3. The jurisprudential outcome: The Rulings regarding the Rebels

2. The Theological Outcomes
December 11, 2020
4. The Splendid Position of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding the Fitnah
December 11, 2020

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3. The jurisprudential outcome: The Rulings regarding the Rebels


‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu felt that his election was enacted with the consent of those who were present from the people of al Hall wa al ’Aqd (influential members of the society) in Madinah Munawwarah, and that pledging to him became binding upon the rest of the Muslims in the all the cities; for he was a Shar’i Khalifah who had the right to administer the matters of the Muslims after he was elected as the Khalifah.

However, Talhah, al Zubair, Aisha radiya Llahu `anhum, and those who were alongside them marched to Basrah in order to seek retribution for the blood of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu, and Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhu and those who were with him from the people of Sham refused to pledge from the very beginning until the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu `anhu were not executed.

Hence, ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu considered them to be rebels who were revolting against him and decided to subdue them so that they may join the ranks of the majority. He considered them to be autonomously acting upon their position against his authority and rebelling. Therefore, according to him the laws of rebellion applied to them and it was necessary to combat them and subdue them even if it be by way of force. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:


وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

And if two factions amongst the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them opposes the other, then fight against the one that opposes until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.[1]


And when ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was asked regarding the people of Jamal:


أمشركون هم؟ قال: لا، من الشرك فروا.فقيل: أمنافقون؟قال: لا؛ لأن المنافقين لا يذكرون الله إلا قليلاً.قيل له: فما حالهم؟ قال: إخواننا بغوا علينا

“Are they polytheists?”

He said, “No they have fled from Shirk.”

It was said, “Are they hypocrites?”

He said, “No. Because hypocrites do not remember Allah but very little.”

It was then asked, “So what is their status?”

He said, “They are our brothers who have rebelled against us.”[2]


Notwithstanding that fratricidal feud between the Muslims is unlike warfare between Muslims and disbelievers. For the laws of amnesty do not apply to the disbelievers; a Harbi (a person who lives in an abode which is at war with the Muslims) does not enjoy any amnesty in his blood, his life, and his wealth. In a Sahih hadith, Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said:


أمرت أن أقاتل الناس ، حتى يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله ، وأن محمدا رسول الله ، ويقيموا الصلاة ، ويؤتوا الزكاة ، فإذا فعلوا ذلك عصموا مني دماءهم وأموالهم إلا بحق الإسلام ، وحسابهم على الله تعالى

I have been ordered to fight the people till they testify that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and the Muhammad is the Rasul of Allah, and till they do not establish Salah, and discharge Zakat. Once they do that, they have protected from me their blood, their wealth, but for the right of Islam, and their reckoning will be left to Allah.[3]


As for the abode of Islam, its default status is amnesty of blood and life due to the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:


كل المسلم على المسلم حرام دمه وعرضه وماله

Every Muslim upon another Muslim is Haram (i.e. it is not permissible for him to violate his brother), his blood, his honour, and his wealth.[4]


Hence, the law therein is based upon default innocence, for the default status of every person who resides in the abode of Islam is that he is a Muslim owing to which it would be not permissible to accuse any Muslim of disbelief without evidence which justifies that, like apostasy. And it is not permissible to fight him but with a Shar’i justification.

So when two groups of the Muslims fight, the Legislator (Allah) has not ordained fighting against them from the very beginning, rather he has ordered that first their matter be resolved, as in the verse:

وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا

And if two factions amongst the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two.[5]


Subsequent to that if one of them rebels then it will be fought due to the verse:


فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّه

But if one of them opposes the other, then fight against the one that opposes until it returns to the ordinance of Allah.[6]


This is because it did not give up fighting and did not accept the reconciliation, and also because its evils cannot be repelled but by way of fighting. So, fighting it is equivalent to fighting an assailant or a transgressor whose transgression cannot be averted but by way of fighting.

