Thursday 22 Thu al-Qa‘dah 1445 - 30 May 2024

She wants to embrace Islam, but she is not convinced about execution of the apostate, ownership of slaves, witchcraft and the jinn


I was born in a Christian family, and I was also Christian, but after a great deal of thought I have now decided, as I am writing my question, to become a Muslim, and I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. But I can never show my Islam openly, because I swear that my father will throw me out of the house. In the past, a friend of mine, a Muslim student who was studying with me, gave me a copy of the Qur’an, but my father tore it up and threw it away, and he threatened to throw me out of the house. But what I am worried about is that I have some objections to some things that I feel will prevent me from becoming Muslim. That is, I am not convinced about owning slaves, and some other things, such as witchcraft and the jinn, and – in particular – the stoning of apostates, because these things make me feel that I am getting involved in a ideology and religion which, if I leave it, I will be killed. When I asked the imam of a mosque about that, he told me that I have to be convinced of what Islam brought, without thinking. But if I had followed this logic when I was a Christian, I would never have thought of embracing Islam in the first place. For example, if I am convinced of Islam on a rational basis, then I have the right to object to some of the things that it says. Do these thoughts and simple objections of mine mean that I am still a disbeliever in the view of Islam?

Praise be to Allah.


We congratulate you for this right thinking, and we ask Allah to take you by the hand, guide you, bring you into His religion and avert from you the whispers of the Shaytaan.


Islam is based on servitude to Allah, may He be exalted, and submission to His commands. So whoever believes in Allah as his Lord and in Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as his Prophet must submit to everything that Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, if the hadith is soundly narrated from the Messenger of Allah, even if he does not understand the wisdom behind it. But with regard to most of the Islamic issues concerning which some people have objections, the wisdom behind them is known, but reason cannot understand the details of that unless one believes that whatever Islam decrees is sound an in accordance with wisdom.

Islam’s keenness to liberate slaves

One of these issues is the issue of owning slaves. When Islam came, slavery was widespread in all societies, even among the followers of earlier divinely revealed laws (the Jews and Christians). Islam prescribed teachings that led to the liberation of huge numbers of slaves, and even led to the liberation of most of them with the passage of time – as indeed happened. Islam encouraged people to manumit slaves, and stated that the reward for doing so is immense. Islamic law prescribes manumission of slaves as an expiation in several cases, such as murder, zihaar [a jaahili form of divorce in which a man said to his wife: You are to me as my mother’s back], having intercourse during the day in Ramadan, and expiation for breaking an oath. If slavery existed today, it would be easier for many people to manumit slaves than to fast for two consecutive months!

Hence slavery largely disappeared from Muslim societies, before nation states abolished it.

Moreover, Islam prescribed rulings and etiquette that raised the slave to the level of free men in many situations. It forbade beating and humiliating slaves, and instructed masters to feed their slaves the same food as they eat, to clothe them in the same clothes as they wore, and not to burden them with more than they are able to do. In fact Islam stated that the expiation for one who slaps or beats his slave is to set him free.

There is no room here to quote all the texts that speak of that, but we will mention a few of them, so that you may understand how keen Islam is for slaves to be liberated, and the instructions it gave to masters to treat slaves with kindness and gentleness.

Al-Bukhaari (6715) and Muslim (1509) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever frees a believing slave, Allah will ransom each of his limbs from the Fire for each of the slave’s limbs, even his private part for the slave’s private part.”

Muslim (1657) narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever slaps his slave or beats him, the expiation for that is to manumit him.”

At-Tirmidhi (1542) narrated that Suwayd ibn Muqarrin al-Muzani said: I remember when we were seven brothers, and we only had one servant. One of us slapped her, so the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) instructed us to manumit her.

Al-Bukhaari (30) and Muslim (1661) narrated that al-Ma‘roor ibn Suwayd said: I met Abu Dharr in al-Rabadhah. He was wearing a hullah (suit) and his slave was wearing a hullah. I asked him about that, and he said: I traded insults with a man and shamed him because of his mother. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to me: “O Abu Dharr, did you shame him because of his mother? You are a man in whom there is some ignorance. Your servants are your brothers whom Allah has placed under your control, so whoever has his brother under his control, let him feed him what he eats, and clothe him with what he wears, and not burden them with more than they can bear, and if you do burden them, then help them.”

In a number of previous questions we have discussed this issue and explained that it is one of the beauties of Islam.

Please see the answers to questions no. 326235 and 94840 .


