Apostasy Among Muslims In The West

Many Muslims and others repeatedly claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. If there is truth in this claim, it may have more to do with relatively higher birth-rates among Muslim communities than higher rates of conversion to Islam. In any case, the claim somehow deflects attention from a painful reality especially in the UK that many Muslim men and women, those brought up in traditionally Muslim families and, in fewer cases, those who accepted Islam as ‘new’ Muslims, are turning away from Islam. A few make a point of publicly declaring their apostasy and their hatred of Islam, which the media then happily popularise.

Freedom of thought and belief is an important ideal that deserves to be respected by all communities, especially when it is expressed in the form of the positive, religious virtues of tolerance, forbearance, and patience with the doubts and questions of others. The ideal is less impressive when it is a passive, uncaring and careless, indulgence, which lets anyone think and behave as they please so long as no immediate physical harm is done to anyone else: in this attitude there is no concern for harm to the social-ethical environment that becomes apparent only in the longer term, in the same way as damage to the natural environment becomes apparent only in the longer term.

It is a serious failing on the part of Muslims, of their families and their teachers and their institutions, that they are unable to deal with the doubts and questions from within their own community with tolerance, forbearance and patience. Far from striving to understand these doubts and questions, they seek refuge in assertions of group identity, and directly or indirectly reject those who have doubts and questions. Those who doubt and question are either told that they “do not belong”, or they are made to feel that they “do not belong”. Then, sooner or later, publicly or in secret, the feeling of “not belonging” matures into actively “not believing”.

We cannot be indifferent to this outcome. It is a part of every Muslim’s responsibility to contribute, in the best way, to the protection and defence of the religion, which includes educating the young and new Muslims in such a way that they believe in the rightness and benefits of worshipping God in loving obedience. For sure, we will be questioned in the hereafter as to how conscientiously we discharged this responsibility.

First and foremost, we should ensure that, in our homes and in our public life, there is a correspondence between what we say and what we do. It is possible for a hospital nurse to do all the tasks and routines that make up looking after the sick but do them coldly, shutterstock_146952725reluctantly, just for the monthly salary, without any effort of warmth for the situation of the patients, without any care for whether they get better or get worse.

Such a nurse does not inspire respect for the nursing profession, even if the individual acts professionally and executes all the routines correctly: all of that is not enough; there has to be the unpaid, unspecifiable “more” of care and concern for the sick. In the same way, a minimal obedience to the outward forms and expressions of being Muslim is not enough. Obedience and dutifulness must be combined with an active willingness, a loving consent, to do them. God has so created human beings that real, lasting consent is not possible for us without love for, and understanding of, our obligations. Both, the love and the understanding, become embedded in us from the words and example of those who teach us what the obligations are. We learn, implicitly, from the general behaviour, temperament and manners of our teachers and elders that they believe in the worth of the obligations they pass on to us. That belief is, without direct speech, communicated to us through its effects in unselfishness, softness of speech, humility, steadfastness, and all the other virtues and graces that dignify human life. By contrast, one who does all his or her formal obligations rigorously and strictly but otherwise behaves horribly, is selfish, self-righteous, arrogant, impatient with the lapses or shortcomings of others, will not inspire respect for the religion that he or she claims to adhere to.

Secondly, we must learn to accept the historical reality that it is a long, long time in the past that Muslim societies, anywhere in the world, were in control of the many different areas of thought and behaviour that make up collective life. In some places, roughly six shutterstock_83239159generations have passed since it was the case that the norms and rules of an Islamic lifestyle pervaded the curriculums of study in schools and colleges, or informed economic and political choices, or international relations, and the like. Accordingly, over this long time, Islamic life-style, and the learning that goes with it, has shrunk to the core areas of the rites of prayer, fasting and pilgrimage. It is a mistake with very serious consequences that teachers who have studied these core areas — and not studied all the other matters that used to be an integral part of the education of the ulema – tend to stipulate, for all areas of life, those conditions (norms and rules) that are appropriate for the special, formal occasions of the rites. It is not practical to require that the ways of dress, speech, walking, sitting, standing that need to be observed when (for example) attending prayer in a masjid or in a private place, must also be observed when going about everyday business, like shopping or going to work and the like. To demand, of oneself or others, what is not practically possible, is a form of tyranny. Every Muslim knows that our master and guide, God pray over him and give him peace, repeatedly affirmed that he was not sent to make our lives hard but to make them easy in the long term, and this “long term” must include the hereafter. We can neither preserve what we have from our past, nor build up for the future, without patient attention to the realities of life and steadfast devotion and reliance on God.

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Thirdly, we should respect all the questions raised by children in the home or by students in the school or college. Respect means a number of things: (1) accepting that the questioner is sincere; (2) doing our best to understand the full import of the question, what is behind it and what is after it (this is especially important as the questioner usually does not know how to express their concern clearly); (3) ignoring any deliberate or unintentional disrespect for the religion or for the teacher of the religion in the manners of the questioner or in the content of their question; and (4) allowing the question.

