In the Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
The practice of showing disloyalty to a particular religion or doctrine (apostasy) is not new. It is as old as the establishment of formal religious systems in the world. We have several examples of people rejecting Christianity and accepting Islam or other religions or even no religion at all. Similarly, we have examples of people renegading Islam and becoming Christians or moving to other religions or no religion at all. Our focus here is to see why people deserted Islam for some alternatives and how baseless are their reasons to leave Islam. These matters have not gone unnoticed and we found some research studies on this subject. An analysis of a research study by Khalil and Bilici (2007) from University of Michigan is of importance to understand the mindset of the renegades in general. This study basically focused on the people from Western countries who left Islam and became the renegade.
We are going to present some of the reasons given by these individuals for leaving Islam. Although these reasons are baseless, we present them here to understand their mindset:
The status of women in Islam
The contradiction between Shari’a and human rights
Islam as illogical and unscientific (vis-à-vis the theory of evolution)
The unnecessary, strict rules and expectations of Islam
Islam as not universal, but rather Arab-centric
The dubious historicity of Qur’an and Hadith (Nauzu-billah)
Other social and experimental reasons are:
Muslim ill-treatment of women
Muslim ill-treatment of non-Muslims
Muslims as backward
Muslims as oppressive
Some other reasons given are too disgusting to include them in this article. When we look at all these reasons, we can easily say how flawed are their arguments against Islam. One individual who left Islam said, in an interview, that he left Islam because the five-time daily prayer is affecting his career and job. Another renegade argues that Qur’an is not divine. We can strongly refute these charges but this is not the scope of this article. In fact, the social and experimental reasons given above could be found in other religions too. Every society has good and bad people. On the question of Muslims’ Ill-treatment of women is proved baseless because in the west, majority of people converting into Islam are women based on the above study.
One thing is very clear that either these renegades did not fully comprehend Islam in its true sense, or they were misguided by people of other faith, or somehow, they decided to leave Islam and came up with some illogical reasoning and the same is true about the renegades from the Mahdavia faith. It is also possible that these individuals might not have been provided a reasonably good Islamic value system at home from the beginning. It is also possible that these households had been after material world to earn money and status in the society and they never thought of importance of Islam in their lives. As Qur’an clearly states that this Book is a guide for the people of Taqwa (Hudal’lil Muttaqeen). So, if someone has spent his/her major part of the life after the materialistic world, having no regard to the concept of God-fearing, have never been for Islam although they might have born as Muslims.
It is also worth noting that the evil of renegade in Islam started even during the period of Prophet Muhammed SAS. Two of such instances are recorded in the books of hadith to show how disgraceful their fate was after renegading from Islam,
Narrated Anas (RZ): “There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-`Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet (Katib-e-Wahi). Later on, he returned to Christianity again and he used to say, (we seek refuge with Allah (SWT) (Nauzubillah)), "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah (SWT) caused him (the renegade) to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning, they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions.” They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning, they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions.” They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning, they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So, they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3617) (Note: two repetitive sentences are removed for more clarity.)
Narrated Sa'd (RZ): “On the day when Mecca was conquered, the Messenger of Allah (SAS) gave protection to the People except four men and two women and he named them. Ibn AbuSarh was one of them. He then narrated the tradition. He said: Ibn AbuSarh hid himself with Uthman ibn Affan. When the Messenger of Allah (SAS) called the people to take the oath of allegiance, he brought him and made him stand before the Messenger of Allah (SAS). He said: Messenger of Allah, receive the oath of allegiance from him. He raised his head and looked at him thrice, denying him every time. After the third time he received his oath. He then turned to his Companions and said: Is not there any intelligent man among you who would stand to this (man) when he saw me desisting from receiving the oath of allegiance, and kill him? They replied: We do not know, Messenger of Allah, what lies in your heart; did you not give us a hint with your eye? He said: It is not proper for a Prophet to have a treacherous eye. (Sunan Abi Dawud # 2683).
The above two Ahadith are sufficient to understand the status of the renegades.
It is important to note that Allah (SWT) does not change the condition of a people unless they try to make the change, from good to bad or bad to good. Allah (SWT) says in Qur’an thus, “Verily God does not change the state of a people till they change themselves. When God intends misfortune for a people no one can avert it, and no savior will they have apart from Him. Being Muslims, we need to remember that the guidance comes only from Allah (SWT).
When Allah (SWT) provides guidance to someone, no one can make her/him astray and when Allah (SWT) wants someone to go astray, no one can guide her/him. Allah (SWT) says in Qur’an, “(O Muhammad), you cannot guide whomever you love, but God guides whomever He wants and knows best those who seek guidance.” (28:56)
Thus it is clear from this verse that guidance comes only from Allah (SWT), we seek guidance from Allah alone. We recite “Ih’dinas Siraatal Mustaqueem” (Guide us to the Straight Path) in every Rakah of Namaz. However, our supplications would be effective only when we deeply reflect on this verse while reciting in Namaz.
May Allah guide us and keep us firm on Straight Path (Siratal Mustaqeen), Ameen!