Pretty much the title. My Muslim (now ex) college best friend recently turned Atheist and I'm not sure what I should do now. I've tried my best to convince him back to Islam but now after weeks of arguments I'm almost sure he won't be coming back. He says he's only told me and one other friend about this yet. I've heard quite a few times that the penalty of leaving Islam willingly is death so I'm not sure what I should do and who I should tell because after all he's my best friend. I'm afraid if I too will be held responsible if I decide to not do anything. Thanks!

  • Per Islam, you do Da'wah and if that doesn't go anywhere then you distance yourself from them. The punishment only gets administered by the Islamic authority; if you live under non-Muslim authorities then it just doesn't get administered.. and the case rests with Allah (ﷻ) in the Hereafter.
    – Muslimah
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 15:14
  • I am indeed in an Islamic state (Pakistan). That's what worries me, how can the authorities do anything if they aren't aware, should I be telling someone about it or remain silent and leave it to Allah? Jazak'Allah
    – Kappa122
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 15:23
  • Just FYI - Authorities don't always have to be made aware. You can conceal the punishable sins of someone if they show signs of repentance. (Read here: islamqa.info/en/201472 ). But you said this apostate friend has no desire to come back to Islam. If he is active in misguiding people away from Islam (calling to Kufr), you'd be obligated to report him. But if he keeps his beliefs to himself/secret.. I am not sure. I would ask a scholar/your local Imam.
    – Muslimah
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 16:12
  • There is not a word in Qoran that can justify taking the life of a person who merely became a non-believer. God even let Satan live! Is Satan a believer? Muslim is only expected to try to prevent other people from doing evil. Muslim can even continue being friends with non-Muslim people as long as this doesn't result in a bad influence on the Muslim. On the other hand, if Muslim has a good influence on them, God may reward this. So the decision is yours...
    – Sadi
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 14:17
  • 1
    @Sadi This site is not for preaching Truth; the fact of the matter is, a majority of Islamic legal scholars across history so vast that it borders on consensus condemned the apostate to death for nothing but his disbelief, and they would give you some ayat and dozens of ahadith and athar about what Muhammad and the rashidun did with apostates that support their case.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


God Said:

Quran 3:32 Say, "Obey God and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, God does not like the disbelievers.

Quran 4:56 Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our verses - We will drive them into a Fire. Every time their skins are roasted through We will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, God is ever Exalted in Might and Wise.

Quran 8:55 Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of God are those who have disbelieved, and they will not [ever] believe.

Quran 7:179 And We have certainly created for Hell many of the jinn and mankind. They have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.

“Indeed, God orders justice and good conduct and giving to kith and kin and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” – Noble Quran 16:90

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)” [al-Maa’idah 5:51]

But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. (Surah Nisaa, verse 65)

“and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good. And to Us you will be returned” [al-Anbiya’ 21:35 – interpretation of the meaning]

Those who reject Our Signs We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for God is Exalted in Power, Wise. (an-Nisa 56) The companions of the fire will call the companions of the garden; "pour down to us water or anything that God doth provide for your sustenance." They will say: "Both these things hath God forbidden to those who rejected Him.― Such as took their religion to be mere amusement and play and were deceived by the life of the world." That day shall We forget them as they forgot the meeting of this day of theirs, and as they rejected Our signs. al-(Araf 50-51)

But those who reject (God)― for them will be the Fire of Hell: no term shall be determined for them so they should die, nor shall its Penalty be lightened for them: Thus do We reward every ungrateful one! Therein will they cry aloud (for assistance): "Our Lord! Bring us out: we shall work righteousness, not the (deeds) we used to do!"― Did we not give you long enough life so that he that would should receive admonition? And (moreover) the warner came to you. So taste ye (the fruit of your deeds): for the Wrongdoers there is no helper.” (Fatir 36-37)

004.137 “Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief - God will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way”

So in other words, you don’t need to be responsible for him, it is he who left Islam, and if God wishes, he may return to Islam one day before is too late. So, don’t worry, if you did not left Islam, then don’t worry, it is not your mistake that he left Islam. And, if he turned away from Islam, then do not be his best friend any more, unless he repents sincerely to God because of his most heinous sin=disbelief. He is the one who will get punished by God Almighty not you. So, stay relaxed and move on.

Hope I helped you.

  • Why did I got a downvote?
    – Alex A
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 10:08
  • Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz Bayindir, a leading Islamic scholar of law in Turkey says "If someone cannot come out and speak openly, without fear, to say 'I'm an atheist' in a country, that country cannot be regarded as an Islamic country." He calls on all Muslims to radically revise everything that has been piled up between them and Quran (some under the false guise of Hadith) during the past several centuries in the light of Quran and Quran only. Here is a good guide for this: www.islamandquran.org
    – Sadi
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 10:14

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