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Combatants and Noncombatants

Allah excluded some people;

﴿ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَہُم مِّيثَـٰقٌ

(Except those who join a group, between you and whom there is a treaty (of peace),) meaning, except those who join and take refuge with a people with whom you have a pact of peace, or people of Dhimmah, then treat them as you treat the people with whom you have peace. This is the saying of As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir. In his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded the story of the treaty of Al-Hudaybiyyah, where it was mentioned that whoever liked to have peace with Quraysh and conduct a pact with them, then they were allowed. Those who liked to have peace with Muhammad and his Companions and enter a pact with them were allowed. It was reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah was later abrogated by Allah's statement,

﴿ فَإِذَا ٱنسَلَخَ ٱلۡأَشۡہُرُ ٱلۡحُرُمُ فَٱقۡتُلُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ حَيۡثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمۡ

(Then when the Sacred Months have passed, kill the idolators wherever you find them) Allah said,

﴿ أَوۡ جَآءُوكُمۡ حَصِرَتۡ صُدُورُهُمۡ

(or those who approach you with their breasts restraining) referring to another type of people covered by the exclusion from fighting. They are those who approach the Muslims with hesitation in their hearts because of their aversion to fighting the Muslims. They do not have the heart to fight with the Muslims against their own people. Therefore, they are neither with nor against Muslims.

﴿ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَسَلَّطَهُمۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فَلَقَـٰتَلُوكُمۡ‌ۚ

(Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.) meaning, it is from Allah's mercy that He has stopped them from fighting you.

﴿ فَإِنِ ٱعۡتَزَلُوكُمۡ فَلَمۡ يُقَـٰتِلُوكُمۡ وَأَلۡقَوۡاْ إِلَيۡكُمُ ٱلسَّلَمَ

(So, if they withdraw from you, and fight not against you, and offer you peace,) meaning, they revert to peace,

﴿ فَمَا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَبِيلاً۬

(then Allah has opened no way for you against them), you do not have the right to kill them, as long as they take this position. This was the position of Banu Hashim (the tribe of the Prophet), such as Al-`Abbas, who accompanied the idolators in the battle of Badr, for they joined the battle with great hesitation. This is why the Prophet commanded that Al-`Abbas not be killed, but only captured. Allah's statement,

﴿ سَتَجِدُونَ ءَاخَرِينَ يُرِيدُونَ أَن يَأۡمَنُوكُمۡ وَيَأۡمَنُواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ

(You will find others that wish to have security from you and security from their people.) refers to a type of people who on the surface appear to be like the type we just mentioned. However, the intention of each type is different, for the latter are hypocrites. They pretend to be Muslims with the Prophet and his Companions, so that they could attain safety with the Muslims for their blood, property and families. However, they support the idolators in secret and worship what they worship, so that they are at peace with them also. These people have secretly sided with the idolators, just as Allah described them,

﴿ وَإِذَا خَلَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ شَيَـٰطِينِهِمۡ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا مَعَكُمۡ

(But when they are alone with their Shayatin, they say: "Truly, we are with you.''). In this Ayah, Allah said,

﴿ كُلَّ مَا رُدُّوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلۡفِتۡنَةِ أُرۡكِسُواْ فِيہَا‌ۚ

(Every time they are sent back to Fitnah, they yield thereto.) meaning, they dwell in Fitnah. As-Suddi said that the Fitnah mentioned here refers to Shirk. Ibn Jarir recorded that Mujahid said that the Ayah was revealed about a group from Makkah who used to go to the Prophet ﴿in Al-Madinah pretending to be Muslims. However, when they went back to Quraysh, they reverted to worshipping idols. They wanted to be at peace with both sides. Allah commanded they should be fought against, unless they withdraw from combat and resort to peace. This is why Allah said,

﴿ فَإِن لَّمۡ يَعۡتَزِلُوكُمۡ وَيُلۡقُوٓاْ إِلَيۡكُمُ ٱلسَّلَمَ

(If they withdraw not from you, nor offer you peace) meaning, revert to peaceful and complacent behavior,

﴿ وَيَكُفُّوٓاْ أَيۡدِيَهُمۡ

(nor restrain their hands) refrain from fighting you,

﴿ فَخُذُوهُمۡ

(take (hold of) them), capture them,

﴿ وَٱقۡتُلُوهُمۡ حَيۡثُ ثَقِفۡتُمُوهُمۡ‌ۚ

(and kill them wherever you Thaqiftumuhum.), wherever you find them,

﴿ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكُمۡ جَعَلۡنَا لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ سُلۡطَـٰنً۬ا مُّبِينً۬ا

(In their case, We have provided you with a clear warrant against them), meaning an unequivocal and plain warrant.