Similarly, the rebels will not be excommunicated due to the text of the Qur’an which explicitly acknowledges their iman and their brotherhood in spite of their fighting and rebellion:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

The believer are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers.[7]

Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam has said:

إن ابني هذا سيد، ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين من المسلمين

This son of mine is a leader. Probably Allah will bring about reconciliation because of him between two groups of the Muslims.[8]


Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah would often say after this hadith, “His statement ‘of the Muslims’ is very pleasing to us.”[9]

The aforementioned is evidence of the fact that any action which can be classed as rebellion or transgression does not take one out of iman. Ibn Taymiyyah says:


أما إذا كان الباغي مجتهدا متأولا ولم يتبين له أنه باغ-لأن العلم بالحكم يكون ظلما وإثما، والإصرار عليه فسقا بل اعتقد أنه على الحق وإن كان مخطئا في اعتقاده، لم تكن تسميته باغيا موجبة لإثمه فضلا عن أن توجب فسقه، والذين يقولون بقتال البغاة المتأولين يقولون: مع الأمر بقتالهم على العدالة لا يفسقون، ويقولون: هم كغير المكلف، كما يمنع الصبي والمجنون والناسي والمغمى عليه والنائم من العدوان إن لا يصدر منهم، بل تمنع البهائم من العدوان، ويجب على من قتل مؤمنا خطأ الدية بنص القرآن مع أنه لا إثم عليه في ذلك، وهكذا من رفع إلى الإمام من أهل الحدود وتاب بعد القدرة عليه فأقام عليه الحد، والتائب من الذنب كمن لا ذنب له، والباغي المتأول يجلد عند مالك والشافعي وأحمد ونظائره متعددة.

As for when the rebel is exercising Ijtihad and it has not become clear to him that he is a rebel (because rebelling despite knowing the ruling would be transgression and sin, and persisting upon it would be Fisq, perpetual sinning). Rather he assumes that he is upon the truth, even though he might be wrong in that assumption. Then dubbing him a rebel does not necessitate him sinning or even being a Fasiq (an open sinner who persistently sins). As for those who are of the opinion that such rebels should be fought, they aver, “Due to there being a command to fight them we should fight them in order to repel the harm of their rebellion, not in order to punish them but to prevent their transgression.” They also say, “They say that such rebels will still be men of upstanding character and will not be sinners,” and they say, “They are like those who are exempted. So (they will be prevented) just as a child, an insane person, a forgetful person, an unconscious person, and a sleeping person is prevented from transgression so that it does not come forth from them, in fact even animals are also prevented.” Similarly, the Qur’an imposes blood money upon a person who kills a believer mistakenly without there being any sin upon such a person. Likewise, is the case of a person who is brought to the Imam from those who deserve a capital punishment after having repented and the capital punishment is still executed upon him, where as a repenter from a sin is as though he has no sin. And according to Malik, al Shafi’i, and Ahmed a rebel who rebels based on Ijtihad will be lashed, and there are many such examples.”[10]


It is known in the Shari’ah that the default law is inviolability of the blood of the Muslims, their integrity, and their wealth, and that fighting them is permissible to repel their oppression and transgression, and in order to return them to the congregation. It is for this reason that the Legislator (Allah) has not allowed taking their women as captives, their wealth as booty, killing their prisoners, and following those of them who are fleeing, etc. Because the wisdom in fighting them is that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala has ordered us to be a congregation and to be united, both of which are from the causes of strength and stability, and has prohibited from diverging and differing, both of which are from the causes of weakness and helplessness. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:


وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُولٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus, does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.[11]


Ibn Taymiyyah states:


الخوارج المارقون الذين أمر النبي بقتالهم قاتلهم أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب أحد الخلفاء الراشدين، واتفق علي قتالهم أئمة الدين من الصحابة والتابعين من بعدهم.لم يكفرهم علي بن أبي طالب وسعد بن أبي وقاص وغيرهما من الصحابة رضي الله عنهم بل جعلوهم مسلمين مع قتالهم ولم يقاتلهم علي حتى سفكوا الدم الحرام وأغاروا على أموال المسلمين، فقاتلهم لدفع ظلمهم وبغيهم لا لأنهم كفار ولهذا لم يسب حريمهم، ولم يغنم أموالهم

The Khawarij who very swiftly exited the Din, who Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam had ordered to fight, were fought by Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, one of the four Rightly Guided Khalifahs. The scholars of the Din from the Sahabah and their successors also concurred upon fighting them. But ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and the other Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum did not excommunicate them. In fact, they deemed them Muslims despite fighting them. And ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu did not fight them until they started spilling unlawful blood and plundered the wealth of the Muslims. That is when he fought them in order to repel their oppression and rebellion, not because they were disbelievers. And thus, he did not take their women as captives and their wealth as booty.


