Watan Voice: Is Obama a Muslim or an Apostate?

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media
FatwāsPressMisc

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim

The author of this piece makes a couple of points: first, according to Islamic doctrine, all children are naturally born Muslim; second, Muslims are not held culpable for straying from Islam until they reach puberty. Since President Obama was 'born Muslim', he then only has three options: stay Muslim, apostatize before puberty (not a capital crime) or after puberty (capital crime). The author seems to believe that Obama was a Muslim too long to have the third option (the article points that he went to Indonesia when he was at least 11, and then studied in an Islamic madrasa for two more years after that), leaving him only the first two options, i.e. he is either a Muslim or an apostate. As a side note, the author is not alone in thinking President Obama is a Muslim. In fact, a 2011 Pew poll found that 1 out of every 10 Muslim American believes this.

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... [Obama] was born in Hawaii to a Kenyan father and a white American mother from the state of Kansas. His parents separated when he was in his twelfth year, when his father left his mother and returned to Kenya, thus leaving his mother responsible for raising him. Young Obama went to Jakarta after his mother married an Indonesian student, from which his mother bore Obama's half-sister Maya. The author Scott Toro, one of Obama's friends at the time, remembers that Obama was enrolled in an Islamic madrasa for two years, then later joined a Catholic school.

Obama converted to Christianity in the United Christian Church. ... Within this introduction, certain aspects of President Obama's introduction to his autobiography beg the following question: What is the position of Islamic law concerning this biography?

Islamic law stipulates that if a child is born with either one or both of his parents being Muslim, then the child's religion will also be Muslim. This applies if the father is Muslim and the mother is non-Muslim, such as in President Obama's case. Al-Hassan, Shurayh, Ibrahim, and Qatada said: "If one of (the parents) has submitted (to Islam), then the child is with the Muslim," for Islam dominates, but is not (itself) dominated. And also according to the word of the prophet of God (PBUH): "No child is born except on nature (i.e. Islam), and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian, or Magian (Zoroastrian), as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?" (Sahih al-Bukhari, V 2, Bk 23, No 441). Although Islamic law does not oblige those who have not reached puberty to practice Islam, the father of such a child is required to pay zakat and pray the funeral prayer if the child dies before reaching puberty. This shows that the child is Muslim from birth. Through these Islamic judgments, in comparison with the autobiography of President Barack Hussein Obama, we find that this president is either a Muslim or an apostate from Islam according to the strongest viewpoints of Islamic jurisprudence.
Is President Obama a Muslim or an Apostate?
Mu'ammar Ahmad 'Abd-al-Latif Rajeh, Watan Voice, January 30, 2010