Article Crimes and penalties in the Bible and Islam

Discussion in 'Muslim <---> Christian Dialogue' started by WhiteKnight, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. WhiteKnight
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    Peace and God's blessing be upon you...

    Some Christians and Jews accuse Islam of being a cruel religion that imposes cruel crime penalties and contradicts the principles of the modern world of democracy and freedom. Some people say that the laws of the Islamic sharia are inhuman, humiliating and out-of-date. In this thread, we'll make a comparison between the crime penalties in the Islamic Sharia, and those in the Bible.

    1- Death penalty

    A- Murder (Homicide):-

    (The Bible)
    The fifth of the Ten Commandments mentioned in the book of Exodus, chapter 20 says: "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). Furthermore, If someone kills an innocent person deliberately (with malice aforethought), he will be put to death according to the Mosaic law. As the book of Numbers (35:31) says:

    "Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of
    death: but he shall be surely put to death".

    The book of Exodus (21:22-23) says also:-
    "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."​


    - The book of Leviticus (24:17) says:-

    "And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death"

    - The book of Deuteronomy (19:21) says:-

    "And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."​


    (Islam)
    Al Qisas "Retaliation" is one of the basic principles of f the Islamic law, as God says in Sura 2 (Al Baqarah - The Heifer), Verse 178:-

    "O ye who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for ye when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from thine Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution"

    B- Apostasy and Blasphemy:-

    (The Bible)
    - Monotheism is the cornerstone of the religions based on the Bible (Judaism and Christianity) , as the first of the Ten Commandments says (Exodus 20: 2-3):-

    "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt,
    out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    - If someone blasphemes and curses God , he will be put to death according to the book of Leviticus (24:16) which says:-

    "And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD,he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death."

    - The book of Deuteronomy (17:2-5) says:-

    "If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,. And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;. And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel. Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die."

    (Islam)
    - Worshiping Allah , the Single and Omnipotent God, is the basis of Islam. He who doesn't worship God and believe i him will be punished severely in the hereafter (judgement day).
    - In Sahih Al Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:-

    "The blood of a Muslim, who confesses that there is no god but Allâh, cannot be shed except in three cases: 1. Life for life (in cases of intentional murders without right i.e., in Al-Qisas – Law of Equality in punishment); 2. A married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse; and 3. The one who turns renegade from Islam (apostate) and leaves the group of Muslims."

    - Only those who were born into pure Muslim family will be put to death for apostasy. If a 'pure' Muslim committed apostasy, Islamic scholars should advise him three times gently and wisely not to abandon Islam. If he didn't do so, he would be put to death. But if somebody embraced Islam and then abandoned it, he wouldn't be put to death (but God will punish him in the 'world to come')

    C- Transgressing God's covenant and working on the Holy Sabbath (Saturday)

    ( The Bible)
    - In the Bible, God sanctified the seventh day (The Holy Sabbath) and ordered the
    Israelite not to work on it - which is the fourth of the Ten Commandments, as the book
    of Exodus (20:8-11) says:-

    " Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates"

    - If someone transgresses God's covenant and worked on the Holy Sabbath, he will be put to death, as what happened to the woodcutter whose story is told in the book of Numbers (15:32-36):-

    " And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

    D- Cursing or beating one's parents

    (The Bible)
    - In the Bible, one's parents are held cherished and venerated, as the sixth of the Ten
    Commandments says (Exodus 20:12) :-

    "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    - If someone beats or curses one of his parents, he will be put to death according to
    Exodus (21: 15-17) :-

    " And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
    .......And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."

    E- Kidnapping people and selling them as slaves

    - The book of Exodus (21:16) says:-

    " And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death."

    F- Sorcery, Occultism, Necromancy...etc

    (In the Bible)
    - Of course witchcraft and all these practices have close ties with paganism, polytheism and apostasy, for this God ordered Moses to kill all sorcerers and occultists, as the book of Exodus (22:18) says:-

    "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

    - The book of Deuteronomy (17:2-5) says:-

    "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer."

    (In Islam)
    - God prohibited all kinds of sorcery and witchcraft, as the Holy Koran says:-

    “And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew.” (Quran 2:102)

    - Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:-

    ‘Kill every sorcerer, for this is the punishment ordained by Allah.’​


    G- Fornication, adultery and Incest

    (In the Bible)
    - The eighth of the Ten Commandments says:-

    "Thou shalt not commit adultery"​


    - The book of Leviticus (20:10) says:-

    "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."
    -Committing adultery, getting involved in incestuous sex, and rape (such sexual crimes) are considered as "abominations" to the Lord in both the Bible and the Holy Koran. Thus, those who commit such crimes should be put to death according to the Mosaic law.

    (In Islam)
    - God forbids Muslims to commit adultery. In other words, Muslims shouldn't get involved in any kind of extramarital sex, whatever the circumstances. The Holy Koran says: -

    "Do not go near to adultery. Surely it is a shameful deed and evil, opening roads (to other evils)."[Quran 17:32]"

    - In the Islamic law, an unmarried person who commits adultery or fornication is punished by flogging 100 times; a married person, however, may receive the heavier punishment of stoning to death if convicted of adultery.

