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I asked the question: Is the belief that people who want to leave Islam should be put to death a widely held interpretation?

My question was similar in nature to the question: Is punishment for leaving Islam death? to which the most popular answer says:

Yes, it is true that leaving Islam, in an Islamic state, can be a reason for someone to be put to death. Note the caveat: in an Islamic state. We do not have any Islamic state today; only Muslim countries who mix some parts of Islamic law with other types of law.

But an answer I received to my similar question (Is the belief that people who want to leave Islam should be put to death a widely held interpretation?) stated this:

peace be upon you, It can be proven by the following hadith, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) has said: The blood of a Muslim person who bears witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am Allah's Messenger, is not lawful (to shed) except for one of three reasons, (i) a married man commits fornication, (ii) life for a life, and (iii) who abandons his religion and separates from his community. (Sunan Abu-Dawood)

I can't verify the accuracy of this answer, but since the first answer I quoted states that such rules are only applicable in an Islamic state, this is confusing. Is the quote that lists Prophet Muhammad's exceptions to bloodshed accurate? If so, then it seems that the Prophet Muhammad tells people of Islam that bloodshed is acceptable if a man has left Islam. Why would this teaching of Prophet Muhammad only matter if the man is in an Islamic state?

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Why would this teaching of Prophet Muhammad only matter if the man is in an Islamic state?

Because, only a state authorized qadhi (judge), after a trial, can give verdict on one's state of apostasy and order punishment. It is not a matter of personal judgement and action by individuals.

  • Where I'm from, laws are based on the common state of popular culture, for example, most people here a few hundred years ago believed it was OK to enslave black people, so our laws dictated that we could do that. In other words, law is usually based on the most widely held moral beliefs of the people in that country. Is it possible that Muslims in countries where most people are Muslim, simply didn't feel comfortable with that teaching, so no laws were written according to it? In other words, is it possible that most Muslims dont believe in that part of the teaching by the Prophet? – Viziionary Apr 25 '16 at 3:08
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    No, Muslims were never made feel discomfortable about the teachings of Islam until this century. It's not possible for the above rule to established because someone felt ashamed. The thing is the Prophet (pbuh) was an ultimate authority during his lifetime, while Islamic governance came to existence later, gradually. So, jurists divided which parts of Islamic law referred to individuals and which parts related to the government later. – ozbek Apr 25 '16 at 4:01

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