The last mentioned is, perhaps, the most important condition. The teacher needs to make the questioner feel that asking a question or having a doubt is a proper, normal part of the human need to know and understand so that one may give one’s consent, willingly and with love, to what the religion commands. It is necessary that the teacher should indicate the limit of his or her knowledge, should not claim certainty where there is none, and agree that disagreement on certain matters is manageable within the community. This is at the heart of allowing the question. Without this allowing, the teacher denies to him or herself the opportunity to develop the virtues of humility and forbearance. Worse, he or she reduces believing to belonging.

Fourthly, it is important to distinguish religious conformity from cultural conformity. The distinction between the two is not always easy to make because religions inform civilisation and culture, but often it is not that hard either. It is much easier to belong than to believe, so for teachers and learners alike, it is easier if people just go along with (i.e., more or less imitate) what they see others in their group doing. But the truth is that the rewards of a life lived with religious seriousness do not come by this easier route. There is no shortcut to avoid the effort of reflecting on what is most or more important, what is less. Of the most important things, the most important is an informed and dedicated conscience, a clear intention, an educated will to do the right thing. This is not achieved by conforming alone, understanding and consent are necessary. In the process, there is trial and error, and so long as individuals and community do not abandon the effort, the end is success. It may help to make an analogy with how we use language: we often mis-speak, mis-hear and mis-understand what is said to us; only if we refuse to listen any longer, only if we refuse to invite the person to try again and say what they think they mean, do we end up with a complete failure of communication. Any parent who has tried to understand their child’s efforts to recount what happened to them during the day knows that it is necessary to give them the time and opportunity to find the right words in which to tell their story.

Finally, it is worth stressing what is so obvious it never gets mentioned: that we distinguish the duty to say clearly and courageously what is right, according to our knowledge and understanding, from the duty to impose that understanding on whoever disagrees with us. The best of Muslims have always said that before we declare someone an unbeliever — the most extreme form of telling someone that they do not belong — we must first exhaust every possible reason, every possible excuse, for not doing so.

Nearly always, disagreements can be managed, they do not need to be annulled. Had God willed it, it is no matter for Him to have made us all uniformly believers, a single homogenous community, alike in tastes and traits and aspirations, but He did not do so. Our differences, within and between confessional communities, are His means of building in us a sense of proportion about our own sense of righteousness and our capacity to accomplish our aims. The only absolute certainty is that we can neither be right nor achieve our aims without acknowledging our dependence on Him and putting our trust in Him, rather than in ourselves. We are absolutely indebted creatures: we need to develop the humility that goes with that.

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33 responses to “Apostasy Among Muslims In The West”

  1. Ariba says:

    Assalaamoalaikum.
    This was much needed. JazakAllah khair

    • dayana says:

      I would like to say to the writer to remove the picture of hijabi women .To the writer, I would like to comment on the muslimmaters article regarding apostasy among muslims in the united kingdom.There is one problem and that is the picture of the muslim hijabi women which is in the article had one of the women’s hands exposed more than necessary as a muslim woman should cover their hands until further up the wrist, but the woman’s hand is exposed more than necessary ij the picture. I know this sounds like small matter but this is involving a muslim woman’s awrah and causes difficulties when a muslim men came across this article and view her awrah.The picture should be removed and replaced with another one.I know the writer meant well but however this matter should be taken into consideration. Peace.

  2. Abu Haazim says:

    Jazak Allah Shaykh Nadwi for this insight. I always wondered how messed up our priorities were when the masjid would rock with Takbirs upon someone’s accepting Islam and at the same, many Muslims especially amongst the youth were not getting the answers that would satisfy them intellectually and they had serious doubts about Islam and some were openly rejecting Islam.

    A friend of mine while rushing to the masjid to join the jamaat which had already started saw a teenager playing basketball(in masjid’s gym) and asked him to come and pray(and it was in a nice way) and the kid responded back that he was not a muslim!

    And while all this happens, some of us are so obssessed with whether one should follow a madhab or be a salafi or lashing at sufis, 8/20 taraweeh, eid with local sighting or Saudi etc etc

    May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on us and give us tawfeeq to set our priorities straight.

  3. Ivory Tower says:

    One of the most eloquent and pertinent articles I’ve read on MM.

  4. Adey. says:

    Asalam aleikum.
    This is a brilliant piece from an enlightened mind.

  5. Razan says:

    Assalamu alaykum,

    Is there anywhere where we can send in our own questions to the sheikh? He seems to have grappled with hard issues in Islam, and controversial ones – I have a question that I think that he would be able to answer specifically as a scholar of Hadith.

  6. Tolerance says:

    I may have misunderstood the author, in his writing I do not read anything about how to deal with apostasy in the west or how it is regulated by Islam. Would you please elaborate on that?
    As I understand, Islam kills apostates, there are several occurrences in the life of Mohamed where he killed apostates. Right?

