Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Ridda Definition:

Muslim law: the rejection of the religion of Islam by a Muslim.

Related Terms: Apostacy, Blasphemy

Also presented as al-ridah and in English, apostacy.

Mansour states that the basis of ridda and the harsh penalty for it, is based on the Koran and defines ridda as:

“... to reject Islam by word, deed or omission.”

Ridda is a Muslim crime for which, according to some jurists, these severe penalties of hudud apply. In other words, there is no freedom of religion; once a Muslim, always a Muslim or, in the alternative, the Muslim apostate commits ridda with potentially horrific and fatal punishment.

According to Verma:

“Under the Mohammedan law, apostates were incapacitated from marrying any woman, whether a believer, infidel or a (fellow) apostate.”

In Quesas Crimes, Bassiouni suggests that:

“A Muslim or Dhimmi cannot be executed or maimed ... for the killing or maiming (of one) who has abandoned Islam or a rebellious Muslim....”

REFERENCES:

  • Bassiouni, C., “Quesas Crimes”, published in The Islamic Criminal Justice System (Rome: Oceana Publications Inc., 1982), page 208
  • Duhaime, Lloyd, Legal Definition of Apostacy
  • Mansour, Aly Aly, “Hudud Crimes”, published in The Islamic Criminal Justice System (Rome: Oceana Publications Inc., 1982), page 197
  • Verma, B.R., Islamic Law-Personal Being Commentaries on Mohammedan Law in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 6th Edition (Allahabad, India: Law Publishers, 1986), page 75

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