Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Harsh or Odd Hadith

For anyone out there interested a little in Islam, here are a few Hadith that I found interesting or simply odd.  I have not done analysis of any kind but will suffice to quickly skim the material for now.  For any who are not familiar with the concept of Hadith, they are similar in scope and authority to Catholic tradition.  In terms of juridical authority they are second to the Qur'an alone.

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 632:
"What is this?" Abu Musa said, "(He was) a Jew who embraced Islam and has now turned apostate." Muadh said, "I will surely chop off his neck!"

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17*:
Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."
*This stuck out to me because of the implications for international law.  Are Muslim countries willing to take part in the UN actions, even when that action could be against another Muslim country?

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 37:
Once 'Umar bin 'Abdul 'Aziz sat on his throne in the courtyard of his house so that the people might gather before him. Then he admitted them and (when they came in), he said, "What do you think of Al-Qasama?" They said, "We say that it is lawful to depend on Al-Qasama in Qisas, as the previous Muslim Caliphs carried out Qisas depending on it." Then he said to me, "O Abu Qilaba! What do you say about it?" He let me appear before the people and I said, "O Chief of the Believers! You have the chiefs of the army staff and the nobles of the Arabs. If fifty of them testified that a married man had committed illegal sexual intercourse in Damascus but they had not seen him (doing so), would you stone him?" He said, "No." I said, "If fifty of them testified that a man had committed theft in Hums, would you cut off his hand though they did not see him?" He replied, "No." I said, "By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate." Then the people said, "Didn't Anas bin Malik narrate that Allah's Apostle cut off the hands of the thieves, branded their eyes and then, threw them in the sun?" I said, "I shall tell you the narration of Anas. Anas said: "Eight persons from the tribe of 'Ukl came to Allah's Apostle and gave the Pledge of allegiance for Islam (became Muslim). The climate of the place (Medina) did not suit them, so they became sick and complained about that to Allah's Apostle. He said (to them ), "Won't you go out with the shepherd of our camels and drink of the camels' milk and urine (as medicine)?" They said, "Yes." So they went out and drank the camels' milk and urine, and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of Allah's Apostle and took away all the camels. This news reached Allah's Apostle , so he sent (men) to follow their traces and they were captured and brought (to the Prophet). He then ordered to cut their hands and feet, and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, and then he threw them in the sun till they died." I said, "What can be worse than what those people did? They deserted Islam, committed murder and theft."

Then 'Anbasa bin Said said, "By Allah, I never heard a narration like this of today." I said, "O 'Anbasa! You deny my narration?" 'Anbasa said, "No, but you have related the narration in the way it should be related. By Allah, these people are in welfare as long as this Sheikh (Abu Qilaba) is among them." I added, "Indeed in this event there has been a tradition set by Allah's Apostle. The narrator added: Some Ansari people came to the Prophet and discussed some matters with him, a man from amongst them went out and was murdered. Those people went out after him, and behold, their companion was swimming in blood. They returned to Allah's Apostle and said to him, "O Allah's Apostle, we have found our companion who had talked with us and gone out before us, swimming in blood (killed)." Allah's Apostle went out and asked them, "Whom do you suspect or whom do you think has killed him?" They said, "We think that the Jews have killed him." The Prophet sent for the Jews and asked them, "Did you kill this (person)?" They replied, "No." He asked the Al-Ansars, "Do you agree that I let fifty Jews take an oath that they have not killed him?" They said, "It matters little for the Jews to kill us all and then take false oaths." He said, "Then would you like to receive the Diya after fifty of you have taken an oath (that the Jews have killed your man)?" They said, "We will not take the oath." Then the Prophet himself paid them the Diya (Blood-money)." The narrator added, "The tribe of Hudhail repudiated one of their men (for his evil conduct) in the Pre-lslamic period of Ignorance.