    • Ismail says:

      Apostates are give the chance to repent and return back to Islam, a total of 3 times. How? Well, someone or people with knowledge and understanding of the religion should be consulted with said apostate, where he/she would attempt to clarify their doubts and explain the religion better. I know the Daily Mail / Fox News etc. likes to go with this angle, but it doesn’t work like, “Oh, you’re an apostate? BAM! There goes your head.”

      Anyway, I do not claim to be a scholar, nor is English my first language, perhaps someone could help me out more eloquently?

      • Tolerance says:

        Ismail, so you are saying that an apostate should be told 3 times to repent and/or have someone explain Islam to him in a way to get back to Islam and if after this is done and he/she still reject Islam then it is OK to ” BAM! There goes his/her head.”
        You are not getting it. I am telling you that no matter what you should never execute a person for his religious belief or lack of it.

        I really cannot understand your logical thinking and justifications of such a crime no matter what Islam’s teaches. Let me know if you want to debate this more. Thank you.

        FYI: I am no fan of the Daily Mail / Fox News etc. I follow logic and this apostasy rule is just inhuman and immoral.

    • Majid says:

      Wa’alaykum Salam brother, as far as I know, there were NO instances in the life of God’s messenger (s) where he killed apostates, but rather he let apostates leave Islam without an issue (see http://sunnah.com/bukhari/96/52). In the conditions of the Treaty of Hudaybia, he (s) allowed apostasy (people who left Medina for Mecca were free to do so). The actual sunnah of God’s messenger (s) thus shows immense confidence that apostasy does not harm Islam or God in the least.

    • Shahin says:

      Salaams/Peace Tolerance, the reason the author was very subtle in his article is due to the sensitivity of the topic and controversy surrounding it, well I would assume. I tend to ramble ona bit, but I’ll try to be brief, please bear with me.

      The reason some people were killed for apostasy during the time of Muhammad (SAW) was due to their degree of influence and opposition to Islam. Even if we lived in an Islamic state, even if it is governed under the shariah as we know it today, who’s punishment is death for apostasy, there would have to be a proper court proceeding and judgement passed before the sentence of death can be carried out. It doesnt mean people have any right to become vigilantes and start doing things according to their limited judments.

      But in a nutshell, the Quran does not stipulate the death penalty for apostasy, and the reason that apostates were killed in certain circumstances during the time of Muhammad (SAW) and the reason the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) spent most of his time as leader fighting against the apostates was because they were a danger not only to the entire social order which had been established by Muhammad (SAW), but also to the religion of Islam, and the peace of the entire arabia as a whole, most of which was almost entirely under Muslim rule by then. And not due to compulsion of course, as the western media would have you believe.

      Rather Allah says, “let there be no compulsion in religion, truth stands clear from falsehood”, which is the answer Muhammad (SAW) once gave a man when her asked whether he should compell his 2 sons who were Christian to believe in Islam, he said, “No, there is no compulsion in religion”.

      I recommend you read this article which a read some time ago. It confirmed what I had already believed, and I agreed with most of what the author said. My humble advice, please read the article as per the link below.

      http://www.ascertainthetruth.com/att/index.php/al-islam/understaningalislam/61-death-for-apostasy-is-un-islamic-and-not-in-the-quran

      I havent read much else on the site, so please be careful of what you read and always verify the information before making any judgement or internalising any of it.

      Please forgive any inaccuracies in my post. Im no mufti or authority on religion to pass any fatwa (judgement), all this is in my humble opinion, and whatever giood comes of this post is but a grace and favour upon me by Allah, and all bad is my own deficiency.

      My advice to all readers who want a clear unbiased perspective pertinant to this topic, please, read the link provided.

      May Allah the Most Merciful bless us and guide us all to the path of righteousness. Ameen

  7. Jamila says:

    MashaAllah! This is so true, and alhamdulillah we have some scholars like you. May Allah reward you.

  8. Kalimatil says:

    Asalamualaykum such an important (and slightly taboo) topic and it is addressed in a most respectful and appropriate way.

    It is VERY true that if someone does not feel welcomed in Islam, pretty soon they will also see no reason to be a part of the faith that seemingly rejects them. We each have such an important role to play. What a difference we can make with a smile and loving words and company. Speaking from experience of times when I went through my own doubts.

  9. sid says:

    I have dealt with a number of muslim apostates and their reasons for leaving their religion.
    Many have left because of their perception of what Islam is. what is this perception?
    Well it is the image of Islam portrayed by Wahabism and this takes centre stage.

    Many institutions and organisations have adopted Wahabi versions of Islam.
    This is thanks to decades of indocdrintation and propaganda spewed by Saudi to turn the entire muslim world into wahabis, the plan is working pretty well.

    But why is wahabism a problem? Well incase you have been living on Mars, you would only need to look at the media to see why it is a problem. Every time of extreme, absurd, reactionary, violent, savage and blood thirsty action that some muslim or another commits almost always can be traced back to the wahabi manhaj which lacks compassion, mercy, tolerance and a high level of comprehension.

    Wahabism teaches its follows to reject legal precedents, reject the islamic schools of thought, and adopt a literalist interpretation of the text.

