The Religious Judge of the Central Islamic Revolution Tribunals:
*The punishment for an voluntary apostate is death, and his repentance is unacceptable.
*The innate apostate and the female apostate, voluntary or innate, are not subject to death only for apostasy and their repentance will be accepted.
Ayatolah Mohammadi Gilani, the Religious Judge for the Central Islamic Revolution Tribunals, responded to the questions put by Keyhan regarding "who is an apostate and what is his sentence in Islam?" In response, Ayatolah Mohammadi Gilani said:
"Apostasy" in the Arabic language means "return" and in the Islamic scholars' parlance, means returning from religion and blasphemy after [having been enlightened by] Islam. The proof of apostasy may be a quote and expressing a clear blasphemy, such as if someone says: "I left Islam", or "I doubt God [exists], or by saying something necessitating blasphemy, such as if they say: God- God forbid- is an inorganic being", or "God is the same as the law of creation". We have seen these in some of the writings.
Or the proof may be in an act, such as: someone performs an act which clearly is a proof of ridiculing and demeaning Islam, e.g., contaminating the holy Koran-- God forbid—with dirt or stepping or spitting on it with the intention to insult. The same goes for performing the said insulting acts against the Honorable Mecca, the holly shrines, or the books of Islamic precedence and jurisprudence.
Apostasy is also performed by denying one of the principals of Islam. The principals of Islam are those which are clear and obvious to those familiar with Islam, such as the principals of Resurrection, Prayer, and Fasting.
There is no doubt that denying the principals of Islam is blasphemous, but the problem and the argument lies in deciding if just denying the principals of Islam is as blasphemous as "denying monotheism and prophets". In other words, is the denial of the principals of Islam by itself sufficient to constitute apostasy, the same as denial of monotheism and Prophets? Or is it because the denial of the principals of Islam — such as denial of the requirement for Prayer — is based on the denial of the Prophet, and the denial of Prophet is apostasy, then by extension it is said that the denial of the Principals of Islam is apostasy?
Some religious scholars have recognized the denial of principals of Islam as apostasy, and some have said that it is not apostasy by itself, but it is blasphemous if it is accompanied by denial of the prophecy of our dear prophet of Islam.
Our lofty Sheik ... (Khomeini), leader of the Moslem community-- may I be sacrificed for him-- in the writings of Al-Vasileh has accepted this conservative approach and has ruled that if someone, because of developing doubts, denies one of the principals of Islam, such as doubting the requirement of prayer or visit to Mecca, and thinks that the prayer and Mecca visit were required for the Moslems during the first period of Islam and are no longer required in our times, then, this person is not sentenced to blasphemy, in contrast to the aforesaid quote which is sentenced to apostasy.
There are tow kinds of apostates, voluntary and innate. Voluntary apostate is one whose birth is into Islam, meaning, his parents, or one of the parents at the time of his birth, were Muslims. Innate apostate is someone whose birth is otherwise (who is born to a non Muslim family).
The sentence for the voluntary apostate is death and his repentance will not be accepted. His wife will be forbidden to him; she must observe a window's period of wait [prior to mating with someone else] and his belongings will be distributed between his inheritors, even if he is alive.
But the innate apostate and a female apostate, innate or voluntary, are not sentenced to death only for apostasy and their repentance will be accepted.
The Moslem children who have become associated with and related to various groups of Marxism, are sentenced to apostasy, except for some of them who, according the order of Imam, may his shadow cover all, regarding the denial of the principals of Islam, may be outside of the apostasy ruling, which distinction and ruling is up to the experts of the field.