The Prophet Muhammad(s) Prohibited The Killing of Women and Children: But What About Those Night Raids?

 

SOURCE : http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/did_prophet_muhammad_kill_innocents.htm

The Prophet Prohibited The Killing of Women and

Children: But What About Those Night Raids?

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

This article will be divided into three sections:

1) The Prophet Prohibited the Killing of Women and Children

2) The Prophet made some exceptions to the Killing of Women and Children

3) Killing of Women and Children According to the Bible

 

 

The Prophet Prohibited the Killing of Women and Children

There are so much hadith where the Prophet condemned the killing of innocent women and children during time of war that it is impossible to deny them.

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 257.

Narrated By ‘Abdullah : During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved the killing of women and children.

Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.

Narrated By Ibn ‘Umar : During some of the Ghazawat of Allah’s Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah’s Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.

Saheeh Muslim

Book 019, Hadith Number 4319.

Chapter : Prohibition of killing women and children in war.

It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that a woman was found killed in one of the battles fought by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He disapproved of the killing of women and children.

Book 019, Hadith Number 4320.

Chapter : Prohibition of killing women and children in war.

It is narrated by Ibn ‘Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children.

 

Sunan Abu Dawood

Book 008, Hadith Number 2663.
——————————
Chapter : Not known.

Narated By Rabah ibn Rabi’ : When we were with the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) on an expedition, he saw some people collected together over something and sent a man and said: See, what are these people collected around? He then came and said: They are round a woman who has been killed. He said: This is not one with whom fighting should have taken place. Khalid ibn al-Walid was in charge of the van; so he sent a man and said: Tell Khalid not to kill a woman or a hired servant.

Maliks Muwatta

Book 021, Hadith Number 008.

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab that a son of Kab ibn Malik (Malik believed that ibn Shihab said it was Abd ar-Rahman ibn Kab) said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade those who fought ibn Abi Huqayq (a treacherous jew from Madina) to kill women and children. He said that one of the men fighting had said, ‘The wife of ibn Abi Huqayq began screaming and I repeatedly raised my sword against her. Then I would remember the prohibition of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so I would stop. Had it not been for that, we would have been rid of her.'”

 

Book 021, Hadith Number 009.

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.

Book 021, Hadith Number 010.

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, “Will you ride or shall I get down?” Abu Bakrsaid, “I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah.”

Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, “You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.

“I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly.”

 

The Prophet made some exceptions to the Killing of Women and Children

 

Saheeh Bukhari

Volumn 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 256.

Narated By As-Sab bin Jaththama : The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” I also heard the Prophet saying, “The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle.”

 

Saheeh Muslim

Book 019, Hadith Number 4321.

Chapter : Permissibility of killing women and children in the night raids, provided it is not deliberate.

It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.

 

There are many possible meanings for these Hadith. I was kind of surprised when I read it at first. But we don’t know the EXACT situation or what the Prophet truly meant. Maybe, maybe THOSE particular women and children were planning to fight against the Muslims with the enemy.

Maybe the Muslim army just could not have blown this chance to attack the enemy that they still had to attack them no matter at what cost in order to stop the risk of more blood shed (do a little bad for the greater good).

The very fact that the companions of the Prophet asked the Prophet’s permission shows that the Prophet used to be strict regarding his prohibition on the killing of women and children. However, when a situation arises and there is no choice, things could get ugly. The Prophet even forbade the cutting down of palm trees in war, however during the siege of Banu Nadir the Prophet had to make an exception. So exceptions do arise unfortunately.

Imam Ibn Hajar Al Asaqalani says in Fath Al- Baari that the point is not to target the women and children intentionally but if there is absolutely no other way to kill the enemy than by injuring the women and children because they are mixed with the men then there is no other choice. (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=4747)

Another possibility is that the hadith has been abrogated and that even if women and children accompany the enemy during war then they still should not be killed. (See http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=4747 for the evidence)

Imam Nawawi says in his tafseer of Saheeh Muslim that women and children are only killed only if they cannot be distinguished. But because it was so dark and they could not be distinguished, the Muslims had not choice. (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=1&Rec=4215)

The tafseer of Abu Dawud says the same thing here (Source: http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=4&Rec=3291)

 

Killing of Women and Children According to the Bible

If Muslims ever get any trouble from a Christian that says Islam advocates for the killing of innocent women and children then give him a taste of his own Bible.

1 Samuel 15:2,3

2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy [a] everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ “

Numbers 31:17,18

17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Deuteronomy 20:16

16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.

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