    This website, and Dr Nadwai and other moderate wahabi orientated organisations will not accept their responsbility for imparting this mind set amongst their followers and students.

    And it is the actions of this wahabi mind set that is causing revulsion in born muslims, convert muslims and non-muslims.

    The wahabi literalism that cant tolerate difference of opinions, or expression or art or science or political views.
    You cant even pray in a wahabi orientated mosque without being harassed for the way you stand, or hold your hands or the length of your trousers and you expect these neanderthals to understand and tolerate higher levels of disagreements?

    I personally avoid praying around or near someone who even hints at that kind of mind set, and Im pretty liberal. why because I am repulsed by the behaviour, I would rather stay away from a mosque over run with those kind of people than have to deal with their revolting behaviour.

    The behaviour of these people is driving people away not in the 100s but thousands.
    People simply say, if this is Islam I’d rather not bother. Who wants to defend these savages everyday to work colleagues or friends or neighbours, its easier to just say you are not muslim for many people.

    Im tired of having to try to clear up the mess of wahabism.
    You meet apostates and their objections stem from what they think Islam is based on wahabi version of Islam.
    The violence, backwardness, harshness, sectarianism, hatred for science, tolerance, poetry, art, progress, women’s issues etc;

    It is my view that all the wahabi set ups such Muslim matters, maghrib, institute, madinah univeristy, dr akram etc; are all responsible directly or indirectly for creating a revulsion towards Islam because of their wahabi literalism.

    But do they have the courage to admit it??? No they will blame the media or mosque committee, but not the clerics who are indoctrinating their followers to be savage morons.

    • Kibda Dabal says:

      I lost my faith twice after being exposed to wahhabism, as someone who grew up in saudi arabia learning islam there I always asusmed this is how horrible islam is and both times that returned my faith was a moderate interpretation of islam, now the islam that brought me back is not really islam at all its mostly secularism that was picked up by the scholars a few years ago. But beggars cant be choosers am I right?

    • Abu Milk Sheikh says:

      Preach, brother! Fight intolerance and ignorance with more intolerance and ignorance!

  10. Kibda Dabal says:

    This guy has been repeatedly calling me a kuffar ever since I told him that if sharia is really what ISIS is doing then I dont want to be any part of it. Ofcourse I pray 5 times a day (or atleast try) and I believe in Allah but this guy keeps calling me a kuffar whenever he sees me and akss me if I have repented or not.

  11. Former Muslimah says:

    Well then I have a question.

    WHy in Islam is belief more important than being the good person? And why is disbelief punished so strong with hellfire and boiling hot water and torture forever, when it is only correct or incorrect judgement on some factual matter. This is even more serious when you see there is no conclusive proof for Islam to begin with.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX3IBHf1oLY

    I would never lay a hand on my daughter if she told me the world is flat.

    It makes more sense to me that belief is #1 in Islam because it was a good way of uniting the Arab tribes to rise into power, rather than God being so strangely punishing for a thought crime.

    • sperc says:

      Excellent question – please read:
      http://spiritualperception.org/portfolio/akhlaq-the-value-of-values/

      the problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of Islam by Muslims as abstract theoretical doctrines whereas Islam expounds itself as a system of spiritual guidance to transform oneself into a better person. A person who prayed and fasted abundantly but was abusive to her neighbour was condemned by the Prophet (Tabarani) while a prostitute who gave a thirsty dog water was said to have pleased God (Bukhari).

      Because we talk about ‘belief’ with very different connotations than ‘eemaan’ (which includes actions) we find fallacies when it comes to epistemology as well. How would one prove that helping others at one’s own expense is a desirable behaviour to adopt? How would one prove that one’s life is worth living? How would one prove that the concept of proof itself is coherent? These and many other questions are addressed here:

      http://spiritualperception.org/portfolio/the-real-battle-meaningful-vs-meaningless/

      and also

      http://spiritualperception.org/portfolio/a-life-worth-living/

      more detailed discussion to come in forthcoming articles iA

    • Brother says:

      Islam is the only religion I know which without leaving any room for interpretation explicity states that there is only one God and not to associate any partners with God. Logically, this is the only concept of God which would make sense, for instance stating there is more than one God would imply a dependency or redundancy between them. God gave us intellect and expects us to use it. It is one of the main things, if not the thing, which differentiates us from His other creation and this should be obvious. Most of us have been given enough time in our lives to think about this and reach the conclusion that there can be only one God, i.e. Tawheed. Ofcourse, we have been given the choice to be careless or heedless if a reminder is given to us. In that case, then what exactly would be the purpose of life?

    • Abu MIlk Sheikh says:

      “Why in Islam is belief more important than being the good person?”

      False dichotomy. Islam commands people to be good. “Good” is objectively defined by God Almighty, not the ebb and flow of popular culture.

      God Almighty is more deserving of a person’s “goodness” since God Almighty is the one who created that person, provided for him/her, took care of him/her, kept him/her safe from harm etc. Someone whose goodness only extends to other creations and is not to his/her Creator can’t be thought of as “good” at all. Rather, such rejection is the height of criminality and evil.