    F- Homosexuality

    (In the Bible)
    - There's no doubt that Homosexuality is and abhorrent sin. For this, those who commit sodomy should be put to death. The book of Leviticus (20:13) says :-

    "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them"

    (In Islam)
    - The residents of Sodom and Gomorrah were punished severely by God for their infidelity and getting involved in homosexual intercourse. In Sunan al Tirmidhi, there's a hadith in which prophet Muhammad says :-

    "Whoever you find committing the sin of the people of Lut (Lot), kill them, both the one who does it and the one to whom it is done."

    G- Zoophilia (intercourse between Human and animals)

    - In the bible, those who indulge in intercourse with animals should be put to death. The book of Leviticus (20:15-16) says:-

    " And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

    2- Cutting hands

    (In the bible)
    - If two men quarreled with each other, and the wife of one of them seized the genitals and her husband's adversary and damaged them, her hand should be cut off. The book of Deuteronomy (25:11-12) says :-

    "When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her."

    (In Islam)
    - If a wealthy person (not a poor or a needy one) stole something, his hand should be cut off. The Holy Koran says:-

    “[As for] the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they earned [i.e. committed] as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran 5:38]
    In the end, we can say that the crime penalties in Islam of execution, cutting hands and retaliation also exist in the Bible; which makes it clear that the Holy Koran is the word of God whose laws are of divine source, not a savage and cruel one as some people may claim. In both Bible and the Holy Koran, God imposed on those who commit the previously-mentioned abhorrent crimes such penalties in order to create a peaceful society free of evil and crime. However, God forgives those who commit such crimes if they feel regret for them and atone for their sins; as God is the most merciful, the most compassionate.

    The End
  2. Cariad
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    Salaam again.

    You are using the Old Testament. Christ fulfilled the Law in the New Testament, through the new covenant with Christ the law was made anew. That is why we do not cut off hands or stone people to death. That time is past and the time of grace is upon us.
  3. WhiteKnight
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    First of all, I posted that thread to show that the criminal penalties of cutting hands, killing, stoning..etc "are of divine origin". In other words, they are imposed by God on the Israelite (even if it was for just a relatively short period of time as you said). The objective of posting that thread is "to prove that the criminal penalties in Islam are not cruel, but God Almighty ordered Moses to apply them in these abominable crimes, these penalties had been in power until Jesus Christ came as you said". It's right that Jesus Christ "updated" the Jewish law through God's inspiration. as the Holy Koran says (2:49) about Jesus Christ (peace be upon him):-

    "49 And (I am) a verifier of that which is before me of the Torah, and I allow you part of that which was forbidden to you; and I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me.
    Of course you are familiar with the story of the harlot that Jesus Christ had saved from being stoned to death by the Jews (John 8:2-11). We Muslims believe that Jesus' message calls for peace, brotherhood, humanity and love. Sorrowfully, the Jews this time applied God's law blindly, without believing in his mercy and compassion. Whenever they caught sight of a sinner, they said "Oh, he's the enemy of the Lord, we'll be punished severely in the world to come". They forget that God loves humanity and that he's merciful. Thus, the Jewish law needed someone to update it, who is "Jesus Christ"

    But still, no one who believes in the Bible should say that the laws of the Islamic sharia are "curel"; because they were imposed on the Israelite by the Lord one day. If anybody claimed that the "God of Islam" is cruel for imposing such penalties, this would mean that "the God of the Bible" is also cruel for imposing such penalties on the Israelite one day; which is blasphemous one way or another.

    We Muslims believe that God send his prophet Muhammad with the true religion, where criminal penalties - that had been applied one day on the Israelite - are applied in it, but not blindly as did the Jews. We believe that God is graceful, the most merciful and the most compassionate. His mercy even overcomes His wrath, which is the "core" of the message of Jesus (peace and God's blessing be upon him :) )

    Peace and God's blessing be upon you :)
  4. Cariad
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    :) it's not important weather or not a non Muslim says or believes sharia law is cruel, it's weather or not it is still practiced today. By accepting Gods grace through The Christ, Christians see that the old laws were past and the new take place. Which as you rightly say Yeshua taught forgiveness, mercy and love.

    Why do you believe the Jews of old applied Gods laws blindly? If one believes in Gods justice in all things then we do not need draconian laws for crimes to be paid for. Yet forgiving a wrong that has been done against you mirrors Gods mercy and so must be better for ones conscious. Of course I'm not saying that society cannot function without laws, we need law to ensure we are safe from those who would wish us harm and to punish those who do wrong. However, IMHO, harsh laws like cutting off a hand for theft do seem out of place in today's world, someone has to cut off the hands of the unfortunate thief and that surely in Gods eyes is a sin, causing harm to another. Gods justice is His to give and is always tempered by His mercy, mans justice is born out of revenge. Weather it be personal revenge or the collective revenge of society through mans law, it is still revenge based.

