Punishment for Apostacy in Islam

23 Prologue Punishment of Apostacy in Islam In this issue we are reproducing an article on the Law of Apostacy in Islam, this being an apt occasion for an article of this nature. Among the several demands being made by the ‘mullas’ in Pakistan, it is being fervently suggested that the Ahmadis, being apostates in the estimation of these bigots, should be subjected to the extreme punishment for apostacy as interpreted by them. The Holy Prophet of Islam, peace by upon him, set the pace for religious tolerance some 1400 years ago by proclaiming; ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (Surah Al Baqarah: 256). The fact which emerges after reflection upon the various verses of the Holy Quran explicitly indicate that not only is there a complete freedom of conscience to profess and practice one’s faith, but there is, in Islam, no punitive measure for abjuration or apostacy. It ought to be appreciated that the Holy Quran is the basis of all our religious tenets. The Traditions upon which these bigots base their interpretation of the Islamic law were compiled between 150 to 200 years after the demise of the Holy Prophet. There can thus be no grounds to argue that the saying of the companions of the Holy Prophet or for that matter anyone else could be accepted in direct contravention of the clear verdict of God as contained in the Holy Quran. The ‘muftis’ and the ‘qadhees’ or the ‘jurists’ and the ‘maulvis’ have no right whatsoever to preach or profess that which contradicts the Divine Law as enjoined by Allah in His Book — the Holy Quran. However, in the article presented herein, first published in the January 1925 issue of the Review of Religions, in response to Dr Zwemer’s assertions on the Law of Apostacy in Islam, we propose to prove from the traditions and the practice of the Holy Prophet that Islam does not permit extremity in the event of abjuration or apostacy. 24 Dr Zwemer and The Law of Apostacy in Islam While the Holy Quran is the sole prop of Islam, the Sunnat an Nabi, or the practice of the Holy Prophet is an illustrative and practical side of the Holy Quran. It illustrates how the Holy Propet, peace be upon him, understood and practiced the teaching of the Holy Quran. Dr Zwemer makes a vague and misleading statement when he states that in Zurkani’s Commentary on Al Muwatta (Vol III Page 193), there are many examples given of the Jews and Christians who turned Muslims, but when they later apostatised, they were killed. If he means that they were killed in the days of the Holy Prophet and under his instructions, then we challenge the reverend gentleman to substantiate his assertion. There is only one instance in the history of Islam where the apostates were put to death, and that was not because they apostatised but because they were guilty of state crimes punishable with the penalty of death. History records that at one stage, a number of Ukl bandits entered Medina with the purpose of decoity and murder. They falsely professed interest in Islam; accepted it outwardly and to allay suspicion, stayed a few days in the town. Their purpose was to know their bearing and once they knew Medina well, they pretended that the climate was detrimental to their health. They sought permission to camp on the outskirts and were allowed to set camp along with the keepers of the herd which grazed in the vicinity of Medina. The bandits mixed with the unsuspecting herdsmen and one night, they fell upon the Muslims, killed them and drove the herd away. When the news reached Medina, the murderers were pursued, captured, brought back to Medina, charged with murder, convicted and sentenced to death. We have an impression that our Christian missionary friends do not try to understand Islam and Dr. Zwemer’s writings have strengthened 25 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS that impression. He knows that the Ukls’ were murderers and dacoits, and yet he insists that they were murdered owing to their apostacy. Dr. Zwemer incorrectly states that Bukhari and Muslim relate this event under the heading of Apostates. In the first place it should be noted that Bukhari, Muslim and other Traditionists record and repeat this incident under as many different headings as the words in the tradition itself can suggest. For instance, Bukhari, in addition to the heading which Dr. Zwemer falsely alludes, also relates it under the heading of “Qassamat” (those who claim blood money on oath). What is stranger still, Bukhari, with that keen insight which marks him out among all the other Traditionists, does not even refer to this incident when he narrates this tradition under the pure heading of “Apostates, Men and Women.” The strangest thing of all is that what Dr. Zwemer calls Apostacy, Bukhari regards as dacoity. He illustrates the saying by quoting the following Quranic verse: “Only, the recompense of those who war against God and His Apostle and go about to enact violence on the earth, is that they shall be slain or crucified, or have their alternate hands and feet cut of for be banished from the land.” (Rodwell, V. 37). Incidents are recorded in Bukhari according to which the Holy Prophet forbade the putting to death of certain men whose conduct with respect to the Muslim community was under grave suspicion. In the pact of Hudaibiyya, it was clearly laid down that if one among the Muslims wanted to go back to his Kafir surroundings in Mecca, he was free