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Hadith

Summary: 

The words of Allah, may He be exalted (interpretation of the meaning): “There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path” [al-Baqrah 2:256] are not contrary to the command to fight the mushrikeen who turn people away from the religion of Allah, cause mischief on earth and spread kufr, shirk and corruption. Fighting them is one of the greatest deeds by means of which people prosper on earth and enjoy safety and stability, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone” [al-Anfaal 8:39]

Islam aims to achieve that which is in people’s interests and to protect them from that which is harmful to them. 

The meaning of this verse is that the teachings of Islam are very clear and the proof and evidence of its soundness are so clear and definitive that there is no need for compulsion. Whoever comes to know the reality of Islam and is not stubborn or arrogant will enter Islam willingly. Rather the one who does not want to enter it is the one who is arrogant and stubborn, who does not accept Allah as his Lord or His Prophet as his messenger, and does not believe in the Book that was revealed to him. For that reason, those mushrikeen who adhere to their false religion and fight in support of their religion out of arrogance and seek to spread mischief and kufr on earth are to be fought. 

Summary: 

See also: http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Abualrub/terrorism1.htm

Note: The Hadith reference links have been changed to a new source because UCL have removed their hadith collection from public access.

As a side note, this statement is a third party report. We do not have the exact words of Muhammad to evaluate them at this point. Yet there is a narration in Sunan Abu Dawud where Muhammad is directly quoted:

Narrated Rabah ibn Rabi':
When we were with the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) on an expedition, he saw some people collected together over something and sent a man and said: See, what are these people collected around? He then came and said: They are round a woman who has been killed. He said: This is not one with whom fighting should have taken place. Khalid ibn al-Walid was in charge of the van; so he sent a man and said: Tell Khalid not to kill a woman or a hired servant. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2663)

HOWEVER, there are certain other narrations that permit the killing of women and children, specifically during Muslim raids where they attack unsuspecting victims at night:

Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama:
The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256)

I.e., they are all the same—both the women and children are nothing more than pagans! The above narration is repeated in several, different hadith collections:

Chapter 9: PERMISSIBILITY OF KILLING WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE NIGHT RAIDS, PROVIDED IT IS NOT DELIBERATE

It is reported on the authority of Sa'b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4321)

Keep in mind that the subheading is not part of the narration, it is added by the collector of the hadiths. In other words, the statement regarding the killing of women and children being permissible as long as it isn’t deliberate is not part of the narration. The hadiths do not explicitly say this, and yet the compiler assumed that this was the clear implication and meaning of these narrations.

It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4322)

Sa'b b. Jaththama has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: They are from them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4323)

...

Furthermore, Islamic sources provide many examples where Muslims deliberately and brutally killed women and children. Noted Islamic commentator and historian Al-Tabari mentioned one:

In this year a raiding party led by Zayd b. Harithah set out against Umm Qirfah in the month of Ramadan. During it, Umm Qirfah (Fatimah bt. Rabi‘ah b. Badr) suffered a cruel death. He tied her legs with rope and then tied her between two camels until they split her in two. She was a very old woman.

Her story is as follows. According to Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Ibn Ishaq – ‘Abdallah b. Abi Bakr, who said: The Messenger of God sent Zayd b. Harithah to Wadi al-Qura, where he encountered the Banu Fazarah. Some of his companions were killed there, and Zayd was carried away wounded from among the slain. One of those killed was Ward b. ‘Amr, one of the Banu Sa‘d b. Hudhaym: he was killed by one of the Banu Badr [b. Fazarah]. When Zayd returned, he vowed that no washing [to cleanse him] from impurity should touch his head until he had raided the Fazarah. After he recovered from his wounds, the Messenger of God sent him with an army against the Banu Fazarah. He met them in Wadi al-Qura and inflicted causalities on them. Qays b. al-Musahhar al-Ya‘muri killed Mas‘adah b. Hakamah b. Malik b. Badr and took Umm Qirfah prisoner. (Her name was Fatimah bt. Rabi‘ah b. Badr. She was married to Malik b. Hudhayfah b. Badr. She was a very old woman.) He also took one of Umm Qirfah’ daughters and ‘Abdallah b. Mas‘adah prisoner. Zayd b. Harithah ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfah, and he killed her cruelly. He tied each of her legs with a rope and tied the ropes to two camels, and they split her in two. Then they brought Umm Qirfah’s daughter and ‘Abdallah b. Mas‘adah to the Messenger of God. Umm Qirfah’s daughter belonged to Salamah b. ‘Amr b. al-Akwa‘, who had taken her - she was a member of a distinguished family among her people: the Arabs used to say, "Had you been more powerful than Umm Qirfah, you could have done no more." The Messenger of God asked Salamah for her, and Salamah gave her to him. He then gave her to his maternal uncle, Hazn b. Abi Wahb and she bore him ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Hazn. (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1997], Volume VIII, pp. 95-97)

