Why is a person who is either born Muslim or who has accepted Islam later in life not allowed to change their religion? I have also heard that, in this case, the ruling for women would not be the same as the ruling for men.

Why execute apostates? Why not execute the women?

  • @Ashu Maybe the questioner thinks women are not executed for apostasy under islamic sharia?
    – Abdullah
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 6:17
  • @goldPseudo, could you also improve the title? Something like "Should a person who disbelieves after becoming a Muslim should be executed?"
    – Kaveh
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 6:33
  • 1
    @kaveh the question, as i understand it, is asking for the wisdom behind the execution order, rather than the different opinions inre execution. the current title looks good to me.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 6:36
  • 3
    Related: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/221/… Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 6:46
  • Also related: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/23548/…
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


To Answer your "why execute" question :

A person who leaves his Islam after accepting it is executed in a country ruled by Sharia or Islamic state (I stress, Islamic state) by the decision of the ruler of the land in consultation with the scholars who examine the evidences and conditions of apostasy. Obviously, this ruling can only be implemented by the judge in a state that rules by the sharee`ah law.

  1. This is the ruling of Allah and His Messenger, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

    "Whoever changes his religion, kill him." (reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, no. 3017)

  2. The one who has known the religion which Allah, his Creator revealed, entered it and practised it, then rejected it, despised it and left it, is a person who does not deserve to live on the earth of Allah and eat from the provision of Allah.

  3. By leaving Islam, the apostate opens the way for everyone who wants to leave the faith, thus spreading apostasy and encouraging it.

The apostate is not to be killed without warning. He is given a last chance and he is given three days to repent. If he repents, he will be left alone; if he does not repent, then he will be killed.

Now, let me ask you a question: As I said before this is done in a land which is ruled by the law of Allah. Basically, the whole legislation is what Allah revealed. Now, if a person leaves Islam after believing it, it is not only apostasy but also rejecting/betraying the law/constitution - or whatever you want to call it and an act of treason. Even after that he is given three days to repent and change his decision before he is executed.

Now, which country in the world allows you to reject the law of the land or betray or commit treason and still move around the country freely? Makes sense?

As for the difference you mention:

  1. There is an Ijmaa (consensus) of the scholars that the apostate is to be killed and there is no doubt about this. He is given some time to repent and if he does not turn back to Allah, he is to be executed by the judge. And note again: this ruling can only be implemented by the judge in a state that rules by the sharee`ah law.

  2. The only different view was that of Hanafi madhab which says women cannot be executed. But, most of current Hanafi scholars agree that even apostate women should be executed. So, it is very odd rare view. Other than that, everyone agree, the person, where man or woman should be executed.

Credits: Used some points from Why death is the punishment for Apostasy

  • 6
    what about people born Muslim? they really not choose islam. they ware born with islam Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 10:39
  • 1
    @Efazati Every child born on this earth has a natural inclination towards Islam that we call "Fitrah". Check - islam.stackexchange.com/a/35/38 . However, it is our choice to continue to follow upon the inclination or turn away from it.
    – Abdullah
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 10:42
  • The next question could be what the credentials would be for the judge who is given this authority of life and death over the Islamic community? And what would happen if the person leaving religion has strong arguments against religion?
    – infatuated
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 11:37
  • I thought the ruling for apostasy was only in the context of war?
    – Dinar
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 9:44
  • @Dinar Where did you read that? I've never heard that claim before.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 11:33

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