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Imam al-Qadi `Iyad: The judgements concerning those who think the Prophet imperfect or curse him

From Kitab al-Shifa bi-Tarif Huquq al-Mustafa 
al-Qadi al-‘Iyad (d.476)

Translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley

Note: The Qadi wrote this under an Islamic state which implemented the hudud punishments and the other Islamic laws. 

Section One: The Judgement of the Shari'a regarding someone who curses or disparages the Prophet

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 its 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 judgement regarding such a person is the same as the judgement against anyone who curses him. He is killed as we shall make clear. This judgement 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 jies, 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 'ularna' and the imams of fatwa from the time of the Companions until today.

Abu Bakr ibn al-Mundhir said that 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. Qadi Abu'l-Fadl said that 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.

Sahnun said about those who curse the Prophet, "This is apostasy in exactly the same way as heresy (zandaqa) is. Therefore there is some dispute about whether such a person should be called to repent (as a Muslim) or whether he is an unbeliever. Is he to be killed by a hadd-punishment (as a Muslim) or for disbelief?" We will make this clear in Chapter Two. We do not know of any dispute among the'ulama' of the community and the Salaf regarding the permissibility of shedding his blood.

Several people have mentioned that the consensus is that he is to be killed and considered an unbeliever. One of the Dhahirites, Abu Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Farisi, however, indicated that there is some disagreement about whether to consider someone who belittles the Prophet as an unbeliever. The best-known position has already been stated.

Muhammad ibn Sahnun said that 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 judgement 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."'[3]

Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi said, "I do not know of any Muslim who disagrees about the necessity of killing such a person if he is a Muslim."

Ibn al-Qasim reports from Malik in the book of Ibn Sahnun, the Mabsut, and the'Utibiyya and Ibn Mutarrif relates the same from Malik in the book of Ibn Habib, "Any Muslim who curses the Prophet is killed without being asked to repent."

Ibn al-Qasim said in the 'Utibiyya, "Anyone who curses him, reviles him, finds fault with him or disparages him is killed. The community say that he should be killed just like the dualist. Allah made it obligatory to respect the Prophet and be dutiful to him."

In the Mabsut from 'Uthman ibn Kinana we find, "Any Muslim who reviles the Prophet is killed or crucified without being asked to repent. The Imam can choose between crucifying him or killing him." In the variant of Abu'l-Mus'ab and Ibn Abi Uways, they heard Malik say, "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."

Asbagh said, "He is killed in every case, whether he conceals it or makes it public, without being asked to repent because his repentance is not recognised." 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdu'l-Hakam said that and at-Tabari related something similar from Malik Ibn Wahb related that Malik said, "Anyone who says that the Prophet's cloak (or button) was dirty, thereby intending to find fault with him, should be killed."

One 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.
Abu'l-Hasan al-Qabisi gave a fatwa that a man who called the Prophet "the porter, the orphan of Abu Talib" should be killed.

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, "His repentance is not accepted. He lied, may Allah curse him. That could not come out of a heart with sound belief."

Ahmad ibn Abi Sulayman, the companion of Sahnun, said, "Anyone who says that the Prophet was black should be killed."

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, "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.

Abu 'Abdullah ibn 'Attab gave a fatwa about a tax-collector who said to a man, "Pay and complain to the Prophet. If I ask or am ignorant, the Prophet was ignorant and asked," to the effect that he be killed.

The fuqaha' of Andalusia gave a fatwa that Ibn Ha tim, 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. '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.

The fuqaha' of the Qayrawan[4] 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 qibja. 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."[5]

Qadi Abu 'Abdullah ibn al-Murabit said, "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."

Habib ibn Rabi' al-Qarawi said that the school of Malik and his companions is that anyone who says anything disparaging about the Prophet is killed without being asked to repent.

Ibn 'Attab said that the Book and Sunna 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, but they disagree about the basis for killing him as we have indicated. We will make this clear later.

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 judgement of all this is that the one who intends to disparage him by it is killed. The position of the'ulama' is as we have already stated and it will be proved by what follows.  

The Qur'an says that Allah curses the one who harms the Prophet in this world and He connected harm of Himself to harm of the Prophet. There is no dispute that anyone who curses Allah is killed and that his curse demands that he be categorised as an unbeliever. The judgement of the unbeliever is that he is killed.

