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The consequences of killing a believer

Related from Ja'far ibn Muhammad (A), from his father, from Imam 'Ali (A) who said: 'The Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'There is a valley in Hell n amed Sa'ir which if opened the fires will ro ar from it. Alla h has prepared it for the murderers.' Related from al-Saadiq (A) who said:

'Allah inspired to Moses Son of 'Emran to say to the nation of the children of Israel: 'Woe betide that you kill the sacred person u njustly. Whoever kills a person in this world will be killed in the fire one-hundred thousand times in the same way that he killed his companion.'

Related from Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (A) that he said about Allah's words narrating about the People of the fire:

{ ... Lord, show us those of the jinn and men who led us a stray so that we may put them under our feet and they be the lowest.} 47

He (A) said:

'This refers to Iblis (the chief Satan) and that son of Adam who killed his brother, for these are the first to sin from the jinn and from men.'

He (A) who said:

'The shedding of blood unjustly brings about the vengeance of Allah and an end to His blessings.'

Related from the Holy Prophet (S) who said:

'Never does the Earth cry to its Lord so much as when sacred blood is spilt upon it.' He (S) said:

'The killing of a believer is greater in th e sight of Allah than the perishing of the world.' He (S) said:

'The victim of murder will come (on th e Day of Resurrection) with his killer pouring blood onto his face and Allah will say: 'You killed him.' And the killer will not be able to conceal any speech from Allah so he will be ordered into the fire.' He (S) said:

'The first thing that Allah will look at on the Day o f Resurrection will be blood.' Related from Ibn 'Abbas who said: 'I heard the Prophet (S) saying: 'The victim of killing will come on th e Da y of Resurrection with one of his hands attached to his head and the other attached to his killer and his veins will be pouring with blood. They will be brought before the throne and the victim will say to Allah Bles sed and Exalted is He: 'O Lord, he killed me.' Allah Almighty is He will say to the killer: 'You miserable wretch.' And he will be ordered into the fire.'

The Prophet (S) said in a hadith:

'At the time when a killer kills (a believer), he cannot be a believer." 48 In another hadith he (S) said:

'The most detestable of people in the sight of Allah are an apostate in the sacred precinct, one who follows the way of the days of ignorance after Islam, and one who spills blood unjustly.' He (S) said:

'The perishing of the world is lesser in the sight of Allah than the killing of a believer.' He (S) said:

'The first thing that will be passed judgement upon on the Day of Resurrection will be blood.' Related from Ayyub ibn Nuh, from Imam al-Ridha (A), from his forefathers who said:

'The Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'There are five types of people whose fires will never be extinguished nor their bodies die (in the fire): A man who commits shirk, a man who displeases his pa rents, a man who takes his brother to the ruler who kills him, a man who kills his brother unjustly, and a man who sins and blames his sin on Allah Almighty.'

Related by Zayd ibn Arqam as saying: 'We were with the Messenger of Allah (S) on the day of Ghadir Khum when we were holding the branches of trees above his head and he (S) said:

'May Allah curse one who claims lineage form one other than his rightful father, or who pledges allegiance to other than his rightful allies, after having heard me and seen me. Let he who lies about what I have said deliberately prepare himself a seat in the fire. Your blood and wealth are sacrosanct just as this day and this land and this month are sacred.'

Also related from the Prophet (S) that he gave a sermon when he wanted to go out to Tabuk saying after praising Allah:

'O people, The most truthful of speech is the book of Allah . . . (until he said) slandering a believer is a foul act, fighting a believer is tantamount to unbelief, eating the flesh of a believer 49 is a g rave sin, the sanctity of his wealth is as the sanctity of his blood.'

It is reported that when the Messenger of Allah (S) was brought a victim killed, who had been found in the vicinity of the Ansar, he said: 'Is he known?' They said: 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah.' He said: 'If the whole nation were to take part in the killing of a b eliever, Allah would throw them into the fire of Hell.'

Also related from the Prophet (S) who said:

'Whoever aids the killing of a Muslim even through a single word, will arrive on the Da y of Resurrectio n despairing of the Mercy of Allah.'

Related from Abu Sa'id al-Khudari, who said: 'During the time o f the Messenger of Allah (S) a man was found dead. He (S) came out angrily and mounted the pulpit. He praised Allah and then he said:

'A Muslim has been killed and it is not known who killed him? By Him who holds my soul in His hands, were the people of the heavens and the earth to take part in the killing of a believer or to approve of such a killing, Allah would put them in the fire. By Him who holds my soul in His hands, no-one shall whip another but that he will be whipped tomorrow (in the hereafter) in the fire of Hell.'

Related from the Prophet (S) who said:

'If the people of the seven heavens and the seven earths were to take part in the spilling of a believer's blood, Allah would throw them all into the fire.' Related from Muhammad ibn Muslim who said: 'I heard Muhammad al- Baqir (A) saying:

'The servant of Allah will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and the blood he has spilled will be given to him and he will be told: 'This is your share of the blood of so-and-so.' He will say: 'O Lord, You took my life I had never spilled any blood.' He will be told: 'On the contrary, you heard from so-and-so such and such a thing which you repeated and it was repeated by others until a certain tyrant heard about it who killed him for it so this is your share of his blood.'

In one account it is said that when the Khawarij left al-Hurur they assembled the people and killed the righteo us servant of Allah 'Abdullah ibn Janab ibn al-Arth, Imam 'Ali's governor of Nahrawan. They slaughtered him on the bank of the river above a pig and said: 'the killing of you and this pig is the same to us.

