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To Nk khan: what do you think of this

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?
in response to reader comment: To AMK: What do you think of Ahmed's post?

Submitted by rashid (United Kingdom), Jun 6, 2007 at 10:09


Asalamu alaykum Shaykh, I have read the fatwa section on Jihad but I am looking for clarification of a specific Hadith found in Sahih Bukhari which is propagating as some as a refutation to what you have mentioned: Narrated as-Saíb 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 are from them." Could you please clarify the context of this Hadith and whether it contradicts the general ruling of prohibition of targeting civilians which you mentioned elsewhere? JazakAllah khair.

Answered by Sheikh `Abd Allah al-Manî`î

Al-Salâm `Alaykum wa Rahmah Allah wa Barakâtuh.

Those who are not generally engaged in fighting – like women, children, the elderly, the handicapped, and others who do not participate in the fighting – are not to be killed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited this. His prohibition of the killing of women and children is clearly related by Ibn `Umar in Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3015) and Sahîh Muslim (1744).

The only exception to this is where such people participate directly in the fighting or are so intermixed with the fighters that it is impossible to separate them from those who are fighting. This exception is indicated by the hadîth of al-Sa`b b. Jathâmah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about the women and children of the polytheists who were among them and who would be injured if the enemy was attacked. He said: "They are of them." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3021) and Sahîh Muslim (1475)]

In short, non-Muslims living in Muslim lands, those who are under covenant, and those with whom we have peace cannot be attacked. As for those who are at war with us, the combatants may be fought and killed. Those who are not combatants cannot be killed or targeted for killing. The only way that they can be killed is as an unintentional consequence of fighting against the enemy combatants.

Indeed, the hadîth in question actually shows us that the general rule is not to kill non-combatants, even when they are present on the battlefield. The only exception is when the non-combatants are so mixed in with the fighters that it is impossible to fight against the combatants without the possibility of some non-combatants inadvertently being killed. This is only out of dire necessity.

Ibn Hajar writes in his commentary on this hadîth in Fath al-Bârî (6/146):

His statement "They are of them" means that they are construed as such under those circumstances. It does not mean that it is permissible to deliberately target them.

It is a matter of agreement among scholars that a person's unbelief is not reason for that person to be killed. There is considerable evidence for this. Aside from the Prophet's prohibition of killing non-combatants, we have where Allah says: "Let there be no compulsion in religion." [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]

- Islam forbids the killing of innocent lives (women and children)

Noble Verse 5:32

"if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people..."

In this Noble Verse we clearly see that Allah Almighty honors all the innocent souls that He created. Killing any innocent soul is so hated by Allah Almighty that He considers it as a crime against all of Mankind. According to the bible however in Hosea 13:16 , innocent pregnant women and unborn babies have to be killed to fullfill Gods promised punishment , see: http://www.answering-christianity.com/karim/pregnant_women_ripped_open.htm

Noble Verses 2:190-191

"Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

Despite all the hard conditions that the Muslims faced, Allah Almighty still ordered them "...not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors."

- The prophet prohibited the killing of women,children and innocents

Ibn `Abbas says: The Messenger of Allah, when dispatching his troops, would tell them, " ..Do not behave treacherously, nor misappropriate war-booty, nor mutilate [those whom you kill], nor kill children, nor the people in cloisters." [Narrated by Ahmad, Tirmidhi (who graded it hasan sahih ]).

Another contains, "…Do not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an old, aged man' [Narrated by Baghawi, through his isnad [Sharh al-Sunnah, 11/11]. He said, "This is an authentic hadith, narrated by Muslim.]

It is narrated by Ibn 'Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children. [Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4320]

You are neither hard-hearted nor of fierce character, nor one who shouts in the markets. You do not return evil for evil, but excuse and forgive." [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 362]

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Go in Allah's name, trusting in Allah, and adhering to the religion of Allah's Apostle. Do not kill a decrepit old man, o a young infant, or a child, or a woman; do not be dishonest about booty, but collect your spoils, do right and act well, for Allah loves those who do well. (Sunan Abu Dawud , Book 14, Number 2608)

Another contains, "…Do not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an old, aged man…" [Narrated by Baghawi, through his isnad [Sharh al-Sunnah, 11/11]]

Another contains, "Do not kill a child, nor a woman, nor an old man, nor obliterate a stream, nor cut a tree…" [ Narrated by Bayhaqi,vide I`la al-Sunan, 12/31 ]


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