Critique of The Law of Apostasy in Islam Essay

In 1924 Samuel Zwemer had written The Law of Apostasy in Islam like a response to a number of books and articles that claimed there is absolutely no punishment in Islam to get apostate Muslims. Zwemer quotations Khwajah Kemal-ud-Din who wrote in his publication India in the Balance, “in Islam you cannot find any penalty pertaining to apostasy” and Mohammed Ali’s English translation of The Heiliges buch des islam “neither here nor somewhere else in the Ay Koran will there be even a tip of the imposition of capital or any different punishment around the apostate. ” Zwemer disputes these claims and attempts to prove his contention there is a long great punishing apostates throughout the Muslim world (Zwemer 8-9).

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Zwemer was a missionary for the Christian Dutch Reformed house of worship in the Middle East during the later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The folks he worked with and attempted to convert to Christianity were Muslims. Zwemer begins his discussion in the chapter “Why thus Few Moslem Converts” by simply citing many cases where Muslims used punishment and ostracism against apostate Muslims, that is, Muslims who had converted to Christianity.

The incidents described are anecdotal and cope with specific cases where apostate Muslims went through punishment or perhaps discrimination as a result of practicing Muslims. Assuming, for the sake of argument, Zwemer is correct and so on practices occurred, Zwemer still does not disprove either in the statements quoted above. What Zwemer “proves” is that several Muslims were punished, absolutely nothing more. He has not confirmed the Koran supports these kinds of practices.

The title of this section must give the reader pause; it does not are most often the title of the intellectual argument, but more like a security of his and other missionaries efforts while working between Muslims. Evidently he had determined the reason for his lack of success was as a result of fear of punishment by various other Muslims, certainly not because he was obviously a bad missionary, or as the tenets of Islam had been more convincing to people in the region than the guidelines in Christianity (Zwemer 15-29). In the section two “The Law of Apostasy” Zwemer quotes three passages in the Koran that he claims suggest an official sanctioning of consequence of apostates.

Zwemer is unconvincing. The phrase “take from them [apostate Muslims] not patron or perhaps help (IV. 90, 91) and claims that the standard commentary of Baidhawi, whomever that is, means “take and kill him wheresoever you find ye get him, similar to other infidel (Zwemer 33). It appears Baidhawi has selected an meaning that is not validated from the initial text.

He treats the other pathways in a identical fashion, interpretation them to indicate apostates must be killed or punished, if a more straightforward interpretation would not imply his conclusion. Zwemer errs in at least two styles. First this individual appears to associate evidence that indicates abuse has been used against apostates indicates the sanction of such activities by the educating of Islam.

This is not the truth. Throughout history there are quite a few examples wherever common methods were both directly forbidden by recognized policies or were not resolved by these types of policies. That is not indicate established policies official such actions.

Secondly, Zwemer’s evidence is largely either anecdotal or demand such contrived interpretations with the Koran concerning unconvincing. As a result The Law of Apostasy in Islam does not prove that punishment for fallen Muslims is a tenant of Islam. Functions Cited Zwemer, Samuel Meters.

The Law of Apostasy. London: Marshall Brothers Ltd, d. d.

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