    Peace to you also. :)
  5. WhiteKnight
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    First of all, I didn't mean to say that "all" Jews applied God's law blindly, I meant some of them. For example, the Pharisees - who were very religious - were criticized by Jesus Christ because of their "extremism" and applying the Jewish law blindly.

    Furthermore, the laws of Islamic Sharia are applied "on small scale", under very rare circumstances and on Muslims only. God imposed the 'cutting hands' penalty for theft to show how abominable theft is and to prevent people from committing it. However, a thief's hand is cut off only if he is rich and wealthy. But if a needy person stole something, God will forgive him and no one will have the authority to cut off his hand. Such a law will make the rich afraid of stealing people's property, even induce them to give out alms, and hence achieve social justice and dispose of corruption once and for all. The main reason behind the Arab Spring is that the rulers of the Arabic countries had been using their authority in gathering wealth illicitly, leaving millions of people in poverty and destitution (as in Tunisia and Egypt). In other words, the penalty of "cutting hands" in Islam is applied on a very very very small scale (that doesn't even reach 1:1,000,000 annually) so as to eradicate corruption, not horrify the society. If a wealthy man wanted to steal something to increase his wealth greedily and illegally, he would think it over and change his mind because of the penalty for theft in Islam. The penalty for theft in Islam is about menacing thieves and eradicating theft, not about amputating people's hands and horrifying them as some may think.

    Secondly, we are allowed to stone people to death only if they are "convicted" of adultery (extramarital sex between two married persons). But if no one discovered it, those who committed adultery would ask God to forgive them and atone for their sins without exposing and scandalizing themselves. In the modern world, it's very hard to determine whether a man had illegal intercourse with another woman or not. Moreover, Islamic scholars are not allowed to torture adulterers in order to force them to admit committing adultery, but Islam advises adulterers not to 'scandalize' themselves and ask God the most merciful to forgive them. One of the following conditions should be achieved so as to apply the penalty of adultery:-

    (1) Confession: Which is very rare, as Islam allows adulterers to keep what they had committed in secret and ask God to forgive them.

    (2) Pregnancy: This is very rare (especially in today's world) due to the abundance of contraceptive methods.

    (3) Witnesses: Today, people have privacy more than before. In the past (especially in Bedouin and eastern societies), people didn't enjoy that much of privacy, which helped in exposing adultery crimes and witnessing them.

    Though the previously-mentioned conditions were prevalent in the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Only THREE cases of adultery were discovered and those who were involved in them were punished. In all of these cases, the prophet was very careful to spare the adulterers life by finding 'loopholes' in these three conditions, but of no avail. Even after they had been stoned to death, Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims attended their funeral prayers and asked God to have mercy on them. Prophet Muhammad said about a woman whom had been stoned for committing adultery that God's forgiveness to her was enough "for all the residents of Medina" and asked Muslims not to curse her. Nowadays, it's very hard to fulfill one of those conditions; which makes the penalty for adultery "on a very small scale" as theft penalty.

    Finally, I'd like to say that the laws of Islamic Sharia can be practiced anywhere and anytime, as they are more about showing how abhorrent these crimes are than punishing their doers. But the point is that we shouldn't apply the Islamic laws extremely as did the Pharisees with the Jewish law. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are far away from extremism and we shouldn't judge them according to the demeanor of some of their followers; we shouldn't accuse Judaism of being 'a cruel religion' just because some of its followers applied God's laws blindly and despised the followers of other religions. We shouldn't accuse Christianity, the religion of love, of extremism because of the Catholic Church policies in the dark ages and the crusades the Christian Europeans had waged on the Islamic world, causing innumerable casualties. We shouldn't accuse Islam, the religion of peace, of extremism because some Muslims apply God's laws blindly and incite attacks on defenseless and innocent people under the guise of Jihad – Holy War. All the Abrahamic religions call for peace, tolerance, justice, freedom, brotherhood and equality and they are far away from violence, bloodshed and extremism :)

    Peace and God's blessing be upon you :)
  6. Cariad
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    Truly Yeshua criticised the Pharisees and called them hypocrites. In their misplaced pride they put themselves above Gods law, they put their personal wants above what God required of them. It was not so much their extremism but their hypocrisy, an outwardly appearing pious person with a black heart.

    Would you say it actually works as a deterrent then? It does not seem that way, there is just as much greed for personal wealth in Islamic countries as there is in the west. :( there is also the same people trapped in poverty. On that basis I see people of faith (all) are failing, they are failing in living up to Gods standard. Do we really need a threat of a disabling punishment or possible death to force us to do right by God? It would seem that some maybe do, and I think that is sad. It appears that in all the intervening centuries since we were given scripture to guide us, we have failed in enlightenment. We are still trapped in a past where violence was an accepted part of life. I believe we can be better than that. :)

    Being "allowed" to stone a person to death does not mean one has to in today's world, and rightfully, when it does occur it carries universal condemnation. I don't doubt that there are measures in place to ensure sharia law is fair and just, however as we know it is generally used by men and men (I mean men as in mankind, not to be sexist ;) ) as we know do not always act out of fairness. If one innocent person is executed unjustly it is one person too many. It is not possible to ensure this never happens, except of course to not have a death penalty. Being sorry and praying for the victims does nothing for the executed person or their loved ones. A person is alone by their merits before God at judgement.