If these people, whose deviance was established through the texts of the Shari’ah and the consensus of the Ummah, were not excommunicated despite Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam ordering us to fight them, then what about those groups who differed with each other and to who the truth was unclear in issues in which even people senior to them erred. Hence, the default ruling is that the blood of the Muslims, their wealth and their integrities are forbidden and cannot be violated but with permission from Allah and his Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said the following in his address in the farewell Hajj:


إن دماءكم وأموالكم وأعراضكم حرام عليكم كحرمة يومكم هذا في شهركم هذا…

You blood, you wealth, and you integrities are forbidden upon you, just as this day of yours (the violation thereof) is forbidden upon you, in this month of yours…[12]


And Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam also said:

من صلى صلاتنا واستقبل قبلتنا، وأكل ذبيحتنا فذلك المسلم الذي له ذمة الله، وذمة رسوله

Whoever offers our Salah, faces our Qiblah, and eats of our slaughtered animal, he is a Muslim for who is the covenant of Allah and his Rasul.[13]


Likewise, if a Muslim is exercising Ijtihad in fighting or in excommunicating another, he will also not be excommunicated because of that. For example, ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu said regarding Hatib ibn Abi Balta’ah radiya Llahu `anhu, “O Rasul Allah! Allow me to strike the neck of this hypocrite.” Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam replied:


إنه قد شهد بدرا وما يدريك لعل الله اطلع على أهل بدر فقال اعملوا ما شئتم فقد غفرت لكم

Indeed, he has participated in Badr. And what do you know, probably Allah looked down at the people of Badr and said, “Do what you want to, for I have forgiven you.”[14]


Likewise, the Salaf fought each other in Jamal and Siffin, but they are all Muslims and believers, as stated by Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala:


وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

And if two factions amongst the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them opposes the other, then fight against the one that opposes until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.[15]


Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala has stated in this verse that they are, despite their fighting and transgressing against one another, believing brothers, and has ordered that settlement be made between them with justice.

Therefore, the Salaf used to associate with one another on the basis of Din, and would not oppose each other as one is required to oppose the disbelievers; hence, they would accept the testification of each other, inherit one another, intermarry, and interact with one another as Muslims, in spite of the fighting that ensued between them.[16]

Furthermore, on the basis of this disparity between the rulings of the Abode of disbelief and the Abode of Islam, ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu was able to institute laws and rulings based on his copious knowledge, and vast jurisprudential prowess, not forgetting that he was the most adept in judicial issues.[17] These are Shar’i principles which pertain to fighting the rebels. Subsequent to that the leading scholars of knowledge and jurists followed in his footsteps in dealing with the rebels; they deduced rulings and jurisprudential principles from his conduct in this regard. To the extent that some great scholars have averred:


لو لا حرب علي لما عرفت السنة في قتال أهل القبلة

Had it not been for the warfare of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, the Sunnah regarding fighting the people of the Qiblah would never become known.[18]


In fact ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu himself is reported to have said:

أرأيتم لو أني غبت عن الناس، من كان يسير فيهم بهذه السيرة

Consider, if I was absent from the people, was there anyone who could deal with them with this conduct.[19]


And Ahnaf said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu:


يا علي إن قومنا بالبصرة يزعمون إنك عن ظهرت عليهم غدا أنك تقتل رجالهم وتسبي نساءهم، فقال: ما مثلي يخاف هذا منه، وهل يحل هذا إلا ممن تولى كفر.

“O ‘Ali, our people in Basrah are saying that tomorrow if you are victorious you will kill their men and take their women as captives.”

