What Are the Blasphemy Laws in Islam?

Question: What are the blasphemy laws in Islam?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum

This is a topic with many details and differences. I cannot do it full justice here and so all I will say is that, yes, there is a concept of ‘blasphemy’ in our legal tradition.

Though often associated today with the sanctity of the person of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), blasphemy is any sacrilegious talk relating to God, His prophets, angels, books, etc. When applied to Muslims, it is often connected with the practice of takfir (anathema), which has strict conditions and is an extremely very sensitive matter. You may find details here:

What Takes a Person Out of the Fold of Islam?

The case of non-Muslims living in a Muslim state is much more complex. This is because the state has both an interest to protect religion and its symbols, while also acknowledging that non-Muslims clearly do not see Islam or its symbols in the sacred light that Muslims do. For this reason, many jurists gave non-Muslim leeway in expressing their beliefs, even if it was otherwise seen as ‘blasphemous’. Again, there are many details and debates surrounding this, which I will not get into.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas was born and raised in New York and graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir. Ustadh Salman’s personal interests include research into the fields of law/legal methodology, hadith, theology, as well as political theory, government, media, and ethics. He is also an avid traveler and book collector. He currently resides in Amman with his wife.