    I agree on your last point. Any religion that has God at its heart cannot be bad. People can be bad, it is a huge cause for sadness that people do evil deeds in the name of religion, for nothing can be so hurtful to a Holy God to have His name said in praise by someone taking the life of another. These people can be found in all religions and of no religion. If we are to learn nothing from past atrocities committed by people who at that time were far from God as could be, then how do we move forward? If we fail to recognise where we were wrong, learn the lesson and move forward we will remain in a hopeless void of vengeance and hatred. Yet in all this Gods love is constant, we would do well to remember that and wherever we can to emulate it.

    Blessings to you :)
  7. WhiteKnight
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    Actually, there are a lot of Islamic countries suffering from corruption and autocracy as you mentioned in your reply :(. In order to apply the Islamic sharia in a country, we should at first find solutions to all the problems facing it, and not to apply its laws 'all at once'. We should eradicate poverty at first, overcome unemployment so that no one can get involved in extramarital intercourse, improve Muslims morals...etc.

    God didn't order his Prophet to apply the laws of Islamic sharia all at once, but it took almost 22 years to apply it as a whole (i.e the Islamic law had been applied gradually). In the first 13 years, there were no penalties at all, but Islam was improving the spiritual life of Muslims. Thus, they abhorred adultery, homosexuality, paganism, theft and all these damned crimes :). In the following 10 years, God inspired Muhammad to apply the Islamic sharia 'law by law' as prophet Isaiah would say :D "10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" (by the way, I don't claim that the verse talks about Islam xD). God was 'training' Muslims to form a sound modern society by this.

    After overcoming greed , disposing of corruption and improving Muslims' morals by Islam teachings, no one will ever think of committing such crimes because he loves God and because nothing compels him to do so. Only those of 'ill' souls (which are very few) will commit such crimes for their infidelity and love for carnal sins. Thus, they deserve to be punished.

    Objectively, the Islamic law works on keeping the society peaceful, safe and free from evil. You misunderstood me and thought that Islam horrifies its followers by imposing such cruel out-of-date penalties :(. In fact, Islam concentrates on improving and developing human's soul and behavior rather than punishment. But there are some people whose hearts are impure and not towards God. So, 'threatening' sorrily will be the only way to prevent them from 'ruining' the society by their deeds.

    Let's say that I'm a wealthy businessman and I decided to work in 'money laundering' or any illegal business involving theft either directly or indirectly. I don't care for Islam teachings, my heart is not completely towards God and I decided to 'ruin' the society through my illegal business. In some countries, a person like me will be put to death. But in Islam, my hand will be cut off. By this, the society and economy will be safe from 'the likes of me' :). The same to sexual crimes that threatens the society... Have you ever read Charles Dickens' "A Tale of two cities"?? Well, that famous novel talks about life in France before and after the French Revolution in late 18th century. In that novel, a French nobleman called "Le Marquis St. Evremonde" kidnapped a poor female peasant and raped her after killing her husband and destroying her family; which shows how corrupt was the Pre-1789 France. I know I've gone too far by mentioning fiction novels in a religious dialog :D, but such crimes were, and they are still, very common in the world. Those who are like "Evremonde" should be stoned to death for commiting such crimes, 'stoning to death' penalty is as cruel as the crimes committed by real-world's "Evremondes" :D :D

    In a nutshell, Islamic sharia is applied on the 'stiff-necked' people who have decided to ruin the society by their shameful deeds and didn't care for Islam teachings. The more cruel the penalties are, the less crimes those of 'ill' souls will commit. Before applying the Islamic sharia, we should get rid of all the problems facing the society, we can say that the Islamic sharia "is the next step" in the task of the improvement of society, as God imposed the laws of Islamic sharia as a whole only after improving Muslims' spiritual life. Most of Muslims do not commit these abominable crimes because they love God and fear him, not because the 'Islamic sharia' is cruel :).

    I hope you are convinced :)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you xD
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  8. MehmetHilmi
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    Selamun Aleykum,

    First of all, I would like to thank brother WhiteKnight for his explanations on Sharia. I understand there are a lot of things that are misunderstood about it (as a Muslim myself, even I have a lot of questions on this topic).

    How would the punishment for Apostasy be applied? If someone left Islam, how would the government know? Would the punishment be left to the person's parents or family? Is Apostasy really a crime against society punishable by death?

    As with the other punishments, I believe that maybe we can tone them down. Maybe we can find a different interpretation. Because in my personal opinion, I am not so much in favor of a death penalty, unless it is for serious crimes. I'm really sorry if I sounded unorthodox. But is this possible? Can we take a different interpretation that would fit our modern day values, or do we have to literally apply everything as it was applied exactly during the early years of Islam?