      “This is even more serious when you see there is no conclusive proof for Islam to begin with…”

      Millions of converts to Islam would beg to differ.

      “And why is disbelief punished so strong with hellfire and boiling hot water and torture forever…”

      Actions are only by intentions…

      The punishment is eternal because the intent to disbelieve is eternal. God Almighty, through His infinite knowledge, knows that had He allowed the disbeliever eternal life, he/she would have remained a disbeliever eternally.

      Conversely a believer is rewarded with eternal Paradise, even though he/she believed for a finite period of time, because the intent to believe is eternal.

      “…when it is only correct or incorrect judgement on some factual matter…”

      It is “only” a rejection of the One that created you and ordered you to fulfill the purpose of your creation, which is to worship Him.

      A disbeliever is only punished with eternal Hellfire if he/she rejects Islam and dies on that intent, after the message of Islam reaches him/her.

      “I would never lay a hand on my daughter if she told me the world is flat.”

      But you do discipline her if she does something wrong. You have authority over her by virtue of her being your daughter and she has to obey you.

      I wonder what you would do if one day she turned around and said “I don’t believe you’re my mother because I didn’t see you give birth to me.”

    • 3illaan says:

      This isn’t to agree with you that belief is MORE important but to give you a sort of understanding why belief in Allah is so important.

      You gave an example of “I would never lay a hand on my daughter if she told me the world is flat”. Consider this instead. Say After the 9 months of painful dreadful pregnancy and the excruciating pain of delivery, you had your beautiful baby daughter. You washed her, clothed her, fed her milk from your own body, took care of her, stayed up the nights and worried when she got sick. As she grew up, you did everything in your power to make her the happiest little child and did what you know to be the best for her. You taught her how to be a good person, took her to the best schools, helped her in every aspect of her life and loved her with your whole heart. Then as soon as she turned 18, she told you that you are not her mother, you have done nothing for her, as a matter of fact, she’s leaving the house and you’ll never see her again. How would you feel about that? The least you would want is for her to recognize what you’ve done for her. Right?

      To Allah belongs the highest of examples so He is far above saying this is His relationship with us. But this is to say that disbelieving in Allah is to reject Him as your Creator and to reject the innumerable blessings He has bestowed upon you. A person who rejects the existence of His own Creator and rejects his bounties and blessings deserves to be punished especially after receiving the message of His Creator.

    • Shahin says:

      Salaams former Muslimah, you seem to have some grave misconceptions about Islam, please bear with me and allow me to clarrify things a bit, InshaAllah (God willing), all readers will benefit. Apologies for the length of my post in advance. Please bear with me.

      Let me start by stating, that Islam (peace attained through submission to the will of God), is much more than a choice. Imaan (faith) is the most precious gift anyone could receive in this world. And believe me, it IS a gift, which not everyone will be blessed with, unfortunately. Every soul shall reap what it has sewn, and never will He wrong any soul or act unjustly in the least, but rather, it is we, who wrong our own selves. To those who think that to be a Muslim is a concious choice you could simply make at any time, guess again! Each and every believer on this planet, has been HAND PICKED by Allah to receive this gift. Even this ability just to think about and contemplate Him, the ability to mention Him, the ability to believe in Him and worship Him, is from none other than Him, to Who’m belongs this entire existence and everything in it.

      Allah only selects the best for this gift of Imaan, And no, having a Muslim name or being born into a Muslim family does not guarantee you this gift (although technically, we are all born with Imaan, every person). And even if you are given this gift from Allah, theres no guarantee that you will die with it. In fact, the prophet of Allah (SAW) said something to the effect that “a time will come when holding onto ones Imaan will be like holding onto burning coal” and that “a man would awake a believer by day, but sleep a disbeliever by the night” and vice versa. Unfortunately, this is the time we live in.

      Basically, Imaan is something extremely fragile… it is our life long ambition and duty to cultivate this Iman, to strengthen it, to make it unshakeable, till we attain the level of Ighsaan (an extremely of high level of awareness of God at all times, the perfection of Imaan). And then, that life long battle of Istighaamat (consistency and constancy), trying to ever maintain a high level of faith, so that InshaAllah, we increase our odds of dying with faith in the one true God, Allah. Unless you die with this belief, you are in for serious trouble, whether it will be an eternal torment though, Allah knows best and will judge for Himself.

      Please note that not everything is always black and white. Not everyone will JUST go to hell forever, some will be allowed to enter heaven eventually among the sinning believers and even those who had just an atoms worth of belief in the One true Creator, will one day still enter paradise Inshallah, to abide therein eternally. Only after the eventual realease of that last person from hell who was destined for paradise, will the remainder then abide therein eternally. So youd probably had to have been a really wicked, proud, arrogant, utterly faithless person who was beyond saving for Allah to punish you eternally in hell. But this will happen to some people unfortunately, may Allah save us all’ from Jahannum. Ameen ya Kareem (The Benevolent).

