Sharh as-Sunnah : Lessons 36 : Point 49
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger cannot lawfully be shed except on account of one of three matters; fornication after having been married or one who turned apostate after having daleel or one who murders a believing soul without right then he is executed for it, other than that then the blood of the Muslim is unlawful for the Muslim to shed forever until the Hour is established.
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The issue of killing a Muslim comes after the issue of marriage because Islaam came to protect matters of honour and to protect blood from being shed and to protect property. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said :
“Your blood and your wealth and your honour are forbidden for you.”
And he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“All of the Muslim is forbidden for the Muslim; his blood and his property and his honour.”
So having spoken about al-a`raad (matters of honour) in the previous sentences in what is connected to marriage and divorce, he moved onto the matter of preservation of blood from being shed. So, the Muslim when he bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah then his blood and his property become forbidden to shed. And therefore, Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“I have been commanded to fight against the people until they say none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah. So, if they say it then they have rendered their blood and their property safeguarded from me except on account of a right of Islaam and their reckoning will be with Allaah, the Most High.
So, whoever announces his Islaam and utters the two testifications then we accept that from him and we count him as being a Muslim and we apply the rulings of the Muslims upon him even if in his heart there is hypocrisy (nifaaq), for that will be between him and Allaah. Allaah will bring Him to account and the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam accepted Islaam of the hypocrites (munaafiqeen) and he applied the outward rulings upon them.
However, whoever commits one of those things that nullifies Islaam then in that case he is judged to be guilty of riddah (apostasy). So, either he will then repent or otherwise, he will be executed as a protection for the religion. This is the first matter that renders the blood of a Muslim lawful to be shed.
And the second matter from those things that renders the blood of a Muslim lawful to be shed is al-Qisaas (retaliatory killing); an-nafsu bin-nafs (a life for a life).
He the Most High said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنثَىٰ بِالْأُنثَىٰ ۚ فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
Oh you who believe al-Qisaas (legal retribution) for those who have been murdered is prescribed for you. The free person for the free person and the slave for the slave and the female for the female and whoever pardons and overlooks for his brother and accepts payment of blood money instead then this should be adhered to with fairness and payment of blood money should be made in a good manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. So, whoever then transgresses after acceptance of the blood money and kills the murderer then for him there will be a painful punishment. And there is for you in Qisaas (legal retribution) the saving of life, O people of understanding, that you may become righteous
(Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 178-179)
Al-Qisaas (retaliatory execution) results in the preservation of life even though the murderer is killed because a would-be murderer, if he knows that he’s going to be killed, he will withhold from killing. And the rest of the people, if they see the murderer being killed then they will stop themselves from killing. So therefore, blood will be safeguarded on account of that.
So, al-Qisaas (retaliatory execution) is a means for preservation of life and even though the one upon whom retribution is taken is killed then it is a killing which leads to preservation of life of the rest of the society and transgression against blood will be reduced. As for the case, if the murderer were to be left and it were to be said this contradicts human rights and he were to be left and not executed then this will result in the shedding of blood and destruction of security and causing those people who are in a state of security to instead be in fear and it will bring about many evils and killing will increase and bloodshed will occur to the extent that they used to say even in the times of ignorance (jaahiliyyah), “Execution is the best deterrent to murder.” So, killing the criminal is the best deterrent to murder in the future and in this regard is the aayah:
وَلَكُمْ فِي الْقِصَاصِ حَيَاةٌ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
And there is for you in legal retribution the saving of life, O people of understanding. (Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 179)
And those people who say that Qisaas (retaliatory killing) runs contrary to human rights then we say to them that the person who’s being transgressed against, “Is he not a human?” So, in taking retribution, there is protection for his right.
And the third of those whose blood it is lawful to shed is the thayyib (one who’s married or has been married) who commits zina (fornication). Ath-thayyib is the person who has had sexual relations with his wife in a correct marriage. So, if he then after that commits zinaa (fornication) then he is stoned to death with stones until he dies and his blood is rendered lawful on account of that.
So, these are the matters which render the blood of a Muslim lawful to be shed. Either al-Qisaas (retaliatory execution for murder) a life for a life or one who commits fornication after being married or al-murtadd (the apostate); the one who has left the religion of Islaam, the one who commits something, which breaks a person’s Islaam. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Whoever changes his religion then kill him.”
