The Judgment of the Shari’ah on Disrespecting the Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam

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The rights of the Beloved Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him and the devotion, respect, esteem and honor that are owed to him are made clear in the Holy Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of the community. In His Book, Allah has made it haram to harm him. The community agrees that anyone among the Muslims who disparages him or curses him is to be killed!!

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Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala says,

إن الذين يؤذون الله ورسوله لعنهم الله في الدنيا والآخرة وأعد لهم عذابا مهينا
“Indeed those who trouble Allah and His Noble Messenger – upon them is Allah’s curse in the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah has kept prepared a disgraceful punishment for them.” [Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 57]

And,

والذين يؤذون رسول الله لهم عذاب أليم
“and for those who trouble the Noble Messenger of Allah, is a painful punishment.” [Surah al-Tawbah, Verse 61]

And,

وما كان لكم أن تؤذوا رسول الله ولا أن تنكحوا أزواجه من بعده أبدا إن ذلكم كان عند الله عظيما
“and you have no right to trouble the Noble Messenger of Allah, nor ever marry any of his wives after him; indeed that is a very severe matter in the sight of Allah.” [Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 53]

Know that all who curse Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, or blame him or attribute imperfection to him in his person, his lineage, his deen or any of his qualities, or alludes to that or it’s like by any means whatsoever, whether in the form of a curse or contempt or belittling him or detracting from him or finding fault with him or maligning him, the judgment regarding such a person is the same as the judgment against anyone who curses him. He is killed as we shall make clear. This judgment extends to anything which amounts to a curse or disparagement. We have no hesitation concerning this matter, be it a clear statement or allusion.

The same applies to anyone who curses him, invokes against him, desires to harm him, ascribes to him what does not befit his position or jokes about his mighty affair with foolish talk, satire, disliked words or lies, or reviles him because of any affliction or trial which happened to him or disparages him, because of any of the permissible and well-known human events which happened to him. All of this is the consensus of the ‘Ulama’ and the Imams of fatwa from the time of the Companions until today.

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..:: Verdicts by the Jurists and Scholars of Islam ::..

1. Abu Bakr ibn al-Mundhir said that

أجمع عوام أهل العلم على أن من سب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يقتل ، و ممن قال ذلك مالك بن أنس ، و الليث ، و أحمد ، و إسحاق ، و هو مذهب الشافعي
The bulk of the people of knowledge agree that whoever curses the Prophet is killed. These include Malik ibn Anas, al-Layth, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ishaq ibn Rahawayh, and it is the position of the Shafi’i school.

2. Qadi Abu’l-Fadl said that

و هو مقتضى قول أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه ، و لا تقبل توبته عند هؤلاء المذكورين و بمثله قال أبو حنيفة ، و أصحابه ، و الثوري و أهل الكوفة ، و الأوزاعي في المسلم ، لكنهم قالوا : هي ردة
It is based on the statement of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. His repentance is not accepted. Something similar was stated by Abu Hanifa and his people, ath-Thawri and the people of Kufa and al-Awza’i about the Muslims. However, they said that it constitutes apostasy.

At-Tabari related something similar from Abu Hanifa and his companions about anyone who disparages the Prophet, proclaims himself quit of him or calls him a liar.

3. Sahnun said about those who curse the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam),

ذلك ردة كالزندقة
“This is apostasy in exactly the same way as heresy (zandaqa) is.”

4. Muhammad ibn Sahnun said that

أجمع العلماء أن شاتم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم المتقص له كافر . و الوعيد جار عليه بعذاب الله ، و حكمه عند الأمة القتل ، و من شك في كفره و عذابه كفر
The ‘ulama’ agree that anyone who reviles the Prophet and disparages him is an unbeliever and the threat of Allah’s punishment is on him. The community’s judgment on him is that he be killed. Anyone who has any doubts about such a person’s disbelief and punishment is also an unbeliever.

For a proof of this, Ibrahim ibn Husayn ibn Khalid, the faqih, uses the instance of Khalid ibn al-Walid killing Malik ibn Nuwayra for referring to the Prophet as “your companion.”

