Chapter 49: Making Judgment of People

Article translated to : العربية

allah, the exalted, says:

"but if they repent and perform as-salat (iqamat-as-salat), and give zakat, then leave their way free. verily, allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.'' (9:5)

390. `abdullah bin `umar (may allah be pleased with them) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "i have been commanded (by allah) to fight people until they testify that there is no true god except allah, and that muhammad is the messenger of allah, and perform salat and pay zakat. if they do so, they will have protection of their blood and property from me except when justified by islam, and then account is left to allah".
[al-bukhari and muslim].

commentary: this hadith brings out the following three points:

1. the objective of jihad. this objective warrants that one must struggle against kufr (disbelief) and shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved. this contention is supported by a hadith, to the effect that jihad will continue till the day of resurrection. in this hadith the word (an-nas) translated above as "people" stands for the polytheists and idolaters. the reason being that other nasus (pl. of nass, meaning `text') confirm the exemption of ahl-ul-kitab (people of the scriptures) from it subject to the condition that they agree to pay jizyah (dues imposed by islam on the people of the book living under the protection of an islamic state) and submit to the muslim rule. the arab pagans have only the choice to either embrace islam or face war. in the latter case, it is incumbent on the mulsims to wage jihad against them to wipe out kufr and shirk and raise the banner of tauhid everywhere.

this hadith strongly refutes the people who distort the islamic concept of jihad and hold that islam preaches defensive war only. it is an apologetic approach because defensive war has to be fought in any case by every nation and country. thus, it is a compulsion and needs no justification. the real distinction of islam lies in its enjoining muslims to wage war for upholding the truth beside fighting for their own defense. the domination of kufr, shirk and falsehood is darkness, heresy and tyranny, and the objective of islam is to purge the world of all these evils. it aims at liberating man from the worship of man, set them on the path of worship of allah, and to provide a just and equitable society to mankind. wherever in the world there is tyranny, ignorance and heresy, muslims are bound to fight such evils and finish them by means of jihad.

there is also a third form of jihad which is waged against countries where muslims are victims of aggression, suppression and cruelties of the non-muslims. it is incumbent upon muslims to liberate their brethren in faith from the clutches of the non-muslims by means of jihad. so long muslims performed this obligation with a sense of duty, islam and its followers were dominant in the world and ever since they have ignored this obligation, both are in subjugation and disgrace. in other words, the secret of power and stability of muslims lies in jihad. muslims need to understand this secret like their ancestors.

2. life and property of every person is secured after his joining the fold of islam. he will, however, be subject to the law of islam, one of which is payment of zakat. if he murders any muslim, he will also be killed in return, unless the heirs of the victim pardon the murderer or accept blood-money (diyah) for it.

3. when a person embraces islam, the laws of shari`ah apply to him according to his apparent condition only. his heart will not be probed for this purpose. in case, he is not sincere or he has some design in joining the fold of islam, no action will be taken against him until guilt is fully proved. what he has in his heart will be left to allah who will pass judgement on his intention on the day of resurrection. this hadith is related to this chapter for its third point. in their debate on this point, some `ulama' have contended that such people who believe in tauhid and obey the injunctions of shari`ah are not to be declared as infidels.

391. abu abdullah bin tariq bin ashyam (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "he who professes la ilaha illallah (there is no true god except allah), and denies of everything which the people worship besides allah, his property and blood become inviolable, and it is for allah to call him to account".

392. al-miqdad bin al-aswad (may allah be pleased with him) reported: i said, "tell me, o messenger of allah, if i meet an infidel, and we fight together, and he cuts off my hands with his sword, then hides from me behind a tree and (then) says he has submitted himself to allah. shall i kill him after he has said it?'' he (pbuh) replied, "do not kill him.'' i submitted, "but o messenger of allah, he cut off one of my hands and only then he said it.'' messenger of allah (pbuh) then replied, "do not kill him, for if you do so, he will be in the position in which you were before you killed him (i.e., he will be considered a muslim and thus his life will be inviolable), and you will be in the position in which he was before he made his testimony (i.e., your life will not be inviolable, for his heirs can ask for qisas)".
[al-bukhari and muslim].

commentary: this hadith tells us that injunctions of islam will be enforced on a person according to his apparent condition not his insight. the reason being that nobody is capable of knowing the insight of others. when a person professes islam, we have to accept him a muslim; and it will be our duty to protect his life and property. if, in spite of knowing that his life and property are sacred, a muslim murders him, then it will be quite fair for the heirs of the victim to have qisas for the murder. if the murderer poses ignorance or takes shelter of some reason, then he will be liable for diyah only. the prophet (pbuh) arranged payment of diyah to the heirs of the victim in the case mentioned in this hadith because some of the companions of the prophet (pbuh) had advanced the argument that the murderer had slain the victim on the presumption that he had professed islam just to save his life.