Allah says, "Those who harm Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Next, and has prepared for them a humiliating punishment." (33:57). He said something similar about those who kill the believers. Part of the curse on them in this world is that they are killed. Allah says, "Cursed they will be. Wherever they are found, they are seized and all slain." (33: 61) He mentions the punishment of those who fight, "That is humiliation in this world for them." (5:45) "Killing(qatl) can have the meaning of "curse".[6] Allah says, "May the conjecturers be killed!" (51:11) and "May Allah fight them! How they are perverted!" (9:30) i.e. may Allah curse them.

This is because there is a difference between their harming Allah and His Messenger and harming the believers. Injuring the believers, short of murder, incurs beating and exemplary punishment. The judgement against those who harm Allah and His Prophet is more severe - the death penalty.

Allah says, "No, by your Lord, they will not believe until they have you judge between them in what they disagree about." (4:65) He removes the badge of belief from those who find an impediment in themselves against accepting the Prophet’s judgement and do not submit to him. Anyone who disparages him is opposing his judgement.

Allah says, "O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet and be not loud in your speech to him as you are loud to one another lest your actions fail." (49:3). Such an action only comes about through disbelief and the unbeliever is killed.

Allah says, "When they come to you, they greet you with a greeting which Allah never greeted you with." Then He says, "Jahannam is enough for them, an evil homecoming." (58:9)

Allah says, "Among them are those who harm the Prophet and say that he is all ear,"
(9:61) and, "Those who harm the Messenger of Allah have a painful punishment." (9:63)

Allah says, "If you ask them, they will say, 'We were only plunging and playing.' Say, 'What, were you then mocking Allah, His signs and His Messenger? Make no excuses. You have disbelieved after your belief."' (9:67-68) The commentators say, "You have disbelieved" refers to what they have said about the Messenger of Allah.

We have already mentioned the consensus. As for the traditions, al-Husayn ibn 'Ali related from his father that the Messenger of Allah said in respect of this matter, "Whoever curses a Prophet, kill him. Whoever curses my Companions, beat him."[7]

In a sound hadith the Prophet commanded that Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf be killed. He asked, "Who will deal with Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf? He has harmed Allah and His Messenger." He sent someone to assassinate him without calling him to Islam, in distinction to other idol-worshippers. The cause of that lay in his causing harm to the Prophet. That indicates that the Prophet had him killed for something other than idol-worship. It was for causing harm. Abu Rafi,' who used to harm the Messenger of Allah and work against him, was also killed.

Similarly on the Day of the Conquest, he ordered the killing of Ibn Khatal and his two slavegirls who used to sing his curses on the Prophet.

In another hadith about a man who used to curse the Prophet, the Prophet said, "Who will save me from my enemy?" Khalid said, "I will," so the Prophet sent him out and he killed him.

Similarly the Prophet commanded that a group of unbelievers who used to injure and curse him, like an-Nadr ibn al-Harith and 'Uqba ibn Abi Mu'ayt, be killed. He promised that a group of them would be killed before and after the conquest. They were all killed except for those who hurried to become Muslim before they were overpowered. Al-Bazzar related from Ibn 'Abbas that 'Uqba ibn Abi Mu'ayt cried out, "O company of Quraysh, why is it that I alone among you am to be killed without war?" The Prophet said, "For your disbelief and your forging lies against the Messenger of Allah."

'Abdu'r-Razzaq mentioned that a man cursed the Prophet, causing the Prophet to say, "Who will save me from my enemy?" Az-Zubayr said, "I will." He sent az-Zubayr and he killed him.

It is related that a woman used to curse the Prophet and he said, "Who will save me from my enemy?" Khalid ibn al-Walid went out and killed her.

It is related that a man forged lies against the Prophet and he sent 'Ali and az-Zubayr to kill him.
Ibn Qani' related that a man came to the Prophet and said, "Messenger of Allah, I heard my father say something ugly about you, so I killed him," and that did not distress the Prophet.

