Social Justice Ep 19
Channel: Omar Suleiman
Series: Omar Suleiman – Social Justice
File Size: 15.59MB
“The Definition, Categories, and Prohibition of Torture in Islam”
All right. So now I want to lay out a castle.
Model hamdulillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah Karim Ali he was assuming cathedra the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. We asked him to send his peace and blessings upon His messengers and prophets.
And those that follow in their path,
we can get the noise level down, I think the door needs to be closed.
From the dealer. All right. So, tonight we are in Hadeeth 20. No, we're not we're not deep 19 Sorry, I made that mistake. So we get to these 19. Now we're almost at the halfway mark of the 40 Hadeeth.
Who can tell me what we spoke about last week?
neighbors? Did anyone do anything about it?
So what did you do when people came trick or treating to your house today?
All right, that's another discussion we'll get into one day.
So anyway, last week, we spoke about all of the rights, the expensive rights that are assigned to the neighbors, the specifics, the mechanics, both a classical application, and a contemporary application. It was one of my favorite holocausts, personally, because it really gives us a a practical roadmap to how to establish the rights of the neighbors in a modern day context. Because often when we read those things, we just, you know, we throw them all out the window and say that was for a different time when neighbors actually spoke to each other. But now we live in a different time. So we can apply any of those things. So I hope everyone was able to apply, or start to apply
or start thinking about how to apply the Hadith the sayings, about the neighbors. Today, we go to a different topic altogether. Tonight, we're going to actually talk about the subject of torture, torture.
Obviously, this falls within the discussion of social justice, because within the context of torture, their domain of torture, you have many injustices, you have the injustice of the torture itself. You have the injustice of forced confessions,
you know, investigative torture, all of these different things fall in the domain of this broad category of torture. Now, the word torture in the Arabic language is the means punishment, but it also means torture if it's used in a specific way. It also means torture, and the Hadith that we're going to discuss the narration we're going to discuss as a hadith the first Hadith is the Hadith of the Prophet slicin. from Abu huraira, about the Allah tala and who he said in Allah, you are as liberal Latina, you are as the woundedness of dunya. That Allah punishes those who torture people in this world. And it's very interesting here because in what First of all, in one narration, or in
some narration, there's actually multiple narrations in this language. The prophets lie some either says in the law you as the you as the will Latina, you are the one of dunya Allah punishes those who torture in this world and then sometimes Allah punishes those who torture people in this world. So it's either tortures in general, or tortures people in this world. Now notice that this is one of those ahadeeth where like the name of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam, did not tell us about any distinction about who the person that's being tortured is or whether the person is a Muslim or non Muslim or and a captive or an ally or whatever it may be. Just
period, the prohibition of torture as a whole. And there's a story as well, where we learn this hadith and how it was applied.
He shouted no Hakeem, he was he passed by some people in in humps in Syria. And he saw that there was some people that were being made to stand out in the sun, and they had some oil that was being poured on their heads. And he asked, Why are they being tortured? And they said, because they weren't paying their taxes. Thank god they don't do that now.
But you know, if you if you just think about a punishment, because they were not paying the taxes, and he said, I heard the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam say, in the law, you as the Buddha, Deena, you are the one and NASA for dunya. Allah punishes those who torture people in this world that barely Allah will torture, actually, it's the same word. So Allah will torture those who torture in this world. Now, this is obviously referring to, you know, referring to someone who's in a position of authority, and it's also referring to someone who's not in a position of authority. Now, if we look at this handy, there are a few different connotations to it. Another Hadith if you
guys can make sure the door stays closed. Another Hadith of the prophets lie Selim comes under the chapter and Bahati and I'm just going to give the basic narrations and we'll go into some of the details comes under a Buhari in a chapter Bab, la you will be either Billa no one should be punished with the punishment of God. No one should be punished with the punishment of Allah. Okay. And this comes from a Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam, where the Prophet alayhi salatu salam said, led to the Boo, the other Billa do not punish with the punishment of God, do not punish with the punishment of God or don't don't torture with the punishment of God. What is the profit slice I'm
talking about here?
