Apostasy | Apostasy Meaning In Urdu | Punishment For Apostasy In Islam

Apostasy (ارتداد)

Apostasy in Islam, known as “ارتداد” (Riddah) in Arabic, refers to the act of a Muslim abandoning their faith and converting to another religion or becoming non-religious. It is considered a serious offense and has significant spiritual and legal implications within Islamic jurisprudenc

Apostasy Meaning in Urdu

اسلامی فقہ میں “ارتداد” ایک اہم اور سنگین مسئلہ ہے۔ ارتداد کا مطلب ہے اسلام سے انکار کرنا یا کسی دوسرے مذہب کو قبول کر لینا، جو ایک مسلمان کے ایمان سے انحراف کا سبب بنتا ہے۔ اردو میں ارتداد کو “مرتد ہونا” بھی کہا جاتا ہے۔

Punishment For Apostasy In Islam

The punishment for apostasy (riddah) in Islam is a deeply complex and highly debated topic within Islamic jurisprudence. It involves multiple layers of theological, legal, and historical considerations. Below is a detailed explanation of the concept of apostasy and its associated punishment in Islam:

There are verses in the Quran that address the issue of faith and disbelief, but none that explicitly prescribe a worldly punishment for apostasy.

"إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ارْتَدُّوا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْهُدَى الشَّيْطَانُ سَوَّلَ لَهُمْ وَأَمْلَىٰ لَهُمْ"
"Those who turn back as apostates after guidance was clearly shown to them—the Shaytan has instigated them and filled them with false hopes."

The Hadith literature provides more direct references to the worldly punishment for apostasy:

Hadith in Sahih Bukhari:

"مَنْ بَدَّلَ دِينَهُ فَاقْتُلُوهُ"
"Whoever changes his religion, kill him."

Hadith in Sahih Muslim:

لَا يَحِلُّ دَمُ امْرِئٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَّا بِإِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ: النَّفْسُ بِالنَّفْسِ، وَالثَّيِّبُ الزَّانِي، وَالْمَارِقُ مِنَ الدِّينِ التَّارِكُ لِلْجَمَاعَةِ
"The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Messenger cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas (retribution) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and the one who reverts from Islam and leaves the Muslims."

Classical Scholar Opinions

  1. Hanafi School:
    • The Hanafi school generally emphasizes the need for due process and differentiates between public apostasy and private disbelief. Some Hanafi scholars argue for imprisonment and giving the apostate a chance to repent rather than immediate execution unless the apostate engages in sedition.
  2. Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali Schools:
    • These schools generally uphold the death penalty for apostasy but emphasize the necessity of proper judicial procedures, establishing proof, and offering the apostate a chance to repent. This view is based on the hadith that prescribes capital punishment for those who leave the Islamic community.

Historical Context

  • During the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the early Islamic state, apostasy was often linked to acts of political rebellion and betrayal, which threatened the stability and security of the nascent Muslim community. This historical context influenced the severity of the prescribed punishments.


While classical Islamic jurisprudence prescribes severe penalties for apostasy, including the death penalty, it is essential to understand these rulings within their historical and political context. Modern interpretations call for a reevaluation of these traditional views, focusing on the Quranic principle of “no compulsion in religion” and advocating for freedom of belief.

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