A Sunni hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is not just a Sunni idea; the death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
“Any Muslim Lawyer Who Defends Kano Musician Sentenced To Death For Blasphemy Has Renounced His Faith, Cleric Says,” Sahara Reporters, September 6, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Chairman of Sokoto State Ulama Forum of Izala, Sheikh Abubakar Usman Mabera, has said that any lawyer, who defends a Kano State-based musician, Yahaya Aminu-Sharif, recently convicted for blasphemy by a Sharia court has renounced his Islamic faith.
According to Tribune Newspaper, the Islamic cleric affirmed that a competent Sharia court in Kano had sentenced the musician to death for blasphemy.
He noted that blasphemy in Islam was a capital punishment by death, saying, “As a Muslim, the law applies to the singer.
The cleric, who is also the Chief Imam of Mallam Buhari Dan Shehu Mosque in Sokoto, called on Muslim lawyers to be careful in defending the convict.
According to him, since a competent Sharia court in Kano had established the fact that Aminu-Sharif had insulted the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), he must subject himself to the punishment prescribed by Allah.
The Islamic cleric then called on the people to go back to their creator and seek for His forgiveness, saying, all these calamities bedevilling the country were signs of wrongdoings.
“For all indications, God is not happy with us and we have to repent because He alone is the answer to our woes,” he said.
Recall that Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had said if within the stipulated time the convict did not appeal, he would sign his death sentence….