Since 2007, Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Kader Qandeel (أحمد عبد القادر قنديل) has served as the imam of al-Jisr Mosque in Laval, Quebec. Of Egyptian descent, Qandeel served as an imam of several mosques in Cairo and Alexandria from 1990 to 1996 and later worked for eight years as an imam, preacher and teacher for the Egyptian Ministry of Endowment.
In Canada, Qandeel (aka Kandil) first worked as a teacher of Arabic language and the Quran in private schools of Edmonton and Montreal, and was for two years the imam of al-Rashid Mosque in Edmonton before moving to Laval, Quebec.
The following are excerpts of Qandeel’s sermon titled “The Types of Apostasy” given on May 12, 2013 at Alrawdah Mosque in Montreal (translated from Arabic by Jonathan D. Halevi). To see the entire sermon in Arabic, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
The Types of Apostasy
“The apostasy and the meaning of apostasy… [i.e.] a man who first testifies, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” and that he was pleased with the Sharia [Law] of Islam and was pleased with the constitution of Islam… whether he was born as a Muslim or became Muslim after being an infidel.
“And later he removes this [Islamic faith] from his mind, [meaning] he removes from his mind the bond which he tied to his soul by disowning the religion as a whole or by disowning part of it or information regarding the religion that must be known [to Muslims]… meaning that you as a Muslim are being held as a person who knows this religion, i.e. that the prayer is a religious duty, that fornication is forbidden and is regarded in the religion of Allah a major sin, that theft is a major sin, that drinking wine is a major sin… you left the religion of Allah… meaning that a person who commits one of these deeds. This turns him into an apostate.
“The ruling on apostasy… the apostate must come to the [Muslim] judge or to the Imam of the Muslims… meaning the emir or the head [of the state] or the ruler… the meaning of the Imam in this context is that he [the apostate] should be brought to the emir or the head of the state or the judge who is in charge of Sharia [Islamic Law] affairs in the Islamic country…
Two types of apostates
“There are two types of apostates… one of them is a person who committed apostasy… and uttered it [the act of apostasy]. We heard him [saying] ‘I’m apostate, I don’t believe in this prayer… I don’t like Islam, I left Islam and turned for example a Christian… He left Islam for another religion or disowned information about Islam that should have been known to all Muslims, but his actions were done on the personal level, he stayed in his home and did not went to fight against Islam or the Muslims or joined a group that fights against the Islamic State or he did not come out and spread his beliefs among the people and launched a website and spread atheism in the country etc…
“The second type is a person who committed apostasy, but he did not stop there and joined a vile group in fighting Islam and spread atheism and provoked suspicions [about the Islamic faith] and tried to spread the corruption among the people.
Punishment for apostacy
“Each one has a different ruling. Jurists’ opinions were divided on the first case. Most of the jurists agreed that he will be asked for three days to repent. He will be given a period of three days for repentance [and during this time] the scholars will sit with him, pose arguments against him, remove his confusion, answer his doubts and try to convince him. If after the third day he still adheres to his position he will be killed.
“This is the opinion of the mainstream jurists. Abu Hanifa [founder of a school of Islamic jurisprudence] said that if [the apostate] is a male he will be killed… a woman will not be killed… she will be jailed until death…
“According the Shafi’i and Maliki [schools of Islamic jurisprudence]… the apostate, male or female, who did not join a group and did not fight [against Islam] will never be killed… he [or she] will be asked to repent and then will be incarcerated till he changes his mind or dies in jail…
“The second case deals with a person who fights against Allah and His messenger and joined a vile group. His verdict will not be a regular execution. His verdict will be identical to the punishment for banditry. ‘Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides.’ [Quran 5:33]. This is the difference between them. The first will be asked to repent and the second will be killed immediately without repentance or asking him to repent…
Third type of apostate
“The third type… there are people called the Westernised Muslims. Did you hear about them? Who are the Westernised Muslims?… There are people called orientalists. The orientalists are European, American and other scholars who came to our countries, learned the Arabic language and the culture of the Arab and the Muslim society and started trying to find doubts in the [truthiness of] the religion of Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, in order to use them to destroy Islam.
“Unfortunately, some of them are our kin… our respected secular brothers… they traveled to their [orientalists] countries and learned from them or mingled with them in our countries and started repeating these words of folly uttered and made by the orientalists, for example that Islam oppresses the woman… They started spreading these suspicions and sedition saying that Islam treats harshly women and that Islam is a rigid religion.
“[They say:] ‘why the hand of the thief is chopped off? And why the person who commits fornication is stoned to death… and why a person who drinks wine is flogged 80 times? This is a rigid religion. This is cruelty. Is this Islam? Is this the Sharia [Islamic law]? Is this tolerance?’
“By doing so and by these words they addressing Allah directly and accusing Him, Glorified be He, of injustice. They say: ‘Our Lord, you are unjust…’ The Westernized Muslims repeated these statements and this is one of the facets of apostasy, because they accused Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, of injustice…
Alliance with infidels
“Another aspect of apostasy is the alliance with the infidels… ‘O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.’ [Quran 5:51].
“This is a very important issue… the meaning of the alliance is support, you support him [the infidel] against the believers, subordination, you act in self-deprecation, submit to him or make him judge in issues commanded by Allah, and then love, which makes you love him more than the believers or give him precedence over the believers… and humiliation by belittling yourself in front of him and surrendering to him on the expense of your religion. All of this is alliance, meaning that you are helping an infidel against a Muslim, that you give precedence to an infidel over a Muslim in a matter… that adds strength to the heresy and weaken the power of Islam.”