to do so, but a Muslim in Mecca was not to leave it, and if he did, he was to be returned forthwith. As regards the Ukl punishment and apostacy, we find that not only Bukhari and Muslim, but all the six standard works on the traditions narrate this incident under “the wagers of war from amongst the unbelievers and the apostates”. It is thus not the apostates but the wagers of war’ from amongst the unbelievers as well as the apostates who are liable to punishment. Even here, the saving grace of the Holy Quran has inserted the words “except those who repent thereafter and amend; for know that God is Forgiving and Merciful.” (3:90) Hence the sentence of death on the Ukl miscreants was but the result of the treacherous murder committed by them and not apostacy. Before we take up the other Traditions cited by the editor of the PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 26 “Muslim World” we deem it proper to give a brief sketch of the circumstances in which some of these words were spoken. These words, without the proper setting of the circumstances, are apt to convey meanings contrary to what the speakers meant by them. The life of the Holy Prophet may be divided in three periods. In the early days, the Muslims were taught to suffer all sorts of persecutions and trials without a word of complaint. When the troubles reached a stage where they could not be humanly borne, some of the Muslims were allowed to emigrate to Abysinnia and live under a non-Muslim government which allowed them freedom of conscience and worship. This emigration was followed by another, when the Holy Prophet himself had to leave his home for Medina, where a sort of Commonwealth was set up in collaboration with the Jews, the Christians, and the idolaters. Here the Muslims lived on terms of equality with non-Muslims. They were allies in peace and war. It was the deep-rooted enmity of the Meccans that brought about a complete change in the peaceful conditions. The non-Muslims at Medina had, for the sake of expediency, entered into an alliance with the Muslims. The Jews had, naturally, a spite against the new religion. In the hostilities that followed between the Muslims of Medina and the idolaters of Mecca, who had come out with a large army to exterminate the little Muslim colony, the Jews and other members of the new Commonwealth of Medina not only secretly plotted against their allies and fellow-subjects of the Commonwealth, but also openly sided with the enemy, and were guilty of some atrocious and treasonable murders. The Muslims had been turned out of their homes for no other fault but because they had given up idolatory to worship the One true God. They now faced terrible odds externally, while internally active treason and open hostility had broken out. What could the Holy Prophet do for the safety of the little band of the faithful who were trying to get some respite to worship their God in their own way. Martial law had to be declared, and deserters from the Muslim faith had to be treated as deserters from the army because every male Muslim, including even urchins had been drafted into the fighting ranks. That is why in all the standard works on Traditions, the mention of renegades is coupled with the incriminating circumstance of the “wagers of war.” 1. Kitab-ul-Moharibin min ahlil Kufr-i-warradda. wa qanlillah-i-azza 27 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS wa Jalla, innama Jazaullazinan yohariboon allaha wa rasulahu. 2. Samarannabiyyo ayunal Moharibeen (Bokhari). 3. Bab-ul-hukm fiman yartaddo anil Islam wa yaqtolo wa yoharibo (Muslim). 4. Hazalhadis aslun fi aqubatil moharibin wa hova moafiqun liqaulillahi taala innama Jazaullazeenan yohariboonallaha wa resoolahu . . . These people were ordered to be put to death because they acted as spies, traitors, murderers, perpetrators of mischief and breakers of the law. In some of the traditions, these people are mentioned under “Mischief-Mongers and Breakers of Peace”. To apply the words of the Holy Prophet, spoken under certain political conditions to all conditions and times is certainly a mistake. No doubt we Muslims regard the true sayings of the Holy Prophet as “wahy ghair Matlu” (Divine Revelation), and they are only universal in application when similar circumstances arise. The Muslims throughout the centuries have recognised this difference between the Holy Quran, which is universal in application under all conditions and in all times, while all the traditions of the Holy Prophet do not fall under this category. The times and the circumstances are to be observed in their case, more especially when they seem to conflict with, not only the teachings of the Holy Quran but also the trend of the Holy Prophet’s life. Keeping this in view we agree that there is no doubt about the fact that Ibn Abbas is said to have quoted a dictum of the Holy Prophet: “Whosoever changes his religion, kill him!” Shorn of its context, the words may mean anything, but we have to take into consideration the other factors associated with it. In the first instance, we find that Ibn Abbas was not more than fourteen years of age at the time of the Holy Prophet’s death. Whether he could fully judge the circumstances, being a lad of only fourteen when these words were spoken by the Holy Prophet, is a matter one could easily have doubts about. For we have not only the clear teachings of the Holy Quran, but also other cases where the apostates, as well as highly