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Mutilating the Bodies of Enemy Combatants – Shaykh al Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

The Ruling of Mutilating the Non-believing Enemy Combatants
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah stated,

‘As for mutilating when killing, it is not permissible except in cases of [judicial] punishment. Imraan bin Hussain, may Allaah be pleased with them both, said, “The prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never gave us a sermon except that he ordered us to give charity and forbade us from mutilation – even the non-believers when we fight them, we were not [allowed] to mutilate them after killing, nor to stump their ears and noses or to disembowel them – except if they did as such to us. [In this case] we could do to them as they did to us”.

But leaving off this is better, as Allaah the Most High said, {And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you endure patiently, verily, it is better for those who are patient} [An-Nahl: 126]

It has been said that this verse was revealed when the polytheists mutilated Hamza’s corpse and the corpses of other martyrs from Uhud, may Allaah be pleased with them and the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘If Allaah gives me the ability to overcome them, I will mutilate them twice as severely as they have us.’ And Allaah revealed this aayah.

And before revelation of this aayah, Allah had revealed {And they ask you about the Ruh (the Spirit); Say: “The Ruh (the Spirit): it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord} [Al-Isra: 85]

and His saying, {And perform As-Salat, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salat (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds} [Hud: 114]

and other than these from the verses that were revealed in Mecca and continued in Medina. This aayah [from an-Nahl] was revealed again [in Medina] and the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Rather, we will be patient’.

In the Saheeh of Imaam Muslim, on the authority of Buraydah bin al-Khaseeb, may Allaah be pleased with him, that he said, ‘When the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to send a leader in a military group or army, or for a personal matter, he used to advise them to have taqwa of Allaah and [ask] goodness of those accompanying Muslims and then say, “Fight in the name of Allaah and in the way of Allaah. Fight those who disbelieve in Allaah but do not go cheat [with regards to the booty]; do not act deceitfully [to covenants]; do not mutilate the dead and do not kill children.”

From the Book ‘As-Siyaasatu ash Shariyyah’ by Ibn Taymiyyah.

[1] Benefitted from Shaykh ‘Aasim al-Qaryooti, may Allaah preserve him. http://alqaryooti.com/?p=799

Translated by Akeel Ahmed

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