He said, “This is not something that should be feared from a person like me. This is not permissible to do but to those who turn away and disbelieve.”[20]


Hereunder are some of the ways in which fighting the rebels is unlike fighting the disbelievers and the renegades:

  1. The motive for fighting them is to deter them and not to kill them. Because the objective is to return them to compliance and repel their evil and not to kill them. Whereas on the other hand it is completely permissible to intend killing disbelievers and renegades.[21]


  1. If slaves, women, and children fight with the rebels, then the ruling regarding them will be the same as the ruling regarding a free and mature man, i.e. they will be fought whilst advancing and left whilst retreating. Because fighting them is to repel their assault. Whereas it is permissible to kill the people of disbelief and the renegades whether they are advancing or fleeing [in battle].[22]


  1. If the rebels give up fighting, either because of reverting to compliance, dropping their weapons, being defeated, inability due to sustaining injuries, sickness, or imprisonment, then it will not be permissible to finish off their wounded and kill their imprisoned. Whereas it is permissible to finish off the wounded combatants of the disbelievers and the renegades just as it is permissible to execute their imprisoned. Ibn Abi Shaybah has narrated the following in his Musannaf from ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu that he said on the Day of Jamal:

لا تتبعوا مدبرا، ولا تجهزوا على جريح، ومن ألقى سلاحه فهو آمن

Do not follow a fleeing person, do not finish off a wounded person, and whoever drops his weapons is safe.[23]


And in the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq[24] it is stated that ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu ordered his announcer to announce the following on the day of Basrah:


لا يتبع مدبر، ولا يذفف على جريح، ولا يقتل أسير، ومن أغلق بابه وألقى سلاحه فهو آمن، ولم يأخذ من متاعهم شيئا

“A fleeing person should not be followed, a wounded person will not be finished off, an imprisoned person will not be killed, and whoever shuts his door and drops his weapon will be safe.” And he did not take anything of their belongings.[25]


And in another narration of Ibn Abi Shaybah it is stated that when ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu defeated Talhah and his comrades his ordered an announcer to announce:


أن لا يقتل مقبل ولا مدبر ولا يفتح باب، ولا يستحل فرج ولا مال

An advancing person nor a fleeing person should be killed, no door should be opened, and not chastity of a woman or wealth should be violated.[26]


And in the Tarikh of al Tabari and Bahshal[27] it appears that Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said on the day of Jamal:


لا تتبعوا مدبرا ولا تجهزوا على جريح، ولا تقتلوا أسيرا، وإياكم والنساء وإن شتمن أعراضكم وسببن أمراءكم، فلقد رأيتنا في الجاهلية وإن الرجل ليتناول المرأة بالجريدة أو الهراوة فيعير بها هو وعقبه من بعده

Do not follow a fleeing person, do not finish off an injured person, do not kill a captive, and stay away from the women even if they criticise your integrities and revile your leaders. For I saw us in the pre-Islamic era when a person who would beat his wife with the branch of a palm or with a stick, he and his progeny after him would be taunted because of that.[28]


And al Shafi’i has narrated the following from ‘Ali ibn al Hussain rahimahu Llah:


دخلت على مروان بن الحكم فقال: ما رأيت أحدا أكرم غلبة من أبيك يعني عليا- ما هو إلا أن ولينا يوم الجمل فنادى مناديه: لا يقتل مدبر، ولا يذفف على جريح.

I visited Marwan ibn al Hakam, so he said, “I have not seen anyone who was more dignified in his victory than your father (referring to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. As soon as we started fleeing on the Day of Jamal his announcer called out, “A fleeing person should not be killed, and a wounded person should be finished off.”[29]


And Abu Umamah al Bahili radiya Llahu `anhu says:

شهدت صفين وكانوا لا يجهزون على جريح ولا يقتلون موليا، ولا يسلبون قتيلا.

