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In Islam blasphemy is insulting/mocking Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), His Messengers (عليهم السلام), The Quran/Hadith, Sunnah or any other Islamic belief (Tawhid, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, Jihad, Hajj, Beard, Hijab etc.) or righteous personalities (Ahl al-Bayt, Sahaba, Awliya etc.) that are fundamental in Shariah. Most schools of jurisprudence prescribe death sentence for blasphemy, whether the person claims to be Muslim or non-Muslim, a man or a woman.[1]

Punishment-blasphemy-islam-quran-hadith-fiqh-fatwa

Quran[]

"Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment." (Surah Al-Maidah, 5:33)

"Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment." (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:57)

"And if you ask them, they will surely say, 'We were only conversing and playing.' Say, 'Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?' Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief." (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:65-66)

"And those who abuse the Messenger of Allah - for them is a painful punishment." (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:61)

"And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease." (Surah At-Tawbah, 9:12)

Hadith[]

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah (رضي الله عنه): The Prophet (ﷺ) said,

"Who is ready to kill Kab bin Al-Ashraf who has really hurt Allah and His Apostle?"

Muhammad ibn Maslama (رضي الله عنه) said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Do you like me to kill him?" He replied in the affirmative. So, Ibn Maslama went to him (i.e. Kab) and said, "This person (i.e. the Prophet) has put us to task and asked us for charity." Kab replied, "By Allah, you will get tired of him." Ibn Maslama said to him, "We have followed him, so we dislike to leave him till we see the end of his affair." Ibn Maslama went on talking to him in this way till he got the chance to kill him. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3031)

Narrated Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه): A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (ﷺ) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood. (Sunan Abi Dawud 4362)

Narrated Al-Bara ibn Azib (رضي الله عنه): Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) sent some men from the Ansar to (kill) Abu Rafi, the Jew, and appointed Abdullah ibn Atik (رضي الله عنه) as their leader. Abu Rafi used to hurt Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and help his enemies against him. (Sahih al-Bukhari 4039)

Narrated Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه): Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) entered (Makkah) in the year of the Conquest (of Makkah) wearing a helmet over his head. After he took it off, a man came and said, "Ibn Khatal (a renegade) is clinging to the curtains of the Kabah." The Prophet (ﷺ) said,

"Kill him."

and Abu Barzah Al-Aslami (رضي الله عنه) killed him. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3044, Sunan Abi Dawud 2685)

It was narrated from Musab bin Saad that his father (رضي الله عنهم) said: "On the day of the Conquest of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) granted amnesty to the people, except four men and two women. He said:

"Kill them, even if you find them clinging to the covers of Kabah."

(They were) Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Abdullah bin Khatal, Miqyas bin Subabah and Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi as-Sarh. (Sunan an-Nasai 4067)

Ibn 'Abbas (رضي الله عنه) narrated, ‘A blind man had a pregnant slave, who used to abuse the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and defame him. The blind man forbade her but she did not stop. One night she began to slander the Prophet (ﷺ) so he took an axe, placed it on her belly, pressed it and killed her. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was told about it, and thereupon he said,

“Oh people! Be witnesses that no Diyah (retaliation) is to be paid for her blood.”

(Bulugh al-Maram 9/47, Sunan Abi Dawud 4361)

Narrated Abdu Salam ibn Salih (رضي الله عنه) that Rasulullah (ﷺ) said,

"Whoever curses the prophets, kill him and whoever curses my companions, flog him."

(Al-Mujam Al Kabir of Tabarani #235, Ash-shifa of Qadi Iyad & Fawaid e Tamam of Al-Razi)[2]

Narrated Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه): Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) sent us on military expedition telling us, "If you find such and such persons [he named two men from Quraish who abused Fatima (رضي الله عنها)], burn them fire." Then we came to bid him farewell, when we wanted to set out, he said: "Previously I ordered you to burn so-and-so and so-and-so with fire, but as punishment with fire is done by none except Allah, if you capture them, kill them, (instead)." (Sahih al-Bukhari 2954)

It was narrated that Abu Tihya said: When Ibn Muljim struck Ali (رضي الله عنه), Ali said: Do with him what the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) wanted to be done with a man who wanted to kill him. He said: "Kill him, then burn him." (Musnad Ahmad 713)

Fiqh[]

Hanafi & Shafie – Blasphemy is kufr (apostasy) and its punishment is death.

Maliki & Hanbali – Blasphemy is more severe than kufr. Death is mandatory and repentance is not accepted.

Shia – Blasphemer must be killed.[3]

State Laws[]

In Muslim-majority countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc. blasphemy is punishable by execution. A convicted blasphemer loses all legal rights. The blasphemer's marriage to be dissolved, religious acts to be rendered worthless, and claims to property/inheritance to be rendered void. Of the 71 countries that criminalize blasphemy, 32 are Muslim majority.[4]

Fatwas[]

If the state fails to punish a high-profile blasphemer, the clerics then issue fatwas authorizing assassinations and inciting mob violence.[5]

References[]

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