Fire. So the prohibition in Islam, in all forms of punishment, even justified punishment of punishing people with fire. You know, there was a hole when ISIS burned the Jordanian pilot alive in, you know, in a cage in such a gruesome way. And that was broadcast throughout the world. What Islam was that when the Prophet sly Salaam, said do not punish with the punishment of Allah and completely prohibited punishment with fire torture with fire. And it was really interesting because he caught you know, it goes back to the very first hadith of this 40 Hadith series. Where that Allah subhanaw taala has prohibited volume for himself. He's prohibited oppression for himself. So do not
oppress one another, that when a person oppresses, they put themselves in the position of Allah, Who gave you the right to oppress another creation of Allah subhanaw taala or to torture, another creation of Allah subhanaw taala. So the prophets lie. Some could have said don't punish people with fire. But it's very eloquent when he says don't punish with the punishment of God, meaning only Allah reserves the right to punish people with fire. And no one of course no one would be punished with fire on the Day of Judgment except one who truly deserves to be punished by Allah subhanaw taala but Who do you think you are to interfere or to put yourself in that place? And you have to
keep in mind here that if you study the seventh century, particularly the way that captives of war were dealt with, if you study the the Romans and the Persians throwing, you know, burning people at the stake, burning prisoners of war at the stake was a very common thing burning off limbs, poking, you know, casting out the eyes or plucking the eyes with burning iron.
We read about the pharaohs obviously for their own, throwing people into a fire of habit of dude, the people of the ditch, who are mentioned in the Quran, who were thrown into a ditch of fire for, you know, in Yemen, before Islam, but believing in the lowest penalty just for being monotheists thrown into the fire and being burned. And obviously now, it's sad, but you hear about the Rohingya that they are being punished that you know, that this genocide that's taking place over there, people are literally having to watch their babies being thrown into fire in front of their eyes, only because they're Muslims, right, this genocide and ethnic cleansing that's taking place in
Burma. So the prophets I send them here is saying that certain things only belong to Allah subhanaw taala and do not punish with the punishment of Allah subhanaw taala don't punish with the punishment of fire. And aim, Rahim Allah has a very powerful quote. He said that this was the punishment that was used against Ibrahim and Islam against Abraham. Fire was the punishment that was used against Ibrahim it is set up, not by the followers of the blame race. How could anyone who claims to be a follower of the Buddha he might he has set up a resort to resort to torturing
The way that Ibrahim on Islam was tortured, or they attempted to torture him when they threw him into his fire at the order of his father. So there's the first Hadith which is in that Allah subhanaw taala. punishes people who torture people in this world, no matter who they are. And then there's the second Hadith do not punish or torture with the punishment of Allah Subhana Allah to Allah. Now there are general a hadith that obviously teach us that the way that we deal with each other is how we're going to be dealt with with Allah subhanaw taala. So for example, the Hadith of the Prophet, slice them in the mail Pamela Herman evadne, here rohana that Allah will show mercy to
those who are merciful to each other. And then he says, some alarming some the opposite of the men lay out your ham, whoever does not show mercy will not have mercy shown to him by Allah subhanho wa Taala. So you'll often find the Prophet peace be upon him giving us both sides of this one positive reinforcement, one negative reinforcement, that if you want Allah's mercy, then you need to show mercy to other people, the way that you treat others is how you'll be treated by Allah subhana wa Tada. And then on the other hand, those who don't show mercy will not be shown mercy, by Allah subhanho wa Taala. The and the discussion of torture in Islam spans far beyond just talking about
human beings, right? In fact, it's interesting, most of the Hadith about torture have to do with animals, the vast majority of ahadeeth about torture, and we'll probably get to animals in two or three weeks, had these 21 or 22. We'll talk about animals, but almost all of them are about animals. So it's sort of it shouldn't be deduced that if you can't treat animals this way, then you certainly can't treat human beings this way. But what's the most famous Hadith about torture that you all can think of? That you heard in Sunday School growing up?
