You may have come across a Hadith where a blind man kills his female slave with an axe after she reviles (abuses/insults) the Prophet p. There are different versions but the basis of the story is authentic.
Sadly, at least one anti-Islam critic on the internet has began to use the Hadith, which he found in Bulugh-al-Maram, for an explanation for an axe attack on people on a train in Germany by a teenaged Afghan refugee. It’s so disingenuous or ignorant to misuse such a Hadith to lend Islamic validity to such a terrorist attack.
Watch this video to see his claims and a response to his claims with regards to the motives of the terrorist and concerning the Hadith itself.
If the video does not play, this video is also uploaded here
Quick focus on the possible motives of the Afghan refugee terrorist
The critic links a flag which the refugee had in his home to his motives. The flag is not evidence for the motive of the attack. Why not focus on the more realistic speculation (i.e. he is a traumatised refugee who had mental problems)?
In fact, investigators are even speculating the man had psychological problems:
Investigators have speculated that the death of a close friend in Afghanistan may have left him traumatised and psychologically vulnerable.A psychiatrist currently treating traumatised refugees, many of whom have fled war zones and endured perilous journeys of thousands of miles, said that currently clinical evidence does not support a connection between traumatisation and vulnerability to the messages of extremists.
A 2015 report by Germany’s chamber of psychotherapists found that half of refugees who entered the country are experiencing psychological distress and mental illness resulting from trauma.
These figures are reflected in the sample Richter is working with.
“More than 40% of them have psychological illnesses due to their experiences while fleeing their home countries,” she said, with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and insomnia among the most common problem [IBTIMES]
In fact, Germany has had a similar attack recently in which no evidence was found that the attacker was motivated by religion but rather it was due to his psychological and drug problems (see the video above for the news report on this event)
How about the Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud?
Looks like the critic did a key word search for “axe” in a Hadith database as the attacker used an axe.
The critic finds one Hadith, for which he completely overlooks the context, in his haste to try and link this suspected mentally disturbed person with Islamic teaching. If he had looked at the longer Hadith of the same event he would have got the context.
When the woman was found there was a public investigation into the matter in order to punish the one who killed her…
This story is indicative of the justice with which the Muslims dealt with the people of the Book, which was enjoined in the sharee’ah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who was a mercy to the worlds. The rights of the Jews who are under Muslim rule are guaranteed and protected, and it is not permissible to transgress against them by causing them any annoyance or harm. Hence when the people found a Jewish woman who had been killed they were alarmed and referred the matter to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who had made the covenant with them and guaranteed them security, and who did not take the jizyah from them. He got angry and adjured the Muslims by Allaah to find out who had done this deed, so that he could determine his punishment and judge his case. But when he found out that she had transgressed the covenant several times by reviling the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and impugning him, she forfeited all her rights and deserved the hadd punishment of execution which is imposed by sharee’ah on everyone who reviles the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether he is a Muslim, a dhimmi or a mu’aahid (non-Muslim living under Muslim rule), because impugning the status of the Prophets is kufr or disbelief in Allaah the Almighty, and a transgression of every sacred limit and right and covenant, and a major betrayal which deserves the greatest punishment. [IslamQA]
When the man confessed and explained what happened the Prophet simply made a pronouncement on whether blood money/retaliation for her was due.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not choose to kill her in this manner, but because she deserved to be executed as a hadd punishment for breaking the covenant and reviling the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he did not demand qisaas* from her killer.
*Qisaas is retaliation in kind
That’s all – he was not endorsing vigilante killings and encouraging people to chop up random people on trains (it’s so ignorant/disingenuous to try and link it as such).
And in any case, think about it.
The Afghan refugee started killing random people in a non Muslim state Even if one was to try and link his act of terror to that Hadith it fails for three reasons:
1. That act was a terrorist attack on random people – terrorism is forbidden in Sharia
2. It was in a land where Sharia Hadd punishments would not apply
3. It would have been a vigilante attack (there was no trial or judge involved) – vigilantism is not allowed in Islam
As for killing a dhimmi unlawfully, it is major sin, and the warning concerning that is very stern, as was proven in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (3166) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever killed a mu’aahid will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, although its fragrance may be detected from a distance of forty years’ travel.” Imam al-Bukhaari included this report in a chapter in his Saheeh entitled “Chapter: the sin of one who kills a mu’aahid unlawfully.” [IslamQA]
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