Are Diverse Opinions on Execution of Blasphemers Acceptance of Diversity?

The beheading crisis of French teacher Samuel Paty is addressed in a lecture by Texas born Imam, & PhD scholar Yasir Qadhi. Below is an excerpt of the lecture dealing with Islamic jurisprudence.  Premiered Nov 4, 2020

To make a point to be sacrilegious to the faith of Islam this is something that the books of fique [Jurisprudence] would not accept, allow. Now after this comes the issue of punishment. What is the punishment for the one who would do this? There is a differentiation if it comes from a Muslim or from a non-Muslim. Also there is some discussion whether the person has the opportunity to repent or not to repent. The details of this are much longer than this topic deserves. The majority position though, and some have claimed ijma [consensus] if there was clear intent, then the majority position is that indeed the penalty for public blasphemy is indeed execution. This is the reality of what our books of fique [jurisprudence] state. Some scholars say that he [blasphemer] should be allowed the opportunity to repent. And others said that a public provocation requires a public punishment and that repentance will be private between him and Allah MHNBE. Some other scholars differentiated between somebody who blasphemes against Allah versus somebody who blasphemes against the Messenger PBUH. A lot of discussion that again is beyond the scope of this. Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [13th century Islamic scholar of the Hanbali school] by the way has a very thorough book on in this regard which is titled as-Sarim al-Maslul ‘ala Shatim ar-Rasul [The Drawn Sword against those who insult the Messenger], which is basically a very detailed explanation, as well it is over 500 pages about the ruling of the one who makes fun of the messenger and of course he took the position which is the majority position that this person should be executed. Some have claimed that there is ijma on this issue and they quote Ibn al-Mundhir, one of the early scholars of Islam. who wrote a book about ijma – unanimous consensus. Ibn al-Mundhir that there is ijma, that whoever curses the Prophet MHNBE, that he is to be executed. Video

The following is from Islam Q&A , an academic, educational and da‘wah website, supervised by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid.

Question; Is it permissible to execute a married adulterer by some method other than stoning, such as killing him with a sword or by shooting him?

Based on this, it is not permissible to replace stoning with killing by the sword or shooting, because stoning is a more severe punishment and a more effective deterrent to the sin of zina.

It is essential to stone the married adulterer until he dies, following the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as it is proven that he said that, did it and enjoined it. The Messenger of Allaah PBUH stoned Maa’iz, the Juhani woman, the Ghaamidi woman, and the two Jews.

Dissenting opinion

Is it permissible to execute a married adulterer by some method other than stoning, such as killing him with a sword or by shooting him?

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi is a Pakistani-American Islamic scholar, theologian and preacher. Since 2001, he has served as Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, an international Islamic educational institution with a center in Houston, Texas. He also taught in the Religious Studies department at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently the resident scholar of the East Plano Islamic Center in Plano, Texas.

Qadhi has written numerous books and lectured widely on Islam and contemporary Muslim issues. A 2011 New York Times Magazine essay by Andea Elliott described Qadhi as “one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam”.

Qadhi was previously affiliated with the Salafi movement but has since left this movement and now identifies as a Sunni.


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