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5. Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi said,

لا أعلم أحداً من المسلمين اختلف في وجوب قتله إذا كان مسلماً
“I do not know of any Muslim who disagrees about the necessity of killing such a person if he is a Muslim.”

6. Ibn al-Qasim reports from Malik in the book of Ibn Sahnun, the Mabsut, and the ‘Utibiyya and Ibn Mutarrif relate the same from Malik in the book of Ibn Habib,

من سب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم من المسلمين قتل ، و لم يستتب
“Any Muslim who curses the Prophet is killed without being asked to repent.”

7. Ibn al-Qasim said in the ‘Utibiyya,

من سبه أو شتمه أو عابه أو تنقصه فإنه يقتل ، و حكمه عند الأمة القتل كالزنديق
“Anyone who curses him, reviles him, finds fault with him or disparages him is killed. The community says that he should be killed just like the dualist. Allah made it obligatory to respect the Prophet and be dutiful to him.”

8. In the Mabsut from ‘Uthman ibn Kinana we find,

من شتم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم من المسلمين قتل أو صلب حياً و لم يستتب و الإمام مخير في صلبه حياً أو قتله
“Any Muslim who reviles the Prophet is killed or crucified without being asked to repent. The Imam can choose between crucifying him and killing him.”

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9. In the variant of Abu’l-Mus’ab and Ibn Abi Uways, they heard Malik say,

من سب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ، أو شتمه ، أو عابة ، أو تنقصه ـ قتل مسلماً كان أو كافراً ، و لا يستتاب
“Anyone who curses the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reviles him, finds fault with him or disparages him is killed, be he Muslim or unbeliever, without being asked to repent.”

10. Asbagh Alaihir raHma said,

يقتل على كل حال أسر ذلك أو ظهره ، و لا يستتاب ، لأن توبته لا تعرف
“He is killed in every case, whether he conceals it or makes it public, without being asked to repent because his repentance is not recognized.”

11. Malik Ibn Wahb related that Malik said,

إن رداء النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ـ و يروى زر النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ـ وسخ ، أراد عيبه ـ قتل
“Anyone who says that the Prophet’s cloak (or button) was dirty, thereby intending to find fault with him, should be killed.”

12. Imam Qadi Iyad al-Maliki said,

قال بعض علمائنا : أجمع العلماء على أن من دعا على نبي من الأنبياء بالويل ، أو بشيء من المكروه ـ أنه يقتل بلا استتابة
Few of our ‘ulama says that people agree that anyone who curses any of the Prophets using the expression “Woe to him” or anything disliked is to be killed without being asked to repent.

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13. Abu’l-Hasan al-Qabisi gave a fatwa that

فيمن قال في النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : الحمال يتيم أبي طالب ـ بالقتل
a man who called the Prophet “the porter, the orphan of Abu Talib” should be killed.

14. Abu Muhammad ibn Abi Zayd gave a fatwa to kill a man who was listening to some people discussing what the Prophet looked like. When a man with an ugly face and beard walked by, he said to them, “You want to know what he looked like? He looked like this passer-by in physique and beard.” Abu Muhammad said,

و لا تقبل توبته و قد كذب ـ لعنه الله ، و ليس يخرج من قلب سليم الإيمان
“His repentance is not accepted. He lied, may Allah curse him. That could not come out of a heart with sound belief.”

15. Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman, the companion of Sahnun, said,

إن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم كان أسود يقتل
“Anyone who says that the Prophet was black should be killed.”

16. He was told about a man to whom someone said, “No, by the right of the Messenger of Allah,” and he replied, “Allah did such a thing to the Messenger of Allah,” mentioning some ugly words. People said to him, “What are you saying, enemy of Allah?” Then he said some even harsher things and added, “I wish for a scorpion for the Messenger of Allah.” When someone asked him for fatwa about this man, lbn Abi Sulayman said,

شهد عليه و أنا شريكك
“Testify against him and I will be your partner,”

i.e. in killing him and getting the reward. Habib ibn ar-Rabi’ said that is because trying to explain away the literal expression is not accepted because it is clear contempt and lack of respect for the Messenger of Allah. His blood is permitted.

