“WHAT IS BLASPHEMY”:
Blasphemy in Islam is impious utterance or action concerning God, Muhammad or anything considered sacred in Islam.
**WHAT IS PUNISHMENT FOR BLASPHEMY IN ISLAM:
The Quran admonishes blasphemy, but does not specify any particular worldly punishment for blasphemy. But as we know Quran is just one of the sources of Islamic laws , Sunnah”life style of Muhammad” and hadiths, as other sources of Sharia, suggest various punishments for blasphemy, including death.
As we know at the begining when Muhammad did not have any political power he was more tolerant and peaceful, that was the time that tolerant verses such these showed up:
=() Qur’an 28: 55 ” وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَقَالُوا لَنَا أَعْمَالُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَالُكُمْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَا نَبْتَغِي الْجَاهِلِينَ ” Yusuf Ali: And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant
=() Qur’an 4:140 ” وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِثْلُهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا ” Yusuf Ali: Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For Allah will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith – all in Hell:-
When Muhammad moved to Yathrab(Medina) and slowly gained power those peaceful and tolerant verses started changing, and here comes violence and promises eternal damnation for those who insulting Muhammad,Allah & Islam. After the Battle of Badr in 624 Muhammad started gaining power He wages wars on the opponents and even in one day he ordered beheading over 700(according to some historian up to 900) people, Now look at the tone of peaceful verses how greatly they changed to violent:
=() Quran 9:74″ يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ مَا قَالُوا وَلَقَدْ قَالُوا كَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ وَكَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِسْلَامِهِمْ وَهَمُّوا بِمَا لَمْ يَنَالُوا ۚ وَمَا نَقَمُوا إِلَّا أَنْ أَغْنَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۚ فَإِنْ يَتُوبُوا يَكُ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ يَتَوَلَّوْا يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ”
Yusuf Ali: They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they did it after accepting Islam; and they meditated a plot which they were unable to carry out: this revenge of theirs was (their) only return for the bounty with which Allah and His Messenger had enriched them! If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their evil ways), Allah will punish them with a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: They shall have none on earth to protect or help them.
clearly we see in this verse talks about:” If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their evil ways), Allah will punish them with a GRIEVOUS PENALTY IN THIS LIFE AND IN THE HEREAFTER ” Here Muhammad talks about punishment and grievous penlty in THIS WORLD and the world after.
=() Quran 33:57>>61″ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا مُهِينًا” Shakir: Surely (as for) those who speak evil things of Allah and His Messenger, Allah has cursed them in this world and the here after, and He has prepared for them a chastisement bringing disgrace.(61):مَلْعُونِينَ ۖ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا أُخِذُوا وَقُتِّلُوا تَقْتِيلًا “They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy).”
here in this verse clearly Muhammad sending his warning to those who were making fun of him:
=()Quran 9:64 يَحْذَرُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ أَنْ تُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُورَةٌ تُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ قُلِ اسْتَهْزِئُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْرِجٌ مَا تَحْذَرُونَ “Yusuf Ali: The Hypocrites are afraid lest a Sura should be sent down about them, showing them what is (really passing) in their hearts. Say: “Mock ye! But verily Allah will bring to light all that ye fear (should be revealed).
Now what is that grievous penalty and punishment in this world?what is there that non believers should be fearful of it? that is open door for anything including death penalty.In order to dig out more the meaning of that ” grievous penalty and punishment ” we have to go to other sources of information in Islam: Sunnah as is established by the hadith
Muhmmad personally ordered assassination of many writers,poets , opponents and free thinkers just because he felt insulted by what they wrote and what they said ,he did not have the tolerance to listen to his critics,and he established sunnah for killing those who commit blasphemy:
=() Ishaq:597 “When the Apostle returned to Medina after his raid on Ta’if, word spread that he had killed some of the men who had satirized and insulted him. The poets who were left spread in all directions.”
=() Quran (26-224)وَالشُّعَرَاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ”And the Poets,- It is those straying in Evil, who follow them”Apparently this verse does not look like that Muhammad had friendly relation with poets,and this verse is backed with several hadith and historical events that show enemosity of Muhammad against poets :[ Sahih al-Bukhari 8,73, 175/Sahih al-Bukhari, 8, 73,176/ Muslim 28,5607]
=() Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul)[ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أُبَىٍّ ابْنُ سَلُولَ ] Muhammad asked his followers to kill him because he was making “evil statements ” about Muhammad’s family:”…… Allah’s Apostle got up on the pulpit and complained about ‘Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul) before his companions, saying, ‘O you Muslims! Who will relieve me from that man who has hurt me with his evil statement about my family? ….” “(….. فَقَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْ يَوْمِهِ، فَاسْتَعْذَرَ مِنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أُبَىٍّ وَهْوَ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ فَقَالَ ” يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مَنْ يَعْذِرُنِي مِنْ رَجُلٍ قَدْ بَلَغَنِي عَنْهُ أَذَاهُ فِي أَهْلِي ….. )
[ al-Bukhari Book of Expeditions #462 / al-Bukhari 4141 /Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 5, Book 59, Hadith 462 ]
=() Abu ‘Afak ( أبو عفك ) was a poet who lived in the Hijaz region (today Saudi Arabia). He never accepted Islam and he was a loud voice of opposition to Muhammad. they say he was 120 year old man , He became a significant political enemy of Muhammad.He wrote a politically charged poems against Muhammad and his followers Muhammad then called for Abu ‘Afak’s death, and Salim ibn Umayr ( سالم بن عمير ) killed him.( Ibn Ishaq “Sirat Rasul Allah” p. 675 / 995.)