393. usamah bin zaid (may allah be pleased with them) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) sent us to huraqat, a tribe of juhainah. we attacked that tribe early in the morning and defeated them, (then) a man from the ansar and i caught hold of a man (of the defeated tribe). when we overcame him, he said: `la ilaha illallah (there is no true god except allah).' at that moment, the ansari spared him, but i attacked him with my spear and killed him. by the time we went back to al-madinah, news had already reached messenger of allah (pbuh). he said to me, "o usamah, did you kill him after he professed la ilaha illallah (there is no true god except allah)?'' i said, "o messenger of allah! he professed it only to save his life.'' messenger of allah (pbuh) repeated, "did you kill him after he had professed la ilaha illallah?'' he went on repeating this to me until i wished i had not embraced islam before that day (so that i would have not committed this sin).
[al-bukhari and muslim].

another narration is: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "did you kill him in spite of his professing la ilaha illallah?'' i said, "o messenger of allah! he said out of fear of our arms.'' he (pbuh) said, "why did you not cut his heart open to find out whether he had done so sincerely or not?'' he continued repeating it until i wished that i had embraced islam only that day.

commentary: the relevance of this hadith with the present chapter is evident from the fact that it stresses that injunctions of islam will be enforced on every muslim according to his apparent condition. it is a very wise course indeed for the reason that it has closed the door of retaliation; otherwise, everyone could kill his enemy on the pretext that the victim was not sincere in his profession of islam. in order to rule out the possibility of any such mischief, probing into the true condition of the heart is ruled out. a muslim has to be treated according to his apparent condition only.

394. jundub bin `abdullah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) dispatched a contingent of the muslims to a tribe of the polytheists. the two sides met (in combat) at one place. a man among the polytheists was so dashing that, whenever he intended to kill a man from muslims, he killed him. amongst the muslims, too, was a man looking forward to (an opportunity of) his (polytheist's) unmindfulness. he (the narrator) said: we talked that he was usamah bin zaid (may allah be pleased with him). when he raised his sword, he (the soldier of the polytheists) uttered: "la ilaha illallah (there is no true god except allah).'' but he (usamah bin zaid) killed him. when the good news of victory reached messenger of allah (pbuh) he asked him (about the events of the battle), and he informed him about the man (usamah) and what he had done. he (messenger of allah (pbuh)) sent for him and asked him why he had killed him. he (usamah) said, "o messenger of allah, he struck the muslims and killed such and such of them.'' and he named some of them. (he continued): "i attacked him and when he saw the sword he said: `la ilaha illallah.''' messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "did you kill him?'' he (usamah) replied in the affirmative. the messenger of allah then remarked, "what would you do with regard to (the utterance): la ilaha illallah, when it comes (before you) on the day of resurrection?'' he (usamah) said, "o messenger of allah! beg forgiveness for me". he (the prophet (pbuh)) said, "what would you do with regard to (the utterance): la ilaha illallah, when it comes (before you) on the day of resurrection?'' he (messenger of allah (pbuh)) added nothing to it but kept repeating, "what would you do with regard to (the utterance): la ilaha illallah, when it comes (before you) on the day of resurrection?".

commentary: this hadith mentions the incident which has been quoted in the preceding one. there is only a slight variation in the wording of the two. this hadith is reported by muslim under the chapter "the prohibition of killing a kafir (disbeliever) after having testified that none has the right to be worshipped but allah".

395. `abdullah bin `utbah bin mas`ud reported: i heard `umar bin al-khattab (may allah be pleased with him) reported saying: "in the lifetime of messenger of allah (pbuh) some people were called to account through revelation. now revelation has discontinued and we shall judge you by your apparent acts. whoever displays to us good, we shall grant him peace and security, and treat him as a near one. we have nothing to do with his insight. allah will call him to account for that. but whosoever shows evil to us, we shall not grant him security nor shall we believe him, even if he professed that his intention is good.''

commentary: this hadith also proves that the injunctions go with the apparent acts of a person and not with will and intention. it also indicates that a good intention does not waive the qisas and establishing the justice.

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