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['Aalim Network QR] Imam Khumayni/Islamic Revolution/Apostacy

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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,

The following questions were kindly answered by Mulla Bashir Rahim.


Abbas Jaffer
Acting Moderator - 'Aalim Network



I am researching Ayatollah Khomeini for a class and have a few questions
about him.  Some of the books I have found talk about executions of
teenage girls for handing out pamphlets against the revolution, riots
which resulted in deaths at universities to make the universities
segregate the sexes.  The books do not say but imply that Ayatollah
Khomeini supported these type of acts, do you know more about that?

ANSWER: First of all please forgive me for the inordinate delay in responding.

Iran was in the vice grip of a revolution. The country had to contend with
forces both internal and external determined to stop the establishment of an 
Islamic Republic. One must never be judgmental about the events during a
revolution. It was a revolution conceived and executed under a great faqeeh. One 
will never know what happened with his authority and what was done by the 
opportunists who clambered on to the band wagon of the revolution. Even in the 
times of the Holy Prophet (SAWA) certain occurrences took place without his 
knowledge. The example which springs to the mind is the expedition of Khalid 
ibne Walid immediately following the almost bloodless conquest of Mecca.


Also in this study the question about apostates comes up.  Where is the
line drawn of when an apostate should be executed or should not be?
Obviously I think if he is coerced or insane, etc. those are extenuating
circumstances, but what about the case if, as an example, someone grows up
in a place controlled by Taliban and thinks Taliban is what Islam is all
about and thus convert out of Islam, since what they were believing was
not really Islam would they still be considered apostate needing
execution?  I was just curious about this issue.


Some time back Dr. Liyakat Takim gave an excellent dissertation on
apostasy on the Alim Network. I can not do better than quote from his response:

"Apostasy (irtidad) is the act of turning away from Islam having accepted
it.  This involves the rejection of tawheed and nabuwwah and the essentials
of Islam (e.g. that the Qur'an is a book of God). 

There are 2 types of murtadd - fitri and milli.

A fitri murtad is one who was born of Muslim parents (or at least one
parent) and then rejects Islam. If he rejects Islam, then, according to
the fatawa of our maraji (including Ayatullahs al-Khu'i and Khumayni) he
is to be killed. 

A milli murtad is one who converts and then rejects Islam - He is to be
given 3 days to repent and accept Islam again. If he does not accept by
the fourth day he is to be killed. 

A Murtadd has to be baligh, be sane, be free in his rejection of Islam. 
A woman murtadd (whether of the fitri or milli type) is not to be killed.
She is to be imprisoned." 

Those who accept (but do not practise) Islam cannot be considered to be
murtadd. So a person who doesn't pray is not a murtadd. One who recites
the shahada and then states that the prayer should be done in a different
way is not a murtadd but is a sinner since he/she has rejected the form
prescribed in the Qur'an and in the sunna of the Prophet (SAW).
Similarly, one who believes in a fresh and different interpretation of
the Qur'an is not an apostate as long as he/she does not reject the
Qur'an itself. 

The questions you have raised e.g. on hijab concern the furu' not usul -
therefore one who rejects them is still a Muslim but a sinner. However,
one who states that the salat for example is not a part of Islam or
rejects the essential teachings of the Qur'an or believes that the
Shari'a is no longer to be practised falls outside the pale of Islam (He
is different from a person who believes in Islam but does not practise
the shari'a at all)

One who does not accept the Imamat or isma is not considered to be an
apostate - however, he/she is not amongst the followers of the ahlul bayt
since he/she has rejected the wilaya of our ai'mma (peace be upon them
all). The Sunnis do not accept the wilaya of the Imams but are still
considered to be Muslims. 

For those who are murtadd, since the hudud can not be practised in the
west, it is merely better, in my humble view, to show them the true and
unadulterated teachings of Islam through our actions. Insha-allah, one
day they will see the light again. 

The punishments prescribed above are to be applied when a person
voluntarily renounces Islam. A person who is a kafir is not an apostate
but a disbeliever. 

As for the philosophy of the punishment of irtidad, I would refer you to
a book called Human Rights and the Conflict of cultures: Western and
Islamic Perspectives on Religious Liberty, by David Little, John Kelsay and A.

You will have noted from the above exposition that only an Islamic Country where 
the shari'ah laws apply can the above punishments be imposed. Even then after a 
proper Islamic trial



Another question that came up is that many followers of Ayatollah
Khomeini seem to believe that he was the one true mujtahid at the time and that 
others were not really acceptable, and the same with Ayatollah Khameini today.  
Is there any indication that there should be only one "true" mujtahid at a time?


All the marja'i are people great learning who have the authority to give rulings 
on matters of fiqh. In the time of Ayatullah Khumaini we had several mujtahids 
just as we have to-day. Nationalism, though admirable amongst the nationals 
concerned, can not and must not be confused with marji'i.

Please do not hesitate to submit to the Alim Network  any supplementary question 
you may have.

With salaams and du'aas from a humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their
followers, and with a request to be remembered by you in your prayers,

Bashir Rahim

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