Al-Mujahir ibn Abi Umayya, the Amir of Yemen, reported to Abu Bakr that a woman there in the time of the Ridda[8]chanted curses against the Prophet, so he cut off her hand and pulled out her front teeth. When Abu Bakr heard that, he said to him, "If you had not done what you already did, I would have commanded you to kill her because the hadd regarding the Prophet is not like the hadd regarding others."

Ibn 'Abbas said that a woman from Khatma[9] satirised the Prophet and the Prophet said, "Who will deal with her for me?" A man from her people said, "I will, Messenger of Allah." The man got up and went and killed her. He told the Prophet who said, "Two goats will not lock horns over her."[10]
Ibn 'Abbas said that a blind man had an umm walad who used to curse the Prophet. He scolded her and restrained her, but she would not be restrained. That night she began to attack and revile the Prophet, so he killed her. He told the Prophet about that and he said he had shed her blood with impunity.[11]

In the hadith of Abu Barza as-Aslami it says, "One day I was sitting with Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and he became angry at one of the Muslim men." Qadi Isma'il and other Imams said that the man had cursed Abu Bakr. An-Nasa'i related it as, "I came to Abu Bakr and a man had been rude and answered him back. I said, 'Khalif of Allah, let me strike off his head!' He said, 'Sit down. That is not for anyone except the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'

Qadi Abu Muhammad ibn Nasr said, "No one disagreed with him." So the Imams take this, as a proof that anyone who does anything that might anger, harm or curse the Prophet in any way should be killed.

There is also the letter of 'Umar ibn 'Abdu'l-'Aziz to his governor in Kufa. He had asked his advice about killing a man who had cursed 'Umar. 'Umar wrote back to him, "It is not lawful to kill a Muslim for cursing anyone except the Messenger of Allah. Whoever curses him, his blood is lawful."

Harun ar-Rashid asked Malik about a man who had reviled the Prophet and he mentioned to him that the fuqaha' of Iraq had given a fatwa that he be flogged. Malik became angry and said, "Amir al-Mu'minin! There is no continuation for a community after it curses its Prophet! Whoever curses the Companions of the Prophet is to be flogged."

I do not know which of those Iraqi fuqaha' gave Harun ar-Rashid that fatwa. We have already mentioned that the school of the people of Iraq[12] is that he be killed. Perhaps they were among those who were not known for knowledge or those whose fatwas were unreliable or idiosyncratic, or it is possible that what the man said was not taken to be a curse and there was a dispute as to whether or not it was a curse or he had retracted it and repented of it. None of these things were mentioned to Malik at all. However, the consensus is that anyone who curses him is to be killed as we have already stated.

That he is to be killed can be deduced by reflection and consideration. Anyone who curses or disparages the Prophet has shown clear symptoms of the sickness of his heart and proof of his real convictions and belief. That is why most of the 'ulama'judge him to be an apostate. This is what is transmitted by the people of Syria from Malik, al-Awza'i, ath-Thawri, Abu Hanifa and the people of Kufa.

The other position is that it is not a proof of disbelief, and so the person in question is killed by the hadd-punishment but he is not adjudged to be an unbeliever unless he persists in his words, not denying them nor refraining from them. To be judged an unbeliever, his statement must either be a clear statement of disbelief, like calling the Prophet a liar, or originate from mocking words and censure. His open avowal of what he said and lack of repentance for it is an indication that he finds it lawful and this constitutes disbelief, so there is no disagreement that he is an unbeliever. Allah says about people like this, "They swear by Allah that they did not speak. They said the words of disbelief. They disbelieved after their Islam." (9:76)

The commentators said that this refers to the statement, "If what is said by Muhammad is true,[13] we are worse than monkeys."

It is said that it refers to what one of them[14] said, "Our likeness with respect to that of Muhammad is only as the words of the one who says, 'Feed your dog and it will devour you.' When we return to Madina, the mighty will drive out the weaker."

It is said that even if the one who says this conceals it, the same judgement applies to him as to the heretic and he is killed because he has changed his deen.The Prophet said, "Strike off the heads of all who change their deen."

Because upholding the Prophet's honour is an obligation owed by his entire community and anyone who curses a free man of his community is given a hadd-punishment, the punishment of someone who curses the Prophet is that he is to be is killed because of the immensity of the worth of the Prophet and his elevation over others. 