What about a cat?
Cat and woman?
Okay, so the very famous Hadith where the prophets lie Selim said that a woman was was punished because of a cat
that she imprisoned,
meaning she caged that cat and didn't allow that cat to to find its natural food, nor did she feed the cat or provide water to the cat. So her torturing the cat in the profit slice and then said that she entered into Hellfire, because of the way that she treated that cat because she stopped that cat from being able to eat or drink and that was a form of torture. Okay, starving that cat.
There's the Hadith there. All of the Hadith about branding animals, the Prophet slicin and mentioning those who brand animals and and the punishment of those who torture their animals, the profit slice, I'm talking about those who torture their cannibals, camels, cannibals. That's a new word. camels or riding beasts with too much, overburdening them. Right in the profit slice I mentioned that they would testify to a loss of hundreds out on the day of judgment about the owner that overburden them, the profit slice, I'm talking about the one who tortured the birds, that Mother, you know, the mother whose eggs were taken, right, so there are numerous Hadith about
torturing animals, which means that the subject of torture spans far beyond human beings. It goes to animals and it goes to also, you know, it even goes to insects to some extent. All right. So, how does this then translate into the way that people are supposed to be treated? First, you start with prisoners, okay, prisoners. And obviously, when we think about the world that we live in today, if you think about Guantanamo Bay, if you think about above, Ray, if you think about the secret prisons around the world, if you think about the type of torture that takes place in prisons, the discussions on waterboarding, the type of torture that takes place, in many prisons, this is not
some, you know, Caveman's world that we're talking about. We're talking about our world today that this is still a very common feature of our society. And we as in our country, has led the way in torture in many different ways. But we've tortured in different parts of the world where, where we cannot be subject to the laws that we claim to abide by. So torture is not some feature, that that was carried out by early governments, but it is a feature that we see today of our societies. But if you start with the concept of prisoners with the subject of prisoners, there's a very famous story about cinema, about the Allahu taala and home cinema was the chief of bento hanifa. So Mama was the
chief of bento Hanif and he was one of the greatest enemies of the Prophet sallallahu sallam,
and he actively used to target and harmless slums. And he was captured in Medina. And when he was captured in Medina, they brought him to the masjid and he was tied to a pillar in the masjid
In his mind, he's going to be mutilated piece by piece because the mama now bento hanifa was famous for torture. This is actually some of the backdrop. Ben hanifa. That's where the first false prophet and Islam came from masala al Qaeda, and he literally picked people limb by limb, that disbelieved in him that refuse to call him a prophet bento. hanifa was a rough tribe, and he's the chief of that tribe. So he's tied to the pillar of the masjid. And the prophets I seldom comes up to him and he tells him what do you have to say for yourself? Oh, phenomena? He said, Yeah, Muhammad.
I'm a man who, who if you take care of I will take care of you. And if you don't, then things are gonna happen. So he said, in Texel, talk to the demon if you kill, then other people will end up being killed on Turner, mTOR Nirmala Shakur, and if you show benevolence, you'll be showing benevolence to a man who will be grateful meaning I'll take care of you, if you let me go. The province I'm left them alone. So he stayed there tied up in the masjid, for a day. The next day the Prophet peace be upon him came to him and he asked him the same thing. What do you have to say for yourself? He said, the same thing. He said, Listen, if you kill me, other people will be killed. If
you show me benevolence, and generosity, then you will do so to a grateful man, the prophets lie some left them alone. A second day came from a third day setting, what do you have to say for yourself? said the exact same thing. The Prophet peace be upon him set up the clothes the moment he said, You know, I just let him go.
Now the companions were shocked. Why would he say let him go after all he's done to us. Why did he say let him go? So nama went outside, he didn't go, he performed ablution. And they came back to the Prophet peace be upon him. And he became a Muslim.
