9f. Burning people in Islam

Burning people alive in Islam

We see in Qur’an that if a person commits a crime against a Muslim, they are allowed to reliate the same way that they were punished, this includes burning people alive.

Qur’an 16:126 – If you (all) should punish them, then do your punishing to the same extent as you have been punished. Yet if you are patient, well [things go] better for the patient.
Qur’an 5:45 – We prescribed for them in [the Torah]: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a wound for a wound.

We know from multiple Islamic sources that Prophet Muhammad, his best companion First caliph Abu Bakr, and his son in-law fourth Caliph Ali have killed people by burning them alive with fire. Muhammad ordered his men to burn people in their houses if they didn’t attend the earliest and latest prayers in mosque. His son in-law Ali burnt apostates as well.

Sahih Bukhari – Volume 1, Book 11, Hadith 626
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the ‘Isha’ prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.” The Prophet added, “Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adh-dhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.”

Sahih al-Bukhari – Volume 9, Book 84, Hadith 57
Narrated `Ikrima: Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Messenger forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

Sahih Muslim – Book 4, Hadith 1370
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: The most burdensome prayers for the hypocrites are the night prayer and the morning prayer. If they were to know the blessings they have in store, they would have come to them, even though crawling, and I thought that I should order the prayer to be commenced and command a person to lead people in prayer, and I should then go along with some persons having a fagot of fuel with them to the people who have not attended the prayer (in congregation) and would burn their houses with fire.

Sahih Muslim – Book 4, Hadith 1371
Hammam b. Munabbih reported: This is what Abu Huraira reported to us from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and (in this connection) he narrated some ahadith, one of them is: The Messenger of Allah said: I intend that I should command my young men to gather bundles fuel for me, and then order a person to lead people in prayer, and then burn the houses with their inmates (who have not joined the congregation).

Sahih Muslim – Book 4, Hadith 1373
‘Abdullah reported Allah’s Messenger as saying about people who are absent from Jumu’a prayer: I intend that I should command a person to lead people in prayer, and then burn those persons who absent themselves from Jumu’a prayer in their houses.

Sunan Abu Dawud – Book 2, Hadith 548
Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying; I thought to give orders for arranging prayer in congregation, and then to have the Iqamah called for it, then to order a man to lead the people in prayer, then to go off in company of the people who have bundles of firewood to those people who are not present at the prayer and then to burn down their houses with fire.

Jami` at-Tirmidhi – Book 2, Hadith 217
Abu Hurairah narrated that: the Prophet said: “I was about to order my boys to collect bundles of firewood, then order Salat to be held, then burn (the homes) of the people who did not attend the Salat.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i – Book 10, Hadith 849
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I nearly ordered that firewood be gathered to be lit, then I would have ordered that the Adhan be called for prayer, and ordered a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would have gone from behind to those men and burned their houses down over them. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If any one of them knew that he would get a meaty bone or some meat in between two ribs, he would attend Isha’.”

Sunan Ibn Majah – Book 4, Hadith 791
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘I was thinking of commanding that the call to prayer be given, then I would tell a man to lead the people in prayer, then I would go out with some other men carrying bundles of wood, and go to people who do not attend the prayer, and burn their houses down around them.'”

Muwatta Malik – Book 8, Hadith 3
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu’zZinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “By Him in whose hand myself is! I had in mind to order firewood to be collected, then to order the prayer to be called, and to appoint a man to lead the people in prayer, and then to come up behind certain men and burn their houses down about them! By Him in whose hand myself is! If one of them knew that he would find a meaty bone or two good legs of meat, he would be present at isha.'”

Finally burning people alive is not forbidden nor is there any reference that goes against it. Muhammad, Ali and Abu Bakr all burned people alive. This what Islam is.

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