Hadith 8. Sanctity of a Muslim

On the authority of the son of Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) , the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and give the zakah. Then, if they do that, their blood and wealth will be protected from me – except in accordance with the right of Islam. And their reckoning will be Allah, the exalted”


Reported in Bukhari and Muslim


Brief Commentary:


  • The prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned this hadith with a different wording in many different occasions to show its importance
  • We learn from this hadith:
    • Why we fight
    • When we fight
    • When it is deemed permissible for a blood of a Muslim to be spilt
  • The prophet (peace be upon him) said “I have been ordered” and he did not mention who ordered him, but it is understood that the order came from Allah as there is no higher authority over the prophet (peace be upon him) except Allah
  • Scholars have differed on who “the people” that the prophet (peace be upon him) says he has been ordered to fight. The majority opinion is that they are the disbelievers, and that the people of the book (Jews and Christians) are excluded from this as they are eligible to pay jizyah (form of tax) instead
  • The objective of jihad is not to kill people, but to make the word of Allah the highest, either by people accepting Islam or by paying the jizyah to the Muslims so that the people who believe in Allah and establish His laws are in a higher authority
  • It is a right in Islam that zakah is taken from the people and given to the poor. When the Muslims stopped paying zakah after the prophet’s (peace be upon him) death, Abu Bakr fought them for it, as they had committed an action of apostasy
  • Some scholars say that fasting an hajj were not included in the list here because it is much harder to implement due to the many excuses available to allow someone not to fast or go to hajj, and that it is hard to know if someone has stopped fasting or doesn’t believe in going to hajj.
  • Other scholars said Salah and Zakah were mentioned because they are more important examples
  • A Muslim’s blood is more sacred than the day of ‘Arafah, the month of Dhul Hijjah, and Makkah itself
  • The hadith ended with “And their reckoning will be Allah, the exalted”, to tell us that we carry out rulings in this life based on what is apparent and not based on assumptions, and in the day of judgement Allah will deal with everyone in a just way, so if someone is apparently a Muslim, but we feel he is not, we let him be and Allah will be the just ruler on the day of judgement and will recompense that person with what they truly deserve


Benefits and Action points to take from this hadith:


  • We fight to make Allah’s word the highest word i.e. Allah’s laws are the highest laws and are implemented
  • We fight when there is a Muslim ruler leading us into the fight and must never attack someone without the consent of the valid Muslim leader. Hence this type of jihad cannot be performed due to our own individual decisions and is only initiated by the leaders of the Muslims
  • It is permissible to spill the blood of a Muslim if they do not say the shahada, refuse to pray, or refuse to pay zakah, but again, this can only be done with the permission of the Muslim leader in a Muslim country and must never be carried out based on an individual’s own decision
  • It is a condition to physically say the shahada to become a Muslim
  • Jizyah is only accepted from the people of the book. (Some scholars also added the majus (fireworshippers) to this too)
  • Becoming a Muslim protects one’s blood and money as it is not to be touched if they are a Muslim
  • Actions that we carry out must always be based on what is apparent, and not on what we assume




11 thoughts on “Hadith 8. Sanctity of a Muslim

  1. hadith eigh is very important to all muslim an its teaching all muslim on how to fight when tio fight and who we should fight with
    And it teaches us the importan of it.

    1. Fasting and hajj were not mentioned for a number of possible reasons. It could be because salah and zakah are more important so the prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasallam mentioned the most important aspects only, or it could be because it is difficult to prove someone doesn’t fast or go to hajj for an invalid reason because there are many excuses that a person could have to avoid these pillars e.g. not enough money, not physically able, etc so it is difficult to implement the ruling on them as there are many excuses they could come up with. This doesn’t mean that fasting and hajj are not pillars of islam, it just means it is more difficult to prove someone doesn’t fulfill them.

  2. Cah’t this hadith be easily manipulated by terrorist organizations ie the one ruling over syria and iraq?I pray i misunderstood

    1. Yes it can be if a person is insincere or very ignorant. This is why we must never make islamic rulings based on one hadith only, rather we should look at all of the other ahadith and verses from the Quran on a particular topic, as well as the understanding and actions of the companions before we can make a ruling. When one looks at those sources, they will see that this hadith should not be taken literally, rather it should be understood as per the commentary provided here.

  3. Asalamualaikum, I’m confused fighting then until they testify might mean they accept without being sincere, they may not believe it in their hearts. Therefore, their actions such as salah wouldn’t be accepted anyways/ would be meaningless?

    1. Walaikum Assalam.

      We treat people based on what they portray and what they say. If deep inside they are not sincere, then Allah will judge them on that as this isn’t our remit. The acceptance of their Salah shouldn’t be our concern. There were many hypocrites during the time of the prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasallam, but they were treated as Muslims as the claimed to be Muslims.

      Also, sometimes we can entice people with money to become Muslim and even though their intention when entering Islam isn’t sincere, after some time, they may become sincere Muslims. There are numerous examples during the life of prophet sallaAllahu alayhi wasallam where this happened.

  4. He didn’t mentioned who ordered him and peoples he will fight against but in the sharhi of the hadith it mentioned

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