The reasons why the Prophet pardoned some of those who harmed him It might be asked why the Prophet did not kill the Jew who said to him, "Death be upon you" when this is a curse,[15] and why he did not kill the other man[16] who said in this respect, "This is a dividing out by which the face of Allah is not intended." When he annoyed the Prophet by saying that, the Prophet said, "Musa was harmed by worse than this,"[17] and was patient. And why he did not kill the hypocrites who used to harm him often.

Know that at the beginning of Islam the Prophet used to court people's friendship and he made their hearts incline to him. He made them love belief and adorned it in their hearts and he treated them gently to encourage them. He said to his Companions; "You are sent to make things easy. You were not sent to scare people away." He said, "Make things easy and do not make them hard. Soothe and do not scare away."[18]

He said, "Let it not be said that Muhammad killed his Companions."[19] The Prophet cajoled the hypocrites and unbelievers, was cheerful in their company and lenient to them and endured their harm. He was patient when they were coarse. But it is not permitted for us to be patient with them in such cases. Allah says, "You will continue to come upon some act of treachery on their part, except for a few of them, so pardon them and overlook." (5:15) Allah says, "Repel with that which is better and the one between whom and you there is enmity will be as if he were a close friend." (41:35) That was because people at the beginning of Islam needed to be brought close. People are unanimous about that.

Once Islam was firmly established and Allah had given it victory over all otherdeens, any such detractor that the Muslims had power over and whose affair was well-known was put to death. A case in point is that of Ibn Khatal and others whom the Prophet said should be should killed on the Day of the Conquest and those among the Jews and others whom it was possible to kill by assassination. There were others who were captured but rectified their behaviour before they came into the Prophet's company and joined the group of those who manifested belief in him. Among such people who had harmed him were Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf,[20] Abu Rafi',[21] an-Nadr ibn al-Harith[22] and 'Uqba ibn Abi Mu'ayt.

The same applied to another group who could have been killed with impunity like Ka'b ibn Zuhayr[23] and Ibn az-Zaba'ra[24] and others who harmed the Prophet but then surrendered and met him as Muslims.

The inward parts of the hypocrites were veiled and the Prophet judged according to the outward. Most of these things were uttered by them in secret and among people of their own sort. Then they swore by Allah that they had not said them and uttered words of belief.
In spite of this, the Prophet desired to make them return to Islam. The Prophet was patient with their faults and their coarseness as all the Resolute Prophets[25] were patient until many of these people returned both inwardly and outwardly to Islam and were as sincere in secret as they appeared openly. Then Allah helped many of them and some of them established the deen as wazirs, helpers, defenders and Ansar as the traditions attest.

Because of this, some of our Imams have questioned whether their statements[26] were confirmed enough with the Prophet to raise a complaint. A single person who did not have the rank of testimony might have transmitted them -such as a child, a slave or a woman. Taking life is only permitted when there are two just witnesses. This can be applied to the affair of the Jews' greeting.[27] They twisted it with their tongues and did not make it clear.

Don't you see how attention was drawn to this matter by A'isha. If the Jew had clearly enunciated it, she would not have been the only person to recognise it. That is why the Prophet informed his Companions about what the Jews were doing and the lack of sincerity in their greeting and the deceit it contained through the twisting of their tongues and how they were really attacking the deen. He said, "When a Jew greets one of you, he says, 'Death be upon you,' so say 'and upon you'."

Similarly, one of our companions in Baghdad[28] said "The Prophet did not kill the hypocrites in spite of what he knew about them. It has not been related that a clear proof was established regarding their hypocrisy. That is why the Prophet left them alone. Furthermore, the matter was secret and inward while their outward was Islam and belief and they were among the people of the dhimma and treaty and proximity. People were also new to Islam and could not distinguish the bad from the good. It is known that some of the Arabs who are mentioned as being suspected of hypocrisy are among the group of believers and the Companions of the Messenger and the helpers of the deen according to outward judgement of them. If the Prophet had killed them for their hypocrisy when it had not emerged from them because he knew what they concealed in themselves, those who were hostile would have found something to go on about, fugitives would have been suspicious and the impetuous would have spread lies. More than one person would have been alarmed and feared the company of the Prophet and coming into Islam. The claimant would have made false claims and the wrong-acting enemy would have thought that he was killed out of enmity and desire for revenge." Malik ibn Anas also said something to this effect.