      //WHy in Islam is belief more important than being the good person?//

      Do you know former Muslimah, that the heaviest of all deeds on scales on the day of judgement will be Akhlaaq (character)? That means, ‘good character’ will be the heaviest thing to be weighed on the scales of justice where your good deeds will be weighed against your bad ones. And Muhammad (SAW) was the embodiment of perfect character and morals, to the highest degree possible.

      What I just mentioned above is the absolute truth, no matter what anyone else would have you believe, take it to the bank. NOTHING will be as heavy on the scale of deeds on that day than ‘good character’. This means, being a good person, in EVERY respect, not just being good when it suites us, but we’re talking about genuine kindness, soft spokeness, good manners, the ability to forgive… etc etc. So basically, being a good person is in actuality an ESSENTIAL PART of Islam.

      //And why is disbelief punished so strong with hellfire and boiling hot water and torture forever, when it is only correct or incorrect judgement on some factual matter.//

      That is because there is NOTHING more important in life than “Truth” coupled with “Conviction” therein. (I am using the term ‘Truth’ synonomously with ‘Faith’ here) Unless you have grasped the essence of this existence, the true nature of reality, the self (soul) and most importantly, the existence of the All Powerful Creator/Designer/Sustainer who made this entire existence possible, then you have not yet achieved your purpose in this life.

      Tell me, does it make sense for the mass murderer, the mass rapist, the paedophile, the saint, the drunkard, the priest, the pious believer, all to be equal? One kills all day and the other drinks, while one prays and fasts all day, can they be equal? Can one who, God forbid, kills, rapes or mollests someone you love, a dear family member perhaps, can such a criminal be equal to the one who invites you and your family over for dinner and shows you utmost kindness, respct, hospitality and gives you gifts?

      You can obviously never equate the two. The reason for the existence of hellfire is not only obvious, but absolutely logical and essential. The truth is that life makes no sense otherwise, and I truly pity the poor soul deluded by darwinism, which is as much a religion or belief system as any other. And the truth will be made manifest if you are TRUE in your search for it InshaAllah.

      I’ll end with this. At the time when Muhammad (SAW) became a prophet, the world was in what is now known in history as the ‘dark ages’, a period of utter ignorance when the world was in total darkness, both spiritually and morally. The true’ renaissance, did not start in Florence or anywhere in Europe as western historians and media would have you believe, it actually started… in Arabia. Do the research for yourself, even on youtube if you prefer. Of course you might need to sift through lots of junk before actually coming across some truth in this web of deceipt which ensnares most if not all of us. May Allah grant us all wisdom and the ability to judge truth from falsehood. Ameen.

      Please dont judge the religion by its followers, sadly but truly, this ummah (nation) IS misguided, all but a few. So dont expect the truth of Islam to be easy to find, even for a Muslim, these are tough times were are living in, a period of great lies, and deception, as was foretold to us by our prophet Muhammad (SAW). If a born Christian man named Charles Manson was a serial killer, does that make all Christians serial killers now? No, that would be absurd. So similarly, dont look at all the loons in the Muslim world slapping their daughters for saying the world is flat and stuff :P cummon, seriously, we’re the only true worshippers of the One True God left in this otherwise corrupted world, so shaytaan (satan) is much harder on us, although the true’ believer is protected to a great degree (depending on various factors), satan works even harder on those with true faith to make them sin and disbelieve in the truth. So dont expect to find many sterling examples among us.

      Youtube this: “miracles in the quran”, “scientific proof God exists”, “science and Islam”, “the nature of reality” and the like thereof, and know that the Quran is truly a miracle, its preservation, poetry, everything about it. Understand that life is a miracle, and that Islam is the only truth in the world today, which is why the western world portrays Islam so badly. Ask yourself why all the Mulsim countries are continously invaded and occupied? Ask yourself why there is this blatant war on Islam worldwide, both in the media and in reality? Why only a war on Islam, not Hinduism, or Christianty, or Judaism or Bhuddism or any other faith, but ONLY on Islam? I’ll leave you with that for thought.

      All that I have said is purely in my opinion. I apologise for the long post, and hope that reading it was bearable at least. All good that is in it is purely a grace and favour upon me by Allah and all bad in it is due to my own deficiency. May Allah the Most Benevolent, Most Compassionate, Most Loving, Most Forgiving, Most Merciful, bless us and guide us all to the straight path. Ameen.

      • Dear Shahin

        Please keep your comments short and to the point. Also we can not have multiple revisions to comments from your side. So please take your time, ponder on your comment and then post.

        JazakAllahu Khairin
        Aly

        Comments Team Lead

        • Shahin says:

          Salaams Aly, apologies for my long posts and all the amendments. InshaAllah I will be more to the point and accurate in future.

          maaf for being a nuisance, I am moderately o/c, InshaAllah I will definitely take your advice in future.

          JazakAllah kheir

  12. Adey. says:

    It is not practical to require that the ways of dress, speech, walking, sitting, standing that need to be observed when (for example) attending prayer in a masjid or in a private place, must also be observed when going about everyday business, like shopping or going to work and the like.”

