Saturday, March 1, 2014

Islam, Apostasy, and Abdullah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh

Muhammad ordered his followers to kill apostates. Yet people who leave Islam often do so for very good reasons. Abdullah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh, for instance, decided to leave Islam when Muhammad let him add words to the Qur'an. Is the Islamic penalty for apostasy simply a means of keeping people from going where the evidence points?

1 comment:

R S Roudh said...

I have always wondered why the Quran never warns against, condemns, recognises or says anything about false prophets. In its narratives all who claim to be prophets are always telling the truth and anyone who rejects a prophet’s credibility is always wicked. The message of the Quran is that anyone who claims to be a prophet must be believed, or else face Allah’s wrath.

Verse 6:93 is an exception and the only verse in the Quran that condemns anyone for bringing a false revelation. On this occasion Muhammad was forced to recognise that someone could falsely claim to have received inspiration because the affair of Abdullah Ibn Sa’d Ibn Abi Sarh was too damaging to his credibility. Perhaps the only other time that the Islamic sources record someone bringing a false revelation is in the story of the Satanic Verses. This story, however, still does not recognize the concept of a false prophet.

Because of the degree of opposition and rejection Muhammad encountered against his own claim of prophethood the last thing Muhammad wanted to talk about was false prophets, whether they came in the past or were yet to come. In other words the reason why Muhammad completely avoided the subject of false prophets was because he did not want to throw off the scent of his own deceit.