The main purpose of this essay is to examine whether or not the earthly punishments in regards to apostates that are often found in classical Islamic sources are applicable in the present context. The paper indeed addresses how Muslims should understand the question of apostasy in the contemporary context. To do so, the paper first argues that an accurate understanding of the way the Quranic verses and prophetic hadiths deal with the concept of apostasy could help us rethink and re-examine the classical Islamic laws on apostasy in the present context. In addition, building on Abdolkarim Soroush’s theory of contraction and expansion of religious knowledge, this article argues that approaches to apostasy in the present context can move away from what prescribed by classical Islamic laws. Finally, it argues that instances of persecution of apostates in the early days of Islam during the Medinan period of Muhammad’s prophetic mission should be interpreted in their own socio-historical context. Rereading these reports within our modern context supports the mutability of the traditional corporal punishments of apostasy.
Arabs have a rhetorical heritage which has greatly contributed to the monitoring and analyzing of the rhetoric of the Holy Quran, Hadith, and Arabic texts on poetry and oratory. But Arab scholars - as far as the researcher knows – have not contributed to monitoring and analyzing the rhetoric of digital Arabic discourse although it has prominence, particularly in social media and has strong effectiveness in the political and social life of Arab society. This discourse has made its impact by using very new rhetorical techniques in language, voice, image, painting and video clips which are known as “Multimedia” and belong to “Digital Rhetoric”. This study suggests that it is time to draw the attention of Arab scholars and invite them to monitor and analyze the rhetoric of digital Arabic discourse.
This paper examines how “Zakat” provides fair income redistribution and aids the struggle against poverty. Providing fair income redistribution and combating poverty constitutes some of the fundamental tasks performed by countries all over the world. Each country seeks a solution for these problems according to their political, economic and administrative styles through applying various economic and financial policies. The same situation can be handled via “zakat” association in Islam. Nowadays, we observe different versions of “zakat” in developed countries. Applications such as negative income tax denote merely a different form of “zakat” that is being applied almost in the same way but under changed names. However, the minimum values to donate under zakat (e.g. 85 gr. gold and 40 animals) get altered and various amounts are put into practice. It might be named as negative income tax instead of zakat, nonetheless, these applications are based on the Holy Koran and the hadith released 1400 years ago. Besides, considering the savage and slavery in the world at those times, we might easily recognize the true value of the zakat being applied for the first time then in the Islamic system. Through zakat, governments are able to transfer incomes to the poor as a means of enabling them achieve the minimum standard of living required. With regards to who benefits from the Zakat, an objective and fair criteria was used to determine who benefits from the zakat contrary to the notion that it was based on peoples’ own choices. Since the zakat is obligatory, the transfers do not get forwarded directly but via the government and get distributed, which requires vast governmental organizations. Through the application of Zakat, reduced levels of poverty can be achieved and also ensure the fair income redistribution.