He accepted Islam. And this was a really interesting, I mean, this is a long story. It's a powerful story because the nama knowing the man that he was, he was on his way to Mecca.
On a trade route, and he's a diplomat, right? He's someone who's well respected in Mecca. He's a powerful man. And he told the prophets lie some I want to do ombre How do I do the pilgrimage? How do I do Ramadan? And the prophets lie some taught him how to do Ramadan. And he wouldn't he did Amara by himself. He was the first man to actually do Ramadan, to do the pilgrimage in Mecca, while the Muslims were actually boycotted. And then he placed Mecca under economic boycott, because of the way they were treating the Prophet peace be upon them and the Muslims. So this is a very powerful man. But the point being that the scholars point out from here is obviously that the prophets lie
some refuse to treat him the way that he was treating other people he did not allow for the practices of Benno hanifa. To become the practices of the prophets lie Selim. How does this play out in jurisprudence, generally speaking, the prophet peace be upon him.
When when he faced an opponent an opponent in war or in battle, then he dealt with them by the norms that they would deal with other people. Meaning if the Prophet peace be upon him, fought and battle against the people that did not take captives. He didn't take captives. If he fought against the people that did take captives, he took captives, but he treated them in ways that they were that they were not accustomed to. Alright, but here with to mama through Mama was someone that comes from a tribe of torture, the prophets lie some refuse to torture him. And of course, through mama witnessing the beautiful character of the Muslims witnessing their brotherhood, witnessing their
sisterhood, witnessing the kind treatment that they gave to him, despite everything he'd done, his heart, then inclined towards Islam. I'm not suggesting we tie anyone to this pillar. We only got one pillar here, right? don't tie anyone to this pillar, right? But just in general, it was a testimony to the good character of those Muslims that were around the Prophet sallallahu wasallam. And this goes to the Hadith, I'm sorry, the ayah in the Quran, where Allah subhana wa tada says, Well, your three mana for Allah Allah higbee he miskeen We're a team and we're a Syrah and they, they give food in spite of their love, for that food or their love out of their love for Allah subhanho wa Taala
they give food despite their love for that food they're giving away and out of their love for Allah subhana wa tada out of their love for their Creator, to the poor person to the orphan and to the captive. And they say in the manual for mo COMM The word Hila lonely domain comm za and when I show Cora we feed you seeking only allows pleasure, we wish from you no reward, nor do we expect to be thanked for this. Now, this is typically understood this is typically understood to how you would spend upon other prisoners. Because what used to happen in Mecca, in the days of ignorance is that when people had slaves and prisoners, what they would do is they would let them out for an hour a
day to go beg for food, they wouldn't even feed them. So one, you know, an hour or two a day, they would let themselves
leaves out, they've left their prisoners out to go beg other people for food. So, you know, the scholars understood from this idea that you should feed those people, you know, even though if you don't have the means to free them from their captivity, you should feed them. All right, you should at least dignified them as much as you can feed them and give them drinks, but they don't have to go around begging for food and drink. But him and I bustled Lila Han, who obviously is, is the cousin of the profit slice, and I'm in the authority of the poor. And he said that in those days, their prisoners were, were much too keen. They were they were people that fought them on the day of better
so they weren't Muslims. They were people that came and fought them on the day of bed that and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu Sallam commanded them to be kind to their prisoners. So he said that the companions used to put their prisoners before themselves with their food, so that if food came to their home, they feed their captives first, and then they would feed themselves and their families. So how this was actually, you know, the way that they were told to treat their own prisoners and their own captives. From the Battle of beddit Mujahid Rahim Allah, He said that they would give food to these prisoners, even though are these captives even though they themselves
desired it, and they love that food for themselves. So the prohibition on torture went far beyond just not beating and not hitting and not not not,
you know, not carrying out any form of physical torture, but it also meant sleep deprivation, or depriving them from food or drink or depriving them from clothes or depriving them from their dignity. It was far more encompassing, than what you would typically think of when you talk about laws that should outlaw torture. We also find the Hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam where he was pacing after the Battle of bedeutet. Now obviously, again, the Battle of bed, that is a situation where you have people that try to massacre the small community of Muslims. And this is the first time the Muslims are taking captives. And of course, the prophets lie, some freed anyone that
could teach 10 people how to read and he prohibited torture and all these types of things. But it was also very emotional for the Muslims because a lot of the people that came in the Battle of bed that were their parents were their uncles were there were their family members, their siblings that came to kill them. And the prophets lie, some included a DJ, his brother was amongst those who were fighting on the day of better his uncle's were amongst those that were fighting on the other side, the prophet sly son was pacing after the Battle of beddit. And he was crying. So the companions came to him and they said, Why are you crying? He said, some air into an email, a bath, he was happy. He
said, I could hear a bus my uncle, I could hear his his moaning or his groaning because of because of the chains, meaning they were tied in a way that it caused him discomfort and the Prophet slicin was hurt, because he knew that his uncle was hurting.
