No U-turn in Islam

In Islam renouncing Allah is an act of treason of the highest order against God.

Awang Abdillah, FMT

Malaysia, being a multi-religious country, will have to live with the differences in religious beliefs among the various races. Among the differences that have become issues of contention are:

  • the pursuit by Muslim hardliners to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state;
  • the supremacy of the Quran versus the Federal Constitution;
  • the power of the syariah laws vis-à-vis that of the man-formulated (criminal) laws and principles of democracy;
  • the jurisdiction of the syariah courts versus that of the civil courts; and
  • an individual’s freedom of choice in religion or beliefs.

In essence, the main contention is the supremacy of the religion of Islam in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia as advocated by the Muslim community versus the non-Muslims’ recognition of the supremacy of man-made laws over religion.

The Muslims believe everything centres on the teachings of their religion, but the non-Muslims contend that religion should be confined to one’s own personal spiritual belief.

Muslims believe that the religion of Islam, which has been established more than 1,400 years ago, has been proven to provide spiritual guidance and has become a way of life for the ummah (believers) in the Muslim countries till today.

Hence Islam should enhance its role to dictate its terms – vis-à-vis syariah laws – to its ummah. The syariah law is to ensure the religion continues its role as a beacon and custodian of believers.

Muslim scholars would then like to ensure that the syariah laws are implemented in a comprehensive way in the country applicable to Muslims.

On the other hand, the non-Muslims believe the issue of freedom of religion or beliefs is part of the democratic, constitutional and legal rights of an individual; thereby Islam as a religion should be confined to its spiritual teaching only.

In this article, I would like to confine my analysis on the freedom of religion and beliefs.

When the Quran states that there in no compulsion in religion, it means a Muslim cannot force a non-believer to embrace Islam and that a non-Muslim cannot force a Muslim to leave his religion.

However, a non-Muslim can embrace Islam on his own free will but a Muslim cannot leave his religion on his own free will!

In the first place, the terms “to be” or “to become” a Muslim are different from those of being a non-Muslim/non-believer.

Destiny pre-determined and irreversible

A born Muslim is already pre-determined as such by Qada and Qadar (fate and destiny).

Similarly fate pre-determines a person born as male or female, his time and place of birth, his parents, family, his place and time of death.

These matters or events are preordained by his/her personal fate and destiny. Believing that God determines the fate and destiny (pre-destined and the final outcome ) is the sixth pillar of faith in Islam.

It is a fact that the realities involving pre-determined fate and destiny are irreversible.

For a Muslim convert to become a Muslim, he has to declare a spiritual covenant between himself and the one God Allah and His messenger Muhammad (pbuh).

This spiritual declaration is the first pillar of Islam and is irrevocable. For a born Muslim it is mandatory that he declares his faith to Allah and His messenger Muhammad (pbuh), too.

Hence the spiritual agreement which is eternally binding does not give him the right to renounce the religion openly and officially he cannot leave the religion.

Therefore under syariah law it is a crime to renounce his religion. So when a born Muslim or a Muslim convert makes the declaration of faith, he is bound to adhere to all the terms of the teachings of the religion.

A person who renounces the spiritual covenant is called a “murtad” (apostate), while a Muslim who now and then breaches the terms of the vow is called a “munafiq” (hypocrite), which is a common sight in Malaysia, meaning that he is Muslim in name but acts otherwise.

There are many man-made agreements that are irrevocable and punishable.

Acts by a citizen that jeopardise national security is an act of treason against his country with severe penalties meted out; committing serious offences under the man-formulated laws such as the Dangerous Drug Act may result in the death penalty and so on.

‘Renouncing Allah is treason’

A husband/wife who dishonours his/her marriage vow by renouncing his partner or acts to dishonour his/her partner in public may result in divorce or even retaliations which may be brutal in nature.

In Islam, renouncing Allah as his One God is an act of treason of the highest order against God. On top of that he makes a mockery of the religion.

The Jews rejected only the holy prophets Isa and Muhammad (pbuh), yet God cursed them till the end of times.

So I leave it to your imagination the seriousness of the crime when a person declares openly that he rejects God after he declares his faith.