In Islam renouncing Allah is an act of treason of the highest order against God.
- the pursuit by Muslim hardliners to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state;
- the supremacy of the Quran versus the Federal Constitution;
- the power of the syariah laws vis-à-vis that of the man-formulated (criminal) laws and principles of democracy;
- the jurisdiction of the syariah courts versus that of the civil courts; and
- an individual’s freedom of choice in religion or beliefs.
In essence, the main contention is the supremacy of the religion of Islam in a Muslim-majority country like Malaysia as advocated by the Muslim community versus the non-Muslims’ recognition of the supremacy of man-made laws over religion.
The Muslims believe everything centres on the teachings of their religion, but the non-Muslims contend that religion should be confined to one’s own personal spiritual belief.
Muslims believe that the religion of Islam, which has been established more than 1,400 years ago, has been proven to provide spiritual guidance and has become a way of life for the ummah (believers) in the Muslim countries till today.
Hence Islam should enhance its role to dictate its terms – vis-à-vis syariah laws – to its ummah. The syariah law is to ensure the religion continues its role as a beacon and custodian of believers.
Muslim scholars would then like to ensure that the syariah laws are implemented in a comprehensive way in the country applicable to Muslims.
On the other hand, the non-Muslims believe the issue of freedom of religion or beliefs is part of the democratic, constitutional and legal rights of an individual; thereby Islam as a religion should be confined to its spiritual teaching only.
In this article, I would like to confine my analysis on the freedom of religion and beliefs.
When the Quran states that there in no compulsion in religion, it means a Muslim cannot force a non-believer to embrace Islam and that a non-Muslim cannot force a Muslim to leave his religion.
However, a non-Muslim can embrace Islam on his own free will but a Muslim cannot leave his religion on his own free will!
In the first place, the terms “to be” or “to become” a Muslim are different from those of being a non-Muslim/non-believer.
Destiny pre-determined and irreversible
A born Muslim is already pre-determined as such by Qada and Qadar (fate and destiny).
Similarly fate pre-determines a person born as male or female, his time and place of birth, his parents, family, his place and time of death.
These matters or events are preordained by his/her personal fate and destiny. Believing that God determines the fate and destiny (pre-destined and the final outcome ) is the sixth pillar of faith in Islam.
It is a fact that the realities involving pre-determined fate and destiny are irreversible.
For a Muslim convert to become a Muslim, he has to declare a spiritual covenant between himself and the one God Allah and His messenger Muhammad (pbuh).
This spiritual declaration is the first pillar of Islam and is irrevocable. For a born Muslim it is mandatory that he declares his faith to Allah and His messenger Muhammad (pbuh), too.
Hence the spiritual agreement which is eternally binding does not give him the right to renounce the religion openly and officially he cannot leave the religion.
Therefore under syariah law it is a crime to renounce his religion. So when a born Muslim or a Muslim convert makes the declaration of faith, he is bound to adhere to all the terms of the teachings of the religion.
A person who renounces the spiritual covenant is called a “murtad” (apostate), while a Muslim who now and then breaches the terms of the vow is called a “munafiq” (hypocrite), which is a common sight in Malaysia, meaning that he is Muslim in name but acts otherwise.
There are many man-made agreements that are irrevocable and punishable.
Acts by a citizen that jeopardise national security is an act of treason against his country with severe penalties meted out; committing serious offences under the man-formulated laws such as the Dangerous Drug Act may result in the death penalty and so on.
‘Renouncing Allah is treason’
A husband/wife who dishonours his/her marriage vow by renouncing his partner or acts to dishonour his/her partner in public may result in divorce or even retaliations which may be brutal in nature.
In Islam, renouncing Allah as his One God is an act of treason of the highest order against God. On top of that he makes a mockery of the religion.
The Jews rejected only the holy prophets Isa and Muhammad (pbuh), yet God cursed them till the end of times.
So I leave it to your imagination the seriousness of the crime when a person declares openly that he rejects God after he declares his faith.
Hence the covenant is a spiritual agreement eternally binding between God and His servant, which is irrevocable in nature.
Therefore before a non-Muslim wishes to become a Muslim, the Muslim officials who preside over such declarations must brief the would-be-convert on the terms and conditions and implications of such oath, the need to discard his old beliefs and to be well-versed with Islamic knowledge, and be prepared to accept the demanding nature of the true Muslim way of life.
If they are very certain that he has decided to leave his old faith and would remain loyal to Islam till he dies, then the Islamic authorities can proceed to get him to declare his new faith; otherwise there is no point for a person to become a Muslim and later leave the religion.
The life or existence of all living and non-living things is a one way journey to God.
Muslims believe every living and non-living thing, once created, is placed on the path of the one way (returning) journey to God, each road paved out according to a pre-determined fate and destiny.
‘Reality debunks Big Bang theory’
Hence the life of a true Muslim involves the preparations for the returning journey to his creator.
Christians and those who believe in God also have similar beliefs. Whereas for the non-believers, life is about the beginning of outward journey to the new life, new world for mankind.
The reality proves that all living and non-living things are on the one-way journey returning to the creator.
All humans, once created, will go on the return mode in a “rush” to his physical death. The “rush” is at different speeds and at times some die young, others later while the rest at old age. Similarly with animals, plants and all cosmic entities – earth, sun, planets, stars and the galaxies.
All are commanded by their creator to rush through space at tremendous, unbelievable speeds towards a central point in space towards their final destination, which is destruction at the end of times.
However, like humans some will lose energy and die early along the way, turning into black holes. Such reality debunks the Big Bang theory which is talking about the outward bound journey towards new life, new space environment.
Hence there is no physical U-turn for any living or non-living thing in this universe. There is no avoiding death or destruction.
So what is the justification of a born Muslim or a convert trying to make a spiritual U-turn when he knows he cannot make a physical U-turn?
Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist