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Apostasy (pronounced /əˈpɒstəsi/; from Greek ἀποστασία (apostasia), a defection or revolt, from ἀπό, apo, "away, apart", στάσις, stasis, "stand", "standing") is the formal disaffiliation from, or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person.

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The kiss of the apostate was the most bitter earthly ingredient in the agonies which Christ endured. ~ Elias Lyman Magoon
  • For a very long lime the courts in British India have held without reservation and qualification that under all circumstances apostasy automatically and immediately puts an end to the married slate without any judicial proceedings, any decree of court, or any other ceremony. That has been the position which was taken up by the Courts. Now, there are three distinct views of Hanafi jurists on the point. One view which is attributed to the Bokhara jurists... The Bokhara jurists say that marriage is dissolved by apostasy. In fact, I should be more accurate in saying—I have got authority for that—that it is, according to the Bokhara view, not dissolved but suspended. The marriage is suspended but the wife is then kept in custody or confinement till she repents and embraces Islam again, and then she is induced to marry the husband, whose marriage was only suspended and not put an end to or cancelled. The second view is that on apostasy a married Muslim woman ceases to be the wife of her husband but becomes his bond-woman. One view, which is a sort of corollary to this view, is that she is not necessarily the bond-woman of her ex-husband but she becomes the bond-woman of the entire Muslim community and anybody can employ her as a bond-woman. The third view, that of the Ulema of Samarkand and Balkh, is that the marriage lie is not affected by such apostasy and that the woman still continues to be the wife of the husband. These are the three views.
    • Syed Gulam Bikh Nairan, quoted from B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • Since first that great Apostacy took place in the Hearts and Heads of those who began even in the Apostles days, to depart from the simplicity and purity of the Gospel, as it was then delivered in its primitive Splendor and Integrity, innumerable have been the manifold Inventions and Traditions, the different and various Notions and Opinions, wherewith Man (by giving way to the vain and airy Imaginations of his own unstable mind) hath burdened the Christian Faith: so that indeed, first by adding these things, and afterwards by equalling them, if not exalting them above the Truth, they have at last come to be substitute in the stead of it; so that in process of time, Truth came to be shut out of doors, and another thing placed in the room thereof, having a shew and a Name, but wanting the substance and thing itself: Nevertheless it pleased God to raise up Witnesses for himself almost in every Age and Generation, who, according to the Discoveries they received, bore some Testimony, less or more, against the Superstition and Apostacy of the time; and in special manner through the appearing of that Light which first broke forth in Germany about One hundred and fifty years ago, and afterwards reached divers other Nations; the Beast received a deadly Wound: and a very great Number did at one time Protest against, and Rescind from the Church of Rome in divers of their most gross and sensual Doctrines and superstitious Traditions: But alas! it is for matter of lamentation, that the Successors of these Protestants are Establishing and Building up in themselves that which their Fathers were pulling down, instead of prosecuting and going on with so Good and Honourable a Work; which will easily appear.
  • APOSTATE, n. A leech who, having penetrated the shell of a turtle only to find that the creature has long been dead, deems it expedient to form a new attachment to a fresh turtle.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include what, stoning people for adultery, death for apostasy, punishment for breaking the Sabbath. These are all things which are religiously based absolute moralities. I don’t think I want an absolute morality. I think I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued, discussed and based upon, I’d almost say, intelligent design [pun intended]. Can we not design our society, which has the sort of morality, the sort of society that we want to live in – if you actually look at the moralities that are accepted among modern people, among 21st century people, we don’t believe in slavery anymore. We believe in equality of women. We believe in being gentle. We believe in being kind to animals. These are all things which are entirely recent. They have very little basis in Biblical or Quranic scripture. They are things that have developed over historical time through a consensus of reasoning, of sober discussion, argument, legal theory, political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion. To the extent that you can find the good bits in religious scriptures, you have to cherry pick. You search your way through the Bible or the Quran and you find the occasional verse that is an acceptable profession of morality and you say, ‘Look at that. That’s religion,’ and you leave out all the horrible bits and you say, ‘Oh, we don’t believe that anymore. We’ve grown out of that.’ Well, of course we’ve grown out it. We’ve grown out of it because of secular moral philosophy and rational discussion.
  • AbuMusa said: Mu'adh came to me when I was in the Yemen. A man who was Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu'adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was then killed. One of them said: He was asked to repent before that.
  • Still in the garden shadows art Thou pleading,
    Staining the night dews with Thine agony;
    But one is there Thy woe and prayer unheeding,
    And to their guileless prey
    Thy murderers leading, Lord, is it I?
    • George Huntingdon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 14.
  • Apostasy fired her blood as love had done.
    • Tanith Lee, Death's Master (1979), Book Two, Part 4 In Simmurad, Chapter 3
  • The kiss of the apostate was the most bitter earthly ingredient in the agonies which Christ endured.
    • Elias Lyman Magoon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 14.
  • Lo! those who disbelieve after their (profession of) belief, and afterward grow violent in disbelief: their repentance will not be accepted. And such are those who are astray.
  • The intellectual origins of literary theory in Europe were, I think it is accurate to say, insurrectionary. The traditional university, the hegemony of determinism and positivism, the reification of ideological bourgeois “humanism,” the rigid barriers between academic specialties: it was powerful responses to all these that linked together such influential progenitors of today’s literary theorist as Saussure, Lukács, Bataille, Lévi-Strauss, Freud, Nietzsche, and Marx. Theory proposed itself as a synthesis overriding the petty fiefdoms within the world of intellectual production, and it was manifestly to be hoped as a result that all the domains of human activity could be seen, and lived, as a unity. ...
Literary theory, whether of the Left or the Right, has turned its back on these things. This can be considered, I think, the triumph of the ethic of professionalism. But it is no accident that the emergence of so narrowly defined a philosophy of pure textuality and critical noninterference has coincided with the ascendancy of Reaganism.
  • Edward Said, The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983), pp. 3-4
  • If apostasy comes in the form of a crime, transgression, or high treason, it is only natural that it will be treated as a crime that must be fought, and must carry a certain punishment. But if apostasy does not constitute a danger or crime against society, I believe that society does not need to deal with this issue. We should be aware that the concepts of human rights are full of ticking time bombs. My opinion was – and I said this [in the West] – that no Muslim society could ever consider sexual liberty, homosexuality and so on to be a personal right. Muslim societies consider these things to be diseases, which must be fought and treated. […] And protection of moral values too. The problem is that the [Islamic and Western] civilizations are different. Our civilization is based on religion and moral values, whereas their civilization is based more on personal liberties and some moral values.” […] As I said, if an apostate has left Islam out of hatred toward it, and with the purpose of acting against it – this is considered high treason, because this is a Muslim society, which has had Islam for 1,400 years and other religions for over 5,000 years. One does not have the right to… In this case, apostasy is a rebellion against society. It is a rebellion both against religion and what is held sacrosanct by society.
  • An exposition of the faith is to be laid before an apostate; who, if he repent not within three days is put to death.” A female slave or free woman who apostatizes is not to be killed, but she “must be daily beaten with severity until she return to the faith.
    • The Hedaya, or Guide : a Commentary on the Mussulman Laws, Charles Hamilton, II, 225-228. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Ch. 11
  • "...Ex-Muslims are subjected to death, you are not allowed to be not to be a Muslim...locked up, abused and even worse killed...a lot of women after leaving Islamare subjected to emotional, physical and mental abuse by their family for rejecting any values...you are a Muslim or you are dead according to Sharia law...A lot of this is prevalent in Middle East and other theocratic countries but not limited to them.It's not unheard of in the west with Muslim Societies..."

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