*Selections from the Munir Report (1954)*

8) Apostasy

        a.) Apostasy in an Islamic State is punishable with death. On this the ulama are practically unanimous (vide the evidence of Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, President, Jami'at-ul-Ulama-i-Pakistan, Punjab; Maulana Ahmad Ali, Sadr Jami'at-ul-Ulama-i-lslam, West Pakistan; Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, founder and ex-Amir-i-Jama'at-i-Islami, Pakistan; Mufti Muhammad Idris, Jami'Ashrafia, Lahore, and Member, Jami'at-ul. Ulama-i-Pakistan; Maulana Daud Ghaznavi, President, Jami'at-i-Ahl-i-Hadith, Maghribi Pakistan; Maulana Abdul Haleem Qasimi, Jami'at-ul-Ulama-i-Islam, Punjab; and Mr. Ibrahim All Chishti).

According to this doctrine, Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, if he has not inherited his present religious beliefs but has voluntarily elected to be an Ahmadi, must be put. to death. And the same fate should befall Deobandis and Wahabis, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi, Member, Board of Talimat-i- Islami attached to the Constotuent Assembly of Pakistan, and Maulana Daud Ghaznavi, if Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, or Mirza Raza Ahmarl Khan Barelvi, or any one of the numerous ulama who are shown perched on every leaf of a beautifnl tree in the fatwa, Exhibit D. E. 14, were the head of such Islamic State.

And if Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi were the head of the State, he would exclude those who have pronounced Deobandis as kafirs from the pale of Islam and inflict on them the death penalty if they come within the definition of murtadd, namely, if they have changed and not inherited their religious views.

        b.) The genuineness of the fatwa, Exhibit D. E. 13, by the Deobandis, which says that Asna Ashari Shias are kafirs and murtadds, was questioned in the course of enquiry, but Maulana Muhammad Shafi made an inquiry on the subject from Deoband, and received from the records of that institution the copy of a fatwa signed by all the teachers of the Darul Uloom, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi himself, which is to the effect that those who do not believe in the sahabiyat of Hazrat Siddiq Akbar, and who are qazif of Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa, and have been guilty of tehrif of the Qur'an, are kafirs.

This opinion is also supported by Mr. Ibrahim All Chishti, who has studied and knows his subject. He thinks the Shias are kafirs because they believe that Hazrat Ali shared the prophethood with our Holy Prophet. He refused to answer the question whether a person who being a Sunni changes his view and agrees with the Shia view would be guilty of irtidad so as to deserve the death penalty. According to the Shias, all Sunnis are kafirs, and Ahl-i-Qur'an, namely, persons who consider hadith to be unreliable and therefore not binding, are unanimously kafirs, and so are all independent thinkers.

The net result of all this is that niether Shias nor Sunnis nor Deobandis nor Ahl-i-Hadith nor Barelvis are Muslims, and any change from one view to the other must be accompanied in an Islamic State with the penalty of death, if the Government of the State is in the hands of the party which considers the other party to be kafirs. And it does not require much imagination to judge of the consequences of this doctrine, when it is remembered that no two ulama have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim.

If the constituents of each of the definitions given by the ulama are given effect to, and subjected to the rule of 'combination and permutation', and the form of charge in the Inquisition's sentence on Galileo is adopted mutatis mutandis as a model, the grounds on which a person may be indicted for apostasy will be too numerous to count.

        c.) In an earlier part of this report we have referred to the proscription of the 'Ash-shahab', a pamphlet written by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, who later became Sheikh-ul-Islam-i-Pakistan. In that pamphlet the Maulana had attempted to show from the Qur'an, the sunna, the ijma', and qayas that in Islam the punishment for apostasy (irtidad) simpliciter is death. After propounding the theologioal doctrine, the Maulana had made in that document a statement of fact: that in the time of the Caliph Siddiq-i-Akbar and the subsequent Caliphs vast areas of Arabia became repeatedly red with the blood of apostates.

We are not called upon to express any opinion as to the correctness or otherwise of this doctrine, but knowing that the suggestion to the Punjab Government to proscribe this pamphlet had come from the Minister for the Interior, we have attempted to inquire of ourselves the reasons for Government's taking a step which ex hypothesi amounted to condemning a doctrine which the Maulana had professed to derive from the Qur'an and the sunna.

The death penalty for irtidad has implications of a far-reaching character, and stamps Islam as a religion of fanatics, which punishes all independent thinking. The Qur'an again and again lays emphasis on reason and thought, advises toleration, and preaches against compulsion in religious matters; but the dootrine of irtidad as enunciated in this pamphlet strikes at the very root of independent thinking when it propounds the view that anyone who, being born a Muslim or having embraced Islam, attempts to think on the subject of religion with a view, if he comes to that conclusion, to choose for himself any religion he likes, has the caipital penalty in store for him.

With this implication Islam becomes an embodiment of complete intellectual paralysis. And the statement in the pamphlet that vast areas of Arabia were repeatedly bespattered with human blood, if true, could only lend itself to this inference: that even when Islam was at the height of its splendour and held absolute sway in Arabia, there were in that country a large number of people who turned away from that religion and preferred to die than to remain in that system.

It must have been some such reaction of this pamphlet on the mind of the Minister for the Interior which prompted him to advise the Punjab Government to proscribe the pamphlet. Further, the Minister who was himself well-versed in religious matters, must have thought that the conclusion drawn by the author of the pamphlet, which was principally based on the precedent mentioned in paras. 26, 27, and 28 of the Old Testament, and which is only partially referred to in the Qur an in the 54th verse of the Second Sura, could not be applicable to apostasy from Islam, and that therefore the author's opinion was in fact incorrect, there being no express text in the Qur'an for the death penalty for apostasy.

On the contrary each of the two ideas, one underlying the six brief verses of Surat-ul-Kafiroon and the other the La lkrah verse of the second Sura, has merely to be understood, to reject as erroneous the view propounded in the 'Ash-Shahab'. Each of the verses in Surat-ul-Kafiroon, which contains thirty words and no verse of which exceeds six words, brings out a fundamental trait in man engrained in him since his creation; while the La lkrah verse, the relevant portion of which contains only nine words, states the rule of responsibility of the mind with a precision that cannot be surpassed.

Both of these texts, which are an early part of the Revelation, are, individually and collectively, the foundation of that principle which human society, after centuries of conflict, hatred, and bloodshed, has adopted in defining one of the most important fundamental rights of man. But our doctors would never dissociate chauvinism from Islam.

9) Propagation of other religions

        a.) Closely allied to the punishment for apostasy is the right of non-Muslims publicly to preach their religion. The principle which punishes an apostate with death must be applicable to public preaching of kufr, and it is admitted by Maulana Abul Hasanat, Ghazi Siraj-ud-Din Munir, and Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, though the last subordinates his opinion to the opinion of the ulama, that any faith other than Islam will not be permitted publicly to be preached in the State. And Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, as will appear from his pamphlet 'Punishment in Islam for an apostate', has the same views on the subject.

Ghazi Siraj-ud-Din Munir, when questioned on this point, replied: --

"Q.-- What will you do with them (Ahmadis) if you were the head of the Pakistan State?
A.-- I would tolerate them as human beings but will not allow them the right to preach their religion."

        b.) The prohibition against public preaching of any non-Muslim religion must logically follow from the proposition that apostasy will be punished with death, and that any attack on, or danger to, Islam will be treated as treason
and punished in the same way as apostasy.

On to: *10) Jihad*

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