Shaykh al-Huwayni: The Penalty for Apostasy Is Death; Only "Boozers and Druggies" Say Otherwise

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim

Apologists for Islam often cite the Qur'anic verse "there is no compulsion in religion" as an example of Islamic tolerance. According to Egyptian Shaykh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni, all of those people may be "boozers and druggies," because despite that verse, "Islam is a religion which has limitations and rulings." One of those, upon which all scholars are in agreement, is that any Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed.

This is taken from a video clip posted on YouTube in May 2009. The subtitled video is below, followed by the English transcript (thanks to Nonie Darwish for her help on this one):

They say that freedom of conscience should be provided to every human being.... because Allah Almighty says, 'There is no compulsion in religion'." So it is like a druggie interpreting the Qur'an.

"There is no compulsion in religion?" True. "Whoever will may believe, and whoever will may disbelieve?" True. However, this is on the condition that you do not enter the Islamic faith. You are free. No one is compelled to believe in, or convert to, Islam. You're Christian? Be a Christian. You're Jewish? Be a Jew. You're in any other religion? Be whatever you like.

But you should know that Islam is a religion that has limitations and rulings. One of its established rulings, upon which all scholars unanimously agree, is that whoever enters Islam voluntarily, not forcibly--it is not permissible for him to apostatize from Islam. If he does that, the ruling upon him is death. You still want to enter the faith with this punishment? Fine. You don't want to enter? Fine? We don't need a curse. We don't want you either. This is the ruling in Islam. "There is no compulsion in religion"? Ah.

If your Lord willed it, everyone on earth would believe. Then will you yet compel people to become believers? I don't know anyone who has been compelled to enter into Islam. The offer was left to the early Muslims. They were courageous peoples. They were distinguished by the strength of their hearts, of their will, and their firmness in making decisions. Islam was offered to them, and they believed.

We don't know of anyone who has been killed simply for being an infidel. Nor is it permissible for anyone to kill someone simply because he is an infidel. Islam is a religion which was established on persuasion. No one is ever compelled to enter Islam. However, if he enters Islam, there are rulings. There are those who want to have freedom to reject Islam (kufr). If a Muslim disbelieves, there is a penalty.

But some say "There is no compulsion in religion." He doesn't pray? "There is no compulsion in religion." He doesn't pay alms, or perform the hajj, or fast? "There is no compulsion in religion!" What Muslim scholar has ever approved this? No one ever has, and no one ever should speak this nonsense. The only ones who advocate this are druggies and boozers. At a time when people are reaffirming the Islamic doctrine in every corner on earth, such advocates want to get rid of Islam.