Sudanese Official Says Death Verdict for Christian Woman Is Not Final (Video)

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim with husband, Daniel Wani (CNN)
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim with husband, Daniel Wani (CNN)

As outrage grows over a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity, the government defended the verdict, but said it’s only preliminary.

A Khartoum court last week convicted Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith.

Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant, is a Christian, her husband said. But the court considers her a Muslim.

“I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” said her husband, Daniel Wani. “I’m just praying.”

100 Lashes
The court also convicted her of adultery and sentenced her to 100 lashes because her marriage to a Christian man is considered void under Sharia law.

Wani is American, Ibrahim’s lawyer Mohamed Jar Elnabi told CNN.

The attorney said he’ll file an appeal within a few days.

Sudanese parliament speaker Fatih Izz Al-Deen said the verdict is not final and is in the hands of the judiciary.

The verdict will go through all the judicial stages to reach the constitutional court, the speaker told Um Derman radio station. His comments were cited Friday by the official Sudanese News Agency.

Ibrahim says she was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left when she was age 6, and she was raised by her mother as a Christian.

The court had warned her to renounce her Christianity by Thursday, but she held firm to her beliefs.

But the parliament speaker said that claims she was raised as non-Muslim are untrue.

She is a Muslim raised in an Islamic environment and her brother, a Muslim, filed the complaint against her, according to Izz Al-Deen.

The complaint alleges she went missing for several years and her family was shocked to find out she married a Christian, according to her lawyer.

However, because her father was Muslim, the courts considered her one too, which would mean her marriage to a non-Muslim man is void.

Attempts to contact Sudan’s justice minister and foreign affairs minister were unsuccessful.

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Faith Karimi and Yousuf Basil

One thought on “Sudanese Official Says Death Verdict for Christian Woman Is Not Final (Video)

  1. This decision has no relation to religion Islam as the teachings of Islam has guaranteed freedom of conscience and freedom of belief,and has announced in the plainest terms that so far as faith is concerned everyone is answerable to God Almighty alone:”Whoso does right,does it for his own soul; and whoso does wrong,does so to its detriment.Then to your Lord will you all be brought back.” (Quran 45:16)The verse makes it clear that the judgment of religious practices is in the hand of God Almighty and He has preserved the right of punishment or forgiveness in His own hand as He is All Knowing and will decide reward or punishment according to the inner deep intentions of a person.

    There is no punishment in Islam for a person who wants to leave Islam or to change it with an other one.
    Neither the revelation of God Almighty in the Quran nor any other reliable traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) lend any support to these people who advocate death punishment or any other punishment for Apostasy.The most precious freedom of man, which is vital for the purpose of enabling him to achieve the object of his life on earth, is the freedom of conscience, which includes freedom to profess, practise, propagate and, should his conscience so impel him, to change his religion. Islam is the one religion whose scripture guarantees freedom of conscience and belief in express and emphatic terms. This freedom is so repeatedly affirmed in the Holy Quran, with such a wealth of illustration and exposition, that it does not leave the slightest room for any doubt on the matter.

    Muslims who support a punishment for apostasy should know that God Almighty had stopped even His beloved Messenger Prophet of Islam Mohammad (sa) to force people in faith matters. God Almighty has said: ”Thy people have rejected the message that We have sent through thee, though it is the Truth. Tell them: I am not appointed a guardian over you”(6:67). In this verse the Arabic expression ”vakil” is used for guardian, watchman, one with authority to restrain from vice forcibly. Thus this verse sets forth: I am not your guardian, in the sense that I have not been authorized to force you to accept the message that I have brought, and that you should proclaim your faith in it.I am only a warner. Having conveyed the message to you clearly I have discharged my responsibility. If you deny the message, God will be wroth with you and you would witness that of which I am warning you. God will call you to account for your denial (Tafseer Ruhul Bayan Vol. III p. 48).

    This universe created by God Almighty is divided into two portions. A large portion does that which it is commanded by God Almighty to do, and thus carries out the will of God. The other portion has been given the choice to carry out God’s behest or to ignore it. This second portion is man upon whom God Almighty has conferred freedom of action. Everything besides man carries out that which God Almighty desires it to do. For instance, the Holy Quran says concerning the angels: They do that which they are commanded ( 66: 7). From this point of view everything besides man is an angel, as it does that which it is commanded to do. The winds carry out whatever they are commanded. During a particular season the trees are commanded to shed their leaves and they do so and so on other objects of this universe do their work.
    Islam is the religion of nature. So far as man is concerned the notion of compulsion in human life is inconsistent with the divine project of the universe, inasmuch as if God Almighty had imposed His will upon man there would have been no difference between man and an animal, or a tree or a stone. Reflection upon the Holy Quran reveals several aspects of this teaching. For instance, it is said: Proclaim, O Prophet, O mankind the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord. Then whoso follows the guidance, follows it only for the good of his own self, and whoso errs does so only to his own detriment. I am not appointed a keeper over you (10: 109).

