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Thursday, January 30, 2020

"Murtad is not a hudud offense"



I just attended the launching of Prof Hashim Kamali's new book 'Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law - A Fresh Interpretation'.

I have bought myself a copy and intend to read the 450 page book (34 chapters) and perhaps review it here on the blog. 

Among the international scholarly fraternity Prof Hashim Kamali is an acknowledged expert on the hudud and shariah. Among the local ostards they usually do not understand what the good professor is saying. 

"A Fresh Interpretation" is indeed the right way to put it. Prof Kamali has relooked the Islamic law from a more Quranic perspective.

In his presentation of the new book Prof Kamali said that there is no punishment for apostasy (murtad) in the Quran.  Hence, he said, murtad is also not a hudud offence.

This is a fantastic statement coming from such a prominent and learned scholar.  

And inside his book Prof Kamali quotes the exact same verse that I have quoted again and again in ALL my writings for the past 30 years ie Surah 4:137.

Here is a snapshot of page 142 from Prof Kamali's book :




And Prof Kamali also gave a "fresh" interpretation of the extra Quranic saying (meaning it is NOT in the Quran) "man baddala deenahu faq tuluu" which is generally interpreted as "whoever changes his deen, kill him".

Deen in the traditional context is taken as "religion". 
Of course I do not agree because deen means 'a way of life'. 
Deen does not mean religion.

Prof Kamali asked rhetorically that this saying 'man baddala deenahu faq tuluu' could also be literally interpreted as :

1.  for example a hindu changing his religion (deen) to Islam should also be killed !!

2. a person who wants to change accepted religious beliefs like for example someone says 'there is no paying zakat charity'. Such a person is trying to change the "deen", he should be killed !! 

So what exactly is the meaning of 'man baddala deenahu faq tuluu' ?

Well don't ask me because this is not in the Quran. 

Anyway I hope to read this fact filled and very useful book. 
Useful because I keep such information in my arsenal.

The Quran says "iqra" which means read. 

Reading doth make a full man they say. 

I would like to write a review if possible. 

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