Prophet Muhammad (sallā Allāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) would not have killed foreign delegations even if they were sent by the worst of enemies

The assassination of the Russian ambassador whilst in Turkey has made some applaud the act while it’s given the Islamophobes fuel to the fire deeming Islam to be barbaric.

Just because someone shouts Allahu Akbar or any other religious phrases doesn’t then mean the act they do is in accordance to the Islamic rulings. Rather we go back to the Qur’an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) to judge such matters whether they are acceptable or not. Below you will see the assassination is not permissible, regardless of the fact the victim being an enemy of Islam.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو الرَّازِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سَلَمَةُ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ الْفَضْلِ – عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ، قَالَ كَانَ مُسَيْلِمَةُ كَتَبَ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏ قَالَ وَقَدْ حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ شَيْخٍ مِنْ أَشْجَعَ يُقَالُ لَهُ سَعْدُ بْنُ طَارِقٍ عَنْ سَلَمَةَ بْنِ نُعَيْمِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ الأَشْجَعِيِّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ نُعَيْمٍ قَالَ
سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ لَهُمَا حِينَ قَرَآ كِتَابَ مُسَيْلِمَةَ ‏‏ مَا تَقُولاَنِ أَنْتُمَا ‏ قَالاَ نَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏ أَمَا وَاللَّهِ لَوْلاَ أَنَّ الرُّسُلَ لاَ تُقْتَلُ لَضَرَبْتُ أَعْنَاقَكُمَا

Muhammad Ibn Ishaq said: “Musaylimah would write to Allah’s Messenger.

Nu’aym Ibn Mas‛ood said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) say to the two emissaries of Musaylimah [the false claimant to prophethood] when he had read the letter of Musaylimah:

“What do you two say?”

They responded: “We say as Musaylimah says.”

So the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said:

“By Allah, were it not for the fact that emissaries are not to be killed, I would have struck your necks.”

[Abu Dawood, no. 2761]

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ
مَنْ قَتَلَ نَفْسًا مُعَاهَدًا لَمْ يَرَحْ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ رِيحَهَا يُوجَدُ مِنْ مَسِيرَةِ أَرْبَعِينَ عَامًا ‏

Abdullah Ibn ‛Amr narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said:

“Whoever kills a person who is granted the agreement of protection by the Muslims shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelled at a distance of forty years journey.”

[Bukhari, no 6914]

The killing of ambassadors and foreign delegations is completely forbidden in Islam.

The scholars of Islam have stated that it is utterly forbidden to target, harm or kill diplomats, ambassadors, emissaries and the foreign delegations of the non-Muslims and foreigners who enter the Muslim lands. It matters not how severe their enmity is towards the Muslims, since what enmity and opposition to Islam was there greater than that of Musaylimah the liar who claimed prophethood for himself whilst the Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) was alive. This same Musaylimah who later raised an army to fight the Companions of the Prophet.

And when one considers the boldness of the two emissaries that came to the Prophet of Islam, both of whom without hesitation affirmed the false claim of Musaylimah, the Prophet was clearly displeased by this great falsehood perpetrated by their leader, yet he nevertheless affirmed the principle that emissaries are not to be killed.

Shaikh Abdul-Azeez Ibn Baz, the former Mufti of Saudi Arabia (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) was informed that there are some misguided youth who think that it is allowed to kill those non-Muslims who settle in Muslim lands as well as visitors and delegations.

So he responded with a robust answer informing them that these murderous thoughts and acts are contrary to Islam, and are forbidden.

He further stated that if one sees some opposition to Islam being perpetrated by the visitors or settlers, then one should inform the Muslim authorities and Muslim courts. And if there is no Islamic court, then one merely limits himself to sincerely advising the rulers, and directing them to do good, and to cooperate with them until the Islamic law is judged by.

As for taking the law into one’s own hands in enjoining and forbidding people by the use of force and killing, then that is not permitted.

So, one is to merely cooperate with the rulers and those in authority in the land in the best possible way until they judge by the law of Allah between the people in the Muslim lands. Other than that, there is nothing more to be done than sincere advice, and directing towards good deeds.

So, it is obligatory upon him to forbid the evil in the best manner, that is what is obligatory. Allah, the Most High, said: “Show piety and be dutiful as much as you are able.” That is because forbidding an evil by physical force in these situations by killing and striking only leads to greater evil and more corruption – and in that there is no doubt in the mind of anyone who examines these matters and knows them well.

[Abridged, see Majmoo’ Fatawa ash-Shaikh Ibn Baz 8/207]

Written by Adeel Malik

Born in Hong Kong, grew up in Scotland and ethnically Pakistani, Adeel primes himself to be a multicultural individual who is an advent social media user for the purpose of learning and propagating Islam while is also a sports fan. Being an English teacher himself, he envisions a bright future for Muslims which he strongly believes can only be done with education.

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