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17. The fuqaha’ of Andalusia gave a fatwa that Ibn Hatim, the scholar of Toledo, be killed and crucified because there was testimony that he made light of what is due to the Prophet. In the course of a debate, he called him “the orphan” and the in-law of the lion (i.e. Mawla ‘Ali),” and claimed that his doing-without (zuhd) las not intentional. He alleged that if he had been able to have good things, he would have eaten them. He said other similar things.

18. The fuqaha’ of the Qayrawan and the companions of Sahnun gave a fatwa for the killing of Ibrahim al-Ghazari, a poet and master of many sciences. He was one of those who attended the assembly of Qadi Abu’l-‘Abbas ibn Talib for debate. He was accused of objectionable things like mocking Allah, His Prophets and our Prophet. Qadi Yahya ibn ‘Umar and other fuqaha’ summoned him and commanded that he be killed and crucified. He was stabbed and crucified upside down. Then he was brought down and burned. One of the historians related that when the post to which he was tied was lifted up, the body turned around away from qibla. It was a sign to all and the people said, “Allah is greater!” Then a dog came and licked his blood. Yahya ibn ‘Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, spoke the truth,” and he mentioned a hadith in which the Prophet said, “A dog will not lick a Muslim’s blood.”

19. Qadi Abu ‘Abdullah ibn al-Murabit said,

من قال : إن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم هزم يستتاب ، فإن تاب و إلا قتل ، لأنه تنقص ، إذ لا يجوز ذلك عليه في خاصته ، إذ هو على بصيرة من أمره ، ويقين من عصمته
“Whoever says that the Prophet was defeated is asked to repent. If he repents, it is all right. If not, he is killed because it detracts from the Prophet. Such a disparaging remark could not be said about the Prophet by anyone with understanding of his affair and certainty about his inviolability.”

20. Habib ibn Rabi’ al-Qarawi said that

مذهب مالك و أصحابه أن من قال فيه صلى الله عليه و سلم : ما فيه نقص ـ قتل دون استتابة
The school of Malik and his companions is that anyone who says anything disparaging about the Prophet is killed without being asked to repent.

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21. Ibn ‘Attab said that

الكتاب و السنة موجبان أن من قصد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم بأذى أو نقص ، معرضاً أو مصرحاً ، و إن قل ـ فقتله واجب ، فهذا الباب كله مما عده ا لعلماء سباً أو تنقصاً يجب قتل قائله ، لم يختلف في ذلك متقدمهم ولا متأخرهم
The Book and Sunnah require that someone who intends to even slightly harm or disparage the Prophet, either by allusion or clear statement, must be killed. Anything like this which is something that the ‘ulama’ consider to be a curse or disparagement necessitates that the one who says it be killed. Neither the early or later people disagree about that.

22. Qadhi Ayad al-Maliki says,

و كذلك أقول حكم من غمصه أو عيره برعاية الغنم أو السهو أو النسيان أو السحر ، أو ما أصابه من جرح أو هزيمة لبعض جيوشه ، أو أذى من عدوه ، أو شدة من زمنه ، أو بالميل إلى نسائه ، فحكم هذا كله لمن قصد به نقصه القتل
“This is also my position regarding the judgment of anyone who belittles him or insults him about having been a shepherd, oversight, forgetfulness, sorcery, any wound he received, the defeat of one of his armies, injury by an enemy, the intensity of his illness or his being attracted to his wives. The judgment of all this is that the one who intends to disparage him by it is killed.”

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Extracted from:
Al-Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huqooqil Mustafa, Part 4, Section 1
by Imam Qadhi Iyad al-Maliki Alaihir raHmah wa ar-Ridwan

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Our Lord! grant us good in this world
and good in the hereafter,
and save us from the chastisement of the fire

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