Blasphemy and Islamic Perspective, What Qur’an and Hadith Says
“For those asking about blasphemy in Islam. Qur’an narrates how the Prophet (saw) was insulted by unbelievers in many verses. He was called a liar, a sorcerer, an insane, etc. But what Qur’an says Muslims should do if they heard someone mocking the Prophet?
Qur’an, the first source of Shari’a, didn’t mention any earthly punishment for blasphemy. Allah calls on Muslims to not blasphem against deities of other religions and not sit with people who mock Allah or the Messenger of God.
The Ahadith that mentions blasphemy killings as the ones reported by Bukhari and Muslim (the killings of Ka’ab bn Ashraf), even if accepted as authentic, is related to his offence of inciting Quraysh against Muslims (a treason), not only his words as some scholars argue.
There are debatable and contradicting Ahadith on blasphemy as the one reported by Abu Dawood that Imam Ali (as) narrated the story of a Jewess slave who abused the Prophet. In one narration he disapproved it and asked the killer to pay ransom. He approved it in the other!
Muslim Jurists have been debating blasphemy law in Islam. Some say it is the same as apostasy (another law that wasn’t mentioned in the Quran). Maliki and Hanbali Jurists say the guilty shouldn’t be spared. They give no option for repentance! But Shafi’i Jurists accept repentance
Sunni count insulting the companions of the Prophet Muhammad in the list of blasphemous statements (read “Kitabus Shifaa” by Qadhi Iyadh, targeting shiites), and Shiites take insulting Imams as blasphemy (targeting the Sunni Nawasibs). A sectarian politics here.
If punishment (killing) for blasphemy was mentioned in the Qur’an, as flogging was mentioned as a punishment for adultery, there wouldn’t be these debates and controversies. Allah didn’t mention it and the Prophet didn’t practice it, even though it was done when he was alive.
You may ask, where is my stand? As a Muslim I do what Qur’an says, “When you hear Allah’s revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them.” (4:140).
So many emotions are clouding this debate and many scholars with alternative views fear to digest the topic. Thousands of extremists who don’t entertain “other” views are out there trying to either excommunicate or kill anyone with different views.”
The problem we have in Nigeria is that Northern Nigerians want Sharia Law so bad and the conservative Sharia of stoning people to death for adultery and killing people for blasphemy. It is simple as that. This is what encourages Boko Haram. This type of shallow interpretations of the Quran by illiterate scholars in a secular state like Nigeria.
Many state governments in Arewa just do this thing to pacify religious extremist groups to get support. That’s exactly what happened in the case of Boko Haram who were pampered and associated with until they became a threat to the government and traditional institutions.
What is your view about Blasphemy and it’s punishment? Drop your comments below