The wisdom behind the prescription of the hadd punishment for apostasy

With regard to the execution of the apostate, it is something that is indicative of how wise and perfect this Islamic system of law is, as it takes measures to preserve the religion and shows care for the individual himself. For this punishment protects the individual from obeying the Shaytaan who calls him to apostatize. If he realises that there is the punishment of execution for apostasy, he will think long and hard, and it is most likely that his doubts will dissipate and society will be protected, because apostasy stirs up doubts in people of weak faith, especially if there are many people who apostatise, so they will think: “If this religion was not false, these people would not have left it.” Allah, may He be glorified, is most merciful to His slaves, and is not pleased with disbelief for them; rather He wants to protect religion for them and remove anything that makes them doubt or weakens their faith.

Moreover, if the apostate is left alone, this will be a great opportunity for the disbelievers to declare that they have become Muslim, then speak words of disbelief and spread heresy in safety, or to state clearly that they are not convinced of Islam, and thus stir up doubts in people with regard to their creed, contaminate their thoughts and spread ideas of disbelief among the people, as is the case now in some societies, because of the abolition of punishment for apostasy, even though the evil of apostasy is limited because of laws that prevent some forms of it.

See the answer to question no. 20327 .


Witchcraft and possession are something real that cannot be denied

With regard to witchcraft, the jinn and possession, these are things that are acknowledged by all nations. They are known to the Jews, the Christians and others. In fact it is well known that the Christians and their monks exaggerated about these matters; they were preoccupied with them and focused on them much more than the Muslims did. This is something real that cannot be denied. Perhaps you could attend a session of ruqyah for one who is possessed, and see a woman speaking with a man’s voice, that is undoubtedly the voice of a man, maybe speaking a language other than her own, of which she does not know a single word, then the jinni speaks about his land, his language and his religion, and so on. Reason does not rule out the existence of hidden creatures that we cannot see, and it does not rule out the possibility of their possessing humans and gaining control of them. Moreover, we find that the sound texts clearly affirm that. So why would anyone deny it after that? Rather we have witnessed that and seen it with our own eyes.

We do not think that you deny the existence of the angels, even though we cannot see them; rather we believe in them in accordance with the words of Allah and the words of His Messengers.


Does one have the right to object to Islamic rulings on the basis of reason and say that one is not convinced of them?

With regard to your saying that as you are convinced of Islam on the basis of your reasoning, you have the right to object on the basis of your reasoning to some of the rulings of Islam, this is not correct.

To explain further:

Your conclusion on the basis of reason that Islam is true, is good and sound. But this is where the role of reason ends. In other words, after that, your reason should submit to revelation, which your reason has already acknowledged is true. Reason has no right to object to the details of what is stated in Islamic teachings, so long as reason has already affirmed that Islam is true and knows that a given issue is part of Islamic teaching, because if a person does that, he is undermining his own reasoning.

Reason has led you to conclude that the Qur’an is the word and revelation of Allah; that Allah, may He be exalted, is the most merciful, the all-knowing, the most wise; that our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is indeed the Messenger of Allah. This means that all the rulings that Allah has prescribed are true, just, merciful and wise. Does it make sense after that for reason to object to a ruling that Allah prescribed, or to claim that it knows something that Allah did not know? Is this not casting aspersions on reason itself?

What the Muslim must do in this case is ask: Is this ruling actually the ruling of Allah?

If it is proven that it is the ruling of Allah, then he must submit to it. After that there is nothing wrong with looking for the wisdom behind the prescription of this ruling, and how to understand it and reflect on the objectives behind it. But no one can claim that he is more knowledgeable than Allah, or more wise or more compassionate than Him.

But if the ruling is not proven in the Qur’an or saheeh Sunnah, then it is not a ruling of Allah, and anyone who wishes may object to it.

You should understand that the Shaytaan is keen to cause you to be distanced from and deprived of blessings, and he is the first one who will stir up doubts in you and put obstacles in your way.

So hasten to utter the twin declaration of faith and enter Islam, and be certain that for every specious argument that is directed against the true religion there is a convincing response, because this religion comes from Allah, the Most Wise, the All-Knowing.

In conclusion: If you believe in Allah and believe in His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), you will be certain that none of the rulings will be devoid of justice and wisdom. If we assume that you believe, but disobey and do not follow one command – whilst not denying the Islamic ruling – this is better than remaining a disbeliever.

So hasten to become Muslim and do not delay, for you do not know when your life will end; today people are being snatched from around you, dying from disease or in accidents and so on.

There is nothing wrong with you concealing your Islam, whilst doing the obligatory duties to the best of your ability.

See the answers to questions no. 175339 , 153572 , 100627 , 188856 and 165426 .

We ask Allah to be pleased with you, to guide you, to cause you to enter His religion, complete His blessing upon you and bless you with admittance to al-Firdaws (the loftiest part of Paradise).

We hope that we will soon hear the glad tidings of your having become Muslim, for that would bring us the greatest joy.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A