    The impractical ways of dress is all too familiar. Especially some muslim mothers that are doing school runs, on days that it rains, you see them holding the hem of their long abayas, pushing the buggy with the other hand and still trying to keep the other little ones behind them in check.

    I wonder at their lack of creativity, when it is obvious they are struggling with the long abayas, a simple calf length trench coat and a calf boots will keep them modest and still be practical.

    Another example is a sister who is crossed eye, limpy and totally swathed in a long abaya, that was just too long for her, that it nearly caused her to trip and fall. For someone like her, that overly long abaya is nothing but an hazard to her. A lot of people hardly think for themselves and what their personal situation is, they just follow blindly and sheepishly at whatever is been passed down to them without analysing it.

    You can’t help but wonder at some people’s intellect, and if they really think deeply at all.

  13. m.m. says:

    Shaykh Akram has said it well in this article: “Finally, it is worth stressing what is so obvious it never gets mentioned: that we distinguish the duty to say clearly and courageously what is right, according to our knowledge and understanding, from the duty to impose that understanding on whoever disagrees with us.” (And Allah swt has said it many times in the Quran that the duty of the Prophet pbuh was simply to CONVEY the message.)

    This is a much needed article, but it should have included references to many ayaat of the Quran which support these arguments. The omission of Quran and hadith, and the repeated use of the word “God” rather than the specific god of Muslims, “Allah”, is sending the wrong message that the writer’s opinions are not borrowed from Islam. Muslims do not have to leave or moderate their religious beliefs in order to be tolerant and forbearing. Also, the use of the word “love” is a bit excessive as respect and dignity are far more important that love in daily interactions outside the home.

    One of the reasons that Islam lost its power in many countries is because it had been abandoned and abused by dominating groups of Muslims in the past. It is crucial that sexism and its connotations (EVEN IF UNINTENDED) be avoided in articles and speeches by current Muslim scholars. For example, the use of the example of nurses (who are mostly women) is unpleasant as it reminds of how women are often blamed for the ills of societies. Also, photographs of women wearing heavy makeup should be avoided as they remind of the double standards that the majority of Muslim men hold – they push women to extreme lengths of “beautifying” themselves (and they go bride-shopping etc), while at the same time, requiring them to hide themselves / stay at home / be ashamed, and constantly monitoring them for signs of lewdness. There is a need for articles about sexual objectification of women by uninformed Muslim men, who exist in large numbers.

    Thanks

  14. Shahin says:

    “Islam is not just a choice, it’s a Destiny”

    To all those who have been honoured with Islam as your deen, hold on tightly to the rope of Allah and dont EVER take it for granted. For although we may have been destined to be recipients of this most precious gift of Imaan, we have no guarantee that we will meet our fate in the same state.

    We should therefore continously make lots of Shukr (thanks) to Allah for this great bounty which he has bestowed us with. Truly, it is impossible for us to EVER thank Allah enough for this favour upon us. But we can try our best to do so, by always praising Him, fulfilling our obligations towards Him, by giving in charity of what He has bestowed upon us, and by performing as many good actions as possible, all SOLELY for His pleasure. For to Him is our final return.

    The catch is, we only live once, and as much as some people in the afterlife will beg to be sent back to the world, to the extent that people will cry tears of blood after they have no more normal tears to cry, begging Allah to send them back so that they may now worship Him and work righteous deeds, Allah will tell them that this is not possible, that they had their chance in life, and they squandered it. So we need to be very careful of the beds we make… for some day we will have to lie in them, such is the logical reality.

    Can anybody here truly imagine the regret that person will feel on that day when the sun is as a mile above us, a day 50 000 years long, when the world will be transformed into a new world, flattened (ie. no hills or mountains etc.), where ALL humanity from ALL times will be gathered together naked upon an open plane awaiting judgement, a day wherein there will be no shade other than the shade of Allah, imagine the regret that person will feel, who will be distant from those under the shade and protection of Allah, who will be DISTANT from the believers, but will see their hands and faces glowing from afar, marks of distinction due to their wudu (ablutions) , this person who had the correct faith, and was just an arms length from attaining an eternal salvation, but at the last moments before their death, maybe in that month, in that year, or that decade… or however long, they FORSOOK their faith, squandered it, discarded it, as if it was nothing, and in so doing, earned themselves, an ETERNAL regret, the like of which is almost inconceivable to the human mind, such is the severity and extent, of this regret. Truly try to imagine this scene dear reader… not only is it scary, the really scary thing is, it is a REALITY, which by Allah, most certainly, will come to pass. I’ll put my head on the block if thats what conviction takes.

