Islam & ISIS – Beheadings & Mutilation of the dead
I wonder what this girl will grow up to be if she remains in that environment. Anyway, Welcome to part seven of this series! Here we’ll look at beheadings as a method of execution in Islam and the issue of mutilating the dead and whether these things can be justified within Islam’s textual sources or not. As we’ve already covered many topics already, some matters are bound to repeat themselves a little so I’ll try to keep it brief where this occurs, like the issue of beheadings. In part 6, which covered the execution of prisoners, we saw that Muhammad according to his most reputable sira, or biography, beheaded at least 600 people in just one day. So we already have a clear precedent, showing us that Muhammad used this method of execution that ISIS used so frequently today. But beheadings are not exclusively the work of terrorist groups like Islamic State or their predecessors. The Saudis have been beheading people ever since their kingdom was born. You’d think now that there is an outrage to this method of execution when ISIS does it, that the Saudis might quietly stop this method of execution. But it seems it’s have the opposite effect. As if the Saudis felt competition in this regard and don’t want to be outdone by ISIS. In 2014 the Saudis beheaded 88 people. In 2015 that number rose to 158 and this year they’ve already surpassed the 100 barrier in July. Just over halfway through the year. So they safely on track to set a new record for the 21st century. We mentioned the Battle of Badr and the execution of prisoners in the last part. Here’s another example of an execution in this battle. This time it would (was?) arguably the man who would stood up to Muhammad the most in Mecca. A man by the name of Amr ibn Hisham. But Muslims today know him as Abu Jahl, which means the father of ignorance. After Muhammad had labeled him with this slur. The act of throwing the decapitated head to the ground is flirting a little with the idea of mutilating the dead. But in any case, the issue of beheading here is quite clear. And in case Muslims want to conveniently dispute the sources outside the Quran let’s look into the Quran to see whether beheading human beings as a method of execution, is tolerated or even, dare I suggest, ordered by Islam. Now, we already mentioned this verse when we found out that the Quran orders Muslims to use terrorism as a tactic in battle. In case anyone tries to tell us the wording “strike of their heads” actually means “give them a nice haircut” and trust me, I’ve seen apologists use similarly ridiculous excuses. Let’s look at what Ibn Kathir’s commentary here tells us. Beheading people is also commanded in chapter 47, verse 4. If we read the commentary of Imam Qurtubi, we read his analysis of this verse. Now onto mutilation of bodies. According to Muslim law, mutilation of dead bodies is forbidden in the wider sense. But is allowed as a part of retribution if their enemies had mutilated their dead. We find the forbidding of mutilating bodies here in a hadith in Sahih Bukhari The instruction here seems pretty clear. But according to Muslim theology, scholars have determined that mutilating the dead is in fact permissible if the enemies had done something similar first. This here is a fatwa on a popular Islamic website justifying the burning and mutilation of the 4 US contractors in Fallujah. Who were burned and dragged through the streets of the city in 2004. They cite verses allowing revenge as justification for those actions. But we see that the act of mutilating the dead justified more clearly in another source. In the Battle of Uhud, the Meccan pagans defeated the Muslims. One of their leading women, Hind, ordered a slave to assassinate Muhammad’s uncle Hamza who killed her brother and nephew at the earlier battle of Badr. She ripped open his body after the battle and left Hamza mutilated. We read about this story in the commentary of Jalalayn for chapter 16, verse 126. The explanation to this verse is used to suggest that mutilating the dead is only permissible in equal response. But it’s best to avoid. So mutilation of the dead is allowed in Islam as long as it’s revenge for a similar offense against the Muslims. Earlier in the video we spoke about the beheading of one of the main opponents of Muhammad in the pagan army of the battle of Badr, who was beheaded and his head was thrown towards Muhammad. We have a little more detail on the story in a commentary of the Qur’an by Al-Alusi A sunni salafist who lived in the 19th century. We are told the man who beheaded him, Abdullah Ibn Masud, had previously been slapped by Amr ibn Hisham, who Muslims call Abu Jahl. After reading the Quran out loud for the first time. This slap caused his ear to bleed. When Abdullah ibn Masud beheaded him later at the battle of Badr, we read here that he was too weak to carry his head. Aah, that Angel Gabriel really has a sense of humor, always the joker. So anyway in conclusion to point 7, there is absolutely no dispute that beheading is commanded by Islam. It’s a little contentious however to suggest that mutilation is endorsed outright by the religion. The mainstream opinion appears to discourage it, only making it permissible in equal retaliation. The next part of this series will be looking at brutality in the general sense. When we see ISIS burning people alive, drowning them, lowering them into acid etc. We’ll see whether burning people can be justified and whether Muslims are allowed to come up with brutal executions in order to terrorize their opponents. That’s it for now. Share this video where you can and see you next time!