Fatwa on Intellectual Apostasy
As regard the question posed, we would like to cite for you the fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in this concern:
“Intellectual apostasy is the kind of apostasy whose owners do not swagger as much as those who declare their explicit disbelief and openly wage war against everything that is religious. Actually intellectual apostates are far smarter than that. They wrap their apostasy in various coverings, sneaking in a very cunning manner into the mind the way that malignant tumors sneak into the body. These people are not noticed when they invade or begin to disseminate their falsehood, but they are mostly felt when they affect the minds. They do not use guns in their attacks, however, their attacks are fierce and cunning. Erudite scholars and well versed jurists well apprehend this type of apostates, but they can not take an action in face of such professional criminals who have firmly established themselves and have not left a chance for law to be enforced on them. They are the hypocrites whose abode will be in the lowest level of the Hell-Fire.
The traces of intellectual apostasy are noticed everyday in circulated newspapers and books, in Radio and TV programs and in laws legislated to govern people’s affairs. This kind of apostasy is – in my point of view – more dangerous than openly announced apostasy, for the former works continuously on a wide scale, at the same time it can not be easily resisted in the same manner as the latter which always makes much fuss, attract the attention of the people and stirs up public opinion.
Hypocrisy is more dangerous than open disbelief. This fact will be clearly discerned when one reflects back to the great danger which the leader of Madinah’s hypocrites, `Abdullah ibn Ubayy, posed to Islam. The Madinah’s hypocrites were more threatening to Islam than Abu Jahl and the pagans of Makkah. It is for this that the Qur’an specified only two verses for dispraising the disbelievers at the beginning of surat al-Baqarah, while hypocrites were given a share of thirteen verses in the same surat.
Intellectual apostasy is always propagated night and day. We feel its relentless and ruthless effects on our society. It needs a wide scale attack at the same level of strength and thinking. The positive religious obligation here is for Muslims to launch war against such a hidden enemy, to fight it with same weapon it uses in waging attack against the society. Here comes the role of erudite scholars who are well versed in Islamic Jurisprudence.
It is true that the pioneers of this new form of apostasy are well supported on the media level, but the power of truth, the faith reposed in the hearts of believers and Allah’s support are more than enough to vanquish this falsehood and pierce the hearts of those who spread with their own daggers. Here, we will feel joyful with this Divine victory and will really understand the verse: “Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us).” (Al-Anbiya’: 18)
In conclusion, we have nothing to say but to recite the verse that reads: “Thus doth Allah (by parables) show forth Truth and Vanity. For the scum disappears like forth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth. Thus doth Allah set forth parables.” (Ar-Ra`d: 17)”