my right and the other on my left, while Allah's Apostle was brushing his teeth (with a Siwak), and both men asked him for some employment. The Prophet said, 'O Abu Musa (O 'Abdullah bin Qais!).' I said, 'By Him Who sent you with the Truth, these two men did not tell me what was in their hearts and I did not feel (realize) that they were seeking employment.' As if I were looking now at his Siwak being drawn to a corner under his lips, and he said, 'We never (or, we do not) appoint for our affairs anyone who seeks to be employed. But O Abu Musa! (or 'Abdullah bin Qais!) Go to Yemen.'" The Prophet then sent Mu'adh bin Jabal after him and when Mu'adh reached him, he spread out a cushion for him and requested him to get down (and sit on the cushion). Behold: There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu'adh asked, "Who is this (man)?" Abu Muisa said, "He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism." Then Abu Muisa requested Mu'adh to sit down but Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, "Then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, 'I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.'"

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64:

Narrated 'Ali:

Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."

Obviously, this is of great importance. Your god would have not allowed something like, "If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him" into his holy book unless this is how he feels.

Your god/prophet could have said something like, "If a Muslim discards his religion, that's his personal choice. However, this is God's plan for salvation, so he will have to answer to God in the afterlife.  Because this is true, you should do everything you can to bring him back to the true faith".

Muhammad could have said something like that, but he didn't. Instead, he said, "If a man discards his religion, kill him".
In your personal opinion,  why do you believe your prophet said to kill apostates instead of something more peaceful and loving?

Dr. Naik: (He'll probably try to go the "There are fake hadith" route, so be sure to remind him that Allah is all powerful, and that if Allah didn't want such statements in his holy books, they wouldn't be there.  Also, I realize that's a lot to read, so you don't necessarily have to read all of them, but of course, the more you present, the fewer escape options he'll have).

The vagueness of 5:33

5:33 is an excellent verse to use in numerous arguments.  Here, we'll simply read the verse and get our tolerant, peaceful Muslim leader to get us to explain why his god was so deliberately vague on such a serious issue.

EW: You earlier mentioned Quranic verse 5:32, which tells us that "if anyone killed a person, it would be as if he had killed all of humanity".  That's really nice.  But 5:33 seems doesn't seem nearly as "loving and tolerant".

Let's take a look at it:

(It might be worth reading a couple of the different "respected" translations just to limit his "mistranslated, misinterpreted" options).

YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter

PICKTHAL: The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom

SHAKIR: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement

So we see that your god said that those who "wage war against Allah" or "make mischief" should be executed, crucified or dismembered. 

Now, it might just be me, but it seems like execution, crucifixion, and dismemberment are pretty serious punishments.  I would think that the grounds for such terrible punishments should be clearly defined. 

For example, we might say, "Any grown man who has sex with a child should be executed".

Or we might say, "Anyone who owns slaves, or engages in the slave trade should have his hands cut off".

But for some reason, the god of the Quran said, "those who wage war against Allah or make mischief should be executed, crucified or dismembered".

In your opinion, what constitutes "waging war against Allah" or "making mischief"? 

Also, why do you think your god was so deliberately vague about such a terribly serious matter?

Dr. Naik: (I genuinely have no idea how he might respond to this; I've personally never heard a decent response, so it should work quite well).