Some Muslims might have a change of heart after reading Islam thoroughly and finding contradictory stuff. Is there an acceptable way for them to leave Islam without getting the death penalty?

Note, Many people have documented why they left Islam online. Is there an acceptable way in Islam to do so?


4 Answers 4


There is no such thing as a acceptable way to leave Islam.

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and until they establish the salah and pay the zakat. And if they do that then they will have gained protection from me for their lives and property, unless [they commit acts that are punishable] in Islam, and their reckoning will be with Allah. It was related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

عن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما ، ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلـم قـال :( أمرت أن أقاتل الناس حتى يـشـهــدوا أن لا إلــه إلا الله وأن محمد رسول الله ، ويـقـيـمـوا الصلاة ، ويؤتوا الزكاة ؛ فإذا فعلوا ذلك عصموا مني دماءهم وأموالهم إلا بحق الإسلام ، وحسابهم على الله تعالى ) رواه البخاري [ رقم : 25] ومسلم [ رقم : 22].

Why would you be guided and then refuse the guidance. It does not make sense to enter Islam and than leave it That is called Radd. When you enter Islam you should enter full heartedly.

  • I meant change of heart, doesn't it happen in real word?
    – muslim1
    Jun 27, 2012 at 17:25
  • Yes it does, but that is why the prophet said to renew our faith by saying La Illaha ilallah.
    – مجاهد
    Jun 27, 2012 at 17:29

Okay let me say a few things. Ask yourself why did you become a Muslim? or why do you have doubts in your mind? Why do you have a problem understanding something?

If you have read something and made you doubt about something in Islam, ask an expert or a genuine scholar who can explain it to you properly.

Now to answer your question. By leaving Islam, this is a divided opinion and interpretation about rulings on an individual who changes their faith and changes their way of life known as Deen and propagates something against the community such as the attacking enemy.

There are 2 Sahabas who have previously left Islam:

UbaydAllah ibn Jash left Islam, he was one of the monotheistic hanifs and he converted to Christianity in Abbysina. The Prophet ﷺ did not order any death penalty.

Abdullah ibn Saad left Islam and then reverted at a later date. The Prophet ﷺ did not order any death penalty.

Why? Because they did not join an attacking enemy, they simply changed their faith not changed their deen (revelation, constitution, judgement, way of life).

  • 1
    This happened in the early stage of Islam. Later Prophet Muhammad specifically order to kill those who change their faith, not mentioning only if the turn against Islam.
    – muslim1
    Feb 6, 2016 at 5:43

(This reply is according to the Shi'a view)

In Islam people should not be forced to accept the religion:


لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ ۖ قَد تَّبَيَّنَ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَيِّ ۚ فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَىٰ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

According to this verse humans should be free to select and accept their religion.

Also according to this verse conquering other countries by sword to force them to embrace Islam is not an Islamic act but some (apparently) Islamic kings and caliphs did it in the name of Islam.

As for the death penalty in Islam, mujtahids have different views but they mostly only consider it in very rare cases.

If one wants to leave Islam there is no need to declare it publicly for everyone to know. Also, there are different types of murtad (i.e. apostates, Muslims who become non-Muslim) and each type has different rules. The murtad who have political opposition to Islam and make movements against an Islamic government are considered the most severe, and even then such a person is not executed except for very rare cases and with many terms. In the court he is asked 3 times to repent and if he accepts he will be free. Only in very rare cases, if he himself insists to be killed (e.g., by not repenting even if by lying,) he will be executed. Female murtad will never be killed, and neither will nationals who are murtad (only if it is a foreigner). Anyone who leaves Islam based on propaganda shouldn't be killed. Unless he declares it publicly.

In the past 30 years I have seen only 2 or 3 cases, one of them being Salman Rushdie who wrote a Book insulting prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as well as Aisha and the Sahaba, in which the death penalty was prescribed, and even then he is still alive.

This is mainly according to the situation in Iran; it also depend on the laws of each Islamic country, which may be made based on different schools of Fiqh and sectarian beliefs. For example, a country like Saudi Arabia has much more severe rules about murtad, and even someone who converts from the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam to Shi'a Islam may be imprisoned or beheaded by the sword.

In fact the goal of this rule is not to kill apostates, so much as it is to prevent them from declaring it publicly in an Islamic society. If he does not declare it, he will have no problem.


  • What did Salman Rushdie say that was insulting to Mohammad? From what I've heard, those who condemned the book had not read it.
    – TRiG
    Jul 5, 2012 at 18:15
  • @TRiG he insulted prophet and Sahaba and Aisha. Imam Khomeini issued that Fitwa and he read it. even if all Muslims not read it. no need every single Muslim read it imam-khomeini.com/web1/english however you can see here what he said: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Jul 10, 2012 at 2:51
  • This answer contradicts the vastly dominant view among fuqaha that apostasy is a capital crime, see e.g. here.
    – G. Bach
    Nov 3, 2017 at 16:22

That death penalty has nothing to do with Islam. When I say Islam I mean Quran and Sunnah. Sects and madhabs bring the death penalty in Islam. Please refer to this answer for details. If you are leaving in a place where pure Islam laws are applied, then you have nothing to be afraid of. If your region is controlled by a sect, you should learn the rules of that sect.

On the other hand, if someone wouldn't like Islam and wants to leave it, than that means he/she didn't learn the actual Islam, instead he/she learn fiqh of a sect, or learned a madhab, and thought that it was the real Islam. The real Islam is realistic, logical, offers effective solutions to daily life problems both in personal scale and society scale.

  • 1
    the verses you mentioned in that link are about entering into islam. not about leaving Islam. can you show a verse clearly talk about leaving Islam? entering and exiting have different rules in Islam. Jun 27, 2012 at 18:25
  • What if there is no clear ayats about exiting? Then, maybe your fiqh can make some rules for it? Jun 27, 2012 at 18:38
  • many rules of Islam are not mentioned clearly in Quran. but are in hadith. if you consider only Quran then you should leave most of Islam. even you can not pray. because the number of rukaah of salat and details of Hajj and many more are not in Quran. how your Fiqh make rule for number of Rakaah of prayers only from Quran?! Fiqh has nothing out of Islam and Islam is not only Quran. if so prophet was not needed. Jun 27, 2012 at 18:52
  • I didn't say that prophet was not needed. How did you deduce such a thing from my messages? If hadiths explain details, then writes hadiths. But you are referring to a third thing, that is what you call "fiqh". I'm opposing to this extra source. Jun 27, 2012 at 19:31
  • when you ask for clear ayat from Quran and do not accept Hadith this means prophet is not needed. and only Quran is enough. in fact it means Sunnah and Hadith have no value. many rules are derived from Haidth and do not have any clear ayah in Quran. can you show any clear ayah prving dog is Najis? if no please acept Murtad rule also can be derived from Sunnah and Hadith. Fiqh is not a sourse. sources are only Quran and Hadith. Fiqh means the METHOD of derivign rules of Islam from its sources which are Quran and Hadith. FIQH IS NOT SOURCE. IT IS METHOD. Jun 27, 2012 at 19:39

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