How come an apostate is killed in Islamic Shariah but there’s no compulsion upon other non-Muslims in the State?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

How come an apostate is killed in Islamic Shariah but there’s no compulsion upon other non-Muslims in the State? Why isn’t he/she allowed to follow whatever religion they want? Jazakum’Allahu khairun.


There are two categories of people mentioned: an apostate and an original non-Muslim. The injunctions of the Shari?ah as supported by the Qur’aan and Hadith that is applicable to both of them differs. In other words, both of them do not fall under the same category.

The first one is an apostate or renegade, i.e. a Muslim person who has turned away from Islam and the second are those who are non-Muslims originally. The law for the first group of people, i.e. renegade is that firstly Islam will be presented once again to him and if he has any doubts or queries then these should be cleared out and he will be given a respite of 3 days. If he accepts Islam again, then fine otherwise he will be killed. This is substantiated by the noble Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) wherein he explicitly mentions, ?Whosoever changes his Deen, then kill him?. This only apply to the males. A female renegade will not be killed, rather kept imprisoned until she accepts Islam.

As for the second group, when the Muslims conquer a non-Muslim land, they will first invite those people to Islam because of the narration of ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu), ?No nation should be fought with until they are called to Islam.? If the accept, then Muslims will not fight with them. And if they refuse, then they will be asked to pay Jizya (tax), if they refuse, this, then only will the Muslims fight them. This is also substantiated by Qur’aan, ?Fight against those who believe not in Allah nor in the last day nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya (tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.? (Surah Tawbah Aayat29).

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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