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤۡمِنٍ أَن يَقۡتُلَ مُؤۡمِنًا إِلَّا خَطَـًٔ۬ا‌ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤۡمِنًا خَطَـًٔ۬ا فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَةٍ۬ وَدِيَةٌ۬ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ أَن يَصَّدَّقُواْ‌ۚ فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوۡمٍ عَدُوٍّ۬ لَّكُمۡ وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَةٍ۬‌ۖ وَإِن ڪَانَ مِن قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَـٰقٌ۬ فَدِيَةٌ۬ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِۦ وَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَةٍ۬‌ۖ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ شَهۡرَيۡنِ مُتَتَابِعَيۡنِ تَوۡبَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَڪِيمً۬ا وَمَن يَقۡتُلۡ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا فَجَزَآؤُهُ ۥ جَهَنَّمُ خَـٰلِدً۬ا فِيہَا وَغَضِبَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَلَعَنَهُ ۥ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ ۥ عَذَابًا عَظِيمً۬ا

(92. It is not for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake; and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, he must set free a believing slave and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed); and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, then compensation (blood money) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (93. And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein; and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.)

The Ruling Concerning Killing a Believer by Mistake

Allah states that the believer is not allowed to kill his believing brother under any circumstances. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا يَحِلُّ دَمُ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَأَنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ، إِلَّا بِإِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ: النَّفْسُ بِالنَّفْسِ، وَالثَّيِّبُ الزَّانِي، وَالتَّارِكُ لِدِينِهِ الْمُفَارِقُ لِلْجَمَاعَة »

(The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is sacred, except in three instances. (They are:) life for life, the married adulterer, and whoever reverts from the religion and abandons the Jama`ah (community of the faithful believers).) When one commits any of these three offenses, it is not up to ordinary citizens to kill him or her, because this is the responsibility of the Muslim Leader or his deputy. Allah said,

﴿ إِلَّا خَطَـًٔ۬ا‌ۚ

(except by mistake). There is a difference of opinion concerning the reason behind revealing this part of the Ayah. Mujahid and others said that it was revealed about `Ayyash bin Abi Rabi`ah, Abu Jahl's half brother, from his mother's side, Asma' bint Makhrabah. `Ayyash killed a man called Al-Harith bin Yazid Al-`Amiri, out of revenge for torturing him and his brother because of their Islam. That man later embraced Islam and performed Hijrah, but `Ayyash did not know this fact. On the Day of the Makkan conquest, `Ayyash saw that man and thought that he was still a disbeliever, so he attacked and killed him. Later, Allah sent down this Ayah. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Ad-Darda' because he killed a man after he embraced the faith, just as Abu Ad-Darda' held the sword above him. When this matter was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah , Abu Ad-Darda' said, "He only said that to avert death.'' The Prophet said to him,

« هَلَّا شَقَقْتَ عَنْ قَلْبِه »

(Have you opened his heart) The basis for this story is in the Sahih, but it is not about Abu Ad-Darda'. Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن قَتَلَ مُؤۡمِنًا خَطَـًٔ۬ا فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَةٍ۬ وَدِيَةٌ۬ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِۦۤ

(and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, he must set free a believing slave and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family) thus, ordaining two requirements for murder by mistake. The first requirement is the Kaffarah (fine) for the great sin that has been committed, even if it was a mistake. The Kaffarah is to free a Muslim slave, not a non-Muslim slave. Imam Ahmad recorded that a man from the Ansar said that he brought a slave and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I have to free a believing slave, so if you see that this slave is a believer, I will free her.'' The Messenger of Allah asked her,

« أَتَشْهَدِينَ أَنْ لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ؟ »

(Do you testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah) She said, "Yes.'' He asked her,

« أَتَشْهَدِينَ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ؟ »

(Do you testify that I am the Messenger of Allah) She said, "Yes.'' He asked,

« أَتُؤْمِنِينَ بِالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ؟ »

(Do you believe in Resurrection after death) She said, "Yes.'' The Prophet said,

« أَعْتِقْهَا »

(Then free her.) This is an authentic chain of narration, and not knowing the name of the Ansari Companion does not lessen its authenticity. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَدِيَةٌ۬ مُّسَلَّمَةٌ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِۦۤ

(and submit compensation (blood money) to the deceased's family) is the second obligation which involves the killer and the family of the deceased, who will receive blood money as compensation for their loss. The compensation is only obligatory for the one who possesses one of five; as Imam Ahmad, and the Sunan compilers recorded from Ibn Mas`ud. He said; "Allah's Messenger determined that the Diyah (blood money) for unintentional murder is twenty camels which entered their fourth year, twenty camels which entered their fifth year, twenty camels which entered their second year, and twenty camels which entered their third year.'' This is the wording of An-Nasa'i. This Diyah is required from the elders of the killer's tribe, not from his own money. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "Two women from Hudhayl quarreled and one of them threw a stone at the other and killed her and her unborn fetus. They disputed before the Messenger of Allah and he decided that the Diyah of the fetus should be to free a male or a female slave. He also decided that the Diyah of the deceased is required from the elders of the killer's tribe.'' This Hadith indicates that in the case of what appears to be intentional murder, the Diyah is the same as that for killing by virtual mistake. The former type requires three types of Diyah, just like intentional murder, because it is somewhat similar to intentional murder. Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah sent Khalid bin Al-Walid to Banu Jadhimah and he called them to Islam, but they did not know how to say, `We became Muslims.' They started saying, `Saba'na, Saba'na (we became Sabians). Khalid started killing them, and when this news was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah , he raised his hands and said,

« اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَبْرَأُ إِلَيْكَ مِمَّا صَنَعَ خَالِد »

(O Allah! I declare my innocence before You of what Khalid did.) The Messenger sent `Ali to pay the Diyah of those who were killed and to compensate for the property that was destroyed, to the extent of replacing the dog's bowl. This Hadith indicates that the mistake of the Leader or his deputy (Khalid in this case) is paid from the Muslim Treasury. Allah said,

﴿ إِلَّآ أَن يَصَّدَّقُواْ‌ۚ

(unless they remit it), meaning, the Diyah must be delivered to the family of the deceased, unless they forfeit their right, in which case the Diyah does not become necessary. Allah's statement,

﴿ فَإِن كَانَ مِن قَوۡمٍ عَدُوٍّ۬ لَّكُمۡ وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَتَحۡرِيرُ رَقَبَةٍ۬ مُّؤۡمِنَةٍ۬‌ۖ

(If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed);) means, if the murdered person was a believer, yet his family were combatant disbelievers, then they will receive no Diyah. In this case, the murderer only has to free a believing slave. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِن ڪَانَ مِن قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَـٰقٌ۬

(and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance,) meaning, if the family of the deceased were from Ahl Adh-Dhimmah or with whom there is a peace treaty, then they deserve his Diyah; full Diyah if the deceased was a believer, in which case the killer is required to free a believing slave also.

﴿ فَمَن لَّمۡ يَجِدۡ فَصِيَامُ شَهۡرَيۡنِ مُتَتَابِعَيۡنِ

(And whoso finds this beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months) without breaking the fast (in the days of) the two months. If he breaks the fast without justification, i.e. illness, menstruation, post-natal bleeding, then he has to start all over again. Allah's statement,

﴿ تَوۡبَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَڪِيمً۬ا

(to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) means, this is how the one who kills by mistake can repent, he fasts two consecutive months if he does not find a slave to free.

﴿ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَڪِيمً۬ا

(And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise), we mentioned the explanation of this before.

Warning Against Intentional Murder

After Allah mentioned the ruling of unintentional murder, He mentioned the ruling for intentional murder. Allah said,

﴿ وَمَن يَقۡتُلۡ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally,) This Ayah carries a stern warning and promise for those who commit so grave a sin that it is mentioned along with Shirk in several Ayat of Allah's Book. For instance, in Surat Al-Furqan, Allah said,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَدۡعُونَ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا ءَاخَرَ وَلَا يَقۡتُلُونَ ٱلنَّفۡسَ ٱلَّتِى حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّ

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause). Allah said,

﴿ قُلۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ أَتۡلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّڪُمۡ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ‌ۖ أَلَّا تُشۡرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا‌ۖ

(Say: "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him.) (6:151). There are many Ayat and Hadiths that prohibit murder. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَوَّلُ مَا يُقْضَى بَيْنَ النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِي الدِّمَاء »

(Blood offenses are the first disputes to be judged between the people on the Day of Resurrection. ) In a Hadith that Abu Dawud recorded, `Ubadah bin As-Samit states that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا يَزَالُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مُعْنِقًا صَالِحًا، مَا لَمْ يُصِبْ دَمًا حَرَامًا، فَإِذَا أَصَابَ دَمًا حَرَامًا بَلَّح »

(The believer will remain unburdened in righteousness as long as he does not shed prohibited blood. When he sheds forbidden blood, he will become burdened.) Another Hadith, states,

« لَزَوَالُ الدُّنْيَا أَهْوَنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ مِنْ قَتْلِ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِم »

(The destruction of this earthly life is less significant before Allah than killing a Muslim man (or woman).)