Then, at a place called Al-Batha' (near Mecca), the man attacked a Yemenite family at night to steal from them, but a. man from the family noticed him and struck him with his sword and killed him. The tribe of Hudhail came and captured the Yemenite and brought him to 'Umar during the Hajj season and said, "He has killed our companion." The Yemenite said, "But these people had repudiated him (i.e., their companion)." 'Umar said, "Let fifty persons of Hudhail swear that they had not repudiated him." So forty-nine of them took the oath and then a person belonging to them, came from Sham and they requested him to swear similarly, but he paid one-thousand Dirhams instead of taking the oath. They called another man instead of him and the new man shook hands with the brother of the deceased. Some people said, "We and those fifty men who had taken false oaths (Al-Qasama) set out, and when they reached a place called Nakhlah, it started raining so they entered a cave in the mountain, and the cave collapsed on those fifty men who took the false oath, and all of them died except the two persons who had shaken hands with each other. They escaped death but a stone fell on the leg of the brother of the deceased and broke it, whereupon he survived for one year and then died." I further said, "'Abdul Malik bin Marwan sentenced a man to death in Qisas (equality in punishment) for murder, basing his judgment on Al-Qasama, but later on he regretted that judgment and ordered that the names of the fifty persons who had taken the oath (Al-Qasama), be erased from the register, and he exiled them in Sham."

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 251:
I heard 'Ali saying, "Allah's Apostle sent me, Az-Zubair and Al-Miqdad somewhere saying, 'Proceed till you reach Rawdat Khakh. There you will find a lady with a letter. Take the letter from her.' " So, we set out and our horses ran at full pace till we got at Ar-Rawda where we found the lady and said (to her). "Take out the letter." She replied, "I have no letter with me." We said, "Either you take out the letter or else we will take off your clothes." So, she took it out of her braid. We brought the letter to Allah's Apostle and it contained a statement from Hatib bin Abi Balta a to some of the Meccan pagans informing them of some of the intentions of Allah's Apostle. Then Allah's Apostle said, "O Hatib! What is this?" Hatib replied, "O Allah's Apostle! Don't hasten to give your judgment about me. I was a man closely connected with the Quraish, but I did not belong to this tribe, while the other emigrants with you, had their relatives in Mecca who would protect their dependents and property . So, I wanted to recompense for my lacking blood relation to them by doing them a favor so that they might protect my dependents. I did this neither because of disbelief not apostasy nor out of preferring Kufr (disbelief) to Islam." Allah's Apostle, said, "Hatib has told you the truth." Umar said, O Allah's Apostle! Allow me to chop off the head of this hypocrite." Allah's Apostle said, "Hatib participated in the battle of Badr, and who knows, perhaps Allah has already looked at the Badr warriors and said, 'Do whatever you like, for I have forgiven you."

Book 031, Number 6087:
Ubaidullah b. Rafi', who was the scribe of 'All, reported: I heard 'Ali (Allah be pleased with him) as saying: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) sent me and Zubair and Miqdad saying: Go to the garden of, Khakh [it is a place between Medina and Mecca at a distance of twelve miles from Medina] and there you will find a woman riding a camel. She would be in possession of a letter, which you must get from her. So we rushed on horses and when we met that woman, we asked her to deliver that letter to us. She said: There is no letter with me. We said: Either bring out that letter or we would take off your clothes. She brought out that letter from (the plaited hair of) her head. We delivered that letter to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) in which Hatib b. Abu Balta'a had informed some people amongst the polytheists of Mecca about the affairs of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Hatib, what is this? He said: Allah's messenger, do not be hasty in judging my intention. I was a person attached to the Quraish. Sufyan said: He was their ally but had no relationship with them. (Hatib further said): Those who are with you amongst the emigrants have blood-relationship with them (the Quraish) and thus they would protect their families. I wished that when I had no blood-relationship with them I should find some supporters from (amongst them) who would help my family. I have not done this because of any unbelief or apostasy and I have no liking for the unbelief after I have (accepted) Islam. Thereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: You have told the truth. 'Umar said: Allah's Messenger, permit me to strike the neck of this hypocrite. But he (the Holy Prophet) said: He was a participant in Badr and you little know that Allah revealed about the people of Badr: Do what you like for there is forgiveness for you. And Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said:" O you who believe, do not take My enemy and your enemy for friends" (lx. 1). And there is no mention of this verse in the hadith transmitted on the authority of Abu Bakr and Zubair and Ishaq has in his narration made a mention of the recitation of this verse by Sufyan.

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