I was present in Siffin. They would not finish off a wounded person, would not kill a fleeing person, and would not take the booty of a killed person.[30]


  1. The tendencies of those who are imprisoned from the rebels will be analysed. If there is assurance regarding someone that he will not return to fighting he will be released, and if there is no assurance regarding him then he will with be withheld till the war is completely over and will only be released thereafter. It will not be necessary to detain him thereafter, although it will be permissible to detain a disbeliever.[31]


  1. In fighting them, assistance will not be solicited from a disbeliever with who there is a pact or who lives under the Muslim rule, although it is permissible to seek their assistance when fighting the renegades and disbelievers who are at war with the Muslims.[32]


  1. The ruler should not hold any truce negotiations with them for a specific time and should not enter into conciliation with them in lieu of wealth. If he enters into a truce negotiation with them it will not be binding upon him, and if he enters into conciliation with them in lieu of wealth that conciliation will be in valid. As for the wealth, if it is from their booty or from their charity monies he will not return it to them, and if it is from their personal wealth it will not be permissible for him to possess it and will thus have to return it to them,[33] for ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had not considered the wealth of the people of Jamal to be permissible.[34]


  1. If they revolt against the ruler on the basis of a plausible reason he should communicate with them via correspondence. If they make mention of an oppression he should alleviate it from them; and If they make mention of misconceptions he should provide clarity for them, as ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu had did with the Khawarij and their misconceptions subsequent to which many of them returned to the ranks of the congregation.[35] If they desist thereafter, then well and good, otherwise it will be incumbent upon him and the Muslims to fight them.[36]
  2. If they do not openly denounce compliance to the ruler, and do not have an abode where they seclude themselves, and they are only few individuals who can easily be apprehended, then they will be left and will not be fought. All the laws of justice will apply to them in the rights that are upon them and in the rights that they deserve.[37]


  1. The rebels will not be combatted with weaponry whose destruction is very vast, like fire and catapults, etc. Likewise, their houses will not be burnt and their palms and trees will not be chopped, although doing that with the disbelievers and the polytheists is permissible. Because the abode of Islam protects whatever is in it even if its owners rebel. Yes, it would be permissible to do so when there is a pressing need, like in the instance where they fortify themselves and cannot be defeated, then it would be permissible for the ruler to attack them with catapults according to al Shafi’i and Abu Hanifah.[38]


  1. It is not permissible to take their wealth as booty, and their women and children as captives due to the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:


لا يحل مال امرئ مسلم إلا بطيب نفس منه

The wealth of a Muslim person is not permissible by with the happiness of his heart.[39]


And on the day of Jamal, ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is reported to have said:


من عرف شيئا من ماله مع أحد فليأخذه

Whoever recognises anything of his wealth with someone he should take it.[40]


This last aspect was one of the things the Khawarij had a problem with in the policies of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu. They said, “He fought, but did not take captives and did not take booty. If their blood was permissible for him then so should their wealth be permissible for him. And if their wealth was impermissible for him then so should their blood be impermissible for him. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma retorted saying:


أفتسبون أمكم؟-يعني عائشة- أم تستحلون منها ما تستحلون من غيرها؟ فإن قلتم: ليست أمكم كفرتم، وإن قلتم: إنما أمكم واستحللتم منها ما سبيها كفرتم.

So, were you willing to take your mother as a captive? (Referring to Aisha radiya Llahu `anha) or do you deem permissible of her what you deem permissible of others besides her? If you say that she is not your mother, you have disbelieved. And if you say that she is your mother but you deem taking her as a captive permissible you have still disbelieved.[41]


Commenting upon this injunction Ibn Qudamah[42] says:


ولأن قتال البغاة إنما هو لدفعهم وردهم إلى الحق لا لكفرهم، فلا يستباح منهم إلا ما حصل بضرورة الدفع كالصائل وقاطع الطريق، وبقي حكم المال والذرية على أصل العصمة

And because fighting the rebels is merely to avert them and return them to the truth, and not because of their disbelief; hence, only that of theirs will be permissible which is acquired due to the necessity of averting, like how an assailant or a highway robber is averted. As for the wealth, the women, and children, they will remain upon the default protection.