    The Prophet of Islam (sa) is commanded in this verse to proclaim that he is not responsible for the people. It is pointed out that every path that guides to the gardens of the pleasure of God Almighty has been described in the Holy Quran. It is the business of man to tread along them of his on free will, or to turn away from them of his own will.The Prophet of Islam (sa) bears no responsibility in that behalf, nor would he exercise any compulsion in respect of it.

    It is the most important to remember for truth of Islam that Holy Quran is the only Book of God than which we have no more conclusive and certain statement. It is the Word of God and is free from all doubt and speculation.By Sunnah we mean the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) to which he adhered and which appeared along with the Holy Quran and will accompany it. In other words, the Holy Quran is the Word of God Almighty and the Sunnah is the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa) It has ever been the way of God that the Prophets bring the Word of God for the guidance of people and illustrate it in practice with their conduct so that no doubt should remain in the minds of people with regard to the Divine Word. They act upon it and urge others to do the same.

    The third source of guidance is Hadith, by which we mean those traditions which were compiled from the statements of diverse narrators a century and a half after the Holy Prophet(sa)It should, however, be remembered that only that interpretation of a verse of the Quran is correct and trustworthy which is testified to by other verses of the Quran, inasmuch as some verses of the Quran interpret other verses. If certainty of meaning should not be guaranteed by other verses of the Quran, then the meaning should be confirmed by some true and reliable Hadith. According to us, the interpretation based merely on one’s opinion is not permissible. ”In what discourse apart from Allah and His commandments will they believe?” (Al-Jathiyah, 45:7) This means that if the Holy Quran is conclusive and positive about a matter and its meaning is clear, a believer should not accept a Hadith which is clearly opposed to it.A person who is bestowed the understanding of the Quran by Divine grace, and who finds that a Hadith is opposed to a verse of the Quran, should, out of respect, so far as it is possible, so interpret the Hadith as to bring it into accord with the Holy Quran,but if this is not possible and cannot by any means be achieved, he should regard the Hadith as spurious.We should seek an interpretation of a Hadith which is not opposed to the Holy Quran, but if this should not be possible it would be heresy and disbelief that we should give up the Quran for the sake of Ahadith, which have been conveyed to us by human hands and with regard to which it is not only a possibility, but a certainty, that they have got mixed up with human statements. (Sources of Islamic Guidance)
    When the time of the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) had passed some of their successors thought of compiling the Ahadith and they were compiled. There is no doubt that most of the compilers of Hadith were very pious and righteous. They tested the accuracy of Ahadith as far as it was possible and tried to steer clear of those which,in their opinion, were manufactured. They rejected every Hadith any narrator of which was of doubtful veracity. As all this activity was ex post factum, it was no more than conjecture.Yet,it would be most unfair to say that all Ahadith are vain and useless and false. So much care was taken in compiling the Ahadith, and such research and criticism were employed in the task, that they cannot be matched in any other religion.
    This kind of false conceptions like death punishment for Apostasy, actually have their origin in the late Umayyad dynasty. Throughout the Abbaside period, the idea continued to flourish and was further
    strengthened because the Abbaside sovereigns wanted to use force not only against the enemies of Islam but also against their own people. A license for this was not infrequently sought from Muslim scholars under their influence. The concept has therefore arisen from the conduct and policies of the post-Khalifat-i-Rashida Muslim governments of Baghdad.

    Unfortunately, a section of the so-called Orthodox Muslim divines have progressively adopted the position that though Islam does not permit any kind of pressure or coercion in its propagation, and that no one can under any circumstances be forced or compelled to profess Islam, yet a professing Muslim, should he cease to have faith in Islam, would not be free to affirm that he no longer believes in Islam. Should he do so, he would forfeit his life. This is a notion which is utterly abhorrent to Islam, and indeed to human conscience. Also it renders altogether nugatory the freedom of conscience and belief that is so emphatically guaranteed by Islam, and is contradictory of it. If the position on this question were that which these misguided divines seek to uphold, Islam would be guilty of promoting hypocrisy and would not be a true religion.

    In the light of God’s law these Muslims should amend and remove their misconceptions they have about the teachings of Islam and holy practices of their beloved prophet Mohammed (sa) otherwise Quran have a warning for these muslims who misguide others by trying to enter their human made laws in the Law of God Almighty: (Quran 6:94) ”And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah, or says, ‘It has been revealed to me,’ while nothing has been revealed to him; and who says, ‘I will send down the like of that which Allah has sent down?’ And if thou couldst only see, when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, and the angels stretch forth their hands, saying, ‘Yield up your souls. This day shall you be awarded the punishment of disgrace, because of that which you spoke against Allah falsely and because you turned away from His Signs with disdain” (Punishment of Apostacy in Islam )

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