    Thanks :)

    Peace be with both of you (Cariad and WhiteKnight)
  9. Cariad
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    WhiteKnight, thank you for your explanation it is one of the clearest and concise I have heard to date. I can't say I'm completely convinced of its effacey above say secular laws.

    I do agree 100% in leading my example, that example is God, as a Christian and follower of Yeshua's teachings Yeshua taught just this God the Father is love personified all the blessings we have in our lives are from Gods love, in return all that we should do should is return that love. How to do this best I believe is listen with our hearts, it's not hard to know what's right and what's wrong. We must always strive to do right because that is pleasing to God, out of our love for Him. If people have to be threatened or cajoled into this mindset then they do not maybe hold God in as high esteem than they should. We should emulate the love, mercy, empathy and compassion towards our fellow man in all ways.

    Yes, I have read "A Tale of Two Cities" ;)

    Blessings C
  10. WhiteKnight
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    Peace and God's blessing be upon you...

    We said before that only 'pure' Muslims are punished for apostasy. But if someone committed apostasy, abandoned Islam and then escaped from his own country, no one will either blame the apostate's family or punish them. Islam doesn't punish people for sins they hadn't committed :)

    Let's say that someone decided to abandon Islam 'in public' and announced it. This will lead to the spread of turmoil in the society, and hence he should be put to death so as to keep the society safe :). The apostate should be advised three times gently and wisely before applying death penalty on him. We talk to him, alleviate all his doubts in Islam and advise him wisely. It's worth mentioning that pure Muslims who abandon Islam 'are extremely extremely few' compared to those who truly believe in God :)

    In the United States, If someone like 'Snowden' is convicted of 'Great Betrayal' and leaking secret documents threatening national security, he will be put to death according to the American law. The same in Islam, if a pure Muslim 'abandoned Islam', he will be put to death for threatening national security :). He will be executed normally, not stoned to death, as in most of the countries of today's world.

    Briefly, those who commit apostasy abandon Islam not because 'they find Islam an inconvenient religion', but because they don't want to worship God, give out alms, fast in Ramadan...etc. They want to lead a Bohemian life where they can commit adultery, get involved in homosexuality, drink alcohol, be thieves...etc. During Abu-Bakr's caliphate, some Muslims who lived in relatively-far tribes abandoned Islam because they didn't want to give out alms and worship God, they were so miserly that they committed apostasy just to stop giving out alms to the poor :(

    Finally, I'd like to say that we are Muslims because we love God and believe in His true religion, not because we are afraid of death in case we abandoned Islam :)

    The End
  11. Cariad
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    Is apostasy punishable by death? I don't understand why a Holy God would wish such a punishment, as the same God gives us the same freedom of choice to accept Him in belief or not.

    My personal opinion is I would like to see the death penalty abolished totally. A person takes a life, and so society takes their life in return. What's to be gained? I see it makes society as bad as the murderer, in the eyes of God. The murderer will answer for his deed before God and will meet Gods justice, this is far more than we can do. A life for a life is based on vengeance. Vengeance is based in hatred, hatred is a destructive emotion and the opposite of love.

    I have been in the situation where a loved one has been taken from me through a crime. I would not have wanted to take the killers life in return, as that would not have brought my loved one back to me. Forgiveness was the best way forward for me, after I understood that a weight was lifted and I could move on with my life a stronger person. Obviously not everyone will feel the same, but I don't see that any "justice" we apply here is comparable to Gods justice. I knew by my forgiveness the killer would still pay for his crime at the end of days, I could forgive with confidence that God has my back so to speak.

    Blessings
  12. Cariad
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    How does this cause turmoil in a society? Is not faith in God a personal thing between oneself and God? If God does not force us to belief why should we force others to believe? People could be worshipping God in insincerity, for outward appearances only caring how society views them. That seems wrong. :(

    Peace. C
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    We Muslims also believe in Prophet Jesus' teachings :D, as I told you before, we do not commit such sins because we love God, not because we are horrified by His sharia. But those of ill hearts should sorrily be punished severely :( so that they can not ruin the society. To me, Islamic Sharia laws are perfect and seek to create a peaceful society. Muslims had established such a great multinational innovative civilization because of God's law. They reached a time that one can leave his property in the middle of the street without anybody even thinking of 'getting close to it'.

    You can say that we Muslims lead a happy life without sin because:-

    1- We love God, who is the Creator of the whole universe and whose mercy overcomes his wrath. In Islam, the relationship between God and the humanity is so great and loving that it cannot be compared to the relationship between a father and his children :). That's why we don't say that God is the father of the mankind, as He is more merciful and loving than a trillion trillion parents ;) All the forms of mercy in the whole universe make up only 1% of God's mercy on the mankind as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said.

    2- These sins are abominable and destructive. A proper human shouldn't get involved in them if he wanted to live a happy life

    In other words, only the sinners who don't believe in God and don't love Him are afraid of the Islamic Sharia :)
    I hope you are 100% convinced ;)

    Peace and God's blessing be upon the both of you xD
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    :). I am not wholly convinced on sharia as an infallible system when compared to any other system of law. But, as a non Muslim it would not apply to me and so it is not a problem.