Al-Tabari also mentioned that Muhammad had the young boys of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayzah beheaded:

The Messenger of God had commanded that all of them who had reached puberty should be killed. (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume VIII, p. 38)

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Not only were the young boys of the tribe beheaded, but the Muslims also beheaded one of their women:

According to Ibn Ishaq, the conquest of the Banu Qurayzah took place in the month of Dhu al-Qa‘dah or in the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah. Al-Waqidi, however, said that the Messenger of God attacked them a few days before the end of Dhu al-Qa‘dah. He asserted that the Messenger of God commanded that furrows should be dug in the ground for the Banu Qurayzah. Then he sat down, and ‘Ali and al-Zubayr began cutting off their heads in his presence. He asserts that the woman whom the Prophet killed that day was named Bunanah, the wife of al-Hakam al-Qurazi- it was she who had killed Khallad b. Suwayd by throwing a milestone on him. The Messenger of God called for her and beheaded her in retaliation for Khallad b. Suwayd. (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume VIII, pp. 40-41)

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin:
No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: Where is so-and-so? She said: I. I asked: What is the matter with you? She said: I did a new act. She said: The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 15, Number 195)

It doesn’t stop here. When Muhammad conquered Mecca he ordered the murder of a couple of singers solely because they had made fun of him in song!

Also among them was ‘Abdallah b. Khatal, a member of the Banu Taym b. Ghalib. The Messenger of God ordered that he should be killed only for the following reason: He was a Muslim, and the Messenger of God sent him to collect alms, sending with him one of the Ansar. With him went a mawla of his, also a Muslim, to serve him. He halted at a resting place and commanded the mawla to slaughter him a goat and make him a meal; then he went to sleep. When he woke up, the mawla had done nothing for him; so he attacked him and killed him. He had two singing girls, Fartana and another with her. The two used to sing satire about the Messenger of God; so the latter commanded that the two of them should be killed along with him…

Also among them were ‘Ikrimah b. Abi Jahl and Sarah, a mawla of one of the sons of ‘Abd al-Muttalib. She was one of those who used to molest the Messenger of God in Mecca…

Summary: 

Myth: "Our Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered at the hands of the polytheists merely for preaching the religion of Allah to the poor and marginalized" 

What the hadiths say:

According to Muslim historians, the Meccans were actually quite tolerant of Muhammad preaching his new religion.  Mecca was an open society where different religions were respected.  Polytheists, Jews and Christians lived and worshipped side-by-side, especially during the holy months, when pagan pilgrims would travel long distances from beyond the city to perform their rituals at the Kaaba.

Muhammad brought on the resentment of the local people not by preaching Islam, but by breaking with Meccan tradition and cursing other religions:

When the apostle openly displayed Islam as Allah ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods.  When he did that, they took great offence and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167), "[Muhammad] declared Islam publicly to his fellow tribesmen.  When he did so, they did not withdraw from him or reject him in any way, as far as I have heard, until he spoke of their gods and denounced them." (al-Tabari Vol.VI, p.93)

Although asked to stop, Muhammad continued to stir up trouble by “condemning” the local religion, causing the Meccans great anxiety:

[The Meccans] said they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow.  He had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community and cursed their gods (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 183)."We [the Meccans] have never seen the like of what we have endured from this man [Muhammad].  He has derided our traditional values, abused our forefathers, reviled our religion, caused division among us, and insulted our gods.  We have endured a great deal from him." (al-Tabari, Vol.VI p.101)

Other references:   (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 188),  (al-Tabari, the Tarikh Vol. 1), 

Summary: 

Hadith as source of Islamic history

 

Besides this, the Hadith is the source of the history of Islam. If we do not consider its reports to be reliable, we cannot believe with certainty that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali -- may God be pleased with them -- were Companions of the Holy Prophet, who succeeded him in this order, and also died in this order. If Hadith is considered unreliable, then there is no evidence to definitely believe that these holy personages existed. It would be possible, in that case, that all these names were fictitious, and in fact there had not been an Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman or Ali, because according to Mr Ata Muhammad, the objector, all these traditions are isolated, and these names are not given in the Holy Quran. So according to this principle, they cannot be accepted as authentic. Similarly, the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s father having the name Abdullah, his mother having the name Amina, and his grandfather having the name Abdul Muttalib; one of his wives being called Khadija, one Aishah and one Hafsa, and his wet-nurse being called Halima; the Holy Prophet’s withdrawing to the cave of Hira for worship, the emigration of some of his Companions to Abyssinia, his staying in Makka for ten years after the Call, and then all those battles no mention of which is to be found in the Holy Quran -- all these facts are known only from Hadith. Should all of these be denied on the grounds that Hadith is not reliable? If this is true, Muslims would not be able to give any details of the life of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.

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