And there occurs in the hadeeth:
“And the one who abandons his religion and leaves the Jama’ah (united body).”
And this contains a refutation of those who deny the punishment for apostasy seeking to use as evidence his saying, He the Most High:
لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ
There is to be no compulsion upon the religion.
(Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 256)
And this use of evidence is an error because killing the apostate; it’s goal is not to force anyone to accept the religion. Rather, the goal from it is to protect the religion from being played around with by someone who has entered into it freely by choice and then he abandons it after having borne witness that the religion is true.
His saying, “And the blood of a Muslim person who bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah is not permissible,” the Muslim is the one who bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. However, along with the two testifications, there must be action that he establishes the prayer and gives the Zakaah and fasts Ramadaan and performs the Hajj to the house for whoever is able to make his way to it; action is essential.
His saying, “And whatever is besides that then the blood of the Muslim is forbidden for the Muslim to shed forever until the Hour is established,” the blood of the Muslim is forbidden for the Muslim. There will not come a time when it is permissible for him to shed the blood of a Muslim ever for Allaah unless he transgresses against and attacks the people in their homes or he commits Highway robbery or revolts against the authority of the ruler or other than that then he is killed to repel his evil if his evil cannot be repelled except through killing him.
 Translator’s side point: Reported by al-Bukhaariyy (6,878) and Muslim (1,676) from `Abdullaah ibn Mas`ood radiyAllaahu `anhu who said Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“The blood of a Muslim who bears witness than none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that I am the Messenger of Allaah is not permissible to be shed except on account of one of three cases; a life for a life and a previously married person who commits fornication and one who abandons his religion and leaves the Jamaa`ah.”
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy in his saheeh (67) and Muslim (1,679) from a hadeeth of Aboo Bakrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Reported by Muslim in his saheeh (2,564) from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy in his saheeh (25) and Muslim (22) from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhuma.
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy in his saheeh in two places Hadeeth Nos. (3,017) and (6,922) from `Ikrimah who said:
“Some heretics were brought to `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu so he burnt them to death. So, that news reached Ibn `Abbaas so he said, “If it had been me I would not have burnt them with fire because of the prohibition of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Do not punish with the punishment of Allaah.” However, he would have killed them because of the saying of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Whoever changes his religion then kill him.”
 Reported by al- Bukhaariyy (6,878) and Muslim (1,676) from a hadeeth of `Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radiyAllaahu `anhu.
Translator’s side point: Imaam ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee rahimahullaah said in his famous book Al-Mughnee,
“The People of Knowledge are united in consensus upon the obligation of killing the apostate and that is reported from Aboo Bakr and `Umar and `Uthmaan and `Aliyy and Mu`aadh and Aboo Moosaa and Ibn `Abbaas and Khaalid radiyAllaahu `anhum and others besides them and no one criticised that from them so it is Ijmaa` (consensus).
Likewise, Imaam an-Nawawi mentioned in his explanation of Muslim in the book Kitaab al-Imaarah (Book of Leadership) when he’s speaking about the hadeeth of Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam’s sending of Aboo Moosaa al-Ash’aree to Yemen then later on he sent Mu`aadh to go to Yemen after him so when Mu`aadh arrived, he found that there’s a Jewish man there captured who had accepted Islaam and then left Islaam and become a Jew again; he was awaiting execution. So Aboo Moosaa offered a cushion for Mu`aadh to sit down so Mu’aadh refused, “till you kill him”. Imaam an-Nawawi commented upon that hadeeth and said, “It shows the obligation of killing the apostate and they are agreed in consensus upon his killing.”
Imaam ibn `Abdul-Barr said in his book At-Tamheed when he was speaking about the narration of `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu when he killed the apostates. Ibn `Abdul-Barr then said,
“The fiqh of this hadeeth is that whoever apostasizes (leaves his religion) then his blood becomes lawful and his neck is struck, meaning he’s beheaded and the ummah is united upon that.”
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said,
“And I say and it is not permissible to kill any soul except for one of these three by consensus and success is granted by Allaah.”
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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