    I see that you do respect Yeshua but I do not see that you follow His teachings you follow your prophet Mohammed teachings and that is what makes us different as Muslim and Christian. :) the only teaching of Yeshua that we agree on is the One God, our religions differ on other major concepts. Personally, I do not see "religion" is of God. It is a guide only, and we can see as their are many different followers and yet many different "sects" that interpret that religion differently. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong? I don't think that is important, what is important is God Himself, how God chooses to reveal Himself to us is down to our individual understanding. It's a personal journey for each of us.

    Yeshua always called YHWH Father, and taught us to call the same. As we do see ourselves as children of God rather than a slave. We are told we are part of Gods family. Being part of the living Gospel that is Yeshua is our foundation. The Bible showed how great Gods love is for man, God performed the greatest act of agape love for us, though we are often unworthy of it, through our weaknesses and sin. Yet God sees past our faults and loves us all the same.

    When I compare Islam and Christianity it appears to me that Islam is about seeking God, His love, His mercy, and all He is. Christianity is about God seeking relationship with His creation, man. This relationship was always meant to be, God has given us a way we can achieve it. God gives this gift to us through His love, mercy and grace, that is incomparable to anything we can give to each other. But... It doesn't hurt to try. :)

    Blessings. C :)
  15. WhiteKnight
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    He who commits apostasy is advised three times wisely and gently not to abandon Islam. As a Muslim, I believe that my religion is 100% just, true and loving. If I talked to the apostate and asked him why he had decided to abandon Islam, he would say because (1), (2), (3)…etc. He may have doubts in Islam because of the demeanor of his 'false' followers or misunderstanding its laws. A pure Muslim who is born into a full Muslim family knows that his religion is the sequel to Christianity and Judaism, and knows a lot about it. Islam means "submission to God". In other words, anyone whose lord is God to whom he submits is a Muslim. Thus, Islam is the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Zechariah, John and Jesus because all of them believed in One God and submitted to Him and His will (which is the core of Islam).

    So, when veteran Islamic scholars, who know everything about Islam and far away from extremism, talk to an apostate, they alleviate all his doubts in Islam perfectly and logically. If he misunderstood Islam and thought that it is a cruel religion, they will show him how great Islam is, how God is merciful and his religion is far away from extremism. If he thought that Islam is not a divine religion, they will give him logical proofs on the divinity of Islam origin. Once I convince the apostate that Islam is God's religion, he will realize that it is the true religion.

    However, if he refused to re-embrace Islam, even if he was 100% convinced that it is the true religion; his would mean that he wants to live a Bohemian life. Thus, we should advise him two more times. If these trials are of no avail, he will be put to death sorrily according to Islamic scholars.

    It's right that one's belief in God is a personal affair, but he may 'spread' turmoil in the society through many means like those I mentioned in one of my previous replies. First of all, you should know that no verse in the Holy Quran tells us plainly to kill the apostates. Even Prophet Muhammad's ethical quotes (Hadiths) don't tell us plainly to kill all those who commit apostasy. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:-

    "The blood of a Muslim, who confesses that there is no god but Allâh, cannot be shed except in three cases: 1. Life for life (in cases of intentional murders without right i.e., in Al-Qisas – Law of Equality in punishment); 2. A married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse; and 3. The one who turns renegade from Islam (apostate) and leaves the group of Muslims."


    In my opinion, I think that the last condition has another interpretation. In the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), if a pure Muslim committed apostasy, he would go to the Arabian Pagans and tell them everything about the secrets of Muslims – in time each Muslim took part in the construction of a developed Islamic society through God's guidance. If you read the biography of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), you will find that apostasy was 'the key trick' by which the Pagans could get information about Muslims to conquer them. And even in the ages of the Islamic caliphates and dynasties, apostates leaked secret information to the enemies of Muslims; which helped them in their wars with Muslims. For this, 'the one who leave the group of Muslims' should be put to death because he threatens the Islamic 'national security'. That's why apostates are killed; they are killed because they threaten the Islamic national security by leaking secret information to our adversaries. In the modern world, in my opinion, I think it is very hard to convict someone of apostasy or arrest him (as he will flee to another country).

    Briefly, some Islamic scholars say that it is hard to apply the penalty for apostasy nowadays because of the following reasons:-

    1- Basically, the penalty for apostasy was applied by God for a political reason rather than a religious one. Apostates used to leak Muslims' secret information to their adversaries. In the USA, which is a secular country, if someone was convicted of leaking secret information, he should be put to death. And the same here in God's law, apostates in the time of Prophet Muhammad turned from Islam to paganism so as to work against Muslims.

    2- In today's world, it's really hard to convict someone of apostasy because he either keeps it in secret or flees to another country. Therefore, God will punish him in the hereafter, not Muslims in the terrestrial life.

