Q&A (Fatwa)

#344: Ruling on Killing Sorcerers in an Non-Islamic State


” As-salaamu alaikum. Is killing kuffaar who are taughut bcos of their use of jin to perform wonder permissible when we don’t have Islamic state now? What l mean is this, in few months back, people were going about killing them one after the other saying it’s allowed in shari’ah whether in Islamic state not. The same people would rob banks and claim it’s allowed. Pls l need a convincing answers with references”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh.


Firstly, Sihr are of two types. There is that whose details necessitate kufr such as any of such that implies seeking refuge in the Jinn or seeking their help in exchange for something. Most times this is the case with fortune-telling and sorcery.
And there is that form of sihr that is only haraam because it entails using verses of the Qur’an to force some Jinn to do certain things.

It should be known that to learn Sihr (sorcery and fortune-telling) and to practice it are both acts of kufr.

Shaykh Muhammad Mawlud – rahimahullaah – said in ‘Al-Kafaaf’:

والسحر قال مالك تعلمه كفر وقال كافر معلمه

“And Sihr, Mālik says learning it is Kufr; he said its Teacher is Kāfir”

Allah in the Qur’an said:
ﻭَﻻ ﻳُﻔْﻠِﺢُ ﺍﻟﺴَّﺎﺣِﺮُ ﺣَﻴْﺚُ ﺃَﺗَﻰ
‏[ ﻃﻪ 69:)،
“And the Sorcerer, fortune teller will never prosper wherever he may be” Taha: 69

The Ulamaa of tafsir have explained that what is meant by ‘never prosper’ in the verse implies kufr.

What is established is that the punishment for the one that observes Sihr – whether such sihr constitutes kufr or not – is death. This is what majority of the Muhaqqiqun established.

Shaykh Sulayman Al-Ulwan – may Allah hasten his freedom – said:

“And by so doing, the Companions – radiyallaahu anhum – have formed a consensus on the ruling of killing the male and female sorcerer and fortune teller due to the greviousness of their evils and the greatness of the danger they pose and their distance from Iman and their closeness to the Shaytaan. It is transmitted with an authentic Isnad by Abu Dawud through Sufyan from Amr bn Dinaar from Bujaala bn Abada who said: the memo of Umar – radiyallaahu an hu – came to us a year before he passed away that contains: “Execute the death sentence on every Sorcerer and Fortuneteller.”
And it is not known of any of the Companions that disagreed with this, and by that, executing the Saahir takes a similar position as the consensus of the Sahaabah – radiyallahu anhum.
And Sihr has become widespread in this era and a large number of people have been negligent enough as to visit them and seek solutions from them. And they claim that this is a form of going by the means to achieve one’s goals. This is very great munkar (evil) and a mighty danger that is encompassing, which shakes the Aqidah (creed) to its roots and threatens to uproot the Imaan.”

Shaykhu Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah maintains that the ruling of the death sentence on the Saahir is what all the Ulamaa should have a consensus on.

This is also the verdict of Imaam Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’i and Ahmad ban Hanbal. Rahimahumullaah.

As for the ruling of killing these Sorcerers in this era and place where the Islamic State does not stand, then its ruling returns to the verdicts of the Fuqahaa relating to whether or not the Had should be established in Daaru Al-Kufr (The abode of Kufr).

The Fuqahaa differ in this regard to four schools.

1. The verdict if Imaam Abu Hanifah – rahimahullah – that in the land of Kufr where the rules of Islam does not apply, it is not permissible to carry out the Hadd punishment. And such a punishment is not carried out until the state is established.

2. The verdict of Imaam Ahmad ban Hanbal – rahimahullaah – which holds that it is not permissible to establish the Hadd punishment in Daaru Al-Kufr when the armies go out and that such a punishment is differed until the armies return to the land of Islam and overlooked if the Muslims are residing in the land of Kufr.

3. The verdict of Imaam Maalik, Ash-Shaafi’i, Abu Thawr, Ibn Al-Mundhir and others is that the Hadd punishment is established even in Daaru Al-Harb

4. The verdict of some of the Hanafis and a report from Ash-Shaafi’i that the Had punishment can be established in Daaru Al-Harb if the Imaam of the Muslims is among them, otherwise, there should be no Had without the presence of the Imaam/Khalifah of the Muslims. And that is because the one who is entitled to establish the Hadd punishment is the Imaam alone.

The evidence of the jurisconsults that hold that the Had punishment is not established in Daaru Al-Kufr is that such a punishment can make a Muslim fall into Kufr and be a source of his alliance with the kuffaar against Islaam and Muslims.

The soundest verdict is that of Maalik that it should be established unless when there is in capability to do that or a preponderant consideration that the one upon whom the Hadd is established will by so doing, leave Islam.

But in the case of the Saahir, his act is one that already constitues Kufr and such a consideration does not hold in his case.

However, what must be considered with relation to him is capability. Can the Muslim Ummaah comfortably execute such a person and not invite a trouble which they cannot bear?

If they can do that, then it is very permissible that they do that and of course that is after a thorough investigation that ascertain that the act is tàntamouñt to kufr and has actually been committed by him – two things that are the basic ingredients of such a punishment in Islam. The Fatwa of an Aalim needed in that regard.

However, the Ulamaa and the wise people advise that the Muslim youths should concentrate their efforts in trying to return the glory of the Islamic State and the establishment of the Shari’ah instead of worrying of such partly established punishments.

Allāhu A’alam.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran

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