What after submission?

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What we have said above was about accepting Islam, coming into the fold of Islam. We have made it very clear that no one can be forcefully brought into the fold of Islam; Islam cannot be imposed on any person or society. This was all about a person who is outside the fold of Islam. Now we move on to the next step.

If a person is raised in a society which protects his soul from the impurities of atheism (kufr) and polytheism (shirk), or if a person is shown the Right Path and accepts it willingly — can such a person reject the Islamic faith? Is he allowed to apostate (become murtad) and renounce Islam? Can he declare that he does not believe in God or Prophet Muhammad or the Day of Judgment?

Once a person enters into the fold of Islam, the rules change. As soon as you become a Muslim by your own choice, you are expected to submit yourself to Allāh totally and completely.

“O you who believe! Enter into submission, kāffatan!”(2:208)

Kāffatan gives the sense of “all” and “completely”. Once a person becomes a believer, he surrenders the right of making decisions to Allāh and the Messenger:

“No believing man and no believing woman has a choice in their own affairs when Allāh and His Messenger have decided on an issue.” (33:36)

Even the question of apostasy, irtidād or deserting of one’s faith, for a Muslim, is a religious (shar`i) issue and even in this issue he is governed by the laws of Islam. And Islam clearly says: No! You cannot become an apostate. After coming into the fold of Islam, rejection of the fundamentals is not tolerated. If there are doubts in your mind about the fundamental beliefs of Islam, then question, discuss, debate, study, and solve them BUT you are not allowed to leave Islam or desert your own fitra!

On the issue of openly rejecting Islam, Islam cannot just stand aside and see one of its followers going astray. It would allow discussions to understand and solve the problems, but not allow its followers to lower themselves from the sublime status of “surrendering to the will of Allah–Islam” to the status of those “who have hearts but do not understand, ears but do not hear, and eyes but do not see.”On the issue of openly rejecting Islam, Islam cannot just stand aside and see one of its followers going astray. It would allow discussions to understand and solve the problems, but not allow its followers to lower themselves from the sublime status of “surrendering to the will of Allah–Islam” to the status of those “who have hearts but do not understand, ears but do not hear, and eyes but do not see.”

Adapted from: “Apostasy in Islam” by: “Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi”

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