Q: One of my Muslim friends last time started a discussion about apostasy in Islam while there was a non-Muslim there. He sent me some Hadith which I want to share here and I need the exact context in which these hadiths came. He means that why if someone changes his religion from Muslim to some other religion he or she should be killed. He thinks its a cruel act. The Hadiths are:
Allah’s Apostle said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.” — Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17
Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’ No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ — Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:52:260
A man embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism. Mu’adh bin Jabal came and saw the man with Abu Musa. Mu’adh asked, “What is wrong with this (man)?” Abu Musa replied, “He embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism.” Mu’adh said, “I will not sit down unless you kill him (as it is) the verdict of Allah and His Apostle. — Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:89:271
A: It is pointless discussing these issues with people that already have a premeditated judgement. The judgement will fall squarely against Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Hence, this is ignorant behaviour and shallow understanding. Do not waste your time with such people.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.