suspected persons, were allowed to go without let or hindrance. In the treaty of Haidabiyya, the Holy Prophet agreed with his PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 28 opponents that anyone going over to their side from among the Muslims would not be molested but the one who desired to desert the enemy camp would be returned to them. This happened almost at the end of the Holy Prophet’s career. If the apostate was to be put to death in every case, how could the Holy Prophet accept such humiliating terms? Moreover, on the eve of the occupation of Mecca, Habib bin Hatib was very strongly suspected of collusion with the enemy, but upon his own confession, he was not molested. We know from the Holy Quran, as well as the Traditions, that the Jews used to come out in the morning, pretend profession of Islam, and the very same day make an open recantation so as to impress weaker Muslims. Yet, never in the history of Islam did the Muslims take any action against these Jews. Even if we take it for granted that Ibn Abbas understood the full import of the Holy Prophet’s words, we have some of the other circumstances related in that very saying from which the above words are taken, which amply justified our conclusions. We quote both the Traditions given by Dr. Zwemer: “It is related from Ikrimah that he said: ‘Hypocrites were brought to Ali and he burnt them.’ The news of that reached Ibn Abbas, and he said, ‘If it had been I, I would not have burnt them because of the prohibition of the Apostle of God: Do not punish with the punishment of God; but I would certainly have killed them according to the word of the Apostle: Whosoever changes his religion, kill him.” (Al Bukhari.) The second is as follows:- “It is related from Ali that he said: ‘I heard the Apostle of God say that there will come forth a people at the end of the time, young in age and foolish in vision, who will speak the best words in creation; but their faith will not pass their throats. They will pass through religion as an arrow passes through the thing hit. Therefore, whenever ye meet them, kill them; for verily whoever kills them, there is a reward on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, Bukhari.) It is clear from the wording of both these sayings that the people spoken of are not the apostates. In the first place they are addressed as “hypocrites,” and in the second they are called the “speakers of best words whose faith remains on their lips but does not pass down their throats,” which means that they are hypocrites who make mere lip profession but do not live up to it. This is quite different from apostacy, in which the apostate 29 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS openly or avowedly recants his belief. Moreover they are to appear at a certain stage in the history of Islam. As a matter of fact, both the Traditions make it evident that these people had something to do with Ali. Dr. Zwemer knows full well that they were the early Kharejites whose successors are still a recognised sect of Islam and who have a considerable following in Arabia and East Africa. They were never apostates as such, and during the days of Ali, their punishment was due not to their apostacy, for they believed, and still believe, in the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet. Their chief crime was that they resorted to murder, pillage, and rape. They assasinated Othman; for a time joined the camp of Ali for sinister purposes, then turned against him and denounced him as a heretic. Though Ali overwhelmed them for the time being, in the end they assasinated him too. These are the schismatics that are mentioned here who, for the first time in the history of Islam, brought about a great split in its ranks and, having undermined the strength of the Muslim State, became its ultimate destroyers. It would appear, however, from William Muir’s “Caliphate” that it was not Ali who first took up the sword against these miscreants. On the contrary, they were tolerated until their excesses and outrages necessitated punishment. Muir states: “Ever since they had broken up their camp at Harora, the Kharejites, instead of settling down in sentiments of loyalty and peace, had been joining in aggressive force and turbulance. There should be no oath of fealty, was the theocratic cry, but to the Lord alone, the Mighty and Glorious. To swear allegiance to either Ali or Muavia was in derogation of that great name . . . In vain the Caliph argued, as before, that arbitration had been forced upon him by themselves. ‘True’, they readily replied; ‘but we have repented of that lapse; and thou must repent of it too or else we shall fight against thee.’ . . . Ali yet hoped to win them over. He bore with their seditious talk, and made his intention known of treating them forbearingly. ‘They should have free access to the Mosques for prayer . . . so long as they refrained from any overt act, he would use no force of arms against them.” This moderation, as Muir tells us, instead of pacifying the Kharejites, emboldened them. They formed a separate clique, and when Ali called upon them to join his forces, they sent back an insulting reply: “If Ali would acknowledge his apostacy and repent of it, they would see whether anything could be arranged between them; otherwise they cast PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 30 him off as an ungodly heretic.” They began to commit outrages in the country. “The outrages were to the last degree barbarous and cold- blooded. Travellers, men and women, refusing to confess the theocratic tenets were put to death; a woman expecting a child was ripped up with the sword and so forth.” On hearing of these outrages, Ali was compelled to take action. “A messenger sent to make inquiry, met with the common fate. Tidings became more and more alarming and the army demanded to be led against them . . . Ali, himself convinced of this, changed his course, crossed the Tigris, and marched against the fanatics. When near Nehrwan, he sent a messenger to demand surrender of all those as had been guilty of outrage and murder. ‘Give up to justice’, he said, ‘and ye shall be left alone, until the Lord grant us victory in Syria, and then haply He shall have turned your hearts again toward us.’ They replied that they were all equally responsible for what had passed, and that the blood of the ungodly heretics they had slain was shed lawfully. A parley ensued, in which the Caliph expostulated with the misguided fantatics, and offered quarter to all who should come over to his army, or retire peaceably to their homes. Some obeyed the call and came over; 500 went off to a neighbouring Persian town, and many more dispersed to their homes; but 1,800 remained upon the field, martyrs to the theocratic creed . . .” “It had been better for the peace of Islam if not one of the 4,000 had escaped. The snake was scotched, but not killed. The fanatic spirit was strangely catching; and the theocratic cause continued to be canvassed vigorously and unceasingly, though in secret, both at Bussorah and Kufa . . . In the following year, bands of insurgent fanatics once again appeared unexpectedly in the field, denouncing Ali, and proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand. One after another they were cut to pieces or put to flight with ease.” It would be seen from the above quotation that it was a special people the Holy Prophet had foretold about. They professed to be Muslims, accepted the authority of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, but who would not accept any fealty to Ali. As a matter of fact, they regarded themselves the only true Muslims, while considering Ali and the other Muslims as heretics. It was their schismatic practices and murders and pillages under the name of religion that put them beyond 31 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS the pale of law. That is why it was said that they should be put to death wherever they are found. Muir’s words, “It had been better for the peace of Islam if not one of the 4,000 had escaped,” only bear out the truth of the words of the saying, “Whosoever changes his religion, kill him,” for it was of these people that Ibn Abbas was speaking. We regret to say that Dr. Zwemer, in his zeal to rebut everything Islamic, even forgot his source. He quotes Al-Bukhari in connection with this saying, little knowing that Al-Bukhari has a separate heading for it altogether. He entitles it as “The chapter dealing with war against the Khwarij (lit the rebels) and heretics after fully expostulating with them,” and then narrates this tradition under various sub-headings, of which we give the translation below. The first is the one we have already quoted from Dr. Zwemer’s paper which Al-Bukhari narrates under the heading described above. The others are as follows:- “It is narrated of Abbi Salma and Ata-ibni- Yasar, both of whom came to Abu-Seeud-al-Khudri asking him whether he had heard anything from the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be with him) about the Horooriyya. He said he did not know anything about the Horooriyya, but he heard the Prophet say that there would come forth a party from among this people (the Muslims) whose prayers will outshine the prayers of the Muslims, and who will read the Quran, but it will not pass down their throats or larynxes. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through the target…” Again: “It is related of Abdullah ibn Omar who mentioned the Horooriyya saying ‘that the Holy Prophet said that they will pass through religion as an arrow passes through its target.” Again in ‘ ‘The chapter relating to one who forgoes making war upon the Khawarij to win them over, and that people may not fly away from him,” it is related from Abu Saud that he said, “While the Holy Prophet (peace be with him and the blessings of Allah) was distributing some goods among the people, there came a man by the name Abdullah Dhul- Khawaisara Al-Tamimi, who said, ‘Deal fairly, O Prophet of Allah.’ ‘Woe be to you,’ said the Prophet, ‘Who in the world can be fair if I am PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 32 not?’ Said Omar, son of Khattab, ‘Permit me to strike off the head of this man.’ Said the Prophet, ‘Leave him alone. He has his associates whose prayers and fastings will outdo your prayers and fastings, but they will pass out of religion as does an arrow through the object h i t . ‘ . . . Said Abu Saud, “I bear witness that I heard it from the Holy Prophet, and I bear witness that Ali slaughtered them.” Again: “It is related of Yosair ibn Omar who said that he asked of Sahl bin Honaif whether he heard anything about the Khawarij from the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be with him). He said he did hear him say, and he pointed towards Iraq when he said it, that there will emerge forth a people who will read the Quran, but it will not get down their throats.” The above traditions leave no room for doubt as to the real character of the men mentioned above. They are not apostates but mischief- makers who outwardly conformed to all the principles of Islam. Nay, they regarded themselves as the only true Muslims, regarding all those who did not agree with them as heretics. Had it been a mere matter of profession of principles, they would have been let alone — Ali was more inclined to treat them kindly. But when they resorted to violent methods, killing men, women, and children; enforcing their own views upon others; keeping up a secret propaganda, it was time that, in conformity with the Prophet’s words, they were swept away to keep up the solidarity of the Islamic State. It would, as Muir remarks, have been much better if swift and sure strokes had descended upon them to destroy them root and branch. But whatever the course history may have taken, the fact remains that they were not apostates, as they did not abjure Islam. It is thus these people and not apostates that are mentioned in these traditions. Dr. Zwemer brings in one of the “Forty Traditions” by An-Nawawi, that the apostate, the murderer, and the adulterer should be put to death. Little does he know that books like these are only summaries, without any reference to the time, the place and the circumstances. A summariser has to leave out all this, otherwise the need of a summary or an extract vanishes. Such collections are only meant for recitals. 33 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS In the original of “Saheeh Muslim” from where Imam Nawawi takes this tradition, we find the qualifying words,’ ‘betrayer of the community”, attached to the words “apostate.” The original is quoted here from “Muslim,” which says: “It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet, except in three cases — one who is guilty of adultery with a married woman, a murderer, and one who forsakes his religion to break up his own society.” (almofariqo HI Jamate). Surely the last two words should have restrained the learned doctor from making wild statements. Dr. Zwemer was also careful to quote a comment on the tradition quoted above, wherein as usual he leaves out certain significant words and expressions. What he quotes is against his contention, because the commentary leaves no room for doubt that the tradition is applicable only to such of the apostates as are guilty of murder, rape, robbery and violence. It states “He who departs from Islam to wage war against God and the Holy Prophet, being guilty of violence and schism in the earth, let him be cut off or crucified or destroyed from the earth.” The last words were taken bodily from the Quranic Verse which we have already dealt with in connection with the famous Ukl incident, and Imam Nawawi in his Commentary of Muslim states: “This tradition forms the basis of the punishment of those who wage war and this is in conformity with the divine words, Only the recompense of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and go about to enact violence on the earth, is that they shall be slain or crucified, or have their alternate hands and feet cut off or be banished from the land.” And herein all the commentators are agreed that it is the murderous dacoits and robbers that are mentioned who abused the hospitality extended to them by killing the keepers and carrying away the herd of camels. But even if the commentators had not said a single word, we have still the plain and clear words of the Scriptures which no amount of twisting or straining could change. We have already dealt with the tradition relating to the hypocrites, whom Ali dealt with so summarily in the end. Al-Bukhari and others who narrate it from Ibn Abbas are careful to point out that it is a particular people that Ibn Abbas had in his mind and it is to these people that he repeatedly alludes. PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 34 Through Ibn Abbas, according to both Bukhari and Muslim, only uses the barest words of the Prophet, “whosoever changes his religion, kill him,” still his application to a people who are not, and were not, apostates in the real sense of the words, and whom he and others call hypocrites owing to their profession of Islam, shows that the words of the Holy Prophet do not import a general sense. It must be admitted that the Muslim books of jurisprudence do mention death penalty for male apostates, but a distinction must be drawn between the jurisprudence as such and the early Islamic Law of the Holy Quran and the sayings and practice of the Holy Prophet. Dr. Zwemer could not but recognise it, for he says, “The earlier laws and practices in regard to the apostates from Islam were perhaps less rigid and less severe than those codified after the Muslim State extended its domain and authority beyond Arabia. Many of the traditions regarding apostates were manufactured to express later tendencies for which divine authority and the Prophet’s example were needed.” The Holy Prophet and his first successors left Islam in a condition of temporal supremacy in Arabia and the adjoining territories. For a thousand years, barring a few intervals, the Muslims were supreme in the greater part of the inhabited regions. In the days of their supremacy, the Muslims did sometimes exceed the limits of true teachings of Islam and they formulated, enacted, and promulgated rules and regulations which were not in