Furthermore, what is ostensible from the apparent suggestions of the narrations from ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu is that it is permissible to benefit from their weapons. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates the following from Abu al Bakhtari:


لما انهزم أهل الجمل قال علي: لا تطلبوا من كان خارجا من المعسكر وما كان من دابة أو سلاح فهو لكم

When the people of Jamal were defeated ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu said, “Do not search for those who have left the camp, and whatever weapons or animals are there are for you.[43]


And al Tabari has narrated the following in his Tarikh:

ولا تأخذوا شيئا من أموالهم إلا ما وجدتم في عسكرهم

And do not take anything from their belongings, besides what you find in their camp.[44]


And it is narrated from Ahmed that he has indicated to the permissibility of benefitting from their weapons, but not in fighting them. And Abu al Khattab[45] has said:


متى انقضت الحرب وجب رده إليهم كما ترد إليهم سائر أموالهم لقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا يحل مال امرئ مسلم إلا عن طيب نفس منه.

As soon as the war is over it will be necessary to return that to them, just as it is incumbent to return all their other belongings to them due to the hadith of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, “The wealth of Muslim is not permissible but with the happiness of his heart.”[46]


  1. Whoever of the rebels is killed will be bathed, shrouded in a winding sheet, and his Janazah Salah will be performed, as per the schools of al Shafi’i and the proponents of Ra’y (analyses and deduction). And the school of Ahmed suggests that the Janazah Salah of the Khawarij rebels and also the Jahmiyyah and the Rafidah will not be performed. For Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam refused to perform Salah for reasons lighter than this. And Malik is of the opinion that the Janazah Salah of the Ibadiyyah from the Khawarij, the Qadariyyah, and all the people of deviant sects will not be performed.[47]


  1. If the rebels are not from the innovators then they are not Fasiqs (open and perpetual sinners), and the Imam and the people of integrity fighting them is only owing to their mistake in their Ijtihad; their example is like that of the jurists who exercise Ijtihad in rulings. Whoever of them testifies his testification will be accepted if he is a person of integrity. This is the view of al Shafi’i. As for the Khawarij and the other innovators, if they rebel against the ruler their testification will not be accepted, for they are Fasiqs.[48]


  1. It is permissible for an upright person to kill his rebel relative, because he will be killing him on a legitimate basis; for it is like establishing the capital punishment upon him, even though it is disliked to intend doing so.[49]


  1. If the rebels dominate a region and collect land taxes, head taxes, and Zakat, and they establish the capital punishments of the Shari’ah, they will not be asked to return any of what they collected after the people of integrity defeat them and apprehend them. For when ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu subdued the people of Basrah after the Battle of Jamal he did demand anything from them.[50]


  1. If the rebels during their resistance perpetrate a crime which necessitates the establishing of a capital punishment upon them, then it will be established upon them after they are subdued. The ruling will not change because of the abodes being different, according to Malik and al Shafi’i.[51]


  1. A rebel who kills an upright person will not inherit him, and an upright person who kills a rebel will not inherit him. Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam has said:


القاتل لا يرث

A killer will not inherit.[52]


And Abu Hanifah says, “I will make an upright person inherit a rebel, but will not make a rebel inherit an upright person.” And Abu Yusuf[53] says, “I will make each one of them inherit the other, due to each one exercising Ijtihad and considering the killing of the other to be permissible.” [54] This is also the preference of al Nawawi.[55]


  1. If it is not possible to avert the rebels but by way of killing them, it will be permissible to kill them. And there will be no sin, liability, or Kaffarah (expiatory action) upon the one who kills them. This is because he has merely done what he was ordered to do and he killed for the pleasure of Allah:


فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ

Then fight against the one that opposes until it returns to the ordinance of Allah.


For if the life of a Muslim is targeted it is permissible for him to defend it even if it be by killing the assailant if he does not resist. Also, whatever the people of integrity destroy of the rebels during the war there will be no liability upon them for that.[56] And the opposite is true as well, i.e. there will no liability upon the rebels for what they sabotage during the war, whether it be life or wealth according to the more preferred opinion, as stated by al Nawawi.[57]

The following narration of al Zuhri supports the aforementioned:


هاجت الفتنة الأولى وأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم متوافرون، وفيهم البدريون، فأجمعوا أنه لا يقاد أحد ولا يؤخذ ما أحد على تأويل القرآن.

