Leaving Islam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leaving Islam:
Apostates Speak Out
Author Ibn Warraq
Country United States
Language English
Subject Islam
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publication date
1 May 2003
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 320 pp
ISBN 1-59102-068-9
Preceded by What the Koran Really Says
Followed by Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism

Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out is a 2003 book, authored and edited by ex-Muslim and secularist Ibn Warraq, that researches and documents cases of apostasy in Islam.


The first part of the book presents an overview of the theological-juridical underpinnings of apostasy in Islam based upon the Qur’an, the hadiths and written opinions from classical schools of Islamic jurisprudence as well as contemporary written pronouncements of Islamic jurists.

The next section presents the history of the application of Islamic jurisprudence on apostates documenting notable cases from the early centuries of Islam, such as those of freethinkers Ibn al-Rawandi and Rhazes (865-925), or skeptical poets such as Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) and Hafiz (1320–89), or Sufi (mystic) practitioners Mansur Al-Hallaj, executed in 922 and As-Suhrawardi executed in 1191, and the atheist Sulayman al-Ma'arri (973-1057).

This followed by numerous case studies covering modern day apostasies and conversions out of Islam trends throughout the world.

The later part contains testimonials of born Muslim apostates including the ex-Muslim Ali Sina and other western converts.

Author's rationale[edit]

In a 2003 interview with The Religion Report on Australia's ABC Radio National, Warraq said he wrote Leaving Islam to support his claim that there were a large number of ex-Muslims and to encourage other Muslims to openly leave Islam. He also said his target audience with the book was not just Muslims but everyone.[1]


The New York Review of Books commented that Leaving Islam is "probably the first book of its kind...testimonies from former Muslims about their estrangement from the Islamic faith." According to The Boston Globe, "Leaving Islam's stories make eye-opening reading."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen Crittenden & Ibn Warraq (2003-07-02). "Radio National Interview with Ibn Warraq" (Transcript). The Religion Report. Australia: ABC Radio National. I wanted to point out that there were a large number of ex-Muslims, and I wanted to hold them up as examples to ex-Muslims to come out of the closet. ... [Leaving Islam is] meant for everyone 
  2. ^ "Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out". Amazon.com. 2004. Retrieved 4 March 2016.