Will the Repentance of those who Commit Intentional Murder, be Accepted

Ibn `Abbas held the view that the repentance of one who intentionally murders a believer, will not be accepted. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Jubayr said, "The people of knowledge of Al-Kufah differed on this subject, I traveled to Ibn `Abbas to ask him about it. He said, `This Ayah,

﴿ وَمَن يَقۡتُلۡ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا فَجَزَآؤُهُ ۥ جَهَنَّمُ

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell) was the last revealed (on this subject) and nothing abrogated it.''' Muslim and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. However, the majority of scholars of the earlier and later generations said that the killer's repentance can be accepted. If he repents, and goes back to Allah humbly, submissively, and performing righteous deeds, then Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds and compensate the deceased for his loss by rewarding him for his suffering. Allah said,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَدۡعُونَ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا ءَاخَرَ

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah), until,

﴿ إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلاً۬ صَـٰلِحً۬ا

(Except those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds). The Ayah we just mentioned should not be considered abrogated or only applicable to the disbelievers ﴿who become Muslim, for this contradicts the general, encompassing indications of the Ayah and requires evidence to support it. Allah knows best. Allah said,

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰعِبَادِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسۡرَفُواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ لَا تَقۡنَطُواْ مِن رَّحۡمَةِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the mercy of Allah). This Ayah is general, covering all types of sins, including Kufr, Shirk, doubt, hypocrisy, murder, sin, and so forth. Therefore, everyone who repents sincerely from any of these errors, then Allah will forgive him. Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَغۡفِرُ أَن يُشۡرَكَ بِهِۦ وَيَغۡفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٲلِكَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ‌ۚ

(Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him (in worship), but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills). This Ayah is general and includes every sin except Shirk, and it has been mentioned in this Surah, both after this Ayah and before it, in order to encourage hope in Allah, and Allah knows best. It is confirmed in the Two Sahihs, that an Israeli killed one hundred people then he asked a scholar, "Is it possible for me to repent'' So he replied, "What is there that would prevent you from repentance'' So he told him to go to another land where Allah was worshipped. He began to emigrate to it but died on the way, and the angel of mercy was the one to take him. Although this Hadith is about an Israeli, it is even more suitable for the Muslim community that their repentance be accepted. Indeed, Allah relieved Muslims from the burdens and restrictions that were placed on the Jews, and He sent our Prophet with the easy Hanifiyyah way (Islamic Monotheism). As for the honorable Ayah,

﴿ وَمَن يَقۡتُلۡ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا

(And whoever kills a believer intentionally), Abu Hurayrah and several among the Salaf said that this is his punishment, if Allah decides to punish him. And this is the case with every threat that is issued for every sin. For instance, there could be good deeds that this person has done that would prevent him from being punished for that, and Allah knows best. Even if the murderer inevitably enters the Fire -- as Ibn `Abbas stated because his repentance was not accepted, or he did not have good deeds to save him, he will not remain there for eternity, but only for a long time. There are Mutawatir Hadiths stating that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّهُ يَخْرُجُ مِنَ النَّارِ مَنْ كَانَ فِي قَلْبِهِ أَدْنَى ذَرَّةٍ مِنْ إِيمَان »

(Whoever has the least speck of faith in his heart shall ultimately depart the Fire.)

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا ضَرَبۡتُمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلَا تَقُولُواْ لِمَنۡ أَلۡقَىٰٓ إِلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلسَّلَـٰمَ لَسۡتَ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا تَبۡتَغُونَ عَرَضَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فَعِندَ ٱللَّهِ مَغَانِمُ ڪَثِيرَةٌ۬‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ ڪُنتُم مِّن قَبۡلُ فَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرً۬ا

(94. O you who believe! When you go (to fight) in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you: "You are not a believer;'' seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There is much more benefit with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before, till Allah conferred on you His Favors, therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is Ever Well-Aware of what you do.)