Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints, or enslavement, and is an idea closely related to the concept of liberty.


Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 3 months ago

I think it is good to be honest about apostasy in Islamic law and thought. There are roughly three views that are espoused about this:

(a) The ruling that an apostate should be killed (except in certain cases) is correct and in line with the Prophet's teachings.
(b) In the past, in and around the Islamic regions, religious identity was like today's national identity. So, in times of war, apostasy was equal to defecting to the enemy's side and was equivalent to treason. This is why there was a strict penalty for apostasy, just like, in today's world, a person who commits treason to their nation-state is often considered worthy of death. However, today, identity is primarily based on nationality not religion, so this no longer applies to the world.
(c) The ruling that an apostate should be killed is incorrect and based on inauthentic material, and this idea goes against the Qur'an which says there should be no compulsion in religion.

One can also add factor (d): That, due to the challenges the Muslim-majority world has faced due to the legacy of colonialism and a sense of being under threat (politically, economically, culturally, etc), there is an increased sensitivity against people who might be seen as threatening the faith. 

So, those are some of the possibilities, and I think it's worthwhile just to discuss them as they are.

In practice, apostasy law tends not to be practiced. Also, most Muslims tend to be uncomfortable with the idea of punishing apostates. Of course, this is not to diminish anyone's experience who has dealt with this. 

Some opponents to Islam argue that it is only due to this law that Muslims remain great in number, but that is obviously not true since the vast majority of Muslims do not base their faith or religious practice on this law. Rather, they choose to practice voluntarily. It is very difficult to force someone to be genuinely dedicated to a religion.

Furthermore, if it were only due to fear that Muslims were remaining Muslim, then why would Islam have inspired such a vast outpouring of religious culture such as Islamic literature, mystical poetry, theological writings, Islamic art and architecture, and so forth? Physical manifestations of a person's faith suggest that their faith is genuine. 

It is also quite rare to find a Muslim who wants to leave Islam but who says they are staying in Islam because of this precept of Islamic law. Possibly there are some, but it is certainly not the norm.

While conversion away from Islam is not extremely frequent, the vast majority of people who are believing Muslims tend to stay Muslims for their own reasons, not out of fear of this ruling in Islamic law.

Perhaps these non-Muslims can simply talk to Muslims, ask them about their faith and why they hold it, and this will give them more insight into what actually happens among Muslims.

Might I suggest as tactfully as possible that Islam does not have a history of an Inquisition or forced conversion (for instance, during the slave trade in the Americas), or Crusades, the same way that Christianity does. Historically, Muslims have tended to acknowledge and respect religious diversity reasonably well.

I don't wish to reduce this to a debate about whether Islam or Christianity is better or paint Christianity only with that brush. I am just saying that it is important to recognize that Islam and Christianity have different histories and sometimes there may be an erroneous tendency to project what happened in the history of one religion onto the other. Also, if some of these non-Muslims are coming from a Christian background, they might benefit from being more self-reflective about their own history rather than pointing fingers at Islam. 

In fact, it can be argued that negativity against organized religion in some of the West is due to forms of suppression due to the Church in the past few centuries. Some people who have had a bad experience with the Church then also project that negativity onto other religions, assuming that all organized religions are exactly the same, but this is a myopic viewpoint. So, if this is a factor in the discussion, I would again suggest that they actually talk to real, living Muslims (not sensationalist websites or ex-Muslims seeking attention in the media) to get a sense of what actually tends to happen in the Muslim religious experience.

However, I have noticed a curious phenomenon about apostasy and Islam: one never seems to wholly leave Islam. That is, anyone who leaves Islam and formally converts to another religion perpetually seems to identify themself, and be identified as, an "ex-Muslim". In contrast, a Buddhist who becomes a Christian is usually referred to as a "Christian", not an "ex-Buddhist". I suppose this says something about the world we live in, or perhaps Islam just has a strong staying power when it comes to identity. 


Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 year ago

Bismihi ta'ala

If we were to take each by its correct definition, we will be able to see a difference here. 