When the first Fitnah erupted, the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum were abundantly present and among them were the veterans of Badr as well. They unanimously concurred that no retribution will be executed upon anyone, nor will the wealth of any person be taken as long as he fought based on an interpretation of the Qur’an.[58]


And the narration of ‘Abdur Razzaq states the following:


فإن الفتنة الأولى ثارت وأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ممن شهد بدرا كثير، فاجتمع رأيهم على أن لا يقيموا على أحد حدا في فرج استحلوه بتأويل القرآن، ولا قصاص في دم استحلوهه بتأويل القرآن، ولا يرد ما استحلوه بتأويل القرآن، إلا أن يوجد شيء بعينه فيرد على صاحبه.

When the first Fitnah erupted, many of the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhu who participated in Badr were present. They unanimously agreed that they will not establish the capital punishment upon anyone who violated the chastity of a woman based on an interpretation of the Qur’an, likewise no retribution will be taken from those who violated the blood of people based on an interpretation of the Qur’an. Likewise, whatever wealth they took considering it to be permissible based on an interpretation of the Qur’an will not be retrieved from them, unless something specific is found which will then be returned to its owner.[59]


NEXT⇒ 4. The Splendid Position of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding the Fitnah

[1] Surah al Hujurat: 9.

[2] Al Bayhaqi: al Sunan al Kubra, 8/173.

[3] Sahih al Bukhari, 1/11-12, chapter of Iman.

[4] Sahih Muslim, 16/121, chapter of kindness.

[5] Surah al Hujurat: 9.

[6] Surah al Hujurat: 9.

[7] Surah al Hujurat: 10.

[8] Sahih al Bukhari, 8/94, chapter of Fitan.

[9] Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 13/66.

[10] Majmu’ al Fatawa, 35/76.

[11] Surah Al ‘Imran: 103-105.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari, 8/91, chapter of Fitan.

[13] Ibid, 1/102, chapter of Salah

[14] Sahih Muslim, 16/56.

[15] Surah al Hujurat: 9.

[16] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 3/284-285.

[17] This is narrated through the transmission of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu `anhuma in Sahih al Bukhari. ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu said, “The most learned in the Qur’an is Ubayy and the most adept in judicial matters is ‘Ali.” See: Sahih al Bukhari, 5/149, chapter of Tafsir.

[18] Al Baqillani: al Tamhid fi al Radd ‘ala al Mulhidah, p. 229.

[19] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, 10/124, chapter regarding the ruling that a wounded person should not be killed.

[20] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 4/496.

[21] Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni, 8/108-126.

[22] Al Mughni: 8/110; Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 60.

[23] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/263, chapter Jamal. Ibn Hajar has deemed it Sahih in al Fath, 13/57.

[24] ‘Abdur Razzaq ibn Hammam ibn Nafi’ al Himyari al San’ani. One of the reliable retainers of hadith and a vessel of knowledge. Al Dhahabi has said about him, “Several people have deemed him reliable and his narrations are cited in the Sihah. They condemned him for his Shia leanings and his extremist tendencies in that regard.” And Salamah ibn Shabib says, “I heard ‘Abd a-Razzaq saying, “My heart was never satisfied with giving preference to ‘Ali over Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.” He passed away in 211 A.H/827 A.D. See: Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 3/216; Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, p. 152; al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 1/364; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 6/310.

[25] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, 10/123-124, chapter regarding the ruling that a wounded person should not be finished off.

[26] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/267, chapter Jamal.

[27] Aslam ibn Sahl ibn Salm al Wasiti al Razzaz, Abu al Hassan, famously known as Bahshal. A retainer of hadith who was truthful and the historian of the city of Wasit. Khamis al Hawzi has said regarding him, “He is attributed to the Razzazin, his masjid was there. He was reliable and meticulous, was an Imam and his was fit to be a narrator of Sahih al Bukhari.” He wrote Tarikh Wasit. He passed away in 292 A.H. /904 A.D. See: al Hafiz al Silafi: Su’alat al Hafiz al Silafi, p. 90; Yaqut: Mu’jam al Udaba’, 6/127; al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 2/664; Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 1/388.

