The Wikipedia article on Shafi'i says:

He also argued that sunnah contradicting the Qur'an were unacceptable, claiming that sunnah should only be used to explain the Quran.

This implies that every hadith must have its roots in the Qur'an. This makes sense to me. It naturally raises the question I asked i.e. Under which Quranic injunction the hadith to kill apostates could be classified?


The Hadith I am referring to is Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84 (Dealing with Apostates), Number 57

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57 :
Narrated by '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.'"

  • 1
    Which hadeeth? Hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu anhu)? And if that is the hadeeth, you might want to mention which verse of Qur'an it contradicts.
    – Abdullah
    Jul 21, 2012 at 9:47
  • -1 it's not really clear what you're asking here.
    – ashes999
    Jul 21, 2012 at 10:05
  • @Ershad Yes, the Hadith of Ibn Abbas. Let me mention it in the question as well. And no, my question is not about contradiction at all. I'm simply asking about the ayat, if any, that is basis of the prophetic saying. Please keep in perspective the opinion of Shafi'i I highlighted above. Thanks!
    – a_fan
    Jul 21, 2012 at 10:28
  • 3
    @Affan One of the things that Sunnah does is explain Qur'an. I am keeping in perspective Imam Shafi'i's opinion. What I understand is you ignore the first part of his opinion. For example, can you bring me one ayah from Qur'an that prohibits wearing Gold for men? As long as Sunnah doesn't contradict the Qur'an it is fine. The issue of Gold is not mentioned in Qur'an. However, Sunnah makes additional prohibition. So, Sunnah is what Allah commanded through the messenger.
    – Abdullah
    Jul 21, 2012 at 10:51
  • 1
    @Affan I think you are applying ayah with your own interpretation. That ayah doesn't mention men alone firstly. And women are allowed to wear Gold. Extravagance is extravagance be it Gold or not.
    – Abdullah
    Jul 23, 2012 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


Firstly I would like to clarify that there are things in the sunnah which are not in the Quran, and they are authentically reported, and it is required to accept it, for the Sunnah is revelation like the Quran. And the Authentic Ahadeeth never contradict the Quran, and lastly the Quran is in need of the sunnah for it explains it, while the Sunnah is not in need for the Quran to explain it.

Going to the next point. Imam Ashafi'i and others have used as proof from the Quran:

ومن يرتدد منكم عن دينه فيمت وهو كافر فأولئك حبطت أعمالهم في الدنيا والآخرة وأولئك أصحاب النار هم فيها خالدون

And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever - for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.

Surat Al Baqarah Ayah 217

As for the authentic proofs in the Sunnah for killing those who revert from Islam after entering it and not repent, are numerous. As well as it is the Ijma' of the Sahabah that the Murtad is to be killed if repentance is not done.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer! As a side note فيمت وهو كافر creates the possibility that من يرتدد منكم عن دينه dies a natural death. Isn't it so?
    – a_fan
    Jun 20, 2013 at 9:13

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