Thursday, 30 July 2020

No Legislated Punishment For False Claim of Prophesy

   بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
وصلى الله على خاتم النبيين
In yesterday's post, I explained that a claim to prophesy after the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم does not constitute blasphemy. While today's Ulama, especially the bigoted sections thereof, issue legal opinions to the effect that any claimant of prophesy is wajib al-qatl, such a view is contrary to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. During his lifetime, a young Jewish soothsayer, Ibn Sayyad, announced that he was an apostle of God. Yet, the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم did not allow him to be harmed in any way, let alone executed:
أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ انْطَلَقَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي رَهْطٍ قِبَلَ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ حَتَّى وَجَدَهُ يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الصِّبْيَانِ عِنْدَ أُطُمِ بَنِي مَغَالَةَ وَقَدْ قَارَبَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحُلُمَ فَلَمْ يَشْعُرْ حَتَّى ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ظَهْرَهُ بِيَدِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لاِبْنِ صَيَّادٍ ‏"‏ أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ فَقَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ الأُمِّيِّينَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ فَرَفَضَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏"‏ آمَنْتُ بِاللَّهِ وَبِرُسُلِهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ مَاذَا تَرَى ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَأْتِينِي صَادِقٌ وَكَاذِبٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ خُلِّطَ عَلَيْكَ الأَمْرُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنِّي قَدْ خَبَأْتُ لَكَ خَبِيئًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ ‏"‏ هُوَ الدُّخُّ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ اخْسَأْ فَلَنْ تَعْدُوَ قَدْرَكَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ذَرْنِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَضْرِبْ عُنُقَهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ إِنْ يَكُنْهُ فَلَنْ تُسَلَّطَ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْهُ فَلاَ خَيْرَ لَكَ فِي قَتْلِهِ ‏"
Umar b. Khattab went along with Allah's Messenger in the company of some persons to Ibn Sayyad that he found him playing with children near the battlement of Bani Maghala and Ibn Sayyad was at that time just at the threshold of adolescence and he did not perceive (the presence of Holy Prophet) until Allah's Messenger (struck his back with his hands. Allah's Messenger () said: Ibn Sayyad, don't you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah? Ibn Sayyad looked toward him and he said: I bear witness to the fact that you the messenger of the unlettered. Ibn Sayyad said to the Allah's Messenger : Do you bear witness to the fact that I am the messenger of Allah? Allah's Messenger () rejected this and said: I affirm my faith in Allah and in His messengers. Then Allah's Messenger () said to him: What do you see? Ibn Sayyad said: It is a Dukh. Thereupon Allah's Messenger () said: May you be disgraced and dishonoured, you would not not be able to go beyond your rank. 'Umar b. Khattab said: Allah's Messenger, permit me that I should strike his neck. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: If he is the same (Dajjal) who would appear near the Last Hour, you would not be able to overpower him, and if he is not that there is no good for you to kill him.” (Sahih Muslim)
The saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to sayyidina Umar رضى الله عنه:
لا خير لك في قتله
There is no good in it for you to kill him”

regarding Ibn Sayyad who had just claimed to be an apostle of God plainly indicates there is no legislated Earthly punishment in Islam for someone who falsely claims to be a prophet. On the contrary, we know that Ibn Sayyad eventually repented from his falsehood and converted to Islam, and likewise the two false prophets Tulayhah al-Asadi and Sajah bint al-Harith repented from their false claims of prophesy. If their claims to prophesy constitute blasphemy, according to the bigoted Ulama they should not have been given an opportunity to repent but executed.
The Abbasid ruler al-Mahdi (744-785 CE), who is highly regarded, generally speaking, among orthodox Muslims, likewise did not execute an individual who claimed to be a prophet and was brought to him:
A man was brought to al-Mahdi who claimed to be a prophet and when he saw him he said, “Are you a prophet?” and the man replied, “Yes,” so he asked to whom he had been sent, and he replied, “Have you left me to go to those to whom I was sent? I was dispatched in the morning, and you arrested me in the evening and put me in prison.” Al-Mahdi laughed at him and let him go. (The History of al-Tabari (English translation) v. xxix p. 252; Tarikh at-Tabari v.8 pp.176-177):


