The Killing of Those Who Speak Improperly about the Prophet Without Calling Him on to Repent
Anyone who insults the Prophet must be executed at once without being called on to repent. (Ibn Taymiyya)
Ibn al-Mundhir said: All scholars are agreed on the killing of anyone who insults the Messenger of God (pbuh). (Anwar Shah, al-Kashmiri, “Ikfar al-Mulhidin”, p. 64; “Tanbihul Ghafilin,” p. 14)
Abdullah narrates: They are to be executed without being called on to repent. Halid b. Walid killed a man who insulted the Messenger (pbuh) and he did not incite him to repent. (Ibn Taymiyya)
Someone speaking improperly of God, the prophets and spiritual values is not, of course, something to be approved of. However, all people are not the same. Some people are atheists and are prejudiced against religion for various reasons; some have been brought up with anger, some are ignorant and some know nothing about the Qur’an. It is therefore possible for people to have prejudices against religion for a variety of reasons, and there are many such people who live in a state of rage and hatred today. There are people who hold all kinds of opinions in this world we come to in order to be tested, and our test as believers consists of being together with these ideas, opinions and people.
The duty of a Muslim is to tell people, no matter how prejudiced or angry they may be, about the moral virtues in the Qur’an in a kindly manner and then leave the final decision up to them. Sometimes the other party will be affected by this fine behavior and may realize the error of his ways and put himself right. This is a fact revealed in another verse of the Qur’an:
A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. . (Qur'an, 41:34)
In this verse, Muslims are commanded to respond to bad behavior with goodness. The result of this is that “if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend....”
If the other party still persists on speaking and behaving badly, however, then what needs to be done is explained in the Qur’an:
The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk lightly on the earth and, who, when the ignorant speak to them, say, “Peace”; (Qur'an, 25:63)
It has been sent down to you in the Book that when you hear God’s signs being rejected and mocked at by people, you must not sit with them till they start talking of other things. If you do you are just the same as them. (Qur'an, 4:140)
As we have seen, the commandment set out in the Qur’an is not to sit down with such an ignorant community when one encounters them, to take one’s leave from them and say “Peace”; in other words, to remind them of the peaceful path.
Two features are emphasized in the verses. These people are regarded as too ignorant to have any dealings with and have rejected the truth despite being warned many, many times. A Muslim who has a duty to preach - and therefore to constantly speak the truth – in this instance has no dealings with such people, and merely moves away from them.
Another element in the verse concerns not sitting down with them “till they start talking of other things.” Therefore, these people may always be in a Muslim’s immediate vicinity and have constant dealings with him. So once they start speaking of other matters he can continue to enjoy close relations with them.
This means that Muslims are not expected to resort to the savage method cited above. They must depart from them when they speak improperly, but tell them the truth so long as they heed advice.
Another piece of evidence showing how these fabricated hadiths conflict with the Qur’an is the “prevention of repentance.” God calls on people to repent on all subjects in the Qur’an. He frequently states in verses that repentance is a matter between the person concerned and God and that God is All-forgiving and Compassionate. Those who repent are frequently praised in the Qur’an. So how can a person be prevented from repenting? How can someone be prevented from seeking God’s forgiveness? How can people ignore our Lord’s verse that reads, “... He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful.” (Qur'an, 2:37) and deprive others of the right to feel regret and seek God’s forgiveness?
Nobody has any such right, of course.
In another verse our Lord reveals:
... except for those who repent and put things (themselves and others) right and make things (what is sent down) clear. I turn towards them. I am the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. Qur'an, 2:160)
Those people who foolishly deny the fact that God is “the Most Merciful” and seek to impose their own fabricated hadiths on the subject are acting in open contravention of the Qur’an.