Fatwa: "Whoever Insults One of These Four Things, Whether in Jest or Sincerity, Has Become an Infidel and Must Be Killed"

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media

Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim

The four things are Allah, Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an, and Islam. The author of this fatwa, which comes from the Islamic Fatwa Council of Jerusalem, presided over by Shaykh Khalid Ghanayim, asserts that this is not only his opinion, but also the opinion of the Qur'an, the sunnah, and the consensus of Islamic scholars. As proof, he provides references from each source.

Q: What is the ruling on one who insults the divine, the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Noble Qur'an, and Islam?

A:In the name of Allah the most merciful,

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the two worlds, and peace be upon our lord Muhammad, and on his family and companions.

Whoever insults one of these four things, whether in jest or sincerity, has become an infidel and must be killed. This is what is shown in the text of the book [i.e. the Qur'an], and the sunnah, and all scholars (are in agreement) with it.

1 - The book

The Most High said: "If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism - you are no longer bound by your covenant with them - that they may refrain" (Qur'an 9:12). The spot that witnesses to the infidelity of insulting them, or insulting one of them, is the saying of the Most High, "...and attack your religion..."

2 - The sunnah

Abu Dawud and al-Nasa'i, from Ibn-'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), related that a blind man had a slave-mother [a slave who bore children for him] who used to abuse the Prophet (peace be upon him) and disparage him. He [i.e. the blind man] forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace be upon him) and abuse him. So he [the blind man] took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed about it.

He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up.

He sat before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her.

Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood. (Dagger: thin sword with a nape.)

3 - The consensus [of scholars]

Imam Ishaq ibn Rahuwiya, a prominent imam, said, "Muslims are unanimous (in agreement) that anyone who insults Allah, or insults the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), or attacks anything which Allah Almighty has sent down, or kills a prophet of Almighty Allah; that he is an infidel, and that this is based on everything that Allah has sent down."

Muhammad bin Sahnun said: "Scholars are in unanimous (agreement) that whoever insults and disparages the Prophet (peace be upon him) is an infidel. Continually upon him is the threat of the punishment of Allah. The ruling on him for the Muslim community is execution. Whoever doubts his infidelity and punishment is (himself) an infidel."

Al-Khattabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "I don't know any Muslim who differs on the duty to kill him," [...]