But now when the companions saw that, they said to the Prophet sly, some of them, you know what, we'll go loosen up the chains, he said, but if you do that, for him, you have to do for everybody. So wouldn't be fair, if you just did that for him, because he's my uncle, you have to loosen, loosen them up from all of the captives, don't just loosen them up from my uncle, and I bust the law and the prophets lie some was pleased with them, loosening the chains, as the narration says. So that's the way that they were supposed to treat them to make sure that they took into consideration though those those factors that would be considered torturous, we also find that the profit sites referred
to forced confessions, forced confessions, and he sets the law when he was solemn, that a lot of the Almighty ohata when the cinemas took rihani, that Allah has pardoned, has pardoned people for their for what they do out of mistake. And hapa what you do out of mistake, or what you do out of forgetfulness, or what you do under duress,
Allah has forgiven you for that. How does this relate to torture, if you're being tortured, you don't have to insist upon things that will that will get you tortured, further tortured. So the prohibition on or the profit slice on relaxing
you know, the rules that would allow for a person to continue to be tortured. The most famous example of that are the first martyrs of Islam, the family of yesterday acid, so mania, and a monkey. And when, when, when, when a Buddha was torturing them, obviously tortured amongst them a lot of vinyasa. And while Ahmad was being tortured, they were being forced to curse a lot. They're being forced to curse the Prophet slice Allah. They're being forced to say things, you know, to worship the idols or to say, words of worship to the idols. Now, yes, and and sumiya did not do that and they were killed for that amount of their son. He cursed the Prophet slicin them
He felt really bad about that he felt guilty for cursing the messenger RNA. His thought was, while he was being tortured, and the prophets lie Selim told him Did you do it with your tongue or with your heart? He said it was just with my tongue. He said, Can I do it? If they torture you again, then curse me again. Don't put yourself in a situation where you continue to be tortured. So this relaxing of the, you know,
I don't even know how to put it. But this exception that was given to people while they were underdressed, so that they did not have to say things that would continue to earn them torture really meant something to the early Muslims that often suffered persecution,
right that they were not held guilty. Or they were not they were not sinful when they said things that they had to say in order to escape torture. Now, here's where the discussion becomes interesting. investigative torture. All right, investigative torture. This is a Hadeeth. And I thought about starting with this headache, but I figured I'd just start with the basics on torture, and then get to this hadith.
This Hadith is it takes place during the time of Norman in Al Bashir, not even Bashir or the Allahu taala. And who was one of the young companions of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. And this the narration isn't a Buddha would it's not authentic narration that some goods of the people of keela were stolen. So this is a people of color, and some of their goods were stolen. They accused some of the the weavers there was some there was a group of Weaver's those that used to sew and weave of theft. So they thought that they that these were the people that stole their goods. So they went to an amount of beneficiaries of the allowance, how to handle that, and they told him about
this. So he can find them for a few days. And he asked them about it. And their belongings were searched, and then he let them go. But their belongings were searched not intrusively. It was a very basic search, like it wasn't like a TSA search.
