Wikipedia writes:

Excommunication as it exists in Christian faiths does not exist in Islam. However, under Sharia law, the penalty for apostasy in Islam is death. The nearest approximation is takfir, a declaration that an individual or group is kafir (or kuffar in plural), a non-believer. This does not prevent an individual from taking part in any Islamic rite or ritual, ...

I had thought this statement was accurate (although "takfir" and "excommunication" are quite different), but I just enountered an IslamWeb fatwa, which says:

If a man has sex in the anus with a marriageable woman he deserves a corporal punishment determined by Islamic Law, which is to be slashed 100 times and exiled for one year if he is single, but if he is married he will be stoned to death, because he had forbidden sex.

I'm not sure what to make of this. It might be a mistake, but it seems unlikely (and raises questions about the accuracy of fatawa). The fatwa does not give evidence to support that this is the prescribed sharia punishment.

Question: Is excommunication used a form of punishment in Islam?

  • 2
    I am not sure if excommunication is the same as exile, though exile is a valid punishment in Shariah, for example it is one of the possible punishments for Hirabah [5:33]. It is also sometimes added to the punishment for Zina, though the schools may differ on it.
    – UmH
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 10:11
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    On the particular issue of the evidence of the IslamWeb article, they did quote Ibn Qudamah's view. The punishment of anal sex varies within the same school as it depends on those involved and the context (consensual, age, marital status, etc.). Ibn Al-Qayyim discussed all three views (death for both irrespective, treated like zina, or ta'zīr which includes exile) and possible combinations in his book Al-Jawāb Al-Kāfi with the evidence and their validity of the three views. Discussions of evidence are not part of a fatwa due to length (could be pages or sometimes books per evidence).
    – III-AK-III
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 14:13
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    The terms of punishment presumably came from sunnah.com/muslim/29/17. The point of dispute in the fatwa isn't about that so much as about whether those same terms would apply to anal sex as they would regular vaginal sex.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 21:30
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    How is exile similar to excommunication? The one is "you have to leave this place/area for X amount of time", the other is "you are no longer considered part of this religion".
    – G. Bach
    Commented Feb 18, 2018 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


I'm a history major student (not a Muslim), but there is a similar example/concept in Sharia Law called banishment, happened in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2009. When the leaders of the Iranian Green Trend Movement started to discredit the results of the Iranian election in 2009, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Islamic Supreme Leader of Iran, used the Quranic Surah 5. Al-Maida, Ayah 33 in his speeches in order to reason to indefinitely detain the leaders of the Green Trend Movement:

It is but a just recompense for those who make war on God and His apostle, and endeavour to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers, or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world. But in the life to come [yet more] awesome suffering awaits them -

Excluding anybody from participation in the activities and services of an Islamic country, happened in Iran, can be similar to some extent to the excommunication.

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