Western countries are generally democratic and secular. That means the political party is chosen by majority of votes, and secular is that religion has no involvement in the affairs of the government or laws. 

Well, that's what it is assumed to be. 

So, one can follow any religion, and the way they dress is not dictated onto them by government or law.

An Islamic country is different. It functions within what is mandated by religion. There is the public sphere, and the private. In the public, whether you are religious or not, you must observe the law of the religious state. In the private, you can do as you wish, if you are not religious or follow another religion. 

So, after this very brief definition, according to the Western system of government and secular law, banning someone from wearing a religious garb is certainly against the very foundation of what they claim they have, which is freedom of expression of what to wear and which religion to follow, under secular rule. 

You can condemn them based on what they are claiming they uphold, and that is the sad situation of today's society, unfortunately.

With prayers for your success. 



Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 2 years ago

Yes, of course, the Holy Qur’an and the Hadeeths have many instructions
about the discipline of speech.

1)    In Surah 2 : verse 83 Allah (SWT) says : “And speak good to
people”. Which means that the freedom of speech should not harm the
interest or respect of others.

2)    In Surah Israa' (Bani Israel) : verse 53 Allah (SWT) says : “And
tell my servants to speak in the best way because Shaitan verily tries
to create conflict among them. Surely Shaitan is the clear enemy of

3)    In Surah 41 : verse 34 Allah (SWT) says : “The good deeds are
never equal to the bad deeds. Repel the evil with the better one”.
Which means that we must avoid talking any bad with the excuse of
freedom of speech.

4)    In Surah 16 : verse 125 Allah (SWT) says : “Invite and call
people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and for preaching and have
debate with them in better way which means that we should keep fair
discipline for the freedom of speech.

In Hadith we have:

1)    Talk to people in the best way that you like them to talk to you
(Imam Mohammed al-Baqir (AS) in Tafseer al-Ayyashi vol 1 pg 48).

2)    Hadith in al-Kafi, vol 2 pg 63, from Imam Ja’far as-sadiq (AS)
that he (AS)  said: He is not from us who is not a good companion and
a good friend and who has not good morals with them.

3)    “Deal with people as you want them to deal with you and talk to
them as you want them to talk to you” (Jaami' Ahadeeth Al-Shia)


Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 2 years ago

as salam alaikum

The Qur'an says:

"...and do not mix truth with falsehood" (2:42)

"...and speak kindly to people" (2:83)

"...and speak to them honorable words" (4:5).

"Allah does not like the broadcasting of anyone's evil in speech except by someone who has been wronged" (4:148)

"Do not abuse those whom they invoke besides Allah, lest they should abuse Allah out of hostility" (6:108)

"And when you speak be fair" (6:152)

"Indeed the hearing, the eyesight and the heart: all of these are accountable" (17:36).

"Tell My servants to speak in a manner which is the best" (17:53)

"Avoid false speech" (22:30)

"Lower your voice, indeed the ugliest of voices is the donkey's voice" (31:19).

"O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and speak upright words" (33:70)

"How regrettable of the servants! There did not come to them any messenger but that they used to deride him" (36:30)

"O you who have faith! Let not any people ridicule another people: it may be that they are better than they are; nor let women ridicule women: it may be that they are better than they are. And do not defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. An evil name is transgression after faith! And whoever is not penitent, such are the wrongdoers" (49:11)

"Do not spy or backbite one another. Will any one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother?" (49:12).

With prayers for your success.


Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 years ago

Islamic rules are the most realistic rules known in the human history. It save guards the interest of human beings in all the stages of their life and avoids them any expected or unexpected harm. Marriage of the virgin girl can be influenced by her emotion because of her delicate nature which can be misused by some men. That is why, a condition was put to assure that her emotions are not been misused. Nevertheless, this condition of her father's permission is not an absolute condition, but it has exceptions and exemptions e.g. when the virgin girl is mature enough and emotionally stable, and she needs to get married to a suitable believer, and her father is refusing the marriage for reasons which are not approved by Islam, then she will be entitled to get married to a suitable believer to save herself from sin.