    The bottom line dear reader, for anyone to leave Islam is a most unfortunate and terrible transgression against themselves. But something even worse than forsaking Islam… is forsaking Imaan. For even if one has even an iota of faith in Allah, they have hope in an eternal salvation. But to lose faith, is to lose hope, and to lose hope it to lose everything. Im not saying that it is ok not to be a practicing Muslim, for ones amaal (actions) will be directly proportionate to their level of Imaan. But if youre willing to be that last person who is freed from hell after millions or billions of years (Allah knows best how long), and receive that lowest jannah which is ten times this world and everything in it, if youre willing to settle… for even a SECOND in jahannum,…. if you are truly that brave and arrogant, by all means, be happy and complacent with the little faith ye have, continue worshiping your own whims and desires, and await that which you sent forth for yourself. How wicked a deal indeed, which they have purchased, and at what expense! If only they realised…

    For know this… as the saying goes, that if you aim for the stars, maybe youl hit the ceiling. But if you aim for the ceiling, you might never leave the ground. Same applies here, that if your imaan is actually weak enough to put you into a mindset that youre willing to go to Jahannum for even a minute, just for some meager gain in this world, odds are, if youre willing to settle, high chance is you will not be given the taufiq (ability) to die as a muslim. For only one who lives by LailahaillAllah, will die by LailahaillAllah, and none of us have any guarantees. This kalima (testification) needs to be ENGRAINED into out hearts, and this requires we make a concerted effort on strengthening and cultivating our Imaan.

    A silver lining, it is written that so long as anyone recites the kalima just once in their life with sincerity, jannah becomes wajib (almost compulsary) on them. But again, we cannot judge sincerity and only Allah knows what is in our hearts of hearts, so we cannot bank on any of that. All we will have to trade with on that day will be our amaal (actions), ie our good deeds, and that is all that we will take with us to our graves, that… and our caffan (burial garb). So bottom line, correct intentions, devout prayers and all other forms of ibaadah (worship), performed with due cognisance, recognition and awareness of Allah, are all vital for our salvation. Ibaadah performed SOLELY for His pleasure, THIS is what the currency in the life hereafter is, and that is what we should all not only be striving for, but dedicating our entire lives towards.

    In conclusion, even if one has transgressed against their own soul, even if one has turned away from the straight path, NEVER be despondent of the Mercy of your Lord, the Most Merciful of ALL those who show mercy. For despondancy is a quality not befitting the believer, nor is it inherent in us. For Allah will forgive all sins as long as you turn to Him sincerely in repentance. All sins except Shirk (joining partners with Him), for this most heinous sin, He will never pardon. May Allah save us all from ever committing such an evil. Ameen

    Although just something worth mention. Even a Mushrik (one who commits shirk, who associates partners with God) could still receive hidaayat (guidance) in this life, if Allah so wills. For Allah guides whomsoever He wills. But if a mushrik dies in such a state, then unfortunately, eternal damnation most certainly does await him. For it is said that not only will the anger of Allah be so severe that day that even the prophets will fear Allah’s punishment when hellfire is brought near, but His mercy will be so vast on that day, that even shaytaan will think he has hope of the forgiveness and mercy of Allah. But unfortunately, no forgiveness will there be for the Mushrik on that day, so heinous is the crime which he is guilty of in the sight of his Lord.

    To be in a state of hope and fear, this is Imaan. Always hope in the mercy of Allah, and at the same time, always fear His anger and punishment. This is to hope that if Allah said that only one person out of all humanity was going to heaven, out of all the saints, prophets and pious predecessors, you will still hope that person going to heaven is you. And conversely, if Allah said that out of all humanity, only one person is going to Hell, out of all the pharaos, hitlers, killers, rapists and paedophiles, you will still TRULY fear, that the person going to hell is you. THIS is what Imaan is, in terms of an emotional state of being.

    Sorry, I notice that I have rambled on way too much again. My apologies for the long post. Hope that you found this beneficial. Hope you havent fallen asleep reading this. hehe

    As always, all that I have said is purely in my humble opinion. I am no mufti to pass any fatwa nor is it my intention to do so. All good that is in my post is purely a grace and favour upon me from Allah and all bad in it is due to my own deficiency. May Allah bless us, guide us, grant us all the true understanding of Islam, and give us firm belief therein. Ameen

  15. stella constant says:

    I would like to comment on apostasy in Islam.I know an extremely intelligent,questioning young muslim person who does not now believe in Islam due to his experience of mental,physical and sexual abuse in an Islamic boarding school in the UK.Alsothe experience of his parents superstitious beliefs that he was possessed by a jinn and their ATTEMPTS TO EXORCISE THIS JINN.HE LOATHES HIS PARENTS ATTITUDE TO HIS SISTER WHO IS VIRTUALLY PRISONER IN THE HOME and spends her time doing housework and not allowed to work.This young person is brave and extremely erudite but is terrified of letting his parents know of his apostasy de to fears for his safety within the community. How does such a situation arise in a civilised society that a British citizen is so frightened of his community of origin that he cannot express his strongly held views and is basically traumatised by his experiences ?

  16. Rushda Malik says:

    As Salamualiqum everybody, please watch this video on “Apostasy in Islam” It has clarified many the misconceptions!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJNrHv9RCD0
    Do subscribe to their YouTube channel for other videos like responses to Anti-islamists! https://www.youtube.com/user/ncapcs/featured

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