وأتى المهدي برجل قد تنبأ، فلما رآه، قال: أنت نبي؟ قال: نعم، قال: وإلى من بعثت؟ قال: وتركتموني أذهب إلى من بعثت إليه! وجهت بالغداة فأخذتموني بالعشي، ووضعتموني في الحبس! قال: فضحك المهدي منه، وخلى سبيله



24 comments:

  1. Apparently, it is the Torah and the Mosaic Law that commands the death penalty for false prophets: "But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death." (Deuteronomy 18:20)
    But I find no law or statement from the Mohammedan Shari'ah, in the divine texts of the Quran and Hadith, which commands a death sentence for any false claimant of prophesy.

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  2. A person who claims prophesy is naturally a prophet. And when someone claims to be a prophet he is going against the clear verses in the Qur'an that there is no prophet after Muhammadﷺ and is thus a kafir-murtad who must be killed. The case of ibn Sayyad was special, as the Prophetﷺ said "There is no good in it for you to kill HIM" as in him in particular, and ibn Sayyad was an unusual person anyways, otherwise why would Abu Bakr wage war against the false prophets.

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    1. The Quran does say prophesy is sealed after sayyidina Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم but a claimant to Prophesy must be examined as to why type of prophesy he is claiming, whether such a claim is heresy or not in its essence.
      Secondly, sayyidina Abi Bakr as-Siddiq رضى الله عنه waged war against the false prophets and their followers because they were in open rebellion against his Caliphate, the central State in Madinah.

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    2. All claimants to prophesy are heretics because naturally all of them claim to be prophets. What that prophesy is about does not matter.

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    3. Why did the Prophet declare war on Musaylimah, when he only claimed prophecy and did not declare war on he Muslims?

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    4. I agree all claimants to Prophesy in the technical and legislative sense are guilty of heresy and unbelief. But I find nothing in the Shari'ah which commands any punishment for them on that basis alone. Read my articles on Religious Freedom in Islam.
      War was declared on Musaylimah because he was waging an armed insurrection against the State, and he had challenged the writ of the State, not because he was claiming Prophesy for himself.

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    5. مَنْ بَدَّلَ دِينَهُ فَاقْتُلُوهُ ‏

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    6. Musaylimah did not wage war against the Muslims, unlike the other false prophets. In fact it was quite the opposite: he claimed he wanted peace between his followers and the Muslims and wrote to the Prophet(PBUH) that they will live in their own part of Arabia and not bother the Muslims.

      Despite this, Hazrat Abu Bakr sent an army TO him. If simple apostasy without any action against the state is not punishable, why did Hazrat Abu Bakr attack him and his followers without any provocation from his by sending generals one after the other like Ikrimah, Shuhrhbeel bin Hasanah and Khalid bin Waleed.

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  3. Are you actually retarded? So a murtad who clearly goes against he injuctions of the Qur'an is not to be punished? That there is no punishment for a murtad who rejects part of the Qur'an?

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    1. It's you who is retarded because the Quran clearly says "there is no compulsion in Religion" and

      وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ
      And say, the Truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills let him believe; and whoever wills let him disbelieve
      Thus there is no worldly punishment for apostasy in Islam

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    2. "Thus there is no worldly punishment for apostasy in Islam."
      Okay, arguing with you has become pointless now.

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    3. مَنْ بَدَّلَ دِينَهُ فَاقْتُلُوهُ ‏

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    4. Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, 9/18:

      The apostate should not be put to death until he has been asked to repent three times. This is the view of the majority of scholars, including ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Ata’, al-Nakhaii, Maalik, al-Thawri, al-Awzaa’i, Ishaaq and others. Because apostasy comes about because of doubt, and cannot be dispelled in an instant. Time should be allowed for the person to rethink the matter, and the best length of time is three days.

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    5. Al-Bukhaari (6922) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, put him to death.”

      Al-Bukhaari (6484) and Muslim (1676) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a previously-married person who commits zina; and one who leaves his religion and separates from the main body of the Muslims.”