' They also cut open the belly of his pregnant wife and slaughtered her and they killed her suckling child before him. Imam 'Ali (A) was informed of this, so he returned to Nahrawan and appealed to their better nature but they refused all but to fight him. He asked them about the killing of Ibn Janab and they confessed to it one after another and said we will kill you as we have killed him. Imam 'Ali (A) said: 'By Allah, if all the people of the world confessed to killing him and I was able to kill them I would do so.' Author's note: What is meant is their taking part in the sin of killing. Related from Ishaq ibn 'Ammar, from Imam Saadiq (A) that he read the following Qur'anic verse:

{ . . . this because they used to disbelieve in the signs of Allah, and kill the Prophets unjustly, this because they disobeyed and were transgressors.} 50

He said: 'By Allah, they did not strike them with their hands nor did they kill them with their swords bu t they listened to their speeches and broadcast them (to their enemies). They were then arrested and killed because of those reporting and therefore the reporting and broadcasting were tantamount to killing, transgressing, and disobedience.'

Related from Amir-ul-Mu'mineen (A) who said:

'One who approves of the action of a people is as one who has taken part in the act with them. There are two sins for he who enters into a wrong act - the sin of approving of it and the sin of actually doing it.' He (A) said: 'He who aids and abets in the killing of a believer has taken himself o ut of Islam.'

He (A) said: 'The most despicable of people in the sight of Allah is he who beats a Muslim unjustly.'

Related from Mas'ada ibn Sadaqah, from Imam Saadiq (A) who said: 'Amir-ul-Mu'mineen 'Ali (A) said: "O people, Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has sent to you the Messenger (the Prophet Muhammad (S)), and revealed to him the Book in truth while you were in oblivious about the Book and He who sent it, and about the Messenger and He who sent him after a period of absence of messengers, and suffering of the nations, and spread of ignorance . . . . ." until he said " . . . and the world has turned against its people in anger, turning away from them and not towards them.

Its fruit is commotion, and its food carrion. Its slogan is fear, and its garment is sword. You were torn to pieces. It blinded the eyes of its people, and prolonged its days (of misery) over them. They severed their bonds of kinship, shed each other's blood, and buried alive their own female infants. They choose their own pleasure and comfort over their children's (existence). They do not seek any reward from Allah, nor do they fear Allah's punishment. When they are alive they are blind and ill- mannered, and when they are dead, they are hopeless in Hell."

Related from Ali ibn Ibrahim regarding Allah's words:

{ . . . and when the girl child buried alive will be asked for what sin wa s she killed.} 51 He said: 'The Arabs used to kill their girl children out of jealousy so on the Day of Resurrection the girl buried alive will ask for what sin was she killed?'

Related from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: 'The gravest of major sins is to assign partners to Allah when He has himself created them. Then it is to kill your ch ild for fea r that it will eat with you.'

Related from 'Abdullah ibn Mas'oud who said the Prophet (S) said: 'The worst of people in the sight of Allah is the killer of one who does not fight him, or one who kills within the sacred precinct, or the killer in revenge for something in the days of ignorance (pre- Islamic era).'

Related in the exegesis of Ali ibn Ibrahim regarding Allah Almighty's word s: { . . . and as for he who kills a believer deliberately, his reward will be Hell abiding therein forever, and Allah's anger and curse will be upon him, and He has prepared for him a great torment.} 52

He (A) said: 'Whoever kills a believer for his faith will not ha ve his repentance accepted. Whoever kills a prophet or the Wasi 53 of a prophet will not have his repentance accepted for there is no on e similar to him for the retaliatory killing. It may be that a man of the Polytheists, Jews or Christians kills a man for being a Muslim, but if he enters Islam, Allah will erase the sin from h im because of the Messenger of Allah saying: 'Islam annuls what has gone before it.'

That is, it erases what has gone before because the greatest of sins in the sight of Allah is shirk and if repentance for this sin is accepted upon entering Islam then it follows that repentance fo r all other sins is also accepted.

As for al-Saadiq's words: 'He will not have a way to repentance.' This means that whoever kills a prophet or wasi will not have a way to repentance because there is no one like the prophet or wasi to have the blood retaliation carried out upon him so one who kills a prophet or wasi will not be granted repentance.

Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Shahr Ashub relates in the book al-Manaqib saying: 'Al-Zuhri was an agent of the Umayyad Clan. He punished a man who died of the punishment. Al-Zuhri fled to the desert. He entered a cave where he spent nine years. Then 'Ali ibn al-Hussein (A) made the Hajj pilgrimage and al-Zuhri approached him.

'Ali ibn al-Hussein (A) said to him: 'I fear for you that you despair (the mercy of Allah) more than I fear for your sin. Send a compensation to the family of the man you killed and return to your family and attend to the affairs of your religion and adhere to them.' He (al-Zuhri) said to him: 'You have relieved me O Master. Allah knows best where and how to carry His message. 54 He returned to his house and became a follower of Imam 'Ali ibn al-Hussein (A) and was known as one of his companions.


47. The Holy Qur'an: Explained (41): 29.

48. This is to indicate that a true Muslim does not commit murder and if he does he is not a Muslim.

49. In Qur'an and hadith backbiting against someone is referred to as eating one's flesh.

50. The Holy Qur'an: The Heifer (2): 61.

51. The Holy Qur'an: Extinguished (81): 8-9.

52. The Holy Qur'an: Women (4): 93.

53. A Wasi is the successor appointed by the prophet.

54. The Holy Qur'an: The Cattle (6): 124.

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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