[28] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/11; al Zayla’i: Nasb al Rayah, 3/463.

[29] Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 13/57. He has attributed it to al Shafi’i who narrates it via the transmission of ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu `anhuma.

[30] Hakim: al Mustadrak, 2/155, al Dhahabi has agreed with him; Sunan al Bayhaqi, 8/182.

[31] Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 60.

[32] Ibid, p. 60.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/267.

[35] Al Bayhaqi: al Sunan al Kubra, 8/180.

[36] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 4/450.

[37] Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 58.

[38] Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni, 8/110.

[39] Musnad Ahmed, 5/72; Sunan al Bayhaqi, 6/100; Sunan al Daraqutni, 3/26; and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in Irwa’ al Ghalil, 5/279, Hadith: 1459.

[40] Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni, 8/115.

[41] Al Bayhaqi: al Sunan al Kubra, 8/179.

[42] ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Qudamah al Jamma’ili (attributed to Jamma’il which is a village in Palestine) al Maqdisi al Hanbali, Muwaffaq al Din, Abu Muhammad. He was from the senior scholars of the Hanbali School. He has written many books, some being: al Mughni, Fada’il al Sahabah, Lum’ah al I’tiqad, Rawdah al Nazir, Dhamm ‘alayh Mudda’u al Tasawwuf, and Dhamm al Ta’wil. He passed away in 620 A.H. /1223 A.D. See: Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 13/99; Ibn al ’Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab, 5/88; Ibn Shakir al Kutbi: Fawat al Wafayat, 2/158.

[43] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/263.

[44] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, 5/11.

[45] Mahfuz ibn Ahmed ibn Hassan al Kaludhani al Baghdadi Abu al Khattab. He has written books in the Hanbali School, principles of Shari’ah, differences of the scholars, and poetry. Al Hafiz al Silafi has said about him, “He is a reliable and praiseworthy disciple of Ahmed.” And al Dhahabi says, “Abu al Khattab is from the good scholars, he was virtuous, truthful, a bearer of good conduct, interesting anomalies, and was from the intelligent men.” He has written: al Hidayah, Ru’us al Masa’il, Usul al Fiqh. He passed away in 510 A.H/1116 A.D. See: al Sam’ani: al Ansab, 10/461; Ibn al Jawzi: al Muntazam, 9/190; al Dhahabi: al Tadhkirah, 4/1261; Duwal al Islam, 2/37; Ibn Rajab: Dhuyul Tabaqat al Hanabilah, 1/116.

[46] The reference for this has passed already please CLICK HERE (Footnote 39).

[47] Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni: 8/117.

[48] Ibid, 8/118.

[49] Ibid, 8/118.

[50] Ibid, 8/119.

[51] Ibid, 8/120.

[52] Musnad Ahmed, 1/49; Sunan Ibn Majah, 2/883, chapter of blood moneys; and al Albani has deemed it Sahih in his Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, 2/98, Hadith: 214.

[53] Yaqub ibn Ibrahim ibn Habib al Ansari al Kufi al Baghdadi, Abu Yusuf. The companion of Abu Hanifah and his student. He was a retainer of hadith and was a jurist as per the school of the Ahl al Ra’y (the proponents of analyses and deduction). He had very vast knowledge regarding Tafsir, the campaigns of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, and the history of the Arabs. He acted as the judge in Baghdad for al Rashid. Some of his books: al Kharaj, Adab al Qadi, and Ikhtilaf al Amsar. He passed away in 182 A.H. 798 A.D. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 14/242; Waki’: Akhbar al Qudat, 3/253; Ibn al Nadim: al Fihrist, p. 286; al Qurashi: al Jawahir al Mudi’ah, 2/220.

[54] Al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah, p. 61.

[55] Sahih Muslim with the commentary of al Nawawi, 7/170.

[56] Ibn Qudamah: al Mughni, 8/112.

[57] Sahih Muslim with the commentary of al Nawawi, 7/170.

[58] Al Bayhaqi: al Sunan al Kubra, /174

[59] Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq, 10/121, chapter regarding fighting the Harura’.

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