=() Ka’b bin Ashraf ( كعب بن الأشرف )Muhammad asked his followers to kill this man for writing inflammatory poetry about Muhammad and Muslim women.Tabari reports that the five Muslim thugs severed Kab’s head and brought it to Muhammad ,they were blessed by Muhammad:
**Sahih Bukhari 3:45:687 :”…. Allah’s Apostle said, “Who would kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf as he has harmed Allah and His Apostle ?” Muhammad bin Maslama (got up and) said, “I will kill him.” …”(….. يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم
“ مَنْ لِكَعْبِ بْنِ الأَشْرَفِ فَإِنَّهُ آذَى اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ صلى الله عليه وسلم ”. فَقَالَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ أَنَا ….)
**Sahih Bukhari 59,369 ” …. Allah’s Apostle said, ” Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). “The Prophet said, “You may say it. …”(… يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” مَنْ لِكَعْبِ بْنِ الأَشْرَفِ فَإِنَّهُ قَدْ آذَى اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ”. فَقَامَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَتُحِبُّ أَنْ أَقْتُلَهُ قَالَ ” نَعَمْ ”. قَالَ فَأْذَنْ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ شَيْئًا. قَالَ ” قُلْ ”. …) as you see here Muhammad even allowed him to lie just to be able to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf .
**Muslim Vol. 4, Book 19, Hadith 4436 “….the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: Who will kill Ka’b b. Ashraf? He has maligned Allah, the Exalted, and His Messenger. Muhammad b. Maslama said: Messenger of Allah, do you wish that I should kill him? He said: Yes…..”(… قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” مَنْ لِكَعْبِ بْنِ الأَشْرَفِ فَإِنَّهُ قَدْ آذَى اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ” . فَقَالَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَتُحِبُّ أَنْ أَقْتُلَهُ قَالَ ” نَعَمْ …..)
=() Asma Bint Marwan -( أسماء بنت مروان ) According to Ibn Ishaq 364-69 / 548-53; / Tabari, The History of al-Tabari, Vol. VII Muhammad ordered the assasination of her.She was mother of five children , a very famous poetes among Arabs and well spoken ,educated woman, she was composing inflammatory poetry about Islam and Muslims.Before the assasination as usual Muhammad asks his followers : “who is going to help Allah and His Apostle ?”( Allah needed help!!). Umayr said , I can do that , (this brave murderer killed he when she was sleeping!!!) . when the murderer comes to Muhammad and tells him that he has killed her , Muhammad says(his exact words):” You helpped Allah and his prophet .”(Ishaq, p. 675-676 / 995-966)
=() Umm walad ( أم ولد ) was a slave-girl who gave birth to a son from her blind master .She used to make derogatory remarks about Muhammad,she was killed by her blind master who was follower of Muhmmad. when Muhammad was informed ,he said : “…..Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.”(…. ” أَلاَ اشْهَدُوا أَنَّ دَمَهَا هَدَرٌ )[ Abu Dawood 4361 ,Abu Dawood Vol. 4, Book 39, Hadith 4348 ],[ Saheeh Sunan An-Nasa’ee, 4081 ]
=() Al-Nadr Bin Al-Harith ( النضر بن الحارث )-a rich man who carried on trade with al-Hira and Persia, from where he is said to have brought back books ,and singing slave girls. He was a tough opponent of Muhammad, mocking him and not failing to speak up and recalling the glories of the kings of Persia when Muhammad mentioned the miserable fate of past nations. In particular, he accused Muhammad of retailing tales of the ancients (asatir al-awwalin ” اساطير الاوّلین ” )[ Quran(8:31,83:13) ] . And at the end Muhammad send him this chilling message :” “Woe to every sinful liar who hears God’s verses read before him. Then he continues in pride as though he had not heard them, as though in his ears was deafness. Tell him about a painful punishment”. (Sura 45:7,8) [ … فَبَشِّرْهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ … ] “He became a prisoner of war who was not allowed to be ransomed by their clans and Muhammad killed him personally , `Ali cut off his head with his sword.
[ The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, Vol. VII, 1993, p. 872 ]
[ “Sirat Rasul Allah” by Ibn Ishaq.p133>>136 ]
=()Abdullah bin Katal ( ابن خطّال عبد الله) and his two singing-girls who had mocked Muhammad, “…two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed…” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 819).[ al-Bukhari Book of Prilgrims Hunting Penalty #72/al-Bukhari 1846/Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 3, Book 29, Hadith 72 ]
After capturing Mecca,Muhammad ordered the execution of three of them
one of the girls was killed, but the other one ran away[/Ibn Ishaq, pp. 550-51 / 819][ Abu Dawud Book 14, Number 2678 ]Abdullah bin Katal was killed while he was :”.. clinging to the curtains of the Ka’bah …”
( رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ إِنَّ ابْنَ خَطَلٍ مُتَعَلِّقٌ بِأَسْتَارِ الْكَعْبَةِ، فَقَالَ “ اقْتُلُوهُ )
[Sahih al-Bukhari 3044/ Book 56, Hadith 250/ Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 280 ]
=()”A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.” (Abu Dawood 4362 /Abu Dawood Vol. 4, Book 39, Hadith 4349)
=() Those who mocked Muhammad at Mecca were killed after he had retaken the city and asserted his authority:”… By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I saw the dead bodies of those persons who were counted by Allah’s Apostle in the Qalib (one of the wells) of Badr. ….”
” لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ الَّذِينَ عَدَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَرْعَى فِي الْقَلِيبِ قَلِيبِ بَدْرٍ. ….. ”
(al-Bukhari Book of Ablution (Wudu) #241 /al-Bukhari 240/Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 4, Hadith 241 )
As we see though there was not clear punishment for blasphemy in the book yet the death penalty was established by “Sunnah”[Muhammad’s life style] through many cases that were enforced by him