exact conformity with the Holy Quran. Perhaps some of this harshness towards the apostates that is found in their books of jurisprudence could be explained by the military exigencies, because even in the days of its greatness, Islam was up against many a foe, Christian and Pagan. But, after making due allowance for all these circumstances, we are forced to admit that some of these jurists went beyond the spirit of the teachings of the Holy Quran and in order to keep up a haughty air of superiority they tried to put general interpretation upon detached incidents and words. Yet even here we must say that these jurists recognised the principle underlying these enactments. Dr. Zwemer quotes Hedaya to give colouring to his own contention, and it is to Hedaya that we draw his attention. A distinction is made between male and female apostates, and it is recognised that a female apostate should on no account be put to death. The reason given is this: “We recognise that the Prophet of God 35 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS forbade the putting to death of females, for the truth is that rewards shall be meted out on the day of judgment, and bringing them about sooner interferes in the peace of society. The prohibition to punish a person for apostacy in this life is not observed in the case of male apostates as a safeguard against mischief that is likely to ensue from their apostacy, that is, the waging of war with the Muslims. But war by women cannot be expected, for their very constitution as against that of men is unfit for this purpose.” This shows that the author of Hedaya recognises that the putting to death of the apostates originated owing to the mischievous part they played in the battles. That is a very clear principle to go upon, for if mere change of faith had been the cause of death, a distinction would not have been made between a male and a female. This shows that the order which was originally given under particular circumstances was gradually generalised and though the condition of waging war against the Muslims was still preserved, the benefit of it was not extended to any but women. The next point mentioned in the Hedaya in the law relating to apostates is as to the rules of inheritance from them. As soon as a person becomes an apostate, he is divested of all rights of property which then descends to his legal inheritors. But this does not take effect during the respite that he is given before the death sentence is executed, for during that interval he is regarded as a “wager of war with the Muslims and putting to death is not allowed except in the case of those who wage war”, wa la qatla ilia bilharbe. It is then added that “if he dies or is murdered while still an apostate, or if he flees to enemy country and is adjudged as having joined the enemy, he is divested of all rights of property.” The phrase, wa la qatla ilia bil harbe, “And putting to death is not allowed except in the case of those who wage war” elicits a marginal note from the pen of the commentator in which it is said: “As though putting to death in this case requires that war should have been waged, for unbelief in itself does not make murder lawful, and the blind and those who sit at home (i.e., those who do not take active part in fighting) and old persons are not put to death. The condition that is assented to by all is that he (the person put to death) should be one of those who fight, and it is, therefore, necessary that he should be a harabi” (i.e., a wager of war against the Muslims). It is futile on the part of Dr. Zwemer to give quotations from such PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTACY IN ISLAM 36 books in support of his contention, for inspite of their extravagances they recognise the principle underlying the law of apostacy, which is the waging of war against the Muslims or the prospect of taking part in fighting against them. In his book on the “Law of Apostacy in Islam” Dr Zwemer also mentions the wars waged by Abu Bakr against a certain people. “Bukhari”, the most reliable of Traditionists, tells us that the reason of Abu Bakr’s expedition against the tribes was their refusal to pay the tax generally known as “Zakat.” Omar objected to Abu Bakr’s proposal of sending an expedition against them, and Abu Bakr’s reply states the true reason. He said: “Verily, I shall fight all those who discriminated even a little between observing the prayer and paying the Zakat as it is incumbent upon wealth. By God, if they refuse to give me even the rope for tying the camel’s knee which they used to give to the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, I shall fight them because of this denial.” When Allah loves a servant, a call goes out to Gabriel: Allah, the Exalted, loves So and So, do thou love him also. Then Gabriel also loves him and sends a call through to the dwellers of the heavens: Allah loves So and So, do you also love him. Then the dwellers of the heavens love him also, and then he is accepted in the earth. (The Holy Prophet) ********************** When Allah is offended with a servant, He cat Is Gabriel and says to him: Ian offended with So and So; and Gabriel is offended with him also. Then he sends a call through to the dwellers of the heavens: Allah is offended with So and So, do you be offended with him also. Thereafter aversion towards him is spread in the earth. (The Holy Prophet)


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