    3- God gave the mankind the freedom whether to embrace Islam and believe in him or not, as the Holy Quran says (1:256) :-

    "There is no compulsion in religion -- the right way is indeed dearly distinct from error. So whoever disbelieves in the devil and believes in God, he indeed lays hold on the firmest handle which shall never break. And God is Hearing, Knowing"

    You said that man should believe in God without being compelled to do so, and I agree with you completely. All those who embraced Islam, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), embraced it with true faith and belief, not because they were compelled to do so. When they realized how Islam is tolerant, just, logic and great, they decided to embrace Islam. Islam is renowned for its tolerance with non-Muslims. Christians, Jews, Magi…etc lived peacefully under the Islamic rule. God and his prophet even ordered us to fight for their safety and protect their worship places J. If you are a Muslim and read about Islam from authentic and reliable sources, you will realize who great it is and will stay a Muslim so long as you live on earth.

    That is everything about the penalty for apostasy in Islam, I hope you are convinced ;)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon the both of you :D
  16. WhiteKnight
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    I know that you won't be convinced that the Islamic sharia, God's law, is infallible. It's a matter of doctrines and beliefs :D. However, both Islam and Christianity believe in One Omnipotent God whose mercy overcomes his wrath and loves the mankind :).

    Peace be upon you ;)
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    WhiteKnight, good explanation again, thank you. So apostasy, at least in the early days, is akin to treason? Is there no separation between state and matter of the spirit?

    Your point I quote above, please. I have heard this before but it has never made any sense to me, :) I should think if you asked them today Jews believe they submit to God, Christians certainly believe they submit to God. So does that make us all Muslim? Obviously this is not so, therefore there must be another factor in play. The belief and acceptance of Mohammed as final Prophet. The Jews and Christians don't accept this fact and on that basis we cannot be called Muslim. So if Mohammed is the factor, and the Biblical prophets and Yeshua never knew of him and so never linked his name as final prophet, how could the Biblical prophets be muslims yet today's Christians and Jews are not?

    Yeshua said with Him it was finished, so the Christians were not expecting another Prophet. The Jews who rejected Yeshua as messiah are still waiting for their Messiah, but do not recognise Mohammed fills that position.

    I do believe Islam is peaceful as I do believe so of all religion. It is some muslims and a minority who are not, and although such are to be found in all religions...for sure I see Christians who are so far from Yeshua they do not know Him. :( we all share the world and we would better serve by living in harmony. I don't see that a love of God, which all peoples of faith share, should be divisive. It should be uniting us against everything that is an anathema to a Holy God and we should work together for peace. Which I think the majority of ordinary little people do :) it just does not make the news as much as the bad stuff.

    Blessings. C
  18. WhiteKnight
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    God Almighty says in the Holy Quran (1:62) :-

    "62 Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve."

    We Muslims do not say that all Jews, Christians, and monotheists will attain hell in the judgment day. The non-Muslims disbelief in Prophet Muhammad is an issue between them and God. In Islam, only God knows and decrees whether you will attain hell or not in the hereafter, not us Muslims. We weren't given a 'record' of those who will be punished or rewarded by God in the 'world to come' :D. It's right that believing in the prophecy of Muhammad (PBUH) is from the fundamentals of Islam. But Islam mainly hinges on 'submission to God', for this God's religion is called 'Islam' (an Arabic word meaning submission – to God -). The reason why we Muslims hate our great divine religion to be called 'Muhammadism' is that our religion depends mainly on 'believing in One God'. It's not a religion founded by Prophet Muhammad as some people may claim, but it is the religion of all the prophets sent to humanity by God.

    You say that biblical prophets didn't mention Muhammad in their prophecies and texts, nor did they say that they were 'Muslims'. Actually, this will lead us to another dialog about the biblical prophecies about prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the bible :D :D. We debated about the prophecy in Isaiah 42 formerly; each one of us believes that it talks about either Jesus or Muhammad (peace be upon them). Generally, the bible prophecies talking about 'the awaited LORD's servant' across the Old Testament were interpreted in different ways by us Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    For example, If you asked a Jew about the person whom Isaiah 42 (or any other biblical prophecy) talks about, he'll say that it doesn't talk about either Jesus or Muhammad (peace be upon them), but it mentions the Jewish Messiah who haven't appeared till now :D . They give us evidences that Jesus and Muhammad are not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a the Old Testament in Christian theology) which seem logical to them. The same to Christians, they interpret the prophecies in an entirely way different from Jews ;), with evidences that seem logical to them, too. And we say that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is mentioned in the Bible, with strong and logical proofs and evidences :D

    In Philosophy, there's a principle called "The Relativity of Truth"…Have you ever heard of it :) ?. The way Jews, Christians and Muslims interpret biblical prophecies differently to prove that the Jewish Messiah, Jesus or prophet Muhammad are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible epitomizes that philosophical principle :). Though we Muslims and you Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the awaited Messiah who is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, Jews deny this saying that "Jesus is one of the false Messiahs who appeared in history ". We don't say that prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the awaited Messiah, but we say that he is the final awaited prophet of God :D

    Although we say that Jesus Christ hadn't been crucified and killed, we Muslims believe that he is the awaited Messiah who will save the world from evil and fight the antichrist and his followers (Al Maseeh Al Dajal in Islam). We believe in his second coming but in a different way from Christians :). In Islam, Jesus Christ is as revered as prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A Muslim blasphemes if he curses Jesus Christ :D

    Are you convinced xD?