That is why the Prophet said, "Let it not be said that Muhammad killed his Companions." The Prophet said, "Those are the ones whom Allah has forbidden me to kill." This is not the same as applying the outward judgements to the Companions - such as the hadd-punishments for fornication, killing and similar things when the crimes were evident and people in general knew about them.

Muhammad ibn al-Mawwaz said, "If the hypocrites had openly shown their hypocrisy, then the Prophet would have killed them."

Qadi Abu'l-Hasan ibn al-Qassar and Qatada spoke regarding the commentary of Allah's words, "If the hypocrites do not stop and those in whose hearts is illness and those that make havoc in the city, We will urge you against them and then they will only be your neighbours a little. Cursed they will be wherever they are found, they will be seized and all killed. The sunna of Allah..." (33:60-62) and said that it means when they openly display hypocrisy.

Muhammad ibn Maslama related in the Mabsut from Zayd ibn Aslam that Allah's words, "O Prophet, strive against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh to them," (9:75) abrogates what came before it.

One of our shaykhs said that perhaps the words of the bedouin who said, "This is a dividing out by which the face of Allah is not intended," and "Be just!" were not understood by the Prophet as an attack or suspicion. He saw them as an error of opinion regarding the matters of this world and as striving for the best interests of people. He did not think anything of them and saw them as belonging to the kind of harm which should be forgiven and endured. That is why he did not punish him.

Something similar is said about the Jews for saying, "Death be upon you." There was no clear curse in it nor supplication except for death which all men must meet. It was said that what they meant was, "May you dislike your religion," "death" meaning boredom and disgust. This is a supplication for the deen to become boring which is not a clear curse. Therefore al-Bukhari has a section called, "The Chapter on when the dhimma or other people curse the Prophet by allusion." One scholar has said that the allusion is not a curse, but rather to cause harm. We have already stated that cursing and harm are the same in respect of him.

Qadi Abu Muhammad ibn Nasr deals with this hadith[29] by quoting some of what has already been mentioned. It is not mentioned in this hadith whether this Jew was one of the people of the dhimma and those subject to treaty or from those with whom the Muslims were at war. Things established by proof are not abandoned in favour of mere probability. The most suitable and evident reasons for the Prophet not punishing him was the intention to seek friendship and trying to bring such people around to the deen - perhaps they would believe. That is why al-Bukhari puts the hadith of "The Sharing-out and the Khawarij"under the title "Chapter: Whoever gave up fighting the Khawarij in order to create friendship and so that people might not harbour an aversion to him."

The Prophet forebore what the Jews had done when he was bewitched and poisoned, which is more terrible than being cursed, until Allah helped him and gave him permission to kill those Jews who had acted against him and to drive them out of their fortresses and to cast terror into their hearts. He prescribed emigration for those of them he wished, removed them from their houses and demolished their homes at their own hands and the hands of the believers. He openly cursed them and said, "Brothers of pigs and monkeys." He said that the swords of the Muslims could be used against them[30]and removed them from their neighbourhood and caused their land, homes and property to be inherited by others[31] so that the word of Allah would be uppermost and the word of those who rejected underneath.

People might say that it has come in the sound hadith[32] from 'A'isha that the Prophet never took revenge on his own behalf for anything that happened to him unless the respect of Allah was violated, then he took revenge for the sake of Allah. Know that this does not necessarily mean that he did not take revenge against those who cursed him or harmed him or called him a liar. These actions contravene some of the inviolable things of Allah and so the Prophet took revenge for them. What he did not take revenge for was those things which were connected to bad behaviour in word or action toward himself or his property which were not intended to harm him, but were merely part of the natural coarse and ignorant disposition of the bedouins or the insolent nature of man in general, such as the bedouin pulling his cloak until it made a mark on his neck or the man raising his voice in his presence or the bedouin arguing about the Prophet buying his horse to which Khuzayma testified. Another example was when two of his wives supported one other against him and other such things which it is best to overlook.