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    6. Apostasy is of two types: ordinary apostasy and extreme apostasy, for which execution is prescribed. In both cases there is evidence that it is essential to execute the apostate, but the evidence indicating that the sentence of death may be waived if the person repents does not apply to both types of apostasy. Rather the evidence indicates that that is allowed only in the first case – i.e., ordinary apostasy – as will be clear to anyone who studies the evidence that speaks about accepting the repentance of the apostate. In the second type – i.e., extreme apostasy – the obligation to put the apostate to death still stands, and there is no text or scholarly consensus to indicate that the death sentence may be waived. The two cases are quite different and there is no comparison between them. It does not say in the Qur’aan or Sunnah, or according to scholarly consensus, that everyone who apostatizes in word or deed may be spared the death sentence if he repents after he is a captured and tried. Rather the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and scholarly consensus, differentiate between the different kinds of apostates.

      Al-Saarim al-Maslool, 3/696 Sheikh ul Islam ibn Taymiyyah

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    7. Your arguments and evidence are weak, as you have mainly quoted medieval jurists and theologians. The Quran itself is clear “there is no compulsion in Religion” and “whoever wishes may believe and whoever wishes may disbelieve”. The Quran also describes a scenario in which someone reverts back and forth between belief and disbelief, indicating there is no worldly punishment for apostasy.
      I’ve also cited the examples in my series on Religious Freedom. There is the example of a Christian apostate who used to write revelation for the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, he was never executed. There is the example of Umar b. Abd al-Aziz رحمة الله عليه not executing apostates who were brought to him for judgment.

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    8. The narrations about executing the one who changes his religion is in the context of the Murtad Harbi, one who challenges the writ of the State and launches an insurrection against the Muslim government. It is not concerning someone who leaves Islam in his private and personal capacity without any political implications.

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    9. Your proofs are weak, since practically none of them are from the Qur'an and Sunnah. I already refuted you on the Qur'an, as for the sunnah, you only presented on hadith, which in the context of other hadiths can only mean that the Prophet(PBUH) got to know about the Christian after he died, or that it was in the beginning of the Prophet(PBUH) mission where he did not have that much authority.

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    10. You furthermore disgrace yourself even further when you reject the great scholars of Islam as "medieval" yet quote them constantly when you can quote them out of context to justify your kufr.

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    11. I find it strange that you dismiss practically the consensus of the entirety of orthodox scholarship stretching for more than 1400 years by insulting them by calling them medieval, yet at the same time you justify your kufri beliefs by quoting someone (from a book known for it's weak and fabricated reports) who was more "medieval" than any of those scholars. You also reject the order of Hazrat Umar Farooq, the man whose personal opinion was vindicated by Allah himself three times, and Hazrat Ali. Do you also call them medieval?

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    12. I also find it funny that the only one hadith that you quote to justify your kufri beliefs actually refutes you since the hadith clearly states that that Christian was caused to die by Allah Himself, so there was no reason for the Prophet (PBUH) to execute him.

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    13. Your lack of Islamic knowledge shows when you quote non-legislative Meccan surahs, which were abrogated later on, out of context and verses out of context and ignore the tafsir of them and twist them to justify your own kufr. The verse وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ does not mean you can apostate, as Imam al-Qurtubi states:

      وليس هذا بترخيص وتخيير بين الإيمان والكفر ، وإنما هو وعيد وتهديد . أي إن كفرتم فقد أعد لكم النار ، وإن آمنتم فلكم الجنة .
      إنا أعتدنا أي أعددنا .

      That this is not a permission to disbelieve, but rather a threat.

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    14. Also the hadith you quoted does not support your point even from your point of view, as that Christian apostate used to lie and slander about the Prophet (PBUH) by saying the Prophet(PBUH) copied him, thereby giving his apostasy a political implication. So even according to your views, he should be executed. The fact that he was not executed by the Prophet (PBUH) only supports my point of view and does nothing to support yours, it undermines your deviant ideas.

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  4. Those verses were abrogated by the Verse of the Sword.

    Al-Bukhaari (6922) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever changes his religion, put him to death.”

    Al-Bukhaari (6484) and Muslim (1676) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a previously-married person who commits zina; and one who leaves his religion and separates from the main body of the Muslims.”

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