Meaning they just asked him if he asked them if they did steal. And when they said they didn't steal theirs, they just did a basic look at their, at their at their things, and then they let them go. So the people that accused
these men of stealing, they went to him and they were upset. This, they said, Tim, you set them free without doing any type of beating, or investigation, you didn't beat them, nor did you investigate them, meaning you should have beat him up a little bit and roughed him up and then seeing if they actually stole, which was the custom of those people. You know, if you hit him a little bit, choke them a little bit, you know, try to get them to confess to it, then maybe they would have and listen to what he said. He said to them. He said, What do you want, they said, We want you to beat him, we want you to like to rough him up. He said okay, well, he said, here's the deal. If I do that, and
then your goods are found with them, then it's justified, he said, but if I do that, and your goods are not found with them, then I'm going to have to do to you exactly what I did to them.
So as much as I hit them, or I rough them up, I'm going to have to do the same thing to you. And actually the language used I will have to take from your backs what I took from their backs, meaning they wanted them to be flogged, so they said you want me to flog them if they turn out to not have it even after all that I'm gonna have to flog all of you
for coming with that. So they were upset with that they said that is this. How the heck is this your decision? Is that is that really your judgment? And he said no. And he said how the heck moolah he woke marsudi he said, That's not my judgment. He said that's the judgment of a lot in the judgment of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu wasallam. And, you know, this is a powerful narration because it really highlights Islam's prohibition on what would come to be known as investigative torture. How did this play out in the books in the books of jurisprudence, the earlier scholars completely prohibited completely prohibited any form of investigative torture, no matter who the person was, no
matter what their history was, there was no way that you could that you could do this in trying to get something from them. Later scholars, later scholars getting into the 11th and 12th and 13th century, like an amendment Emile Rahim Allah and in an oddity, they started to discuss this and they started to give some exceptions not to investigative torture, but to you know, to using
physical force. And they said that you could do this with someone who has a history. So some of the later scholars, this is interesting, some of the later scholars they said if a person has a history,
then then they could be than physical force could be used with them.
In the process of investigating them, the interesting thing about this is that these scholars that said that they did it in response to the European criminal procedure. So the, this was analogous to half proof. Okay, because this was the European judicial process. And now Muslim scholars were having to respond to this. And they were relaxing some of the prohibition because this was becoming the norm of the world, whereas you find that the earlier scholars took a definitive prohibition
on on investigative torture or investigative punishment, what is the show us? What it shows us is that the scholars understood that they had to deal with changing circumstances and the definitions of torture and the definitions of what was allowable and what was not, and that Islam set boundaries, but there were that there was some room for discussion within the gray areas. And so when you look at today, the United Nations the UN, for example, they define torture, as an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or confession, punishing him
for an act he or a third person has committed or suspected of having committed or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. Now, as we said, this is a definition by the way that fits Islam, not only to Islam actually broadens it beyond human beings, right? This goes beyond people,
even though you wouldn't necessarily interrogate an animal, but some people do. All right. But torturing or punishing animals is included within the same prohibition. And that's why you know, this the 1984 Convention Against Torture 37 of 44 Muslim countries signed it. So scholars generally did not find any objection to things of that sort. So there is room for discussion within these things. But then you have the Islamic constants that prohibits what would come under what is definitively taffy, what is definitively torture. And of course, again, the Hadith of the Prophet sly Salaam, in the law, you as the Buddha, Deena, you're either born in us for dunya, Allah will
punish those who torture people in this world. And the Prophet slice Allah mentioned to us that the first the first
proceedings on the Day of Judgment would be between the animals. Right, so you even have an animal that did not have horns that was attacked by an animal with horns and Allah subhanaw taala would do justice between them. So what then of a human being that had more power over another human being and abused that power, or a human being that did so over an animal loss? pantai protect us from ever being in that situation? I mean, Allah subhanho wa Taala never allows to oppress or wrong in any capacity whatsoever alumna I mean, questions.
I know you might be