One of our 'ulama' has said that it is haram to harm the Prophet by any action, even if it is an allowable (mubah) action. In respect of men other than the Prophet, permitted actions are allowed, even if they harm someone. A proof is found in the general statement, "Those who harm Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the Next." (33:58)

In the hadith about Fatima, the Prophet said, "She is part of me. What harms her harms me. I do not make haram what Allah has made halal, but the daughter of the Messenger of Allah and the daughter of the enemy of Allah[33] can never be together with the same man. "[34]

Another example of his forbearance might have been something said by an unbeliever to harm him at a time when the Prophet still hoped that he would later become Muslim, such as when he forgave the Jew who had bewitched him, the bedouin who wanted to kill him and the Jewess who poisoned him -although it is also said that he killed her.

He forgave this sort of harm to himself from the People of the Book and the hypocrites, desiring to bring about their friendship and that of others as we have already confirmed. Success is by Allah. 

[1] al-Bukhari and Muslim

[2] Al-Hakim, al-Bazzar and Abu Ya'la.

[3] This took place during the Ridda [see note 8 below] war. Malik ibn Nuwayra was one of those who refused to pay zakat.

[4] The great mosque and early centre of Islamic learning located south of Tunis.

[5] The source of this hadith is not known.

[6] "Qatalahu Allah"(May Allah kill him) or "qutila" (May he be killed) are curses.

[7] At-Tabarani and ad-Daraqutni. 

[8] Apostasy or defection of the Arab tribes after the death of the Prophet.

[9] A tribe allied to the Aws. She was 'Usma bint Marwan.

[10] An expression meaning there will be no disagreement about the matter.

[11] Abu Dawud, al-Hakim and al-Bayhaqi.

[12] i.e. the Hanafis.

[13] About the conquest of the fortresses of Syria. This was spoken by al-Jallas ibn Suwayd who later repented of what he had said.

[14] 'Abdullah ibn Ubayy, known as the leader of the hypocrites in Madina.

[15] Al-Bukhari and elsewhere.

[16] Dhu'l-Khusawsira.

[17] Al-Bukhari.

[18] Ibn Hanbal, al-Bukhari and Muslim, and an-Nasa'i from Anas.

[19] To 'Umar in the story of Ubayy ibn Salul.

[20] A Jewish enemy who was assassinated.

[21] A Jew from Khaybar.

[22] Captured at Badr and put to death.

[23] A poet who later wrote a famous poem for the Prophet.

[24] Another poet who became Muslim when Makka was conquered.

[25] The Resolute Prophets are said to be five: Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, 'Isa and Muhammad, or those mentioned in Suas 7 and 26 who are Nuh, Hud, SaIih, Sulayman, Lut and Nuh, or the eighteen Prophets mentioned in Sura 6, or all the Messengers except for Ayyub.

[26] When the Jews said, "Death be upon you."

[27] i.e. only one person reported what the Jews had said.

[28] Perhaps Qadi 'Abdu'l-Wahhab al-Baghdadi al-Maliki.

[29] About what the Jew said.

[30] The Banu Qurayza.

[31] The Banu ’n-Nadir.

[32] In al-Bukhari and elsewhere.

[33] Referring to Juwayriyya, the daughter of Abu Jahl, who had been offered in marriage to 'Ali.

[34] Al-Bukhari.

[35] Muslim and al-Bukhari from 'Ali.

[36] A member of the clan of the Prophet.

[37] i.e. the time of the author, Qadi 'lyad.

[38] Al-Harun ar-Rashid's son.

[39] The chief qadi there at that time.

[40] In what he said about the Mu'tazilites in his Kitab ar-Ri'aya.

[41] A sect originating in Khorasan who followed Jahm ibn Safwan. He said that the Garden and the Fire were not eternal and that belief was gnosis, not affirmation. He also believed in total predestination and that man was totally compelled in all he did with no choice whatsoever.

[42] Or that man creates his actions, which is the position of the Mu'tazilites and the Qadariyya.

[43] Muslim and aI-Bukhari from Jabir.

[44] Probably Jeremiah.

[45] Malik, Jbn Hanbal, al-Bukhari, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi from Jbn 'Umar. 


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