(2,028 words)

(a.), “one who turns back”, especially from Islam, an apostate. Apostasy is called irtidād or ridda ; it may be committed verbally by denying a principle of belief or by an action, for example treating a copy of the Ḳurʾān with disrespect.

1. In the Ḳurʾān, the apostate is threatened with punishment in the next world only; the “wrath of God” will fall upon him according to a sūra of the latest Meccan period (XVI, 108-9) and severe punishment ( ʿad̲h̲āb ) “except he did it under compulsion and his heart is steadfast in belief. Similarly, it is written in the Medinan sūra III…

Cite this page
Heffening, W., “Murtadd”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 19 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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