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['Aalim Network QR] Islamic law on Blasphemy

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salamun 'Alaykum

Although the following question was addressed specifically to Maulana 
Rizvi, he has a few other questions that he is looking into. Dr. Takim, 
kindly agreed therefore, to answer the question.   


Akil Karim
Acting Moderator for ABDG-A

---------- Forwarded message ----------


Please see the following questions which appeared some time ago on ABDG for
answer by an Alim.

I would be grateful if these can be referred to Sayid Mohamed Akhtar
Rizvi.  What constitutes blasphemy in Islamic law? What is the punishment
for blasphemy in Islam? How would such a crime be dealt with in an Islamic
court? Please advise in context of blasphamy against Islam, Quran, Holy
Prophet and Imams. Are there any published works on the above in English. 


Blasphemy, by definition refers to uttering profane language, insulting 
or abusing or calumniating that which is sacred in religion. The 
punishment for blasphemious acts are normally covered in Kitab al-Hudud in
our juridical texts. 

According to Ayatullah al-Khu'i, it is incumbent (wajib) to kill one who
insults or calumniates the Prophet when one hears the insults provided there
is no danger to his self, reputation or wealth. Agha also extends this
ruling to cover insults against the Imams and Bibi Fatima (A.S.). It is not
essential to get the permission of a Hakim al-Shar' to carry out the act.

Agha even says it is wajib to kill one who lays claims to nubuwwa taking the
above stated precautions into account.

As for the apostate (murtad - one who blasphemes against God by renouncing
Islam) there are 2 possible scenarios - A fitri murtadd is one who is born
of Muslim parent(s). It is wajib to kill him if he apostacizes. The milli
murtad is a convert who then apostacizes. Ayatullah al-Khu'i states that he
should be given a chance to repent of his act. If he does not repent within
3 days, then he should be killed on the 4th. However, one does not need to
undertake the act of killing if there is a danger to his own life or
property or reputation.

By the way, a woman apostate is not to be killed regardless of whether she
is fitri or milli type. She is to be given a chance to repent. If she does
not do so, then she should be imprisoned and beaten during the prayer time.

For more details, see Minhaj al-Salihin, volume 2 the section covering the
penalties (hudud).

The fiqh books which have been translated in English should have the
discussion on blashpemy although I do not have them at my disposal. A
discussion on the law of apostacy in Islam is undertaken by Dr. Sachedina in
his book Human Rights and the conflicts of Cultures.


Liyakatali Takim

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