What is the decree about Muslims’ concealing their religion? I read somewhere that if a Muslim says he is not a Muslim without any obligation, he really exits the religion of Islam.

The Details of the Question

We see some people who have recently become Muslims around us. Some of them conceal their religion due to fearing the reactions they can get and due to their relationships with their families. I read somewhere that if a Muslim says he is not a Muslim without any obligation, he really exits the religion of Islam. Is that decree valid for those people? If not, how?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is enough for a person to believe in order to become a Muslim; such a person is a believer even if he does not say it with his tongue. However, if he says it with his tongue, others will understand that he is a Muslim.

As a matter of fact, Hz. Ammar underwent torture a lot because he became a Muslim. Once, they tortured him until he lost his mind, gasped for breath and his skin was removed. They said they would not release him until he said good things for their idols. He had to speak in favor of Lat and Uzza in order to save his life. As soon as he was released, he went to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He told the Messenger of Allah what had happened. The Prophet (pbuh) said,  

“How was your heart when you uttered those words?” He said,

“There was no change in my heart about belief in Allah.”  Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

“Belief covered Ammar from top to toe. Belief penetrated into his bones.” (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, 4/69-90)

He wiped Ammar’s tears with his blessed hands. He stated that to utter something against belief due to an obligation would not harm belief if belief settled in the heart and he gave him the good news with the following verse that he could say the same words again if he was tortured:

“Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.”(an-Nahl, 16/106)

Yes. If a person denies Allah, opens his heart to unbelief, his heart is opened with unbelief and he keeps his heart open to unbelief after his heart is full of belief and after attaining belief and guidance, penalty and wrath from Allah will hit him. Big penalty is for such people. However, if a person whose heart is satisfied with Islam and full of belief utters unbelief because he is forced to do so, he is excluded. Such people are excepted from wrath from Allah.

Yes. If a Muslim who is under serious pressure, compulsion, threat, death threat, torture threat says to the people who force them, I am like you and I believe in what you believe, he is excepted from wrath from Allah. If a person’s heart is full of belief and satisfied, and if his heart is not pleased with unbelief says that he is an unbeliever with his tongue, he is excepted. Our Lord says there is no responsibility for such people.   

Imam Qurtubi states the following in the interpretation of the verse: If a person is threatened to be killed and forced to unbelieve and deny and if he denies with his tongue though his heart is full of belief and does not abandon belief in his heart, his utterance of unbelief is not valid; after that he mentions that Imam Malik and Imam Shafii hold the same view. The following verse in the chapter of Aal-i Imran witnesses this issue: 

“Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.”(Aal-i Imran, 3/28)

Imam Qurtubi says taqiyya (lying about one’s religion) is valid only when a person faces the risk of death or losing an organ.

Yes. Compulsion eliminates the will of a person. A sin is not in question for a person whose will is eliminated in the face of compulsion and who has no power to resist what is wanted from him when he does or says something.

Yes. The state of a believer who faces a serious compulsion is like that. If a person conceals his belief due to simple fears and poor excuses after becoming a believer, he does not become an unbeliever but it is not appropriate.

Questions on Islam

Was this answer helpful?
Questions on Islam
Subject Categories:
Read 89 times
In order to make a comment, please login or register