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :)
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  19. Cariad
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    It is a very big ask to see the biblical prophets as muslims :) the cradle of Islam was Arabia, Mohammed was Arab. Yet the previous scriptures the prophets were Hebrew and the foundation of all the three Abrahamic faith lies in the children of Israel.

    If you say submission to God is Islam, you are just talking the semantics of language here, by the meaning of the word Islam, which is Arabic in root is it not? So should we ask how did the biblical prophets view themselves? They were for all intents and purposes Jews their language of the Old Testament Hebrew. I do not see they would have used an Arabic word to describe their faith. So although you view biblical prophets as muslims they would not have viewed themselves that way.

    Tis true we see the "truth" in different ways. The Jews decided that Jesus did not fit their prophecies as the promised Messiah, they were expecting a King to lead them. Yeshua was King, but of no earthly Kingdom. The Jews that did see and understand and became followers of Yeshua became today's Christians. Our belief differs from Judaism because of the teaching of Yeshua who we believe to be the promised Messiah. Islam has a foot in both camps :) believing Yeshua as the Messiah yet denying the reason He was sent. Yeshua said he was Alpha and Omega.. The beginning and the end.. He was the promised Messiah and the culmination of YHWHs plan for mankind. Both the Bible and Quran agree Yeshua was without sin, and never a lie was found on His lips. So was Yeshua not what He claimed to be?

    By "changing" Yeshua into Isa, the Quran has effectively made Yeshua into a failure. If what Yeshua said was not true and another Prophet was needed to get the message across, why would YHWH not know this, and just send Mohammed in the first place? You claim Yeshua as a prophet and do say you respect Him, but really Yeshua and Isa are quite different.

    I can understand the Jewish position on Yeshua, I don't understand the Islamic one. The Jews rejected the whole of Yeshua muslims accept part but reject most of what Yeshua taught.

    I have spoken frankly here, I do so not wishing to cause offence, but just to explain how I feel. :) I am convinced that you are convinced you are on the right path ;) as to weather I should be on that same path... I am less so. :)

    Blessings :) C
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    The idiom "Alpha and Omega" is mentioned only in the book of Revelation in the following verses:-

    1- Revelation (1:8):-
    "8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

    2- Revelation (1:6):-
    " Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."
    3- Revelation (21:6):-
    "6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

    4- Revelation (22:13):-
    "13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
    In Christian theology, there are God the Son, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. "Alpha and Omega" means that God is the first and last, there was nothing before him and there will be nothing after him. 'Jesus as a God' in Christian belief says that about himself in his 'divine nature', not as a messenger :)....got it?. In other words, God is the first and the last, which is also mentioned in the Quran (57:3) (disregarding the part talking about the Holy Trinity):-
    " He is the First, the Last, the All-Outward, and the All-Inward. He has full knowledge of everything."

    "Alpha and Omega" means that God (the son, father...) is the first and the last, Jesus 'God' as Christians believe didn't say: "I'm Alpha and Omega, no one will come after me - as a prophet -". Jesus Christ didn't say that he is the last prophet, there were true prophets after Jesus Christ, the book of Acts (13:1) says:-
    "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
    So why do you say that there were no prophets after Jesus Christ, Is acts (13:1) lying ??? God is the first and the last, right??. Being Jesus a God in Christian Theology, when he said "I am Alpha and Omega" he meant that he is - as a God - the first (nothing before him) and the last (nothing will come after him).

    By the way, we Muslims believe that God sent prophets to the nations around the globe in their own mother tongues. Islam is a global religion rather than a religion that depends on Arabic. But it was God's will to send prophet Muhammad from Arabia, not from sons of Israel, because Arabs were in such a horrible state , more horrible than Jews and Christians; they buried their daughters alive, worshiped idols, committed adultery...etc. Moreover, Arabia was 'relatively' away from the influence of other external powers and dynasties ; which would help prophet Muhammad in forming an independent society. If the final prophet was from Hebrews, he would be under the authority of Romans and Persians, which would stand as a setback in his way in forming God's kingdom, Genesis 17:20 says:-

    "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."
    It is impossible that the Ishmaelite (the Arabs) would be a great nation by being ignorant, worshiping idols, committing adultery, waging wars on other tribes for petty reasons, burying their baby girls alive...etc. Is this God's bless to them and His promise to Abraham to make them 'a great nation'? Or God would improve their life and make them 'a great nation' through his guidance and a prophet who would be from them?? If you compared pre-Islam Arabia with post-Islam Arabia, you can see the difference :). Which one them is worth calling 'a great nation'?

    get the message :D?

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :)
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014

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